Posted by: tnt4 | April 28, 2011

2 More Weeks!

 
 (Written by Thais Jones)

      2011 Graduating Senior

Wow, we’re in the final seconds of the last quarter now!!! Things are tough, but God is so good and ever-faithful through it all. Some major milestones have already been achieved on our way to the big and widely anticipated event (GRADUATION) on May 15th. At the end of each spring semester, during their normal chapel service hours, TMS graduating seniors give their testimonies before the student body. Terrence had the privilege of giving his on the morning of March 15th. It was a blessing to be present for this special moment, as well as to witness the testimony of another dear brother in the faith, Stephen Ward.

Terrence & Stephen after Senior Testimonies

March 15, 2011

 

In addition, the Lord bestowed the honor of another achievement on our family when I was granted my certificate of completion for the Women’s Ministries Program earlier this week. 

TMC 2011 Women’s Ministries Certificate Recipients
April 27, 2011

 We are so grateful and continue to be amazed at all that the Lord is doing. Please pray for our endurance and for a strong finish. The next 2 weeks promise to be very challenging. We praise God for your continued care & concern. 

                                                                                                                                                           The Jones

Posted by: tnt4 | February 17, 2011

The Last Quarter

                          (Written by Thais)                                   

Dear Family & Friends,

We pray that you all are well since we last wrote.  We have so much to share with you that it’s difficult to even know where to begin.  Our lives continue to speed along at a rapid pace. As classes start back up, here we go again. Yet this time is different. If we compared these last four years to a basketball game, then we’d be now be in the fourth quarter with the game winding down to an end. We can hardly grasp the reality of Terrence having just begun his last semester of seminary. Have we really been here almost four years? Evidently, we have. We are very excited as we consider all that this new year of 2011 will bring.

First up, we are greatly anticipating Terrence’s graduation from The Master’s Seminary on May 15th. What a joy it has been watching the Lord shape and mature him into a future leader of His church. There have been countless invaluable lessons, many of which have been gained from outside the formal classroom. But whether from lectures or life, whether pleasant or painful, we are eternally grateful for all that the Lord has taught us over these last years. Let Terrence tell it and he will say that we have not one, but two graduations coming up. Although not an official graduation, I will be receiving a certificate in April for completion of the Women’s Ministries Program at The Master’s College. What a blessing it has been for us to be students at the same time, learning and growing together.

@ 22 wks

 
 

Secondly, let us move on to what’s cooking at home. That’s right…yet, another bun in the oven! By God’s grace, our family continues to expand. I am currently 6 mths pregnant, which means the new baby should arrive no later than the first few days of June. We are looking forward this spring to welcoming a little sibling for Mataya (2 ½ yrs old and talking up a storm) and Sophia (now 17 mths old and walking all over the place). June also promises to be a special month because I will be turning 30 yrs old and we will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. What a great graduation/birthday/anniversary/Father’s Day gift a new baby will be!

 

Some of you are probably wondering, “So then what?” Graduate, have a baby, and then what? Friends and family, we are thrilled to officially announce that we believe the Lord is calling us back to Alabama. We intend to move by the beginning of July to a neighborhood on the west side of Montgomery, called Washington Park. A group of believers working in West Montgomery has invited Terrence to partner with them and to be the pastor of a brand new church named Strong Tower. The word “excitement” cannot even describe what we are feeling as we approach this transition. We have an opportunity to be a part of the Lord’s work in not only changing lives, but a whole community. Not to mention the blessing of working with a great team of godly men and women, some of whom are already close friends of our’s from college and Campus Outreach. The task will be great, but we believe it is the Lord’s will for us and that He is more than able to accomplish it.

Although May 15th is quickly approaching, there is so much that needs to happen before we get there. Please pray that we would finish well our time left here in California. Pray for Terrence to be diligent in his studies and to be able to balance all of the responsibilities he is currently juggling (home, school, work, teaching this semester at a Bible training school in LA, planning for the future church). Pray for a healthy pregnancy and that I would also be able to balance the load of home and school. We appreciate your loving support more than you’ll ever know and are convinced that we could not have made it this far without you. May God bless you with His amazing grace and everlasting peace.

The Jones

(Also, please check out the last post titled, Double Trouble. It was written in May, but not made public for your viewing until now. Our apologies!)

 

Posted by: tnt4 | May 16, 2010

Double Trouble

                                                                          

Seven (Might as well say eight) Months & 21 Months! Where has the time gone??? Most of you probably don’t even recognize Sophia, since the last picture I posted was of her as a newborn. Sophia & Mataya, both, are sprouting like weeds. They are busy, & getting busier. They keep us hard at work, but they also keep us laughing and having fun. Thank God for the joy that they bring to our lives.

Mataya is swiftly approaching her 2nd birthday in July. She’s talking a lot now, adding new phrases in everyday it seems. Her height has increased to the point that she’s now able to reach all the light switches. She is starting to show some initiative in using the potty. Her favorite cartoons are Arthur and Veggie Tales. She’s a great big sister, often asking to hold Sophia and attempting to give kisses to her baby sister. She is learning how to count, sing her ABCs, say her colors, & share her toys. Truly, she is a bubbly character, a real people person with an independent side that continues to catch us off guard at times. Like when she went pee-pee in the potty and tried to empty the pot into the toilet all by herself, spilling pee on the bathroom floor. (Laugh!) We are in the process of teaching her to ask for help.

Sophia is a plump little butterball. She’s even chunkier than Mataya was, landing in the 80th -90th percentiles across the board on the growth chart and outgrowing her clothes before I can barely get her in them. A bit more reserved than her older sister, it takes her a little longer to warm up to strangers. But she is a joyful and happy baby, none the less. When she gets excited, she squeals at a really high pitch. Her great-grandmother thinks she may grow up to be an opera singer. She enjoys toys that let her bounce and jump, and anything that she can get into her mouth these days. She is sitting up on her own, drinking from a sippy cup, and being introduced to a couple of new solid foods every week. And yes, folks, she is sleeping through the night (for which we are very grateful). She is learning how not to pull her sister’s hair (for which Mataya will be very grateful). Smile! She is also able to scoot around a little bit now, in order to get to what she wants. Uh oh, watch out, Mataya! Here she comes!

They are both so precious. We are so thankful to God for keeping them!

Posted by: tnt4 | May 15, 2010

A Family Letter

Hello, everyone. Been a while, but things are good, we and the girls are doing well. Just wanted to share with you this picture and letter (written by Terrence) that we sent out near the beginning of the year.

 

Dear Friends and Family,

                It is hard to believe that we have been in Seminary two and a half years. It seems like just a few days ago that we loaded up the U-haul from Tuskegee, AL, and moved to southern California. We have enjoyed every step of the way as God has used this time to radically change our lives forever. The two words that come to my mind when I think about all God has taught us during this time are entrust, and stewardship. God continues to blow our minds at the amount of wisdom that he has exposed us to and entrusted us with. My prayer is that we would always be good stewards over the things he has shown us at such a young age. I do not use plural pronouns “we and us” just to be politically correct. While I might have naively thought that this time in seminary was all about my being trained only, the Lord has continually shown us that this time is about preparing Thais as well.

                We feel like the Lord has aligned some of His best teachers and saturated us with things we will need to know for future life and ministry. Those teachers include: His word, life, trials, marriage, seminary, professors, pastors, work, kids, parents, friends, mentors, and ministry. We have sat at the feast of wisdom and trial by fire for hours upon end, being molded and refined into children of God. Everyday has not been easy. We have been the benefactors of both pain and joy. However, the common thread through our seminary experience has been the “Faithfulness of God.” Hallelujah, what a Savior!! My dad has told me “son, you should write down all God has done for you, because people want believe you if you try to tell them.” He is right. There is no earthly explanation for God’s goodness towards me. It is truly unexplainable.

                We would like to take this opportunity to thank you. Thank you for the prayers, support, and sincere concern for us. You have allowed God to use you to bless our lives and hearts in numerous ways. Our experience has been made possible because you have answered the call time and time again as the Lord has laid us on your hearts. By His grace we are only 3 semesters away from finishing up. If the Lord wills, May 2011 will be graduation. This is no small accomplishment by any stretch of the imagination. Many that started with me have had to leave or slow down for various reasons: some have become seriously sick; others spouse’s or children have become seriously sick; finances have pulled some away; some have had some have fallen into the snare of the devil. Yet through it all, God has been our protector and strong tower. Thank you for partnering with us!

Prayer Request

God’s protection for remainder of Seminary That I would be a Christ honoring husband
Continued Learning in and out of Seminary Discipline for the purpose of Godliness
Continued Financial Provision to Finish Seminary A firm grasp on Biblical Languages
Please Pray for Thais, she has started a program at the Master’s College earning a certificate in Women’s Ministry (5 classes over 3 semesters). Pray for Mataya (18 months) and Sophia (4 months). Pray that our parenting would glorify God.
Pray that we would finish well. Pray for where the Lord will lead us after Seminary
Pray that we would learn the importance of Rest. Pray that we would be Balanced & Prioritized
   
Posted by: tnt4 | November 18, 2009

Halfway to the Finish Line

                                                                               By Thais              

Beloved, we pray this update finds all of you doing well. We are adjusting to family life with a 1 yr old and a newborn. It is busy, but we are enjoying our precious little ones. As the year of 2009 quickly draws to a close, we find ourselves regretting that we have not kept you more informed of all God has done lately along our journey through seminary. And He has done a lot! We hope that your hearts are encouraged as you read on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1st Family Photo of the Four of Us

Since the last official seminary/ministry(non-child related) Jones update in March, Terrence completed his Spring ’09 and Summer ’09 semesters. This marked the achievement of a great milestone. We’re halfway through seminary! Wow, already? Yes, only two more years to go, less than that if you consider the fact that he’s now nearing the end of the Fall ’09 semester. Thus far, the Lord has blessed Terrence to maintain a cumulative 3.67 GPA. More than just making good grades, he’s truly enjoying the process of learning. And the spiritual growth he’s experienced far outweighs the benefits of any increased head knowledge.   

Selected last spring by faculty & graduating seniors to receive a Servant Leadership Award.

In the area of work, we are delighted to inform you that Terrence received a promotion this summer. Although still employed at The Master’s College, he is no longer in the Security Department. He now works with Student Life and Admissions (which means no more night and weekend shifts). He is the new Director of Church and Urban Ministries. This position requires the planning and coordination of several annual campus activities that are designed to take the students beyond the college and out into neighboring churches within the surrounding communities. His responsibilities also include the recruitment and discipleship of African American students, while identifying ways to improve racial relations and to promote unity amongst the students, staff, and faculty. We are amazed to see how the Lord has opened up new avenues (both at work and at the seminary) for Terrence to minister in ways that are consistent with his passions. His new position enables him to get paid for what he has already been doing in many ways on the campus. In many other new ways (like administration and event planning), it has challenged him to grow and develop skills that will be of great benefit in future ministry as a pastor. I think he would agree that he has gained just as many lessons and just as much exposure from his new job as he has from seminary this semester. Truly, it is a blessing that we could not have imagined.  

 

Outreach Week was Terrence’s 1st major campus-wide event to plan @ work. Each year groups of students serve @ local churches for the weekend. Here a group of students lead a special service held 4 nursing home residents.

Please be in prayer with us as we seek to adjust to the increased responsibilities of caring for another child, as well as to improve in the areas of time management, organization, and stewardship of finances. We are overwhelmingly grateful for your prayers and support, which have helped to carry us this far. We thank God for all of you and welcome your prayer requests so that we might know how to pray more specifically for each of you. May His peace be with you until next time.

Posted by: tnt4 | September 20, 2009

Birthdays All Around

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We rejoice in the divine blessings of continued life and new life. On July 21st, we celebrated Mataya’s 1st birthday. On September 5th, we thanked God for allowing Terrence to turn 28 years old. And on the 18th of September, we welcomed into our family our 3rd daughter,

Sophia Pearl Jones

DSC02161

Time of Birth – 11:25 AM     Weight – 6 lb 13 oz     Length – 21 in

All honor belongs to the One God from whom life flows and is daily sustained. It is only by His miraculous power and mighty hand that we live on this earth. It is only by His grace and mercy that we, who accept Jesus Christ, will live together with Him in eternity. So even more than in the pleasures of this life, we rejoice in knowing that our future holds the hope of everlasting life in heaven. No earthly joy can compare. The Lord is our portion forever.   

Posted by: tnt4 | June 5, 2009

10 Months and Counting

                                                                                                                                                                              
I’m ashamed to say it’s been so long since I’ve posted an update on our sweet little girl, that I had to go back and see how old she was when I wrote the last one. If I couldn’t remember that for myself, then I know all of you Mataya fans are wondering what’s going on. So here’s the scoop on Mataya Alexis, along with some pictures for your enjoyment.
DSC01460 
 

Mataya has been officially mobile now for the last few months. She has quickly moved from sitting up to rolling to scooting (by that I mean an unofficial crawl consisting of a series of rolls and belly flops) to officially crawling and using whatever she can get her hands on to pull herself up to standing position. Trust me, the girl is fast. I turn my head for a second, look back and she’s gone. It won’t be long now before she’s walking. She has also been mobile in the sense of travel. In December, she took her first ride on an airplane when we went to Georgia to visit family. 

 Carried thru airport by Daddy
Carried thru airport by Daddy

  Below w/ Great-Grandmothers in GA                    Lounging @ the Log House Cabin 

1st Meeting of Great-Grandmothers on Dad's Side             DSC01156

She’s flown once more since then and we are planning another trip this summer, before her 1st birthday. She seems to be a natural traveler and has done great on the flights. There’ve also been a couple of road trips here in California, one to a cabin in 3 Rivers and another to Santa Barbara. Again, she has done great. Since the last update, she experienced her 1st major holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, and Resurrection/Easter Sunday were all fun.

1st XMas          1st XMas                                   

 

                                            OK, we celebrate Resurrection, not Easter. But doesn't she make a cute bunny?

                                                                                                                                                                                             OK, we celebrate Resurrection Day, not Easter. But doesn’t she make a cute bunny?  

In the food department, Mataya is fully weaned and has her new little sister/brother to thank for that. I was unable to continue nursing her due to my pregnancy. Since she never would take a bottle, she went straight to a sippy cup. She recently sprouted 2 bottom front teeth, and I should add that she did it with minimal fussiness. We started her on solids at 6 mths and her response has been shocking, in that she seems to like anything we give her. She weighed 18 lbs at her 9 mth check-up with her height, weight and head circumference landing her at about the 50th percentile on the growth charts. It’s funny though because when most people see her, they assume that she’s big for her age. What can we say??? She’s a healthy looking girl.

Mataya’s still sleeping through the night in her own bed.  Although, now she sleeps in her own big girl bed (a crib, not bassinette) and she sleeps for much longer. Her new bedtime is 7:30 and she doesn’t wake up until that same time the next morning. That’s 12 hours, and boy it’s nice! She’s got a head full of hair, which is so long now that I’m forced to comb it before we go out (when she’ll let me, anyway). On most days, I keep it simple and let her go with it loose in a small wavy afro, but now on special days she sports cute little curly ponytails.

Check Out the Pigtails 

Check Out the Pigtails

Mataya has declared a favorite parent, and I’m sad (although, not really) to say that it’s not me. She 100% a Daddy’s Girl, but I guess it’s to be expected since most people say that she’s Terrence’s spitting image anyway. And I know he just eats it up inside. It is so sweet to watch her cling to him and to see them play together. She continues to fill our home with precious laughter, giggles & now many silly expressions (see below)- the kind that bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face. We are blessed to have had her with us for almost a year now, although it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. May the Lord’s peace be with you until you hear from us again. Blessings!

DSC01624 DSC01488 DSC01630

Posted by: tnt4 | March 27, 2009

Jones Update

 

 
Reading Together

Reading Together

Dear Loved Ones,

How special you all are to us. We thank God for the wonderful relationships He’s given us with so many people from so many different places and backgrounds. We pray that you are all well. We’ve got so much to tell you. Let’s get started.

As we pause, we find ourselves halfway through the 2nd semester of this school year without having told you how the 1st semester went. It was full of its own unique challenges and blessings, just like every other semester. In seminary, Terrence entered into his 3rd Greek class. This semester he’s taking two language classes, both Greek and Hebrew. As if one wasn’t hard enough! But he is already starting to see the payoffs in his preaching and daily devotions. Terrence finished last semester with a GPA of 3.65 and a cumulative GPA of 3.72. While he carried a full load (11.5 credit hours) at school, he also worked 4 days a week as a security officer at The Master’s College. His work schedule for the fall semester did not include any overnight shifts, which was a miracle in itself, since Terrence was one of the newest guys on the block. This semester has one overnight shift a week, but the Lord is faithful and we are adjusting. We are so thankful to God for removing Terrence from UPS and putting him at TMC. There has been a dramatic difference between this fall semester and last spring semester. It would take too much time for me to list all of the blessings of his new job, but just know that it was a divinely strategic move that has impacted all areas of our life – from school to family to the young adult church ministry.

            dsc004791dsc00485dsc004712

                         Young Adult Fellowshipdsc004861

Young Adult Min.                                                                                                 

We have seen God working with the young adults at our church. The ministry group has grown from about 5 to 15! We have many who are very serious about growing in their walk and who even desire to be discipled. Terrence has begun meeting on Saturday mornings with a group of about 6-7 guys. I am hoping to meet with maybe 1 to 3 young ladies. Having completed “Finding Your Million Dollar Mate” last semester, we’ve moved on to a book titled “Respectable Sins”. We are praying that God would reveal to us and to the students the areas in our lives where we tolerate subtle sins. In the near future, we would also like to branch out and begin to target other local college campuses. 

           dsc000162        dsc000181     
 
                                          Practicing Hospitality
 
         dsc000201       dsc003301
                                                                      

Our family life has been mostly filled with joy, coupled with some sadness. In October, we were faced with an unexpected loss, when my aunt suddenly died at the age of 56. I do believe that she knew the Lord, so hope and joy softened our sorrow. In December, Terrence’s Dad underwent a surgery to remove a spot from his throat. The procedure went well, the spot was benign, and he is back to his busy schedule. We thank you for your prayers. On the parenting side, it has been tremendously fun to watch Mataya’s many advances as she changes and grows so quickly. There’s more about her to come in a separate update. Terrence and I are continuing to make each other a priority. Our date nights are often the highpoint of my week. Recently we found out that we are expecting again. That’s right… another little Jones baby is on the way. So you see, “the Lord gives and He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Also as of late, the Lord has provided even more opportunities to open up our home and to express His love through the practice of hospitality. We’ve hosted everything from D-Group breakfasts to Southern Family Dinner Night to a Mission Team sleepover. We have been blessed as a result, and can only hope to display a portion of the love that has been shown to us by your overflowing support and most importantly, by the indescribable gift that God gave us in His Son. As we labor together in the work of the Lord, we appreciate all that you are and all that you do. Be blessed!        

My Dearly Missed Aunt, Joyce Fore   dsc00617

Dear Missed Aunt, Joyce Fore; T’s Dad-Back 2 Teaching, Preaching, & Singing

 

                                                                                  

 

 

 

 

Posted by: tnt4 | November 19, 2008

Mataya at 3 Months

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By Thais

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. Please forgive me, loved ones. The sad part is that I actually wrote a post at the beginning of October, but never published it because I wanted to go back and put pictures in. Needless to say, it never got done. I’m publishing it now, though, so you’ve got a lot of reading to do in order to get caught up. 

1st Time Meeting Very Special Great Aunt g3-auntie

The Lord blessed Mataya to see 3 months on the 21st of last month (October). She’s now met both sides of my extended family. Truly, she is a bundle of joy. Or rather, a growing bundle of joy (she’s outgrown most of her 0-3 mth clothes). Excitedly, I think it’s finally safe to say that we have settled into a routine and have regained some sense of normalcy. This means more sleep (Yea, for me) and a return to more home-cooked meals (Yea, for Terrence). Praise the Lord for schedules!!! Mataya is consistently sleeping throughout the night now (from about 11PM to 6AM), so much so that she’s no longer sleeping in our room. We moved her bassinette into the other bedroom and she’s done great. A twinge of sadness at her already growing independence hit Terrence, but he recovered quickly after realizing that we would once again have the privacy of our own bedroom.

Talking to My Daddy talking-to-daddy1

Mataya’s favorite time of the day is mealtime. Her newest discoveries are her voice and hands. She now holds entire conversations with us, although we’re still unable to understand what she’s saying. Her hands are almost constantly in motion or in her mouth. It is funny to watch her look at them in amazement, trying to figure out what they are, what they’re for, and how to get them to do what she wants them to do. That’s the life of a baby, so much wonder in the little things! There are many lessons there which we should really take note of and give God praise for. How many times do we stop to tell God “Thank You” for the ability to use our hands? We take them for granted every day, or at least I do. “I thank You, God, right now for enabling me to use my hands. As my fingers type this post to our beloved family and friends, I know that it is only by Your grace.” I pray that everyone who reads this would now take a moment to stop and express their gratitude to God for the blessing of healthy limbs. Until the next update, may we all live in an attitude of appreciation for the daily miracles and wonders of life that we too often overlook in common familiarity.

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                                    Thank God for Hands & Fingers!!!

They Are So Yummy!

 

 

Posted by: tnt4 | October 5, 2008

Mataya at Two Months

2mth-5

Our little princess is now two months old, almost 11 weeks to be exact. She returned to her pediatrician on Sept. 29th to check her weight gain and to receive a round of vaccinations. Boy, has she grown! Mataya weighs 12 lbs and is already full of personality. She is quick to let us know (sometimes rather loudly) when she is not pleased, as she did at her doctor’s visit even before she got her shots. Yes, she’s a feisty one.  Luckily for us toothless grins, giggles, and cooing are becoming more and more the norm. And might I say that they are so cute! Another developmental milestone was reached two weeks ago when I layed her on her stomach to lotion her back. Mataya pushed up on her arms, lifting both her chest and her head off the bed to look around the room. How delighted I was when I looked up and saw her looking back at me in the mirror. She is quickly becoming a pro at supporting her own head. She is also rapidly becoming accustomed to being around other people. She has now successfully, which means quietly, sat through several church services. Since the last update, she has had two very special visits from family members. For the first time, she met her aunt (my sister) and her grandparents (Terrence’s Mom and Dad). Also on Sept. 28th, we were privileged to have Mataya blessed by the pastor who baptized me as a child and who performed the funeral for our first daughter. It was a truly joyous occasion and a beautiful Sunday service at the church in which I grew up. We were lovingly surrounded by supportive members from both sides of our family as we publicly declared our intentions to raise Mataya in the ways of the Lord. We’re mindful that she is His child and give thanks for the gift to us that she is. We rejoice to watch from a front-row seat, this miracle of God that continues to grow and change with each passing day

 

   2mth-auntiee   2mth-grands11

                       1st visit with Auntie Eena.                      1st visit with Granny and Papa.

2mth-ded1

                        Mataya’s blessing – four generations gathered together.

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