Happy Birthday Jesus!

I would like to wish ALL of you a wonderful and Blessed Birth of Christ celebration.

May this celebration season be filled with love, giving, and peace.

Praise be to our Lord and Savior – Happy Birthday Jesus!

Proverbs 3:5&6

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Was Huckabee really attacking LDS?? I say not; Another bizarre doctrine of Joseph Smith was that Jesus and Lucifer (yes, Satan) were actually brothers.

Message to Mormons:

Tell the truth! If you believe it, be proud of it—don’t try to hide it.

Hey… now that I think of it, did any LDS spokesperson deny that what Huckabee said was untrue???? Did anyone ask the LDS is it WAS true??

Very insightful read by Bob Burney of Townhall.com & Radio host

Text highlights are my own.

Mormons: A Plea for Candid Truth Telling

By Bob Burney

What has happened to the simple principle of telling the truth? That question should be posed to the Mormon community. I’m not an expert on anything—but I do know a little bit about Mormonism—or, as they prefer to be called, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). My father was a Mormon for several years and many of his family were Mormons. I have also spent a considerable amount of time reading LDS literature. Again, that doesn’t make me an expert, but at least educated.

I have observed a notable change in the way the LDS Church presents itself to the general public, an effort that began sometime around the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Prior to that, there was not a readily-apparent effort by Mormons to identify themselves as a form of Christianity. Joseph Smith believed that the Angel Moroni appeared to him because all of American Christianity had become apostate. He was the one true prophet and the religion he would establish would be the only true church. That’s boiler plate LDS 101. I remember a time when it was common for Mormons to be offended if you called them Christian. That was then.

Sometime around 2002 a very noticeable shift occurred. Suddenly they wanted to be accepted as a part of mainstream Christianity—you know, there are Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Mormons. During this time of “repackaging” a document was released titled, “The Living Christ, The Testimony of The Apostles” [available here]. It was a slick document stating what Mormons believed about Jesus. Why slick? To read it, you would think you were reading the doctrinal statement of an Evangelical Church. Now, even a peripheral study of Mormonism will reveal that the Jesus of Mormonism isn’t even in the same universe (literally) as the Jesus of orthodox Christianity. The Jesus of Mormonism is the “spirit child” of his “heavenly parents.” He is in no way part of a triune Godhead.

The wording of “The Living Christ” represents some of the best marketing I have ever seen. It takes Mormon doctrine and makes it sound like standard Christian doctrine. At the same time, the official LDS Web site was totally overhauled and some of the more bizarre doctrines held by the Church were carefully hidden deep within the site—doctrines such as “the Fall” actually being a good thing, not bad; the pre-existence of all humans in heaven with Jesus simply being our “elder brother;” the ability to actually become a God and have your own planet to rule over.

Another bizarre doctrine of Joseph Smith was that Jesus and Lucifer (yes, Satan) were actually brothers. The LDS Web site prior to the Utah Olympics said this:

We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, ‘Whom shall I send?’ Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, ‘Here am I, send me’ (Abraham 3:27).

Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, ‘Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it.’ (Moses 4:1).

Now, here is where my plea for Mormons to simply tell the truth comes in. This is America. You can believe anything you want. If you want to believe that God was once a human being, that Jesus was his physical son, that you can become a God yourself, that Jesus and Satan were brothers, you can certainly do so. But tell the truth! If you believe it, be proud of it—don’t try to hide it.

An interesting illustration of this has been playing itself out in current political news. In an interview with the New York Times Magazine, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was questioned about his views of the Mormonism of fellow candidate Mitt Romney. Huckabee said he knew little about Mormonism and wondered out loud to the veteran religion reporter Zev Chafets: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Well, that’s exactly what they believe! Several news outlets immediately accused Huckabee of attacking Romney’s religion. Blogs went berserk!

How did candidate Romney respond to someone revealing what his church actually believes? He said, “But I think attacking someone’s religion is really going too far. It’s just not the American way, and I think people will reject that,” Romney told NBC’s “Today” show.

How did the LDS Church respond? The Associated Press quoted an official spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that Huckabee’s question is usually raised “by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.” She went on to say, “We believe, as other Christians believe and Paul wrote, that God is the father of all … That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.”

She doesn’t deny anything Huckabee said, she is just very deft at using the language of and the association with mainstream Christianity to wrap their unorthodox doctrine in credibility.

Does this have anything to do with Mitt Romney and his qualifications to be president? Everyone will have to decide that in his or her own heart. I just wish the Mormons, including Mitt Romney, would simply be more candid and tell us the straight truth about their religion. Is that too much to ask?

Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of Bob Burney Live, heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio.

Huck camp backtracks on Mormon question

“…he was trying to press me on my thoughts of Mitt Romney’s religion.”

…looks to me like an innocent accident – but the reporter was intent on painitng Mike into the corner… Read on: tell me what you think:

On CNN’s “The Situation Room” Wednesday, Mike Huckabee disavowed a contentious quote he provided in a lengthy New York Times Magazine profile published online, and said he never expected to see the remark in print.

However, both the article’s writer and editor have a different take.

In the article, Zev Chafets wrote that Huckabee, “in an innocent voice,” asked him, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

On Wednesday morning, the quote got traction in the press, and Mitt Romney criticized it on the “Today” show.

Huckabee later apologized to Romney at the Republican candidates’ debate in Des Moines.

Wednesday afternoon, Huckabee described to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer how the interview with Chafets had gone. “Actually, if you’ll talk to the reporter, because he was shocked that that was characterized out of an 8,100-word story, as we were, we thought, good heavens. We were having a conversation. It was over several hours, and the conversation was about religion, and he was trying to press me on my thoughts of Mitt Romney’s religion.

“And I said I don’t want to go there. I don’t know that much about it. I barely know enough about being a Baptist. And I really didn’t know,” the GOP presidential candidate continued.

Huckabee went on to say that Chafets was telling him “things about the Mormon faith, because he frankly is fairly well-schooled on comparative religions. And so as a part of that conversation, I asked the question, because I had heard that, and I asked it not to create something — I never thought it would make the story.”

But Huckabee should not have been too shocked, according to Megan Lieberman, the Times Magazine editor who handled the piece.

Lieberman told Politico that the article was thoroughly fact-checked, and that Alice Stewart, the Huckabee campaign’s press secretary, raised no concerns when briefed on that specific quote prior to publication.

Stewart did not return a call seeking comment.

Found in the Politico

Mitt being like Hillary; Romney: Attacks on religion go too far

…what attack on religion? Huckabee is normally the one on the defensive. Now he slyly asks if Mormans believe Jesus and Satan were brothers. He also admittedly says he’s ignorant about the teachings but, come on – Huckabee never cried that he’s being attacked – but you, Mitt, the one who typically “draws first blood” is crying foul.  That’s a little Hillary-ish; attack first, then cry foul.

That’s my talking memo: now to the story

BOSTON – Republican Mitt Romney retorted to questions about his faith by surging rival Mike Huckabee on Wednesday, declaring that “attacking someone’s religion is really going too far.”

In an article to be published Sunday in The New York Times, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

Romney, vying to become the first Mormon elected president, declined to answer that question during an interview Wednesday, saying church leaders in Salt Lake City had already addressed the topic.

“But I think attacking someone’s religion is really going too far. It’s just not the American way, and I think people will reject that,” Romney told NBC’s “Today” show.

Asked if he believed Huckabee was speaking in a coded language to evangelicals, Romney praised his rival as a “good man trying to do the best he can,” but he added, “I don’t believe that the people of this country are going to choose a person based on their faith and what church they go to.”

Huckabee maintains that his question in the interview was taken out of context. A statement from his campaign said the full context of the exchange shows Huckabee illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and theological issues.

“Governor Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation and not focus on questions of religious belief,” said Charmaine Yoest, a senior adviser.

But Huckabee’s campaign did not provide more information about the exchange, which the magazine reported this way in the article by Zev Chafets: “I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. ‘I think it’s a religion,’ he said. ‘I really don’t know much about it.’

“I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: ‘Don’t Mormons,’ he asked in an innocent voice, ‘believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?'”

Huckabee has been surging in recent opinion polls, taking the GOP lead in Iowa and pressing closer to Rudy Giuliani in polling.

The former Massachusetts governor also was asked why he used the term “Mormon” only once last week in a highly publicized speech about religion in which he said he was proud of his faith.

“Actually, we prefer the name ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,'” he said. “‘Mormon’ used to be a nickname and I don’t use it a lot, but now and then I do because people know what faith I’m referring to, and I talked about ‘my faith’ a number of times, and I don’t imagine anybody is confused about what faith I have.”

The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.

A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee’s question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.

“We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all,” said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. “That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.”

Romney also defended his first negative ad of the presidential campaign in Iowa, where Huckabee has erased Romney’s long-standing lead in the polls. The spot, which began airing Tuesday, highlights Huckabee’s support for in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants when he was governor of Arkansas, as well as his support for their being eligible for scholarships.

“It’s not negative; it’s accurate,” Romney said. “It’s an ad that shows the differences on a very important topic, and actually, if you agree with Mike Huckabee‘s positions, it’s a positive ad for him. If you agree with my position, it’s a positive ad for me.”

Romney dismissed Huckabee’s rise in the polls — saying he’s seen similar surges from GOP rivals John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson — but he said scrutiny will follow his rival’s rise to the top tier.

“I think Mike was desperately hoping that we would get through this without people taking a close look at his positions and his record, but his record on immigration, on pardons for criminals, on reducing the penalties for meth lab dealers, on taxing and spending — he increased spending from $6 billion to $16 billion. I think those features in his record will cause those numbers to turn around,” Romney said.

—Gators’ QB Tim Tebow says God, family and academics come before football

Tim Tebow; Homeschooler wins the Heisman Trophy!

(Florida Gator colors, in-case you didn’t know ;o)

This is a wonderfully encouraging story. Read ONEMOM’s posting here

GAINESVILLE— Holding the most high-profile position on the defending national championship team – making him the biggest Big Man on Campus at a football-crazed school – could easily go to the head of any college sophomore, but Tim Tebow says that football is not even the third most important thing in his life.

“I am fortunate to have family members, coaches and teammates around who can help me stay focused on the right things for us to be successful. For me, every day includes four things: God, family, academics and football, in that order,” Tebow said.

Although Tebow was the back-up quarterback last year, even as a true freshman he saw significant duty in all 14 games, including the national championship game against Ohio State, allowing him to be the team’s second-leading rusher and first with eight rushing touchdowns.
In 2007, however, Tebow is the starting quarterback and undisputed leader of the Gators in their drive to match the school’s basketball team as back-to-back national champions.

EYES ON THE PRIZE: University of Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow leads Bible studies with his teammates as they compete to keep their title as National Champions.

For Tebow, the way to deal with the pressure that comes with the territory is to ignore most of what others say about him.

“I don’t really listen too much since it’s important to stay in the middle and not get too high or too low. Florida fans are passionate and that’s what makes them great. Being cheered or criticized is all a part of sports and how everything goes in cycles,” Tebow said.

The other key in keeping balance in his life is his relationship with Christ.

Tebow grew up in a Christian family, led by missionary parents Bob and Pam Tebow. The Tebows are members of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He began his walk with Christ as a 6-year-old and has regularly traveled with his family during summers to the Philippines, where he was born, to lead evangelistic crusades and minister in orphanages.

Although his college commitments prevented him from going to the Philippines this summer, Tebow said the experiences of ministering there remain with him – and is something he will pursue in the future because “it is a valuable part of my life.”

Reflecting on the people he has ministered to, Tebow said, “Meeting all of those different people who have nothing and are poor gave me an appreciation for what me and my family have and provided me with the perspective of taking nothing for granted. It also allowed me to see the effect that I could have on those people. For some, the belief in Christ is all that they have and is much more important than money or material possessions.”

Majoring in family, youth and community sciences, Tebow said he is “trying to take advantage” of the educational opportunity he has at the University of Florida – the alma mater of his parents.

Although his parents have counted Florida-Georgia game as the school’s biggest rivalry, Tebow relishes UF’s rivalry against the Florida State Seminoles. It’s no surprise, then, that former Gator quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel is Tebow’s role model, both on and off the field.

“I saw how he treated people and learned to treat everyone how I wanted to be treated,” Tebow said. “He was such a positive role model both on the field, academically and spiritually and would always make time for people by signing autographs, taking pictures with them.”

Today, Wuerffel, who quarterbacked NFL’s Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints, leads Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans, which seeks to rebuild impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development.

For Tebow, staying spiritually grounded includes leading a Bible study in his apartment on Sunday nights. Attended mostly by fellow football players, Tebow said the athletes “spend time talking about the Lord.”

Although Mac Brunson, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, has not known Tebow very long, he is impressed with the joy and humility that marks the young man’s life.

“I really think that he has a heart full of joy,” Brunson said. “He’s always smiling. He always seems to be upbeat.”

Brunson said Tebow spoke at the church’s annual pastors’ conference last year and impressed evangelist Junior Hill who told Brunson it was “the best testimony I have ever heard from an athlete.”

Tebow’s commitment to the church was illustrated in July when he played Goliath opposite a 6-year-old boy as David in the church’s children’s musical.

“I think he just got a kick out of doing that with those children,” Brunson said.

“When I think of Tim, I think of a young man who is incredibly talented, who is sharp academically and is deep spiritually and is humble in all of it,” Brunson added.

Asked how Christians can pray for him, Tebow said that although it would be “great” if people prayed for him, “there are many other things in the world to focus upon today, especially in their own families.”

Tebow added, “I am no different than anyone else in the room, despite what people may think, because I am a Gator football player. It is important for each person to sit down and be honest about making priorities and being true to themselves.”

This article first appeared in the Florida Baptist Witness newspaper (www.FloridaBaptistWitness.com). James A. Smith Sr. is the executive editor.

In a sign of the media scrutiny and time pressure his schedule is under, Florida Sports Information staffer Zack Higbee told the Witness there were hundreds of interview requests for Tebow as the Gators prepare to defend their championship, and it was impossible to grant every one of them. The university accommodated the Witness’s interview request by submitting questions to Tebow in writing and receiving his written replies via Higbee.

Pulpit Was the Springboard for Huckabee’s Rise

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In addition to this article, click here for today’s (12/6) BBC profile of Governor Huckabee. It’s an interesting and informative read.

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By JODI KANTOR and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

In August 1980, as the conservative Christian movement was first transforming American politics, Ronald Reagan stood before a Dallas stadium full of 15,000 foot-stomping, hand-clapping evangelicals and pledged his fealty to the Bible. “All the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their answer in that single book,” said Reagan, the Republican presidential nominee.

Assisting with logistics for the event was a young seminary dropout named Mike Huckabee. “It was the genesis for the whole movement,” Huckabee recalled of those early days.

Now Huckabee is running for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, his campaign shaped by his two decades as an evangelical pastor and broadcaster. While he says he is running based on his career in the Arkansas governor’s mansion, not the pulpit, he has grounded his views on issues like abortion and immigration in Scripture, rallied members of the clergy

Mike Huckabee often returns to the pulpitas a Presidential candidate

for support, benefited from the anti-Mormon sentiment dogging a political rival and relied on the down-to-earth style he honed in the pulpit to help catapult him in the polls.

Huckabee risks scorn from secular voters for defending the biblical creation story against Darwin but faces accusations from some fellow Christians that he is soft on a range of issues, including liberal thinking in his own denomination. His candidacy has renewed the debate over the place of religion in public life, an issue Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is also a Republican presidential contender, planned to take on Thursday in a speech about his Mormonism.

As a preacher and a politician, Huckabee said in an interview, he has pursued the same goal: improving lives. “For me it was never an either or,” he said of his dual careers. “The realm you do it in is less important than that you do it.”

And winning souls trained him to win votes. “There are four basic things to succeed in either politics or the pastorate,” Huckabee said. “You have to have a message. Secondly, you have to motivate volunteers. You have to be able to understand and work with all types of medium to get your message out,” he continued, “and you’ve got to raise money.”

Huckabee was born in Hope, Arkansas, and from the start, he was hungry to try more than one career: politics (he participated in the same teenage civic program that had stoked the ambition of another native son, Bill Clinton, 10 years earlier), radio (he did his first broadcast at 11) and religion (he delivered his first sermon at 15 and pastored a church three years later).

After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, he enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas but dropped out after a year to work for James Robison, a fiery television evangelist. To make himself sound more knowledgeable, Huckabee later told his secretary, he crammed on issues of Reader’s Digest magazine.

For five years, Huckabee served as Robison’s announcer, advance man and public relations representative, drumming up attendance and coverage for his heavily attended prayer meetings and appearing on broadcasts. (The organization was based near Dallas, which is how Huckabee came to work on the 1980 Reagan rally). Robison could be harsh – he yelled in the pulpit and referred to gay people as perverts – but Huckabee was a genial ambassador; behind the scenes, he was known for his dead-on impersonations of Christian celebrities like Billy Graham.

Huckabee wanted to return to his home state, and he wanted his own church. He had been filling in as pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a dwindling congregation in a small city stuffed with churches. When he signed on full-time, members figured Immanuel would be able to hang on for another 5 or 10 years before disbanding.

“Everyone thought I was crazy” to take the job, Huckabee said.

He told the congregation that he planned to put the church – and himself – on television. Then he persuaded his incredulous flock to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate the dingy, barn-like auditorium, putting in pews with comfortable padding and more leg room, a stained-glass window he designed himself and a sound system designed by the engineers who had wired the Houston Astrodome.

Drawn by the new space, a 26-year-old pastor who loved rock ‘n’ roll and the advertisements he had placed on bus shelters, young families began to arrive. But Huckabee wanted a wider audience. Soon he had a low-power television station on the air, which made him the proprietor and star of not just the only Christian broadcast in town, but the only local broadcast, period. It made him pastor “for all of Pine Bluff,” said Garey Scott, then the youth minister.

In addition to worship services, the station offered community programs – Huckabee gave the local editorial page editor his own slot – and the show that would become Huckabee’s signature.

Huckabee created a television program, “Positive Alternatives” for his church audience in Pine Bluff, Ark.

Sunday evenings were a depressing time for people, Huckabee had noticed. And Pine Bluff usually made the Little Rock news only for car accidents or crime. His antidote was “Positive Alternatives,” a Sunday-night talk show full of can-do community uplift. Huckabee interviewed local heroes, fellow pastors, leaders of charities, even accountants who offered advice on filling out tax forms.

After six years, he moved to Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana, another city without its own television affiliate. The first statewide job Huckabee ran for was a church office. In 1989, while at the Beech Street Church, he was nominated for the presidency of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

Huckabee, who won by a 2-to-1 ratio, carried the flag for the so-called moderates, arguing that the Arkansas Baptists were amply orthodox.

The president’s post was largely ceremonial. But it gave Huckabee considerable exposure – a fifth of Arkansans are Baptists – and experience as a peacemaker in his denomination’s internal battles.

But when he announced he was giving up his ministry for a 1992 Senate run, many of his confidants, as well as Baptists across the state, were shocked. He had not hinted about his ambitions. And while the Reverend Pat Robertson had run for president four years before, a local pastor running for Senate was something else entirely.

Huckabee ran largely on social issues, opposing abortion and same-sex marriage and portraying his opponent, Senator Dale Bumpers, a Democrat who was virtually an Arkansas institution, as a pornographer because he supported the National Endowment for the Arts. But attacking the popular veteran backfired; Huckabee was badly beaten. By the next year, when Huckabee ran for lieutenant governor in a special election, he sounded more like the conservative populist he is today, talking about caring for the elderly and other ways government could improve people’s lives.

In 1996, Huckabee inherited the governorship from Jim Guy Tucker, who resigned after a financial scandal. Huckabee said then, as he does now, that his ministry prepared him for office by showing him firsthand the toughest issues that citizens face, issues as varied as bankruptcy and teenage pregnancy.

Today, in the closing weeks before the Iowa caucus, Huckabee is energetically selling his religious credentials, saying voters should pick a candidate who speaks “the language of Zion” as a “mother tongue,” and running television commercials flashing the words “Christian Leader.” He talks eagerly about theological issues in political debates (displaying his TV-trained ability to speak in exact 45-second segments) and cites Scripture on the campaign trail.

The real difference between religious and political leadership, Huckabee said in the interview, is in the way others treat him. Both kinds of leaders must live on pedestals, he said. But “in a pastoral situation, they have you there and they want to keep you there. They don’t want you to fall because then you fall with them.”

In politics, he said, “They’re trying to knock you off every single day.”

Michael Luo contributed reporting and Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Alexander The Great: NFL MVP Shaun Alexander

This article appeared in NewMan Magazine Sept. 2006

NFL MVP Shaun Alexander played in the Super Bowl and is the highest-paid running back in history. But his burning desire is to have a great impact for Christ.

 

Behind the wealth he signed an eight-year, $62 million contract in March, becoming the NFL’s highest-paid running back in history. Behind the game he scored 28 touchdowns last season, a single-season record, was named league MVP and led the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl XL.And behind his megawatt smile that simultaneously provokes and inspires, Shaun Alexander is a giddy little boy who used to lie awake late into the night sharing his dreams with his older brother, Durran. Unfazed. Unchanged.

Growing up, Alexander lived in a two-room apartment in Florence, Ky., where he shared a bedroom with Durran for 17 years.

“I’ve always been the one with the big dreams,” Alexander, 29, tells New Man. “The big goals. The let’s-go-to-the-moon sort of thing. My brother was the guy who says, ‘OK, this is how we’re going to do it.'”

That hasn’t changed.

Durran, one year older and Alexander’s twin look-alike, is still the organizer and put-it-to-action project manager. Just as he did when he was a kid dreaming of one day running for touchdowns in the NFL, Alexander hasn’t stopped thinking big.

The two also haven’t stopped sharing and caring. That’s the way their mother, Carol, a big-hearted woman who raised her two sons by herself, taught them to be.

After his NFL rookie year in 2000, Alexander opened a foundation in his hometown (shaunalexander.org) that gave single-parent families a hand up, providing money to pay for heating, food and housing bills.

Last year, he spent $1.8 million to buy the old YMCA building in Florence that he and his brother couldn’t play in as kids because they didn’t have enough money. Durran, a Notre Dame graduate who left a management job with the Campbell Soup Company to work for his brother’s foundation, manages the project.

Mentoring Great Leaders For the Future

In Seattle, Alexander has started a young men’s mentoring program.

“I love mentoring young men to change the world, trying to grow young men to be great leaders for the future,” says Alexander, who also helped start Club 37, a nationwide program that allows young men from every state, ages 14 to 24, to hold each other accountable for their decisions to follow Christ. “I’m all about helping young men understand they can be examples to the people around them.”

Alexander, whose parents divorced when he was in the fourth grade, sees a generation of young men growing up without a male role model because of the country’s high divorce rate.

After re-signing with Seattle, Alexander says he planned to “change this whole city forever” through his outreach to young men and hoped to partner with billionaire team owner Paul Allen.

Those who grew up with Alexander aren’t surprised he’s involved with providing role models through programs that teach leadership, character and Christianity.

“Shaun has always been a leader,” says Bob Brown, Alexander’s cousin. “He sees that there are so many who aren’t stepping up to be good fathers. He knows that if you strive to be good when you’re young, it will follow you into adulthood.”

Alexander’s male mentors in his life were his coaches, including Gene Stallings, a devoted Christian and former University of Alabama coach. But his biggest influence was his mother, who squeezed rent, food money and car payments out of her customer service job with Protector & Gamble. Somehow, Carol, though she struggled financially, always had enough to help others.

Click here to read this article in its entirety