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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

Date Posted: May 30, 2024

I prefer to call it "follicly challenged." However, the little kids of the church just call it what they see. A couple of weeks ago I got to direct Vacation Bible School for our church. The music program for the opening and closing fell to me. The music was great this year with so many fantastic rhythms to lock into for the kids. They loved it. The grandchildren of one of our elders attended the VBS and was talking with her grandfather about the guy leading the song service. "You know, Grandpa, the bald man," she told him.

Again this past Sunday evening a comment about my lack of hair came out. We have a little girl in church who was born the very first year we came (2004) on my wife's birthday. Her name is Ellie Morgan Hastings. She is such a sweet child and learning almost every second of every day. I couldn't help but get tickled Sunday evening when she looked at me and said, "There's baldy." Her mother looked just a tad embarrassed. I just chuckled about it. To that precious little girl, I'm "baldy."

The school aged kids know that I'm not really bald. I honestly think I have them convinced that I have a reverse Mohawk. They're cool with that. The oddest reaction was earlier this year when I returned to Washington Court House, Ohio, for the funeral of the father of a high school classmate. A long time friend of mine and fellow Kentucky Christian College graduate preached the funeral. He hadn't seen me in a few years. In short, he last saw me with hair. I believe that the comment which followed his dropped jaw look at me was, "You got old."

I guess that's the point of this. Someone has to get old or the people who are young will never know how young they still are. We have men in the church in their eighties who have better heads of hair than me. I do hope they feel young around me. What's the old saying? "Age is relative." I think that means that as long as you have relatives older than you you're not so old. Then I'm old. There are no surviving Kelleys older than me on the Ora Wilbur Kelley side of the family.

Mortality is a sobering thought. That's what baldness does to you. It reminds you that if your hair can die, you can too. But what if that is why you were sent? What if your mission in life was to die? We resign ourselves to death, accepting it as inevitable. With Jesus it was different. "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face toward Jerusalem." Luke 9:51 We color our hair, use Minoxidil and buy toupees all to look young. Jesus looked forward to dying for us with determination. Let's meet His determination to die for us with an equal one to live for Him.

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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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