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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

No Strings Attached
Date Posted: March 16, 2023

Before Christmas I remember watching a commercial on television about a company that offered something wireless. I can't remember right off hand what the product was but I do remember that one of the key figures in the advertisement was a marionette. A marionette is a puppet that is controlled by a gaggle of strings held aloft of the puppet and manipulated so as to make the puppet's extremities move like those of a human. The gist of the ad was that the puppet was impressed by the concept of being wireless and imagined himself as such.

It is from the marionette that we get the term "pull the right strings." It means to use guile and intellect to manipulate another person to do the things you want them to do. When you do you can get the person whose strings you control to "jump through hoops" for you. This is another term from the entertainment world which means to have an animal trained well enough that it will jump through a series of hoops upon the proper command. This was started with dogs but has grown to where it includes cats; very big cats, like lions and tigers.

Control is something that the work-a-day world understands quite well. Most who work at regular jobs have tasted the concept of control on their jobs as they either do the job they are told to do or they are fired. That is a nasty combination of pulling all the right strings to make someone jump through hoops. The combination is what no one wants to be caught up in. No one wants a life where the main function is that of pleasing someone by doing a menial or difficult job just to get by.

We all hope that the work we ultimately settle into is something with which we garner a certain measure of pleasure and financial reward enough to make its performance enjoyable. Workday drudgery is not bliss. Doing what you have always enjoyed doing and getting paid for it at least comes close. And we owe it all to Adam whose main function was to be looking at the garden every so often to make sure the plants were growing right. Genesis 2:15 Then he blew it by disobeying God.

That's how all this dissatisfaction stuff got started. It got started because someone refused to accept the blessings of someone who merely wanted to bless and not necessarily control. The Army uses the concept of being all that you can be as a hook for joining them. That's all God had planned for man. He merely wanted him to be all that he could be. And God would help man and provide for man the whole way. Odd thing is, that offer still stands. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33 No strings attached.

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"Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life" from Tom Kelley

Life's Refreshing Breeze

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Biography Information:
Tom Kelley, pastor, speaker, lived with his wife, Becky, in Georgetown, Kentucky

...He was the Minister of the Minorsville Christian Church located near Stamping Ground, KY.

...Becky and Tom have three children; John, single and in worship ministry in Nicholasville, Kentucky; Sean, married (Jennifer, elementary school teacher) with twins (Grace and Patrick, b.d. 10/31/04) and regional director of Papa John's Pizza in Central KY; Kara, married (Vince Taylor, prison guard) and working with Hospice East in Winchester, KY.

...Tom went to be with the Lord on November 13, 2009 after a lengthy battle with cancer. If you have been touched by Tom's writings please send an email to Tom's son at
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