November30 , 2022

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    Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern grew up in the suburban community of Grand Island, New York watching his father. Like most boys, young Brett longed to follow in his dad’s footsteps as a professional soccer player. His parent’s influence would end up going far deeper than his athletic aspirations.

    “I thought I wanted to play professionally in Europe, but the Lord had different plans. My sophomore year in high school I ended up leaving soccer because I was burnt out,” Brett told me.

    Noticing his obvious talent for years, Brett’s gym teachers, who also happened to be football coaches, begged him to come play football. He nor his mother were wild about the idea initially but in the tenth grade he made the switch and started kicking footballs instead of soccer balls. A scholarship to the University of Toledo proved his decision paid off in more ways than one. That’s where Brett met his beautiful wife.  He went from there to Denver and due to a coaching switch after his rookie year, he was released. He came here to Nashville and is now going on his tenth year in Music City.

    Meeting Jesus

    I asked Brett when he started his Christian journey and he told me immediately about watching his father during his early years.

    “I remember waking up in the morning and I’d go down and say hi to him. He would be in his office reading scripture. Seeing that growing up was huge.”

    “I remember waking up in the morning and I’d go down and say hi to him. He would be in his office reading scripture. Seeing that growing up was huge.”

    As a six-year-old boy, Brett’s Sunday school teacher talked about the difference between heaven and hell.  “I chose Heaven and accepted Christ when I was six, but I didn’t really understand the meaning of a relationship with Christ. I figured since I said the prayer and ask Jesus into my heart that I was good to go. I didn’t really understand how to develop my relationship or really have a deep personal relationship with Christ. I grew up in the church.”

    Brett spoke fondly of the way his parents ran the house and of the love for Jesus they instilled in him and his sister.

    “My mom taught Bible studies and my dad was a deacon, so I had awesome parental role models.”

    The early college years weren’t quite as easy for Brett. “Honestly, I really struggled when I got to college. I was on my own for the first time, apart from my family and the routine I had of going to church on Sundays and youth group on Wednesday nights. College was different. Just trying to fit in, trying to find yourself, make friends, new routines and now you’re exposed to the things of college, whether it’s girls or alcohol or anything like that. I really struggled.”

    Brett was no stranger to the dangers of alcohol. Both of his paternal grandparents died of alcoholism. Until he accepted Christ at the age of twenty-six his own father struggled with it.

    “There came to a point where I was at the bottom after a party one time. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that this isn’t what the Lord has for me. This is not the road that he wanted me to take. The Holy Spirit was nudging on me to start fresh, to get back into church, and to find a solid mentor –  somebody older than me that could help me along with my walk.”

    It has been a process from those early years until now Brett told me.

    “The year before last was the first year I really tried to get in the word every day and I developed my relationship with him. I read through the Bible last year for the first time just to see everything the Lord has put in the Bible and the promises he has for us and the way that he communicates through his word on how to live a life that’s pleasing to him. It’s something that I hope – that I pray – I can leave for my kids.”

    The Pro Bowl

    Brett’s journey has taken him on some adventures few have the privilege of ever experiencing. One such opportunity was being selected for this year’s Pro Bowl.

    “When I f