Paul Michael Jones

Lion hearts and loud desperation

There is an old Henry David Thoreau quote that poignantly points out how most people “lead lives of quiet desperation.” In one sense, Henry was dead on. In another sense … he was dead wrong. People are loud in their desperation. If you have any shadow of a doubt about this matter, simply take a gander at your social media […]

Trimming trees and toxic habits

Nothing creates robust possibilities for growth quite like chopping off lifesucking limbs. Friends, this is a universal principal. We mainly think of this when pruning trees, but it applies to so much more. Is there government overspending and overreach? Trim back both. Are there lifeless ministries in your church syphoning volunteers and funds? Lop those sucker branches right off, and […]

Flaming tongues and forest fires

If I told you that gossip is the world’s greatest problem, would you believe me? I’ve touched on the topic of gossip in the past, but this time … I’m just going to tackle it head on. In an age where toxic tabloid culture seems to have infiltrated every crevice of our lives, it behooves us all to remember that […]

Adventures in autism

Over the last several years, people have suggested that I might be autistic. Most of these comments have been made by caring individuals who are close to me, and they have done so with a sense of gentleness and compassion. The insinuations have been that I might be on the high functioning side of the autism spectrum, perhaps fitting with […]

Resurrection and repentance

Years ago, I asked a brutally honest question, and, in return, I received a beautifully honest answer. At the time, I was working as a youth minister, and I had been asking people what they thought was missing from our church. One woman was bold enough to answer the question with thoughtful and scalding sincerity. According to her, the missing […]

Haunted by hope

Spring is here in all of its green glory. New life is blossoming. Wildflowers are waving gregariously to all of us from sunkissed fields as they dance in the fresh March winds. The hues that the polar vortex seemed to have robbed us of have returned as brilliant rainbow arrays throughout our county and state. Texas is alive. I’m a […]

Terrifying tunnels, Part Deux

So … where were we? Ah, yes … that crazy notion that the terrifying tunnels of life do not exist. Last week, I suggested that a vast quantity of us struggle with the feeling that our means are limited, when, in fact, our motivation is actually the primary impetus needed to overcome the inertia of our befuddled lives. Then, I […]

Terrifying tunnels

I ’d like you to do something for me … and for yourself. Take out a piece of paper, and write the three biggest problems in your life, right now. For those of you who didn’t follow those directions, promptly take your left hand and smack your face … not loud enough to make people think you’re crazy, but just […]

Crybaby culture

If being a crybaby was a superpower, the world would be filled with caped crusaders. Sadly, not only is it not a sign of supernatural strength, it is, perhaps, the downfall of civilization as we know it. Before you accuse me of crying wolf, please … hear me out. Never has humanity had as much access to potentially sympathetic ears the […]

The Great Reset

There’s just something that is so refreshing about waking up to a pristine blanket of snow … covering everything. In the last hours of Valentine’s Day, many of us experienced the angelic anomaly that is South Texas snow. As we gazed into the dark heavens, we beheld the glory of ice crystals clumped together in tiny families, illuminated by street […]

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