Jesonian … August 4th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3754)

“No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.”

The word “master” is such a nasty, archaic term. But basically, the message is that there is something that compels us. We fancy ourselves to be the compellers, but we actually spend most of our lives compelled. And when you take the word “compel” and look at the synonyms–constrain, enforce, urge, bulldoze, coerce and squeeze–you come up with a vision in your mind which gives you a sense of claustrophobia concerning being manipulated.

Perhaps that’s why people have trouble coming to terms with human life. They continue to pursue the fallacy that they call all their own shots and that everything is perfect if it is at their beckon command.

Unfortunately, Jesus was correct. From the time of our birth to the time of our death, we are obsessed with some compulsion. It is that compulsion that dictates our moods, our actions, our frustrations, our bigotry and to a large degree, our finance.

The reason I bring up finance is that the rest of the verse is a cold, hard statement from the Nazarene, telling us, “You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

Like master, Mammon is one of those words which is barely comprehensible to most of the population. Mammon is just a total obsession with things. Once we are obsessed with things, we are compelled to get them. Whatever stands in our way becomes the enemy.

I sat down before I wrote this essay and asked myself, “What is it that compels me?”

Much to the chagrin of my lineage, who may be waiting for an inheritance, profit and gain has never intrigued me in the least. I’ve had lots of money and I’ve had no money, and have found the two experiences to have little impact on my soul satisfaction.

So I would like to simplify this phrase down to one that may be easier to understand: You will be compelled, and the choice you are given is whether you are going to serve good, or goods.

Pause.

Your immediate instinct may be to say, “I’m not materialistic. I don’t want more than I need.” But there are three questions you can ask that will tell you if you’re being mastered by the good, or by goods:

1. Do you worry about money?

Since you know worrying about money doesn’t achieve anything, what is the purpose of worrying about it unless you’re compelled to do so?

2. Do you feel you would be happier and better off if you had more money?

Candidly, even though we don’t think money can buy happiness, we’re pretty sure it can rent it.

3. Do you have a wish list of things you hope to attain financially before the end of your life?

A large portion of the world will go to bed hungry tonight. In such an environment, having dinner makes you a rich person.

When you look at these three questions, you can ascertain whether you are being mastered by good or by goods.

What was the master of Abraham Lincoln? Saving the Union. To do so he realized he had to abolish with slavery. A double blessing.

What was the master of Napoleon? Conquering the world and proving that the French were superior. In attempting to do this, he ended up dying alone on an island.

What is the master of former President Jimmy Carter? This man just seems to enjoy helping other folks. He is well into his nineties and still keeps picking up a hammer.

You will be compelled, constrained, urged and coerced to do something from some thing which has gained the full attention of your passion.

Just keep in mind, it is impossible to serve the pursuit of good and the quest for goods.

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Jesonian: Enlightened … September 20th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2698)

enlightened thinking

The average man sitting in the audience listening to Jesus of Nazareth believed the following:

1. God was angry and manifested His displeasure through disasters, afflictions and plagues.

2. Nature was beyond comprehension, and to be feared because demons caused illness.

3. People were evil unless they were related to you or were part of your village. Any strangers who lived outside your enclosure were dangerous and needed to be killed.

How do you address such superstition and ignorance?

Here’s one thing we know for certain: Jesus did not cater to their bigotries, wave their flags or agree to their religious lunacy.

Jesus told them that God was our Father. As our Father, He is at least as nice as we are as parents.

Jesus told them that Nature was meant to be understood and discerned, and we can apply what we learn from that study to improve the quality of our lives.

And Jesus told them that we are judged by how we treat our enemies or those who are adversarial to our point of view.

It was an enlightened way of thinking, containing one solid eternal truth:

Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom.

Every time we try to remove freedom from people, governments, spirituality or relationships, we place ourselves in a Dark Ages of misunderstanding, setting us back generations.

Unfortunately, those who followed Jesus did not remain enlightened.

  • They went on Crusades.
  • They bought human beings and used them as slaves.
  • They attacked their brothers and sisters who had different lifestyles, calling them abominations.

I don’t know where the Spirit will take us in the years to come, but I do know that the true gift of God’s presence will be granted to those who are enlightened.

And to be enlightened, you must believe in freedom instead of legalism.

 

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Jesonian: Good Christian Folk … February 9, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2146)

better Conestoga WagonIt became very obvious to me that I needed a new word–a different term to express the faith I hold dear and the devotion I feel as a disciple of Jesus.

The signature title, “Christian,” had lost its impetus, credibility and definition. Too many people had attached themselves to it like leeches, sucking the blood of Christ out of the experience and leaving behind all the powerful notions of brotherhood and human excellence.

There was a time when “Christian” was a magnificent proclamation, producing clarity in the minds of those who heard it. When the American pioneers were making their way West across the mountains in their Conestoga wagons, the phrase, “good Christian folk” was an oasis of hope and a promise of tenderness.

Matter of fact, when informed that people were “good Christian folk” you knew four things:

  1. These were people who would give you a chance and not judge you.
  2. If you were hungry they would feed you. Thirsty, they would give you drink, and if you didn’t have a place to sleep, they would provide a bed.
  3. They would always turn the other cheek instead of getting pissed off and allowing their emotions to overrule their devotion.
  4. They were determined to work hard without bitching.

Somewhere along the line, each of these principles has been abandoned, a generation at a time, until the term “Christian” has transformed itself into a safe word, to be interpreted as either “a patriotic American” or an individual who goes to church.

  • For instance, we have exchanged the lack of judgment of others for a moral majority.
  • We’ve made feeding the hungry and helping the homeless a “bleeding-heart liberal” sentiment.
  • “Turning the other cheek” has been rejected in favor of standing up for yourself, whether you’re right or wrong.

And hard work has been displaced by seeking ways to gain finance by keeping money away from those trying to ascend

We need a new word.

So one day I just decided to invent one. I didn’t do it to be revolutionary. Nor was I trying to be merely clever. I wasn’t attempting to attack the religious convictions of others.

I just could no longer call myself a generic Christian, and allow you to quietly fill in the blanks based upon your observations or prejudices.

The word I came up with was “Jesonian.” It is taking into consideration the sentiments, the heart, the mission and the ministry of Jesus instead of trying to balance the entire Bible as a unit for mutual appreciation.

It was my way of saying that what Jesus did is more powerful than the Book of Deuteronomy.

It was my way of proclaiming that I was not a Jew nor a Muslim, but rather, an individual who follows Jesus because he respects the pursuit of information without embarrassment, and gives freedom to others, even when he was denied it by their bigotries.

I would love to go back to a time when the phrase “good Christian folk” was not only significant, but also let everybody know the true extent of your passion.

But until that becomes true again, I am Jesonian. And Jesonian means to be a follower of Jesus, while honoring knowledge and giving place to the liberty of others.

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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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