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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Afraid … February 13, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2150)

Colorful Hand No one logoOnce you welcome fear into your lifestyle, everything you feel, each thing you believe, the thoughts in your brain and the actions you do will need to gain permission from this new ruthless master.

Fear chases away the reassurance of love.

Yesterday I had a strange experience. In the course of one hour, I talked to a religionist and an atheist, and after having these two exchanges, I realized they were both the same person. Each of them was afraid of God.

The atheist was afraid that God was out to control his life, and it was therefore easier to deny His existence. The religionist was afraid that God didn’t have enough control, and therefore some apprehension was required for him to stay pleasing in the sight of the Almighty.

Honestly, I was repulsed by both approaches.

  • I cannot believe in a God who tells me He is love and then instills fear inside me.
  • And I cannot deny a God who loves me, simply because I want to willfully do my own bidding and whim without any regard for personal responsibility for other people or the planet.

Somewhere along the line we just have to stop being afraid.

Although the atheist would insist that he or she is getting rid of the “fear of the Lord” by denying such a Being, and the religionist hides behind the promise of salvation while continuing to struggle with personal insecurity, I, myself would like to cash in on the promise that was given to me, of “life and it more abundantly.”

In order to do this and to dispel childish fear, I pursue three goals:

1. If God loves people, He needs to have a message that is sensitive to them. You get too much heaven and you confound the earth. Simply put: No one is better than anyone else.

2. The minute I believe that God’s love is contingent on me being error-free is the day that I lose the significance of expressing mercy to others, which grants me mercy for my own shortcomings.

3. God is as I do. The only God the world will ever see is the one I decide to portray through my sense of joy, creativity, giggle and willingness to change.

Any belief or non-belief that does not exude these three wonderful ideas is grounded in some sort of fear.

And I just happen to believe that when Jesus comes to me–even in the middle of my storm–his message is always, “It is I; be not afraid.”

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Christmas Council … December 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2101)

council in heaven

God was angry–more with Himself than anything else. The connection He had once made in a Garden had failed to bloom.

So he called a Council together–of a heavenly sort.

Yes, the God of heaven and earth called the best of the sky and the land together to discuss a problem: what shall we do with humankind?

The noble notion of creating a fleshy creature in His image had deteriorated to wars, fear, anger, lust and mainly, most appalling of all, perpetual indecision.

  • The angels were invited to this Council.
  • Philosophers throughout history who had passed on to reward.
  • Lovers
  • Writers
  • Musicians
  • Craftsmen
  • Architects
  • And even the handful of professional religionists who had actually made it to the other side in spite of their predilection for “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.”

It was a lively discussion.

The angels were completely perplexed by why creatures who had been endowed with such insight spent all of their time using their wits to destroy one another.

One of the angelic messengers inserted, partly tongue-in-cheek, “If they want to destroy each other, why not give them an assist?”

The philosophers insisted that the problem was poverty and ignorance, some earthly travelers plagued by one, others cursed by both.

The lovers insisted on romance and the poets proclaimed the satisfaction of deeper thought.

One brave former priest challenged the Almighty by suggesting that human beings might be more spirited if the conversation with the heavens was not so one-sided.

On and on the debate raged.

God quickly realized that certain words were leaping from the discussion–repeated constantly:

“King.”

Jew.”

“Priest.”

“Philosopher.”

“Man.”

“Woman.”

“Politician.”

“Savior.”

After the passage of time (though being in a supernal location, such tick-tocking never actually occurs) God announced His decision.

“Human life is a theory. At least, that’s the way humans are approaching it. And I believe they’ve come to the conclusion that success at such an endeavor is completely impossible. I believe they require a picture–an example, as it were. Yet I know some of you think it would take a king. But actually, what we need is a kingdom that can live inside the emotions and soul of every son or daughter of Eden.”

“Some of you think he should be a Jew, born of the House of David. But I’ve grown weary of relegating a special position to one race of people.”

“A philosopher? Perhaps…but with a simple idea: Love your neighbor as yourself.

“A man? A woman? The better parts of that union: a child.”

“A politician? Truly, wise as a servant, but may I add, harmless as a dove.

God paused for a minute before He continued.

“Members of this august Council, what we need is a human who gets it. A human being who understands his own limitations while believing that limitations don’t really exist.”

God stopped his speech and looked into the faces of the assembled. They were puzzled.

“You see? Now you all look human.”

There was a laugh in heaven, as there always should be. Now the key was to bring the laugh to earth.

So one night God joined His spirit with a woman, to birth a baby who became a child and never lost the glee for living, teaching us that we, too, must become as little children.

God called the experience Christmas.

We called it Jesus.

 

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

In Secret … December 9, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1089)

desk clerkIt happens every once in a while.

As we tour across the country, it becomes necessary to have a single overnight stay in some town for the sole purpose of resting, relaxing and getting ready for the next day’s drive. We refer to it as a “sleep stop.” There are three goals:

  1. Find a comfortable motel
  2. Carry in as little as necessary, since you’re not setting up for an entire week.
  3. Make it as reasonable a location as feasible so as not to bust the piggy bank.

So when we arrived in Knoxville, Tennessee, at our sleep stop, Jan was confronted by the innkeeper, who explained that the room would be more expensive than originally stated. Jan, being an excellent business woman, lodged a complaint and asked the lady at the front desk to honor her original quote.

It wasn’t a big deal–no large argument. But a negotiation ensued, and as with most compromises, both parties were dissatisfied.

So as we were unloading into our room, I handed Jan the money to cover the extra price our host felt was needed for our occupancy. It wasn’t necessary. The room was already ours, legitimately.

But it wasn’t ours righteously.

Let me tell you, my friends, there are three ways to believe.

There is the belief we proclaim to others. This is what we call “church”–quoting the Good Book and tried and true hymns, to inform our neighbors that we are good folk and excellent Americans.

Secondly, there’s the belief we apply. This is a convoluted mixture of what God says, what we think, what Mom and Dad taught us, and the pressure put on us by society to conform to the present norm.

But last, there is the belief we allow to reach into our “secret place.” This is the room within the house of our faith, where we spend most of our time, closet our fears, and determine our future–based upon our own thoughts and feelings, many of which we would never be able to share with others.

I have learned over the years that Christianity does not work unless it reaches into this private compartment.

For some of the rudest and meanest people I have ever met have just come from church, proclaiming the goodness of God.

Likewise, many of the more confused, frustrated and mentally unstable individuals I’ve encountered over the years seem to have a terrific testimony about their relationship with the Almighty.

But I’ve never met anyone who allows their philosophy to reach their “secret place” who isn’t humbly satisfied with the experience.

I didn’t need to give that lady at the front desk any more money to satisfy her requirements.

I needed to give her the money to satisfy the yearning … in my secret soul.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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