A Karmic Misunderstanding

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What goes around comes around.  There is a kind of smugness in this old maxim.  It seems that even the most religious folks allow those words to come out of their mouths with indignant self-righteousness.  It is surprising really. There is certainly no gospel mention of Jesus wagging his finger or clicking his tongue with a message of certain doom.  On the contrary, he welcomes sinners, dines with tax collectors, and hangs out with rugged fishermen, street people, and prostitutes.  His message is one of acceptance and a way out of trouble.  Yet, we continue to wage a holy war on one another by waiting for divine retribution, punishment, and retaliation.  Lucky for most of us that what goes around does not always come around.  I don’t know about you, but my fate would be sealed.

“Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward.” ~ Sol Luckman

What we need to wait for and anticipate is forgiveness, grace, and love.  We should especially wish this for those who seem to be mired in trouble and meanness.  We don’t get to set ourselves apart as righteous superiors.  We don’t get to discard those who have injured us with karmic hopes that ‘they will get theirs’.  Any time we do those things we are setting up a dynamic of hatred which flows out to every ear that hears.  We become the example of exactly what drives people away from God.  The lost sheep is not being fervently pursued with shears and butcher knives.  The lost sheep is being sought so it can be returned home on the shoulders of the shepherd in expectation of a great celebration.  With that in mind let’s stop expecting cosmic retribution and hope for universal mercy.

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” _builder_version=”3.5.1″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_align=”left” header_font_size=”26px” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”14px” body_line_height=”1.4em” border_radii=”on|1px|1px|1px|1px” border_width_all=”2px” border_color_all=”#d4cfc4″ border_radii_image=”on|29px|29px|29px|29px” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”89%” module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”38px|||” custom_padding=”47px|33px|0px|32px” filter_saturate=”95%” animation_style=”fade” global_module=”26968″ saved_tabs=”all”]

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Power Words: Finding Your Credo

CREDO:  a sentence or two that conveys the operating principle that guides your daily life.


Working with members of the law enforcement community, Author Rabbi Cary Friedman and Phillip LeConte, co-founder of the Police Chaplain Project created THE CREDO PROJECT, special educational initiative dedicated unlocking the power of CREDO in daily life.

Why CREDO?

  • We believe that writing a personal credo can have enormous implications for members of the law enforcement community. We believe the simple act of writing down the thing you live by, can give it power, the kind that will profoundly impact the way you live each day.

SOME TIPS

Your CREDO should contain actionable behaviors, not fancy words, not beliefs. This is about what you do each day.

  • Take some time to reflect before you commit pen to paper.
  • Keep it real. Make it your own.

Download the Guide Below to get started.

https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/writing-Your-CREDO.pdf

All You Need is Love

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“We’ve got the gift of love, but love is like a precious plant.  You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard, or just think it’s gonna get on with itself.  You gotta keep watering it.  You’ve got to really look after it…and nurture it.” ~ John Lennon
Love is perfect.  Even in the cloudy reflection of broken relationships, love blesses us for having experienced it at all.  Our fragile and conditional human expressions of love can cause pangs of regret and worry, but even so, without it we would be lost.  Every time we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and open to the possibilities of love, we are drawing closer to God.  Every time we let go of resentment in favor of forgiveness, we are walking with Gods hand in ours.  Every time we stop to help a child, the Spirit of God is moving in our heart.  Love is not only perfect it is the light that dispels the darknesses which would otherwise destroy us. We are directed to “Love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves.”  This instruction, if truly followed, provides challenges that can keep us on track throughout our lives.  We will be continually transformed.  Everything else falls into place as we love first and foremost.  This is not easy work and requires that, as John Lennon says, we really look after it and nurture it.  We must allow ourselves to be loved as well as to give love.  Love counts us worthy even when we feel unworthy.  It identifies each of us as the beloved child of God.  When we accept this, we will be able to share it with others.  Then, the love we give will be the love we get.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” _builder_version=”3.5.1″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_align=”left” header_font_size=”26px” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”14px” body_line_height=”1.4em” border_radii=”on|1px|1px|1px|1px” border_width_all=”2px” border_color_all=”#d4cfc4″ border_radii_image=”on|29px|29px|29px|29px” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”89%” module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”38px|||” custom_padding=”47px|33px|0px|32px” filter_saturate=”95%” animation_style=”fade” saved_tabs=”all” use_background_color_gradient=”off” background_color_gradient_direction=”180deg” parallax=”off” background_size=”cover” background_position=”center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_blend=”normal” allow_player_pause=”off” background_video_pause_outside_viewport=”on” header_level=”h4″ header_letter_spacing=”0px” header_text_shadow_style=”none” body_letter_spacing=”0px” body_text_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style_image=”none” background_layout=”light” filter_hue_rotate=”0deg” filter_brightness=”100%” filter_contrast=”100%” filter_invert=”0%” filter_sepia=”0%” filter_opacity=”100%” filter_blur=”0px” mix_blend_mode=”normal” child_filter_hue_rotate=”0deg” child_filter_saturate=”100%” child_filter_brightness=”100%” child_filter_contrast=”100%” child_filter_invert=”0%” child_filter_sepia=”0%” child_filter_opacity=”100%” child_filter_blur=”0px” child_mix_blend_mode=”normal” animation_repeat=”once” animation_direction=”center” animation_duration=”1000ms” animation_delay=”0ms” animation_starting_opacity=”0%” animation_speed_curve=”ease-in-out” animation=”off” text_shadow_style=”none” global_module=”26968″] Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation. Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast [/et_pb_team_member][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

How Blest are the Peacemakers

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“In spite of everything I still believe people are good at heart.” ~ Anne Frank

This powerful statement of a teenage Jewish girl has inspired people to compassionate action and peacemaking since it first appeared in print over 70 years ago.  One of the most widely read books in the world, Anne Frank; The Diary of a Young Girl remains “one of the wisest and most moving commentaries” on World War II.

It seems counterintuitive to talk about war when thinking about peace and compassion. But it is impossible to understand the hunger for peace without experiencing the devastation of war.  Likewise, it is difficult to believe how really good at heart people are without experiencing a healing, loving touch when everyone else seems to have turned their backs.

I have been privileged to know or have been associated with leading peacemakers over the years. Jim Wallis, Clare Hanrahan, Steve Magin, Richard Rohr, and others have taught me that life should always be lived with the same eternal optimism as witnessed to by Anne Frank.  Even in the most difficult of situations, God is with us equally.  This family of creation is all related through a common DNA. We all come from One Source.  If we persist in our peacemaking efforts and listen to each other with loving ears and open hearts, it is inevitable that good will transform evil.  A 15-year-old girl, doomed by her circumstances, bears this out as she tells us;

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”  

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” _builder_version=”3.5.1″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_align=”left” header_font_size=”26px” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”14px” body_line_height=”1.4em” border_radii=”on|1px|1px|1px|1px” border_width_all=”2px” border_color_all=”#d4cfc4″ border_radii_image=”on|29px|29px|29px|29px” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”89%” module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”38px|||” custom_padding=”47px|33px|0px|32px” filter_saturate=”95%” animation_style=”fade” global_module=”26968″ saved_tabs=”all”]

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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The Game-Day Playbook

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When we place our dependence in God, we are unencumbered, and we have no worry. ~ Coach Vince Lombardi

I often tell my clients that operating without a plan is akin to playing on a football field that has no hash marks.  You never know where you are or how much progress has really been made.  The coaches on the sidelines can only send in plays that are directed toward the end zone because the exact location of a first down can’t be determined.  The game is practically impossible to play.  Planning requires not only the element of a desired outcome, but a reasonable sense of where you stand in relation to your goal.  As soon as that is established, the plays which were sent in and executed will lead you forward.

When players huddle prior to the next play, a plan is almost always carried in from the sidelines.  Words that direct action are spoken and players break into formation.  This is critical to success.  The coach is in charge.  We can only make life plans based on limited information that we have gained by our experiences.

 So, if we really want to make our plans work, it is necessary to be still and listen to our coaches.  We must understand that we are not the masters of destiny nor are we in control of any outcomes.  God’s voice can only be heard when we take time to get into a huddle and wait to hear the next play.  When we allow time to do this the plan we have will always find a way. If we think we can play the game on our own steam, we are sadly mistaken.  We might find that it was fourth-down-and-inches when we made the wrong decision…and punted the ball away.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” _builder_version=”3.5.1″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_align=”left” header_font_size=”26px” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”14px” body_line_height=”1.4em” border_radii=”on|1px|1px|1px|1px” border_width_all=”2px” border_color_all=”#d4cfc4″ border_radii_image=”on|29px|29px|29px|29px” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”89%” module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”38px|||” custom_padding=”47px|33px|0px|32px” filter_saturate=”95%” animation_style=”fade” global_module=”26968″ saved_tabs=”all”]

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Finding Your Balance

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“Only actions give life strength, only moderation gives it charm.” ~ Jean Paul Richter

I was reminded yesterday that much of our religious practice can be too much about our transgressions and not enough about our fundamental goodness.  Sin is always easier to see than virtue.  Seven virtues of goodness have been referenced in scriptures.  Among these is temperance.  It is discounted and not highly prized in our rather materialistic times.  We enjoy excesses and the idea of restraint or moderation in action, thoughts, and feelings is not easily embraced.  Temperance evokes mental images of sanctimonious, boring and judgmental people who are always looking down their noses at those who celebrate.  But this is not an accurate picture really.

Temperance is about self-control and achieving balance in our affairs.  There is freedom and joy to be found in this virtue.  We do not have to be prisoners of over-working, over-consumption, and over-doing (or over-anything for that matter).  We can suck the marrow out of life without being victims of a crushing lifestyle that results in poor health, lack of spiritual connection and a sense of never having enough.  We are surrounded by rich blessings that can be appreciated fully only if we continually seek balance through moderation.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” _builder_version=”3.5.1″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_align=”left” header_font_size=”26px” body_font=”||||||||” body_font_size=”14px” body_line_height=”1.4em” border_radii=”on|1px|1px|1px|1px” border_width_all=”2px” border_color_all=”#d4cfc4″ border_radii_image=”on|29px|29px|29px|29px” text_orientation=”left” max_width=”89%” module_alignment=”center” custom_margin=”38px|||” custom_padding=”47px|33px|0px|32px” filter_saturate=”95%” animation_style=”fade” saved_tabs=”all” use_background_color_gradient=”off” background_color_gradient_direction=”180deg” parallax=”off” background_size=”cover” background_position=”center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_blend=”normal” allow_player_pause=”off” background_video_pause_outside_viewport=”on” header_level=”h4″ header_letter_spacing=”0px” header_text_shadow_style=”none” body_letter_spacing=”0px” body_text_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style=”none” box_shadow_style_image=”none” background_layout=”light” filter_hue_rotate=”0deg” filter_brightness=”100%” filter_contrast=”100%” filter_invert=”0%” filter_sepia=”0%” filter_opacity=”100%” filter_blur=”0px” mix_blend_mode=”normal” child_filter_hue_rotate=”0deg” child_filter_saturate=”100%” child_filter_brightness=”100%” child_filter_contrast=”100%” child_filter_invert=”0%” child_filter_sepia=”0%” child_filter_opacity=”100%” child_filter_blur=”0px” child_mix_blend_mode=”normal” animation_repeat=”once” animation_direction=”center” animation_duration=”1000ms” animation_delay=”0ms” animation_starting_opacity=”0%” animation_speed_curve=”ease-in-out” animation=”off” text_shadow_style=”none” global_module=”26968″]

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation. Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Ubuntu; I Am Because We Are

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A missionary from First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, California came back from an African trip and spoke to his congregation about the sense of community he found to be incredibly inspiring.  The story he told was one that demonstrated the wisdom of cooperation and togetherness.  It is one discovered by many and carried back to Europe and The United States by authors, photographers, and filmmakers.  In a country torn by strife and a population devastated by AIDS, this hopeful tale has the ability to transform our tendency to be ruggedly independent into a new and hopeful interdependence.  It was passed on to me by my cousin, Dave Jones, who is an elder of that San Anselmo church.

An English archeologist was studying and working with a tribe in Africa.  He was interested in measuring the competitive spirit of children and devised a plan.  The man gathered fruit and goodies, tied them in a netting, hanging them on a low branch of a tree.  He told the children to form behind a line drawn in the dirt some 100 yards from the treasures.  They were instructed to run as fast as they could to the tree, and the one who arrived first could take down the prize and have it as a reward.  The command to start was given and the children joined hands, ran together, surrounded the tree, released the goodies, sat in a circle and shared its’ contents.  The anthropologist asked why, with so much starvation and such a lack of such fruit and candy in the community, one child wouldn’t rush to the netting and keep it rather for himself.  The oldest answered saying; ‘Ubuntu’ or I Am Because We Are.

Today I will bless my community with a renewed spirit of interdependence.  I will give for all that I receive.

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation. Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Angels Among Us

“We are, each of us angels with only one wing: and we can only fly by embracing one another.” ~ Luciano de Crescenzo

There are angels among us.  They show up just in time and come in various shapes, colors and sizes.  The love and support they bring allow us to endure and overcome.  We also have the ability to be angels in the lives of people that we touch throughout the day. The truth is that life is wonderful and we are all challenged to carry that news to others. An unbelievable multiplication of energy occurs when this message becomes a part of our personal mission statement.  Our workplaces and organizations will become angelic forces themselves.  The communities that we live in are lifted up by our shared good works.

It is certain that there is an incredible amount of good that we can do as individuals. Joining with others and networking, however, allow our efforts to reach levels that we could never achieve on our own. We move from walking a solitary path to flying in formation. Light shines in the midst of the darkness through our combined interventions. Today is a good time to seek the counsel of like-minded people. It is a good time to enlarge our efforts. And right now is a perfect time to carry the message of kindness, gratefulness and good cheer. Remember… Life is wonderful. Now there is a mission statement for all of us one winged angels to carry everywhere we go.


Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation. Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

Summers’ Last Hope

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“Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?” ~ Dodie Smith

Many of us resign ourselves that the unofficial last day of summer falls on Labor Day.  Autumn isn’t really here yet of course.  But schools have started, pools have closed, vacations and leisure days have drifted into memory.  To me this is a time-in-between.  It is a liminal experience like twilight.  If we only allow ourselves to appreciate the transition, there might appear a new appreciation of the warmth and lusciousness we experienced while anticipating the brisk splendor to come.

The days are getting shorter and the nights longer.  It is a kind of descending. I suppose that is why a dear friend asked the other day that I not write about the end of summer yet. He reminded me that the Autumnal Equinox was still many days away.  His love of summer is well known to all of us.  But with it comes a loathing of winter.  He dreads what is coming almost to the degree that he sometimes misses Fall all together. Perhaps it is the darkness he fears as if it were the cliff edge of destruction. It represents the losses and grief he has experienced in his life.  He has had enough of both.

I told my friend there is good reason to savor the transition time of what I call Summers’ Last Hopes.  Summer will always return.  And among its’ hopes is that by letting go of the adventures of this season, we will be able to celebrate the arrival of the next. By doing so we can acknowledge who we are, and embrace who we are becoming. We are not alone.  God is with us every step of the way.

Be my trusted guide, Lord
and walk with me from the summer into fall,
walk me through the season’s change
and the season changing in my soul.


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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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The Fruits of Our Labor

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“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
As we celebrate Labor Day and the ‘unofficial-last-day-of-summer’ it seems quite worthwhile to think about the work of life as described by President Lincoln. The first step in such work is to remove obstacles.  Things are never as complicated as we thought after the underbrush is cleared away and the contour of the land is exposed.  There are places good for growth and places where nothing much can take root.  We are not using our time and energy very wisely when we hammer away at an area that is barren and dark.  Backbreaking labor over rocky ground will yield little or no future harvest.  It is better to identify the fertile spots that reveal themselves, pull the weeds that might choke out our flowers and get busy planting. Lincoln teaches us that our lives are much like the prairie he worked as a boy and young man.  We have the best opportunity to flourish if we are willing to clear out the underbrush.  All that is required is a deep appreciation of the great gift of life.  The vision of a landscape planted and nurtured with attention to detail and recognition of fertile places mixed right along with rocky places can be magnificent to behold.  We don’t have to force life to fit into our plan.  It will usually reject those kinds of efforts anyway.  When we concentrate on cooperation and the value of our interconnectedness with all things the result will be appreciated for generations to come.  We will be remembered as people who left things better than we found them.
“Today I will celebrate the fruit of my labor and never cease working where there is a possibility of new growth.” ~ RKJ
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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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