It’s Something About Those Old Soldiers

Originally Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Everyone gets excited about young and talented athletes. I remember when Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and LeBron James were rookies in the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) which is the top professional basketball league in the world. When they first entered the league as rookies, they had no previous experience on the college level (skipped it). They were that talented!  Many thought they wouldn’t make it. Many don’t. Some teams sacrificed their veterans players just to get the “potential young stars”. You need “veterans” on your team too.

The man above (Jeff Napier) is what I call a “veteran soldier for Jesus,” period. When I was a freshman at Alabama State University playing football, Jeff came around us football players and began teaching us the bible. Keep in mind his background. He was a former drug dealer and user, gang member who was incarcerated many times. He dropped out of school in the 8th grade in Cleveland, OH. Jesus saves Him as an adult. He comes down to Montgomery, AL and preaches Christ to our football team and low and behold, Jesus plucks me out of darkness. My background was the total opposite of his. I was in college, never used or dealt drugs, never shot a gun (shot a rifle and shot gun a couple of weeks ago with a friend who’s going to Thailand to serve as a missionary).

But I’m telling you, this dude is a soldier! And he talks to me like a soldier!  He holds no punches with me. He shoots it straight even when I get a little fatigued when listening (all old school soldiers can get long winded:-). “Brother Brown, he says, in sharing the gospel with people we can’t give little morsel baits to sharks with those in the street.” He said on another note, “The biggest fight you’re gonna have is dealing with the big shots of religion. The religious folks will cause the most mess.” We all need “veteran soldiers” in our lives to encourage and challenge us in serving Christ. They’ve been around the block a few times and we should learn from them:-).

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