What does inspired FATHERHOOD look like?

Fathers call out the gifts and talents they see in their sons & daughters. 

Fathers help cast vision for the extraordinary impact those gifts & talents are meant to have.

Fathers help provide resources & training for the dreams, visions, mission & destiny their children carry. 

Fathers champion the call upon their children’s lives & are their biggest fan and cheerleader.

Fathers introduce their children to people of genuine integrity who are successful in the field of endeavor that their sons and daughters are called to or are pursuing.

Fathers love well, discipline when necessary, and model sacrifice & servant leadership.

Fathers point to & represent God the Father in ways that grace, wisdom, faith and the Holy Spirit enable them to. 

Fathers live out the highest excellence & integrity possible in all that they do.

Fathers love their wives and children well so that sons can model their example and so that daughters know what to look for in a husband.

Fathers leave a legacy to their sons and daughters & take a primary role in equipping them for success. 
At the end of the day, a father’s “ceiling” should become the floor their sons & daughters catapult off of to pursue their own fingerprint destiny.
“Fathers train up their children in the way they should go so that when they are older they do not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
A father’s love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)
(J. Robb Kelley of Bright MorningStar Ranch Films & Music)

Fathers and Daughters

son and daughter on beach

A few months ago, I met a dear friend of mine named Joshua for lunch at Chili’s.  His excessive workload caused him to be a few minutes late which provided me with the opportunity to observe a father with his young teenage daughter who were seated diagonally across from me.  After they were escorted to their table by the blonde, college-age host and then sat down, I was immediately struck by the joy and pride of having a “lunch date” with your father written all over the wiry, athletic girl’s face (my guess is she loves to run!)  I could feel her anticipation in the air, like a sudden gust of wind, nudging me to listen in.  What would her father say to her?  What connection might they make heart to heart?  Would this be one of those lifetime-memory-making moments?  I joined in on her energetic expectancy by looking up from the ancient book of wisdom I was studying at my table and glanced over at them from time to time while my businessman friend’s arrival was delayed.

Then it happened.  I saw her slender, chiseled face dim from its hopeful bright light to a disappointed shadow.  Her father had just pulled out his smartphone and then locked his gaze and full attention upon it.  When it was revealed where this prime time encounter with her father was headed, the daughter reached for her own pocket device and mimicked her father.  Was this role modeling at its finest?  Or was the girl shielding her heart from further rejection as she slumped down low in the booth?  Throughout their forty-five minute “unhappy meal” they played a game of chess.  Take a bite, then engage the dumb phone.  Back and forth.  Tick-tock swings the pendulum.  I wanted to yank the lever on the restaurant’s fire alarm to arrest the attention of the distracted father: “Please, don’t be blind to the gift in front of you.”  Seize this sacred opportunity to touch your daughter’s heart and speak into and affirm her unique beauty, identity and destiny.

Joshua arrived at half past the hour and very quickly I got lost in our lively conversation about his work and our similar faith adventures. He shared about his most recent and challenging ministry to broken and hurting youth at a camp a few hours away. I talked about the adversity inherent in my attempts to equip the next generation of leaders, visionaries and cultural influencers. I forgot all about the father and his daughter until the moment they walked awkwardly past our window full of tension on the way through the parking lot to their bright red SUV.  He had chosen to talk to her now.

His facial expression seemed to indicate he had tasted something sour and hers looked almost tortured.  An hour before her countenance was a brightly lit canvas just waiting for her father to paint it with extraordinary colors of affirmation, beauty, inspiration, wisdom, and loving-kindness.  Instead, he had taken a black Sharpie and shaded her face with indifference, making her feel that he was almost completely absent from her heart and from her world.  I am desperate to know what the parent said to his child in the parking lot.  I can tell you this much — it was not what she had been longing to hear nor was it anything akin to what she dreamed a “father-daughter lunch date” would be like.

Hello, dads. We have an impossible job and I know that!  But would you permit me to share a message from my troubled soul to yours.  I believe our daughters are aching to hear from our hearts!  They want to know how we see them; actually that we do see them. They long for us to call out their talents and cast a vision for what they can achieve.  They desperately desire to hear us say they are beautiful and that we cherish them.  Much of their perceived identity will often come from how WE see them and how WE speak over them.  We must look closelyWe must speak wisely.  Like an artist, we play a monumental role in the masterpiece our daughters were created to become…

A Father’s Legacy To His Daughter

  • Cherish our precious daughter like she is the most important person in the world (She is!).
  • When we are alone with her, let’s give her our full and undivided attention.  Especially on father-daughter dates.
  • Listen to her with our whole heart.
  • Tell our daughter she is beautiful. (She is!  God made her in His image).
  • Call out her talents.  Name them and value them.  Cast vision for them.
  • Ask her about the dreams she carries in her heart and tell her she can achieve them.
  • Champion who she is!
  • Provide the resources she needs to pursue her dreams.  (Specialized training and talent development where needed).  Money need not be an issue.  Almost anything can be found on the internet.  Connect her with a professional in her field of endeavor who is also a person of rare character and integrity.
  • Ask questions and listen.  Don’t judge.  Don’t criticize.  Don’t critique.  Ask and listen some more.  Offer wisdom.
  • Inspire her to servant leadership and helping others achieve their dreams while she is pursuing hers.
  • Be our daughter’s most vocal cheerleader.
  • Discipline when necessary but ALWAYS WITH LOVE.
  • Be real, transparent and vulnerable.  Share our life lessons; including both our successes and mistakes.  Tell her stories.
  • Pray with her. Introduce our daughter to the God who created her.  The God who loves her perfectly and faithfully.  The God who suffered horrifically and then died for her so that she could be restored to intimate fellowship with Him.  The God whose wisdom is absolutely necessary for a meaningful life of purpose.  The God who is always faithful; always keeps His promises; and whose ways and timing are best.
  • Who we are, dads, will be the starting point for how she sees the One Who is the ultimate Father.  Right away we know we desperately need God’s help to be the father He created us to be.  We should ask Him for help.  Daily.  We ought to pursue a relationship with God as our Father and as we grow to truly know Him and to be His son — we will then become more and more equipped to be an amazing earthly father.  As we learn and experience Who Father God truly is, we can share and model that for our own daughter.  Yes, really, we can!
  • We were created to love our daughter well and inspire her to greatness.  To guide her in discovering Who God genuinely is and who He created and designed her to be.  By His grace and wisdom we can do exactly that!  We must remind ourselves often that love never fails.  And it’s never too late to try. Each day offers all of us a new beginning…..

Fathers, let’s pursue THE FATHER with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.  As we do, He will supply us with all we need to be the fathers we long to be and were created to be for our daughters.

At the end of the day, dads, our daughters do not want things.  They wants US.  Fully present and fully alive to them.

Let’s love them well.  Listen fully.  Provide, protect, and engage.  Instruct and inspire.

God created us to be able to do all the above.  Therefore, by His grace we can!  Not perfectly.  No one ever does it perfectly.  Choosing a heart posture of humility fully dependent upon Him will release all the wisdom, insight, grace, power, authority and provision we will ever need.  We should read His book too.  Often.  It’s the number one best-seller for a reason! He says: “We can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

God the Father is cheering us on!  Now, let’s go champion our daughters.

Copyright 2015 by J. Robb Kelley 

From his book LIFE LESSONS: God’s Unique and Mysterious Training School

Losing Your Way…..

Do you ever lose your way?

Do you ever wonder if you are on the right path?

Do you ever question the dream you are following; the work you have chosen; the destiny or calling upon your life?

Do you ever question your faith journey?

Well… the last several weeks I have.  With all the above!

My four passions are: First, knowing God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit our Counselor in the most profound depth and intimacy possible.  Secondly, loving my family well.  Thirdly, helping people fulfill their calling, dream, destiny, vision, mission or divine assignments.  Lastly, completely fulfilling my own destiny.

I have many times in prayer in the last few days asked Father God to make perfectly clear what His direction is for me.  I have asked that He make it unmistakable and that He speak to me in a way that I knew beyond any doubt whatsoever that it was from HIM.

Yesterday, this was at my feet as I opened my car door.


Then one day later, after praying, worshiping, fasting, and reading throughout my Bible for hours, I asked God for ONE WORD.

I have this favorite place I go below the mountains to walk for an hour and a half and I talk with God there and I listen.  I sensed a calling to go there this afternoon.


I prayed that common prayer: “Father, all my life is yours.  What is on YOUR heart? What is it I can do for YOU? What is the ONE WORD you have for me?

As I walked mile after mile, I felt Him so very near.  I thanked Him for His goodness and His faithfulness throughout my entire life.  I revisited some desperate times; some impossible chapters in my life — where He ultimately met me and came through for me.  I reminisced about the wonderful rewards and gifts that came through hard work, commitment, and perseverance (and His grace).  I thought back over a lifetime of living by faith and clearly Father God was good, true, kind — a way-maker where there seemed to be no way — merciful, powerful, awesome, majestic and at times beyond full comprehension.


Yet still, I longed for that ONE CLEAR WORD from Him today.  The Bible says when we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him.  I had read that verse this very morning in the book of Jeremiah.  As I walked further, I longed to encounter Him.  Unmistakably.

There is a side path I will often take on my walk.  About ninety-percent of the time I take this detour.  But today, I felt this almost imperceptible nudge.  “Stay on the road.  Do not veer off the path.”  It’s amazing how succinctly a surrendered heart can hear God’s voice.

A few steps down the road after I passed the alternative route, I came upon this at my feet…..


The one word I had asked for.  Direct. Clear. Profound.  “DREAM”


On the other side of the rock, a white piece of paper was attached.  It explained that these rocks are intentionally placed across America to bring encouragement to people.

Was I encouraged?  My dancing and singing must have given it away!

Jesus is affectionately known as The Rock.

Pray. Look. Listen. Be patient. You never know what Father God might say.


“Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  (Matthew 4:4)

Any time taken with the Bible, worship, prayer, fasting, and seeking Father God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength is always worth it.

Jeremiah 29:11-13.



Hearts On Fire

From A.W. Tozer and his fire-breathing classic THE PURSUIT OF GOD (June 16, 1948).

“Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God… but exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatsoever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring people to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, that they may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

Jesus said in John 4:23-24: ” …But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Reading the words of A. W. Tozer always leaves me hungry for more of God and releases a deeper thirst for wells of intimacy I haven’t tapped into yet.  Ministry should create a longing for an ever-increasing depth of communion with the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).  Tozer primes the pump on the wells I am seeking.  Starlight by Bethel Music is the soundtrack as I dig.  The Word of God is my shovel.  Personal worship waters the soil and loosens any impediments I may encounter.

Today is a good day!  🙂   🙂   🙂




Can you hear it?  Stop.  Look.  Listen.

Yesterday, Labor Day 2017, I did not go into work.

I sat on a bridge rail above the Eagle River.  In glorious sunshine.  Captivated…..

I stopped.  For longer than a minute.  I looked… until I was locked in.  I listened.

This is what I heard.

A rock song.  A boulder song.  A lullaby of The Master’s Making.  Genius artistry.  Heaven’s design and melody.  A glimpse into wonder and awe.  Father’s unfathomable creativity and inspiration.

I looked inside my soul.  I saw me — but not before I saw Him.  He is the potter… I am the clay.

He knows what He is doing.  Completely.  Peace, rest, trust, quiet joy consumed me.  I took a real, authentic breath for the first time in a long time.  Actually, that’s why I traveled here.  To rest.  To see.  To listen.  TO HEAR.

“I have never found anything to compare with the morning-watch as a source of blessing when one meets with God before meeting the world.  It is a good thing to speak with Him before we speak to other people, to listen to His word before we listen to the voices of our fellowmen.”  (Sir William Dobbie)

The river in the photograph could represent LIFE.  Always moving.  Always flowing.  Never stopping.  The clock ticking.

The rocks and boulders are events.  They make sounds.  Each a melody.  Each a beat.  Each a word in a lyric.  Phrases are built along the river.  A cluster of impediments become a chorus.

I’m struck by all the many genres of music contained in one river.  Rock n Roll, Country, Rap, Folk, Lullabies, Blues, Jazz, Worship….. And the beat goes on.

Water cascades down from the mountaintop and joins the river in places, creating “bridges.”

I’ve heard these songs on four continents.  Places like Canada, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Europe, Mexico, North Africa, the Islands and yesterday, in Colorado.

These melodies crafted, mixed, and mastered in Heaven’s studio by the Father of Creation always lead me to a singular song.

The song inside myself.  Like a fingerprint, uniquely and only mine.  The compass returns to True North.  I find my way again.  Unutterable delight.

Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  No matter what country I am in.  I always find that to be true.  I rest in peace.  I trust.  Faith fills my soul.  As I turn toward Him, take His hand, listen to His heart, and hear first His song and then mine… I find True North.  It is not a destination.  It is a Person.



Holy Spirit.


Excited For The Future!

Lion of Judah

In the last few weeks, I have had some amazing & inspiring conversations with several young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s.

They possess vision and a sense of mission.  They are courageous, brave, wise, risk-takers, self-disciplined, hard workers, genuinely love others and are faithful friends.

They recognize nonsense and don’t waste their time with it.  They don’t watch Reality TV because they are way too busy working to make their dreams a reality!!!!!

Transformers.  Reformers.  Creators.  Living inspired.  They are meeting the needs of others in a way that enlarges those they serve.  Far from enablers, they challenge themselves and others toward their God-given purpose and destiny.

I skyped last night with a dear brother “Down Under.”  He is seeing the very same movement in Australia.  Young people of rare character pursuing and achieving extraordinary things.

Father God is faithful and the future generations are going to have their own “Esthers, Lincolns, Wilberforces, Pauls, Marys, Annas, Mullers, Howells, Elizabeths, Kellers, Tillie Burgins, Mother Teresas,” and so on — men and women whose accomplishments will be of historical and Biblical proportions.  How do I know this?  Because I’ve had the sacred privilege to spend time with some of them.

Stay strong and courageous!  By faith YOU CAN!

(Joshua 1 & Hebrews 11)




Living By Faith

cross trainingA common pattern in living by faith: Battle or trial or hardship — then a period of consecration through a face to face encounter with the Father and an eventual breakthrough through worship, prayer and revelation from the Word — then ADVANCE!!!!!navy-seal



Faith, Hope and Love

HOPE CLOUDSAbraham was the father of our faith. “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed — because — he was fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised (Romans 4:18-22 abridged). This past week, I took the time to read extensively and to listen deeply to what the media is writing and broadcasting across the airwaves. I also read my Bible and worshiped and prayed for 3 hours every morning at my favorite chapel. Guess who I decided to believe?JESUS