From Father Wounds to Bringing Life with Otto Kelly, former University and Professional Athlete (Episode 170)
Our Guest: Otto Kelly
Otto losing his father at an early age of cancer caused a deep father wound. He soon found validation and affirmation from sports where he excelled. As a young man he played for the University of Nevada. Soon after he began a long career in public service. For 11 years he served as Gang Specialist/Outreach Coordinator for Washoe County Department of Juvenile Services. While there, Otto observed that many young men on his case load from various backgrounds lacked a father’s presence in their lives. This father deprivation led to a wide range of social ills. Otto developed diversion and preventive programs such as Role Model Summit, Learn to Affirm Youth Celebration and many others. In this calling he was awarded a plethora of awards; The NAACP youth services award, The Northern Black Cultural Awareness Society Community Service Award, a mayoral proclamation naming May 27th, 2010, Pastor Otto Kelly Day, just to name a few. He still serves as Religious Service Coordinator for Washoe County Department of Juvenile Service. For nine years Otto served as executive director for the crisis pregnancy center(s) in the greater Reno area. It is here where he further witnessed firsthand the desperate need for fathers. 70% of the young men coming through the doors of the Centers had no or very little contact with their biological dad. As a result, the probability of them witnessing positive fathering was very low. Because of this, he founded Dad-E Academy. Otto is actively involved in a global men’s movement called Christian Men’s Network, as well as Global Fatherhood Initiative. Otto has been married to his wife Joy for 34 years. He has two adult sons Alonzo (wife Alyssa) and Dominic.
Scriptures and Key Points:
- As Executive Director of a Crisis Pregnancy Center, God told him:
○ “Get to the men.”
○ You gotta love on these knuckleheads.
○ We were helping men recognize their responsibility.
○ 70% of the men that came through the doors had little connection with their biological dad.
- I was a good dad because I was seeing what these other guys needed out there.
- God is personal, not far seated and looking down on you.
- “Since I don’t have a dad and You could have prevented it, You are my dad.” Beginning of Otto’s conversion.
- God became the only Father I ever knew.
- God put individuals in my life and father me through them.
- He helped me recognize that I’m His son. And because I’m His son, I can teach other sons how to be sons.
- When you teach men how to be sons, you can’t help but translate that into Biblical masculinity.
- Jesus’ claim to fame was not that He was a powerful man, but that He was God’s son.
- When we allow ourselves to be submissive to the Father, we are able to be transformed into His sons so He can live His life through us.
- When the young ladies came through the doors and saw a masculine figure look at them with the eyes of a father’s love, it changed everything.
- They were looking for judgment and all they found was love.
- Jesus would adjust his vocabulary according to his audience so they could understand.
- If you live John 3:16, then they’ll see it and ask questions.
- “I want to live my life in a way that demands explanation.”
- “Everywhere I go, I smell like my Dad. So that means I’m going to have an effect.”
- We make it complicated, it is real simple.
- God said, “I can be tangible”
- “Through Christ my Heavenly Father is looking at me saying, “that’s my boy!”- Doug Stringer
- God said:
○ You’re My Son;
○ I love You;
○ I am pleased with You
- The first thing that happens when Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert is the enemy attacks his identity. “If you are the son of God?” That is what happens with most men.
- We are under the assumption that if we perform a certain way, then okay you are pleased with me. No, he looks at you before you do anything and says, I’m pleased with you because you are my son.
- “You don’t look at the compensatory facade on the outside. You’re digging for the root that causes these outward manifestations. I always tell people drug addictions, alcoholism, other things, promiscuity are external expressions of something going on inside.” -Doug Stringer
- “Three things that I feel the father wants to give to us: perspective, peace and purpose.”- Doug Stringer
- “We are supposed to be polite, we are supposed to be patient, we are supposed to have long suffering. We are supposed to do those things. Somehow we think because there is a position we hold dear that somehow we can throw those fruits of the Spirit out of the window and we can not do that.”
- We get more passionate about a situation than we do about our Father and then that situation becomes an idol.
- “In whatever circumstance happens, He maneuvers it, He does it. When we give Him the reigns and submit ourselves to His lordship. It’s amazing! It’s powerfully simple because it is. My will in each circumstance is of no significance. It’s His will.” Otto
- “The ultimate definition of sonship is submitting myself in every circumstance to Him so that He can live His life through me.”
- When the love of God is in the room, when the love of God is in the atmosphere, you can try as much as you want. You can not ignore the love of God.
- “Sons and daughters of God, when we submit ourselves to the Spirit of God, it doesn’t matter what is harassing people. When they see Him, what they’ve been wanting, what they’ve been longing for. No demon in hell can keep them away. Just die to yourself.”
- Keep your eyes fixed on the one who gave you the passion to begin with.
- The key is not giving up.
- Create an atmosphere of God’s Presence and He will do the work.
- People what to be affirmed, they want significance and an identity.
- “The process is part of the promise.”- Doug Stringer
- You don’t have to give up on your dreams, just because something has knocked the wind out of us. God is a God of redemption.
○ Recognize that God gave you the passion in your and He will help see it through, if you keep your eyes on Him.
○ Keep your eyes focused and allow that be the magnet to your dreams.
- Sometimes God takes us through a wilderness process for God to do a work in us to get to the promise.
- “Every life experience can become a life lesson that becomes part of my life message.” Doug Stringer
- “You are not the man you used to be, and can’t do all you used to do, but you are still God’s man today and will be His man tomorrow.” TD Jakes
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NKJV Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
Colossians 1:12-13 NKJV “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,”
Matthew 3:16-17 NKJV “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 4:1-3 NKJV “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
Romans 8:17 NKJV “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV “pray without ceasing,”
Mark 5:1-20 NKJV “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.”
Romans 8:28 NKJV And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
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