Former Buc football player speaks at FCA RallyMarch 1, 2010
By Cedrique Flemming, CSU Sports Information
|CSU athletes hammer nails into the cross held up by FCA speaker Matt Shelly|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Walking with God is a bumpy path filled with temptations, but as Matt Shelly explained during March’s FCA Rally, keeping the faith will always pay off in the end. Shelly delivered his speech in front of Charleston Southern athletes, coaches and staff on campus Monday night.
Shelly is a CSU alumni and former member of the football team. He graduated from Charleston Southern in 1993 and currently resides in Atlanta, Ga., where he is an evangelical speaker.
He has traveled with and spoken to many people throughout the country, including musical groups Casting Crowns and P.O.D.
The core of his speech delivered Monday night revolved around two questions: 1. Who are you following? 2. Who are you leading and actively pointing towards the cross?
A person is faced with many trials and tribulations throughout their lifetime, but following Christ and staying true to the Lord should always take precedence over everything, Shelly said.
He talked about how those who put God first in their life only half the time will have failures in their lives spiritually, but those who put their relationship with God first 100 percent of the time will be taken care of in the long run.
“A great deal of success in your life will be dependent upon who you choose to honor,” Shelly said. “Follow Christ with the best of your abilities. He knows you are going to make mistakes, but that makes you normal because everyone makes mistakes. Just be quick to ask for forgiveness and move on.”
At the conclusion of his speech, Shelly brought forth a wooden cross and dumped nails and hammers along the front of the room. He asked that anybody willing to “die to yourself and give your life to God” come forth and simply hammer a nail into the cross.
Nearly half the crowd took turns with a nail and some moved to the front and simply prayed. Most everyone else spent time praying amongst themselves and talking to God, or ‘Dad’, as Shelly likes to call the Lord.
Those in attendance left with a little more knowledge about God and with a better understanding of how rewarding a life with Christ can be.
“The speech was really good, and I thought his points were very relevant to the audience,” said CSU assistant women’s basketball coach Sloan Calvert. “The most important thing I took from his speech was that you can’t put anything above God and you have to answer to him first.”
Not only were coaches and athletes moved by Shelley’s speech, but even those who have been around for a little longer enjoyed hearing the message delivered from the former Buc.
“It’s great for these athletes to see speakers who have walked in their shoes,” CSU Athletic Director Hank Small said. “We try to bring in people like Matt, Adrian Despres and Luke Turner, who have experienced life at CSU and have continued developing a life through Christ. We have been blessed with great speakers, and Matt’s speech was another perfect example of that.
“What’s so great about Charleston Southern is that not only do we help these student-athletes grow physically, but we also help them with their faith development.”