Monthly Archives: July 2018

Speak Truth to Power

I have heard it said, “Speak truth to power.” My interpretation of that is that we are not to be intimidated by those who may have more education, money, status, class, political power, or any other difference that may set someone in a perceived position of superiority. I take it to mean we should let our opinion, which I am aware everyone has their own, be known respectfully in the public sphere.

There is something that has been tearing at my soul for some time, and though I steer away from controversy when I can, I feel it is time I speak my heart. I mean no offense to any, these are my thoughts on the issue.

Immigrants are and have always been the lifeblood of America. Most of us cannot claim our roots are indigenous. As birth rates continue to diminish among our population, it is needful that more citizens are admitted to our country. It is crucial to our prosperity. Many who come from diverse nations worldwide bring with them skills, cuisine, culture, and other benefits that make America a greater society.

Most immigrants are grateful for the opportunities offered here and work industriously to contribute to the melting pot that America is and always has been. Their achievements are legend.

The Bible encourages people to welcome strangers and treat them with love. This acknowledges that we were also once strangers, even far off from the Lord.

Some people come here because the conditions in their former places of residence have become intolerable and unbearable. Some seek asylum from barbarities that we can hardly imagine. Our America was to be a light welcoming the world. How have our hearts grown like stones, so cold our humanity freezes?

The difficulty of the path to citizenship in America and the lengthy time it entails is highly prohibitive to those who wish to do well and be assets to our communities. Many times a wait of several years keeps people from fully enjoying the advantages of being Americans longer than is reasonable. Most of we, who were born here, could not pass the test required of those who wish to gain entrance to full standing in our population.

My feeling is that policy should change, with a faster path to naturalization. I also believe if people have no criminal background that we should immediately welcome them. We are all people and we should accept one another with love.

As always comments and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

That moment… Otherwise Entertained

She remembers that day with Tony and Kelvin and the rest of the guys there; handbooks, guides, dice, scattered about the floor. The mood as always was boisterous, and the room needed soundproofing though it contained less than a dozen humans. Maybe it was too small a space to hold so much teenage energy. The furniture did not dampen the raucous, there was no way it could absorb everything going on.

She and Tony had been attending these game nights for weeks, Dungeons & Dragons had become Morgan’s favorite escape, from things she wished to leave unrecognized, ignored. Life was not following her plan, and she wondered why she had given up the promise of college for marriage in disarray. Why did she ruin the last tatters of her reputation by making all the kids at school think she was pregnant because she got married at sixteen? Now, the fairytale had become an unbearable cautionary story that seemed destined to end in tragedy.

She looked up from her Player’s Handbook, her eyes were drawn by the feeling she was being watched. Sitting across from her, less than ten feet away, Kelvin’s eyes met hers, and he gave her a rapscallion grin. She lowered her eyes to the book and fumbled with her dice, but she could feel the blush disclose her captivation. She had never been an elusive tome, always a book of unsecured pages, open to the observant. She glanced back at him, and Kelvin smiled as if he knew more than he rightfully should.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

There are already twenty-three chapters to this novel. This just seems to go near the beginning.

Are you brave?

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It takes courage to create, to engage the creative genius. One must overcome the demons of perfectionism, procrastination, and often, years of obscurity. The critics, the naysayers, the haters, they arrive in time to dampen desire.

Every work of towering imagination is a culmination of years of toil. Even when one appears to be living out an ordinary existence, work is being done to create a masterpiece. It may seem sudden, but success is not a momentary accomplishment. A lifetime of choices, effort, mistakes, and failures comes together in a triumph that may outlive its maker.

Are you brave?

Do you have what it takes to get up when the silence is deafening and try again? Can you make the sketch, layer the oils, when your heart is broken? Will you write when all the world has failed to appreciate your words? Can you pull the camera out of the bag and take the shot when all you have are neglected prints? Can you put new ingredients together once more after so often getting an unpalatable taste? Will you sing your song when you are afraid no one will applaud? Could you play your instrument when every other time you missed a crucial note?

Will you keep trying when your hope has fled, and you feel you are failing all alone?

You must! You must have the hope, will, desire, courage to keep making an effort when the effort is all you have; when defeat is sour on your tongue, and the fading light is dying. Only then, only when you have seen the death of all you believe you might do and you keep creating, just when you defeat the rejection, conquer the fear, and do it because you must, because creating is your life, only then will it happen. You will know yourself tenacious enough to capture the prize and build your dream.

Believe, love, be a blessing in the world because this broken world needs the blessing! Celebrate your gifts, your talents, your abilities, and accomplishments, even if you must celebrate alone. You are a magnificent human being capable of greatness. Should you be ignored, do not worry, your time will come. The creativity that resides within you will find a way of expression in the world that gives you meaning and aids others in their journeys.

Never, don’t you ever, give up!

© Jo Ann Joyce Anita Jordan

I am totally messed up! Really?

You alone are you, and you are enough. There is no need to hide who you are nor strive for unachievable perfection. You are adequate in all your ways. You be you and let the world think what it will, for you transcend the world. You are magnificent and whole. Be yourself. Believe in yourself. Use your creativity to outshine the stars, realize yourself more fully than yesterday, and build your dreams. Treasure your ideas and be uniquely and entirely genuine. Do not fear! There is no need to worry! Your journey will carry you where you belong. Trust that even in the darkest hour you are being led into your good.

Advice to a friend, I share with my friends…

You cannot give up, you have family and friends who love you more than they could ever express. You have survived and thrived in situations people cannot even imagine, you are as strong as most and stronger than the rest. You are vibrant, generous, friendly, loving, lovable, funny, kind, beautiful, and good; the world needs you and more like you. Believe in yourself, believe you are Beloved, remember the Lord is with you, and Never, Don’t You Ever, Give Up!

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We Are So Much More

Growing wild in a world
Where trials seem like mountains,
And temptations insurmountable;
There is hope because we surely know
God loves us more than any creation,
And made us with greater love,
But look, see, even the weeds are beautiful.

Do not doubt your worth,
Do not hold down your head,
Do not tell yourself you are less
Than enough; you are purposed
For this time and place, a chosen one,
A Child of Most High God,
He gave you life, He builds your hope,
He knows your pain, He supplies fresh joy.

Every day you are given
Is a chance to enact agape goodness
To those traveling the same realms.
Lift up your face, set your shoulders,
Lighten your voice, settle your smile,
Claim your place as one blessed,
One Beloved, given to share Love.

I am grateful:

  1. Even in my darkest times, I am given positive words to share.
  2. Things are no worse than they are.
  3. Libraries are bastions of knowledge.
  4. I live in the hope of the resurrection, believing there is more than this life.
  5. My dog, Hope is still with me.
  6. I renamed Ko-Ko as Tribble.
  7. There are always little things to bring smiles and satisfaction.

 

As a prompt: Consider the weeds, write or create what you will.

 

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

 

We Are Not Failures

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Please don’t degrade yourself by saying you are a failure. You are a Child of the Living God, and He can make no mistakes. You have His resurrection power flowing within you, and all things are possible for you. You may fall, but not always, and you will not stay down, you will rise like a phoenix and fly high above the clouds.

Failure just is not an option, it is an illusion to dissuade us from our purpose. Let us shake off the spirit of negativity and doubt, take up the task we are given and move forward on the path to eternity.

We are often beguiled by false impressions, but the Truth remains light to our eyes and guide to our feet. We cannot be overcome for our lives are rooted in the righteousness of Christ Jesus. We live, not for the temporary world, but for the Kingdom of Heaven within us presently, and also of the glory to come. No power brought against us can maintain its barrage for a Mighty Warrior, forever undefeated, protects us.

Let us rise up as the Heirs of Salvation and take prisoner the powers of darkness besieging our world. Let us be love to the loveless and unlovable, let us be a mercy to those who have been mired in misery, let us be voices for a new freedom to those in chains, let us be Jesus’ messengers to a world in need of a Savior. Go fearless, go strong, remember our heritage, and shine light where shadows threaten to bring despair.

We cannot fail, we are Children of the Creator of All Things. Jesus saved us, let us bring faith to a dying world. Be well and remember we are the Beloved.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Monday, July 16, 2018

Bullets Obey the Lord

Morgan woke up about 9am that Saturday morning. She had meeting Peyton on her mind. As she put on her well-worn jeans, her Mom had patched with red velvet to cover the holes, and around the cuffs, she thought how happy she was to have a boyfriend. He would not admit they were a couple to anyone else and she was not allowed to tell anyone. Having a guy who liked her was exciting, though the secrecy alarmed her at times.

She was thirteen, and he was a little older, he had talked her into intimacy months ago, maybe a little more forcefully than she hoped. There were misgivings, her upbringing did not hold with such, she was a Christian and knew she was very wrong. Considering what went on at home, well, it could not be as crazy as all that.

The sky was the cloudless cerulean of early Spring, and she walked down the street to the cul-de-sac. She kept checking that no one was paying attention to her. Walking past her brother’s house was a bit nerve-wracking. People might be sleeping late, she hoped so anyway.

Peyton’s parents and siblings were out of town. He and Morgan decided a few days earlier, it would be a perfect time for them to meet. She knocked once, and he ushered her through the door he opened.

“Let’s go to my parents’ room. They have a waterbed, and it will be nice,” he said.

She followed him, noting he had not kissed her as was usual. The room was large, and the bed was king size. She had never been on a waterbed before. It was unnerving being in his parents’ bedroom. It did not seem right and added to the feeling of unease. Never were their illicit meetings comfortable, her conscience screamed at her each time, but this was almost undoable.

He was rougher than usual and seemed in a great hurry. There were no tender kisses or caresses, only an act that could almost be called rape, but Morgan had taken off her own clothes. You could not accuse someone of something when you walked yourself into the situation willingly.

“Get your clothes on, now,” he said, immediately upon conclusion of the act.

She began putting on her clothes. Peyton crossed the room to the dresser, and she heard a drawer slide open. He turned around presenting a .38 Special in his hand, spun the cylinder, showing her all the chambers were empty. Then he put a bullet in the revolver. Morgan was still dressing, and now her fingers began to lose the ability to work correctly.

He said, “We’re going to play Russian Roulette, and you are the target.”

“You love me, this is a joke, right?” She said, still wrestling with the buttons on the shirt.

He came over, spun the cylinder, put the gun against her temple, and pulled the trigger in quick succession three or maybe, four times.

Morgan ran out of the room without being fully dressed.

Peyton yelled, “I never want to see you again, or I will kill you.”

The neighborhood was small, so it was impossible that they never see one another, but Morgan never went near him again. She could tell no one what happened because then she would have to admit the affair, so one more secret was added to a multitude of others.

She thought it over and over again. The only explanation for her survival after the chamber was spun and Peyton pulled the trigger was, wrong as she was to be there, Jesus saved her. It did not wholly curb the wildness, but it slowed her down, likely keeping her from more trouble than she may have entertained.

One day, years later, Peyton brought his heavily pregnant wife to meet her. She was never sure of the purpose of this introduction but supposed him to be gloating. A time later she learned he ruthlessly abused his wife. Eventually, he killed a woman and was executed for causing the death.

The Lord delivered Morgan from years of pain by letting her leave that killing field. Perhaps she did not learn all the lessons she might have from those events, but she came away convinced that life had a purpose and that living was a treasure. Humans might be disobedient and make unwise choices, but God was and is always in control.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan