Saturday, January 29, 2011

Far Above Rubies (Breaking That Down Into Comprehensible, Mind-Sized Pieces So We Don't Just Read Over It and Not Really Understand)

You may have caught on from my earlier posts that I am going to be talking about how we can be P31Ws (Proverbs 31 Women) in our lives, now. Well, I have been doing some studying and I am finding it to be most profitable for myself and I hope it will be for you all too.

I don't know about you, but I would love to be so valued that no amount of money in the world could replace me. That no beautiful gems and stones could make anyone trade me.That my future husband would be continually blessed by me and be proud to have me as his wife. That for years to come people would remember me by the way I loved people and the way I served the Lord. 

Nice to dream about, huh? Sounds like a perfect life - but a little out there. I mean, who is that amazing and valuable? I can assure you that I am not. But this dream, these goals are not entirely out of reach. A godly woman, is valuable. The Bible says it. Check out this verse and really try to think about what it means.

Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies." I love this verse. This has kinda been a life-long motto for me. When I think about being a woman for the Lord - the first thing that pops into my head is being "far above rubies". I want to be that valued.

ISN'T THAT COOL!!!!!!!!!!! Wait. You haven't caught it yet? Think about it.

Virtuous woman = far above rubies!!!

That is something within our grasp. We serve a God, who, if we walk in His way and seek His face, makes us more and more like Him every day. Virtue is something that we can acquire. I don't just have to dream about being valued like that - I can be valued like that. God shows me how! That just makes me so excited.

"So..." Your asking, "Just how much is a ruby worth? This could be so un-epic if it's like an everyday piece of glass." I have good news for you. Rubies today are not worth as much as they used to be. We have better ways of mining and they are just more ready than they used to be...BUT listen to some interesting facts on how they used to be....and look at these pictures.
They kinda look like rock candy, (Which I haven't had since I was around ten and I remember it tasting a lot like dye.).    

Okay, not very authentic, but I just think this necklace is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!  
- Woman who wore rubies were thought to be transformed into an aura of beauty.
- Rubies are the third strongest stone in the world.
- In ancient times, ruby stones were kept under a building foundation, to strengthen its structure.- Rubies are more rare and valuable than a flawless diamond.

And how about this commentary from Answers in Genesis, "Rubies and sapphires have long been part of human history, dating back to Job, an early post-Babel patriarch around 2000 BC.3 Rubies in particular have been prized by monarchs as a symbol of their wealth and power. In ancient Sanskrit the name for rubies meant “queen of precious stones.”"

I'm glad that I have a God who values character more than Riches. Thanks Goodness!!! That's a pretty long post, so it's as far as I'll go for now, but until next time, just think about the value of a virtuous woman and how cool it is that it is available for US with GOD's help!!

(Disclaimer: I want to make sure that everyone gets my point on the value thing. I'm not saying, that if you aren't a P31W you are an everyday brown paper bag. It's just that a woman of virtue have more earthly and heavenly value to anyone than a gem. And no matter what we are, God still LOVES US! which I will get into more in a later post.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Being a P31W now!

You out a pop-tart in the toaster. DING! Instant breakfast!

You call Verizon and DING! Instant text messaging.

You put on a ring and DING you become a Proverbs 31 Woman......

What....wait, wait. That's not how it works. You're right. It's not. For some reason, I've always had this mental image in my mind of a Proverbs 31 women, who is married and has kids. Is that the only type of Proverbs 31 woman there is? No, I don't think so at all. Being a Proverbs 31 woman is something that God has called us to NOW and TODAY.

I think this thought has slowed me down when it comes to being a P31W now. If I feel like being a godly woman is something that only comes in the future, then it gives me allowance to basically act like I want until then, right?


Although a mother was teaching her son about a woman to be looking for in marriage, I know that the guidelines for all females any age, can be found there. If we are looking for a way to be Godly in our single, no-where-close-to-getting-married and even-further-from-having-kids stage, we don't have to look any further than Proverbs 31. I believe that if we apply all the principles taught in every area of our lives, we will be the woman that God has made us to be; whether we marry or not.

I am going to be posting now and then about my findings from Proverbs 31 and I encourage all the gals out there to take that passage and break it down. Intensely. Really. And ask God, "How can I apply this to my life NOW? What can I do NOW that is going to make me a godly woman?" He will answer and show us. He always does.

Now, don't get discouraged. We will never been the perfect P31W and that's okay. She is a person to model, but we will never be her, completely. It's something we strive for and continue to seek until we die. We serve a good God. I'm so glad that He gives us amazing examples that we will never be like (eg. Himself), because if He didn't, I believe that my pride would become so huge that I would never see the areas I fail in. But I look at Christ, and the P31W and David and Stephen and Mary...and I think, "Wow, I guess I'm not really the shiz." It kinda sets me in my place.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Becoming Childlike.

There is an adorable little boy at our church, Matthew. I'm not sure how old he is, but he's a baby. Prolly one and a half or something.He and his family always sits in the row in front of us.

I have learned some lessons from that little guy. During the sermons on Sunday, Matthew sits in either his father or mother's lap. Sometimes, well often, he gets squirmy and wants to run around, but a lot of the time, I am amazed how content little Matthew seems to be sitting in his parent's arms. He doesn't seem to feel confined or irritated that they hold him close.

One time, Matthew sat on his mother's lap, facing her. He stares up into her face - studying her. I was struck at that moment, by his intense gaze. He looked at her whole face. I'm telling you, he has every pore in her face memorized.

I need to be like Matthew when it comes to my heavenly Father. When was the last time that I threw every distraction aside and dwelt on the beauty of my Father's face, memorizing every characteristic and word about Him. I don't fall on my face enough in worship of the God I serve. You know why I think that? I don't know Him well enough. I haven't fully grasped the beauty of His wonderful face. But every time I see another detail about the way His eyes shines with love for me or I notice a wrinkle in His cheek that can only be from concern and sorrow over my sin, I do fall down in worship.

This verse comes to mind. Mark 10:15 "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not
receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."


That's what a lot of us are short on, huh?

I remember my dad telling me once about me as a kid. He said that I would jump from a high place into his arms because I knew he would catch me. Now, if asked to jump from anything into my dad's arms, I know I would be too scared. I don't trust that my dad would catch me - not because he has changed, but I have. I now realize that I'm heavier than I used to be, and I know the consequences of what would happen if he dropped me.

I think I'm like that with God often. I fool myself into thinking that God doesn't really know what He is talking about and that He isn't going to catch me. I try to handle situations in my own strength and not His. What a shame. I end up hurting/tiring myself for lack of trust in a perfect omnipotent God.

When I think of being childlike in my faith, I think of Matthew. That child knows his parent's faces like the back of his chubby hand. I believe with all my heart that he would jump from a rooftop into his dad's arms, with no fear, no "what if" thoughts.

What this can look like in my life: 1-Content in my Father's arms - refusing to be distracted by the many "pretty things" in the world. Happy just to be alone with Him. 2-Studying my Father and trying to grasp the infinite magnitude of His holy, gracious, loving, wrathful, jealous...ect. character by being in His Word, listening and praying to Him. 3-Learning to be unafraid to adopt His plan (the WHOLE plan) and not trying to figure things out on my own, but having faith to trust that God does know much more than I do. So just jump; He's going to catch me.

Thanks, Matthew, for being the adorable little boy you are and for teaching me practical lessons. I pray that you will seek God with an intensity no one can match.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prayer Request..

Could you guys pray for me? I am having some pretty serious back trouble right now. I don't know why, but it is hurting so bad, but I can't remember injuring it or anything. But everything is really uncomfortable and we have company coming in and stuff, which is going to put me out of my bed (not that thats a problem, I don't mind) but it makes it hard not sleeping in your own bed. Yeah, if you guys could pray that it would get better that'd be good. I have stuff coming up like bball games and I'm gonna need that back (pun not intended). And if you have any requests feel free to share. And hopefully, I'll get some MEANINGFUL posts up soon, sorry about that...

I Hate Emotions


I have a random question.

Have you ever loved something so much that even though there is nothing depressing about it at all, just thinking about that thing can bring you to tears? It just stirs an emotion in you that will make you cry even though it's not sad?

Am I the only one like this? Please tell me I'm not....It's annoying me.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 11 - A deceased person you wish you could talk to

Jesse Welch,

It seems like yesterday since the tornado came through. But in only a few weeks it going to be a whole three years.

I'll never forget the last time we talked. You were waiting impatiently for me to finish reading a story in your english book by Edgar Allen Poe. We both loved him! I had never read it before and you made sure that I got to read it. Your mom arrived though and I rushed through the last paragraph. Little did I know that would be the last time you would be at school, or I don't think I would have been reading.

I don't think I've ever really bickered with a guy friend like I did you. What's with that? You were def. one of my closest guy friends but we really just got at each other a lot. Contrasting personalities? Maybe, I don't know. Immaturity? Most likely. I remember snapping at you because you were trying to help me with a science project. I tried to apologize so many times for that. I wish I would have.

No use in lying - when I first met you I thought you were odd and was a little weirded out. But after getting to know you and after we both matured more I found that you were a really nice guy! I wonder if you were still here if we would be great friends. I'd like to think so. We were already starting to hang out more. I remember debating whether to invite you to my birthday party or not. It was going to be a small group of mostly girls and I didn't want you to feel awkward so I never did.

I'm going to graduate in five months! Can you believe it? In November I had a senior party with our class. It was fun, but afterward I cried because I know you would have had a blast with us - probably showing us a magic trick or something. I think at graduation we are going to do something in memory of you. It has to be something special though, so we are thinking about what exactly to do.

I just had a birthday. I'm seventeen. Crazy. You taught me a lot of lessons. In your life and your death. You taught me to love and accept people for who they are (your friendliness to EVERYONE was inspiring) and God showed me to always be ready, because at any time I could leave. Just like you. I've been blessed to live as long as I have and I'll never understand why God would let you and your family die and not me and my family or someone else, but I am truly thankful for every day that I live and want to serve God with every breath I breathe.

I know you are sitting at the feet of Christ. Although I love life, I cannot wait to join you. And when it comes to singing, we'll put that ol' UCA choir to shame - not to mention Salene's...but that's not the point. :)

Thank you for being the special you that you were.


P.s. I miss your magic tricks. I still do that one with the rubber band. It makes me smile.

Day 10 - Someone I wish I could meet


I don't know what is with those crazy people out there, but there are a ton of people who think that you and the other founding fathers were not Christians, which I think is so silly. There is tons of evidence out there that you were. Actually, I think you were a strong devout Christian. I wish I could sit you down and ask you some questions on live TV, surely that would convince everyone.

Well, no matter what they believe I really respect you. And I am so glad that you helped make our nation what it is. You believed in a government AND God and so do I. They cannot be separated! Thank you for giving your life to America and Christ. I can't wait to meet one day.

A Fellow American,
Ashley Jones

I know, you all think I'm corny, but that came fromt he bottom of my heart so don't laugh...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 8 -My Favorite Internet Friend

Hm...well just so you know, I am not on the social networks or anything, so these two people are just peeps I know from their blogs and forums and stuff...

1: Miguel (He has many names: Bof, Bliz, Blizzard of Fire, Mig)

Dear Cuz,
Thanks for always being so nice to me on OYAN. Let me tell ya, if it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't have had any critiques on my novel. Thanks soooo much for sticking with it and helping me with all my random nautical questions and stuff. I have always known that if I ever needed anyone to talk to or someone to help me I could always come to you. And you have always supported me in my crazy ideas, just encouraging me to follow God's will for me. And your love for God so inspires me (I guess you can't tell exactly thru the computer, but it seems as though you really have a heart for the Lord.) Bravo! Keep serving Christ in everything you do. Keep being involved in things that are trying to make a difference. And DEFINITELY KEEP WRITING! Would I be surprised if I saw a book in Books a Million written by you?...Naw, not at all! :)

A Sister from the Forum,
Ashley Jones

Kyle Cheng:

I anxiously await your blog posts. I love reading them and each one speaks to me specifically. Thank you for making your thoughts on things known and for not being afraid to stand up for what you believe in. You have encouraged me to dive down into a deeper relationship with Christ through journaling. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! You were right! I can already see the work God has been doing in me. Thanks so much for refering me. Please, continue in the faith and continue blogging! You've been an inspiration. Your "laboring" hasn't been in vain.

Your Sister in Christ,
Ashley Jones

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WATCH THIS! Trust's worth the time...

Has any place ever changed your life? God used Camp Barnabas to change mine. It is a special needs camp that is serious about sharing the love of Christ with these kids.

Watch these videos...want to come or donate? Contact me and we will work something out. ;)

Want to know what it's all about?

Want to know the benefits for the CIAs?

A good video of just people goofing off...

Monday, January 10, 2011

I got a love letter...

Sometimes "I love you" loses it's meaning. Often it's overused. We pop open a can of Pepsi, look at the tin can and say, "I love you" dramatically. We toss around "I love you" with a romantic interest we've only known for three days. We say "I love you" for a show and to look good. We say it when we often don't mean it.

But today, my hands shake and tears form under my eyes as I read the simple words, "I love you" for the hundredth time. "You are beautiful" are the next words. And "when you look at me, my heart beats" follows that.

My heart overflows with joy at the genuineness of such words. They weren't for show, they aren't overused. Someone wrote them and meant them.

My warm tears fall, staining the page once again. Its wear and tare is showing by now. The page is crinkled and dirty, but I still pull it out to read it again and again. It never losses its meaning and never becomes dry. Each time I read it it makes me just as happy as it did the first time - if not more so!

I hold that letter to my chest and treasure it. I'll never let it go. Never. I hide it in my heart, so when I'm not reading it - I can at least remember what it says.

It's a wonder how these moments of joy can be so quickly turned to sadness. Even after being so full of love - I quickly forget what the words on that precious page said. They slip from my mind. I become discouraged and wonder why I feel so alone.

But I'm lucky. My lover is patient. He finds so special ways to remind me to read His letter again. He gives me hugs or sings a song or randomly pops in my mind. Then the words come flooding back to me. I run into my room and pull that letter out...

I read, "I love you, beloved. I will never leave you or forsake you."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I needed this....

Wow. I needed to hear this so much...

Here is the song if you haven't heard it.

Stoning those dumb idols

Another great Deuteronomy passage. Read and then I'll say some things about it...

Deuteronomy 13:6-11 "6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, 7 of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, 8 you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; 9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11 So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you." 

I read this the other day and thought of an interesting way we can apply this to our lives. Bare with me.

When it says that people can entice us to other gods - I knew that it was talking about the false gods that people in Canaan and all those other places worshiped and stuff. But then I starting thinking about false "gods" in my life, now. That threaten me - now. Idols. I let myself be enticed into putting things (school, family, friends, chores, media, socialization) further up on my priority list than God. And we know that the Bible says, "Whoever loves their or dad more than Me isn't worthy of me. (my version)." I am under the impression that putting those things ahead of God is probably just as offensive to Him as what the Israelites did.

Of course, I know we all get distracted from time to time. But reading this passage - I am reminded to be looking out and watching for distractions so I can tackle them before they become a serious problem.

Whoa...I'm really surprised by the way God wanted them to react. Kill them? Stone them? Wow. That's how serious God was about this. Obviously, we don't have the authority to kill people like back then - they were in a Theocracy and got permission straight from God. But in a figure of speech we can "put to death" those things that drive us away from Christ.

Killing this is hard. I know it is. I've had to do it. But how can we kill those things that are trying to take God's place on the throne of our hearts? I think these verses sum it really well. James 4:7-8 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. "

I have this habit of being in a bad situation or finding myself in sin and saying, "Oh no! What do I do?" then panicking. Really stupid. But when we rest in the Lord and REALLY not just kinda....but REALLY pour ourselves into the Word to find help - we are helped. Those giant idols start to crumble and God grabs our hearts again. Resisting the devil - is as easy as diving in the Word and begging for God for help. We just don't realize that.

I love the last part of verse ten. " And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."

 I could say much about that verse, but I'll let it gives it's own message. It just makes me wonder why I let those "dumb idols" creep in anyways.

Okay, now I am going to bounce back a little. A verse at the beginning of the chapter said this. It was talking about the same thing, but was only slightly different from the passage above. It said.. "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

*gulp* This verse scares me. I forget that trials that come int his life ARE IN FACT a test of our faith and love for Christ. Next time I say, " I love God" I am going to remember this verse.

So questions for the day. What are the gods in our life? And how do we go about stoning them? 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dueteronomy 10:12-22

I love this old testament verse. I encourage you to read it...and then better yet, go to the Bible and read the surrounding verses to get the context.

12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 14 Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. 15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Ah! I love these. I love making personal goals and trying to accomplish them.

What is your New Year's Resolution. Or put this way - what things do you expect to accomplish (or should I say, expect God to accomplish - see last post.) this year?

I'm a dreamer so I have quite a few. Wanna hear them? Feel free to ask me how I'm doing. I'll need it.
-I'm going gluten free
-and sugar free (length for these two things is at least two months).
-I want to revise both novels and look into publishing
-learn giutar
-get lifeguard certified
-learn djembe
-then  I have some personal goals regarding my devotional stuff.


Reflect and Expect

Happy New Year! Can you believe that it is 2011 already?

I look back on this past year. I am so happy. Wanna know why? Because I am not the same person I was a year ago. And that person wasn't the same as the person before that. God is constantly changing and working in my life. Yeah, sometimes I have better weeks than others but I am on my way to becoming more Christlike as I go on.

Time has flown by. Today, I registered for an ACT test and choose the colleges to send my scores to. I spent a while on the internet looking at scholarships I can apply for. I turn seventeen in two weeks. I'm graduating in 5 months! Where has time gone?

The future is intimidating. I can't decide if I'm excited or sad. I guess it's a little of both. Part of me feels crazy and ready for the adventures life brings, but the other part of me feels like a lost boy in Neverland - determined not to grow up. Every step brings me closer to an eternity with Christ. Although, the thought is frightening, I AM excited about that. And every trial is just another chance to reach up and hold on tighter to my Father's hand. Yes, I am scared, but excitement trumps.

Lots of great things have happened this year! I can't begin to explain the ways. Christ is near - that is certain.  I know that God has many different ways of teaching His children, but I want to share with y'all how He has taught me.

I have learned to expect big things from God.

Not little.




We serve a big, huge, strong and powerful God. The "earth is His footstool". He has taught me that it is okay to ask the impossible of Him. No, I've never seen something "supernatural" - for lack of a better word - before. He hasn't made me turn invisible or anything like that. But things that I THOUGHT were impossible and too much to ask He has done.

For example - I have had trouble with lust. I had a lust problem and I just couldn't get over it. I tried a lot of times to get rid of it, but it would never go felt like it would just get worse. Well, I had to literally beg the Lord mulitple times to take it away. I thought it would never happen. It has. Granted, I do fall back into it now and again, but overall, God has taken that struggle away from me. He has showed me, "Ashley, you don't need a man to complete you. As for now, you ARE complete - in ME! I can satisfiy you. Look no further."

I expected my merciful God to come to my aid and He did. I expect God to rush to my side when temptations arise - and He will. I expect God to be there when I fall and wipe my tears away and to give me strength when I am weak. And He will.

Why do we fool ourselves into thinking that we have to figure stuff out by ourselves? Why do I? I act like God just coaches from the sidelines and I have to score all by myself. Noooo, quite the contrary.

Just today I was reminded to be in prayer about college. For some WEIRD reason I was under the impression that I had to figure every thing out by myself. That no one was going to show me so I just had to make a decision. I forgot. God is going to show me. How? Who knows! He has some seriuosly strange ways...but I remembered that I have to expect Him to show me and He will show me.

As I have grown in my relatinoship with Christ, He has taught me to expect more of Him. As I begin to understand God more for who He is and what His promises mean, I believe all the more that He is in control and that He will follow through.

I ask myself a few questions this New Year. In what areas am I not expecting God to take care of? What things do I feel like I have to take of? In what areas am I expecting defeat? What things do I need to surrender to Christ? What do I expect God to accomplish in the New Year? What do I expect to learn?

Expect big things from God and He will teach you to trust Him and expect more and more. And the good thing is - He doesn't disappoint. ;)