I (Sal) remember watching "pro-wrestling" growing up with my family as a young kid. It was total entertainment!
My brother and I would pretend to be certain Pro-Wrestlers and fight with each other in our living room floor. I even would try to jump from my stairs' railing and pretend that would be the 3rd level "buckle"-just like the "pros". Over the years, the interest went down as I began to find others. However, I'll never forget buying those wrestling figures, like Hulk Hogan and Brutus "the Beefcake" and show them to my friends. One of my friends had the WWF Wrestling Ring, where would play our figures and wrestle one anohter. I even got Pro-Wrestling Cards, which I happen to have our very own former Minnesota Governor-Jessie "the body" Ventura!
As I came to a personal relationship with Jesus (first year in college), I got more interested in just some of the "pros" when I found out who were the "outspoken" Christians. The first one I heard of was Ted Dibase-a.k.a. "The Million Dollar Man" (fan story)!
Then recently, I was watching the Benny-Hinn program in TBN and he had Tommy "Tiny" Lister, who is well-known in the entertainment industry (both Pro-Wrestling and Hollywood films). That is why I decided to write this today-Thursday, January 8th of 2004. I want to encourage Sports fans today that there are some "positive" role-models today in the sports entertainment industry. Yes, no one is perfect, but at least they "try" through their relationship with God!
Q: Did you know they have wrestling in the Bible? A: Look up Genesis 32:22-32 on Jacob v.s. "man"
Why Does God Wrestle with His Children?
"A short discussion about when God confronts us with trials and adversity. It focuses on what God is doing for his child when He contests them."
"...Symbolism and Reality
Was this a symbolic wrestling? In the daytime, we are often too busy to dwell on the past, but at night our worries often increase. Haven't you ever struggled with your conscience at night? Agonized over problems? Been buffeted with fears of the day to come? Jacob had elements of deceit and trickery in his past. In the morning he would face the consequences of them. He had little sleep the night before...
Reflections on Jacob's Wrestling
The story of Jacob's wrestling with God on the banks of the Jabbok moves me. Our walk with God includes some quiet and uneventful times where we seldom see his active intervention (though we are often blind to his care over us). At these times it seems that we experience little spiritual growth. But at the crisis times we are pushed up against God with no place else to turn. We are called to steps of faith, and as we take those difficult steps, we can move to a new place in God....
"There are times in life when we are faced with situations that seem dark; Situations that cause us to question our faith in the promises that we have received from God’s Word. Sometimes we struggle with circumstances in the world that cause us to be distracted away from God as we try to battle and win by our own efforts. Even struggles with our own flesh can become a battle that causes us to focus more on our internal war than on God. But our struggle should not be with these things for the battle is the Lord’s. Our struggle should be focused on holding on to God and His Word no matter how dark, and no matter how hopeless, the situation seems. Clinging to God with all perseverance is a part of loving Him.
The Bible tells us about an experience that Jacob had when he faced a situation that caused him great fear. Years before this Jacob had tricked his older brother, Esau, out of his birthright. Esau became very angry and plotted to murder Jacob. Jacob then fled from Esau to another land and stayed with his uncle Laban. While there Jacob married wives, and had children. He also had become wealthy with livestock because God had blessed him. Now Jacob was returning to his father’s land with all that God had given to him. He was about to come face to face with his brother Esau for the first time since he had deceived and fled from him. Jacob sent messengers ahead to greet Esau and to see if Esau still wanted to murder him.
Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him." So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed…(Genesis 32:6-7)
Esau coming to meet Jacob with four hundred men caused Jacob to have great fear. The situation did not look good for him and his family. But Jacob prayed to God and he reminded God of His promises to him.
Then Jacob prayed, "O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O LORD, who said to me, 'Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,' I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two groups. Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. But you have said, 'I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'" (Genesis 32:9-12)
Then Jacob sent his wives, children, and servants out of the camp. This was probably to hide them in case they were attacked. So Jacob was left alone in the camp that night. Then a man came and wrestled with Jacob.
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. (Genesis 32:24-31)
At first Jacob may have thought that he was being attacked by one of Esau’s men. How often in the darkness of a challenge do we fail to recognize God at work in our lives? We blame the devil, we blame other people, we blame fate; ignoring the fact that God is in control even when bad things happen. But as the light of dawn began to reveal the truth Jacob realized that he was wrestling with God. (Many Bible scholars believe that Jacob was actually wrestling with Jesus.)
God saw that Jacob was determined with his whole heart and all of his strength to hold on to God. Then God injured him. Why? So that He could bless him. God humbled Jacob into total dependence upon God. Why, because God gives His grace to the humble. Humility is the revelation of our own weaknesses and our desperate need for God. It is when we are humble that God can trust us with His strength, and with His blessing.
With a hip out of socket Jacob was easy prey without God’s help. Now Jacob was ready to receive the blessing, now Jacob was ready to fully trust in God to fight his battles. God gave Jacob favor with Esau and their meeting went well. But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. (Genesis 33:4)
When facing problems, temptations, and sufferings it is far better to focus our strength on clinging to God rather than trying to overcome by our own strength. In order for us to fail and give in to problems, temptations, and sufferings we must first loosen our grip on God and even turn away from Him. In order for us to have success God's way we must cling to Him with all of our strength and perseverance until He commands His blessing upon us..."
*see GoodnewsEverybody.com Blessings, Grateful, Thankful, etc... "The greater the sacrifice that we go through and endure by clinging to God, the greater the blessing will be. The greatest blessing is to those who fully give up their whole life to cling to their Creator, through perseverance and obedience. These are the things that prove our love for our God. Jesus says, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:21 NIV) The greatest blessing is when God reveals Himself to us. In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11)...
From The Wrestlers by Greg Boyd
" * Clip Topics – Faith, Prayer, Conflict
* January 2, 2011
God wants His people to wrestle with Him on the things that happen in their life. He wants His people to ask "Who are you, God?" Following the story of Jacob, we are called as Christ followers to struggle, strive, and seek to know who God is. We must also not be afraid of struggling with deep questions."
*see GoodnewsMinnesota.info- St. Paul: Woodland Hills Church
" 22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 23 And he struck down an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet [d] tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver's rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. 24 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty men. 25 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard. "-1 Chronicles 11
"gt Slaughter, one of the most recognized figures in professional wrestling today, both in and out of the squared circle, began his professional wrestling career in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since his debut in 1975, the 6' 6" 320 pound former military drill instructor has held every major title in the competitive world of professional wrestling.
Sgt Slaughter is a 4-time world Heavy Weight Champion. His most recent title was captured when he won the World Wrestling Federation title. Not only does Sgt Slaughter still hold attendance records and area and PPV-Events throughout the world, but he's also been voted by his peers as one of the "Greatest Champions" in the history of professional wrestling. One of the most impressive features of Sgt Slaughter's wide spread recognition is his jutting square jaw. Sgt Slaughter epitomizes not only power and courage when he is in a wrestling arena, but his devotion to promoting and defending the ideas of patriotism is unparalleled.
Sgt Slaughter has been honored by being invited to the White House by President's Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and Carter. The ultimate distinction bestowed upon him was having the American Flag flown over our Nation's Capitol in recognition of his achievements. Perhaps the most important factor in Sgt Slaughter's success is his gentle and amiable demeanor with his fans, on camera and off. Sgt Slaughter's popularity among children is legendary, instilling a sense of pride in them and their country.
Hasbro identified the charismatic traits of Sgt Slaughter by creating a Sgt Slaughter doll, the first and only individual to be so recognized among all other G.I. Joe action figures and animated cartoon characters. In Sgt Slaughter's debut year with G.I. Joe, Hasbro not only enjoyed record-breaking sales in that year, but also became the most successful company in all toy manufacturing history.
Despite his wrestling schedule and hundreds of thousands of miles traveled annually Sgt Slaughter devotes much of his spare time helping to raise funds for organizations, such as the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, just to name one of the many charitable causes, for which he has been given many proclamations. He was named Chairman of the Anti-Drug Campaign and was selected as the Citizen of the Year in his home state of Connecticut.
Sgt Slaughter's most cherished accomplishment was the granting of a visit from Mother Theresa on her visit to New York when she blessed the children of a group home facility. Sgt Slaughter has expended endless hours raising funds to keep that facility open. Leaving the wrestling wars to step into the corporate battlefields as a spokesperson for the multitudes of organizations is a goal of Sgt Slaughters. His ultimate dream is to have his televised children's program to allow him to continue to be a positive role model for the youth of America, the future of the United States." Sgt. Slaughter
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Professional wrestling career
Before once serving in the Marines as a torpedo launcher specialist, Slaughter held numerous regional titles early in his career and experienced his first major success in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) capturing the NWA World Tag Team Championship with Don Kernodle. During the late 1970s, Remus worked the American Wrestling Association (AWA) territory under a mask as Super Destroyer Mark II with managers Lord Alfred Hayes and Bobby Heenan....
Jesse Ventura vs Hulk Hogan (part 1)
"Hulk Hogan wrestles Jesse Ventura in Minnesota in the early 1980's.
From Turkey Day Turmoil, a look back at classic moments from the AWA. After the introduction by "Mean" Gene Okerlund, there's a promo by 'The Body'."
"Sting" (Steve Borden) shared about his faith on TBN around Jan-Feb of 2006
Sting christian wrestler
'Sting' Out of the Ring
By Barbara Cornick and Scott Ross
The 700 Club "Steve was desperate for a change. For years his brother had been telling him about God’s love for him. Steve finally decided it was time to listen. One August evening in 1998, he gave up running and turned to God for help.
STEVE BORDEN: I said, 'I cannot do this on my own. I need You to come save my life, save my marriage, because it’s out of control.' And I invited Him to come and live in me. I told Him, 'I’m going to live my life for You from this day forward.' "Million-Dollar Man"-Ted DiBiase shares his faith
Million Dollar Man - Testimony - Part 1 of 2
University of Minnesota Morris
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Athletics
UMM was, in 1993, the first college in the United States to sponsor women's wrestling as an official varsity sport. The program was cut in 2003 due to budget constraints. In 2006, a new men's soccer team was announced..." Wrestling program will be eliminated women's swimming will be added
Posted by Judy Riley, UMM News Service on Monday, Jul. 28, 2003 "In a budget-driven move, the University of Minnesota, Morris has announced that it will eliminate wrestling for men and women effective with the 2004-05 academic year. Further, UMM will add the sport of women's swimming.
"During this biennium we will continue to see the impact of recent state reductions in University operating budgets as we work to cut $1.5 million dollars from UMM's $26 million base budget," said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Sandra Olson-Loy in making the announcement. "This difficult decision addresses the need to reduce expenditures while strengthening our core."..
Sara McMann vs. Tina George
"Sara and Tina were once teammates on Coach Doug Reese's outstanding squad at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Sara scored a fall against Tina in an intra-squad competition there. In this 1999 match, Tina came out on top at the end of a topsy-turvy contest. Subsequently during their illustrious careers, Sara and Tina each became Silver Medalists in different weight classes in World Championship competition."
Olivia Ocampo wins.
"Olivia Ocampo (B) gains another of her victories earned during her career at the University of Minnesota-Morris. "
"Thunder Bay, Ontario - The University of Minnesota - Morris women's
wrestling team placed second in the Gord Garvie Memorial Wrestling
Festival, just one point from taking championship honors.
Leading the way for the Cougars was a pair of sophomores in Megan
Goldsmith and Tabithia Ramsey who produced the first championship titles
in the New Year....
"On a late Friday night recently at the Pure Country Bar in Paducah, Ky., a brawl is about to break out. It's not a drunk fist fight -- it's a team of "warriors for Christ" gearing up for a fight in the name of the Lord.
"Father, we just thank you for the opportunity to go out tonight and to train and compete," coach John Renken says. "Lord, we just pray that you protect our fighters, as well as the other guys. We pray that we will be a representation of you."
Renken, the leader of the group of unorthodox fighters, is also an evangelical pastor who brings a new meaning to the term "bible beater."
Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC
"I was fighting as a brand new Christian. I was fighting all the way through bible college...This is just a part of who I am," he says. "Look at what Jesus endured for our sake. He goes down the walk that is roughly about a mile long with the Roman soldiers beating him bloody. He faced his own cage in life."
The sport is mixed martial arts -- a combination of wrestling, kickboxing and other martial arts where competitors can do almost anything to knock out their opponents. Popularized by cable TV's "Ultimate Fighting Championship," the sport is so brutal it's been banned in seven states.
Pummeling opponents, Renken's team doesn't quite believe in turning the other cheek. He says fighting has its roots in the Bible. "Jacob wrestles with God in Genesis...Exodus 15.3 [it] says that the Lord your God is a warrior. So, there is a part of God that I believe is a warrior, that is a master of battle," he says.
"When I go into the ring... I'm going in there to fight, but I'm also going in there for the reasons that we've been talking about, which is that I want to reach people with the gospel," Renken says.
Renken's ministry is one of a growing number of evangelical churches that have looked to mixed martial arts as way to appeal to men, who have largely been absent from traditional congregations.
"We believe that Jesus loves lost people and whatever avenue that we can find to reach those lost people ... we're going to do," Renken says.
Xtreme Ministries: Not Your Typical Sunday Morning
Renken founded Xtreme Ministries, a church and gym located in a strip mall in Clarksville, Tenn., squeezed between a Goodwill store and the local beauty school. While you don't have to be a Christian to train, come Sunday morning, it becomes a full-on place of worship.
For these Xtreme congregants, wearing their Sunday best is a far cry from the traditional flowery dresses and starched collars -- you'll see fatigues, tattoos and battle wounds from the previous night's fight in the crowd.
The small talk is also not exactly holy. "I landed a head kick on him," a congregant says about fight night. "And when I hit him, I saw his eyes flutter."
The sermons are tough. On a recent Sunday, it included a narrative of David and Goliath -- the battle between the future king of Israel and the biblical warrior.
"David was a simple guy who was a shepherd who had faith in Jesus that he would protect him," pastor Jordan Fulton says. "And he stepped out there in faith, God totally backed him up, he killed him, bam, but then it gave permission for him and all his followers and all of these other guys to kill their own giants in their own way."
Fulton, a soldier and mixed martial arts enthusiast, recently took over the pulpit from Renken, and admits the church has its own unique style.