Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 8) Priority … January 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2823)

Jesonian hands

I am often reluctant to quote directly from the Good Book.

It is not due to a lack of respect or devotion to the volume. I would have a similar sensation about reading passages from Moby Dick if historically the Melville work had brought about horrific division and chaos.

But sometimes a particular passage from the Bible needs to be shared in its simplicity–and entirety–to point out how misunderstanding has driven us away from the consensus of what makes things good.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

It is virtually impossible for a theologian to interpret that verse without adding his or her religious convictions, practices and pious overtones.

Yet it’s really quite simple. It’s divided into three sections:

  1. The kingdom of God.
  2. His righteousness.
  3. All these things.

To identify what these mean, you must have an awareness of the overall and abiding principles that are represented.

The kingdom of God is not a church, a belief system or a denominational approach to religion. Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God is within us.

So the first step to establishing priority in our journey is to find ourselves.

The creation story tells us that God breathed into humans the breath of life and we became living souls. So if we can’t find that breath, we don’t know how to breathe. And all attempts we make to find the kingdom of God outside the confines of our own created space are not only futile, but often lead us in the wrong direction–trying to become sanctified without really being holy.

Here is the kingdom of God: I am happiest when I can be strong enough to help others.

  • We are not happy when we are weak.
  • We are not happy if we have sufficiency and choose selfishness.

The breath of God is the blessing of finding ourselves and then dispensing mercy to others.

We are told to seek this first.

Dare I say that many religious people are so riddled with insecurity and superstition that the only way they know how to express salvation to others is to load them down with guilt, intimidate them over their lifestyle, then stand back and judge their actions. It is a waste of time.

Get happy, be happy, and from that position of joy, find a way to make others happy.

Which brings us to His righteousness.

This is not my righteousness. This is not a general righteousness. This is God’s righteousness.

It doesn’t take too long in perusing the Good Book to discover that God is content when we grow in confidence so we can help others around us whom He would love to touch with His grace.

If you believe that God is stomping around Heaven, angry about the Ten Commandments being broken, you should probably read the Good Book a little more carefully.

“It’s not His will that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.”

Exactly.

Which brings us to the final thought: “all these things.”

While Wall Street and business tycoons try to figure out the secret to accumulating loot, the process is accessible. Satisfied souls who manifest a creative and passionate life become a magnet to material goods.

It’s just the way it works.

Everybody who chases money, fights for money or kills for money always ends up vanquished by those who are stronger. All the things we desire in life will be at our disposal when we find the breath so that we can breathe, become creative and allow our lives to be filled with passion.

So this little journey we have taken in the Gospel of Matthew is summed up best in this way to discover priority:

I will find the breath of God within me, which will enable me to breathe and become strong so I can help others. I do this because God has one great mission statement: help people. And in the process of finding my confidence, being creative and having a passionate life, the opportunity to gain what I need will be readily available.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: Do you think I’m smart?

 

Dear Woman: Trick question, am I right?

 

Dear Man: No trick. I just wonder if you find me intelligent.

 

Dear Woman: I guess I’d have to know what you mean by intelligent.

 

Dear Man: Stop analyzing the question and give me your general impression of my brain power.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I think you’re smart.

 

Dear Man: No, you don’t.

 

Dear Woman: So it was a trick question.

 

Dear Man: No, but if you thought I was smart you would have answered immediately instead of trying to figure out what I was getting at.

 

Dear Woman: Are you trying to say that you don’t understand why I try to figure out what you’re getting at?

 

Dear Man: Do you think I’m too sensitive?

 

Dear Woman: Are we moving on to another question?

 

Dear Man: Let me explain.

 

Dear Woman: Please do.

 

Dear Man: I think I’ve got something figured out. I have a tendency to share what I feel. You, on the other hand, offer what you think.

 

Dear Woman: I would agree with that.

 

Dear Man: Please don’t interrupt me. I’m on a roll. So I react by feeling about what you think and that forces you to think about what I feel, which more or less–at least partially–aggravates both of us, and because we think aggravation might lead to fighting, we shut up and pout in our own corner.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t pout.

 

Dear Man: Yes, you do. You just call it “going for a drive.” Or “watching a football game,” when you don’t even know the names of the teams. Anyway, once we get aggravated and we don’t deal with it, there’s enough of it left over inside both of us that we’re not courteous to each other, or at least not as much as we should be. And then we are both quietly offended by that lack of courtesy and soon we begin to believe we have drifted apart.

 

Dear Woman: So you figured this out on your own.

 

Dear Man: Yeah. I think a lot about us. Don’t you think about me?

 

Dear Woman: Definitely a trick question. Yes, of course I think about you. It’s hard not to consider someone you share a bed with every night.

 

Dear Man: So what do you think can be done about this?

 

Dear Woman: Maybe nothing. Maybe it’s just the way things are. Maybe it’s part of the imperfection that’s evolving. Who knows?

 

Dear Man: Don’t you think there’s a middle ground? A place between my feelings and your thinking where we can meet?

 

Dear Woman: I don’t know and that’s an honest answer. I really don’t know.

 

Dear Man: We go to church.

 

Dear Woman: Every once in a while.

 

Dear Man: Right. Did you ever notice something? In the story of Adam and Eve, God doesn’t give them two different sets of instructions. There wasn’t a manly way to take care of the Garden and a girly way. Just one way.

 

Dear Woman: I never thought of it, but I guess you’re right.

 

Dear Man: And if I can continue, there’s not a blue Bible for the boys and a pink Bible for the girls.

 

Dear Woman: That’s cute. I bet somebody will eventually try that, though.

 

Dear Man: And without getting too religious, Jesus did say that in the Kingdom of God there is neither male nor female.

 

Dear Woman: I get all that, but what are you trying to say?

 

Dear Man: I’m saying that if God thought we could get along, there must be a way to do it, or he was a real ass for creating an impossible situation, and then sitting back and laughing at our arguments.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t think you can call God an ass.

 

Dear Man: I’m not calling God an ass, I’m saying that anybody who would torture people with a hope that does not exist would be an ass.

 

Dear Woman: I agree.

 

Dear Man: So the reason I asked you if you think I’m smart is that I came up with this idea. What if I took what I felt and tried to make it more thoughtful, and you took your thinking and allowed for more feeling, and we ended up landing together in something that had spirit?

 

Dear Woman: And what would we call that place?

 

Dear Man: Human.

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G-Poppers … January 22nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

 

G-Pop tried to explain it to a family friend.

Basically, the elements of successful human interaction do not change, but the order of importance we place them in alters, thus affecting the results.

There are five pillars involved in getting along with other people:

  • Creativity
  • Intelligence
  • Quality
  • Talent
  • Honesty

Sometimes we decide to bring focus to one of the elements, thus mutating the conclusions. But if the list is shaken up, turned upside down or even perverted, then we end up with a disrespect for one another, even contempt.

For instance, the power of intelligence does procure some turf–but there is a danger that you will be perceived as acting superior and come across as a pseudo-intellectual.

How about talent? If talent takes the lead position, it has a tendency to demand attention and undo honor.

Where do we start?

A businessman might tell you to lead off with quality. But then you create the danger of trying to control all circumstances in order to maintain reputation.

G-Pop thinks this is the order of our present culture:

  1. Talent
  2. Intelligence
  3. Creativity
  4. Quality
  5. Honesty

This order produces human travelers who are convinced of their abilities, inflexible to change, and who place quality and honesty in a retreated profile.

It makes for bratty people.

Bratty people are offensive and offended people become more bratty in an attempt to justify themselves.

What is your order? asks G-Pop.

Let him know.

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Ask Jonathots … January 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2820)

ask jonathots bigger

When is it right to fight–to stand up for yourself? Everyone I know and everywhere I look, people say you have to “fight back” and “defend yourself.” So what does it mean to “turn the other cheek” or even “thou shall not kill?” And how is it we are a “Christian nation” when fighting and killing and wars are constant?

Let’s begin with the concept of a “Christian nation.”

Jesus never envisioned his work as a country. He said his “kingdom is not of this world.” So the Christian message was intended to be an individual experience. Then these converts were challenged to become “the light of the world,” and affect the climate of society.

So to tout ourselves as a Christian nation, we have blended in the concepts of the Old Testament so that we can obtain a nationalistic flavor. And when you include the Old Testament, you get “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and vendettas against enemies.

So I don’t know if it’s possible to approach this as a Christian nation without including ideas which Jesus said had been cast aside in favor of more loving and noble adventures.

If we were a Christian nation, our agenda would be simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In other words, take care of those around us and develop a healthy, prejudice-free environment where people can prosper, and in so doing, gain personal peace of mind and solvency.

Then that “city on a hill” could be a testimony to the world and they could begin to measure their philosophies against our philosophy, and decide where they might want to revise their thinking.

Of course, in the process, we must realize that enemies still come along due to jealousy and revenge, but when this happens, we can stand guard without totally destroying those who attack us.

This is exemplified in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus takes eleven men into this secluded place for a time of prayer, asking them if they had the means to defend themselves, and when they said, “We have two swords,” he replied, “It is enough.”

So if we could put together a military without trying to overwhelm our enemies with our prowess, then we would be in a position to take the rest of our money and use it to improve the lives of our citizens instead of constructing an arsenal of intimidation.

You will be told by most people that this idea is childish and stupid. This is why Jesus never intended to take over countries and rule them.

The Christian message is intended to be placed in existing cultures, and through its charity, affect the climate that surrounds it.

So I don’t think there’s an easy answer to this question. Yet I will tell you that the fighting and killing that goes on in our world cannot be attributed to the message of Jesus of Nazareth, because he never intended to possess turf.

And if you ever have to add Old Testament to New Testament to justify your actions, then you are not living under the total spiritual impact of the Kingdom of God.

So I walk in a simple situation:

  • If the United States is attacked, we should defend ourselves.
  • We should also protect the innocent of the world as much as possible without entering into old grudges that are thousands of years in the making.
  • And we should take most of our financial power to build up the lives of our people so that we can offer a testimony of peace and prosperity to the world around us.

Whatever it would take to do this is what would be sufficient. Because when eleven men told Jesus they had two swords, he said it was enough.

It certainly is not enough to attack, but it did end up being enough to allow them to escape.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Jan 20

Plain Joe

Plain Joe awoke today

Went to earn his pay

Finding what he can

To become a better man

Avoiding the nasty fray.

But others push on Joe

To join the to-and-fro

And believe the common thought

Purchase what they’ve bought

And get inside the flow.

Yet Joe is a me

A creature who is free

To use his blessed brain

To avoid the furious insane

And find who he can be.

But pressure comes to bear

As the bullies never care

What path Joe might choose

Disagree and he will lose

A chance to be treated fair.

So Joe learns his cues

Although he gets the blues

He laughs extra loud

With the crudeness of the crowd

Hoping for better news.

Then one day he’s laid off

With nickels and pennies, he’s paid off

Left without the job

Separated from the mob

Stuck with his meaningless trade-off.

What will it prosper the Common Joe

To gain approval, then lose his dough

Stuck with a soul he didn’t make

Feeling like a stupid fake

With no place left to grow.

So Joseph made a decision

To escape the bigoted division

And join the human race

Allowing the smile upon his face

To

Shine

Yes

To

Shine

 

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Cracked 5 … January 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2818)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

What Is A Caucus?

A. A barnyard of roosters?

 

B. The Hindi word for “Gesundheit?”

 

C. A gathering of nudist men?

 

D. A desperate request made by a leaking toilet and sink?

 

E. Chilly Iowans convene on a cold night to make a snow-blind decision about frigid politicians?

Cracked 5 roosters 

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Published in: on January 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Good News and Better News … January 18th. 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2817)

broken door

It is impossible to avoid difficulty.

Blessing is when difficulty arrives at a manageable moment.

Now to my story:

We had a date cancel. That’s a fussy situation. Two days later, another engagement dropped out. Two Sundays in a row without having the opportunity to share.

Let me explain. When you are on the road without gigs, it’s like being on a budget vacation minus the means to enjoy it or even explain it.

Stay open.

Therefore, we decided to attempt to fill in these two missing bookings with only two weeks notice. To accomplish this, we developed a philosophy to coincide with our escapade.

1. Find a location to pursue.

After all, you have to go somewhere to get something.

2. Have passion.

If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, don’t expect the world to be set on fire.

3. Don’t get your hopes up.

A desperate attempt shouldn’t leave you feeling desperation if it fails.

4. Use your sense of humor.

If it’s ridiculous, always be prepared to laugh.

5. Take what you can get.

People with too many standards often end up without a chance to make their point.

Yes, too much emphasis is placed on the quality of opportunity.

And then there was Graceville, Florida.

A fellow named Sean said yes.

He was open.

Facts are, he needed someone to fill his position on this past Sunday so he could go away on a trip with his son.

So we did the Graceville church yesterday.

We stayed open.

So did the delightful, intriguing, smiling souls in Graceville.

An Amazing Grace-ville.

Footnote:

Did I mention that our van’s back door handle broke on Friday? We thought we got it fixed. But on Sunday after the presentation–with an open congregation and an open approach from us–suddenly our door wouldn’t open again.

So rather than fuss, fume or fret, we just decided to come back for our equipment later on.

It was a difficulty.

But it arrived at a manageable moment.

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