Posts Tagged ‘Charlie “T” Jones

04
Jun
15

We’re All Doing Time Just in Different Places

the-broken-chain1Every speaker dreams of a captive audience, but this past Tuesday I got the experience of a lifetime. I spoke to a group of prison inmates who were graduating from a LIFE course which is a prison ministry started years ago by Pennsylvania Governor George Leader. And while they may not be moving anywhere physically, they desired to move spiritually, which is the only journey in life that truly matters.

When I found out that they were “lifers” I was immediately perplexed by the juxtaposition before me. Here were bright, smiling faces looking at me ready to learn and grow, yet the reality was they were sentenced to a life behind bars as a consequence of their actions.  Being a good publisher, I brought them a book as a graduation gift: It’s All About Jesus: Three Bestselling Authors, One Dynamic Savior. The lead volunteer asked me to talk a little about the book and for the next five minutes I emotionally shared the content. Now I’ve had to take a moment behind the microphone before, but this was different. There was no way I was going to regain composure nor did I want to. Composure was not what was appropriate; vulnerability was.

I assured them my tears came from a place of extreme gratitude and that I was profoundly humbled to share the book my father and I worked on just before his passing in 2008. My father had spent his life sharing with so many disadvantaged people from all walks of life that their lives truly had a purpose, that they were special and loved, and that all their past mistakes and pain could be washed away. I imagined him beside me as each of the inmates proudly came forward to accept their certificate and be recognized.

Someone once asked my father how he could adjust from speaking to pastors in the morning to prisons in the afternoon to sales executives at night. His reply: “It’s easy; we’re all doing time just in different places.” The truth of this was never more clear to me than it was that night. I saw with my own eyes the redemptive power of the blood of Christ. I have seen many people come to the Lord, but never those who had made such radical, life-altering decisions. I never had a group that was so confined and shackled physically yet so unrestrained and alive spiritually.

I shared with them that life on the other side of the fence was not all that rosy for many of us; that we as a nation are becoming increasingly divided and hostile towards one another; that the desire for one man to enslave another was rampant across the globe and that evil revealed itself in all nations; that so many who had every opportunity in the world chose instead to exist in the prisons of their closed minds and hardened hearts, not willing to evolve and learn and live a life of service.

The individuals before me realized they were responsible for their actions. There was no vocalization of blame or hostility. They seemed at peace with what had transpired yet strove to find meaning in their lifetime behind bars. So who’s living a richer life? The “free” man who has every opportunity in the world but sees himself as either a victim to avoid responsibility for his own path, or so entitled that he does not have to be of service to others? Or the one who made a life-altering mistake yet chose to not let it define him?

The parable of The Sheep Thief tells the story of two young men several hundred years ago who were caught stealing sheep in a small Italian Village. Justice was swift and included branding the letter “ST” on each of their foreheads so all would know that they were in the presence of a “Sheep Thief.” One young man was determined to run from his past, moving from village to village, lying, hiding from his past. He died years later, broke and alone. The second young man sought to make amends for his transgressions and stayed in the village where the crime had been committed. He worked hard and earned enough money to pay back the man whose sheep he had stolen. He lived a life of service to the community. Many years later a visitor asked the shopkeeper why the old man had “ST” tattooed on his forehead.  The shopkeeper replied, “It stands for Saint.”

dead-peopleMy father used to quip that many of us are walking around dead long before we’re buried; but thank God he made it so we don’t stink ‘til we’re put in the ground. Truer words were never spoken. Never, ever forget: life’s not about where you start; it’s about where you finish.  It’s one long journey of going from jammed to justified, from limbo to liberated, and from restrained to resurrected. Our actions may imprison us physically, but the redemptive blood of Christ can truly set us free.

16
Oct
14

The Mystery of Self-Motivation

MOSMConsider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have of trying to change others.
My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, told me that you don’t find motivation, motivation finds you. But there are things you can do to ensure the rays of motivation shine down upon you. Motivation is attracted to positivity, kindness, humility, meekness, and selflessness. If you keep surrounding yourself with books and people that model and amplify these, you will actually begin to morph, one motivated molecule at a time.
It starts slowly, and then it explodes. The more motivation you spread, the more comes back to you. My father literally burst at the seams, so powerful was his lifelong transformation. Once motivations takes hold in you it must find an outlet, and this is where the magic happens.
This is why the person who has solved the mystery of self-motivation is unstoppable. We cannot rely on any physical presence on this planet to be there for us. That’s why I am always so repeatedly surprised when people’s hopes are devastated by a person or event. The only guarantee you have in life is your belief in yourself.
When you have matured to the point where your own motivation is built-in and self-recharging, you will begin to experience life in a way few others have. Learning the dynamics of motivating yourself far exceed that of being able to motivate others. And in actuality, you can’t have the latter without the former.

Today marks the six-year anniversary of our founder’s—and my father’s—homegoing. To celebrate, we’ve published his timeless wisdom in our latest Life-Changing Classic, The Mystery of Self-Motivation. Go online today to get your copy and enjoy a 30-percent-off sitewide celebration until the end of the day. Thank you for helping us change the world one book at a time!

14
Aug
14

Restoration Hardware: A Book

5StepsWe live in a world that withers us. My father used to say, “My problem isn’t keeping myself motivated, it’s trying to keep other people from demotivating me!” Truer words were never spoken. Today’s headlines are filled with tributes to tribulations. How can we stay fed in a time of famine?

I usually tout the power of books for transformation, but there’s another more important reason to read: for restoration. I read to know that I am not alone. I read to learn how to deal with myriad challenges. I read to unlearn what I thought I already knew and to learn it all again the right way. Books validate our personal, professional, and spiritual lives in a world where the media and so-called experts pressure us to conform to groupthink.

If you aren’t reading, you aren’t living. You can’t partake in the full range of human emotions and thought without conversing with the whole of mankind. So read as if your life depends on it, because it does.

10
Jul
14

houston, we have a puppy

Roscoe Jones, Chief Barketing Officer at Tremendous Life Books.

Roscoe Jones, Chief Barketing Officer at Tremendous Life Books.

On June 14th, I lost my constant canine companion of thirteen years after a ten-month battle with lymphoma. I have been through a great deal of heartache and loss in my life, but this experience literally took me to my knees.

These last four weeks I experienced an outpouring of prayer that bathed, comforted, and protected me in a way only possible by the power of our loving Father. I read each of the notes, cards, posts, and tributes with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, enabling the “loss” to be turned into a tremendous time of thankfulness. All that kept going through my heart and head is that I was given such a special companion to get me through the greatest triumphs and tribulations of my life.

In honor of Mr. Blue, I began looking for a pup in his similar situation to rescue. While I completely respect those that do not want to go through a repeated loss of the love of a dog, I also had the intense awareness that my grief does not diminish the population of homeless animals and that hesitating for even one day can mean life or death.

Mr. Blue was from a large litter, born out in the country in Texas and with a glorious Basset Hound stature and soul mixed with his Australian Shepherd side. I needed another low-rider mutt in my life. The search led me to a rescue in Santa Fe, Texas: Southern Comforts Animal Rescue.

A Springer/Basset mix stray had been caught outside of Houston and had delivered eight pups on March 8th, 2014. There were four remaining males when I got to choose my “pick of the litter”. The one I was drawn to was described as the biggest, the smartest, and the most laid-back. That sounded just like my Blue boy.

Arrangements were made and two weeks later my new fourteen-week-old soul pup made the direct flight from Houston to Dulles. When I laid eyes on him I immediately burst into tears. He peered out of his transport crate and calmly looked at me with the same old wise-soul look of his predecessor. I knew at that moment the next leg of the legacy was about to begin.

I have the blessing of caring for another one of God’s creatures. I also have the blessing of continuing the legacy Mr. Blue started. Just because a physical presence is no longer with us means absolutely nothing to a child of God. I work in the world of books and many of them contain the achievements and sacrifices of those who have gone on before us, including the legacy of my father who started this company fifty years ago.

If we live in view of the eternal, the grief we suffer now is just one small iota of the glories to come. Letting that sidetrack us on our life’s journey is the only true loss in life.

25
Mar
14

Your “A” Game is useless without your “Be” Atitudes

Ben CarsonOur “A” Game refers to what we bring to the table displayed in our outward performance. Our “Be” Atitudes are derived from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5 and convey a series of blessedness based on our inward characteristics. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “Knowing how let’s you drive it; knowing why drives you.” Our outward accomplishments are meaningless without the right inward intentions.

Last Friday I had the pleasure and honor of not only meeting, but dining alongside Dr. Ben Carson. We talked about everything from parents who made us read and write book reports growing up, to publishing, to speaking, to marketing, to mentors, to retirements and, yes, even to future callings. But what stood out most to me was how genuinely brilliant, yet humble, this man is.  He was not boastful, he displayed no hint of ego or hubris, and he exhibited extreme control, not only of the facts, but more importantly, of his emotions.

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is poor in spirit. He acknowledges his spiritual condition and the influence of God in his destiny. When I asked him about running for President, he replied, “If it’s God’s will.” He is aware of his God-given talents and places all of the decisions for their use in the hands of God.

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is meek.  Meekness is all about self-control and a quiet friendly composure which does not become embittered or angry under any circumstances.  It is an active attitude and a deliberate acceptance. “Angry people are selfish people” he said.  “It’s not about you; stay out of their slime pool.”

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is pure of heart. When I asked him about how he maintains his composure when untruths are levied against him, he shared how God dealt with his bad temper when he was a teen, healing him of a flaw which nearly put him on the road to prison.  He commented, “When God fixes a problem He doesn’t just do a paint job. He fixes it.”

When we look at leaders we tend to remember the visionary earth-movers, the fiery orators, the discerning decision-makers. But let us not forget the brilliant leaders who have changed the world through their inward spirit of humility and servitude: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, and the greatest role model of all, Jesus Christ. And in my book, I count Dr. Ben Carson as one of them.

 

10
Sep
13

Belief before Speech

 

Duck Dynasty  560Jim Rohn said, “Communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”  I recently watched a televised interview with the cast of the popular reality show Duck Dynasty. The interviewer commented that the cast members never watched the show to which one of them replied, “We don’t have to watch it. We live it!”

In a similar vein, a longtime family friend wrote about how he was given the opportunity to deliver a keynote due to a scheduling conflict on my father’s calendar. Several days before the speech, he asked my father if he would look over what he planned deliver to the group. My father told him there was no need to review. “Either the words are in your heart, or you are not ready.”

Jim Rohn and Charlie

Two greats believers and speakers!
Jim Rohn and Charlie “T” Jones

People want to hear what’s in our hearts because it’s the truest example of how we feel about something. And the only way to truly feel something is to have experienced it. That’s why the most powerful speakers and mentors are the ones who have not only talked the talk, but have actually walked the walk, and therefore have the strength of conviction that comes with experience. If you are scared to give a speech, it may be because you don’t believe strongly enough in your topic.

Now this doesn’t mean that you forgo preparation just because you can emote about an experience; on the contrary, preparing how you are going to deliver your beliefs is almost as important as the experience itself. It simply means that, if you lack experience, no amount of preparation will replace it. Without experiential conviction your talk is just theory, and theories are like opinions: everybody’s got one.

Content is king and experience breeds excellence; and a heart-felt belief is the most powerful voice in the universe.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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