To the Praise of Mothers

Honor your father and mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you (Exodus 20:12).


This day belongs to moms all around the world and throughout time as we exalt or remember them. That we should honor our parents is commanded to us as one of the Ten Commandments. The apostle called it the first commandment with a promise . . . that you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-4). Both Exodus and Ephesians address that honoring and obeying parents lead to a long life. What are the ways that God’s promises work through His commandments regarding children and parents?

Work Ethic

One major memory I have of my mom is that growing up she always wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, her parents bought into the notion that nurses didn’t have a good reputation because of the nonsense that was spread about them in World War II. She set her dream aside for many years. In 1960, when my mom was thirty-years-old, she decided to pursue her dream, so she attended nursing school to obtain her LVN. In the last two or three decades, it has become more commonplace for adults to either enter or return to college to pursue a career or just to obtain the education they thought they missed. In 1960, that was not necessarily the case. But mom and a good friend of hers sought their LVN and obtained it. She worked hard while still raising me and being a mom at home as well. In the 1970’s, she attended college again to obtain her full RN. Again through some time and hard work, she completed her degree and received her RN. As a nurse, mom did not want to slack. She thoroughly enjoyed working in the emergency room because it helps me keep on top of my skills. She followed her dream, and worked as a nurse for over thirty years. I learned that work ethic, not just from my dad, but from my mom as well. Don’t I ever wish that I would have learned it more thoroughly than I did. Where I didn’t it was not due to lack of example and living it out. That work ethic was part of my upbringing, and the reason that I worked summer jobs, and eventually went on to pursue my own dreams.

Mom as a Mom

Not only did mom provide a good example for a work ethic and pursuing something she wanted to do through hard work and study, she was also a wonderful mom. I remember one time as I was just getting ready to start college, she asked me what do you really want to do with your life? In all honesty, I had never thought about what sincere goals I wanted to set for myself. I observed how that worked out for her and dad, but thought it would be something that would simply fall in place. I never thought about how to contemplate what it was I wanted to do with my life until that day. It still took me some time to find my way, but her question to me planted the seed that would bear fruit years later.

The memories I have of her are countless. In addition to being a solid professional nurse, mom was an artist. She purchased a kiln, and fashioned through pottery plates, cups, bowls, and glasses on which she painted designs herself, and these dishes became what the family used on special occasions, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays. Holidays was another thing for which I remember her. She loved the holidays, and wanted to make them festive for the entire family, from Thanksgiving meals Christmas trees, opening gifts, and celebrating all in find style. Those times were the most memorable and fun times I can imagine. As I look back on them, I wish I would have embraced them even stronger than I did.

There are countless memories and snippets of memories that I have of her when I was a small child. I recall the train trips we would take to visit her parents. In the 1950’s, the train was a major way to travel before the airlines became so popular in the 1960’s forward. I recall as well her joy as we looked for a new home in 1960. We would drive around town, scooping out all the homes that were on the market in our town. Her joy was beyond measure. We had a little week-end shack, if it even could be called that, which set on a small lake in East Texas. And mom loved to fish and to cook freshly caught fish for a meal. She was truly a fun-loving person who lived life fully. I was asthmatic as a child, and the one memory I hold dear of her is one night when I was having trouble breathing and sleeping, she got up from her sleep and rocked me until I finally went to sleep. I was probably four or five, but I never forgot that late night caregiving at her hand. Mom comprised a full-life of gifts and talents that she lived out as an amazing example for me to witness and follow.

Biblical Perspective on Mothers

Exodus 20 and Ephesians 6:1-4 are mere beginnings on how we are to relate to our mothers and fathers. Other Biblical examples include Ruth’s relationship to Naomi (Book of Ruth). Naomi’s faith in God provided an example for Ruth, so she told Naomi that she would stay with her, and her people would be her people, and her God would be her God. Marys response to the angel Gabriel and her willingness to undergo doubts from others about her pregnancy provides yet another example. Although not fully under-standing, she never doubted that God had good things in store for her in His providential care for her. Indeed when she visited her relative, Elizabeth, she delivered her wonderful Magnificat (Luke 1:45-56). The greatest example of honoring one’s mother is seen when Jesus, the Christ, died on the cross. He addressed both Mary and the disciple John, who will become the apostle John, woman, behold your son. And to John, He said, behold your mother (John 19:26-27). From that time forward, John took Mary into his household and to provide for her.


On April 17th, 2007, my mom succumbed to esophageal cancer. In the providence of God, the college campus where I taught in Austin had been shut down because of a stupid bomb threat because some student didn’t want to take a final exam. However, what that meant is that I got to spend the morning with mom on her last day here on earth. I held her hand as she passed on.

This day belongs to all the moms out there, those especially who have done the hard work of raising a child, and doing it right. There are many other examples we could look at. This Biblical perspective gives us a chance to think about our parents as a the gift they are. I know not all families were as blessed as mine happened to be. The lack of family love and guidance truly speaks to the Biblical truth of how we should see our family life as a blessing. R. J. Rushdoony sees the family as a basic form of government by which we exercise dominion over the world, if we live true to God’s law. We should thank and praise God if our family life was truly blessed as it should have been.

John V. Jones, Jr., Ph.D./ May 14th, 2023


The Stroke: Part III – The Venture

[This article is the third in a series of articles on this topic. Others will be completed at later dates.]


The Venture that God had in store for me moved forward, and once again I was in a transport heading up I-35W. Only this time I was heading back north from Fort Worth Harris to Denton to a rehab facility there called Denton Select. Once again, night had fallen, and I arrived in time to find some rest and get some sleep. The unknown lay opened as to what this rehab facility had in store for me. But God’s providence emerges in all places. I would find that to be true in Denton Select.

Rehabilitation Work

Life as a Christian is still a learning process as the believer grows in sanctification. I would learn about three types of rehabilitation into which I would be immersed over the next eleven months, even after leaving Denton Select. My rehab work would include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. My desire to get better collided with my impatience, which produced irritation, anger, frustration, and the desire to just give up at times. This fact presented me with the goals I had to reach to grow not only physically, but also spiritually.

Physical Therapy

Daily prayer was a constant. My eyes were still affected by the stroke, so I couldn’t read anything in book form. Two highly skilled and compassionate physical therapists worked with me. They engendered in me the desire to work hard. I discovered rather quickly the reality of what is known as stroke fatigue. Regardless of my desire to be up for the daily tasks presented to me, there were days I possessed little or no energy. My lethargy frustrated me to no end because I really wanted to engage the therapies. Each day the hospital staff would post on a marker board my scheduled therapies for the day. Some days my workout included four to five hours of work, which wore me out, In the long run, however, I realized how much small increments of progress contributed to my overall physical health. Talk about patience as a fruit of the spirit. God used highly skilled people to teach me some much needed lessons.

My two physical therapists were named Kenlin and Jenlin. I never thought to ask if they were sisters with such similar names. My physical therapy led me to the Denton Select gym where I would work on balance, standing, walking, and muscle tone and coordination. All of these areas had been hit hard by my stroke. I practiced walking on the parallel bars. This exercise, however, presented a couple of problems. The stroke brought on vertigo, especially if I stood up or turned to my right or left too quickly. I had to learn to approach my environment slowly, cautiously, and not “multitask” while walking. For example, if I turned to look behind me while walking, I would lose my balance and fall unless someone caught me. This fact challenged my patience as well. I suppose that anyone in my position would want progress to occur quickly. Secondly, I developed orthostatic or postural hypotension. When I stood up, my blood pressure would drop to the point of making me lightheaded so that I couldn’t keep my balance. When this occurred, I could not engage the physical therapy exercise for that day, which was usually the parallel bars. I had to learn through God’s grace that speedy recovery is not the case with the kind or stroke I experienced.

Speech Therapy

Melissa, another highly skilled therapist, worked with me to regain my ability to speak. As I stated in earlier blogs, I lost my voice to the extent that I could only speak in a whisper. As time progressed at Denton Select, I regained a rough and gravelly voice that was at least louder and more clear than a whisper. Melissa worked with e-stems that she attached to my throat. She would send a current through them at a volume I could stand. This work allowed me both to swallow better and speak with a clearer voice. The swallowing therapy was important work because I still couldn’t swallow food, so I was being fed through a feeding tube that had been inserted into my stomach at Fort Work Harris. By the time I left Denton Select, I could swallow water, ice ships, and some apple sauce. I still had a long way to go before I could eat solid food. This therapy also led to my being tested in what are called swallow studies. I learned that with certain swallows that I could asperate anything I was trying to swallow into my lungs.

Occupational Therapy

Rebecca and Audra were my OC therapists. Some of what we did overlapped with PT. Otherwise I worked on several exercises for coordination. This type or work entailed some of the most frustrating experiences for me. My left arm and hand had lost some of its strength and much of its coordination. Many of the skills that Rebecca and Audra challenged me to accomplish were tough sledding, as they should have been. More than once Rebecca had to remind me that my saying I can’t do something wasn’t going to get it done. I had to try these skills so as to know how much progress was needed. Talk about patience as the fruit of the spirit! Both Rebecca and Audra were fantastic in challenging me and being patient themselves with my frustrations. They also helped me accomplish daily tasks, such as moving from my bed to the wheelchair, taking a shower, and moving up and down the hallway in my wheelchair. I also developed some coordination with my left hand.

Grace Upon Grace

I stayed in Denton Select for several weeks. I remember my release date: November 20th, 2020. The time that passed from the day I had my stroke totaled about six weeks. I clearly needed to keep that in mind because I wanted to progress much faster than I felt like I was. All together, six weeks is just not that long. If I could let go of my impatience, I could see that I was doing much better than I thought. The words from the Russian doctor at Fort Worth Harris returned to me. You are our super patient. We expect good things out of you. Well, I didn’t feel much like a super patient, but I did notice ways that my strength had returned to my body. Though frustrated at times, I did maintain some hope that was nothing but a gracious gift from God.

Then even more grace came my way. I had no idea, what my life would be like after leaving Denton Select. I had spoken with the doctor there about getting into a rehab facility called Day Neuro. The facility had been recommended to me by some of the staff at Denton Select and others outside of there. But God’s grace poured out upon me in another way. Two friends of mine whom I had known since the 80’s at Denton Bible Church, Paul and Jean Terrell, took me into their home so that I could rehab and recuperate. The blessings that flowed from their graciousness extended beyond any measurement that can be devised by the human spirit. Paul contacted the owner of the apartment I had rented at the time and received an okay from him for me to get out of the lease due to my stroke. Both Paul and Jean coordinated the moving and storage of all my belongings I had in the apartment. Paul made sure that my bank and other businesses had my change of address for mailing and billing purposes. For the next eleven months, this gracious family would put up with me while I battled through all the physical challenges of getting stronger so that I could eventually and hopefully live on my own. Once again, God’s providential care and grace fell upon me in ways that I could not even have imagined.


November 20th, 2020, 5:30pm: I checked out of Denton Select, sill wheelchair bound, unable to walk, having weak eyesight, snd a gravelly and whispery voice. But I felt the security of God’s grace as I was heading to live under the care of good, close, and loving friends. God’s providence had already led me to Denton Select and working with therapists like Melissa and Audra who were solid believers connected to Denton Bible. Once again, I didn’t know what the future held as Thanksgiving and Christmas approached in 2020. I knew however I was in good hands with Paul and Jean, and I was in the blessed hands of God’s providence that continued to unfold in ways I would have never even suspected.

John V. Jones, Jr., Ph.D./January 14th, 2021