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Andre Ward’s Fight for God

Andre Ward beats up people for a living. But just because he’s a born-again Christian doesn’t mean he has to repent for fighting.

As a child of God—who just happens to be the undisputed WBA/WBC/Ring Magazine super middleweight boxing champion of the world—Ward says his motives are pure every time he steps into the ring and that he’s simply doing the job with which the Lord blessed him.

“It’s a heart condition,” says the 28-year-old Ward, who defended his titles against light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif., in September to run his professional record to 26-0. “If I truly was honest with myself and I intentionally and permanently wanted to hurt someone, then that would be a problem.

“It may sound like an oxymoron, but I don’t have a heart to hurt anyone in the ring. I always pray for myself, my opponent and for our families’ sakes that neither one of us gets hurt during a fight. That’s only one of the reasons that God has blessed me so much in my life.”

Ward has myriad reasons to feel that way. Not only is he on top of the boxing world in his division with three titles around his waist, he has yet to be defeated as a professional. The former Olympic gold medalist also was named Sports Illustrated and Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year for 2011.

Above all these accolades, however, Ward is grateful for how his status as a successful athlete has allowed him to become an effective witness for Jesus Christ and a role model for youngsters. His mantra, S.O.G. (Son of God), which is prominently displayed on his trunks, is something he borrowed from Galatians 3:26, which states: “For all of you are sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.”

Blind Actor Sees Perfectly

Tom Sullivan has been physically unable to see since birth. Throughout his life, however, the author and entertainer has become accustomed to finding spiritual insight while coming to grips with his blindness. In his latest memoir, As I See It, he explains how he’s learned to look at life from a different view.

“Most people live in a world in which they are looking at how others affect them, rather than how they affect others,” said Sullivan, who lists television shows such as M*A*S*H and WKRP in Cincinnati to his acting credits along with a seven-year stint as a reporter on ABC’s Good Morning America.

“What matters is, am I operating in God’s likeness by taking a loving look at other people I meet? That’s how I have tried to live. It sounds cliche, but I was once blind and now I see.”

Sullivan, 65, admits his blindness produced a strong bitterness early on toward God. That changed after he was radically saved in 1973, shortly after his then 3-year-old daughter, Blythe, fell into the family swimming pool. Sullivan dove into the pool and heard air bubbles, then went down nine feet to find Blythe and was able to resuscitate her.

“Anyone else wouldn’t have heard them; not because they couldn’t, but because they just wouldn’t,” he says. “Miracles happen when ordinary people like you and me, through grace, do extraordinary things.”

Sullivan engages in many activities that people of sight take for granted. He regularly enjoys downhill skiing and averages 90 for an 18-hole round of golf. These days, he can be found on the corporate lecture circuit, where he never misses an opportunity to tell others about Jesus: “I’ve made the decision to articulate and witness my faith in front of these companies. It’s not always favorably received by some companies because they say this isn’t the place for it. But I’ve chosen to do it anyway. You have to keep putting it out there—that’s frontline faith.” 

Indeed, Sullivan wouldn’t see it any other way. 

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