King Jesus … November 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2076)

crownI don’t like kings.

They give me the creeps. Too much pomp for the circumstance.

On the other hand, I like Jesus.

So imagine my surprise when I discover that the church wants me to call him a king.

Yes.  Christ the King. Here’s my problem:

Kings live in castles. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes but the son of man has no place to lay his head.”

Kings always possess land. Jesus told us that “his kingdom was not of this world” and therefore couldn’t be measured in acres.

Generally speaking, being a king comes with a certain gaggle of servants. Yet Jesus told his disciples that he didn’t come to be served, but to be of service.

How about a lavish throne? For Jesus, that was the back side of a baby donkey, bouncing his way into Jerusalem.

Then there’s fine clothes and a royal family. Yet Jesus’ philosophy was to “take no thought for what ye shall wear” and his mother was a peasant woman.

Here’s a question: can you be a king without an army or a treasure chest to fund that force? If I recall, Jesus said “we shouldn’t lay up treasure on earth, but in heaven.”  And concerning the military, he warned us that “they that live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

Even though Jesus was surrounded by devoted women, he possessed none of them as his queen.

And at his coronation, he was crowned … with thorns.

Christ the King Sunday.

He was a king. But he was a king because he came to testify to the truth: the truth that faith is the part of belief that we use, like a mustard seed. Hope is the desire we pursue. And love is the God we give to others.

All hail, King Jesus, who taught us that the only way to be a master … is to become a servant.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Entertaining … November 22, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2075)

Let-Me-Entertain-YouI joined in the discussion.

Well, actually, I more or less monitored it by reading what people were writing back and forth as they discussed the value of entertainment on Facebook. It really fell into three categories:

One group thought entertainment was supreme, and that a message of inspiration could be added as long as it didn’t push an agenda or wasn’t too obvious.

Yet another contingency insisted that all entertainment had value because it was escapism from the rigors of adult life and the difficulties of our society.

Then there were those who believed that entertainment was in the eye or ear of the receiver and therefore was difficult to define because it was so individualized.

To some degree, at various stages of my life, I have held fast to each one of these ideas. But honestly, none of the three define entertainment.

Entertainment is the blending of entering and attaining.

One of the weaknesses in our society is that we’re losing “sweet” fellowship for “tweet” fellowship. We no longer press human flesh by arriving at a location where we sit with other human beings and enter into an experience that lets everyone know that “we showed up.”

Then I believe that it’s the responsibility of the artist, the teacher, the preacher or any communicator–to find a way to use the common sense and good cheer of life to help us all attain greater understanding of one another.

Entertainment and inspiration are not at odds with each other nor mutually exclusive. They are fraternal twins.

For after all, you will never inspire people if you are not prepared to entertain their fancy, and you never truly entertain folks if they leave uninspired, merely comparing your offering to others they’ve sampled.

  • I will enter.
  • I will attain.
  • I will show.
  • And I will grow.

And when you mingle these two together, you get the essence of God, who was both a show-off in the way He exploded the universe, and a practical philosopher in the procedure of how it operates.

Tonight I head to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to perform after a banquet. They want it to be entertaining. This might cause some people to pause, wondering if they had the material and the inclination to solely entertain.

I don’t worry about such things. Because I believe if you truly entertain, you inspire. And no inspiration ever happens without the audience being entertained.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Tanks of Thanks … November 21, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2074)

tanksBefore we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing, performing our hastening and chastening–yes, just prior to going through the normal list of fundamentals of gratitude with family, friends, finance, faith and freedom–and certainly just short of chomping down on that first bite of turkey and taking a crescent roll to sop up the gravy, may I suggest that we quickly consider and review some lesser-known blessings that often escape inclusion in the quick prayer uttered for Thanksgiving dinner?

1. Of the 12,420 diseases known to man, I have successfully negotiated myself through another year of avoiding most of them. (It appears I am somewhat immune).

2. I am happy to report that I squeaked by from 76 near-collisions in traffic, making it possible for me to not have a “bender in my fender.”

3. Interestingly enough, I almost tripped 54 times without falling on my face–or any other body part, for that matter.

4. Are you ready for this? I successfully found my keys 243 times without cussing.

5. I rejoice in the fact that I have had more good night’s sleep than not.

6. I am not too much fatter than last year.

7. How about this one? I didn’t get audited.

8. I was not caught sleeping during Sunday sermon.

9. My family is mostly healthy.

10. Much to my glee, I didn’t have the job of explaining the government to anybody.

11. I ate some delicious fish, poultry, beef, pork and seafood without feeling too guilty around my granddaughter, who now insists she’s a vegetarian.

12. Laughed more than I cried.

13. More “car running” than “car repair.”

14. Said hello more to new friends than good-bye to old ones.

15. I am delighted to note that I prayed more than I cursed.

16. I learned more than I forgot.

17. Praised more than I complained.

18, Believed more than I doubted.

19. More sunshine than rain.

20. And finally, even though I sometimes acted like a turkey, I still kept my head on this Thanksgiving.

My dear brothers and sisters, I have tanks of thanks.

All I can say is: Dear God, come and fill ‘er up.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

I “Loke” You … November 20, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2073)

I heart youOf course, it will never catch on.

Even though my made-up word, “loke,” is the perfect blending of like and love, and in so being, expresses the balance necessary for human relationships, we will keep the two words, like and love, as distant fourth cousins.

But after many years of travel, sharing, writing and counseling, I will tell you that like and love are the best way to build a life with another human being without feeling compelled or forced.

You may say to yourself, there are people you like and people you love, but if you analyze it, you might discover that the very best interactions you have with others are when these two words merge and become as one.

Let’s look at the word like. What does it mean?

  1. I have confidence in your abilities.
  2. I enjoy being with you.
  3. We have fun.

Now, no one would believe that those three elements are enough for building a marriage or lasting partnership. But they certainly make life more pleasant. After all, lacking confidence in another human being, failing to enjoy their presence and not having mutually satisfying experiences brings “duty” to the forefront and pushes “party” to the rear.

How about love?

  1. I have made a decision to commit to being with you.
  2. Because of that, I have forgiveness ready and at hand.
  3. You make me want to be loyal.

Love is a sealant to commitment. It creates confidence that even when things aren’t likable, they don’t have to end. It is God finding a way to forgive, even when the sin or iniquity may seem to be insurmountable.

So when I hear people say they love me, or that God loves me, I understand they’re saying they have decided to make a commitment, forgive me when necessary and be loyal. But honestly, what I want to hear is the word like included in that proclamation:  I want you to have confidence in my abilities, enjoy being with me and come to have fun.

The marriages that work are those that blend like and love to create my manufactured “loke.” The relationships that merely endure focus on the love and tend to give up on likability.

I would encourage you to learn how to “loke” people.

Because even though I’m glad that God loves me … I really want Him to like me.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Quatrain of Thanksgiving … November 19, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2072)

family 2 thanksgiving

We gather together

To ask nothing

Celebrate our everything

Giddy for tomorrow

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Leaning … November 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2070)

bad weatherI said yes to life, so here comes no–to give me a chance to prove my point.

The push.

I shove off to achieve and circumstances push back. Now what?

Leaning–either to my own understanding, or trusting God. One makes sense to me and the other sounds really religious. But here’s the problem with my understanding: it is generations and generations and situations and situations, literally screaming at me, “Be careful!”

Now deep in my soul I know that I’ve never been successful while pursuing a path of caution. I haven’t even managed to manipulate a comfortable status quo. After all, the world is filled with tribulation and if you’re not prepared to adjust to the new dilemmas, you will lose ground even if you don’t move one way or the other.

  • My understanding tells me to find a safe path.
  • My understanding reminds me to protect myself.
  • My understanding has a tendency to negate the feelings of others.
  • My understanding generates suspicion which limits my possibilities by removing folks who could be my benefactors.

Trusting God is the step of allowing myself to “be ready.” Ready for what?

  • Ready for change.
  • Ready for adjustment,
  • Ready to use my talents.
  • Ready to recognize opportunity.
  • Ready to completely alter my circumstances if such a maneuver grants me my heart’s desire.

Yes, it comes down to a choice between “be careful” and “be ready.”

Case in point is what happened to me this weekend in Vandalia. I was a little bit frustrated with the circumstances of an engagement that came our way. It was a late-notice arrangement and I was never fully convinced that the venue wanted us to come in the first place. I’m a human being. I want to be loved, I want to be appreciated and I want to be needed. I felt the church had decided to “accommodate” me. I hate that word. I don’t want to be accommodated–I want to be desired.

So because of that, when a storm watch foretold of bad weather on Sunday night, I seized on the opportunity to cancel the date, fully aware that if there were a tornado watch in the air, all of God’s little children would scurry to their basements.

You see, it sounds logical. But actually I was being careful.

Careful about the storm, careful about the audience, and mostly–careful to avoid humiliation by small attendance.

As it turns out, the alleged vicious outpouring from the heavens never materialized and the concert could have been held without interruption.

My leaning was to my own understanding. Rather than being ready to use my talents, abilities and take a chance that things would work out to the good, I decided to be careful. I did it because I was frustrated, cautious and quite honestly, a little lazy.

So the good folks of Vandalia never got a chance to receive what we could share with them.

  • I was tentative
  • I was traditional.
  • I was fussy.
  • I decided to be careful.

And by the way…I was wrong.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

The Four … November 17, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2070)

Athens parthenonCongress gathered together this week and honored their rituals and traditions, yet ignored reality.

Churches are meeting this morning, acting out their rituals and traditions, yet ignoring reality.

Even our families join in fellowship, enacting all traditions and rituals, but ignoring reality.

There are four of them–yes, a quartet of truths that cannot be ignored in the pursuit of maintaining the elements of a government, a religion or a people.

1. It takes work.

Any group that comes along and suggests that grace or doling out free stuff to human beings is a solution to our problems is pandering to the public instead of honestly addressing the needs of human beings. We do understand that it takes work; we just hope that in one area we can skip the labor and go straight to the miracle.

It is completely possible for God to give us grace but still expect us to get off our cans and do something. There’s no contradiction here.

2. NoOne is better than anyone else.

Any nation, style of spirituality or philosophy that contradicts this idea or adds exceptions to the concept is afoul of truth. There are no “chosen people;” there are no “special gifts” given to one over another. We’re in this together. Even when human perversion may seem to contradict the idea, we still have the responsibility to hold on to the principle with all of our might.

3. The truth will make you free.

Can we learn once and for all that the only sin in the world is lying? If we stop lying, we’re halfway down the road to repentance–and repentance is the opposite of sin.

4. Free will is sacred.

If you find yourself needing to control other people by either using your will or God’s will, you are already wrong. God would rather have human beings kill each other than take away their choice to do so. If you don’t understand that, you don’t get the power of creation.

I call this The Four. And I find that I only become confused when I turn my back on them.

  • When I think that God will solve my problems instead of using my own talent and work to do so, I end up looking stupid.
  • When I believe that I’m better than someone else, life always disproves my theory.
  • If I slide into a lie, thinking I can fool the public, there is always someone smarter than me who exposes my idiocy
  • And when I think I know best for everyone else and take away their decision to choose, the Spirit of God departs from my life.

I would welcome you to look over these and decide where you stand for yourself.

But I know that nothing of significance will happen in our world without The Four being given their honor.

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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