G-12: Wanting or Willing … February 21, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2157)

baby birdBeing human, I have an ongoing sensation that the world will not be completely set aright until those around me become more concerned and involved with my immediate happiness.

The difficulty with that thought process is that when eight billion individuals are campaigning for their own cause, you create collisions instead of promoting cohesion.

Matter of fact, if you’re in a room with ten people and there isn’t at least one person who abandons his own selfish intention to bring about a treaty of peaceful coexistence, the silent warring that goes on among the members will stall all progress and promote an atmosphere drenched in stress.

I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. Yet the reason nothing is done to improve this standoff is that we are convinced that it’s natural to be unnaturally contrary.

Actually, we don’t actually see the results of evolution in our lifetime because it is several generations before one single transformation emerges. Blinded by our own ambition and completely unaware of the need for change, we stubbornly pursue the status quo, selfishly.

But if you’re of a mind to consider something revolutionary, you might want to contemplate the difference between wanting and willing.

If you’re a person who is absorbed in the quest of wanting, you always end up with the same three questions:

  1. Why did this happen?
  2. Why isn’t it better?
  3. What am I going to do?

On the rare occasion that plans work out to spec, you will find yourself happy. And the ninety-five percent of the time when your calculations are altered, you will revert back to this trio of nonsense.

The transformation to becoming willing is not adding a divine aspect to our nature. Rather, it is allowing our nature to accept the fact that divine conclusions will come if we just allow time and chance to work in our favor.

Here are three other questions sprouted by a willing heart:

  1. Do I understand what has really happened?
  2. What do I have?
  3. Where is the starting line?

It is an advanced form of common sense that slows life down so that the subtle changes become more visible instead of whisking by quickly, oblivious to new possibilities.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating if the great evaluation of human life in the eternity of eternities ends up being a single question: were we just wanting or were we willing?

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With All Your Getting … February 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2156)

For God so loved the worldI am often puzzled over the hype and gravitas given to what is traditionally deemed to be the top three virtues of human endeavor: faith, hope and love.

I certainly agree that they do abide. They are present.

But honestly, faith and hope must have had pretty good agents to get them on this list. Because as valuable as it may be to hold faith in some creed, doctrine or philosophy, that faith has also been known to be misplaced, bringing about the death and destruction of human life. I dare say that misguided faith has killed many more people than vampires, let alone zombies.

Likewise, hope can be drenched in selfishness, while candy-coated with a thin shell of devotion, but end up being a mere wish list for selfish people. Or worse, a way for a politician or preacher to manipulate vulnerable human beings to enact his or her will.

Yes–faith: “I have something I believe.”

Good for you. But just because you believe it does not make it true, viable or enriching to others.

Hope: “I have something I want.”

When I look back at my personal history, I realize that if all my hopes had been granted, I would at least be a renegade, if not dead.

So love is the salvation of these two ambiguous fellow-travelers. Love: “I have something to give.”

Matter of fact, this may be what getting older is all about–sorting through our faith and throwing out the parts that are useless to humanity or God, and clearing out our closet of hopes and realizing that many of our wants are foolish, if not dangerous. So we gradually come to the maturity that allows us to focus on what we have to give.

God, Himself, made the journey. For after all, the Old Testament is full of faith and hope, as the Almighty stood back and asked people to believe in Ten Commandments, voices coming out of burning bushes and jaunts through the wilderness. Somewhere along the line, our Father which art in heaven decided to become a daddy.  He realized that the only purpose for faith and hope is to congeal them into love.

So by the time He got to the New Testament He had a different mantra: “For God so loved the world that He gave …”

There you go–love gives. Therefore I only maintain enough faith to make my love last longer. I pursue hope if it allows my love to continue to abide and interact with human beings. But my main focus is on love. What can I do this very morning to give, never feeling the loss, but knowing that this affection will return to me many-fold?

When we are young we pursue faith–we ardently believe in our own principles. We get a little older, we start hoping. After all, our faith did not deliver its full package of goods, so we need to release a new batch of wishes into the world.

But if we’re going to truly become spiritual and human, we will eventually understand that it’s all about love.

  • I am here to give something.
  • I am here to release.
  • I am here to impart.

And in the process, suddenly the faith and hope that we proclaimed is resurrected from its death and comes to life again, bringing us glorious options.

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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

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

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With All Your Getting … February 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2156)

I am often puzzled over the hype and gravitas given to what is traditionally deemed to be the top three virtues of human endeavor: faith, hope and love.

I certainly agree that they do abide. They are present.

But honestly, faith and hope must have had pretty good agents to get them on this list. Because as valuable as it may be to hold faith in some creed, doctrine or philosophy, that faith has also been known to be misplaced, bringing about the death and destruction of human life. I dare say that misguided faith has killed many more people than vampires, let alone zombies.

Likewise, hope can be drenched in selfishness, while candy-coated with a thin shell of devotion, but end up being a mere wish list for selfish people. Or worse, a way for a politician or preacher to manipulate vulnerable human beings to enact his or her will.

Yes–faith: “I have something I believe.”

Good for you. But just because you believe it does not make it true, viable or enriching to others.

Hope: “I have something I want.”

When I look back at my personal history, I realize that if all my hopes had been granted, I would at least be a renegade, if not dead.

So love is the salvation of these two ambiguous fellow-travelers. Love: “I have something to give.”

Matter of fact, this may be what getting older is all about–sorting through our faith and throwing out the parts that are useless to humanity or God, and clearing out our closet of hopes and realizing that many of our wants are foolish, if not dangerous. So we gradually come to the maturity that allows us to focus on what we have to give.

God, Himself, made the journey. For after all, the Old Testament is full of faith and hope, as the Almighty stood back and asked people to believe in Ten Commandments, voices coming out of burning bushes and jaunts through the wilderness. Somewhere along the line, our Father which art in heaven decided to become a daddy.  He realized that the only purpose for faith and hope is to congeal them into love.

So by the time He got to the New Testament He had a different mantra: “For God so loved the world that He gave …”

There you go–love gives. Therefore I only maintain enough faith to make my love last longer. I pursue hope if it allows my love to continue to abide and interact with human beings. But my main focus is on love. What can I do this very morning to give, never feeling the loss, but knowing that this affection will return to me many-fold?

When we are young we pursue faith–we ardently believe in our own principles. We get a little older, we start hoping. After all, our faith did not deliver its full package of goods, so we need to release a new batch of wishes into the world.

But if we’re going to truly become spiritual and human, we will eventually understand that it’s all about love.

  • I am here to give something.
  • I am here to release.
  • I am here to impart.

And in the process, suddenly the faith and hope that we proclaimed is resurrected from its death and comes to life again, bringing us glorious options.

Donate Button

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

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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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Populie: Life is Dark … February 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2156)

  • It is popular to complain.better true detective
  • And an ongoing lie is the assertion that “everything is getting worse.”
  • Put them together and you have the Populie, “Life is dark.”

Matter of fact, one way to receive ridicule and to present yourself as a novice is to say things are not as bad as they are made out to be. Be prepared to be called sentimental, maudlin or schmaltzy. If you find something to be praiseworthy, you risk losing the audience that is prepared to bitch.

  • Politicians revels in this climate because they can rail against the party in control, portraying that these renegades in power are hauling us “to hell in a handbasket.”
  • Religion picks up the banner and carries it proudly because it loves the idea that mankind is depraved and is desperately in need of an always-forgiving God.
  • And of course, entertainment is delighted with the notion, promoting projects like Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Dexter and True Detective as examples of “real life” projected onto the screen, knowing the market that exists thinks blood is cool–as long as we aren’t the ones bleeding.

So sometimes it becomes difficult to step out of this shadowy kingdom of “populie” reasoning and offer alternatives that are not nearly as debilitating.

1. Life continues through birth.

What do I mean by that? We stop believing in the power of living when we’re always trying to kill things off. There has to be a sense of regeneration, reclamation, salvation and solution or human beings despair. If you’re not going to birth something in hope, you will add to the darkness by dousing your light.

2. Caring for others is the only way to secure your own space.

Yes, we are selfish. We are concerned about our own needs. But if you’re going to stomp on the face of the person just below you, be prepared to get a foot in your own face from the one who has ascended higher than yourself.

I love other people because I need love–and the only way I could ever hope that this love will be there when I need it is to make sure I continue to put love seedlings in the soil.

3. Promoting “bad” advertises mediocrity and discourages the pursuit of excellence.

Honestly, if all I have to do in life is be better than the characters on television, I really am just fine. We aren’t given real heroes; we don’t have those who have struggled and overcome, and we are absent enough examples of people who stand up against the system to prove their point.

Everywhere I go now, even in the religious system, there is an abiding sensation that “life is dark.” I plead with my own family and children to stop peppering their minds with incessant violence, perversion and bleak dreariness that’s offered in our present politics, religion and entertainment.

I plead with you.

Because remember: the loss of empathy is the death of humanity.

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Quatrain of the Desert … February 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2154)

desert

Neither lush nor green

Blooming alive with less

Absent the pouring rain

Warm in my sun

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Double A’s and an F … February 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2153)

Bill MaherYou can’t be a good believer unless you first discover what kind of atheist you would be. And while you’re at it, it’s a good idea to figure out how you would choose to live if you were an agnostic. Two A’s and an F — atheist, agnostic and faith.face of Ricky Gervais

Since none of us know for sure what’s going to happen after we suck our last, it’s a good idea to put greater value on your human life than you do your eternal life.

I know this statement would upset about ninety percent of the Christian community, but it doesn’t make it any less important to share.

Billy GrahamI am a person of faith–not because I’m afraid of what might happen if I weren’t.

I don’t pursue devotion to God because I’m superstitious or want to cover all of my bases.

No, it’s because I have decided what life I would choose to honor if I were an atheist. So if there were no God, what would my three essentials be, determining my essence? I would have to:

  1. Learn to love people.
  2. Learn to respect my life and the value it has, both in limited time and in the distribution of the wealth of my gifts.
  3. Be merciful.

Likewise, if I believe there is some sort of God, but think He or She has taken a permanent vacation, rendering me an agnostic, what kind of journey would I choose?

  1. Learn to deal with people knowing that they never go away.
  2. Take care of myself, but also not come across as unfeeling to the needs of others.
  3. Learn the art of forgiveness.

So in like manner, if I’m going to be a believer in an Eternal Creator, what are the three things that define my trinity of precepts?

  1. I’m told that if I don’t love people, then my love for God is built on a false premise.
  2. I’m instructed that if I give, it shall be given unto me.
  3. I get mercy, released for my inadequacies, by the amount of mercy I give to others, and I am judged in like manner.

You see, when you look at it from that perspective, whether you’re Bill Maher, an atheist, or Ricky Gervais, who considers himself to bounce between agnostic and atheist, or Billy Graham, who is the face of the faith crowd–when it comes to human life, you’re left with the same basic alternatives.

I guess as long as you can escape the ridiculous traditions of religion, it might be nice to believe in God just in case the heaven thing turns out not to be hype.

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Jesonian: Exodus (A Sequel) … February 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2152)

crowd exiting“Where are all the people?”

It is the pleading question I hear week after week, as ministers, church leaders, secretaries and music directors stare out at the depleted ranks for evidence of the faithful, probing the pews for the chosen “fews.”

Matter of fact, many proclaimers of the gospel find themselves exaggerating the numbers attending the holy sanctuary in order to maintain any shred of purpose or semblance of clerical ego.

There’s no doubt about it–people are leaving the church.

You could assemble a panel of those of a theological bend to discuss the matter for hours, and come up with all sorts of theories, many of which would have grounding in fact without having any footing in solution.

  • Yes, it is posh to be agnostic.
  • Yes, there is a new indifference masked by the wording of “being busy.”
  • Yes, people are more isolated in their homes than they’ve ever been before.
  • Yes, the Christian movement has done a lot to shoot itself in the ass by being either too conservative or too liberal
  • Yes, we have allowed the “rain makers” to control the message instead of keeping it simple and gently watering the plants that are growing by faith.
  • Yes…

You could go on and on. But truthfully, I believe the main problem is that the Sermon on the Mount has hit the valley–because the thrust is now a proclamation of infinity, when mankind is desperately requiring a voice crying in the wilderness for afinity.

Since we are human beings born on Earth, pursuing the promise of heaven, we need to be careful that we don’t “Pinocchio” the gospel–in other words:

  • comforting people who are wooden puppets by telling them that “someday they will become little boys and girls.”
  • looking at people who have life now and telling them to be overly interested in the life to come.
  • addressing human beings who need to be exhorted to excellence, but keeping them weak on a pabulum of their own sinful nature.

Whether it’s Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal or Lutheran, there is some curriculum teaching that Jesus wants us to focus on “infinity and beyond.” To keep this message in the forefront, you have to emphasize (1) personal weakness so people will be reminded that they need a strong God; and (2) personal salvation, so the elect recognize their weakness and are grateful for a heaven someday.

If you have one ounce of motivation adding up to a pound of desire you will get bored very quickly with this “bad news,” suitable only for the pitiful.

Fortunately, the real message of Jesus of Nazareth was “afinity and be here:

1. Recognize your personal blessing and do something about it.

  • To he whom much is given much is expected.
  • Go the second mile.
  • You are the salt of the earth.
  • Go and do thou likewise.

2. Personal responsibility: “Whenever you’ve done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”

Yes, there is a second exodus. The people of God are running across the “over-read sea” into the desert of social nothingness, wandering around complaining about the provisions available, dreaming of a Promised Land.

It comes down to this: if the church continues to preach “infinity and beyond” instead of afinity and be here, we will eventually follow the model of the European church, which is now more or less a museum in remembrance of dead ideas.

If you want to stop the exodus, you’re going to have to start preaching the gospel. And the gospel of Jesus is very simple:

As I bask and rejoice in my personal blessing I take up my cross of personal responsibility and go out and make a better life and a better world.

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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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