wood 2I follow my actor-brother-in-law, Doug Jones, on Instagram and Facebook.  We rarely get to see his face, but he has been nonetheless amazing as Pan in Pan’s Labyrinth, the fish/man Abe Sapion in Hellboy, the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four, and Chochise in Falling Skies, to name just a few.  And we just found out that he is going to be (yet another) alien in the up and coming Star Trek spin-off Discovery

Of course, I’m old school, with the original Kirk and Spock and Bones and Scottie and all that.  But far be it from me to consider myself a snobbish connoisseur of fine sci-fi—I also enjoyed Galaxy Quest, and the “famous” quote from Captain Jason Nesmith, “never give up, never surrender!”

So, okay, I’ve not yet donned any cosplay nor stood in line for hours to talk to a personal hero of the silver screen.  Heck, I hang out with Doug and Laurie on fam-jams anyway, and they ARE heroes in my book!

I also appreciate the actors in the Hebrews 11 “Heroes of the Faith” line up—it reads like something out of one of Doug’s movie credits.  Allow me to review (from my human perspective):

Gideon, cowering in the barn trying to hide his grain, and who needed a fleece (twice) to convince him of God’s answer.

Moses, who’s recorded conversation with God (as if standing in front of the burning bush wasn’t enough) is replete with “but God!?!”

Sarah and Abraham, who both thought God needed a little help, (since that always turns out well…)

Amazingly, God chooses to interpret their history differently:

“Their weakness was turned to strength.”

Say what?  How is it that God somehow overlooks, not only their failures, but also the consequences of those failures, and chooses instead to record in the New Testament rendition (for all eternity, no less) their successes?

Like it or not, “oops” is part of a Christian’s vernacular, and “I’m sorry” should roll off the tongue more and more easily as time goes on.  One important thing that can be said for these heroes of the faith is that they never gave up.  They may have given in a few times, but they never gave up

In that, Captain Kirk has nothing on Captain Nesmith.

Hebrews 11:34   Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

You Know, That’s My Book….

Okay, all you writing/blogging people! Ken is someone I’ve followed for almost two years now (WOW!) I was privileged to interview him for his first book, but even published writers can get discouraged. So check out this post and….be ENCOURAGED!! ~~dawnlizjones

Baja Moto Quest!


Like many writers, I often wonder how much of an audience I am actually reaching. This is not surprising when you consider how lonely the endeavor the writing process can be. I feel this mostly in the quiet of the evening when I snap my laptop shut and let the scene and the characters retreat for awhile.

I was encouraged last Spring during an impromptu moto trip in Baja. Some of my friends were going to a remote cove on the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula to take advantage of some perfect, overhead surf. The Spring usually brings a swell that lines up just right and kicks up some huge waves. When this happens, my young friends drop everything and race down to the legendary surf spots of Baja.

After my friends called, I packed lightly and headed south on my BMW F 800 GSA adventure moto to be part of the gran…

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With Love to Sammy, 63 Years

quillMy good blogger buddy, Oneta Hayes at Sweet Aroma, provides me with a perspective I appreciate on several fronts.  Here is just one of them, albeit a BIG one.  The idea of covenant in marriage is not one that is fairly understood, much less practiced, in our so-called modern society.  The idea of sticking with someone through thick and thin (of which I believe they’ve had both) may seem a bit old-fashioned, however…

Here is Oneta’s tribute to such an “old-fashioned” idea.  Hat’s off to you, my friend!!  And God bless you both!


Home, fortunate to be my pleasant place;

my hubby and I talk face to face.

Home, all my belongings there I stash;

got a lot of stuff, just not cash.


Home, cars can park on my one acre lawn;

afternoon naps when I yawn.

Home, food and drink and company too,

if you were near, we’d invite you.


Home, a place to have the family meet,

games and songs and plenty to eat.

Home, sixty-three years since we were wed,

tied the knot with unbreakable thread.

The Kraken (#11)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

From: and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

XI.  The Forge

For months, they raised the smithy walls, the roof and furnace made,

And gathered  iron rods and bars of proper strength and grade.

The prophet said, “Convert these, now, to something that will fit

Your chosen purpose and your needs. Your life depends on it.

“The spear must reach beneath the waves to pierce the Kraken’s hide.

The handle must be stout enough, the spearhead sharp and wide.

Now make it long and tempered well before you go to sleep.

You’ll need a shaft that’s straight and strong and arms to drive it deep.

“Tomorrow, we will take the first and put it to the test,

And if all goes accordingly, I’ll have you make the rest.”

The bellows breathed. The furnace roared. The pounding hammer rang

As if beneath its heavy blows the glowing metal sang,

And when the blade with water had been tempered properly,

The finished work, in grim detail, was quite a sight to see.

To punctuate this night of toil, there dawned a morning clear.

Hours later, in the sunlight, Galen proudly showed his spear.

His mentor nodded thoughtfully as one who understands.

He checked the balance of the spear and turned it in his hands.

“What you have made is good,” he said. “It has a killing feel

And, for the pain within you heart, capacity to heal.

“As I have said to you before, you’ll need some more to take.

Observe the pattern carefully, and faithful copies make.”

So Galen labored patiently and set his fury loose

In fashioning sufficient spears and practicing their use.


He held each to the anvil as his hammer sang its song,

And as he built this arsenal, his arms grew thick and strong.

When sun was down, the hour befell to rectify his mind

And listen to his teacher to discern what he might find.

Rehearsing lessons written down by help of candlelight,

He lay in bed to contemplate the stillness of the night.

In righteousness, he thought to pay the grudges that he bore,

Smiled at the Kraken’s ignorance of what he had in store.

His days repeated in this way till one night he surmised

There was a solitary fact by which he’d been surprised.

In finding satisfaction with the things his hands had made,

He found he could appreciate his father’s chosen trade.

His labor substituted for a hunter’s vanity,

Each blow was struck to hammer out the past’s insanity.

With sweating brow, he put behind the sting of youthful sin

And filled his heart with humble pride, a blacksmith once again.


This Little Light of Mine


***EXTRA EDITION of Not My Poetry***

Obvious, I didn’t write the following song.  (Sunday School teachers the world over are in sore debt to the one who did, as it ranks up there with the one about Zacchaeus and the sycamore…)

Anyway, I play this to make a point.  Plus, the bass vocals and djembe percussion are really cool:

Of course, if you prefer R&B…

And what’s the collection without an uptempo bluegrass version, right?  (Just imagine smoke coming from the banjo…)

Right.  So here’s a song that most people who have grown up in church (and many who have not, for that matter) could sing without much prompting.  A significant comment is found embedded, albeit not deeply, within this simple song.  John Eldredge puts it so clearly in his book, Waking the Dead. (Such a great title for the subject, BTW.)

God has placed within us a “glory”.  Another good teacher, Danny Silk, calls it our “song”. Or as my own pastor, Lawrence Wilson, says, “what did God have in mind when He thought you up?” 

That being the case, then why, WHY!??! do we insist on downplaying that talent/gift/calling/glory or whatever else we can call it in the name of….what?  Humility? That’s hogwash.  It’s not like we can take any credit for it anyway.

Or maybe we hide it because we’re afraid to stand out, as if shining our light will dim someone else’s.  Equal hogwash.  The more light we have, the better we can see.  And if it’s too much, God will provide the sunglasses.

Maybe we’re concerned that what we feel pulled to is really of no value, and if that’s the case, it probably means we’ve been told that somewhere along the line.  More hogwash.  If God put it there, and God doesn’t make mistakes, then He must have a purpose for it, and therefore, it’s needed.  

I love this story from the early church–Jesus has gone back to Heaven, and the Holy Spirit has made His promised installment.  Peter and John “happen” to come upon a man unable to walk, begging for alms at the entrance to the temple.  Now, another Sunday School song that many remember, (and we’ll use traditional church pipe organ this time.)

“Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Those words were made immortal by this simple song, (second only by the Bible itself, that is), and the first words that most people probably think were said by the apostles to this lame man.

They were not.

The FIRST words Peter and John said upon meeting the man were:

 “Look at us!”

Seriously?  Isn’t that the very thing we are taught to avoid, in the name of “humility” (or humiliation)?  But here’s the rub: many times for us to redirect someone’s focus onto God their Creator, they first have to look at us, His creation!  And the really hilarious part is that God planned it that way!

Jesus even points this out in His prayer right before going to the cross:

“Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.” 

So, what glory, what gift/talent/passion/song is inside of you?

Why not follow Jesus’ lead, and let it shine!

Acts 3:4; John 17:1  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Wisdom of Harvestores

wood 2I love the story of Joseph, of Technicolor coat fame.  He’s also the one that had the bright idea to build large storehouses to put up the grain for the seven bumper-crop years and then portion it out during the famine (also of seven years.)  And Joseph was in charge of the storehouses, which made him a powerful entity, but without this plan the people would have been goners. 

So it turned out to be a pretty good plan.

Here in the rural Midwest, storehouses are also used.  And you don’t TOUCH the grain until the farmer says it’s time.  Only he wields the authority as to when the grain is supposed to come out and how much and for what use.  One does not question the wisdom of the farmer. 

But, spiritually speaking, I still have this bent in Continue reading “The Wisdom of Harvestores”

PUSH to enter

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Assertiveness has never been one of my innate qualities.  I don’t remember ever getting a spanking in my life, not necessarily because my parents were liberal-minded types against any form of corporate discipline; it may be more like you could look at me and make me cringe in fear.  (I’ve improved with age, but not too much.) ziggy

So when I read the story of Caleb’s daughter, Acsah, I’m a bit intrigued.  Caleb was on Joshua’s side when Moses originally sent in the crew to check out the Promised Land.  Ten of the fellas came back with their tails tucked between their legs, intimidated by the people’s size and strength.  Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, were ready to go in with both barrels blazing. 

Now, several decades down Continue reading “PUSH to enter”

No excuses this time.

IMG_20150103_172451138When Bob was in grad school at Indiana University, we lived in married-student housing.  He used to call it “the finest in institutional living”…whatever.  With three little kids in tow, I’m thankful we had good playground equipment right outside our door where, from all over the neighborhood (from all over the world, actually) children could congregate. 

My friend (from Brazil) a few doors down had noticed that the sand under the monkey bars was needing replaced, and encouraged me to add my call with our other friends, since the U. had been very slow in responding to the request.playground-648903_1920

One day, I was out with our two youngest right before taking one of them to kindergarten.  Robin has always been the climber; I should have put a football helmet on her the day she was born.  So naturally, when she called to me to watch her new stunt on the bars, her landing was not exactly a “10”, and losing her balance, she hit her forehead on some exposed concrete (that should have been covered by new sand!)

On returning home from the ER with 4-5 sutures and a pending medical bill, I made a calculated phone call to the U. that we were still waiting for the sand, and informing them of the current turn of events.

The sand was there the next day (and I think it was even a weekend!)

In my phone conversation, I never used the word “sue”.  I didn’t have to.  Plus, not being litigious, I never intended to do that anyway.  After all, Robin’s safety was primarily my responsibility.  I had been told about the sand, I should have been closer to her to catch her, I should have inspected the area more carefully, etc.  As her mother, I really had no excuse for her injury. 

The information I needed for her care was available to me.  It’s what I did with it (or didn’t do with it) that made the difference.

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”star-clusters-74052_1920

No excuse!  Ouch.  No claim to victimhood.  No lawsuit again the Almighty.  No declarations of “unfair!”  Someone wrote that, although we cannot know God exhaustively, we can know Him sufficiently.  He has given us proof enough; in fact, in our day, even more proof than what Paul describes in the above passage!  It is our arrogant pride that blinds us, and our slothful distractions that prevent what is eternally important.

BTW, by God’s good grace, all three of my children and I survived their childhood, (as well as their adolescence!) 

Romans 1:20  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.



Here is a thought provoking offering by Wayward Spirit.  Not being a poet myself, I asked her what her interpretation is, and so after the poem is her fascinating commentary.


I wish I knew
The presence of
The muse
Deeper than I feel
The firmness of
What rules

The Kraken (#10)

(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)

From: and copied from Alejandro Quijano pintrest (Kinda scary, right?)

X. A Revelation

He next awoke well-blanketed beside a dying fire,

The blackened sky above his head alive with young desire,

And, by and by, the atmosphere grew gray with dawning light

While, out at sea, a bank of clouds obscured the sun from sight.

The scarlet disk rose from the clouds, a Phoenix over hedge,

As Galen’s host stood placidly along the water’s edge.

The prophet watched the wind and waves, beheld the ocean dance,

Looked back at Galen vacantly, and spoke as in a trance.

“In visions or in midnight dreams, I’ve seen it once or twice,

A hiding place, a pool within a fortress made of ice,

A place that finds this cunning creature swimming unaware.

So rather than on open seas, you best had track it there.

“This Kraken troubles northern ports. Its tentacles spread wide,

And many unsuspecting souls are trapped within its tide,

Polluted in its oily wake before they meet their ends

In suctioned arms that scar and drown and awful beak that rends.

“There never was, as I recall, a sailing man or ship

That managed to release itself once in that slimy grip.”

The prophet fell to silent pause, his face in thoughtful frown.

“You see, you’ll need a better plan to take the monster down.

“At first, I think, you’ll wish to know what weapon I bequeath.

A ship is just a dinner bowl attacked from underneath,

A cannon much too slow to move, too heavy, and the ball,

When discharged into murky depths, scarce bothers it at all.

“Since none of newer weaponry can put your mind at rest,

Used properly in well-trained hands, a spear will function best.

You don’t know where to place the point, but presently you’ll see

The Kraken’s weakest spot discerned from its anatomy.

“The giant head is arrow-shaped and armored under skin.

The soft spot in between the eyes will let the spear blade in.

Behavior is predictable. It holds the second key.

This is a clever animal with one weak tendency.

“It uses beak and tentacles to slake its bloody thirst,

But when it moves below the ice, it always swims head first.

While tentacles still trail behind, you first will see its eyes.

At proper station on the flows, you’ll take it by surprise.

“But first we must construct a forge, then once that job is through,

You’ll fashion spears of such design as I shall give to you.

So learn, and make your weaponry. No caution can be spared.

The battle might turn suddenly, and you must be prepared.”