A Few Updates and a Thank You

Me and Miss E out for a driveYou may have noticed a startling lack of posts, and you would be right. We’ve been running close to the red line for the past 6 months. Ok, we’ve been over the red line, Anyways, I wanted to just let you know that I’m still here, and will soon begin posting again on stewardship, fatherhood, and now business (new!). My MBA program is winding down, and I’m discovering new mental space to begin writing again. [Read more…]

Updates for October

Long time, no see. So, we’ve been busy. Who isn’t, though? So far, it’s been a great fall. Here’s some of the highlights:

  • Mrs. Jones and I have started working with Mercy Clinic Fort Worth to provide communications services. You should go check it out (after you’re done reading this post, of course).
  • Miss E was the cutest Halloween strawberry:
    halloween strawberry
  • The MBA is coming along nicely. It’s just the academic challenge I’ve been itching for. Each class is a window into a world of insights that I honestly didn’t know anything about or just refused to see. Such as:
    • In Economics (the market kind, not the Marxist kind), did you know that competition isn’t between sellers and buyers, but amongst sellers or buyers. I didn’t. Probably through a combination of bad information and English professors, I had just come to a meandering conclusion that to sell anyone anything meant accepting a certain level of being ripped-off, as if the whole world were populated by unethical used car salesmen (what can I say? I went to a state college with a strong populist bent). I was wrong. Capitalism may be about competing for market surplus, but it can’t survive if everyone is cheating each other.
      People who cheat won’t survive in the long run… which sounds an awful lot like Proverbs 10:2: “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.”
    • The four functions of management are: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (monitoring). Note this does not say: “ordering people around.” I’ve got a whole other post coming up about this.
      Bill Lumbergh

      Bill Lumbergh… the classic middle management caricature.

      So, yeah… not coming in on Sunday.

    • Any group of humans who manage to stick together long enough to accomplish something have a system of rules – some explicit, some implicit – which govern behavior. It’s the implicit rules, or culture, that usually trip up newcomers. I’m not sure why I’ve refused to acknowledge this reality — I’ve always seen it, but refused to accept it. I’m not sure why I expected ministry to be different — people are people, even the saints.
    • Good strategy comes from the top. Good feedback comes from the bottom (and the top). When this cycle is disrupted, there will be problems. Guaranteed. How is this cycle disrupted? A combination of bad internal communication and misunderstood culture (see the point above). When I think about the dysfunctional organizations I’ve been a part of, this stands out big in my mind.
    • Black Friday isn’t a bargain. Most people know this. It’s not about the bargains; Americans like the thrill of the hunt and competing with one another (see my first point above).
    • A good attitude is vital to your survival. When I say good, I mean healthy not unrealistically optimistic. Some days are going to be fantastic and others will be rotten. A good attitude is a mindset of responding in a correct and mature fashion.  There is nowhere you or I can go that will ultimately reward us for having a bad attitude. The struggle is real, but struggle we must.
    • Showing up (aka. doing what you say you will do when you said you will do it) is definitely more important than being the smartest person in the room. Again, the struggle is real. If you struggle too, do what I do — tell yourself a new story: “I am a person who shows up.” Then do it. When you struggle, don’t change your narrative — admit your limitations, and just keep swimming.

Business school has been great for me. Modern management shares many commonalities with stewardship. Every class I learn something and think to myself: “Wow. I can’t believe I want to serve the Church, and I didn’t know that!” This is definitely Phase II of equipping myself so that I can equip others.

Until next week (yes, showing up is part of my narrative now)!

Oh, and don’t forget! Check it out: mercy-clinic.org

Updates for July

IMG_20150725_074338Hello all,

July has come and (mostly) gone. We’ve gone from torrential rainfall to the usual baked conditions here in North Texas. But enough about the weather. Here’s the latest from us Joneses:

  1. This week we are making our way to the SEND conference in Nashville. We’re excited to see how God may use this opportunity. Mrs. J and I are both looking forward it. Appropriate pics of Nashville forthcoming.
  2. The book project (mentioned in last month’s update) is coming along. In loosest terms, you could say that I completed an outline with several sections filled in, or what I call a first draft. After taking this past month off to let it settle, I’ll begin writing on it again.
  3. OnTheGo.FM is still a go. Podcasts are still slated for an August/September start date.
  4. I have this new logo now. What do you think?Logo 2
  5. Mrs. J and I now volunteer with Mercy Clinic Fort Worth. I can’t speak much to it here, but there are some spectacular opportunities coming up. To my DFW friends, if you’re curious how you can help, send me a message. There are several ways to plug in to this great ministry
  6. A few pictures this month:

Elephants at the Fort Worth Zoo


A suspicious fish at the Fort Worth Zoo


A fire escape in Russellville, AR


Vintage sign in Russellville, AR


Vintage sign in Russellville, AR


Fire Hydrant in Russellville, AR


Sun rise in Dallas, TX


We got a new (to us) car! We outgrew our Hondas.


Sun rise over Fort Worth, TX

Updates for June 2015


Hello everyone,

So, here’s what’s up in our world.



Source: Reddit, Attr: It’s a meme, alright?

First things first: I received an acceptance notification from UT Arlington for the MBA program! I’m excited to pair more practical business and management skills with my steward leadership training — a new adventure!

Second, Miss E is walking and chattering all over the house and beginning to climb. I imagine her world is something like this:

Photo by David Hiser, Source ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 545777, Attr. CC, 2.0

Photo by David Hiser, Source ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 545777, Attr. CC, 2.0

Third, my summer stewardship series is going to take the form of an ebook. Mrs. J has challenged me to write to college students and young adults about what stewardship looks like for our generation. Growing up between 9/11 and the Great Recession forever changed our generation; I want to join that conversation as a peer talking to peers. Stay tuned for more!

Fourth, I have recently begun collaborating with Jason Norris of digitalministryschool.com and OnTheGo.FM on podcasting. We’re still in super-early-what-do-all-the-details-look-like mode, but I can tell you this much: we’re mixing a background in radio broadcasting, education, and digital ministry to bring truly portable content to a smartphone near you!

If you’re curious about OnTheGo.FM, head over and subscribe to our updates. The info is a bit skimpy, but we’re working furiously!

Finally, we got to enjoy some of the most spectacular views in Texas hill country that have occurred in the last 10 years (We’re finally coming out of the drought, but pray for the flood victims!).

As a thank you for reading through, I want to share a little bit of my weekend: