story time

Two Sets of Joneses

Seventeen years ago….

I was in college on my way back with friends from performing. We were in the “singing assemble group” for our college that consisted of 6 girls and 12 guys. We went around singing to churches and organizations that donated money to our university.

Anyhoot, I was in the car and this music group came on the radio. I was immediately transported back in time to the 1960s, as the sound of a guitar blared and the lead singer’s voice droned on, it actually made me feel like I was at Wood Stock. *chuckle*

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Well, minus the “not so good” parts of Wood Stock. Sorry, I digressed from the main point.

As I listened to the words of the song, it really had a deep impact on me. After the song ended, I asked my friends the title of the song. They replied, “Two Sets of Joneses.” So I decided to share the story with you all but if you choose to skip it, I have attached the video below for your viewing pleasure.

STORY TIME

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The story begins with the two couples named, Rothchild and Evelyn Jones, and Reuben and Sue Jones.

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(Sorry, this was the best generalized image I could find of two couples, just use your imagination!)

Now, back to the story

Evelyn had a lot of money and Rothchild Jones was so excited because after he married her, she bought them a house on the beach.

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Reuben and Sue Jones did not have earthly wealth but they were followers of Jesus and felt that having Him was plenty because they trusted in Him to provide for them.

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The hook of the song described “hard times” as rain coming down and blowing the four walls down, and when the clouds rolled away; only one set of Joneses would be standing. So, essentially whenever hard times came, only one couple would be able to handle it.

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As time passed, eventually Evelyn Jones and Sue Jones were pregnant.

In Evelyn’s case, Rothchild worked late hours so that he could remain on top of the business, and her father was very proud and happy to have such a son-in-law. Rothchild worked so hard, that while Evelyn was having their first child, he was on an airplane flying to Dallas on business.

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In Sue’s case, when she was having their first child, the entire hospital heard Reuben exclaim, “It’s a boy!” He was right by her side and even stayed home with Sue to help her take care of the baby for a few days. While he was out of work, some of his co-workers took up a collection for Reuben and it ended up being enough for the bills that month.

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Needless to say, Evelyn Jones ended up leaving Rothchild and sued him for everything he had.

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The moral of the story: Is your life built on the Rock of Christ Jesus or Sandy foundations that YOU have managed to lay?

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Why is this important? Because when the rain comes down, and blows the four walls down, when the clouds roll away, will you be still standing or blown away?

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Just a thought. The video is below, enjoy 🙂

 

 

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Parents, Discipline, Home, School

Discipline: Shouldn’t the Home and School Environment be Equal?

I was reading that a lot of virtual schools have been arriving on the scene lately and are geared towards students who cannot seem to function well in a structured classroom setting, or may have an attendance issue, and/or discipline problem. In these virtual schools, a teacher could have up to 400 students because statistically, all the students have not “shown up” for classes anyway; so it is believed the teacher should be able to handle his or her class-load. I know some colleagues who teach in virtual schools, and honestly most students are not learning but simply working on modules and getting a mark for completion. How can they truly learn in this setting when they are in a “virtual” classroom full of 400 students and one teacher? Not to mention the majority of virtual school have an F report card. Check out the following article when given a chance, but please continue reading. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/virtual-schools/

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This type of school has a market because there are so many students no longer being able or willing to obey school rules. So after either being suspended, expelled or dropped for too many absences, their parents seek out a place their child can attend and this usually results in either alternative school or a virtual school.

This type of disruptive behavior has also been tied to the reason many of the public school teachers are no longer remaining in Education. One of the number one reasons teachers leave is because they do not receive adequate support from parents and/or administration when it comes to disciplining disruptive students. I personally have worked in schools that were super structured and implemented consistent discipline, and other schools, where the worst behaved students only got a slap on the wrist from administration and/or parents. So put yourself in the mindset of a school teacher; which should not be hard because most, if not all of us, have attended school before.

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A teacher has the responsibility to give, share, explain knowledge (also known as curriculum/subject matter) to students. It is also their responsibility to uphold a certain code of ethics, while also being available to answer any questions the students may have in order to increase understanding.

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A student has the responsibility to learn, obtain, take notes, study, review the material/knowledge that the teacher has taught. Why? So that they can learn different skills they can later utilize in the workplace. Skills such as working in groups, note-taking, presenting, writing, typing, listening, and obtaining new knowledge of different subject matter (while also being able to review prior material learned). The way the school measures whether the student “has learned” is by providing formative assessments (homework, asking and answering questions in class, poster board, presentations, etc…) and summative assessments (unit test, chapter test, benchmarks, end of course or end of grade exams).

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A parent/guardian has the responsibility to ensure they are aware of what “The Teacher” is teaching and if their child appears to be learning the information or not. The sooner “learning or failing” is identified, the quicker the child’s lack of progress can be addressed. Don’t be like this parent:

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It is also the parent/guardian’s responsibility to ensure the child is going to bed on time, and yes this applies to high school children as well because their is a direct link between academic performance and adequate sleep. Let’s be honest, this applies to adults as well.

The way to assess if your child needs to go to bed earlier is by asking the teacher if he or she sleeps in class. (Yes, it is ok for the parent to reach out to the teacher about their child, as a matter of fact, the teachers prefer it because when I was in the classroom, their were times when I had a total of 90 students to contend with, even though they were broken up into three classes.)

So, if the parent inquires if their child is sleeping in class and the answer is yes, then the child needs to go to sleep earlier and a bed time should be established for their own good.

It would also help your child if consistent disciplinary actions are utilized in the home. This is VERY important. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard students snicker and shrug their shoulders after they were told by a school official, “We are going to call your parents.”

If there is trouble establishing consistent consequences for negative behavior, all sorts of resources are available! Do not be ashamed to ask or look for them. I have access to some and would love to share. Just email me on my contact page or leave a comment below and maybe everyone can share what they do in their home that works.

In my dissertation, The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness and the Ill-Prepared Workforce: A Study of the Perceptions of Community College Administrators and Instructors; District High School Administrators, and Guidance Counselors, and CTE Department; and a Workforce Employer in North Carolina, every group named in my title, listed “parents and guardians” as the top influencer in their lives, and career or lack of career decisions made. This surprised me but explains why so many past students have become disengaged adults today. Parents, this proves just how much You and Your Presence, matters the most in your child’s life. And if you are not present, your child may experience some of the same behaviors that other abusive-type behaviors produce.

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Students will usually reflect what have been projected on them. Think of a flower, if it is neglected and left to itself, it withers and eventually dies. If a child is neglected, which could included but is not limited too: lack of consistent discipline, rewarding negative behavior, leaving them alone for extended periods of time, not caring who they communicate with online or in person, allowing them over to homes in which you do not really know they parents lifestyle, not caring if they are failing, or not showing intentional “interest” in every aspect of their lives. They will produce an unruly OR uninterested student at school because no one from home will be making sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. This type of student will either be consistently disruptive or become invisible in their classrooms, never reaching their fullest potential. They will end up either dropping out, failing, repeating courses, hanging out with others like them and/or doing some type of virtual school/course in which they just complete a checklist of modules and are PASSED along without learning much, if anything at all. They could end up like the student below:

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I know this is not what any parent would want for their child, and believe it or not, school personnel do not want to see it either but sometimes it just happens because the school can only do so much without the consistent support of the parent/guardian. So rise up parents, and take your rightful place as the super hero in your child’s life! FYI, Middle and High School students NEED you the most, so please do not slack off once your child reaches these grade levels. I cannot tell you how many high school and middle school students I have counseled from making life-altering decisions, even though some of them still chose to do the opposite because no one at home was monitoring them.

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So parents I commend and support you, and am here if you need any resources whether it is for yourselves, a family member, friend or your students.

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I recently spoke with a women who works in the North Carolina Attorney General’s office and she showed me all of the sneaky APPs available for any child with a smartphone and how deceptive they are. It was super scary. So the first thing I would do is educate yourselves on those, and consider giving your child a phone that does not allow these types of access to strangers. I will share a few TRUE/REAL life human trafficking stories on another blog if you need further convincing on why your teens and younger students should not have access to these APPs. Boys are not exempt either, they to have been victims. If you need me to send you more details about these APPs, email me.

Take an active role in your child’s life because even when they display an attitude, deep down they truly want your involvement and will develop resentment towards you when they don’t receive it.

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Lastly, do not reward bad behavior EVER, period. This sets many students up to be lawless in school because they think they can do whatever they want without any consequences. This will usually lead to a life of imprisonment and self destruction. So never reward evil or bad behavior, with good. It just is not sustainable.

In conclusion:

  1. Teachers, do not give up, the world needs you! If you are not getting the support you need, try transferring to another school or school district. They all can’t be bad. It would be worth it to be able to make a difference in a students’ life.
  2. Students, enjoy being a kid as long as you can and do not try to grow up so quickly. Watch out for bad influences! This could include but is not limited to: people, movies, music, books and games. You will reflect what and who you listen to.
  3. Parents, I hope this has been helpful, you truly have more influence and power than you realize, so make sure you are using your power for good.

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little nuggets of advice

The Golden Nuggets

Tonight I was filled with inspiring admiration for this couple who shared some words of wisdom. I attended a Youth Leaders Meeting at our Youth Pastor’s home and he’d invited two [YWAM] Global Missionaries, who have been married 40 years. They currently serve in an organization named Youth With A Mission and live in South Africa. They both shared so many Golden Nuggets that I wanted to share them with you all as well but due to the time, I will only share three and write about the remainder tomorrow.            The husband started out asking if any of us had any questions for he and his wife. One of the Youth Leaders started by asking what the couples did before they became missionaries?

Golden Nugget #1 – The Paradox

The husband shared that before they became missionaries, He was a pastor of a church. After pastoring for awhile, he and his wife began to feel lead in another direction. They prayed about it and after they left, they began to serve in Youth With A Mission Organization. They mentioned that one of the ways they knew it was time for them to move on was when people in the congregation started telling them how much they were needed and how they could not leave because they were “the glue” that held the church together. He said it was definitely time for them to leave if the church saw them as “the glue” instead of God/Jesus/Holy Spirit as being “The Glue”.

*This was interesting to me because a lot of times we want to stay were we feel needed and leave when we felt unwanted but he did the opposite. The Global leader and his wife decided it was time for them to leave, because their congregation’s focus was on them too much, instead of on God. What an interesting paradox.

Golden Nugget #2 – The Ruse

Another Youth Leader asked how does a person know when they are in or outside of “The Will of God”? The Global Leader responded by saying that he honestly felt that when a person is truly Walking In Christ, their steps are constantly being ordered by Him, even when they make mistakes. He went on to share examples of this by saying when his son was 17 years of age, his son informed him that he’d met the girl he was going to marry and that he was going to train and go into ministry so that he and the girl could become full time ministers. Not wanting to crush his son’s spirit, the Global Leader listened then told his son to continue praying about it. As time past, his son began to train in another state and became friends with a young lady who eventually became his wife. Some of his son’s friends and family asked whatever happened to the first girl he was “supposed” to marry? His son’s response was that he believed his initial “goal and preparation” of trying to marry that girl, set him on the path to meet the actual woman he was suppose to marry. The Global Leader called this “The ruse” because his son was almost tricked into thinking he was supposed to marry the first girl when in all actuality, she was “the ruse” to get him to his next level.

This is my addition to this Golden Nugget – Sometimes you may feel you have a Word from the Lord to do a certain thing, and He may very well want you to do it (AT THAT TIME) but continue to keep your ear turned to His Voice and your eyes in His Word, because He may change up your direction at the last millisecond and if you are not actively listening, you may miss an important step. For example, when Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac, what if he would have went through with it? What if he would not have heard God tell him not to sacrifice Isaac because He provided a ram in the bush? If he would not have been listening, Isaac would of had a tragic ending. So “the ruse” of telling Abraham to go sacrifice his son, allowed him to get to a certain point or place in God that would not have been reached otherwise, had “the ruse” been ignored. The Global Leader’s son would not have met and married girl #2, had he not first “thought” he was going to marry girl #1. Girl #1 was “the ruse” used to get him to his next step. What is your “ruse”?

Golden Nugget #3 – Source of Thoughts

Another Youth Leader asked how could he know whether certain thoughts were from God, the devil or himself, and the Global Leader said that being In Christ would allow all things to work together for good. (Romans 8:28) Even painful situations can draw us closer to God. So the Global Leader stated that when bad happened in his life now, he did not give the devil any credit. He also mentioned how important it was to take self-inventory and find out the source of all thoughts and questions. Sometimes thoughts can come from the wrong source and it’s our duty to search it out, so that we can take those thoughts into captivity and bring them into the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5)

To be continued…

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