Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 9) Leavening … January 31st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2830

Jesonian hands

When I looked at the parable again, it just made me laugh.

Jesus often had a dry sense of humor–and in this particular story, he refers to the society in which we live as “the lump.”

Could it be personified any better? Just a big pile of dough, laying there with no prospect of becoming anything in particular, susceptible to being manipulated.

Even though we are tempted to become part of the dough, Jesus suggested we become the leaven–the yeast–the ingredient that quietly slips inside the lump, ends up affecting it by expanding it and making it into bread.

It is the reasonable expectation of all people who are followers of Jesus–thus Jesonian: to contribute to the world around them by adding their yeast into the mix to produce the bread of life.

The problem is that many Christians, instead of using emotional leavening in their outreach, end up with spiritual “littering. ”

  • They waste their witness.
  • They cast aside the power of the Gospel.
  • And they limit the scope of how they can affect their brothers and sisters by offering tracts and little bits of scripture.

This spiritual “littering” occurs in three distinct ways:

1. A generic God.

Yes, in an attempt to become all things to all men, we talk about God instead of Jesus. It seems safer. It appears to be less offensive.

But since Jesus did not come to start a religion and is not in competition with those who did, the way to gain emotional ground with others–to leaven the lump of their lives–is to share the compassion, the heart, the tolerance and the mind of Jesus.

God is an idea. Jesus is a feeling.

2. We also spiritually litter offering an invitation to come to our church.

May I give you a clue? The people who are inclined to go to church at this point are already there.

So the next step for creating a spiritual awakening in this country will not be church attendance. It may lead to that eventually, but to leaven the lump–to put your yeast of emotion into people’s lives–you have to participate in social interaction where they live.

The Internet, dinner invitations, parties, or even going to a movie with a friend is much more effective than the spiritual littering of inviting them to your congregation.

3. And the final step of spiritual littering is feeling the need to make a stand on social issues or moral questions so as to separate our “sheepishness” from those who are more “goat-like.”

We achieve nothing with this.

Whether we are vigilant or vindictive in our assertions makes no difference because we are still accused of being judgmental.

The emotional leavening that Jesus wants us to bring to life is good cheer.

Rather than looking at the tribulation of the world and having a disagreement with it, he tells us to leave the world to him and instead, pursue a life of good cheer.

It’s just a fact–people like to be around happy people.

This does not mean we are free of difficulty, but it means we come into trial in good cheer, survive it, and come out the other end also cheered by the good.

We have too much spiritual littering going on in our society today which renders the Gospel weak because it is at the mercy of people’s perception of the church.

Jesus said the world is a lump.

Put your emotional leavening into it, and let the yeast expand the experience of those around you.

Share Jesus, eat with them … and be of good cheer.

 

Donate Button

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

 

Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2829)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: A couple of days ago I read an article in a magazine…

 

Dear Man: You’re just trying to impress me with the fact that you can read.

 

Dear Woman: Actually, I’m trying to impress you with the fact that I read something and retained enough to have a discussion. Anyway, in this article it said that men and women should appreciate their differences because it grants each of them a “unique perspective.”

 

Dear Man: A unique perspective?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, that’s what I geared in on too. What does that mean?

 

Dear Man: That means I have a way of looking at things that’s different from you, and you would garner great insight by listening to my feelings on the issue.

 

Dear Woman: Do you think that’s true?

 

Dear Man: I was taught it was true. Matter of fact, I grew up believing that relationships were 50-50. Somewhere along the line, that got pooh-poohed, and now we believe that it’s gotta be 100% and 100%. It’s the me plus me equals us.

 

Dear Woman: We don’t believe that. It’s a war with an unsettling truce. Men pretend that women are smarter while still retaining the power.

 

Dear Man: Well, how do they do that?

 

Dear Woman: By telling you that you have a “unique perspective” which they value hearing and enjoy ignoring.

 

Dear Man: So what you’re saying is that telling someone they have a unique perspective is not a positive?

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely not. It’s never positive. Saying that someone has a unique perspective is only two argument points away from the classic, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

 

Dear Man: So you believe that’s why we have so many stalemates in discussions between men and women?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. Every idea has a genesis and an exodus.

 

Dear Man: Explain.

 

Dear Woman: That wasn’t very clear, was it? What I’m saying is that the word “unique” is a genesis, but as the word “unique” goes through the human experience, it changes to other words. And by the time it evolves, our emotions interpret it in a much different way.

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying that “unique” doesn’t really mean “unique” to us?

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. “Unique” is translated in our brain as “different.” And different is not something we enjoy. It’s something we tolerate. And we always tell people they need more tolerance.

 

Dear Man: So how do you build a relationship on tolerance?

 

Dear Woman: You can’t. You kind of end up faking it.

 

Dear Man: So let me try my hand at it. After “unique” becomes “different” in our heads, “different” can quickly become “alien.” In other words, people from Mexico have different customs than we do, so therefore we view them as aliens.

 

Dear Woman: Very well said. And of course, once something is alien, we stick it in Outer Space. It’s not really allowed past our borders, is it?

 

Dear Man: So if I convince myself that your feelings are unique and therefore different, which makes them alien, it’s very easy for me to turn a deaf ear and view them as intrusive.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. I’m an intruder on your girl power.

 

Dear Man: And I’m an intruder on your macho.

 

Dear Woman: So we end up tolerating each other to get what we want.

 

Dear Man: And when we don’t want it so much any more, we decide to get rid of the intruder.

 

Dear Woman: So as long as we look at each other as unique, instead of finding common ground, we will focus on the differences, become alien to one another and eventually, in a bit of disgust, consider each other intrusive.

 

Dear Man: It’s kind of funny. Because if either one of us found ourselves stuck in the jungle, we would quickly learn to adapt–find our inner monkey–instead of insisting that the monkeys have a “unique perspective.”

 

Dear Woman: You should never consider yourself a monkey.

 

Dear Man: You know what I’m saying. To survive, we find commonality. To fail, we focus on differences. That’s just life.

 

Dear Woman: Except when it comes to men and women, right? Then we think we’re so damn clever by highlighting the uniqueness.

 

Dear Man: So you don’t think I have any uniqueness?

 

Dear Woman: Yes, I do. But it has nothing to do with you being a woman. It has to do with your experience. Your faith. Your charity. Your hope. Your sense of humor. That’s what makes you fresh to me.

 

Dear Man: So how did it get all screwed up?

 

Dear Woman: I guess the way it always gets screwed up. One night, one member of the sexes didn’t want to listen to the other one, so he or she decided that the other gender was unique, and therefore incomprehensible.

 

Dear Man: So I am going to give you a blessing. You are not unique. You are not different. You are not alien to me. And you are not an intruder. It’s my job to figure out how the culture screwed us up … and how we can get back to the Garden.

Donate Button

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

 

 

G-Poppers … January 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2828)

Jon close up

G-Pop had a rare moment.

He asked his grandson, “What do you think about your classmates at school?”

“Most of them don’t like me,” said the young man, dipping his head in disappointment.

“How many kids are there?” asked G-Pop.

“About twenty-five,” said the grandson.

G-Pop continued. “So is it thirteen? Sixteen? Or all twenty-five who don’t like you?”

The young boy squinted at G-Pop. “I don’t know how many,” he replied, a little aggravated.

“So how do you know it’s most?” G-Pop posed.

In a country that runs its programs by polls, the word “most” becomes overly important and eliminates the discovery of truth.

  • Most women are…
  • Most blacks do…
  • Most Mexicans come to our country for…
  • Most men think…
  • Most Christians believe…
  • Most Muslims pursue…
  • Most Wall Street executives are…
  • Most politicians…
  • Most girls…
  • Most boys…
  • Most countries…
  • Most vegetables…
  • Most meat…

Most of the most.

The word “most” is used as a safe way of being prejudiced, while falling back on data which is often tampered with by bigots who want to prove their point.

“Most” is probably the most dangerous word that has come into our society, even though calling it the most dangerous might be part of the problem.

Here is a fact:

Human beings don’t do anything predictable. They are basically content to leave well enough alone, even if they find that status to be unsatisfying.

Yes, stagnancy is always preferable to both goodness and evil.

So the reason we introduce the word “most” into our dialogue is to convince the crowd around us that we are part of the plurality, not tied into a minority, which is obviously wrong as seen by their weak numbers.

G-Pop points out that this presidential election is more concerned with polls than ever before. And the polls never agree because the polls never ask the right question of the right people at the right time.

If we are going to be people of vision, faith and creativity, we have to eliminate the word “most” from our daily conversation, or we will terminate the flexibility of races, religions and personal effort.

Most gay people aren’t anything.

Most Christians are not locked up in a box.

And most Muslims don’t blow up buildings, as most Mexicans don’t rape.

But if you can convince people that “most” of the subject at hand is a threat, then you can also mob them together to attack all.

G-Pop waited for his grandson to produce the number of kids in his class who did not like the little fella. He could never come up with an actual count, because it was just easier to assume that most of them were against him.

The only way to live as a human being and be successful is to admit to yourself that the next encounter and the next experience is mercurial–because it’s controlled by human beings, who are “mostly” individuals.

Donate Button

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

 

 

 

Ask Jonathots … January 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2827

ask jonathots bigger

One of my friends believes that sexual repression is the reason for almost all problems, from behavioral to criminal. How important is sexuality? Is there such a thing as a religious calling, or, as my friend says, is that the sole reason for the sexual scandal in the Catholic Church?

Sex is an appetite.

It’s very important to realize this.

It is neither holy, nor is it hedonistic.

If monkeys can do it, it’s probably not super-spiritual, and if the end process of the procedure is procreation–the birthing of other human beings–it’s probably not evil.

You have to find the balance. What is the balance?

For instance, another bodily function is a bowel movement. Constipation makes us sick. But diarrhea is also a sign that we’re ill. What we want are healthy bowel movements.

And what we also want is a healthy sex life.

Since sex is not terribly difficult to do, it’s probably unrealistic to think that people are going to avoid it until they get married at age twenty-six.

Yet because it has so many physical ramifications, disease possibilities, and the potential of pregnancy, it should probably not be open season beginning at the age of twelve.

There are three reasons that people say they have sex:

  • They love each other
  • They want each other
  • They desire a child

Of course, there are variations on those–and different intensity levels. But as you can see, those three do not naturally connect.

In other words, love for someone can be manufactured because we are physically stimulated.

Wanting someone can be extremely temporary, until the orgasm is achieved.

And having a baby is an eighteen-minute production for an eighteen-year problem.

So the church tends to teach that the best practice is to refrain from sex until marriage, even though there are no people sitting in the pew who feel that is actually possible–or followed the practice themselves.

The world, on the other hand, or the secular community, thinks that free sexual expression is essential as a choice of adulthood, but offers no comfort for those who are heartbroken or stricken by disease because of promiscuity, or left with horrible choices due to unwanted pregnancy.

We are in the process of finding a balance.

To me, the best way to achieve this is to make it clear to young people–and older folks, for that matter–what sex is.

1. Sex is pleasure.

The fact that a creative God also uses it as a means of procreating our species is just smart due to the fact that if making babies took great effort, we would soon be extinct.

Trying to make sex anything other than pleasure is putting a golden crown on a pig.

2. As pleasure, it is a lesson in discovering how to mutually respect the person we are sharing the experience with at all times.

The idea that women are growing up believing that sex is for men and that they are not necessarily supposed to have an orgasm is one of the greatest abuses to the female.

3. Sex is emotional.

Here’s the trick and here’s the problem: as human beings, we seem to be incapable of separating the physical act of pleasure from the emotional tie of friendship or love. This introduces jealousy. This promotes some revenge. It causes sex to become a tool of pain rather than the promoter of pleasure.

4. Sex is attached to our passion.

Just because you said you loved someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you want to crawl in bed with them and have a crazy night of love-making. If the emotional, mental and spiritual energy does not continue, then the horniness quickly wears off. So we develop silly words like “soul mate” to describe the latest person who excites us.

Human sexuality is tainted both by repression and too much expression.

It is a physical act with emotional overtones, stimulated by mental commitment and spiritual energy.

Donate Button

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

 

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 27th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2826)

PoHymn Isabella

Sixteen Plus One

Looking for just the right fella

Is my dear friend, Isabella

Constrained within the narrow alley

Betwixt the mountain and the valley

She refuses to merely resort

Desiring a better report

Keeping the wolf from the door

 

Considered sweet and light

Her brain can be a fright

Ablaze with choices to make

Trying to escape the fake

Lurking in the beanstalk climb

 

Then a nasty wisp of fate

At a mall with a greedy mate

Leaves her hands caught quite red

Her soul cold and feeling dead

Wishing to give it back

 

But God gave a voice

To the sparrow, a choice

Sing to find your mind

Laugh to release the kind

And soar above the damage.

 

So after memories sixteen

She faces another fresh scene

Is she child or woman born?

Closer to one, the other torn

She bleeds to know the ending.

 

But life is much less eager

The answers are quite meager

Just slow down, Burning Star

Tuck your dreams in a jar

Where you can view them before fading.

 

So happy journey, princess dear

Relax in the warmth of your good cheer

God has given you everything

He’s just waiting to hear you sing.

 

Donate Button

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

 

Cracked 5 … January 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2825)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Things You Should Not Do During a Blizzard

A. Leave your front door open to measure the depth of snow drifts in your hallway.

 

B. Let the chihuahua out to play in the snow.

 

C. Invite neighborhood gangs over to your backyard for a snowball fight.

 

D. Ski to the closed Ace Hardware to break in to steal a snow blower.

 

E. Robustly sing “Let It Snow.”

cracked 5 blizzard

 

Donate Button

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

 

Good News and Better News … January 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2824)

Good News Messiah Lutheran

I arrived early.

Nothing had started popping at Messiah Lutheran.

I was sitting at my book table checking out a few details when I looked across the vestibule and saw the bulletin board pictured above.

My first instinct was to chuckle since I was peering at a snowman while abiding in Panama City, Florida. But I guess because it was Sunday morning and my thoughts had become a bit introspective, I considered the snowman.

It isn’t, you know–a man, I mean.

If you came across a snowman and decided to melt it and free the human being inside, after extensive warming, all you would end up with is a puddle.

There’s nothing within.

It’s an imitation of life–using lumps of coal, a broom, a button, a scarf, a carrot and a top hat.

But it got me wondering if there are frozen people crusted over by the iciness of our culture, who really are more than just snowmen. Is it possible to become so chilled by indifference that you live beneath inches of ice?

Well, I certainly see it in politics.

Freezing out your competition and appearing above the fray, free of fault, seems to be the “call of the wild” in Washington. But I fear if the real heat of pressure and responsibility fell upon any one of them, they would sink into a drippy mess.

How about entertainment?

What could be more hypocritical than a bunch of snowmen in Hollywood who think they are so open-minded and liberal, who make a stand against guns–even as they use pistils, automatic rifles and any number of instruments of mayhem to kill thousands of human beings in their plotlines.

Then there’s religion.

Seems to me that we have sunk to the position of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, who spent their time counting cups, cleaning plates and decorating their robes.

Snowmen.

Nothing really left inside–just a cold form of what they once might have looked like.

So as I prepared to share with the folks at Messiah, I was reminded of the sarcastic statement of the angel, speaking to the women who came to the tomb to embalm Jesus: “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”

I had to ask myself a two-part question:

  • Is my life the pursuit of melting snowmen, only to find there’s nothing really there?
  • Or, under this arctic exterior, are there still living human beings who would like to have joy and abundant life?

The good news is that Messiah lifted my spirits.

Although at first they treated us as strangers, our hearts soon burned within us, taking away the frigid fear.

It was powerful.

It was good.

It was hopeful.

And unlike the snowman on the wall of their bulletin board, what I discovered were human beings suffering from a little hypothermia from being exposed to too much cold. So here’s the better news: We can warm up society and find out where the snowmen are and where the people just need to come in out of the elements.

1. When you see somebody doing a good job and you know they make minimum wage, give them a buck and a word of encouragement for their extra-mile efforts.

2. When you’re in the doctor’s office, instead of pretending to read an out-dated magazine, attempt to strike up a conversation with a nearby human being and see where it takes you.

3. Let “thank you” come off your lips more and more easily.

4. Lead with a smile long before you come face-to-face.

5. Appreciate the small things and be amazed at how the big things begin to take care of themselves.

6. Sit in your quiet, staid church and clap your hands during one of the hymns and see if anyone joins you.

I could go on and on.

Here are two dangers in life: falling under the spell of the deep freeze, or believing that you have no power to thaw it.

Donate Button

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

 
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: