Participants: Aaron Chancy (Host), Jermaine Bentley
Series Code: TNJ
Program Code: TNJ000073A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues.
00:03 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:05 may be too candid for younger children.
00:08 Welcome to The New Journey
00:09 where you meet real life people with real life testimonies
00:12 and real life working ministries
00:14 for Jesus Christ.
00:15 I'm your host Aaron Chancy.
00:16 Come join us on The New Journey.
00:48 Welcome to The New Journey.
00:49 We have an exciting testimony today
00:51 from a young man by the name of Jermaine Bentley.
00:53 Jermaine, we want to thank you for being on the program.
00:55 It's a pleasure, thank you for having me.
00:56 All right, now you're from Louisville, Kentucky.
00:58 Tell us about Louisville.
01:00 Yes, Louisville is not a big city,
01:03 but it's not a small city, so right there in the middle.
01:06 You know, just enough to do, if you want the city life,
01:08 you can have that
01:10 but also a good place to raise a family also.
01:12 Now I don't know much about Louisville.
01:13 I have only been there one time in my entire life.
01:17 What is the atmosphere of Louisville like?
01:19 Because, of course, you have sports there,
01:22 you have crime,
01:23 you have pretty much everything that any city has.
01:26 But what are the various things
01:27 that a lot of people seem to get into,
01:29 young black males get into in Louisville.
01:30 Like I said,
01:32 like what you touched on, sports is big,
01:34 especially basketball,
01:36 also the street life is huge there too.
01:38 Okay. You know, so it's like,
01:39 you know, either you're going to be playing sports
01:41 or you're growing up,
01:42 you know, doing the street thing.
01:45 Now talk to us about your early home life.
01:46 What was it like growing up?
01:48 And did you come from a religious background?
01:49 Ah, growing up at home,
01:51 it was pretty cool starting out,
01:52 you know, I had both parents in the household starting out,
01:55 but towards,
01:56 you know, my pre-teen, teen years, you know,
01:59 my mother was raising us as a single parent,
02:01 just three of us,
02:04 definitely grew up in a Christian household,
02:06 grew up Baptists,
02:08 so we went to church every Sunday.
02:09 Now you said you started out in a house
02:11 with your mother and your father,
02:13 they eventually went separate ways.
02:15 And I've heard many stories of young people
02:18 who are affected in a negative way by their,
02:22 you know, parents going separate ways.
02:24 And sometimes, oftentimes, it leads them down,
02:26 you know, a troublesome type of lifestyle.
02:30 How did that affect you personally
02:32 when your mother and father separated?
02:35 It definitely affected me in a way that, you know,
02:40 it led me to get in trouble at times and stuff like that
02:42 because I didn't,
02:43 you know, felt like I didn't have my father
02:45 to kind of check me on certain things
02:46 and stuff like that.
02:47 But it really wasn't in a way that I really went astray
02:50 into the streets or anything like that,
02:51 but I knew I was,
02:53 you know, looking for that male figure,
02:55 a male that...
02:56 You know, what was it like, what is it like to be a male.
02:59 You know, a black male,
03:00 and the streets were just showing me
03:02 that at some point sometimes.
03:03 Yeah, definitely.
03:04 Now your story is a little bit interesting
03:06 because most of the people that come on the program,
03:09 they have been in the streets real hard,
03:11 they've used drugs, sold drugs,
03:13 been incarcerated, a number of things like that.
03:15 But for you,
03:17 you didn't get involved in a lot of thing
03:19 that your peers got involved in.
03:21 And I wanna talk about why you didn't.
03:24 And, you know, a lot of times, it's praised because,
03:28 you know, a person who has been out there
03:29 in the streets, they come back into the church,
03:32 they've changed their life
03:33 and people are wowed by their testimony,
03:36 but yours is a bit different.
03:37 And when I first met you a couple of years ago,
03:39 I was wowed by your story
03:41 because growing up in Louisville,
03:42 you didn't get involved in a lot of things
03:45 that your peers got involved in.
03:47 What kept you from getting into a lot of things
03:50 that your peers got involved with?
03:51 Like I said, my mom...
03:53 Like I said, I grew up in a Christian household,
03:56 you know, when I was younger, my mom always told me,
03:58 you know, "Believe in Christ and believe His word."
04:00 You know, that kind of stuck with me.
04:02 And I one of the realest things I ever heard,
04:04 you know, that anybody could, especially at a young age,
04:06 you know, my mother telling me
04:07 that I can't get you into heaven.
04:09 Yeah, wow.
04:10 You got to know Jesus for yourself.
04:11 So I'm about between 8 and 10 when she told me that.
04:14 And I was like,
04:15 "Man, this is one of the realest things
04:17 that I ever heard.
04:18 You know, and I think from that point,
04:19 I was like, "Man, I got to know Christ for myself."
04:21 And with that, you know, I never really grew up,
04:23 you know, I kind of knew about superstars
04:25 and people I looked up to,
04:27 but the stories of the Bible really,
04:28 those characters really connected to me
04:30 'cause I'm like,
04:31 "Man, if the Lord can move through them, man,
04:33 He could do some things through me too also."
04:35 Praise the Lord, praise the Lord.
04:37 Now you play basketball,
04:38 you said one of the things that people do in Louisville,
04:41 they play sports
04:43 or they get involved in the crime life,
04:44 young black males for the most part.
04:46 For you, you got involved in basketball,
04:48 talk about that experience.
04:50 Man, you know, growing up basketball,
04:52 that was it, like that was what I wanted to do,
04:54 you know, especially living in the neighborhood
04:55 that I lived in,
04:57 I wanted to have a better life for my family.
04:59 You know, if I play basketball,
05:01 this could be the meal ticket out.
05:02 You know, I wanted to play for,
05:04 you know, the University of Louisville
05:05 and then go to the NBA, that was my dream growing up.
05:08 So, you know, that's what I wanted to do,
05:11 I practiced day and night.
05:12 Okay, at what age did you get heavily involved
05:14 in playing basketball?
05:16 Around six. Around six years old?
05:17 Mm-hm. Okay.
05:18 So you were playing basketball,
05:20 you were reading the Bible at a young age,
05:22 getting amazed by a lot of these stories
05:24 that you find in a Bible.
05:26 Do you think that those stories
05:29 and wanting to see God do amazing things in you
05:32 was a real big impact to keep you from doing
05:35 what everybody else is doing around you?
05:37 And I say that for this,
05:39 for me, I was big in the sports,
05:41 you know, just like most young black males,
05:43 basketball, football,
05:45 that seems to be the meal ticket for us.
05:48 And so for me, there was nothing else
05:52 that I could see besides basketball and football.
05:53 Yeah, I had a Bible and I grew up
05:55 in the Seventh-day Adventist church
05:57 and I knew the stories in the Bible,
05:58 had gone to Sabbath school and all these things,
06:01 but they still didn't have as much impact up on me
06:05 that my friends had a impact upon me
06:07 or music had upon me or sports had upon me.
06:11 So how, for you, were the stories of the Bible
06:14 and basketball able to have so much of an impact on you?
06:17 Well, first, you know, I felt like I was never the one
06:19 or the type to really follow the crowd.
06:21 You know, I was always different.
06:23 Even though I was like popular among my peers,
06:25 I was still different, I was still me,
06:28 you know, me, and I was just like,
06:29 you know, like I said,
06:31 the stories of the Bible were just so powerful for me.
06:35 And with basketball being there, I was just like,
06:37 "Man, I'm only me unless Christ shows me."
06:41 So it was just like
06:44 leaning on Him and stuff like that,
06:45 knowing Him, having that relationship
06:47 because for me
06:48 it wasn't just about going to church,
06:50 it was more than just that.
06:52 Like, it was just more than just going to church,
06:54 it was a lifestyle for me.
06:55 Yeah. Okay.
06:57 Knowing Christ was a lifestyle, at a young age,
06:59 I knew that there was a relationship
07:01 between me and Him.
07:03 Okay, okay.
07:04 Now did you play middle school ball,
07:07 high school ball?
07:08 So what levels of basketball did you play?
07:10 I made it from middle school all the way to college, so...
07:12 Okay, now in high school,
07:15 there was an article written about you.
07:17 Talk about that article that was written on you.
07:20 My senior year, 2004,
07:23 the Career Journal was the name of the newspaper
07:25 in that city, did an article on me about,
07:27 you know, standing up for my faith
07:29 and stuff like that.
07:30 In the article, it talked about,
07:32 you know, how the chance to,
07:33 you know, play Division I basketball,
07:36 even get scholarships to play college basketball...
07:39 You know, how through the years,
07:40 colleges have backed off
07:42 because I would not play on the Sabbath.
07:44 It also, you know, showed how I played varsity
07:47 from my freshman year
07:48 to my senior year of high school
07:50 just showing that no matter
07:51 what I wasn't gonna play on the Sabbath.
07:54 You know, I had my coach at the time saying,
07:58 you know, they never seen a kid like this,
08:00 you know, who would stand up for his faith.
08:02 You know, usually kids go out there
08:04 and take the scholarship and play on the Sabbath
08:05 and stuff like that.
08:07 But then the article, even though it said that,
08:09 you know, colleges backed off,
08:11 you know, I wasn't gonna play on the Sabbath
08:14 even if that meant
08:16 that I wasn't gonna be able to play college basketball,
08:19 that was how I made up my mind.
08:20 Now you're mentioning the Sabbath
08:22 but you grew up Baptist.
08:24 At what age did you become a Seventh-day Adventist?
08:28 And how did you become a Seventh-day Adventist?
08:32 How did you learn about Seventh-day Adventism?
08:34 I became an Adventist around age 14.
08:37 I have a big brother,
08:39 he's like six years older than me.
08:40 So he was getting Bible studies,
08:42 you know, him and like
08:44 a couple of my other best friends,
08:45 we all were like...
08:46 They were around his age, but they were like,
08:48 I'm like their little brother too.
08:49 We would always have Bible studies,
08:51 like deep intense studies, talking about the Sabbath,
08:54 you know, arguing Sunday and Sabbath
08:55 and stuff like that.
08:57 I'm just like man, just to see, you know, brothers,
09:00 you know, in the Word,
09:01 knowing the Word and doing it, man,
09:02 it was inspiring.
09:04 Like I said, I had always been into the Bible,
09:05 and that was like,
09:06 "Man, to know my Word like that,
09:08 that was more powerful than anything.
09:09 And I always wanted to be connected like that."
09:11 So, you know, being involved with them
09:14 and, you know, going to Bible studies
09:15 and stuff like that,
09:18 one of the friends
09:20 was at the Adventist church already,
09:21 and he got to do some Bible studies
09:23 and stuff like that in the Book of Revelation.
09:26 It was just like, yo,
09:27 you know, growing up as Baptist,
09:29 we didn't touch on Revelation."
09:30 We were like, "Yeah, hold up, man,
09:32 don't even mess with that."
09:33 That's real right there. Okay.
09:34 Being able to understand Revelation
09:36 and the blessings that Revelation opened up,
09:39 it was just like, "Wow, man, I can't beat that."
09:42 Okay, now you learned about the Sabbath,
09:43 you're in the Seventh-day Adventist church,
09:45 you get baptized
09:46 into the Seventh-day Adventist church,
09:48 you're playing basketball, the news company,
09:50 they write an article on you,
09:52 how did your team react to you
09:55 not wanting to play basketball on a Friday night?
09:58 How did they take that?
09:59 Well, you know, coach included, they threw jokes, my teammates.
10:03 You know they'd be like, Seventh-day Adventist...
10:06 Are you ready to turn into a werewolf, a vampire,
10:09 or some like that?
10:10 But they'd throw jokes and stuff like that,
10:11 but they knew that there was me.
10:13 You know, they knew what I was going to be about,
10:16 you know, even my coach,
10:18 you know,
10:20 he was getting pressure from the principal
10:23 and the AD of that time to cut me
10:25 from the team and stuff like that.
10:26 You know, I have a meeting
10:28 almost every year talking about,
10:29 you know, we ain't gonna have room for you
10:31 and none like it, but he was like,
10:32 you know, I'm going to play you.
10:34 Yeah. I'm going to play you.
10:35 And it was like,
10:36 you know, I'm gonna stand up for Christ regardless.
10:38 So if you cut me, you know, I understand,
10:40 but you know, he never did.
10:41 It was like the Lord was working through him
10:43 beyond what the principals
10:44 and the AD were telling him to do,
10:46 he allowed me to play.
10:48 Okay, okay.
10:49 How does it...
10:50 I'm really amazed by your story for the simple fact
10:52 that at 14 years old,
10:53 I wasn't thinking about anything
10:55 wanting to do with church,
10:56 but you're studying the Bible,
10:59 you love going to church, and matter of fact,
11:02 only you and your brother are Seventh-day Adventists
11:05 in your entire family, correct?
11:06 Yes, sir. Okay, talk about that.
11:11 Like, I mean, it was just the passion of that man,
11:15 just being able to know
11:17 who you are in Christ that was big for me.
11:19 You know, like I said,
11:20 nobody knows me better than He does.
11:25 You know, and then seeing my brother,
11:27 you know, from the transformation
11:28 that he had in his life,
11:29 you know, and how he impacted me,
11:31 you know, that guided me and helped me understand like,
11:33 "Well, I want to know Christ for myself."
11:35 And I knew what I was getting into,
11:37 you know, I wanted to let,
11:38 you know, everybody know that this is my decision,
11:39 that this is my life.
11:41 Like I need to know Christ for myself like, okay,
11:42 it goes back to what my mother told me,
11:45 you know, "You got no Christ for yourself."
11:46 It was that relationship building.
11:48 You know, my sophomore year, I tore my ACL,
11:51 you know,
11:53 and I guess that brought me to reality like,
11:55 "Yo, this basketball thing doesn't last."
11:57 Yeah. "Well, Christ lasts forever."
11:59 You know, He was there comforting me,
12:01 you know, guiding me in those times,
12:02 you know, even though when it was hard,
12:04 so I learned how to pray at a young age,
12:06 read at a young age, but not only that,
12:08 you know what I'm saying?
12:09 I took it...
12:11 It was real. Okay.
12:12 You know, it wasn't easy, but it was grand.
12:15 Yeah. Okay.
12:16 Now do you think that...
12:20 And this is an important question
12:21 because some people feel
12:23 that when it comes to basketball
12:25 that it cannot be used for ministry.
12:27 How do you feel about basketball
12:29 being used as an avenue
12:31 to bring people into the church?
12:33 And I say that because I coach a basketball team
12:37 and, you know,
12:38 we have different people on the team
12:39 who are not members
12:41 of the Seventh-day Adventist church,
12:42 but they come to church,
12:44 they play on the team and they learn about Adventism.
12:46 And for this,
12:48 this is a lot of times the only way
12:50 that they may learn about the truth of the Bible.
12:55 For you, in your opinion,
12:56 how do you feel about basketball
12:59 being used as a tool to get young people to Jesus?
13:02 Man, I just believe
13:04 that you got to let the Spirit lead.
13:05 The Holy Spirit, you know, guide on that.
13:08 I feel like we are all, we all are gifted,
13:11 we have different talents and everything like that.
13:13 And, you know,
13:14 you just got to ask the Lord to guide you.
13:16 I don't see, you know,
13:17 when you're playing sports and stuff,
13:19 you have the opportunity to reach out.
13:21 You know, I have teammates,
13:22 you know, who didn't know
13:23 how to pray and stuff like that,
13:25 they would ask me to pray for them,
13:26 you know, on the outside of that stuff,
13:27 you get to have conversations that you might not have.
13:30 You know, the opportunity
13:31 would just come up to him or something like that.
13:33 But you have equal ground,
13:35 you have equal time that you meet them,
13:36 but then you also can apply,
13:38 you know, the Lord and stuff like that.
13:39 But, you know, the ultimate goal is to like let them know
13:43 that, you know what I'm saying, that God is bigger than sports,
13:45 but you can still play it but know who is number one.
13:48 Okay, okay.
13:49 Had you not gotten into basketball,
13:51 what do you think you would have gotten into?
13:53 Had you not been this star basketball player
13:56 in Louisville,
13:58 maybe you didn't even have an interest in sports,
14:00 but had you not gotten into basketball,
14:02 what do you think you would have gotten
14:03 into in the streets of Louisville?
14:05 I think I would have got a little bit more active
14:06 in the streets.
14:08 You know what I'm saying?
14:09 I would have had, you know, probably dived
14:10 into a little bit of some stuff,
14:12 but I think, you know, like I said,
14:14 I always had built a relationship
14:15 with Christ, man,
14:16 so I think that the tug of Spirit,
14:18 it was the way...
14:19 I'm not saying
14:20 that I wouldn't have got involved in anything,
14:22 but I still think
14:23 I would have been doing stuff in the ministry.
14:26 How much of an effect do you think
14:27 that media has on young people today?
14:30 And not just the sports world,
14:31 but in terms of the different music,
14:34 the different things
14:35 that, you know, young people like to watch.
14:37 How much of an impact do you think that this has?
14:40 And I ask because, for me, speaking of myself,
14:43 music was very big for me.
14:46 Secular hip hop music was very big for me.
14:49 And I saw over a period of time
14:51 how it was just changing me from the inside out.
14:54 And, you know, I would literally,
14:56 I wouldn't just...
14:58 Some people would say,
15:00 "Well, it's just "entertainment," you know.
15:03 But for me, I would internalize the lyrics,
15:07 you know, and I would live out these things
15:09 and, you know, it really impacted my life.
15:12 How much of an impact do you think
15:13 that media has on young people in the decisions
15:16 that they make on a day-to-day basis?
15:18 Media has a big impact, you know.
15:20 And like what you said, it had an impact on me.
15:22 You know, towards,
15:23 you know, tugging on things like that,
15:25 especially in music and movies and stuff, the enemy,
15:27 you know, Satan, he knows what he's doing.
15:28 He moves through these avenues of music
15:31 and these movies and stuff,
15:32 they set the philosophy in the young people's mind
15:34 and stuff like that.
15:35 And it is huge, you know, you see it nowadays,
15:37 you know, a lot of people,
15:39 you know, they don't know who God is,
15:40 they give this bad picture of who God is.
15:43 They think that He is this mean dictator
15:45 and stuff like that.
15:46 I thought that for a little bit of time too.
15:48 He doesn't even exist. Yeah.
15:49 And so they get there
15:51 and not knowing the true and living God is,
15:53 what He's trying to do in our lives
15:55 and stuff like that, it's huge.
15:57 You know, in shaping a man and stuff.
15:58 When you keep hearing it over and over again, then it grows,
16:03 especially if you're not getting fed the truth.
16:05 Yeah, definitely.
16:06 Now you played middle school basketball,
16:09 high school basketball,
16:10 what did you do after you played high school basketball?
16:12 Where did it take you after that?
16:14 I did get a scholarship at the La Sierra.
16:17 I played a year of ball there
16:19 and then I ended up leaving a year
16:22 after that and finished
16:23 my basketball career at Kentucky State University.
16:27 Now had the opportunity
16:28 ever presented itself for the NBA,
16:32 how do you think you would have reacted to that,
16:33 especially not being able to play
16:35 or not desiring to play on the Sabbath?
16:39 Well, you know, like I always say,
16:41 you know, probably I'd be in a contract
16:43 that I won't be playing on the Sabbath
16:45 or anything like that.
16:47 You know, the opportunity would have came,
16:49 I would have went for it
16:51 but as long as they would have been all alright with me
16:55 not playing on the Sabbath, but other than that,
16:57 you know, I'm fine with where I'm at now though.
17:00 Okay, for young people today,
17:04 who, you know, they're tossed and turned
17:06 by so many different things out there.
17:08 In your opinion,
17:10 what do you think that
17:11 they need to allow happen
17:14 for them to get focused on doing what's right?
17:16 Because like I said, your story is amazing,
17:19 you know, you've been reading the Bible
17:20 since eight years old, even younger,
17:22 and into church things.
17:24 You don't find that. Let's be real.
17:27 You don't find that in this day and age.
17:29 I can't name you probably a single individual,
17:31 single young person that I know
17:33 that is really honestly interested in church
17:36 or interested in God.
17:38 Most young people are interested in money,
17:41 girls, guys, whatever,
17:43 playing sports, nothing to do with God.
17:45 You know, anything apart from God
17:47 because God is seen as being "boring."
17:50 But what do you think in your opinion,
17:51 based on your situation growing up,
17:53 would help young people
17:55 to get more focused in doing right,
17:57 in making better decisions in life?
18:00 Just basically helping the young people
18:03 definitely groom into their talent,
18:05 their gift that the Lord has blessed them with,
18:07 you know, embracing that and letting them know
18:09 that they are something to the church,
18:12 that they do bring something to the table,
18:14 that God has so much for them to do,
18:18 you know, and build a relationship,
18:20 don't just be pushing church,
18:21 you know, but push it as a relationship building.
18:24 Like this, you know, when you're in a relationship,
18:25 you know, in that,
18:27 you want somebody to care for you
18:28 and love for you and stuff like that,
18:30 let them know
18:31 that's how Christ feels about you.
18:32 You know what I'm saying? He wants the best for you.
18:34 He wants to give you the best and He already knows,
18:36 you know, what's best for you, and just, you know, trust Him.
18:39 Definitely, definitely.
18:41 Do you have any friends, as you were growing up, who,
18:44 you know, they went down the wrong path,
18:45 you went down the right path
18:47 who had they maybe stayed on that right path with you
18:52 would have been in a better situation now?
18:54 And I'm sure you do because, you know,
18:55 growing up in Louisville, it is kind of,
18:57 you know, rough in some areas, but talk about that.
19:00 Well, definitely.
19:02 You know, I have friends that made,
19:03 you know, decisions at a young age
19:05 that I'm pretty sure they probably regret of making.
19:08 That if, you know,
19:09 they had the chance they'd probably,
19:11 you know, turn back from that.
19:12 You know, like I said,
19:13 you know, I got laughed at at times
19:15 for not playing on the Sabbath,
19:16 even going out and stuff like that.
19:18 But I knew that the Lord's hand was,
19:19 you know, it was on me on that, and pretty sure,
19:22 looking back on it, like I have friends,
19:23 you know what I'm saying, they'd tell me that,
19:25 you know, pray for them,
19:26 you know, reach out for them, and stuff like that.
19:27 I read them a Bible verse or something like,
19:29 they connect with them
19:30 because then they know I got that connection.
19:32 But being willing to channel light,
19:35 you know, let them know that, you know,
19:36 "I'm not afraid to let you know that I know Christ.
19:39 You know what I'm saying, I'm still here for you."
19:40 Okay, now getting laughed at, how did that make you feel?
19:44 Because, you know, a lot of people, they...
19:46 You said earlier that you were the type
19:48 that would stand out a lot.
19:50 But for most of us as young people,
19:52 we kind of just blend in,
19:53 you know, we blend in
19:55 with what everybody else is doing.
19:56 But you were willing to take the ridicule
19:58 of being laughed at,
20:00 joked on,
20:02 probably being the brunt of most people's jokes,
20:04 how did that make you feel?
20:05 I embraced it. Okay.
20:07 You know, like I said, I was different,
20:08 you know, I was just willing.
20:10 And I know through the Bible, you know, it takes sacrifices.
20:13 You know, reading about the people
20:14 in the Bible and, you know,
20:16 even Christ, you know what I'm saying,
20:17 sacrificing their worldly lifestyle, man,
20:19 you know, you got to know where you want to be,
20:21 who you're living for.
20:23 You know, I was like, I always thought,
20:24 you know what I'm saying,
20:26 "Seek Him first and all His righteousness
20:27 and all these things would be added unto you."
20:28 Amen. And that mindset was in me.
20:31 And I was just like, "Man, I'm seeking Him first,
20:33 you know, regardless of what y'all say,
20:34 I'm not here to please y'all,
20:35 I'm here to please Him."
20:37 So it wasn't like, you know, I just took it,
20:39 you know, in their way.
20:42 I was just like, "It don't matter.
20:43 I'm not going to follow the crowd
20:44 because I know who I am."
20:46 Praise the Lord, praise the Lord.
20:47 Now you mentioned
20:48 about the different Bible characters
20:50 that you would read about,
20:52 who are some of the ones that really impacted your life?
20:56 Because, you know, oftentimes when people read the Bible,
20:58 they read this book
21:00 that was written thousands of years ago,
21:02 and sometimes when reading it, it's hard to relate, okay.
21:06 What this person did happened 3,000 years ago,
21:10 and sometimes people have a problem processing it
21:12 in saying, "How does it relate to my situation today?"
21:16 So when looking at some of these characters,
21:19 who did you kind of relate with?
21:22 I related with Joseph. Okay.
21:24 You know, he was young, got picked on,
21:27 talked about stuff like that, but they didn't let him waver.
21:30 And he also had a relationship with Christ at a young age,
21:33 you know what I'm saying.
21:34 Daniel, the three Hebrew boys, I related to that, and Elijah.
21:38 Okay, okay.
21:39 So those are some of the stories
21:41 that really stand out with me, like,
21:42 you know, I really want to take a stand.
21:43 Okay. Now specifically why Elijah?
21:46 I understand Joseph,
21:47 I understand Daniel and the three Hebrew boys,
21:49 but specifically why Elijah?
21:50 Well, I guess because,
21:52 you know, the battle at Mount Carmel,
21:54 the way he stood up for God.
21:55 Okay, so you like those stories where they stand up for God?
21:57 Yeah, yeah. Okay, keep going.
21:59 So that really stood out for me,
22:01 like no matter what,
22:02 even though everybody wanted to go that way,
22:04 you know, thinking that God don't exists
22:06 and, you know, they're following other Gods
22:07 or doing their own thing,
22:09 you know, bringing in today's time.
22:10 You know, everybody won't be about self
22:12 and stuff like that,
22:13 I want to honor my God, no matter what it takes,
22:15 you know, y'all could laugh and do whatever,
22:17 but I know He is real.
22:18 Praise the Lord.
22:19 Now your mother and your father,
22:21 they separated,
22:22 how is your connection with your parents these days?
22:24 Oh, it's pretty good.
22:25 I still have a relationship with my father
22:27 and, you know, my mom, we tight.
22:29 So it's nothing like friction or anything like that,
22:32 but I definitely have connection
22:34 with both of my parents.
22:35 Now you and your brother are the only two
22:37 that are Seventh-day Adventist.
22:39 When you two finally or you finally accepted
22:43 the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs,
22:45 got baptized in a Seventh-day Adventist church,
22:47 how did your parents react to it?
22:49 Because I've heard stories...
22:50 Like I said, I grew up Seventh-day Adventist,
22:52 so I never had to go from Baptist or Methodist
22:55 to Seventh-day Adventism,
22:57 but how did people react in your family
23:00 since nobody else is Seventh-day Adventist,
23:02 how did they react to you
23:04 when you decided to take a stand and you say,
23:06 "You know what,
23:07 I'm going to be a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.
23:09 I'm going to go to this church
23:10 that goes to church on Saturday,
23:12 totally different
23:13 than what I was raised up to do"?
23:15 How did your family react to that?
23:17 In the beginning, it was tough.
23:18 You know, definitely tough 'cause this is new,
23:20 you know, grew up going to church
23:22 on Sundays and stuff, that's all you're taught.
23:23 And it was definitely tough for me at a young age.
23:26 I'm like, man, you know, who do I listen to?
23:28 It's my mother,
23:30 you know, my parents and my family
23:31 that I love Mom, like, I'm dishonoring,
23:33 but at the same time, this is God.
23:35 Well, you know, my mom, like I said,
23:37 told me to follow Christ and be about Him."
23:39 Christ kept the Sabbath,
23:41 you know, Christ did this, Christ did that,
23:43 I got to stand for Him.
23:44 So, you know, it was just like, you know, for Christ I live,
23:46 for Christ I die.
23:48 I got to roll with it.
23:49 You know, if it meant,
23:50 you know, being different from my family,
23:53 it just had to be.
23:54 But over time,
23:56 you know, they start seeing things and stuff,
23:58 you know, the change
23:59 that the Lord was making in my life,
24:01 you know, and it was powerful.
24:02 I mean you can do nothing about
24:04 that when the Lord is moving in your life,
24:05 and they started,
24:07 you know, coming around and stuff like that,
24:08 so it's been a blessing.
24:09 How much of a witness do you think
24:11 your life has been?
24:12 Because not only have you had to stand up
24:14 to your peers,
24:15 you know, your basketball team,
24:17 your friends who didn't quite always understand,
24:20 you know, what you were doing, the decisions you were making,
24:22 but you had to stand up to teachers, coaches, family,
24:26 I mean pretty much your whole life
24:29 has been about standing up to people
24:31 and sharing your faith.
24:33 How much of a blessing do you think
24:34 your witness has been upon others?
24:37 Man, I guess it's one of those that you won't know,
24:40 you know, till Christ comes back
24:42 and you see that, you know.
24:43 But I have had,
24:45 you know, people come to me, man,
24:47 and be like, "Man, that was tough
24:48 what you did, man,
24:50 the way that you stand up for your faith
24:51 and stuff like that."
24:53 So it's pretty cool, you know, to have people to be able to,
24:54 you know, pray with them or talk to them about the Lord
24:56 and stuff like that.
24:57 That's been one of the biggest things of that.
24:59 But, you know, I guess I never really,
25:01 you know, felt like,
25:03 you know, people would come to me and be like,
25:04 "Wow, man, that has been a major impact."
25:06 But I won't know until He comes back.
25:07 Yeah, yeah, definitely.
25:08 Now you had a strong mother
25:10 who, you know, taught you to follow the Lord
25:13 and you used basketball.
25:15 Now there are some young people out there
25:17 that don't play sports,
25:20 they don't have a positive influence
25:21 in their life,
25:22 everything around them is negative.
25:24 How can that individual be a Joseph, be a Daniel,
25:29 be an Elijah in that situation?
25:32 In your opinion, what do you think?
25:34 Know Christ for yourself. Okay.
25:36 You know, regardless of what they say,
25:39 you know, go know Him for yourself.
25:40 Don't let nobody else, you know, tell you.
25:43 You got to go experience it for yourself.
25:44 And age, it doesn't matter how old you are.
25:47 Don't let when you get older think
25:49 that this is when you're supposed to know Christ,
25:50 know Christ now.
25:52 Yeah, definitely, definitely.
25:53 Now was there a plan for you
25:55 when you started to read the Bible,
25:56 how you would read it?
25:57 Because I know for myself
25:59 what I would do is when I began to change my life,
26:01 I was committed to two things, actually three things.
26:03 I was committed to praying every day,
26:05 I was committed to reading one chapter
26:06 out of the Bible each day,
26:08 and I was committed to reading one chapter
26:09 out of Patriarchs and Prophets every single day,
26:11 no matter what I did.
26:12 You know, I would even find myself
26:14 later on that day getting high,
26:15 doing something I had no business doing,
26:17 but I was committed to that.
26:18 And as I continued to do that every single day,
26:20 I started to see the different habits just stop.
26:24 What kind of plan did you have yourself on
26:27 in terms of reading the Bible every day?
26:28 Well, just basically,
26:30 like I carry my Bible study packet with me.
26:33 So it's just like...
26:34 That's so hard to believe. I know.
26:36 Because I would write too,
26:38 I used to write rhyme stuff like that,
26:39 so I would write
26:41 and then read and stuff like that,
26:42 so I would carry it with me so I would have those with me,
26:45 you know, to go over.
26:46 And then if I wanted to touch on different stuff,
26:47 I tried to research it in church
26:49 or something like that.
26:50 So you might just be sitting somewhere one day,
26:52 sitting around your friends,
26:53 you just pull out a Bible study lesson,
26:54 pull out a Bible and start working on a Bible,
26:56 right? Yes.
26:57 Wow! That's amazing.
26:58 What I want you to do,
27:00 I want you to take about 30 seconds
27:01 and I want you to look into the camera,
27:03 and I want you to talk to that young individual
27:05 who maybe they want to be a Daniel,
27:07 they want to be a Joseph, they want to be an Elijah,
27:09 they want to be a Jermaine Bentley,
27:11 but they don't have the things around them to do that.
27:14 They don't have that positive influence,
27:17 they may not even have
27:19 that strong determination to read the Bible,
27:21 but they want to just a small amount,
27:23 speak to that young person
27:25 and give them some words of encouragement.
27:26 You know, folks,
27:28 just know that you are different in Christ,
27:30 you know, you're only different only in Him,
27:32 so let Him guide you
27:33 and don't be afraid to stand out
27:35 and know Christ for yourself.
27:37 All right.
27:39 Well, Jermaine,
27:40 I want to thank you for being on the program.
27:42 Like I said, it's a very powerful testimony.
27:44 I don't meet people like you on a regular basis
27:47 who had a determination to want to serve God at a young age.
27:52 So I definitely appreciate you being on the program,
27:54 I know that your testimony will touch many people's lives,
27:58 just all of the blessings to you, okay?
27:59 All right. Appreciate it, Jermaine.
28:01 Thank you.
28:02 Viewers, we'd like to thank you for tuning in once again
28:03 for another exciting program of The New Journey.
28:06 Be sure to tune in next time. Until then, God bless.