Two-time Super Bowl champion (Patriots 2003 and 2004)
Played 11 seasons in the NFL on the following teams: New Orleans, St. Louis (first of three Super Bowl appearances), Tampa Bay and New England (won two Super Bowls)
Retired from the NFL in March, 2007
Chaplain for the New England Patriots
Director of NFL Programs for Pro Athletes Outreach (PAO)
BA, University of Kansas, 1997
Degree in Human Resource
Married: wife, Yanette; 2 Children, Dominique and Denay
Don Davis: NFL Star Encourages and Equips
The 700 Club
New England Patriots Chaplain Don Davis says oftentimes there seems to be a disconnect between the life God promises and the one we live.
We have got to get control of the “Twin” in each of us. Davis says all of us have the “twin” in us. Paul says it best in Romans 7:20, “Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin (or the twin) that live in me.” But then Paul gives us the good news in verse 25 after he asks, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus came back for the twin, just like He did with Thomas. If we want to live the abundant life that He has promised, we have to get the twin in check. Jesus has done His part. Now it is time for us to stop making excuses and do our part. Godliness takes commitment to pay the price through daily spiritual training (2 Timothy 2:15).
“Many of us don't live the abundant life, simply because we have bought into the enemy’s lies as to what the abundant life looks like. We believe that the abundant life has to do with external things,” shares Davis.
Davis says the key to abundant life is having a relationship with Jesus vs. a religion. He gives four steps to obtaining an abundant life:
(1) Present our bodies to God (clean and holy);
(2) Separate ourselves from the world (steering clear of wrong behavior, etc.);
(3) Transform or renew our minds (by not only confessing our sins but also repenting of our sins); and
(4) Shine with the works of the Lord in our lives (demonstrate the fruit of the spirit).
These four steps come directly from the mouth of the Apostle Paul (Romans 12: 1-2). “Once the truth of who we are comes face to face with the truth of who Jesus is, it is then that we discover the truth that will set us free to live the abundant life,” says Davis.
WALKING IN DARKNESS
After finishing a stellar football career at the University of Kansas, Davis didn’t get picked up in the 1995 NFL Draft, so he entered the NFL as a free agent. He tried out for two teams only to get cut by both. As a result, he worked as a shoe salesman for a year before being picked up by the New Orleans Saints. Along with a spot on the Saints roster came the parties and the women, even though, he was married. He was so wrapped up in being a professional athlete that he thought he could get away with behavior he knew was wrong.
“I was learning to become more and more of a hypocrite,” he says. “I knew how to go to chapel and speak to young kids about not doing drugs and alcohol. I even cleaned up fairly well to where some people would have no idea.”
Later, Davis's marriage ended in divorce along with his career with the New Orleans Saints. “That was the worst year of my life,” he says. “I had an injury-plagued season, went through a painful divorce and was cut by another NFL team. I was literally broken in so many ways, especially spiritually.”
Then he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played out the remainder of that 1998 season. He also signed back with the Buc's for two more seasons. The new head coach of the Buccaneers, Tony Dungy, made quite an impact on Davis. He showed Davis what it meant to be a Christian.
In 1999, the Chaplain of the Buccaneers asked Davis if he was going to heaven. The chaplain said, “Would you like me to introduce you for the first time to Jesus Christ so you can have a real relationship that will radically change your life?” Davis said that day he gave his life over to the Lord. “I can tell everyone without a doubt that accepting Jesus into my life was the best thing I have ever done. Now I truly know what it means to have the peace that surpasses all understanding,” recalls Davis.
After accepting Christ, he has never looked back. God even brought now wife Yanette into his life. In 2001 Davis signed a contract with the St. Louis Rams as a full-time starter. His team went to the Super Bowl. During this time, he was baptized again and really started to become a disciple of Christ. After two seasons with the Rams, he signed with New England. His team went back to back to the Super Bowl winning in '03 and '04.
DON DAVIS MINISTRY
He retired from the NFL in 2007, and in the following year, he became the Director of NFL Programs for PAO (Pro Athletes Outreach). PAO is a conference based pro-to-pro ministry that has been around for 36 years. He has been on the board of PAO for the past seven years. He works closely with groups like AIA (Athletes In Action) and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes).
“Together we try to reach the world through sports,” shares Davis.
He is also the Chaplain for the Patriots. “My experience playing in the NFL prepared me for ministry in the NFL. It gave me a platform,” says Davis. As chaplain for the Patriots, his responsibilities include organizing weekly men’s and couples Bible studies during the season. He also plans speakers for weekly chapel services that take place before every game. As an athlete, Davis says he understands the pressures other athletes face including: trying to perform, trying to compete, and staying sharp. “I believe the players respect me because I am transparent, authentic, and honest,” shares he.
All of his preaching and teaching is geared toward equipping athletes as well as saints of God to live lives of impact. His motto in ministry is E3: equip the strong, encourage the weak, and expose the lost. “I’m especially passionate about the Word and about the Lord, because I know what it is to walk in darkness. I know what it’s like to try to fill that void.”
Davis says he is often asked what it felt like to play in the Super Bowl. “It was an awesome experience and I will never forget it. It can't compare with my relationship with Jesus Christ. I used to say that all the time. Winning championships is meaningless compared to spending eternity in heaven. That's easy to say when you haven't won anything. But now I have and I know it's true. I am so thrilled to have the Super Bowl rings, but it means nothing in the grand scheme of things. 'Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also' (Matthew 8:19-21). That includes Super Bowl trophies.”
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