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November 25, 2021 1:00 am
Dave Wilson is joined by former NFL quarterbacks Dan Orlovsky, Jon Kitna, and Josh McCown to provide an inside peek into their time together with the Detroit Lions. While they did not enjoy a lot of success on the field, they experienced a spiritual revival within their team. By the end of it, they saw over 39 players, wives, and children baptized for Christ. As Orlovsky describes it, all three players were psycho-maniacal, obsessive competitors on the field. But they embraced a higher mission as Christ-followers: to be incredible husbands, remarkable fathers, and amazing teammates.
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It's time for football is a turkey family legacy gratitude which of course it is. Thanksgiving is a great holiday of my favorite actually because it's so pure, which is so interesting because for 33 years.
You're the lion's chaplain and first 33 thanks give you know you're going to say I was never overly learned on the football field and you loved every minute of it. Did well. The ones we want to to them arriving we had a tradition because we were always and we will be again this year. The first game on Thanksgiving day is always alliance and so would then we had dinner later that we watched the other two games come to the Wilson household. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most and will send it on Dave Wilson and you can find firstname.lastname@example.org or on our family life. This is family life today. What's really excited about this Thanksgiving. As we sat down with three of the quarterbacks and their wives that we got a chance to lead spiritually when they played for the Detroit Lions and we sat down with them ahead a conversation about how God showed up in a big way through their lives, and through their ministry was John kitten and Josh McCown and Dan Orlowski and I should mention Jenny kitten and Natalie McCown and Tiffany Orlowski because their wives were a big part of our ministry as well. But God really did something what you hear. It's just amazing what God did, how we showed up in those guys lives and it literally changed our locker room chains. Our team and I think change the city of Detroit.
Pretty amazing how God brought the three of you together in Detroit. I'll start with John as you signed it was the only time in 33 years as a chaplain team that we were asked by the general manager and the head coach to be a part of a lunch when John you and Jenny were coming in to be recruited basically to come to Detroit. How did we end up at that luncheon. What happened wobbly for us in our second time going through the free agency thing is so when we were come up to Detroit. We asked them no. If there was a chaplain program who was, would we be able to meet them when we are there so then ballast the lunchtime. That's how that happened in the obviously they make sure your wife came with because that was like the sealer to the deal right there for my wife and for us.
John why was it so important for you to have Anna and me to be a part of that lunch. We never viewed ourselves as like NFL players.
We just felt like we are Christians mission and God was using the NFL to move us so if there was a chaplain program. We want to know about it and kind of the fruit of the ministry that it been there before we got there so it was important for us because we just always have felt like we were on a mission for the Lord in our in our career. So where did that mission mindset come from yeah maybe it happened, you will start happening when I got saved. But then when I got to Seattle and my first five years since Seattle with Carl Payne who was a chaplain there and just his teaching on apologetics and why it's important to be able to defend our faith in an and to be able to give people answers for questions that are sincere and so that's really kind of work came from just understanding that life is not our own, and you know the Galatians 220 mindset. I remember John. First of all when Dave came home and he said he done lines of asked us to have lunch with this possible quarterback in his life coming in. I was in shock, because I'm thinking why would they care about us and then when we sat down with you and Jenny and I happen to be sitting right beside Jenny lunch yet. Actually, nobody talked it all to you and Jenny set over Lakeside. I love her. I got hope they come because she just had this mindset of like what would it look like to bring people to Christ but also to grow spiritually together in Detroit and that was really pretty new for us that someone had a mindset of like what could this look like at the ministry together to reach people for Christ in the locker room and for the wives as well and their families, then right after that Josh you you end up signing on or off. I got the timetable right. If you are before after John, but you guys both came in and Josh, you had a similar mindset in terms of not just there to play football, a member God and go to lunch with you guys all they asked that I was like the chaplains write the checks to me like no no locking it with you in the hallway there and just Nolan like okay like these guys are to compete for a job like it was not even it was just about men were here to work for the team before the Lord and and and so I think that was the biggest thing for me was just going there and I knew John knew his reputation and just really kind of you for four years Arizona had kind of understood a little bit how to do ministry but not like in a locker room were driver lock arms with a brother and and be intentional about it. So that was the best part about your for me was just that moment. You also like God, you know middle hearts that moment to go be able to do that and it was cool because it was a deep peace that surpasses anything that would transpire on the football field, which is more what, what we thought was the comps always look back at that time very thankful and appreciative about moment and so I got to write the same time not shortly after that that we got met Dannon got to work on their forget that either. I remember in the hallway and/or in the locker room and seeing Josh.
I didn't know that Josh up inside and it was just immediately like I knew about his faith from Arizona in and watching him and immediately in my mind. Also, I got God's up to something here because to put us in the same locker room you. My eyes were just wide open yet so there is a sense of destiny. I remember with you Jon, I think I remember in this writer might've been Josh minimizing both of you, but I remember one of you put your arms around my shoulder as we looked at the entire locker room and you said tell me about our ministry here and I'm looking at you like when you are ministry here and I saw this one first times of ever had a player walk in here and realize I'm not just here to win football games which you were and you are committed to that, but you are like as you said earlier John Thompson here on mission. This is a ministry and I member I look a say what you mean you go you know these guys better than I do, you been here for years. Tell me the landscape who's open, who's not, let's let's go because God's going to do something that I never just thinking oh my goodness, I think where I'm going to be on a journey this year because we have some leaders and so was like okay what God going to do and then Dan R.
Lasky was there.
He was a rookie of the year before and now is in his second year and he's going to be in a quarterback room with you guys. So Dan talk about your thoughts as you meet your two new quarterbacks because you know they replace the guys before you and now you got two new guys who I don't know what was I really should play. I do of both guys. It'd know them personally, but knew it both guys I know get signed and I was still young. So are John Kidner, the veteran comes in cool like that's the veteran guy to learn from him to be the starter at some point and then I remember when Josh came into the building and I was in the indoor facility and you could tell who's like mature and and wise and who's really immature knucklehead through the story. I'm in the indoor facility in one of the back corner and zones and I'm doing the foot ladder working out and whatnot and Josh walks in and I'm like, what's up and I'm thinking myself. Likewise, Josh McCown here.
I'm thinking I'm the backup quarterback in these like what was going on and on like kind of like I have no time for you right now and we just chit chat for little bit. Josh doesn't share with me that he's actually signed with the Lions and so I get done with my workout but my mind is racing and worries overcoming me on. Likewise, Josh McCown in our building.
I sit down for lunch and I get word from somebody out of who was I was sitting with that Josh McCown sign. I immediately thought to myself. I hate Josh McCown I want to crush this dude like I wise. Even here, the wildest thing was the Josh treated me like a best friend the whole time now.
We were as competitive as three human beings could be and I think that was like the initial draw for me when it came to John and Josh was.
I had never been around anyone like them. Someone who could be very similar to me with their mindset like they wanted him like crush you when you competed against them and they never held back in name pushed you to the absolute limits but then they were like amazing human beings to you and incredible husbands and remarkable fathers and great teammates like I did. I never been around someone that could want to knock you down and help you up at the same time in every aspect of your life and I think that was like my initial draw to just sitting back and going, something that they have is like I've never seen before. Yet so they come in and they're obviously followers of Christ. They talked about that there there on mission Dan where were you in your life that I grew up in a traditional church home, but I was very much so the second year NFL quarterback who thought he had it all and he was the man, at least externally.
I was there. You know like I was a womanizer and flaunting my knee whatever money I had totally insecure making sure that people knew I was a quarterback in the NFL and just kind of yeah whatever stereotype you had in your mind when he came to a young, immature, reckless, adult with money.
I was kind of that in my life and I will agree. Like he probably is. You got to know them you saw them as dads and his husbands. What stuck out to you in that round.
That was like for me. II had never experienced anything like that. I had never experienced someone who could be as driven as these guys were on the athletic field and is hard-working in the football weight room and as incredible trash talkers as they were, but then like actually like kiss their wife in front of their boys hug their wife in NYC boys like their teammates, their buddies, not their kids, like hug their wife speak positively about their wife. You know like talk about looking forward to going home and being home and spending time with those people and then talk proudly about being a father and how important it was to them and that you don't the way they allocated their effort and their energy in their time. It was like no family time and family time and family time and all the positivity that came from their mouths about being a dad and husband. I was like what you guys like doing that stuff like you like me to dad. You love being a husband you like giving your wife a foot rub. You don't yell at your wife or you know, not breathing the right way and you know I just never been around someone like that and so that's why I was just like I didn't know that guys were supposed enjoy being married and supposed to actually love being around their wife and their children and it's all these guys talked about like it. It was all they talked about and interactions followed. It then I would say like you know like what kiss is for like when he met the hall and that feeling that we got. It was the exact opposite. When I met Dan. That's what I got was up to something. Goes like there's something deeply disturbed in my spirit for this guy and he was all those things that he said what know you could just tell like it was all him with kid like you were in a place where it was those first little man was was going to you know something was to happen yet and so you know were sitting there talking about it decades ago. Sort of a revival started take place in that locker room, including will hear Dan story, but from John a Josh what you remember what what started to happen.
Why did it happen what we when you think back, I know you been on other teams and he played many and God's work in all kinds of different places, but in that one year is something pretty special happen when he remember watching. First of all, was just getting to meet you and have in the Bible study and and didn't just yell asking guys to go and obviously dance in the quarterback room so were gonna deftly ask him. I think what Dan, you know was saying this could okay is this how you last in the league this long run shows like do I do okay. I'll go and do this yoke as this might prolong my career more than anything correct and I think you know, and Josh and I we weren't necessarily having conversations like okay hey man you what you got those five you got it was just like luscious BS and that the talking trash and you show up at lifetime fitness and Josh is dunking on people and you come back in the locker room and in you, you're playing spades and you're playing dominoes but you're doing it without cussing you're doing it without having to go outside of the word of God to compete and I think, and that was from the guys in the locker room.
Some of the stories of some of the testimonies of listening to guys on locker room that was the thing that stood out from those like they'd never seen that and I are member having conversations with with some guys that were your believers on a team and you were talking the same kind of thing that I was asking you Dave like tell me about guys in his locker room and there was guys in the locker room there like look, man. Stay away from that do that that like the closest thing to the devils you ever find God reach those guys.
It was amazing I guess to just put it in the capsule like that. The Monday night couple studies that we had at the house and seeing 40 people in it.
One house on a Monday night.
This should NFL is not how it's done. So it wasn't really anything that was like I was doing her Josh is doing her you were doing it was like guy was like here you go. Here's a ministry for you. Yeah. And I think to like in the facility.
Dave I give you a lot of credit, you create a space of a Bible study that was a conversation more than it was just a study and I think it was relatable so it just was a continuance of what was happening in the locker room for God within, to get some good theology and then even with Dan on Monday night with the couple.
So something you guys were huge part of I don't think 11 happens, we all the other because there needed to be another place to go to that God's voice is represented in you gusset a great job that so I think that was critical in the Bible studies when going we would get a got a calm that he would get uncomfortable because of your leadership. You guys have mentioned the Bible studies right so we did the Thursday afternoons and then the couples the number one reason why that those became such a big deal and impactful and I'm probably speaking for others here, but I'm taking a stab at this is I had never encountered another man in my life who loved me like, truly, I felt loved by like I had with Wilson and McCown and kit that I didn't look at ago and he's just soft right meter, compared world to pet these athletes so we have a little but that was the first time that it ever been like wow that that man literally loves me, but is not soft and there was something so appealing about that to so many of us in the locker room. That's one of the reasons why those Bible studies became the draws that they did in the Monday nighters that became the whole football team. Essentially yeah Monday night couple study in the past you know for decades had been you know 10 eight maybe 12 people and nothing grew to like you said, almost 40.
I member when I sit and then the guys members in John's basement but I remember sitting there in some wife was sit now my K you know we don't start for like 10 minutes. She said she's like oh I drove you know we drive two cars of Mike White like I get to see so my husband comes later and and then I'll never forget this happened several times or be sit there and I look over and there be a player there that be the last guy in the locker room. I expected Bible study when you know and I'll be looking or like what is he doing here. Not so I asked him, and I don't know if you get this, but I'd say to whoever it's a hey dude we doing here and almost every time they pointed John or Josh just gone here because of them. They were what you guy just said they were watching your lives, and I don't think they had ever really seen with Dan just explained what's funny what you just said there watching our lives right yet like literally guys would tell us that there were we were working out in the Aussies doing Aussies work out and it was one of those like Jason would have the hardest workouts I've ever been through. And like I never felt like I couldn't do it, but there's times and I had a guy one of the young younger believers on the team afterwards in the locker rooms like titmouse want to come in and tell you, you know it's really feel like I need to challenge you because I heard you cuss today and I'm like yeah think you are because today, man, no know we're working out we're doing that and I heard you because I just really feel like many probably should talk to the guys about that. There was another guy in the locker room to said not even because because I been waiting for two months. Because soft follow him around waiting for him to cuss in that he cussed.
It's funny because you run into these guys you run into Gerald Alexander Ernie Simpson and Dom you'll block it in Paris limit like God somehow his kept that happening for me and to listen to their testimonies 10 and 12 years later in hearing what God did in that you know that short amount time listening.
A full year's 89 months and what he did and is still doing in the lives of these these people was but they were watching watching underwent on walking into the. The guy study in the locker room and Calvin Johnson came running in in that day in practice, you guys remember and I will and there's ghettos kit. You went off on somebody. The defense gets yells out it was a goal line deal and you know and we all been there.
You know where the their grabbed guys and doing stuff and you run up there in your scream.
Evan and Calvin comes in and his comment is I never seen a guy get so mad and that cost you guys want.you honor Christ even in that moment and he just walked out of the room and I wondered what just happened. But again, it struck him with Dan said strength, but under Christ. That's not something like that. I think we intend TO BE A CERTAIN WAY, LIKE THAT'S WALKING WITH CHRIST WERE CALLED TO BE A PECULIAR PEOPLE LIKE THAT'S WHAT SHOULD BE PECULIAR IS THAT WE CAN COMPETE LIKE CRAZY LIKE DAN IS SAYING WE CAN BE ANGRY WITHOUT SINNING AND PEOPLE SHOULD BE LOOKING AND GOING OKAY.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT. THAT'S FIRST PETER 315. AND THAT'S WHAT CARL PAYNE TRAINED US ON ALL THOSE YEARS IN SEATTLE WAS INTERESTING TO BECAUSE BEHIND THE SCENES MY WIFE BIBLE STUDY. I HAD GREW THAT YEAR TO AT LEAST PRETTY INTERESTING. TO THIS I TALKED TO ISAAC. IT'S EXCITING THAT YOU'RE HERE WHEN HE DOING HERE AND THERE.
I LIKE WE JUST WANT MARRIAGE IS LIKE THE KITTEN'S NECK. MCCOWN'S THE BAD THING LIES THAT EVERYONE HATED THEIR OWN HUSBAND BECAUSE JENNY WOULD BE LIKE OH YEAH JOHN CAME MANY REARRANGE THE FURNITURE HONEY STAYING OFF AND THEN HE THOUGHT ME ALL THESE NEW FLYERS AND QUALITIES. WISER, LIKE WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THAT. I THINK WHAT THEY SAW WAS THE WAY A MAN A CHRIST FOLLOWER LOVES HIS WIFE AND MAKES HIS WIFE AND HIS KIDS A PRIORITY AND THEY WERE BLOWN AWAY BY AND I THINK THAT'S WHY OTHERWISE MIGHT COME TO THESE BIBLE STATES IN THEIR GETTING YOUR HUSBAND LIKE YOU NEED TO BE MORE LIKE CASHIN JOHN, MIKE AND KAISER FEELING PRINTER AS THEY WATCHED AND THEIR WIVES WERE KIND OF WATCHING AS WELL. YOU KNOW THE INTERESTING THING IS WHEN I TALKED ABOUT THAT YEAR. I SAY THE LOCKER ROOM TILTED TOWARD THE QUARTERBACK LOCKERS. I KNOW IF YOU GUYS COULD SEE THAT WALKING THERE IS LIKE THE WHOLE LOCKER ROOM WAS WHERE YOU GUYS WHERE THEY WERE DRAWN OVER THERE. THEY HAD KIT WITH HIS BIG BIBLE CLAM RIGHT THERE ON HIS LOCKER IN YOUR FACE AND THEY HAD JOSH AS HIS LOVER AND JOKESTER IMAC COULD EVEN START A BIBLE STUDY WITHOUT MCCOWN RIFF IN MY SHORTS. I JUST MAKE FUN OF ME I COULDN'T GET MY OPENING LINE OUT EVI GET YOUR SHIRTS TO TRY TO TORTURE BY SAVVY IS LIKE WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE BUT THE WHOLE LOCKER ROOM WAS JUST LIKE HOLD OVER THERE AND THEN YOU KNOW BY THE END OF THAT SEASON. I THINK WE BAPTIZE 20 OR 25 PLAYERS WIVES AND KIDS, WHICH WAS A BEAUTIFUL THING I KNOW IS I WATCH FOOTBALL TODAY WHICH I'LL DO A LITTLE FOOTBALL WATCHING TODAY. I THINK MOST OF US WILL I WILL REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE GUYS PLAYING IN THE GAMES TODAY.
FOOTBALL IS NOT THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. THAT DOESN'T MAKE THEM ANY LESS COMPETITIVE AS ATHLETES. IT JUST MEANS THAT THEY UNDERSTAND WHERE JESUS FITS IN TO THE WHOLE STORY AND WE'VE HEARD THAT TODAY AS WE PER DAVE AND AMBER WILSON TALKING WITH THREE FORMER DETROIT LIONS DAN ORLOVSKY, JOSH MCCOWN AND JOHN KITTEN ARE ALL THREE OF WHOM WERE INVOLVED IN A SPIRITUAL RENEWAL THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE DETROIT LIONS LOCKER ROOM OVER THE COURSE OF THE SEASON. YOU MAY KNOW SOMEBODY WHO IS A LIONS FAN OR A FOOTBALL FAN WHO WOULD ENJOY LISTENING TO THIS CONVERSATION WITH DAVE, AND I AM AND WITH THESE THREE FORMER NFL PLAYERS FORWARDED ON TO A FRIEND AND SHARE THIS STORY WITH THEM. IT REALLY IS A REMARKABLE STORY AND A GREAT STORY TO THINK ABOUT HERE ON THANKSGIVING DAY AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW AS A LISTENER, ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE MOST THANKFUL FOR.
HERE IS YOU FOR YOUR NOTES THAT WE RECEIVE YOUR FEEDBACK YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS PROGRAM. THANKS FOR TUNING IN THE FAMILY LIFE TO MAKING US A PART OF YOUR LIVES. WE ARE GRATEFUL AND HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY AND WE HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US AGAIN TOMORROW WHEN WORKING HERE. PART TWO OF WHAT HAPPENED IN DETROIT YEARS AGO IN THE MIDDLE OF A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING AMONG THE DETROIT LIONS FOOTBALL TEAM PULLED YOUR PART TWO OF DAVID AND WILSON'S CONVERSATION WITH DAN ORLOVSKY, JOHN KITTEN AND JOSH MCCOWN TOMORROW. HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US FOR THAT ON BEHALF OF DAVID AND WILSON ON BOTTLE P AND HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING AND WILL SEE YOU TOMORROW FOR ANOTHER EDITION OF FAMILY LIFE TODAY ONLY LIKE TODAY IS A PRODUCTION OF FAMILY ACCRUED MINISTRY HELPING YOU PURSUE THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MATTER MOST