Posts Tagged ‘Christ

12
Dec
13

All I Want for Christmas is Humility

C_S_-Lewis-Humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_I’ve been a huge advocate of acronyms since my time in the military. I came across one years ago that has been one of my favorites:  SLICC—self-licking ice cream cone; n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.

When I refer to someone as SLICC, it’s not a compliment although, true to form, that person or institution probably thinks that it is. SLICCs aren’t just found in the bureaucracy of the military, they exist everywhere! And the more downtrodden our sense of respect for hard work and humility, the more this trait takes root. The amount of self-aggrandizement throughout the media and everyday life is staggering. I feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers as I seek to find one truly authentic and humble soul.

When I was a little girl my older sister caught me looking at myself in the mirror and called me conceited. I was mortified and vowed to never spend an inordinate amount of time fixated upon myself. And perhaps this remembrance irritates me the most around Christmas time because self-absorption is the antithesis of the Lord’s arrival.

Christ was born in a manger, an actual feeding trough. He was gentle, he was approachable, he was worthy of all the entitlement and adoration in the universe, yet demanded none. Here’s how you can get your “Christ” on this holiday season and stop considering yourself God’s Christmas Gift to the Universe. That blessed event already took place in Bethlehem several millennia ago.

Stop Quoting Yourself: This includes taking pictures of yourself, otherwise known as selfies. These are a definite no-no in professional settings but equally weird in personal settings. If your LinkedIn profile pic is a selfie, take it down now. I find it strange when people put their own quotes on memes and then put their name on them and then put them on their Facebook page. I can understand if a third-party fan page does this, but for someone to do it on their own seems a bit braggadocious to me.

The Narcissus Syndrome: This egocentrism manifests itself in many forms, but beware of giving one of these birds a microphone unless you’ve got a hook handy and are prepared to use it. If it’s all about you, then just start a cult and hang out with your own special weirdos. Please don’t assume I’m one of them.  I was once at an event where someone was asked to give a two-minute presentation. When the time came, he delivered his assigned talk, and at then proceeded to speak for 15 minutes about his pet project—a topic that was not on the agenda. He finished and the meeting got back on track, but everyone in that room will remember his inappropriate display of self-importance.

My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a world-renowned author, speaker, and motivator. If anyone had reason to be a little big for their britches it was him. But his humility was a huge part of his attraction. He knew what Christ had done for him and it was woven through every word he spoke. One of my favorite lines of his is about men who would come up to him and proclaim, “I’m a self made man!” To which he’d retort, “Well, good for you! That relieves God of that responsibility!”

But perhaps the best illustration of humility comes in the form of this anecdote from his speech The Price of Leadership:

Remember the young minister writing his first sermon, spending his time in seminary preparing for that great day when he would stand before the congregation and lower the boom, telling them how to start living. He polished the sermon. He refined it. It was really getting better, week after week, month after month, and then the great day came. After two or three minutes, he realized he was in deep trouble. He began to feel around on the podium for a button he could push that would open the trap door and let him slip out of sight. But there wasn’t any push button. Within five minutes he realized he was whipped and that things were different in real life than they were in seminary. He said a hasty benediction and went down off the platform beaten, broken, and dejected. As he departed the podium, one of the old gray-headed warhorses slipped his arm over the young minister’s shoulder and whispered in his ear, “Son, if you’d have gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up.”

Here’s wishing everyone a gloriously blessed Christmas this year. May we all find our stockings and hearts so filled with humility that they overflow far into 2014!

16
Oct
13

you’ll be the same person five years from now….

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Five years ago today my father triumphantly entered the gates of Heaven.  My mother and sisters and I all were with him when his soul left his body.  As C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” And although my father lived each day as if it was the greatest adventure in the world, it was all because of his commitment to his faith in the absolute saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. His real joy came from the fact that he never, ever got over how God could love a wretch like him.

He always told me that I would be the same person five years from now except for the people I met and the books I read. With his return home, I was given the amazing opportunity to test this quote in a way I never had before. I can say with absolute conviction, that I am a completely different person than when I said my final goodbye to my father five years ago.

They say comparison is the thief of joy, so I knew that trying to “fill his shoes” would be an insult to both my earthly and heavenly fathers. I turned to 2 Kings 2 for my direction where Elisha picks up the mantel of ministry of Elijah and prayed for double the blessing; double the spirit of faith, obedience, and courage. I had no idea the transformation that was in store, nor did I have any idea of the ceaseless support of our friends and business colleagues.

Your constant encouragement, referrals, purchases and prayers enable us to donate money to 8 tremendous organizations: Bethesda Mission, Word of Life Ministries, Mennonite Disaster Service, Central Penn College, Lancaster Bible College, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region, Dayspring Christian Academy, and the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism.

Your constant prayers and support are what built the Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center. It is my prayer and hope that there are countless more interactions and books read in the years to come so that we, too, can leave a tremendous legacy. I smile whenever I walk into this facility because I could just imagine my father calling each of you all day long and holding marathon reading sessions in here.

This plaque allows everyone coming through these doors to know about the adventure upon which they are about to embark. Thank you for continuing to be such an integral part of this tremendous journey. It means more to me and my family and team members than words can say and we could not have carried on this mantle without you. People constantly cry out, “Where have all the great leaders gone?” and I answer with a tremendous shout, “They’re right here in front of me!”

24
Dec
12

my most blessed christmas ever by charlie “tremendous” jones

Baby James and Little CharlesI was nine years old and the depression was still in full force. We came from Alabama and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in a little row home, which my father managed to rent. It was getting near Christmas and my dear dad had nothing to spend for Christmas for his five children ages 1 to 9. In desperation, he went to the bank to try to persuade them that he was a safe risk for a small loan. He explained his predicament, no job, no collateral, and 5 small children with Christmas approaching.

As he should have known, the banker would have to decline his request, but he had an alternative offer for my dad to consider. He explained that if dad could postpone celebrating Christmas a day or two, the children wouldn’t know it and everything would be reduced in the stores. Then he would only need half the amount he was requesting. He said if this was agreeable, he would approve the loan for a smaller amount.

Of course my dad gratefully accepted his offer. That Christmas eve, after we were all in bed, the downstairs front door sprung open. There was a lot of noise and my father rushed down the stairs to see what was happening. I followed a few minutes later and saw him sitting on that bottom step with his head in his hands. I couldn’t understand why he was weeping.

When I reached the bottom step, I could see no one in the hallway, but the hall was lined with boxes. There were boxes of food, clothing, and candy. There was a riding fire engine and a four-foot folding white paneled dollhouse. We didn’t belong to a church and the friends we had were as poor as we were. My dad returned to the bank to repay the loan. The banker surprised my dad by telling him that there was no record of this loan.

I only understood that Christmas experience years later when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. How blessed some of us are to see God’s love working in and through His children. John 3:16 is where this love story begins and those unknown servants were practicing I John 3:16. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, how He laid down His life for us: so that we ought to lay down our lives for others.”

06
Mar
12

To Deny or to Die: That is the Question

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been sentenced to death by the Iranian government for converting to Christianity. He became a pastor in the Iranian city of Rasht and was convicted of apostasy in 2010. He would not recant his Christian faith and was thereby condemned to death. Numerous world leaders have expressed their concern and outrage while others retort that Iran has complete sovereignty over who they put to death and Christians have killed many in their time, turnabout is fair play.

But let’s take the high road in this event because that is certainly what this husband, father, pastor, and yes, Christian is doing. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “A man who hasn’t found something he is willing to die for is not fit to live.” If you consider Pastor Nadarkhani’s predicament, he chose to die rather than deny. He is truly fit to live, like a mother willing to die in childbirth to give life, a soldier willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield for the freedom of generations to come, a youngster who goes out on an icy lake to save a beloved, flailing pet only to drown.

No one who persecutes anyone for their beliefs is capable of living a tremendous life. In fact, the gospel of Christ declares that His sacrificial death was an unconditional act of obedience to God’s ultimate love and is a gift we are all free to accept or reject. The heart of Christianity is about unconditional love and sharing the gift. If I kill you because you don’t accept my gift, what does that say about me? But if I love the gift you gave me so much that I am willing to die for it rather than deny it, what does that say about the giver and the gift?

The Holy Bible states, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In the case of this pastor, I would say he has found the true meaning of life; a love that transcends everything, to include bowing to the demands of those who seek to take his life. We live life for a time and then face death.  How much more tremendous can our lives become when we discover that the true meaning of “a life worth living” is intricately linked to “something worth dying for?”




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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