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Kelli McMahan

Name: Kelli Kristine McMahan
Birthday: January 20
Hometown: Waco, Texas. I grew up in Waco and lived here until after graduating from Baylor. I briefly lived in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area before moving to Oklahoma City where I lived for 2 years while commuting to Oklahoma State for graduate school. I lived in Salado, Texas and worked in Georgetown for 4 years prior to coming back to Waco.

College:
Baylor University and Oklahoma State University

Church:
Columbus Avenue Baptist Church. I have attended CABC for much of my life. It was my church growing up and I have been a member since returning to Waco. I love the music ministry and the people in the church very much. They have been very supportive of me all my life and have been especially enthusiastic about "Beyond Jordan". I am indebted to so many people who invested in me as a young person and told me and revealed to me the love of Christ. I have overcome many personal hurdles there with the love and support of many wonderful people. I am especially appreciative of Chuck our music minister. He creates a wonderful ministry and has a genuine love for the Lord and cares for every choir member from the youngest to the oldest.

Occupation:
Assistant Director for Campus Recreation over Outdoor Adventure Programs; Baylor University

Background in music:
First, my mother is the most talented in the family. She has a beautiful voice and can play the piano incredibly well and plays by ear. She started out as a music major at Baylor and also played the organ. My dad also has a great voice but won't admit to it.

Music was a part of my life for as long as I remember. I started piano at 10 and have wonderful memories of playing duets with my mom at the Teachers Waco Federation of Women's Club and not so great memories of lots of piano competitions and recitals. Seriously, I am so thankful for those years and I still love the piano.

My earliest memories of singing was auditioning for the Waco All Girl's Choir where I sang " My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at the First United Methodist Church. Later, I auditioned at my church many years in a row for Texas All State Baptist Choir. From childhood, to youth to college, if there was a choir or ensemble, I sang in it. I also sang in a touring ensemble in college called "New Song" and it was by far one of the highlights of my college years. Since then, music remained a big part of my life and during the few occasions where I was in transition and I didn't have a way to plug in to music, there was certainly a void.

Hobbies:
When I'm not at work, at church or singing with Beyond Jordan, I run on a very regular basis. I also enjoy climbing at the gym at Baylor and playing tennis with my dad. I enjoy talking to my parents on the phone each week and seeing them whenever possible.

I enjoy almost all outdoor activities and besides trips that are a part of my job, I enjoy long expedition trips and have climbed a few mountains over the last 5 years and hope to climb some more along with some more rock climbing and skiing trips.

I enjoy hanging out with my friends and spending time with my grandmother and other family members.

Thoughts on Beyond Jordan:

Since music has always been a part of my life, when David Pendergrass approached me about possibly being apart of a group, I couldn't have been more excited. I love to sing and especially with others. The three of us sang together for the first time in January, 2006 and at that time, we hardly knew each other. Our time since then has been so amazing. Each practice and opportunity to perform has been a blessing. What has been so affirming is our mutual commitment to each other and to Beyond Jordan. I know we all share a desire to see how the group might be used as a ministry to others.

I think it has been good that we didn't come in with any big dreams or desires other than just to sing great songs that tell stories about life, faith and God. After almost a year, there is a lot of anticipation of what doors will be opened in the future. The reality of Beyond Jordan was just another example of how God knows our needs and brings opportunities into our lives based on our interests and passions. God is so faithful if we present our request before Him. Tara and Nikki have become dear to me and I think we inspire and motivate each other. Singing is such an amazing and beautiful way to express what is in my heart so I am so thankful for the opportunity of singing with Beyond Jordan.

Briefly say something about your faith:
My faith is deeply important to me. To me, God has given us a great gift and the gift is Life. There are so many relationships and experiences to enjoy and the journey becomes more joyous and rich if Christ is kept at the center. With freedom, there comes heartache and struggles and I so very thankful that God has promised to walk along side me during those times. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to wake each day without the assurance of my salvation and the confidence of my worth as a child of God. Faith is a lifelong process and with each new day, God reveals areas of my life that need refining and areas in which I desperately need to lean on Him. One of my favorite testimonies of scripture is the passion exhibited in Paul after his conversion story. He could hardly be contained from telling what God had done in his life through faith in Jesus Christ. God changed his heart. That is my belief that we are all sinners but God wants to do a mighty work in our lives. When we have faith and accept that, God will and does give us his spirit and desire for truth. I am most grateful for grace which I am so desperate for. There is no love sweeter to me than my Love for the Lord and for those he has placed in my life. I am especially thankful for the example of selfless love, friendship and support that my parents have shown me. It is my desire to have my life used by God and pray that I can learn to walk closer to Him so that others can see Christ in me and He might receive the glory.

Tell us a few of your favorite verses and why they speak to you: 

Definitely Philippians 4:8-9 has always been a verse I have treasured. I believe that God is so Holy and calls us to be above things that are empty and not reflective of his Love. He changes the heart and desires of those who believe with their whole heart through salvation and has given Christ as the example. This verse captures who I want to be.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I love the mystery of God and there are countless examples in scripture where he is so deliberate in how He inspired others to portray his truths. God is also so deep which makes him so wise. It creates a trust and eagerness in me to cling to his word. I find that in the power of this verse. Ephesians 6:13-19

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Sprit which is the word of Gad. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.

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