Looking For Unity

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. #MLK
We do have a “skin” (racism in every direction) problem in our nation, but the biggest problem we have is a sin problem. I see so many good people struggling today with feelings of racism, who I know for certain you are not racist at all. Make no mistake there is evil at work below the surface. There is a spirit of division and hate driving this #americandivide. WE, white, black, red, yellow or any other you would describe yourself as, WE believers, have got to be the church; we have got to be light. If you call yourself a believer, you have an obligation to act like it. Stop spreading division on your social media and personally and from our pulpits. Our adversary, the devil is good enough at perpetrating his will without the church helping him. We need to pray for unity in our nation. Our nation will never see revival until it shows up in the church, and revival only shows up in #unity. Please, stop throwing fuel on the fire of hate! Pray for the families that have lost their love ones in the past week through this violence. Justice is never served through hate…..

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another John 13:34-35


Thin Blue Line

Every day a law-enforcement officer gets up, puts on their uniform and performs their duties. Their duties range between the spectrum of protecting and serving. Now this sounds like a simple enough task, but each officer has to determine when it is time to serve and when it is time to protect.

There are certainly some that make bad decisions; even some who are themselves bad people, but the other 99.9% willingly put their lives on the line every single day. My family has been involved in LE for well over 20 years; so I understand the stress that they go through on a daily basis.

Sure, most of the interaction the general public have with LE is traffic violations or some other “daily enforcement” type of protection that we certainly do not enjoy. But the fact is they are there protecting lives even when they stop me for speeding. (Over 40,000 will die this year from vehicle crashes)

So when we become frustrated with them for doing their job, remember their job also consist of, when a maniac wielding a gun shows up, they will with great courage and valor, stand between you and the crazy with the weapon. While we run from the danger they run towards the danger.

Just this morning, in my home town, we had officers shot while doing their daily job. (Please stop and pray for them and their families) My brother/my best friend H.R. Lowery, got up this morning, put on his uniform (as he has for over 20 years) and in doing so he made you a promise and he made me a promise, that if his life is needed, he will lay it down in the protection of our community.

Law-enforcement officers should not be targets of hatred and bias or political whipping “dogs”, they should be honored, thanked and prayed for daily. Take a moment each morning and pray for your LE officers. Pray for their safety, and pray for them to have wisdom.

God bless our great nation and those who protect it.

Do you desire me Or tolerate me?

I will get what I need, one way or another

Desire- to strongly wish for or want (something). If you have children, have you ever had your child act out in a negative way, just to get your attention? (picture the cartoon clip of Stewie Griffin, mom, mom, mom, mother, Lois….what?? Hi) He didn’t need his mothers attention, he desired his mothers attention. Or maybe if you have a pet (dog), have you ever had that pet come up and continually drop their toy at your feet, pick it up, look at you, drop the toy at your feet again? It is the nature of living things, rather people or animal, want to be desired in a relationship rather than tolerated.

I can remember as a small child, my brother and sister (both older and by default, making me the baby and obviously my parents favorite:) they would quite often meet the end of a switch, paddle, belt (honestly whatever my 5 foot tall mother could get in her hand. No, she wasn’t abusive) and she would tell them, “I am doing this because I love you…” Well, I surmised that if I wasn’t getting corrected or disciplined at the time, that she did not love me. So, as my siblings were getting their almost daily “correction”, I told my mom, “you never correct me; you don’t love me….” Well, without even missing a beat, she quickly picked me up, and applied the pressure of the object she was holding, against my backside and said, “now, do you think I love you.” I learned a valuable lesson that day!!!!!!! Love can be present without the pain:)

Current day, one of the tasks of the job that I hold, I am often asked to counsel individuals for a number of reasons ranging from, well you name it….. And I am finding out that in probably 90% of all cases, at the bottom or the root of the issue, is a person in any relationship wanting to be desired, not just tolerated.

I am learning, that a lot of infidelities begin because of a lack of desire from their spouse. (Now, I am not saying that if you are not getting the attention you deserve from your husband or wife, that you have an excuse to have an illicit affair), but what I am saying is a lot of the infidelities could be stopped before they ever get started, by simply showing your spouse that you do not just tolerate them, but you desire them. (And Not just physically)

I have watched as really good hearted children, go down the wrong path, seeking attention from their parents, (that not on purpose), but having to work two and three jobs to support the family; they just did not have enough time to spend the much needed time with their children. (Don’t judge them, there aren’t enough hours in a day, for single moms working two jobs or a dad with a sick wife..) So we find ourselves, in the quandary of supporting our family financially vs. supporting them emotionally. We want to let our children know, we do not just tolerate you, but we celebrate you.

I guess what I am saying today, in any relationship, rather your spouse, your bff, or your pet, make sure that in every relationship, they know that you have a desire for them to be in your life. That you do not just tolerate them out of [have to], but you desire them out of [want to].

Make a concerted effort today to write a note, send flowers, or just time at a swing set (even 5 minutes) write on the mirror with your lipstick before you leave for work. Sometimes, it is the smallest, non-time-consuming actions that mean the most.
Your time will always matter more than your money.

Once Upon a Mother’s Day

How do you spend Mother’s Day when you’ve lost your mom? This is a question I thought I would never have to answer, but life often turns in directions that we never think it will. On this Mother’s Day weekend I am only able to go through pictures (not enough) and memories of my mom, as I lost her, along with my niece, in a car accident a few years ago. My mom was a sweet and gentle soul. This is not just the biased opinion of a son who is reminiscing, but to all those who knew my mom, they would mostly agree.

If I could have my mom back on this Mother’s Day, The first thing I would do obviously is squeeze her until her little frame would disappear within my arms, and I would take lots and lots of pictures. See here is the thing about life, once you lose someone you can’t do it over. So I would take so many pictures and document in anyway that I could the life that we are living. Did we always get along? Absolutely not, But there was never a moment that I questioned, does my mom love me…and will my mom be at my side through my lowest valley or my highest mountain…

Have you ever noticed that moms have this amazing, almost magical way of how to blow on a cut, after applying an antiseptic, in just the right way to make the pain completely stop, as her breath hits your wound…. Well mine could and my mom also had a smile that would erase a bad day. Isn’t it amazing how just the look on her face can bring peace, in the worst of crisis… I can remember one time as I was in a school play and my big part (okay it really wasn’t that big of a part) was about to take place. I was a nervous wreck and then I found my mom looking at me in the audience and after a small wink and big smile, I knew that I could do this.

If this were my last Mother’s Day with my mom, which it possibly could be for some this year, I would not worry about the expense it cost to see her smile, I would not worry about all of the obligations that I feel I had to attend to…. I would simply spend time with my mom. After all it really never was the expense of the gift, as long as I had something just to show, mom I love you on this Mother’s Day.

The last time I was able to spend time with my mom, she had been having health issues (had to have a colostomy bag), but she still wanted me to bring my motorcycle (a Honda shadow spirit) to her house, to ride her on that last Saturday afternoon. I’m so thankful for that moment as she held me tightly so she would not fall off, although we never got above 45 miles per hour, because she said that was too fast…..

So remember on this Mother’s Day, if your mother is still with you, do whatever it takes to make her smile, forget the differences that you have had with her and her with you and just make her smile.
Oh yeah, and take lots of pictures because one day you will be like me, going through pictures, faded and few, that you hold onto as one of the most precious possessions that you have, but you never have enough. (Take pics with your mom and you together, I don’t have many and it saddens me) If she calls you and ask you to get in your vehicle and drive 35 miles just to bring her some whoppers (chocolate coated malt candy) do it. Because there will be a day that you would buy her every whopper in the world.

When you tell your once upon a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY tale, let it be with no regrets.
Now go hug your mom you filthy animal!!

JW Jones

Myth Busters

I’m so thankful for the men and women of God who have been a solid rock in my life. No matter what tragedy I might have been facing, they were there for me and very emotionally strong. It wasn’t until I began pastoring [although I am a pastor’s son] that I realized that pastors have feelings too. Oh, I have seen my parents wounded and hurting, but it was a bit surreal because I was a kid. So many times we forget that although they are the shepherds the Lord has placed over us, they also have feelings and emotions the same as anyone else. They are so strong emotionally for us in our times of loss, grief and suffering that we sometimes forget when they are preaching the funerals of our family members and church members, that they are also burying some of their closest friends. Yet they console us during our emotional outcries, but they can make none nor shed a tear. Why? Because we expect them to be completely involved in our crisis, yet somehow distant from it.

When our children make a mistake, they are so quick to come alongside us to defend our family and declare mercy, but when their children make the same mistakes, we hold them to higher standards and declare judgment. We say things like, “After all, he is the pastor and should be above reproach.” When we are home on a Sunday with an illness, he is in the pulpit and at times in extreme pain. Yet we expect him to hit a homerun and if he does not hit a homerun with his sermon, he must not have prayed enough this week.

He trains up young men and women into full-time ministry, and pours everything he knows and has into making them successful, only for them to move on to bigger and better things. He is happy for them, but at the same time, sad. Your pastor is expected to never make a mistake. The only problem with that scenario is that he is as human as anyone else and is scrutinized on a daily basis. So, I say all of this today, not to give pastors an excuse to be unprepared on Sunday mornings or emotionally unavailable for you during your crisis, but to remind everyone that although they are called and anointed of God, they are still as much human as anyone else. Pray for your pastor and his family daily. Our adversary likes nothing better than to see division in the church and a wounded shepherd. I have also learned most problems between pastors and laity are simply misunderstandings.

P.S. Communication is the best remedy for church problems.

JW Jones

Lead Pastor