The Time Is Now

We all are called to be Saints, to be people of righteousness
We are all called to make disciples
We are all called to serve
We are all called to give of ourselves


I’m writing because you have been staples in my life—you, Gods people— through prayers, through ministry together, through friendship, and through love shown to myself, my family, and to our heavenly Father. As the crisis in the Middle East continues to escalate, I felt the need to extend that same love and compassion you all, and Christ, have shown me over the years. Love heals, love restores, and love brings hope in the darkest places. I have lived this, as I know many of you have.
            I leave in December to head to Amman, Jordan to volunteer with two local NGO’s to serve the rising number of refugees in Jordan. They need the Fathers love, they need hope, and I feel called to walk beside them, if only for four short months. As many of you know, refugees and displaced people have been on my heart for years and I pursued my MS in Holistic Child Development with an emphasis on Refugee Resettlement in order to be the hands and feet of God to this people group. The time for me to go and do his work is now.
            But I need you church family, one and most importantly, I need your prayers. I am anxious and scared for what is to come. I need the prayers of my brothers and sisters as I follow where I believe the Lord has called me. Second, I need help financially to get to the Middle East. I need to raise $4,500 dollars to pay for plane tickets, lodging, food, and daily living expenses. Not everyone can go do the work I feel called to do, not everyone can give a lot, and not everyone can give at all—and that is why I ask you to pray for the Lords protection and provision.
            Thank you all for your continuous support, friendship, and love over the years.
I can’t thank you enough.
Ashley Jones

If you are interested in giving financially you can send any checks for Ashley Jones to:
             1025 Valley Head Rd. SW
             Cleveland, TN 37312

All gifts will be tax deductible through Raleigh Assembly of God as they will be the  accountability for all funds spent through this ministry. 

If you would like more information please feel free to contact me at:

dayminfarah@gmail.com

Or call at: 423-331-4710

You can also check out the websites of the NGO’s at:

collateralrepairproject.org
and
www.facebook.com/Baladii

Fundraising to be a servant—I’m ready to give

I’m raising funds for a two part mission trip. The first is to serve Missionaries from the Eurasia Area by helping with childcare and youth programming during the winter training period. The second part of my mission trip is to work with two different NGO’s in the Middle East, serving Iraqi and Syrian refugees as they resettle and try to begin news lives during a time of distress and displacement. Please consider me helping me help others through this 4 month journey. Any amount you can contribute will be greatly appreciated! Gifts are tax-deductible and can be handled through several means. 

The A/G Online Giving is a simple tool that allows your donors to easily make contributions online with a credit card , click on the link and follow the instructions below, writing “Ashley Jones- Live Dead Task Force”

https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/600001-891154?MinistryName=891154&Page=1&CookieCheck=1.

The second is prefered for those who would rather mail a check. It is very important your donors follow the instructions below in order for your money to be credited to your trip. (MK-If you need to send in a payment for your trip, please contact Michelle in the MK Office for detailed instructions).


Checks need to be addressed as follows:

International Society of Missionary Kids
PO Box 9200
Springfield, MO 65802

The check should be made out to: Assemblies of God World Missions. Please write my name: Ashley Jones- Live Dead Task Force

I Choose…

I am writing a story, and the horrible part of this process is realizing how much like reality writing and entering the world of imagination is.

It sucks.
It’s gruesome,
It’s a choice.
Gone are my unrealistic expectations of the ideal writer, the essence of bohemian inspiration that allows me simply breathe out a tale that will inspire, entertain, and touch others. A story that brings me life and pushes others…

It’s so much like reality, this whole process of writing, that I can barely stand it.
But I will.
For the same reason I choose to love others consciously, despite what my heart tells me.
For the same reason I get up, get dressed, go to classes and work—because of the dream greater than my flimsy whims.

Because the choice to write
the choice to love
the choice to be vulnerable
the choice to LIVE
is mine.

And I refuse to let satan talk me out of embracing it any longer.
So you better believe I’m writing this story because I believe it deserves to be told,
and you better believe I’m going to keep on living despite whatever lies my life may hold. 

Ohhh Bother Pooh Bear [[Flutters flutters in my tummy]]

I have forgotten how scary it is to begin writing. Each time I sit down, I find new ways to stall…cleaning, cooking, other homework, bank accounts—and I hate dealing with numbers—everything and anything is better than facing that blank page.

            I have ideas, lots of them, but I can’t seem to sit down and force myself to begin to bring them to life. It’s absolutely terrifying, trying to breathe life into ideas so that they have the chance to become something, to become art. I try to remind myself that I am just a vessel, you know, a tool that allows the characters and story to come, that I can’t and should not try to control it. Yet I feel such a responsibility for this story, for my potential audience…what if I let them down? What if I can’t do my characters justice, what if the art that I am dreaming of, that excites and thrills me, that has me all excited, is lessoned by my voicing it. What if this story ceases to be beautiful because of my foolish and inadequate ability to put it down on paper? What if my attempt to breathe life into this story ends of destroying it.

            All in all, I suppose it’s simply a long way of saying I am dealing with feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness, a reminiscence of puberty as I face low self esteem as I stare at the empty pages, my loaded research, and my deadlines. However do I begin? 

[[Resolved]]

For 2012, my resolution is one, simple statement.
My resolution is to truly live.
The end. Simple—-to say at least.

What do I mean by living?
I mean by having my priorities straight, of being with God, of enjoying Him and the relationships around me, of being a good steward of my time, money, and school work.
Living, means being present.
Mind and body, in the present moment.

To live. Daily.
That is my resolution.
God help me.  

Unusual…

This post is scary, because it shows a significant change in my life, and it terrifies me a bit.

I don’t want this to sound like complaining, or give off a sense of unhappiness or despair, because those are not the sentiments of this post or writer. However, it isn’t exactly a happy post.

You see, the end of my favorite day of the year has come, Christmas Eve Eve (don’t ask me why it’s my favorite, I’m sure you won’t get it) but it is…
The only problem is, it has yet to feel like Christmas.
I look back at my journals, or past Christmas posts—dating back to even Xanga days, anyone remember those—and all those posts are filled with sentimental and thought provoking words or anecdotes.
This year, however, I feel like I have been on the move so much that Christmas just hasn’t had the chance to catch up with me….this year, has yet to feel like it even holds the Christmas season. I just keep getting little teases, thats it.
It’s not due to location change, because I’ve had Christmas in many places, and it’s not due to lack of family or traditions…its not due to lack of love, lack of presents, lack of cheesey Christmas movies, or the last minute shopping. It’s something so much deeper that I can’t quite figure out completely.

Do you ever feel like you’ve been running from your problems or from difficultly for so long that it has separated you from your own life?
A part of me feels like that is what has happened…I’ve kept my soul so busy it can’t seem to slow down and remember….
It can’t remember how blessed it is
It can’t remember how loved it is
It can’t remember the beauty of grace
or the hope of salvation in the form of a baby
It can’t remember the comfort of tradition, or special moments, or pausing in life

This is the first time I’ve ever felt as though I have to work to remember Christmas
Work to remember what this holiday is about
Work to slow. down.

I hope this isn’t what growing up feels like, because I don’t think I like it.
Dear Jesus, help me to remember,

"Yet I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms or taking them up in My arms, but they did not know that I healed them.

I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love, and I was to them as one who lifts up and eases the yoke over their cheeks, and I bent down to them and gently laid food before them.”

(Hosea 11)

The more fantasy I read, the more folk tales, the more magical adventures, the more stories filled with the impossible and the ever present motifs and themes that fill each tale—the more I am convinced that fairy tales and fantasy are our own guide books to life.
True fairy tales, where the hero or heroine must deal with real tragedy and sorrow, where life isn’t easy and there are villains and evil afoot, teach us how we are to react. Persevere.I tire of hearing people complain about the deceitfulness of fairy tales or the dangers of fantasy.Perhaps, you simply didn’t understand. What I learn is how to be strong despite the many dragons of life that overpower me. To use what others called a deformity or an ugly weakness to my advantage, to push myself until it becomes a strength. What I’ve learned is often times we need help from outside ourselves, whether it is a magical helper, bears that raise us, trees that clothe us, magic cordials, or whispered words to an ancient God. I’ve learned we often don’t know what is happening, that being wrapped in confusion and walking forward, that obey the strangest of instructions is normal.What I’ve learned is that we get beat up, we get broken, things always get worse…but there is hope.And there is a right way to walk the life of a hero or heroine. That in order to triumph, we must hold on to that which is pure, good, beautiful—love.
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?…If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

The more fantasy I read, the more folk tales, the more magical adventures, the more stories filled with the impossible and the ever present motifs and themes that fill each tale—the more I am convinced that fairy tales and fantasy are our own guide books to life.

True fairy tales, where the hero or heroine must deal with real tragedy and sorrow, where life isn’t easy and there are villains and evil afoot, teach us how we are to react. 
Persevere.
I tire of hearing people complain about the deceitfulness of fairy tales or the dangers of fantasy.
Perhaps, you simply didn’t understand. 
What I learn is how to be strong despite the many dragons of life that overpower me. To use what others called a deformity or an ugly weakness to my advantage, to push myself until it becomes a strength.
What I’ve learned is often times we need help from outside ourselves, whether it is a magical helper, bears that raise us, trees that clothe us, magic cordials, or whispered words to an ancient God. 
I’ve learned we often don’t know what is happening, that being wrapped in confusion and walking forward, that obey the strangest of instructions is normal.
What I’ve learned is that we get beat up, we get broken, things always get worse…
but there is hope.
And there is a right way to walk the life of a hero or heroine. That in order to triumph, we must hold on to that which is pure, good, beautiful—love.

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?…If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” 
― 
J.R.R. Tolkien

Breathing Leaves

Breathing Leaves

Life is floating, changing, giving, uncontrolled, carried by breaths of wind.