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  June 2018  
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Florida State University / Belmont

Brian Kelley

Taking a Leap 

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 
Growing up I was very fortunate to have Christian parents and a Christian sister. They loved me, helped guide me in the right path, grow into a young man, and give me the tools and resources I needed to be the person that I am today. I grew up attending First United Methodist in Ormond Beach, Fl. The beginning of my eighth grade year I took a class at the Church called D.IG. (Discipleship in God). I prayed and received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior during the 8 week course and was Baptized soon after. Well thats about as far as my Christian walk went. I never really read my Bible, I went to Church on Sundays half-heartedly, and most importantly I wasnt the person that God had created me to be. I had good morals that my parents had instilled in me, I knew right from wrong, and was an all around good kid who loved to play baseball. I was living for all the wrong reasons. I was content with my life at the time, I was happy, but yet, something was still missing. 

Fast forward a few years and it was August of my Junior year of High School and I found myself at the Wednesday night youth group at First Baptist of Daytona Beach. It was a special night because they had guests known as the Mighty Men. These guys were huge, Godly men, and could do just about anything from tearing a telephone book in half, bending medal rods, and many other near impossible feats. As I sat and watched them use the power of the Lord to do all these amazing things it wasnt until this very night that I truly realized I cant get by on my own strength or power, but only by the power of God. That night I made a decision to rededicate my life to Christ, and strive to be the person he wants me to be. And the transformation began. 

From that moment on I wanted to do anything and everything that was pleasing and giving glory to the Lord.. Now I was having the personal aspect of the relationship which completely changed everything. God began working through me and I was becoming a more Godly man, strongly after his own heart. I began to have quite times everyday, pray, and read my Bible. I was learning more and more through Bible studies and messages on Sundays and having fellowship with other Christians(something new for me). I was confident in my faith and was able to begin sharing with my high school teammates and friends and anyone that the Lord laid on my heart. I humbled myself giving him the glory and it was all making sense to me. I finally realized Gods purpose and plans for my life, not my own purpose for my life. God had called my name so many times in the past but I just wasnt willing to step out of my comfort zone. I decided to take a leap of faith and I realized how I can use the talent that he has given me to play baseball to glorify him and help further his kingdom at the same time. No longer was I playing for my personal pride, for me or my team, (I was a apart of a bigger team now, Gods team), I began to play and live for Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior, giving him all the glory, because he is worthy. I wasnt just the Christian label anymore, I was living it. 


As my walk progressed I had to decrease and have God increase in and through me. I surrendered my will for his will and allowed him to work through me. Baseball is an awesome way to share my faith, be a leader, and be salt and light in a world of darkness, all for the sake of Christ. I know that if baseball is not in my future I know God has bigger and better plans for my life. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 

Also as a Christian I became like puddy. I want God to make me and mold me which ever way he wants and whatever way his will is for me. I strive to learn and know as much as I can to defend my faith, to grow, and so that everyone around can see my faith and joy I have in Jesus Christ. I love opportunities to share my faith, to witness to people and teammates, and encourage those that struggle in there daily lives just as we all do. Daily I am filled with an inexpressible peace and joy because of my decision to trust Christ as my Lord and Savior. I know that I cant get by on my own, but with him always by my side I can do everything through him who gives me the strength. Philippians 4:13 Ever since I can remember I have always been a leader on and off the baseball field whether I liked or wanted it. I always found myself being looked up to by many friends, younger players as well as teammates. It took seventeen years until I realized that God had given me those responsibilities and leadership skills not for my own good, but to lead, help, and further his kingdom with the gifts and blessings he gave me. 

Just from my first semester at F.S.U. I have grown tremendously in my walk and relationship with Christ. I have experienced him in so many new ways, and each day he reveals himself to me in new and exciting ways. He has opened up doors I never thought would be possible, and has blessed me and my family with so much I will forever be grateful and thankful. I look forward to the upcoming years and seasons for God to continue to work in my life as I continue to seek his will for the life he has so generously given me. I thank God for always being faithful when I am not. Daily I thank him for Christ, the Cross, and his promises. Baseball used to come first in my life, my life revolved around it. Now I am consumed in my relationship with Jesus, he is all that matters; he is my rock, my salvation, and my world.

Looking back to that night when I rededicated my life to Christ at First Baptist of Daytona I am amazed how I happened to be there that night and I stand in aw of His perfect and Holy timing in which He works. God wanted me to be there that night, and that night was a night that I will never forget. 
I hope that anyone that reads this will be encouraged and challenged to question there faith, priorities, and relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray that through Christ I can make a difference in the world and difference in the lives of those that I used to be. If anyone reading this does not know Christ as there Lord and Savior and wants that relationship with him say this prayer to the Lord, 


Heavenly Father:..... 
I come to you in prayer asking for the forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come in to my life and be my personal Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and will Worship you all the day's of my Life!. Because your word is truth, I confess with my mouth that I am Born Again and Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus Name, Amen. 

 

Brian Kelley