'Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart'
I began my journey on March 17th 1970, born to Richard and Louise Kelley in Adams Center, NY. I was fortunate grow up in a Christian home so I became a Christian at a very early age (~8).
Although I grew up in a Christian home, we, like most families, had our share of problems. When I was about the age of six, my father voluntarily admitted himself into an alcohol rehab program. My father began a drinking problem early in his life and it continued to get worse when my two sisters and I were in grade school.
Dad would struggle with alcohol on and off even after the rehab program'¦.although this made for some rough moments in my childhood it also was a good example of God's unfailing love and forgiveness.
Unlike many alcoholic parents, my dad was always a loving father and remorseful for the times he succumbed to this temptation. Our family had to learn how to extend grace to him sometime not knowing if he would overcome the struggle.
I am happy to report that one of the greatest examples in my life of God's saving grace in through the example of my father. I have watched him grow over the years from a new Christian to a mature man of God.
My mother was the spiritual leader of our home and she provided a great example in how she prayed for my father and how she stuck with him through the rough times. Her prayers have seen us all through some rough times and I am sure that I caused her a number of sleepless nights.
My early school years were very rough on me. I struggled in school from an early age and as a result I suffered from a lack of confidence so gripping at time that I would often cry right there in the classroom. This was labeled a sign of immaturity and maybe it was but I also believe that there were some internal battles going on inside me.
My reading, writing and spelling skills were so poor that by the third grade I was not able to keep up with the rest of my class. I was just unable to measure up and the decision was made to hold me back to try third grade a second time. These were clearly not my best years.
I remember days being required to stay in the classroom alone to work on schoolwork while the rest of the class got to play at recess. I do remember during these times I would pray and ask God for help.
I also remember my mother teaching me that God doesn't promise that our lives are going to be a 'bed of roses' but we can cling to him during those times like a sailor lost at sea clings to a life preserver. These events were building a foundation of faith for me '¦only I didn't know it at the time.
The first big cross road in my life came while I was in my second year in college. My high school years were not much better than grade school but I did manage to get into a two-year college in Western New York State: Alfred State College. I majored in Architecture and enjoyed the program and successfully made it through my first year.
However, by my third semester I was once again academically in trouble. This was a true wake up call for me and I quickly realize that I never had ever asked God if he wanted me to be an architect. Was this the career pathway God wanted for me?
At 2:00 a.m. one morning I woke up and began to seek God with this question. I walked out my dorm and down into the quad section of campus and sat down in the cold dark and began to cry out to God 'God please help!' Still to this day I am amazed that the simplest prayers are the most effective!
I began to ask God what he wanted with my life and how should I best serve Him. Several days later I had my answer. I remember the day very well climbing out of my loft in the dorm room and when my feet hit the floor '¦I thought I am going to be a teacher! How ironic it is to have this calling when you consider my educational experiences up to this point. I quickly began preparing to transfer to another State University , SUNY Oswego and I majored in technology education.
Later, I would go on to graduate with honors in the Fall of 1993. The next fall I started my first teaching job in Western New York State, Avon School District. I had found my calling and spent the next nine years teaching technology education in New York and Indiana.
During graduate school, I clearly meet the 'Desire of my Heart' in Diane. She was an undergraduate student and we met at a Campus Crusade party at Ball State University. She actually got up the nerve to ask me out because she was afraid that I might ask out her identical twin sister.
Things moved along quickly'¦I even met her parents on our first date. We were engaged within three months and married within a year of when we met. We are now blessed with two wonderful children Mark and Kate and are expecting a double blessing in a few short days with twin girls, Ashley and Alyssa. God has greatly blessed me with a loving wife and four wonderful children.
After a short stint teaching at Ball State, we moved to the University of Georgia in Athens. This was an easy choice because my major advisor is a Christian and we really had a sense that God was calling us there. Our time in Athens was a real time of growth for us as a family and for me personally. The entire family grew closer to God like never before due to the fact that we needed to trust him our daily needs unlike anything we had ever experienced before.
Furthermore, I needed to trust God to help me with my academics challenges such as getting through statistics course even though it had been years since I had taken math courses. I often wonder what my high school teachers would think if they found out I was in a PhD program especially my ability to write a dissertation.
Once in my final year of my dissertation, our family began to pray and seek God's direction regarding where I would find a job. I was blessed with multiple opportunities. One opportunity was at Purdue University, although the job was at the top of my list I was unsure of the chances I had especially because the position was a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education position.
The more we as a family prayed, the more we believed that God was calling us to Purdue. This is truly another example of when you 'delight yourself in the Lord, he will give you the desires of your heart. On April 1st, I accepted a job offer from Purdue'¦Go Boilers!
Through my journey in this life thus far, I believe that I am another example of how God uses the meek, the humble, and the weak to do great things. I think of Moses '¦slow of speech, I think of David '¦small and humble, even a kid size lunch Jesus used in a mighty way.
Now that I am at Purdue, I want to continue to seek God for the ways He wants to use my position to advance His kingdom. I believe that being on a college campus is being on a mission field.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message, I would be happy to share about God's love and power'¦.he Has been so good to me and I know he will be good to you too'¦just ask.
Dr. Todd Kelley
playing with my kids, woodworking, fishing,watching sports
Fantasy dinner guests
Thomas Edison, Charles Lindberg, Frank Lloyd Wright
My worst subject in school
The Bible, Joe Gibbs- Racing to Win
October Sky, Its a Wonderful Life,
My latest accomplishment
The Silvius-Wolanski Award: Technology Education publication of the year
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