Branches Hang Low

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Branches Hang Low

Branches hang so low, icy fingers crawl across the snow when the wind blows. – srj

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Who Are You Watching?

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Saul was very angry;this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

1 Samuel 18:8-9

     Who is keeping a close eye on you, would probably be a more comfortable question for you to answer. However, who are you keeping an eye on, is a question that may make you feel a little more uncomfortable. It is easier for us to locate the enemy who is against us than it is to look at ourselves and admit that we are or have been the enemy some time in our lives. We would like to think we are like David, anointed by God to run a kingdom, but if in fact, we discover we are Saul, we have to ask ourselves a question. Why am I keeping an eye on David?

     If we are watching someone closely and we are not FBI agents, private investigators, or members of the CIA, we may be jealous, and that should alarm us because jealousy is not fleeting or innocuous.  Jealousy is an uncontrollable, raging beast who has an insatiable desire to destroy David. David is the person we keep tabs on to make sure he does not replace us or get something we feel we are entitled to.

     David, in the bible, is the young shepherd and musician from Bethlehem.  Unbeknownst to Saul, God told Samuel to anoint David, so David could eventually replace Saul as the next king of Israel.  Saul, not privy to this information, was so pleased with David that he made him his armor bearer (1 Samuel 16:21-22). Shortly thereafter, David killed a giant Philistine named Goliath, so Saul asked David to lead his army. David proved to be an amazing warrior who defeated the Philistines.  As such, he was beloved by the people and Saul became jealous (18:8).  In fact, Saul was so jealous that he plotted to kill David several times (19:1-15).

  We have to ask ourselves if we are like Saul. Now, we may or may not have plotted to kill anyone, but what are our thoughts toward people who are well-liked and admired?  After awhile, do we tire of hearing their good news, and do we rejoice secretly when we hear something has gone wrong in their lives? If we get enjoyment out of someone else’s discontent, the raging beast inside of us needs to be annihilated. Even when it is not in active pursuit of someone, it’s dangerous.  It never rests. It’s a killer, and as long as we posses it, we are its prey. And as long as it preys on us, we will never have peace.

     It’s impossible to have peace if we constantly worry about what someone else is doing.  Time spent stalking and pursuing someone else can be made more valuable if we use that same amount of time to improve our own character.  When we stop prowling around for people on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we will be forced to function within our physical surroundings. We may even become more productive and introspective.

     Perhaps you now have a modern day picture of David and Saul.  If  you are Saul, and “your David” has become clear to you, pray.  Don’t waste your time chasing David. Besides, David will eventually have his own struggles. We all do, but jealousy only wants you to see the anointing on David’s life,  but you don’t have to be jealous of that anointing.  God isn’t low on stock.

     God wants to anoint us, too, but sometimes we are so preoccupied with someone else’s life that we fail to see what God is trying to do in our lives. We don’t have to compare victories and defeats, and we can be genuinely happy for someone else when they receive a blessing.  It is wonderful that God blesses other people, and do you know what is also wonderful?  You do not have to compete for God’s blessings.  They never run out.

     Dear God, teach me to focus on You and better my life through You.  When I have the desire to hunt and prowl around, direct me to Your word. Also, when You bless and anoint others, fill my heart with joy for them.  Teach me to be a blessing to others as you continually bless me.  Amen.

By Shawn R. Jones

 website: www.shawnrjones.com

Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames   http://t.co/BxiNwWRG

and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain, 

http://www.amazon.com/Womb-Rain-New-Womens-Voices/dp/1599242699/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337717218&sr=8-1

It Rains Cold

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It Rains Cold

 

We take a long drive

to the shore

and collect details

of our life like seashells.

We find everything on

the same beach.

Cracked or whole,

we place them in the bucket,

knowing not to build a castle

out of sand and slime.

 

Shawn R. Jones, 2014

 

 website: www.shawnrjones.com

Author of the devotional book, Pictures in Glass Frames   http://t.co/BxiNwWRG

and the poetry chapbook, Womb Rain, 

http://www.amazon.com/Womb-Rain-New-Womens-Voices/dp/1599242699/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337717218&sr=8-1

Today’s Workout

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Hey Lexa!  lexa’s journal

I have been so inspired by you that I have decided to share my daily workout.  Now it will not be as detailed as yours because I am new at sharing my workout publicly.  As you know, I am a dancer.  I don’t use all that fancy equipment.  I just dance.  My body is my equipment and my machine 🙂 I feel weird using equipment, but maybe one day I will appreciate its benefits.  

So…today, I did Hip Hop Abs(Shawn T).  It is a 35min workout.  I was throwing around 2lb weights like they were cotton, which means I should use 3lb weights, but… we will see how I feel tomorrow.  I seldom use weights, but they say you should once you are in your 40s.  Anyway after that I worked on my dance routine for my advanced jazz class.  I teach ages 9-13.  They are amazing young dancers.  I sweat a lot when I am choreographing, making sure my moves hit the accents in the music.  I am a little obsessive about it.

Well, this is my first time writing about my workout on my blog, so it is short.  I will write more next time. Tomorrow morning after my “God Time” I am going to do “Sweating in the Spirit” with Donna Richardson Joyner! After that I will work on my dance routine for about 30 min.  I workout for an hour or more a day 6 days a week. I take Sundays off.

To my followers: If you want to exercise, but you do not know where to begin, you can just turn on your favorite music and dance. It doesn’t even matter if you can’t keep a beat–just move 🙂  And if you do not like to dance, just walk.  Whatever you do, consult your doctor first.  Blessings to you!

Please do not call it a cookie!!!

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Well, what can I say?  You know that old saying, “You win some, you lose some?” I followed this recipe and made these cookies, and my sweet tooth was not satisfied at all!  I have to admit, I did love the texture, though, and I can’t seem to stop eating them. Now, I have to warn you, I am the Sugar Queen, and these cookies just did not do it for me or my husband.  He twisted his face like I had given him some mud.  I said, “How about I get you some tea with a lot of honey?”  He thought that was a good idea. It helped a little.

Let me tell you what was great about the cookies.  They filled me up, but not in an uncomfortable sort of way.  And biting into the cookie is like biting into a cushion, just as bland too, I would imagine.  I am biting into one now, so I can describe it to you. Well, yuk!  I just hate raisins!  I put those in for my husband because he is a raisin junkie.  Let me pluck the raisins out and take another bite.  Yeah…it’s not sweet, but it is so soft that it is just down right pleasurable.  If I was not trying to satisfy my sweet tooth, I would say this was a great snack to have with tea.

But please, please…do not call it a cookie!

I think I will respectfully give this treat an 8 (out of 10), but if you insist on calling it a cookie, I will have to give it a 2.

Hey, this was kind of fun.  Maybe I will make something else this week, and blog about it.

My husband and I are going to watch The Butler, and I think I will snuggle up next to him, and eat another one of these um…oatmeal cushion treats.  Yeah, that works.  Oatmeal cushion treats…

Janelle Monae

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My daughter took this photo of Janelle Monae last night.

Last night, I took a trip to my hometown, Atlantic City, NJ.  My daughter drove and it was a good thing because I haven’t been there in awhile.  Well, actually I was there a couple years ago, but my husband was driving and I wasn’t paying attention.  So much has changed in that city since my youth.  We were on our way to the Borgota to see Janelle Monae! I was convinced that you had to take the White Horse Pike to get there, but now you can get there from the expressway.  My daughter wheeled her truck through a long tunnel that seemed to be playing music and then around these twists and turns in the dark to an area that reminded me nothing of Atlantic City.  The Borgota seemed to sit on its own little island.  I thought of so many things as she drove, like how easy it must be to get caught up in the “magic” of Atlantic City.  The lights, the water, and the musical tunnel coupled with the rings, and dings and screams of the slot machines reel you in. You feel like you are a part of something big!  I understand how easy it must be to fall into the trap, but even though I had been away from that city for some time, I will never forget the despair I saw on the faces of gambling addicts as they lost their money, their homes, and their families. The streets may have changed, but the people were the same.

I cannot deny that I enjoyed the fantasy for a moment, but I knew not to stop, lest I get caught up like I once did many years ago.  Besides, I was on my way to see Janelle Monae! Janelle “Amazing” Monae!  She rocked the house!  And she rocks it with such class and talent!  There is nothing cheap or dirty about her act. When she came out, her diverse audience screamed and danced and sang as she worked that stage with a combination of Micheal Jackson, Elvis Presley, and James Brown moves! Of course she had original moves of her own.  She is a 5 ft 1 beast! Singing brilliantly and beautifully, she bellows her message of peace, self-love, and unity.  I would definitely pay to see her again! I am so grateful to my daughter for introducing me to this amazing young artist! May God bless Janelle Monae!

After the show, we stayed at the Sheraton with my daughter’s college buddy and her mother.  We all enjoyed the show and had a great talk in the morning, just laughing.  The generational gap is just hilarious in and of itself. We(mothers) thought it was so funny that our daughter’s consider us “old.”  I am sure they also think we are “politically incorrect” when we speak, but I must say, the four of us had a wonderful time.  We tried to school our daughters on some things I am sure they will reflect back on one day, even though they will probably never admit it to us.  At that time, I am sure they will think we are over a few hills and mountains!

The four of us enjoyed the show. Janelle Monae appeals to a broad audience.

Oh here is a video of Janelle Monae: