1 Thing You Can Do to Start Having the Best Christmas Ever

Stop Being So Religious

It is really annoying.

You don’t have to purify the occasion by talking so much about it being Jesus’ birthday, or saying “Happy birthday, Jesus.”

You won’t win over a generation of cynics by imagining a huge cake with 2019 candles on it.

I caution my friends in the faith to do something very helpful in learning how to truly be a Christian.

Sit down every once in a while and just read the Good News.

There is an incident mentioned, in which the disciples of Jesus came upon a fellow who was having a real good time—celebrating off of the Nazarene’s success. Yet he was not giving any real credit to Jesus himself.

They confronted him, scolding him and saying he needed to come over and follow Jesus and do things the right way. Lo and behold, this independent spirit refused.

Well, the disciples ran back to Jesus in a full-blown-church-lady tizzy. “How dare he snub us and not give honor to you?”

They thought Jesus would rebuke the fellow, or perhaps even kill him for his insolence. Instead, Jesus said, “Leave the dude alone. For those who are not against us are for us.”

Yes, that person at the mall who only loves Christmas because he gets 80% off on electronic devices—he’s one of us.

And the family down the street who look on the December celebration as a commemoration of the Winter Solstice—they are with us.

And all the elves, Santa Clauses, mistletoe, fir trees, choirs, fundraisers and decorated plazas—they are with us, too.

It doesn’t matter what they call it.

It doesn’t matter if you think they don’t offer enough respect to the Bethlehem baby.

For one month out of the year, we stop teaching, breaching, preaching and impeaching and allow ourselves to consider “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”

Whatever wisdom people come up with themselves for December 25th, it will lead them to the Star in Bethlehem.

 

1 Thing You Can Do That Always Works–Any Day, Any Way and Any Time

Find a Way to Make Fun of Yourself

Yes—in a good-natured, good-hearted and jovial way, point out one of your flaws before it becomes completely evident to the entire room.

And if such a foible is not a foregone conclusion, then surprise people with something they didn’t know about you and demonstrate your fearlessness about being candid concerning your status.

For in a world of touting accomplishments, making promises and trying to one-up the competition, such a piece of farce and revelation will always give you the attention of the room.

I will tell you why.

There are three possible reactions to your self-deprecation and all of them are good. (Can you beat that?)

Reaction One After You Make Fun of Yourself

“That person is really funny—and on top of that, humble.”

It is difficult to fail if you can find the good cheer in life while maintaining your own humility.

Reaction Two After Making Fun of Yourself

“Don’t put yourself down like that. You must have trouble with self-esteem—because you look great!”

They may think they’re rebuking you, but actually, they’re praising you. Also, they’re saying the words out loud that you want them to think.

Final Reaction After You Make Fun of Yourself

“Look at how people are beaming, just because he made a joke on himself. I’m jealous. Maybe I should be more forthcoming.”

Yes, you will discover that poking fun at yourself will lead to a competition of other people to make fun of their weaknesses.

For after all, I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to “blow your own horn.”

But since there’s always a chance you might hit some sour notes, you might be wise to warn the audience that you don’t play all that well.

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

1 Thing You Can Do This Week

Stir Your Heart But Lower Your Pressure

It often seems that people become nosy, interfering, nervous and worried because they haven’t settled in their own hearts what their part of life truly is, and what they should do to remain passionate.

They intrude in everybody else’s business.

They increase pressure—on people around them, themselves and even the pressure on their own religion or politics to perform miracles that are not in the making.

What you treasure in your life will be nurtured in your emotions and your passions.

If you haven’t decided what you value, then you’ll try to become involved in everything and the craziness will overwhelm you.

Here’s the truth:

  • I don’t care about everything.
  • I am not interested in everything.
  • Therefore, I am not involved in everything.

My level of activity is limited to my passions.

If you don’t have your heart focused on what your true treasure is in life, you’ll create anxiety in yourself, trying to be proficient at everything.

Stir your heart and lower your pressure.

Tell your heart where you feel excited, where you want to be involved and leave other people alone.

Do yourself a favor–don’t comment on everything.

I don’t have an opinion on everything.

I don’t want to have an opinion on everything.

I don’t want that responsibility.

So I stir my heart everyday to do what thrills me.

And by faith I believe the other parts of life that need to be taken care of are being stirred by the treasures which are in the hearts of my brothers and sisters.

 

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

1 Thing You Can Do to Define Your Nature and Expose Your Heart

Start your day with a truthful evaluation.

Often in the pursuit of appearing to be even-keeled or well-balanced, we respond to a question with a contrived answer.

We all know the question.

It’s not like it’s going away.

But if you want to make a difference in life, you need to learn to answer it with twenty words or less, while still maintaining a truthfulness you can live out.

The question:

How are you today?

You’ve heard that one before, right? Here are the top five normal answers to that inquiry:

  1. Fair to middlin’.
  2. Just fine once I get my coffee.
  3. Great!
  4. Gettin’ started.
  5. Couldn’t be better.

There are variations on these themes, but the overall message is, “I don’t know why you’re asking me this question. It seems to be just polite, and I don’t think you really want to know how I am today.”

But if you misrepresent yourself in your answer, then later on it’s hard to explain why you’re getting such a bad attitude or why you become depressed because the toast was too dark.

If you want people to understand you, you must live more of a transparent life, at least as much as possible. So answer the first question of the day with an accurate report.

How are you today?

“Didn’t sleep great. Looking forward to maybe having a nap but going to cuddle up to my coffee right now.”

Now, when somebody hears this, they have a much better idea of where you’re coming from. And “where you’re coming from” is a gift you give to the people around you—so they don’t press all the wrong buttons.

How are you today?

“I slept pretty well but I’m scarin’ off some grouchiness so I’m going to be quiet and soak up the cheer in the room.”

Just that burst of plainness communicates how trustworthy you can truly be.

How are you today?

“Great. And I’m a bit surprised I’m great, because I woke up thinking I might be sleepy.”

Any answer you give that speaks to your real situation in twenty words or less will leave the room startled and delighted.

Because I guarantee you—whatever details you bring up, two or three other people will add their “amen.”

It may seem trivial but there’s something pure of heart about refusing to deceive anyone—even on such a simple morning question.

Remember the keys:

  • Answer quickly.
  • Less than twenty words.
  • Don’t elaborate.

 

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

1 Thing You Need to Remember in November

Five Years Old is the Official Age Limit on Being Bratty

By age six, if still bratty, you are boring.

At fifteen, you are disgusting.

If you cling to brattiness by age twenty-five, you are openly exposed as a fraud.

At fifty, you are deemed jealous and bitter.

And if you are a seventy-year-old bratty person, everyone around you, including your family, just prays you will die.

 

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

1 Thing You Can Do to Escape the Foolishness of Struggle

May the Force NOT Be with You

May you find a way to keep yourself out of situations where you feel forced to perform like a trick pony or forced to complete the inventory without any joy.

May you laugh at the idea of constantly being encompassed by an agenda, especially when finishing the task brings no sense of celebration.

May you wisely refrain from feeling forced to fight to defend yourself.

Realize that those who are supposedly out to get you usually end up getting themselves.

And certainly, stop feeling forced to pray, to fulfill some sort of pious quota with God, or forced to believe so those around you can confirm that you’re part of the faithful.

Since working is the lot of those in the human family, find a reason to do it with humor and joy instead of being forced to climb out of your bed and trudge to the mines.

And most of all:

Do not allow yourself to be forced into a grownup world that’s full of sneers, leers, tears and jeers.

My hope for you, each and every one, is:

MAY THE GOOD CHEER BE WITH YOU.

 

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

1 Thing You Can Do to Clear Up Your Confusion

 

Stop Believing in Mythology

You aren’t supposed to walk on water. You’re a human being. You swim. It isn’t a lack of faith that you can’t tiptoe on the waves.

God didn’t plan your life; you have free will.

God doesn’t have a bank. The money you desire will come your way, derived by hard work or the generosity of others.

There aren’t “gods” flying around, taking care of your foibles.

There isn’t a devil plotting your destruction.

The stars are not aligned to give you your daily horoscope, but rather, in symmetry with the orbits and pathways of the Universe.

No one can see into the future because there is no future until you make it.

And God doesn’t have a favorite, or “Chosen People.”

Come on along, join the gang with the rest of us.

For after we remove all the mythology, the supernatural is how naturally we can make things super.

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

%d bloggers like this: