Jesonian … June 16th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3705)

“When are we going to stop all this stuff you’re teaching and go back to who we really are?”

This statement seems to ooze from the twelve disciples throughout Jesus’ entire three-and-a-half year ministry.

They didn’t mind being taught, just as long as they didn’t have to learn.

And they didn’t mind learning sometimes, as long as they didn’t have to apply.

And applying was alright every once in a while, as long as it was a one-time thing that didn’t need to be repeated.

You can look at the disciples as either some of the whiniest men that ever walked the face of the Earth, or be candid and admit that they were typical.

Typical of us all.

Every one of us arrives at the Gospel with too many pre-conceived ideas. No wonder Jesus referred to the experience as being “born again.” Otherwise, we try to join a club that pursues all the traditions we have contrived since our birth.

Why are we going to Samaria?

Why was this man born blind?

Why do you talk so tough to the Pharisees?

Why can’t we divorce women?

Why are we supposed to love our enemies?

Why don’t we kill the Romans and start over again?

Why can’t I be scared in a boat when there’s a storm?

Why are we inviting tax collectors into our really neat band of brothers?

Why can’t we bring down lightning and thunder on the Samaritans?

You see, the Gospel is not just a plan of salvation, it’s also salvation from our plan.

Because without the Gospel, everyone would run hither, thither and yon, starting their own renditions of what Jesus said, coming up with funny-sounding names, and focus on one doctrine over another.

Wait. We’re already doing that.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself is to know that Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion.

It is not a revolving door, where we enter to worship, and leave to catch the beginning of the football game on Sirius Radio on the way home.

The Gospel is the essence of eternity, functioning on Earth. No other philosophy, no other interaction and no other manifesto ever came along which included God, Nature and people.

Instead, each of these other religions focus on one of these factors. In some religions, God is over-emphasized. Other approaches place too much importance on Nature. And of course, there are philosophies which contend it’s a human situation–i.e., every man for himself.

The Gospel is not going away. It is not going to be replaced or even mingled with provincialism. It took the disciples a long time to understand this.

But if we all join together with good hearts and good cheer, we might be able to shorten the process and get people rejoicing again, with exceeding gladness.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: Q is for Quality … March 30, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2547)

Building block Q big

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

“Quality of life.”

It is a phrase that is usually introduced when a catastrophic accident has left a victim comatose, with very little brain activity and response. We then ask the powerful question: are more heroic measures necessary and will they guarantee a quality of life?

Yet I must tell you that in any gathering of human souls, the most common subject that can stimulate conversation is to ask the simple question: How many people here have had a disaster in your life?

All of us are on the other side of a fiasco.

Unfortunately, many folks remain in a coma–not a physical repose, but rather, a startled, unresponsive condition.

The quality of life suffers.

So in considering our journey on this “alphabet of human essentials,” the word quality must be included, because it is necessary periodically for us all to take inventory of our faculties and realize what is paralyzed and needs to be revived. We require:

1. A quality of heart.

To achieve this, we must decide to tell the truth. What stalls our emotions is dodging a maze of lies.

We shut down. It’s too painful to continue and too revealing to admit.

The quality of the heart is always cleansed by deciding to tell the truth.

2. The quality of the soul.

Although there are religionists who tout the power of worship, praise, meditation, fasting and sacraments, the human soul maintains its quality by learning to love people.

Candidly, it’s impossible to carry on a gentle, mature relationship with ourselves when we despise another human being who mirrors our features.

To gain quality of the soul, you must always be in a learning profile to love people.

3. The quality of the mind.

Since the brain is a storage area, it often needs to be cleaned out to make room for our new stuff. We never really acquire a quality in our minds until we’re confident that we’re thinking for ourselves.

To be assured of this, we must abandon teachings, indoctrination and prejudices which were thrust deep into our gray matter as truth–and confirm they are wrong. You achieve quality of the mind when you begin to think for yourself.

4. And finally, there’s the quality of our strength.

Our bodies. The body only demands one thing of us: apply what works.

For instance, yesterday I ate some delicious food. It wasn’t particularly high in calories, nor was it filled with starches and fats. But my particular physicality has grown accustomed to a certain diet and is in no mood to suddenly transform to new recipes.

I had a minor reaction. I learned.

All my body requires of me is that I apply what works to keep a well-oiled, humming machine.

It is possible to survive the accident and end up in a coma. Therefore, it is only natural that we, as human beings, encounter personal tragedy and likewise become suspended in a state of confusion.

Get a quality in your heart, soul, mind and strength by deciding, learning, thinking and applying.

 

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