Jesonian… January 28th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus knows us because He was us. (What a great title for a praise band song).

He didn’t come to Earth to stand afar and consider our befuddled actions from his undergirded, divine nature. He was human.

He learned, he grew and he found favor through trial and error. I didn’t make that up. That’s what the Gospel of Luke says.

So by the time he reached his thirty-first birthday and was sharing the Sermon on the Mount, he had a firm comprehension of the human reaction to life.

It is in four phases:

  1. We feel
  2. We muse
  3. We think
  4. We do

There are folks who reject their feelings, muse over their failures and go to their brain–only to find it a library chock-full of old information, and therefore end up doing things repetitively, wondering why they can’t change.

Our emotions exist to tell us what we feel. They are not definitive, they are not final–they are sensors.

Our spirit is there to muse–to add that gentle balance that “all things will work together to the good.” Muse is the root word of music. The spirit should be the soundtrack to our solution. Sometimes it takes an hour; sometimes it takes a year. I suppose there are even things that take a lifetime.

But when we enter the third phase, we must be careful. We think.

Contrary to popular opinion, the mind is dangerous. Why? Because it is already programmed. It has our culture, our bigotry, our training, our prejudices and our false statistics. It’s the reason Jesus told his disciples, “Don’t think so much.”

Because if you come across a problem, feeling it may be a difficult one, and you muse over it in your spirit, but then decide to seek an answer in your brain, you’ll consider data that is often only worthy of the trash bin.

But do we put it in the garbage? No.

So when we start thinking, we start worrying, which negates our spirit and frustrates our emotions. We literally do the first thing that comes into our head–and it’s often wrong.

So what did Jesus suggest? What is the Jesonian?

Take your feelings to your spirit and muse over them until you get the music of wisdom–either from God, your own fresh experience, or even the counsel of others. Then move on that tuneful wisdom and do what’s right. At this point you can come back and renew your mind. It’s like putting another book in the library.

Your brain starts gaining flexibility.

The Sermon on the Mount is not a wish list by a religious boy who came from God, possessing an advantage. It is the observation of a man who lived in a household with at least six other brothers and sisters, worked as a carpenter, flushed out some bad demons in the wilderness, and was prepared to look at life as it really was … instead of trying to think he could handle everything.

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G-Poppers … December 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop was considering unusual circumstances.

What would he do if he found himself in a parking lot and a gentleman with a gun ran up, demanded the keys to his van, pushed G-Pop inside, started the vehicle and took off down the road, G-Pop in the passenger seat?

A strange situation–yet it demands more calm than action.

  • Who is the man that’s taking his van?
  • Could he be a policeman commandeering the vehicle?
  • Is he motivated?
  • Is he desperate?
  • Is he of sound mind?

All good questions that need answers before G-Pop would try to struggle with him to take control.

First, there’s a gun involved. Secondly, since the fellow is now in charge of the van and driving, it could be dangerous or lethal to interrupt his process.

People always admire heroics, but the truth of the matter is, lots of heroes die.

G-Pop doesn’t want to die.

G-Pop doesn’t want to be foolish.

G-Pop doesn’t want to make a point just so he can claim bravery.

You see, much of the same situation is facing our nation:

Some think President-elect Donald Trump is crazy.

Some folks believe he’s an economic genius.

There are those who insist he’s a lewd, vulgar predator.

Then you have his supporters, who claim he’s a family man with nothing but good intentions.

All of this debate is useless.

President-elect Trump has the keys. He has the guns at his disposal. He’s in charge.

So what should G-Pop’s approach be?

What should an intelligent American do, given the information we have of an authorized election which established the will of the people?

The same thing you would do if you were in the van being driven down the road.

1. Find your seat.

It is not wise to be stupid.

2. Buckle up.

Just in case this ends up in an accident, it would be a good idea to be protected.

3. Get as comfortable as possible.

The human brain does not work well when it’s festered by confusion.

4. Talk common sense.

Yes, talk to the person who’s driving. Hell, pray for the person who’s driving your van. Let him know who you are, what you feel and why you feel that way.

5. Help if you can.

The last thing in the world you want to do is disrupt someone who may feel intimidated.

6. See if he knows what he’s doing.

If he is a policeman and just needed your van, then everything will probably be alright.

The foolishness of trying to fight against what has transpired instead of finding a way to live our lives in decency and order is not only self-defeating, but contrary to the philosophy of this country.

Every four years we elect a leader. Our leader is Donald John Trump.

Before we become frantic, we should at least see where this is going to take us.

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Good News and Better News … July 11th, 2016

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Reformation 2Yesterday I was bestowed the great honor of sharing my traveling message with the dear hearts of the Reformation Lutheran Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.

There are certainly folks who would contend that Martin Luther did very little to reform the Catholic Church, but instead, ended up starting his own ecclesiastical order. Matter of fact, some people will tell you that he retained the worst of the Mother Church while losing the more endearing portions–like Bingo and delicious fish frys.

But undoubtedly, there is a need for the religious system to be reformed and become more like the church that Jesus envisioned. What would that church be?

If you recall, after his resurrection Jesus gave Peter a simple instruction about how to empower the believers: “Feed my sheep.”

Although it’s true that politics, entertainment and religion attempt to feed the populace, each one tends to focus on only a part of the human experience, leaving other aspects unattended.

Humans are heart, soul, mind and strength.

Emotions need to be fed. This is what Jesus meant by “blessed are the pure in heart.” We must cease being afraid of our feelings, and air them out to see if they have any validity.Reformation 4

Feed the soul. The spirit of humankind lives off of a truth that makes us free to pursue wisdom. When the truth is diluted or hidden, we become religious instead of soulful.

Feed the mind. The brain retains. To get rid of faulty retention, there has to be a renewing, with fresh information and invigorating dialogue.

Feed the strength. We have bodies. They run on fuel. The more we feed our bodies the correct fuel and exercise, the healthier we feel.

As I spoke to the folks in Reading yesterday, I realized that they had arrived at the church weary from a week filled with bad news. They needed to be fed.

So emotionally, we told them that nothing happens until we show up, and nothing is over until we give up.

Reformation 3Spiritually, we shared that nothing of quality begins on Earth unless we understand that judging one another closes the door to fellowship.

Mentally, we challenged them that a God who loves us wants us to be happy instead of sacrificing our dreams to restricted religious regulation.

And physically? Well physically, we told them that the doorway to good health is to start off by enjoying the life God has given us and finding pathways to make it more abundant.

We can become the reformation church if we realize that those who come through our doors need to be fed–heart, soul, mind and strength.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that we don’t need to make up a program or draft a fresh constitution. Jesus has already laid out a terrific platform for complete human growth through his Sermon on the Mount.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 27th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Isabella

Sixteen Plus One

Looking for just the right fella

Is my dear friend, Isabella

Constrained within the narrow alley

Betwixt the mountain and the valley

She refuses to merely resort

Desiring a better report

Keeping the wolf from the door

 

Considered sweet and light

Her brain can be a fright

Ablaze with choices to make

Trying to escape the fake

Lurking in the beanstalk climb

 

Then a nasty wisp of fate

At a mall with a greedy mate

Leaves her hands caught quite red

Her soul cold and feeling dead

Wishing to give it back

 

But God gave a voice

To the sparrow, a choice

Sing to find your mind

Laugh to release the kind

And soar above the damage.

 

So after memories sixteen

She faces another fresh scene

Is she child or woman born?

Closer to one, the other torn

She bleeds to know the ending.

 

But life is much less eager

The answers are quite meager

Just slow down, Burning Star

Tuck your dreams in a jar

Where you can view them before fading.

 

So happy journey, princess dear

Relax in the warmth of your good cheer

God has given you everything

He’s just waiting to hear you sing.

 

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Good News and Better News … January 11th. 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good New Better News Toe

Pictured is the big toe on my right foot.

No air-brushing, make-up, special effects or plastic surgery were involved in the presentation of this shot. (I did take the precaution of slathering the big fellow with lotion to counteract some dryness.)

I was born with two big toes–one on my right foot and one on my left. In the course of the journey, I lost the one on my left foot due to an infection.

I must be candid and tell you that I’ve always taken my big toes for granted. But when I was recovering from the amputation, I discovered that the big toe performs an important function: it gives us balance. It allows us to have a swagger–a smoothness to our gait as we walk and run.

I did not need to relearn walking, but I did notice a difference, and occasionally had to catch myself from falling because I assumed that the “Great One” was still in position on my left foot.

So I realized that as the big toe functions, so follows the foot.

  • A nice foot is beneficial to an ankle.
  • A solid ankle supports a busy leg.
  • A busy leg gives purpose to a torso.
  • A torso is a great resting place for a head containing the brain, which barks orders to all of the members.

Now, popular thinking would be to give special attention to the brain because it is the more advertised authority figure. But having lost my left big toe, I will tell you–if you can get your big toe to react properly and stay healthy, since it is the furthest point from the brain, you can pretty well guarantee that everything in between is jim-dandy.

Yes, a healthy big toe bodes well for the entire human apparatus.

As you can see, looking at mine, it’s a little dry and the toenail is crusty and could use the benefits of a pedicure.

That’s the good news.

Here’s the better news: the same information transfers to our society. While we spend so much time trying to change the minds of people in the world around us or force our ideology in their direction, we would do much better to focus on the big toe of our faith, belief and lifestyle.

There’s too much religion, too much theology, too much politics, and too much knowledge with no learning going on for the good of the common man–and of course, the common woman.

So what is our emotional big toe?

What is our spiritual big toe?

What is the big toe of our mental process, which assures us that our thinking is heading in the right direction instead of being deterred by selfishness and greed?

I think any time we walk away from the Golden Rule, “love thy neighbor as thyself,” we are completely out of balance and capable of falling.

And even in the case of the Golden Rule, there are days we don’t love ourselves enough to give others adequate affection.

Yes, there are times that I stub my toe, and it hurts so much that I don’t want to walk on it, nor be around people and have to explain my limping.

Part of the Golden Rule is knowing that when we feel good about ourselves, it is the best time to bestow the same blessing on others. And when we feel like crap, we should lock ourselves away and rejuvenate before forcing our misgivings on our brothers and sisters.

I guess it’s safe to say that life is about being on your toes and getting a foothold.

There’s truth to that.

So having only one big toe, I watch it carefully because it lets me know what’s going on in the rest of my body–and also, to a certain degree, the stability of my brain.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 2) … December 13th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Liberty.

Find God, discover liberty.

Stumble upon liberty, see God.

It was something that the Apostle Paul said. He equated God and liberty–an inseparable pair.

He also went on to intelligently point out that human beings initially use their liberty to generate sins of the flesh.

Yes, they do.

It does not matter. Just as free will is more important than love and law, liberty is the evidence that free will is in motion.

So what is reasonable? We deal with two dangers:

  • Being so meticulous in trying to control people’s choices that we suppress human passion deep inside, where it becomes perverted;
  • Or there is the danger of having an “anything goes” philosophy, which makes people think they have a free pass, creating equal peril.

Being reasonable is understanding what your job is, doing it well, and not assigning yourself the mission of quality control for others.

As human beings, we have two areas where we can interact with each other without fear or intimidation: the heart and the spirit.

At any time, I can cross paths with each and every one of you, and as long as I am trying to help you feel deeply about life or encouraging you to increase your faith, I am on solid turf, free of being a condemning force.

Yet I will tell you that your mind and your morals are your business and your business alone. I have no authority to control your thinking nor judge your choices.

The church should take this position.

We need to trust that exploding good emotion with spiritual renaissance is enough to allow human beings to renew their own minds and define their morality.

I have no intention of taking these daily essays which flow from my heart and do anything but stir your emotions and touch your spirit. It is up to you to use them to replace ideas in your brain and to reference your own behavior.

As long as we think we control the minds and morals of those around us, we are not only annoying to our brothers and sisters … but completely out of the will of God.

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Untotaled: Stepping 47 (April 20th, 1969) Demise… December 27, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Even though I only lived a few blocks from the high school, I drove my car there–because I could.

I also went home for lunch even though it was basically against policy. Once again, because I could.

On April 20th, I decided to drive to my abode to raid the refrigerator, avoiding the cafeteria surprises. On my way I stopped off at my mom and dad’s little loan company and there was a note on the door. It read:

Closed. Family Emergency.

I knew what that meant.

My dad was in failing health. More accurately stated, he was dying. Forty-five years of cigarette smoking had caught up with him, riddling his body with cancer. So desperate was his situation that there was a quiet celebration among the family when it was discovered that the disease had spread to his brain and in doing so, had closed off the pain centers, making him less of the suffering soul.

I didn’t want to go to the house but I knew it was expected. I pulled up in the driveway and was climbing the steps to the porch when I first heard it: from the upstairs, through the walls, was the hideous volume of my dad gasping for air.

It was a death rattle.

I could not bring myself to go in. I turned around, headed back to school and was so angry–at my dad and at myself–that I skipped the next two classes.

I was furious at myself for being so cowardly, and a rotten person because I didn’t want to be near my father in his last moments.

And I was infuriated with him for destroying his body with smoke instead of dealing with his inadequacies.

I arrived back at school for the last hour of classes. After the session was over for the day I headed to a friend’s house and hung out for the rest of the evening.

Nobody knew where I was. I liked it that way.

I arrived home at ten o’clock. My older brother was waiting for me. He told me that our dad had passed away a couple of hours earlier.

I didn’t feel much, barely even noticing how pissed off my brother was that I hadn’t been there for the death-bed.

He was my dad–but I never knew him. And in like manner, he didn’t know that much about me.

Now he was dead. His ashes of ashes would turn to dust.

I cried.

Honestly, it was not for my lost parent. I cried, feeling sorry for myself.

He deserved a better son. But he should have been wise enough to realize that teenage sons don’t get better.

That is the duty and the mission … of a father.

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