3 Things … August 15th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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You Should Stop Saying If You Want Your Life to Be Effective

 1.  I am so stressed out.

 

2.  I am really, really busy.

 

3.  I am sure I’m right.

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Good News and Better News… November 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-man-thanksgiving

Yesterday–for the first time all year–I did not go to a church and share my heart for a Sunday morning worship service.

I am officially on hiatus for the Christmas season. I think the obvious questions would be, how do I feel about not ministering and performing. Did I miss it?

Actually what I felt was nothing.

Although some people would consider that to be a negative statement, “nothing” is the most positive position in which we can find ourselves.

Several years ago I was prompted in my spirit to close letters I wrote to a friend with the phrase, “without nothing.” I think she was a bit confused by this departing phrase, but it’s quite simple. Without nothing, something has no chance of happening.

The best way to ensure that you will not pursue anything of new value or creativity is to constantly claim, “I’m busy.”

Busy smothers the better parts of our soul

Busy convinces us that we have no time.

And busy shuts out others in preference to a pre-arranged party-goers.

When we finally stop being busy, we can arrive at nothing, which then offers the possibility of something.

If we don’t have enough time on our hands to be nearly frustrated by the time on our hands, then we’ll never use the time on our hands to take our hands to create.

  • Without nothing, there is no something.
  • Without a void, there is no filling.
  • Without loneliness, no new relationships.
  • Without grumbling over the absence of a feeling, there is no seeking innovation.

So as I sat in my chair Sunday morning, thinking for a moment what song I might be singing or story I might be telling under normal conditions, I was suddenly flooded with the assurance that God uses nothing to get my attention to do something.

That’s the good news.

The better news is: I found something.

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Full of Wonder … September 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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watchLife is usually so full that we wonder if things are going to work. Yes, those are the building blocks for wonderful.

Without the pressure and often intimidation of a challenging schedule, there is also an absence of the possibility of great benefit and blessing.

I ran headlong into this scenario yesterday. I arrived at a church where things were very busy. After all, there was a boy who needed to be baptized, church ladies who required thanks for all their work putting together delicacies, finance procured for the congregation, the “pray” needed “luded” and the “dox” needed a bit of “ology.”

It kind of squeezed me into a corner of limited time and  I felt like an accordionist in a polka band who thought he was coming to perform for a bar mitzvah but ended up gigging at a circumcision–cut short.

Being a human, my first inclination was to be frustrated. Now understand–this was not directed at anyone else, it was just that my “full” didn’t seem to be heading towards “wonder.”

I took a deep breath–literally–then set into motion a process I have grown accustomed to using when my humanity wants to become unraveled in public.

1. Less is more, if less is given a chance. In other words, whatever time I use, I should use wisely and excellently.

2. Don’t be in a hurry when you haven’t got enough time to waste. The three crazy demons that infest humanity, causing us to look inept, are hurry, worry and flurry. (They tend to clump, by the way.)

3. Rejoicing is more attractive than lamenting. Being grateful for the opportunity to have any opening in life is much more powerful than complaining about the portion provided.

4. Focus on people, and God will show up. After all, nobody out in the audience knew what I expected, so any complaint coming from my lips would make me look absolutely ridiculous.

5. Nothing is personal unless you take it personally.

6. Do well. Sometimes the spotlight only hits you for a minute. Be ready.

7. And finally, don’t expect–but do be prepared.

I just exercised my human right to buy some time and do things better instead of freaking out and doing things poorly and making excuses about my lousy presentation.

You know what? It ended up being a great day, even amazing.

For the reason that God’s grace is sufficient for us is not just that He gives us favor because we’re His children–it’s because He gives us full schedules, where we wonder if things are going to work out.

And when they do, we discover the true definition of “wonderful.”

 

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Two Busy People… March 5, 2013

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black vanOn Mondays, I stop being Batman.

Well, actually, I’m never Batman, but I do use Monday mornings to leave my cave, buy a box of cereal and wash out my super-underwear. I guess what I become is “Bitman“–a bit of this and a bit of that.

Yesterday was no exception. Well, there was ONE unique aspect to it. We were running just a little bit later than usual and had a deadline of 11:30 A. M. for Janet to do a radio interview. So perhaps there was a bit more “hurry” in our steps.

We had finished all of our activities and were heading back to our lodging, deeply engrossed in conversation, feeling pretty good about our progress and enjoying a sunshine-filled day in Houston, Texas. Cruising through a green light at about forty miles per hour, I suddenly viewed a pickup truck, making a right turn on red, completely and totally oblivious to my presence.

Even though it all happened in a split second, I could see inside his cab and realize that he was turned to his right, involved in an animated conversation with a woman next to him. I had no time to think–no time to slam on the brakes. I had to rely completely on reflexes.

But the problem is, reflexes are often hampered by exhaustion, exasperation or especially, the sense of being busy or in a hurry. I took a quick peek in my left mirror and saw that God had granted me a free lane. I swerved into it, barely missing the truck and scooting by him in a breath of time–on down the road.

I do not know if he ever saw me. He obviously was in a hurry and had forgotten to take note of oncoming traffic.He was seconds from being plowed into by a three-ton black van. The situation was out of his control, and his life and vehicle, for that moment, were placed in my hands.

I didn’t honk at him. I didn’t shake my fist. I didn’t stop and ask him why he was so careless. I rolled on.

I was so grateful that I was not on my way to a hospital and thankful that I did not have to call insurance agent and talk about repairs. Mostly, I was glad that God has granted me the serenity and teeny-weeny bit of wisdom to know three important things:

1. Find out what you can do and relax in it. I don’t know why people worry. You can’t do more than you can do anyway, can you?

2. While you’re doing it, stay focused on what you’re doing. Multi-tasking is a great way to plan your own defeat.

3. If you’ve got an extra moment, watch out for the other guy. Maybe he hasn’t learned the first two points. Maybe he deserves a break. Maybe next time … it’ll be you.

So in this world where we all think we’re so busy, let us temporarily escape the mantra of reciting our crowded schedule and remember these three points. It’s so much more relieving.
Actually, it’s a great way to remain accident-free.

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