George Foreman: Faith From
By Corine Gatti
may know him as the oldest person to ever capture a heavyweight boxing
title. Or you may know him by his famous cooking gadget that reduces the
amount of fat in your meat products. Regardless, George Foremans name
goes beyond the kitchen and the boxing ring.
Foreman earned this title at the age of 45 after being out of the sport
for 10 years. An ordained minister for the last two decades, Foreman is
a commentator for HBO and has released a new book called George Foremans
to Life. He also recently launched a new web site called Big
Georges Place. However, lets pose this question. How can this
tough guy roar like a lion in the ring and be gentle as a lamb?
In his youth, making fists came naturally, but the battle eventually
turns into a spiritual struggle for the former mugger and street brawler.
God was trying to win his soul. It was his extraordinary encounter
of seeing himself dead in a dressing room after his fight with Jimmy
Young that caused him to realize God was real. After being knocked
unconscious and losing the fight by decision, Foreman not only awoke
physically, but spiritually.
"That woke me up," said Foreman in a recent 700 Club interview
with Pat Robertson. "Then in 1977, after the fight with Jimmy
Young, I went back to the dressing room, and things changed."
Like so many people do, Foreman joked about Gods existence, but a confirmation
literally knocked on his dressing room door.
"In a split second I saw death around me and in my hand and forehead,
I felt Jesus was coming alive, then I saw blood," Foreman remembers.
He concludes, "It scared me, just the smell of death never leaves
you. I had to say goodbye to my mother and children."
This experience brought Foreman to a plateau in his relationship with Jesus.
"I want to tell everybody that there is really a living God," says
Foreman. "This is not about a television show, but this is real and it
scared me. When I left boxing in 1977 to be a preacher I couldn't make a fist
after I learned about Jesus Christ."
Presently, Foreman is birthing new pages in his life and in his new
book. He is using tliterary measures to encourage others to learn
from his mistakes. In a chapter entitled "Kiss of Death,"
he discusses why we should appreciate the people in our lives, regardless
of their faults.
"So many of us have loved ones and people we really care about,
and the only time we show affection is when they are gonel,"
explains Foreman. "I have preached at funerals and you see loved
ones who didnt even say hello to dear ones when they were alive.
Give them hugs kisses while they are alive and need it."
Today, Foreman is utilizing what he learned as a teenager. He teaches
kids that making a fist will not bring a victory. He teaches kids
how to overcome anger and aggression in a productive way.
"I teach kids that want to be tough that their fists are not
the way," says the Marshall, Texas native.
Foreman is a father, a husband, a boxing legend, and an all round
tough guy. He may not wear the gloves anymore in the ring, but he
wears his gloves for another reason -- reflecting the glory of God
not from the fists, but from his heart.
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