Quatrain of the New Year… December 31, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2107)

head reverse

Don’t look back
Don’t look forward
Don’t look down
Things look good

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

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Published in: on December 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Scratchy… December 30, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2106)

bridge to Tx

It had been nearly four years since I had been visited by the common curse of a cold. Even though I am around thousands of people who tote germs like little six-year-olds carrying backpacks to the first day of school, I am blessed with an immune system which bunkers me in safely to health.

That is, until I spent four days living in the same house with my children and grandchildren over Christmas. I followed this toxic exposure with a 900-mile drive to Houston, Texas.

So sometime on Thursday, right after I ate my Subway sandwich, the left side of my throat began to itch and tickle, radiating up to my ear.

I knew what this meant. I attempted denial, but when the right side of my throat joined the party, I knew I was in the first throes of incubating a common one.

Here’s the problem: I needed to share on Sunday morning at Bay Harbour United Methodist Church in League City, Texas.

I wanted to do a good job. I know everybody says that, but I like to use my talents at full speed, full throttle and full passion. They are my arsenal–to apologize for a mug that couldn’t win a beauty contest versus a coffee cup.

I was about seventy per cent. So what was I going to do?

Obviously, play to my strengths. For instance, talking is easier than singing.

Also, address the three demons that attempt to invade our foxhole in the midst of battle:

  1. Excuses
  2. Fear
  3. Disappointment

Excuses are the pavement on the road to failure. Fear is the rope that strangles the life out of hope. And disappointment is the drug that puts our effort to sleep.

  • I didn’t make excuses. The audience never knew.
  • I wasn’t afraid. For after all, the worst thing that could happen was that I talked and played the piano, without singing. That’s just not that bad.
  • And I wasn’t disappointed because I got sick. Remembering how mortal we are is what helps us assist other humans.

As it turns out, I had a little more than I thought–maybe 78%.  It was a glorious morning.

I don’t like getting sick. I fight it. But if I’m going to lose my faith, energy and direction every time I sniffle, I will probably not be worth very much and will snuffle out my possibilities.

Excuses, fear and disappointment–they arrive like a scratchy throat, making you believe that they’re here to stay.

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

Houston, We Have a Solution… December 29, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2105)

Apollo 13As I drove into League City, Texas, yesterday, which is a part of the greater Houston area, my mind predictably pumped out memories of the Apollo 13 mission and the stark statement from Jim Lovell, announcing to NASA, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

I know that’s not very deep, but it was on my mind. And even though Mr. Lovell certainly did have a legitimate concern, there are many people in this country creating problems to make themselves appear important.

So as I begin my tour this year, I am determined to be one of the people who tries to bring hope instead of just complaining about the surroundings–because here’s the fact:

In the past twelve years, we have had a Republican and a Democrat as President, and we aren’t particularly better off with either one. Why? No one is trying to solve anything, mainly due to the insecurity and fear of being wrong and looking like an idiot. And since I already start out a little idiotic already, I don’t have as much concern about being considered obtuse.

So going into this morning, I will share with the people, “Houston, we have a solution.”

Can I get these folks to believe that politics and religion are our worst enemies? Will they comprehend that our best asset is to keep trying, maintaining a good sense of humor? I don’t know.

But here’s my Houston Solution:

I’m going to love myself, others and God without becoming too selfish, too weird or too religious.

That’s it.

Just think–what would happen if a bunch of people would make this their mission statement instead of complicating theology or debating politics?

Because just like Jim Lovell and Apollo 13, you find out that life is pretty simple: you’re going to have to use what’s available to you in your tiny capsule, do your best to keep breathing and hope you don’t burn out.

So for me, I will share with these folks today my Houston Solution. May I reiterate:

I’m going to love myself, others and God without becoming too selfish, too weird or too religious.

 

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

All Wrapped Up… December 28, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2104)Bible wrapped

The gospel works.

That’s why we call it “good news.”

On the other hand, our culture is not nearly as efficient. It is often a cult of cop-out convenience.

I don’t wish to become brash or harsh, but I do want to say that there is an ongoing danger of people wrapping the culture of our country in the pretty paper of the Bible, tying it up with the bow of “God and country.”

Let’s make some distinctions:

1. The gospel teaches “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Our culture, on the other hand, promotes the idea, “do unto yourself while including others.”

2. The gospel teaches that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Meanwhile, back at our culture, it is promoted that we are all unique, and therefore different.

3. The gospel: “give and it will be given unto you.” The culture: “get what you can and give to others as you can.”

4. “Don’t judge others.” There’s the gospel. In the culture, we preach, “Don’t allow yourself to be judge.”

5. Continuing on with the gospel: “to he who is given much, much is expected.” We have a three-word cultural mantra: “cut yourself slack.”

6. And finally, the gospel teaches that “whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Yet the popular philosophy in our culture is, “After we reap, we will get around to sowing” with a sidebar of, “It’s not my fault.”

So in an attempt to hold people in a church, we create a surrogate–impregnating faith with our culture.

  • Our sermons are laced with grace, absent any responsibility or guilt.
  • We teach that God has “a wonderful plan for our lives” in order to stay hip with all the fantasy and Hobbit movies.
  • We insist that “God will supply all our need” without warning people that He does expect us to show up and be involved.
  • We pretend we can love the sinner and still hate the sin.
  • We literally screech that God’s salvation and grace is free to all, leaving us with believers who are bound to a culture, habits and lifestyles that are not fulfilling.

I don’t see anything wrong with wrapping the gospel up in what is culturally pleasing. You can use all the technology, all the music stylings and all available data to sparkle the message in a contemporary way. But when you start preaching the culture in the name of the gospel, you are flirting with disaster.

So how do you know when you’re in the presence of the gospel?

You’ll hear a message that teaches us to believe in God … while taking personal responsibility for your hunk of the kingdom.

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

G-4: Stay or Go? … December 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2103)

 

clayI did it.

I made something.

Like every endeavor known to man, I felt greatly fulfilled upon completion, and a little disappointed with the inadequacy of the final product.

You see, in my mind, it should have been much better. But when I was finished, there were flaws. To my comprehension, glaring.

It was time for a decision–a very important one, may I add.  Do I stay or do I go?

Do I step up to what I have produced, proudly taking ownership, and begin to work with it until it becomes better, or do I distance myself from the project, expressing my displeasure and pretending that it wasn’t my fault?

Being creative does not guarantee perfection. Matter of fact, it usually presents you with the opposite: imperfection that yearns for your abiding, loving touch.

There is nothing I have ever done which possessed the qualities of my vision when I finished the first prototype.

That’s just life.

Where we develop a sense of purpose, devotion, loyalty and perseverance is in the extent to which we take responsibility for our labors, and nurture our creations to better forms.

  • No family is perfect.
  • No song is perfect.
  • No nail in a board is perfect.

Everything in life requires a second visitation, demanding that we take personal responsibility.

Is there a time to go? Is there a time to walk away from what hatched from your egg and emerged as a big disappointment? Here’s a guideline:

  1.  If it resembles what you want, but merely needs some work, stay.
  2. If its existence is proven to be a hurtful thing to those around you and yourself, go.
  3. If it is full of promise but ugly, stay.
  4. If it’s ugly, lacking promise, go.

The most valuable concept to possess in the human brain is the knowledge that nothing we touch is birthed in perfection. You have to come around, take a look, find out what needs to be fixed … and produce the good humor that makes correction process tolerable.

 

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

Rear-view Mire … December 26, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2102)

Christmas clan

I spent seventeen days with friends and family in the Nashville, Tennessee, area–the location of one clump of our clan. Everyone else not living in the Volunteer State flew or drove in for the occasion.

It was full of mercy, grace, enlightenment, joy, silliness, overeating and memories.

This morning as I drive down the road toward Houston, Texas, sitting in my van, I look at my rear-view mirror, which grants some reflection. What I mean is, often when we return to gatherings of our kin, there’s a lot of looking in the rear-view mirror, and if we’re not careful, it can become the rear-view mire, bogging us down in too many stories from the past and not enough freshness from the present.

For instance, an old friend showed up last night, who was a close acquaintance back in the early 1990’s, and although we had a great visit, I felt we were struggling to change the frozen past into the warmer and realistic present.

Some people would just say that’s the way life is. I’m not so sure I agree.

So I took those seventeen days to reestablish moments that exist in real-time instead of rehashing details from former occasions. The end result was an emotional, spiritual, mental and physical revelation of one another–mostly good, but a few things demonstrating our differences.

Fortunately, I am not afraid of people having opinions which vary from mine. But I did discover a three-step process I want to apply in all of my situations with human beings:

1. Thaw out the frozen memories.

Give people a chance every day to reestablish a newness of life instead of making them live in a box you’ve constructed for their character.

2. Live in the moment and suck it dry.

I am astounded at how much time we spend complaining about out lot, wasting valuable units of time which could fill us with new spirit. If you regret the past, complain about the present and worry about the future, you leave no space for God to be God and you to be talented.

3. Finally, don’t think about tomorrow.

I’m so happy to report that the future is not yet forged, but is waiting for our free-will choice to set in motion our miracle.

Constantly looking at the rear view of our lives can create a mire of confusion, anger and resentment–not to mention just feeling cheated. Or it can be a time where we spend too much energy celebrating past victories without planning for future escapades.

I love my family so much that I wrap them in elastic, so as they expand, there is plenty of room for them in my life.

  • Thaw out
  • Live in the moment
  • Don’t fret

It’s the way to avoid the rear-view mire: defrost your windshield and keep your eyes on the road.

 

 

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

Christmas Council … December 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2101)

council in heaven

God was angry–more with Himself than anything else. The connection He had once made in a Garden had failed to bloom.

So he called a Council together–of a heavenly sort.

Yes, the God of heaven and earth called the best of the sky and the land together to discuss a problem: what shall we do with humankind?

The noble notion of creating a fleshy creature in His image had deteriorated to wars, fear, anger, lust and mainly, most appalling of all, perpetual indecision.

  • The angels were invited to this Council.
  • Philosophers throughout history who had passed on to reward.
  • Lovers
  • Writers
  • Musicians
  • Craftsmen
  • Architects
  • And even the handful of professional religionists who had actually made it to the other side in spite of their predilection for “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.”

It was a lively discussion.

The angels were completely perplexed by why creatures who had been endowed with such insight spent all of their time using their wits to destroy one another.

One of the angelic messengers inserted, partly tongue-in-cheek, “If they want to destroy each other, why not give them an assist?”

The philosophers insisted that the problem was poverty and ignorance, some earthly travelers plagued by one, others cursed by both.

The lovers insisted on romance and the poets proclaimed the satisfaction of deeper thought.

One brave former priest challenged the Almighty by suggesting that human beings might be more spirited if the conversation with the heavens was not so one-sided.

On and on the debate raged.

God quickly realized that certain words were leaping from the discussion–repeated constantly:

“King.”

Jew.”

“Priest.”

“Philosopher.”

“Man.”

“Woman.”

“Politician.”

“Savior.”

After the passage of time (though being in a supernal location, such tick-tocking never actually occurs) God announced His decision.

“Human life is a theory. At least, that’s the way humans are approaching it. And I believe they’ve come to the conclusion that success at such an endeavor is completely impossible. I believe they require a picture–an example, as it were. Yet I know some of you think it would take a king. But actually, what we need is a kingdom that can live inside the emotions and soul of every son or daughter of Eden.”

“Some of you think he should be a Jew, born of the House of David. But I’ve grown weary of relegating a special position to one race of people.”

“A philosopher? Perhaps…but with a simple idea: Love your neighbor as yourself.

“A man? A woman? The better parts of that union: a child.”

“A politician? Truly, wise as a servant, but may I add, harmless as a dove.

God paused for a minute before He continued.

“Members of this august Council, what we need is a human who gets it. A human being who understands his own limitations while believing that limitations don’t really exist.”

God stopped his speech and looked into the faces of the assembled. They were puzzled.

“You see? Now you all look human.”

There was a laugh in heaven, as there always should be. Now the key was to bring the laugh to earth.

So one night God joined His spirit with a woman, to birth a baby who became a child and never lost the glee for living, teaching us that we, too, must become as little children.

God called the experience Christmas.

We called it Jesus.

 

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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