By imjohnnykelley, January 5, 2011

My life seems to be in a constant state of change. I left pastoring about 2 1/2 years ago. In that time I have moved 3 times, met my wife, and got married. And that is just the personal life. In my professional life I have started a ministry, traveled as an evangelist, spoken at school assemblies. Stuff I never thought I would do. God has taken my life and flipped it on its ear for the last couple years. It was just chaos for a while. Now that I am settling down and married, I am traveling a little less and my life seems to be calming down. But that chaos really was incredible when it was there. My life is blessed. Its greater than I could have ever imagined. I have an incredible best friend of a wife. An awesome house. Two great dogs. A family that goes above and beyond. And a ministry that is hard work but blesses me massively. How did my life get here?

I am working with my father when I am not traveling right now. He is a children’s pastor (and a dang good one), that is morphing the way he does ministry. This past week I gave the lesson to the kids. It was a seemingly simple message about Moses getting the Israelites out of Egypt. But the theme was determination. As I spoke to the kids I realized how great of a message that is. You see in the church we get a lot of messages about grace, and faith. But seems to me we don’t get many messages that are based on the character God calls us to have.





the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose. a resolute movement towards some object or end

We all know God is determined to see His kingdom come. His plans are what is going to happen. But if you look at all the people you consider great, whether in the bible or history or a contemporary friend, they all have determination in common. The message that my dad had me give was so simple, yet affected me greatly. It had two main points.
1. Deciding its worth it to finish what you’ve started.
2. Keep doing what God says, because He is God.
Simple right? The story of Moses went from the burning bush till the release of the Israelites. It talked about how Moses was determined to do what God had told him to do. In the face of adversity he kept doing what he had started. Its a simple thing really. So why do we seem to have such a hard time with it?
When I left pastoring to start Bike For The Light I had a ton of people tell me that I was crazy. Not just to bike thousands of miles, but that what I was doing couldn’t work. I am not here to say that my determination was massive, but I knew that God was calling me to do something. For years I had told students that if God calls you to do something, you just do it. But as an adult I realized that my common sense had told God no so many times. I had never felt stronger about what I was doing. I had to do it. When people asked questions (questions that made a lot of sense) about how I would survive, I had to simply say “I am going to keep doing what God says, because He is God.” Good christian folk can say amen to that, but they still thought I was crazy. But don’t you realize that most of the Israelites probably thought Moses was crazy for asking Pharaoh to let them go?
  • What about Gideon fighting with 300 men? 
  • What about David against the giant? 
  • What about Stephen against the pharisee’s? 
  • What about Martin Luther versus the established religion?
  • What about you fighting your own conscience?
We all have things that we know God has called us to do. But for some reason we are determined that we are right instead of God. That seems to be a harsh way to put it. But if you don’t do something that God calls you to do because of any reason……that is what you have done. And determination is like perseverance too. It’s not just choosing to do what God calls you to do, but it’s seeing it through till the end.
  • How many missions pledges have been forgotten? 
  • How many coworkers have you quit witnessing to? 
  • How many churches have been walked away from?
  • How many ministries have fallen by the wayside?
This week I have been praying and challenging myself with this, so I thought I would throw it out to all of you. What have you started and forgotten about? What has God called you to do that seemed to crazy to start? If there is one thing that Christ had….it was determination. He was determined to get His message out no matter what the obstacle or cost. He was determined to live every moment for His father. As christians we should be determined to do the same thing every day. Remember the old church song? I am determined to be invincible? Seems like a crazy statement….but if God is for us…..
Be determined to finish what you start for God. Be determinedto do it because God asked….and He is God.


  1. Anonymous says:

    <3 it! Keep walking in HIS path! Praying for Him to keep using, guiding and teaching you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I loved the message. I’m so proud of you Johnny. You are a guy that listens to God and then goes for it.
    I agree….your dad is the BEST Children’s Pastor ever.
    One day your be a great dad
    Tammy Brown
    Missionary to Thailand

  3. Kim Kelley says:

    Proud of you son, and Tammy, I couldn’t agree with you more about Johnny’s dad.

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