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Mike Fisher: Faith on Ice

CBN.com -Nashville predators forward Mike Fisher has been described as one of the most aggressive players in the NHL. Also known as Fish, the newly married husband of country star Carrie Underwood made his pro debut with the Ottawa Senators in 1999.  But his vigorous reputation on the ice began much earlier when he was a kid simply trying to defend his faith.

“I got made fun of when I was kid, especially playing hockey, maybe a little bit about school,” says Mike. “And I can remember countless times of, you know, a few times missing practices or whatever to go to church, especially at a young age, and kids didn’t understand that and they would, you know, throw the Bible basher jokes and things like that.”

Mike grew up in a Christian home in Peterborough, Ontario.

 “We grew up in, kind of hearing the message of Christ and wanting to accept him as my Savior,” says Mike. “I still remember going into my bed, kneeling down with my mom, she kind of led the prayer, and led me to the Lord.”

Mike started playing hockey competitively when he was seven. From the moment he touched the ice, he felt he had something to prove, especially because the other kids thought that because he was a “church boy” he wouldn’t be aggressive enough.    

Mike remembers, “I wanted to play as hard as I can and prove to people that, you know, I could be a Christian, I could play like Mark Osborne or Stu Grimson, who played for the Nashville, he was a fighter and a guy that was very scary, but a solid Christian guy.”

Mike developed into a stellar athlete. And at he age of 18, he was drafted by the Ottawa Senators. Like many young pro athletes, life in the sport became his world. It was hard for him to keep his priorities in order.

 “It kind of became a little bit my god,” says Mike.  “I was still a Christian and still, but I wasn’t really where I needed to be and I wasn’t living in the spirit. For a period of time, I got focused on hockey and that kind of led me astray a little bit.”

Mike’s career soared, but he realized needed to refocus on his relationship with Jesus Christ.

“I was about 22 when I got settled in Ottawa is when I kind of said okay, that’s enough, I need to start focusing,” remembers Mike. “God’s given me this unique gift, I’m living a dream here, and, you know, I’ve got to start focusing on him, using those gifts and sharing it, with others.”

Mike was committed to just that for 12 seasons with the Senators making it to the postseason all but the last two. Then in 2011, he was traded to Nashville, but just before he left Ottawa, he made one more commitment with his marriage to Carrie. 

About a year ago you Mike married country music singer and former American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood.

“Well, it’s been huge because there’s different pressures of different type of media, your relationship’s kind of a little bit in the spotlight,” says Mike. “But um, you know, just kind of putting that into perspective and just kind of work on our relationship, keep everything outside and keep the Lord in the center of it. When he’s there, everything’s so much easier. A couple that prays together stays together, I love that because that’s so true.”

Mike serves as a beacon of light in a game that can call for the tough and gritty style of play that he brings to the ice everyday. In his new book, Defender of Faith, Mike wants to encourage kids to be bold about their faith wherever God leads them. 

 “I want them to just stand up, be able to, you know, be proud of their faith, not be scared of it.” says Mike.  “It’s something to be definitely proud of, and be able to share it. Whatever God’s gifted you with or put the Lord at the center of it. And there’s no way to peace and happiness like the Lord can bring. And it’s exciting because it’s free. You don’t have to go out and earn it. You just got to accept it.”

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