ONE day in the summer of 2003, our 15-year-old daughter,Kaia, was talking with a boy who lives across the lake from us. Kaia was bound and determined to bring Justin with her to youth group. But he wasn’t interested; instead, he looked at her square in the face and asked, “How do you even know He’s real?”
That is the universal question isn’t it? How do we know Christ is real? I just couldn’t let go of that question, it haunted me for months. So many of my friends and family members aren’t believers either, and I worry about what eternity might look like for them.
So I took Justin’s challenge and embarked on a journey to prove that Christ is real. I started e-mailing, sending letters, and calling actors, professional and Olympic athletes, and musicians—people my research told me were fired-up Christians. Pretty gutsy move really. Although I’d earned a minor in English in college, I’d spent the last 20 years as a sales executive. Writing was my passion, but not my career.What made me think that any of these people would give me the time of day?
But they did, and in vast numbers. It amazes me to think how many of them shared their personal stories—oftentimes private things they had never shared before.Why? Because I believe God led them to. From the very beginning of this project, I put it all in God’s hands—He would put the right people in the book, and He would put it in the hands of those people who needed to read it. And He has been so faithful.Whether I was speaking with an extreme athlete or a pop star, they all treated me like a sister in Christ.Together we marveled at the awesome God we serve and His glorious creation.
Picture yourself walking in a forest of pine trees in the north woods. Do you see the cardinals and the blue jays, the eagles and the hawks? Do you see the little chipmunks, rabbits, and squirrels scampering around on the ground? How about the majestic blue sky filled with billowy clouds and rays of sunshine? Can you feel the wind on your face? Imagine the crunch of pine needles beneath your feet and breathe in their clean, musky fragrance. The smell is so pungent that you feel like you can almost touch it. Now picture yourself standing on a remote stretch of beach with the fine, white sand between your toes and the sea spray in your face. Perhaps you can see a dolphin jumping in the distance….
Look around and tell me what man-made things you see in these scenarios. None. Because all of this, everything in the world, came from God.To think some big bang happened one day, and it all magically appeared, is preposterous. The world is far too complex and wondrous for that to be the case. God created the natural world, and everything in it, for us to enjoy. Consider these amazing facts:
• The cheetah can run up to 60 mph and go from 0–45 in just 2 seconds.
• Every snowflake is different—every, single one.
• There are over 20,000 species of fish in the world.
• Hummingbirds beat their wings up to 90 times per second.
• The human nose can distinguish between 4,000 and 10,000 different smells.
I know God is real because I have experienced the miracle of giving birth. Isn’t it amazing to think that a tiny seed can grow inside a woman’s womb and become a fully formed and intelligent human being? God didn’t have to make it so cool, but He did. And to top it all off, He gave us the one thing that separates us from all other life—the ability to love.
And most importantly, I know God is real because of the lives He has transformed—mine, my husband’s, and countless others. The evidence is all around; I have seen His fingerprint time after time on the lives of believers.
On the following pages, you will read inspiring stories of how people from the worlds of sports and entertainment know God is real too. You’ll read accounts of miracles, answered prayers, and redeemed lives; and I pray they are an inspiration to you.
If you would like to more deeply explore the issues covered in a particular chapter, there is a section at the end of each of them called God’s Road Map that makes reference to relevant Scripture passages. You might find them to be great daily devotions. These verses are just the tip of the iceberg; there is so much wisdom in the Bible.You’ll also see a topical index at the beginning of the book that may help if you are struggling with a particular issue.
If you have questions, ask them—consult a trusted Christian friend, a clergy member, or visit my website at www.hesreal.com. Most importantly, be open to what God is revealing as you go through the pages of this book. Give Jesus Christ a chance—your life will never be the same.