12:37 A.M. … June 30, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2278)

bird at nightI awoke suddenly. Or is it better phrased, “I suddenly awoke?” Either way, it’s a little erroneous, isn’t it? It’s a little unlikely to gradually awake. We may decide to react to our new station of alertness at a snail’s pace, but once consciousness arrives, it’s here.

Setting all of that aside, though, let me explain why I was suddenly fully aware in the middle of the night.

I had to pee. A decision was necessary. Should I get up, walk to the bathroom and do my duty? Or roll over and dream of peeing–which is always fairly dangerous.

I chose to put my feet on the ground and make the journey. Returning from the excursion, I laid down and immediately realized it would be a while before sleep overtook me. So I decided to enjoy the solitude and the silence.

And it was very quiet.

Except for one single bird perched outside my window, singing at the top of its little lungs. It was so bizarre. It wasn’t a duet or a barbershop foursome and certainly not a chancel choir, just a single soloist pounding away, a tune which I could only assume was an aviary version of “We Are the Champions.”

What was this bird doing up so late? Or was he just confused and starting early?

Unfortunately, once I became obsessed with listening to the bird, it was the only thing I could hear. And then my brain latched onto it, refusing to relieve me of the tedium and repetition of the refrain.

At length I had an idea. Since it was just me, alone in the room, and no one else would need to know, I got this energizing, private, whimsical idea of asking God to share His presence and proof of His existence by silencing the bird.

I know it sounds stupid, but keep in mind–it was the middle of the night. After all, I can understand why God wouldn’t want to speak to me as I walk through the mall, to the shock and awe of other patrons. But why not reinforce my faith by nudging a tiny miracle in my direction–quieting this “gale” in the middle of the night, giving me a chill down my spine over the beauty of heavenly possibilities?

So I prayed. I asked God to still my little singing friend.

Nothing changed.

I am a little bit ashamed to admit that I was disappointed. And then the true voice within me spoke–that internal sense of communication that tries to create lines of conversation between my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength.

  • Abraham Lincoln referred to it as “the angels of our better nature.”
  • Jefferson knew it as the “truths that are self-evident.”
  • Beethoven probably acknowledged it as the muse that created the music.
  • And Moses believed it to be a burning bush that was not consumed.

Saint or sinner, we all hear a piping within our breast, which sounds a lot like our own voice, but often offers contrary opinions to our will.

So this little conscience of mine asked me why I was so disappointed. My response was that I wasn’t asking for much.

“Exactly,” came the reply. “Think of it from my perspective. I am the Lord your God, the source for all of your belief, and you want me to covenant with you, creating an intimate back-and-forth whispering campaign, and you don’t ask me for world peace or the location of the Holy Grail or even the healing of the body of a friend–your cosmic wish is for Me to silence the good intentions and joy of a little bird.”

I mused for a moment and then smiled. I chuckled, realizing that I could not be trusted with such intimate sharing.

Monday morning smack-down.

 

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Jesonian: God’s House … June 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2278)

Simon Zealotes Jesus Christ Superstar (7)Word has it that God has a house. At least, that’s the popular belief by most folks about the church building.

Even though there are a few folks who try to go cosmic and insist that “the people are the temple of God,” it is still generally considered that His Holiness’s address is somewhere on Church Street with a steeple above.

It is a building filled with individuals who have a history of attending such conclaves, and believe they should be conducted in a particular way. This proposed “God’s House” usually has organ music. Men and women usually only hear an organ three times in their lives–weddings, Sunday church and funerals.

They blur.

But what would God’s House be, and what would the sounds of His domicile consist of, if we really felt He made a visitation within four walls?

I know this–when I go to Steve and Sharon’s house, there’s the buzz of business, papers everywhere and the sound of phone calling to promote new ideas and commerce.

Arriving at Jerrod and Angy’s house, there’s the ruckus of two young women growing up in an exciting environment, with little constraint on their level of joy.

If you pop into Jon Russ and Tracy’s house at any time, you’ll hear the hum of machines and editing bays, and films being pieced together like giant jig-saw puzzles, with unfortunately, many pieces often absent.

Jasson and Deahna’s house has the sound of two young boys, who certainly believe that screeching is permitted in every room of their abode, to the delight of the young parents.

Yet what are the sounds of God’s House?

Jesus described it as an enclosure filled with the sound of music and dancing. As he told the parable of a prodigal son who returned home to the delight of his father, to be thrown the greatest party ever known, the overwhelming exuberance of the visitors and the young lad who had miraculously received a reprieve from his misdeeds, vibrated into the night air.

The only person upset with all the noise, and felt it was disrespectful, was an older brother who was accustomed to somber ambience and the sounds of silence.

He complains.

The father does not apologize. He explains that it’s necessary to have the sound of music and dancing if you’re going to adequately commemorate human beings making progress.

Here’s what I think: as soon as we realize that church is not for our ancestors, nor a gig for the chancel choir, and also not a platform for sermons, responsive readings and overblown special music, is when we actually will build a house that God is comfortable living in.

For if it’s going to be God’s House, it must be a place in which human beings are allowed to cut loose and “rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice.”

As the father in the story of the prodigal son said to his older, complaining offspring, “It was right to party. Your brother was lost and is now found.” (He was gracious enough not to add, “What in the hell’s wrong with you?”)

God’s House should resound with music and dancing–to the best of our ability.

Maybe that’s a little too far for you.

But subsisting on the same repertoire program that might be used at your funeral is a bit premature, don’t you think?

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Untotaled: Stepping 20 (March 18th, 1965) Bible League … June 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2277)

(Transcript)

In the midst of puberty, football, family problems, unbearable school work, insecurities and an unwillingness to walk the dog, I managed to wiggle in time to attend church.

I didn’t go there because I loved God or was fond of listening to sermons. Matter of fact, I couldn’t recall one single point from one of these elongated discourses. No, I went to the Steeple House to see church friends and because I had an abiding love for gospel music.

So when it was announced by our pastor that a competition would begin in the style of College Bowl, using the Bible for questions and answers, and that we would be competing with eleven other churches in our district, to win a trophy, I was immediately on board. It would give me a chance to be with my friends, carpool to new locations, and actively participate in a way to prove that I was better than others.

The first category for our pursuits was Acts of the Apostles, which had intelligently been shortened to the Book of Acts. We studied the material for three weeks. The teams were divided into Junior Bible League and Senior Bible League.

I was at an annoying age–the oldest in the Junior League, but youngest in the Senior League. So they stuck me in the younger group. We went out for the first competition and won handily against Milford.

Having a disconcerting mixture of ability and ego, I quickly decided that the Junior Bible League was beneath me, so I immediately began to lobby to be in the Seniors. This stimulated many discussions, church board meetings, and phone calls among pastors, all trying to decide if it was righteous for me to be with the older participants.

I think they wanted me to give it up. Yes, they figured that eventually I would stop asking.

But I didn’t.

So by the third contest, studying the Book of John, I wore them out and was placed on the Senior Team. Within two weeks, I was one of the starting members and on the third week was voted Captain.

Can I tell you the problem with progress? The reason life has steps to it is so we can enjoy the graduations–because even though I got my way and was on the Senior Team, I was stuck there for four years, with no further encouragement for ascension–just an expectation of ongoing winning.

For the first three years we won the trophy for the best Bible League Team in our district. But by the fourth year, quite honestly, I just wore out.

My jot was exhausted and my tittle lay dangling.

So the lasting memory of this experience is that we lost, in my final year, because of my indifference, and I shall forever be remembered as the guy who almost pulled it off.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to stand up against unreasonable rules and regulations. But often they are there to ease us into a joyous journey, where we have the pleasure of growing instead of the aggravating expectation of doing well … again.Donate Button

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After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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G-30: Pouting … June 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2276)

Izzy PoutA monkey is normally satisfied with a banana.

A monkey-angel, on the other hand, requires a banana split.

From the understanding we gain from what we have dubbed The Good Book, the Creator experienced an adjustment period in trying to comprehend the mingled mess put together with the formation of the human race.

It was a rocky start.

Even though the Book dubbed Good has 1,189 chapters, within the first eight, the Father:

  • makes humans
  • places them in a Garden of Utopia
  • gives them a rule
  • catches them breaking the rule
  • kicks them out of the Garden
  • punishes them
  • sees one of their children murdered and another exiled
  • regrets that He made them
  • kills them with a flood
  • and finally, regrets killing them.

Not a stellar beginning.

So after the waters subsided, a mistrust grew between the heavens and the earth. It was actually more like an adolescent pout, where a child of a household who was once enamored with his or her parents lives long enough to discover inconsistencies, and along with the natural rebellion churning in his or her soul, decides to become non-communicative with the elders.

A quiet war started between God and man. (And by man, of course, I mean the female part as well.)

For thousands of years, attempts were made to repair the breach by using commandments, prophets, edicts, covenants, patriarchs, escape plans, and even miracles.

Nothing seemed to work.

Human beings were caught between a distaste for the jungle and a dislike for the heavens.

We pouted.

How could we trust a Creator who made us and then decided to break us? What could be done?

Yes … what could be done?

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After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Three Reasons to be Kind … June 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2275)

hands in mirror1. Mean is a major commitment. Kind, on the other hand, allows room for adjustment.

2. You never know who you don’t knowknows.

3. Joy is not about what we do, but the feeling that remains after we do it.

I don’t have time or energy to maintain a sullen, suspicious or fearful profile. It is exhausting.

If there is no god, then the world needs my help even more. If there is a God, how I treat people is what I think of Him.

I want to be happy.

To achieve that, I must avoid regret and grudges. There are no guarantees … but being kind is safer than being mean.

 

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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Populie: The Majority Rules … June 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2274)

A show of hands“All those in favor of … ”

It’s a process we learned at an early age when trying to choose between playing Monopoly or a game of cards. If there were five people in the room and three voted for card playing, then the other two were supposed to submit freely to the will of the majority. It is how we define democracy.

It’s the pressure that politics, entertainment, and religion live beneath in pursuing policies of their actions.

“Let’s take a poll.”

Politics runs its agenda based on how certain voting goes, determining the emphasis of actions according to the numbers provided.

Religion feels no responsibility to pursue the strait and narrow, remaining the conscience of our society, but instead, institutes committees which vote up or down based on the whim of a local congregation.

And entertainment rejects the responsibility for art to be a cutting edge reminder for our society, using focus groups to determine how plots should end and characters develop.

We are completely possessed by the demon of choice. Therefore, we are tossed to and fro on the energy of the present moment instead of having a sense of what truly will benefit the common good.

It is the popular belief in democracy, lending itself to the populie that the majority rules. Actually, the majority is rarely right.

There are three things that are necessary to determine the mission of any project or any people:

1. The history.

If we’re going to run our country thinking that there’s power in numbers, we will end up destroying all the potential for innovation and enlightenment. What is the history?

  • The majority of Germans voted to follow Adolph Hitler.
  • The majority of Jews in the Council cast their lot to crucify Jesus of Nazareth.
  • The majority of Southerners at one time held fast to Jim Crow.

Therefore, the majority has to be viewed through the sense of history, and history has some strong inclinations:

A. You can’t take freedom from people.

B. You can’t continue to kill people

C. You can’t stifle creativity and invention

It doesn’t matter if the majority wants to do this or not. It will be wrong.

2. The climate.

Even though politics, religion and entertainment want to give the people what they want, the goal of leadership should be to give the people what they’re going to require.

For instance, if you let your twelve-year-old son pack for summer camp on his own, he will run out of clothes on the second day and food on the third, having consumed all of his candy bars. It is the responsibility of those who have been given the blessing of guiding us to discover from the climate of our times what is available to meet the needs of human beings instead of what temporarily satisfies the whim.

3. The end game.

Yes, how is this going to end up? If we follow through on the present thinking, where will it take us? Honestly, we can’t decide the future of our society merely based upon greed. People who have the intelligence to understand where things are headed also have the responsibility to pipe up and challenge the end game.

So we’re going into Iraq. When do we leave?

We’re legalizing marijuana. What is the outcome?

We’re limiting the use of guns. Can we project where this will take us?

The majority does not rule; the majority is just loud.

We need insight from spiritually and emotionally mature statesmen and stateswomen, who will remind us of history, take us to what we require instead of what we just want, and follow through our efforts to a conclusion, projecting the end game.

Let’s stop taking a vote. Instead, let’s take a moment and find out what’s best for the whole human race … instead of just our little circle.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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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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Quatrain of Self-Awareness … June 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2273)

climber

I have my life

You have one, too

You have an opinion

I keep moving on

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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