So how does a kid from Portland end up on the mound of the Major League Baseball All Star game, staring down the the likes of Cal Ripken, Pudge Rodriguez , and Derek Jeter? How does that same guy end up after a near fatal heart condition become a national CCM recording artist? Having his record produced by renowned producer Michael Omartian. Kent Bottenfield, the guy who has actually lived this life, sums it up in one word- God.
To Kent there is no other explanation
no other possible answer. To Kent it is the hand and direction of God that has lead him down this path through both the triumphs and the failures; through the victories and defeats; through the pain and the joy, it has always been and will always be about God and his son Jesus Christ. He believes that this incredible journey has lead to this place and this time in his life. Not coincidentally but providetially.
Kent says, "I just sit back in awe every time I hear how the music has affected someone or a single does well on the radio because I know I have nothing to do with it. I write about 90% of my music but the kicker is that I have almost no musical training. That is the reason I know God is in this. I have nothing to be prideful about. I have seen God work through an empty vessel, me."
Kent knows this because the music ministry he now has was not his idea, it wasn't his dream; it was God's plan. "Baseball was my dream," says Kent. "It was something I planned and hoped for from the age of 10. Music has been different. I did not dream of being a recording artist and I never planned on being in the spotlight; singing, speaking, and publicly ministering to people. Baseball was my dream. This music ministry is God's plan, specifically designed for me."
Although Kent has had almost no formal training, God continues to show His excellence through the songs He places on Kent's heart. Kent says that baseball came natural, but these songs seem supernatural. Kent's songs spring from a heart of worship and a desire to love and honor the father.
After having the opportunity to play in 9 Major League seasons Kent turned his attention to full time ministry. For ten years he has been using his passion and talents for music along with his unique ability to communicate for a very specific purpose, To encourage those who know Christ and introduce Him to those who don't. He has been able to share this passion not only with people here in The United States but around the world as well. He has spoken before hundreds of thousands while his music has been heard by millions. But no matter how many people he stands in front of it always comes back to one...Jesus Christ.
Kent says, "I think the lyrics to Back In the Game reflect my journey from Portland to the present in a major way. I am amazed at what God has allowed me to be a part of since my youth. I was just your average little kid with a big dream. I don't know if I have ever felt worthy of the accomplishment of that dream."
Though some might conclude that a man with Kent's past might not have a grasp on the realities of of life and its everyday struggles, Kent answers that with humble clarity. "I am no different than anyone else walking on the planet. I was not a child of privilege or special standing. I recognized early in life what my gift was and I worked very hard to be the best I could be so that God could use my success and failure for His glory." That is where Kent wants to encourage the believer. " Find your God-given gift and use the effort and the resuls completely for His glory."
As for those who don't yet have a relationship with Christ he says this, " We all have the opportunity to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I jumped at it when I had the chance and never looked back. I would love to say my life has been flawless ever since, but to say that would be untrue. Salvation does not equal perfection on our part, rather we need salvation because we are not perfect...Christ is. We require His perfection to cover our sin which is exactly what His death on the cross was all about.
There lies the central message of Kent's ministry, Christ crucified and resurrected. Jesus said " I am the way, and the truth, and the life; Noone comes to the Father but through me." John 14:6
Kent Bottenfield....Kid from Portland....Pro Athlete....Speaker....Musician....
Man of Faith.