Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Unlikely Mother

I thought I would re-post this in honor of the upcoming Mother's Day.
From 05/08/10:

Mother's day has always been an odd day for me. I was once grateful that I did not have to feel obligated to pay respect to someone with whom I would never have respect. As an adult, I would stay away from church on Mother's Day as it seemed to be a reminder of what I thought I did not have, and worse yet, what I thought I would never become.

About a month ago I was asked to write a poem about mothers to recite at church on Mother's Day. I stared blankly into the face of someone whom I thought, quite frankly, had lost her ever loving mind. I wanted to turn her down on the spot, but she said she really thought the Lord wanted her to ask me. How do you put the brakes on that one? I said I would think about it, and eventually I agreed to do it.

When I began to think about Mother's Day and what it was and was not to me, I realized I was not the only one who at one time or another painfully endured the hoopla placed around mothers on the day the USA calls Mother's Day. I looked to Isaiah 54, my most cherished passage of scripture, and all I can say from here is girlfriend, if you think you do not have a mother look around you, look at your past and how you got where you are today; and, if you think you are not a mother, think again.

The Unlikely Mother

She stands alone with none to call her own
barren, unmarried, or her moment has passed on
whatever the case, she is crowned with grace
for Isaiah says many will fill her empty place.

She always opens her door to just one more
if there is nowhere else, they can sleep on the floor
her words are as strong as the confidence she carries
not for a moment being thought of as just ordinary
she is a wisdom provider, a mercy giver, a Christ lover
she is blessed among women, she is the unlikely mother.

She may not have given birth to her child
but she will stand in the gap to keep them undefiled
she cradles her children with unconditional love
because her heart understands they were sent from above
she is a Truth seeker, a Word speaker, a secret keeper
maybe even a cover
but above all else, she is the unlikely mother.

She has enriched my own life
so I will reach out to another
and embrace the responsibilities
of the unlikely mother.

Today I am thankful for the mothers I have had through the years. I am most thankful for the woman who adopted me as an adult...after years of being forgotten by fosters and such, she loved me enough to call me her own. I only pray I can live up to the standards I've been shown.

Monday, February 27, 2012


The books of Kings have always thrilled me, and yet leaves lingering questions in my own mind of how long I will be able to serve the Lord as He has called. In Kings (both books) the times of the king's reigns are listed, some reigned many years, but many reigned just a few years. The reasoning behind the length of their reigns were: they didn't follow the Lords commandments; they didn't follow the Lord like David did; they were more wicked than any other king before them; and, still others, all that was stated was the year or two they reigned. That's a sobering thought. How long will our reign be? Will there be any more said of us other than the year or two we served?
1 Kings 3:3 says "now Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places." Wow, he loved the Lord...except. I was researching the gods to which Solomon sacrificed, and was intrigued by the name of one god, Molek. The Hebrew origin of the word was a combination of "mlk" meaning king, and "boshet" meaning shame (Holman Bible Dictionary paraphrased) ironic.
I recently had a dream where I was fighting demonic beings, probably from studying these gods. Two of them explained how they worked, starting at the feet where we would feel the most pain being bothered by this idol until we tolerated it enough to allow it to move on up. They said by the time they reached the head, they would no longer be wrestled with and the people would even be enticed by the feeling of sin, because sin had so engulfed the people that anything is okay. I continued to fight them the whole time, and tried to wake up others around me, but they wouldn't get up. There was so much more to the dream, but when I woke up, I realized how true it was. Are we any different than Solomon...loving the Lord...except?
One more thing and I'll hop off my soap box. Jeroboam was king after Solomon, he was given 11 of the 12 tribes of Israel to reign over, all he had to do was serve the Lord whole hearted; but, he was so afraid of losing his people that he set up gods for them, made priests that had no business being priests. It was a free for all, no rules, a do what you want sort of thing. It was another downfall for the people of Israel. It was fixable with just the turning of the heart back toward the Lord.
I don't know about you, but if I lose all my friends, I will serve Him without exception. It won't be pretty, and people will hate me for speaking the truth, but what have I to lose? In the end, maybe I'll have a word or two beyond my years of serving. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012


What is leadership if we do not listen to others, we do not strengthen others, and we do not have faith in who the Lord has called us to be?
Listen to people. I was talking to someone recently who brought up a current situation I am dealing with at home and the person walked away from me while I was speaking. I understand this person doesn't appreciate negative speak, but the situation wasn't positive and was brought up anyway, and I was not afforded the decency of being heard to completion. When we truly listen to what people are saying, we have the ability to see beyond words, and recognize the person's own area of struggle. If it were drugs brought into my home (which it was NOT), and I were battling temptation because of my leader, I would rightfully expect you to hear me out and pray for me as I would hit my knees just as fast for you. We all go through tough times, and as I have said before, there is no shame in struggling. The shame comes when we have to stand before our leader with evidence of a prayer-less battle lost unnecessarily. When you walk away as a leader, you are rejecting their words and shaming the person. Listen to the pain beyond the words.
Pray for's where our strength comes from. Moses didn't have the strength to keep his arms up to win the battle in Exodus 17; he had two others to hold up his arms. When his arms were not up, the battle was lost; when his arms were up, the battle was won. We don't fight battles as they were back then; but, the spiritual fight will continue on until the day He returns or until we meet Him face to face. Our arms may fall & it may seem we are losing the battle, but we are winners with others at our side.
Strengthen one another. When I think of mentoring, I think of strengthening. My heart weeps because of what I see in leadership. I see a people so terrified of losing position. To be honest, I was there not long ago. While I didn't lose position, I walked away from positions I held in obedience to what I believe was the Lord's leading. Now I am searching for accountability for myself, and looking for ways I can be the leader He has called me to be. It's not easy. People will say "I will be your mentor" but they don't mean it, though in my heart I wish they did. I am fully aware of how flippantly people will say something and not truly mean it. It's a sad state we are in when our words cannot be steadfast.
Larry Burkett, in his book Business by the Book, stresses the importance of leadership. He states "the key to success of any organization is found in two key elements; the leadership and the people..." (p. 103). With the proper people in place, regardless of the inevitable human imperfections, an organization cannot help but flourish. The Bible states "plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Psalm 15:22). When proper leadership is in place, the integrity of any organization will remain steadfast. We don't have to fight for position, and if we are where we should be, we should bring others along side, and even press them to achieve more. I want this not just when the time comes for me to open Destiny's Refuge, but NOW; and, I want to see it in the leaders around me.
I struggle so much to try and fit, but realize so clearly now that I am simply a misfit. I don't fit into other's idea of perfection, I may not have a brilliant mind, but I am me...I do my best to live right, to be an example for others...and what is that if not leadership? I came across something I wrote once: "at times I wonder if I am potentially not skilled enough to be a strong leader, or not qualified enough to be a manager; however, I have come to realize that for me, it is best to be both [not qualified 'enough' & not skilled 'enough']." Because of Christ, we are sufficient; and, I know that deep within each of us is the knowledge that God is intimately involved in our lives. We can turn and attempt to become self sufficient, or we can let go and allow the grace of God to be sufficient for us. The Bible says "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Cor 12:9).
Let's be leaders by listening, strengthening, and KNOWING who we are in Him!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prayer & His Presence

I am not a prayer warrior, in fact, it scares me to no end when asked to pray for people and/or in front of people. I had to do it for years as church leadership & it terrified me every single Sunday. It's not that I don't pray...I have a very active prayer life and I LOVE to pray...when I'm alone. Last night I was invited to a gathering of intercessors. There is nothing like being in a room full of intercessors, it's powerful, it's amazing, and to me, it's also intimidating. When it became my turn to pray, after hearing other people flow with incredibly powerful words, my heart raced, my mind went blank, and I'm sure I turned beat red, but I plowed through, quite void of any eloquence I'm sure. One thing I know though, my prayer reached the heart of God just as the prayers of others did.
This morning I was reading 1 Kings 8, and thinking how appropriate this chapter was after last night. Solomon had just finished building the temple and I LOVE how The Bible says "It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord." (1Kings 8:10-11 NASB) Wow! We felt a sense of His presence last night, but it didn't knock us over. I often find myself asking the Lord if it is okay to claim a scripture verse for myself even though I know the audience for whom it was intended. I know the Word is not restricted by time, and what was written even in Solomon's day holds no bounds, but I always like to ask. Today was no different. I understand He lives within us...our body is His temple, but I still want His glory to reside in my church...even so much that His people can't stand for the glory of His presence. Is that too much to ask for this day? I think not.
Well, Solomon had to take over praying, 'cause the priests were...floored. (haa haa) Read his prayer if you have a minute, it's amazing, and prophetic (seeing beyond the rest Israel was experiencing at the time & knowing the winds of change would blow as they historically had). The Lord heard Solomon's prayer, and I know full well He also hears our hearts cry.
That's all. I want Him in the midst of my prayer & my house (the one I live in and the one I gather with His people to worship in). So, in the words of Solomon, I pray "that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires." (1 Kings 8:58-59)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Split Pea Soup aka Pea Green Soup

This has got to be the strangest post I've ever done...and slightly gross, so if you have a weak stomach, don't continue
I'd post a picture, but there are some things people just don't want to see *ahem* like green soup. As kids, we called it Pea Green Soup, and laughed our heads off...'cause we were kids, but honestly, it still makes me giggle, and talking with my sister on the phone, the laughter was evident she remembered too. We used to eat it fairly often as kids, and we loved it, until, one dreadful day when we watched my brother Jeff projectile vomit the stuff. We all screamed and then laughed our heads off in true Jones fashion (that was our last name back then). I remember that day being the last day I ate the stuff...until recently.
Sunday was the birth date of my brother Jeff (who passed away this past May). Without fail, when I think of split pea soup (which is not often), I think of Jeff. Sunday, my sister, of all days, made split pea soup. My sister doesn't have many memories of our childhood, and we both know that, so when something happens that points back to childhood, I ask her if she remembers when.... Of course, this time was no different and we laughed and laughed, then she said "you are so gross!" I am! But, I'm not the one who subconsciously made Pea Green Soup on our brother's birthday!
So...there's my random rambling void of rhyme and reason.
Hope you enjoyed. ha ha

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Sister's Wedding Weekend

She's so lovely!

The picture was stolen from my niece’s pictures on facebook. Of all the pictures I’ve seen so far, this was the best.

My sister, aka “sisterface” is one of my favorite people on the planet. I can’t function when she is mad at me (it’s been a long time, but oh yes, she’s been mad at me…we’re sisters…duh). As children, we had our wars…black eye, shaved head, tattle-tailing, and “I’ll say you ate your oatmeal, but you have to obey my every demand for a week”. I was the little sister, she always took care of me…she hated me for it; but, in her way, loved me in spite of it. Today when we’re together, we’re just stupid crazy and always have a great time.
I think it was about this time last year when she asked me to officiate her wedding. Of course I couldn’t turn my sisterface down. Four weeks of severe anxiety led up to the wedding. It wasn’t just the wedding though, I had visitors in just days before my family was to come in, my former roommate of 3 years was getting married and I was helping with the shower one weekend and driving across town the next weekend for the wedding. I also had a huge church transition during that time, ministry meetings, and had a new roommate move in and was trying to reorganize my house to accommodate her. Whew! I hadn’t lost so much sleep since college. And to top it all off…my boss was the groom!
The day of the wedding came, I closed up the shop early to rehearse (not that it helped) and get ready. Sisterface asked me to use her Bible during the ceremony. The Bible I gave her when I was about 15, on fire for the Lord, and deeply desiring her to know Christ. She did accept Christ, and to this day she reads that Bible almost every morning (I say almost ‘cause it didn’t make it to her suitcase for her honeymoon *ahem-hee hee*). It was fun to read the inscription I wrote to her and see the verses I highlighted…made me choke back some tears. That’s where the sentiment ended. Sisterface and Bossman decided to pull a prank, and at the part…you know the part…“should anyone show just cause…”had everyone stand and clear their throat...nice. Freaked me out…my mind went blank…I could hardly regain composure, but should I have expected anything less? Can’t wait to see the video, it should be filled with many “stop it”, “behave”, and “just say it right” phrases. Whew, had fun, glad it’s over! They are on their honeymoon now…yay. J
It was nice to get to see some of the family again. My brother Jeff’s family stayed with me (all that was missing was Jeff…and he was certainly missed). My brother Vincent stayed with me as well. I had not seen him since I was about 14 I think. It was nice to see him again after so long.
The weekend closed with a trip downtown with my nieces, ‘cause downtown is my happy place. J My niece Brandi made such a profound statement that night. She talked about how wonderful it was to watch & hear people delight in the surroundings to which we’ve become so accustomed. She said it gave her a whole new appreciation for the things we see every day. How right she is.
May you find beauty in your “everyday” surroundings.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meeting the Fam

So this is the weekend I got to meet the family I never knew I had. I took a road trip to Oklahoma City, OK. Friday morning came and I was as nervous as could's not like I haven't ever traveled and met pure strangers, a person or two or ten that have shown themselves friendly by speaking a word or two over twitter, blogging, or facebook. This time it's different. These are a people who are most certainly friendly and loving and willing to meet, and though they were friendly, they were strangers...or were they?

Forty years ago, a series of events took place (events in which no one really has the full truth) which separated me from my biological family; not just me, but my entire family was separated. These past forty years have been a struggle for some of my family members who believed they could have done something more to keep us all together. It's not their fault, everyone was doing all they knew to do. They would search for the next 40 years for us and we had no idea there was anyone to look in the first place.

One family member went out of the way to search for the family, and eventually came up with a name, called that person and was met with love and open arms. So, we are all over the next couple weeks, headed to OK to meet the family. This weekend is my time. :)

I left at 4 on Friday and got into OK around 2:30am. The ride didn't seem so long because a long time friend of mine came with last minute to see her family out here. The conversation was great and the trip wasn't so bad. Auntie Jaye met me at 5:15. I could hardly sleep, and she didn't sleep at all. She was at the hotel at 4:15 waiting for 5am so she could meet me. She's such a doll.

Auntie and I kept saying the same was the funniest thing...we laughed so much. Even personality wise. She waited until she got a good feel for me and who I was before she really opened up. She loves the Lord! As time passed, He was just about all she would talk that!

Auntie took me to meet Uncle Frank and Uncle Martin. They were outside Uncle Franks house and looked at me thinking I looked like family but not knowing who I was. :) Good times!
This is Uncle Frank, Auntie Jaye, and Uncle Martin. And below is me and Uncle Frank, and Uncle Frank back in the day...kinda looks like Richard

So that was my journey for yesterday...had a blast. Today I will be attending a Pentecostal church with another member of the family I have not yet met...kinda excited...kinda. ;) More to come.