Good News and Better News… May 29th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There is something of a phenomenon going on in our society. Yet it is not phenomenal. That would connote it possesses goodness.

Somewhere along the line–maybe fifty or sixty years ago–people began gauging history from the time of their birth.

It’s getting worse and worse. Matter of fact, many younger humans will pop off and tell you, “That was before my time”–as if it does not matter or it might not happen again.

This came to my mind Thursday night when I was at a music rehearsal. I introduced the participants to a song by Dottie Rambo. One of them said they didn’t know the song and another piped up, “Most people don’t know who Dottie Rambo is.”

It angered me–not just because this fine woman wrote hundreds of well-known gospel songs, but also because she was instrumental in integrating American gospel music.

In the early seventies, there was a complete segregation in the music field between what was known as Black gospel and Southern gospel. When a young man of color, Andrae Crouch, began his group, “The Disciples” out in Los Angeles, he introduced contemporary Christian music to the nation. It spread like wildfire.

Everywhere except the Southern gospel community.

Oh, yes, there were a couple of groups who recorded the songs, but there was strong resistance to inviting Andrae to the National Quartet Convention, which was more or less the Mecca of gospel music at the time.

It was Dottie Rambo who stood up for Andrae Crouch, traveled with him and even encouraged him to record one of her songs.

It took about one year.

At one convention Andrae was not welcome, and by the next convention he was invited and tore the house down.

You see, the good news is that things can change.

And the better news is that if we become involved and have a sense of history, we will learn that it is individuals who create the change.

Not committees.

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If Jesus Were in Charge… January 4, 2015

pastor Jesus big

  • Religion wants to worship God.
  • Hope wants to find God.
  • Faith wants to see God.
  • Love wants to share God.

Church is becoming an exercise in futility because man was not created to worship. Worship was created so man could revel with the joy, love, faith and hope that pulsate within. It is a chance to express the hope to find God, the faith to see God and the love to share God.

But how do we do it? What would a church service be with Pastor Jesus?

If you read the Gospels closely, the answers are pretty clear, at least to this pilgrim. Every time Jesus got together with people, there was some sort of transformation, victory or healing which occurred. People felt they could come with their illnesses, insufficiencies, questions and frustrations and not have to wait through an entire service to have them addressed.

Yes, I believe church should begin with prayer, hugs, words of encouragement or even just a good cup of coffee. We begin with a season of healing–heart, soul, mind and strength.

I think if Jesus were pastor of a church, next would come testifying. Those who have been blessed, healed or rejuvenated get a chance to share their hearts. Others who have had dynamic weeks can express gratitude for intervention.

So once people have been healed and given a chance to speak out as part of the family of God, then it’s time to teach. Instruction is motivated at this point. Healing and testifying have been accomplished, so we have the opportunity to explain the mind of our heavenly Father, and offer better ways for us to get along with each other.

Healed, testified and taught, we are anxious to celebrate. Let the music begin. I don’t know why we expect people to sing their way into a good mood. Music was meant to produce emotion and praise–which normally follows an experience.

And finally, after celebration, we give. We close out the service providing finance–as each one has prospered throughout the week.

It was the style of Jesus to heal, open the door to testifying, teach the masses, celebrate the message and then allow them to give of their substance so the work could continue in the next village.

Church has become a commemoration, when it was meant to be a combustion–stoking the fire of belief so it can burn brilliantly.

If Jesus were in charge, church would be about people instead of causes, concerns, committees or even communion. Will we ever see such an opportunity come our way?

I guess when we finally grow weary of being pious and become wary of being godless.

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Populie: The Majority Rules … June 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2274)

A show of hands“All those in favor of … ”

It’s a process we learned at an early age when trying to choose between playing Monopoly or a game of cards. If there were five people in the room and three voted for card playing, then the other two were supposed to submit freely to the will of the majority. It is how we define democracy.

It’s the pressure that politics, entertainment, and religion live beneath in pursuing policies of their actions.

“Let’s take a poll.”

Politics runs its agenda based on how certain voting goes, determining the emphasis of actions according to the numbers provided.

Religion feels no responsibility to pursue the strait and narrow, remaining the conscience of our society, but instead, institutes committees which vote up or down based on the whim of a local congregation.

And entertainment rejects the responsibility for art to be a cutting edge reminder for our society, using focus groups to determine how plots should end and characters develop.

We are completely possessed by the demon of choice. Therefore, we are tossed to and fro on the energy of the present moment instead of having a sense of what truly will benefit the common good.

It is the popular belief in democracy, lending itself to the populie that the majority rules. Actually, the majority is rarely right.

There are three things that are necessary to determine the mission of any project or any people:

1. The history.

If we’re going to run our country thinking that there’s power in numbers, we will end up destroying all the potential for innovation and enlightenment. What is the history?

  • The majority of Germans voted to follow Adolph Hitler.
  • The majority of Jews in the Council cast their lot to crucify Jesus of Nazareth.
  • The majority of Southerners at one time held fast to Jim Crow.

Therefore, the majority has to be viewed through the sense of history, and history has some strong inclinations:

A. You can’t take freedom from people.

B. You can’t continue to kill people

C. You can’t stifle creativity and invention

It doesn’t matter if the majority wants to do this or not. It will be wrong.

2. The climate.

Even though politics, religion and entertainment want to give the people what they want, the goal of leadership should be to give the people what they’re going to require.

For instance, if you let your twelve-year-old son pack for summer camp on his own, he will run out of clothes on the second day and food on the third, having consumed all of his candy bars. It is the responsibility of those who have been given the blessing of guiding us to discover from the climate of our times what is available to meet the needs of human beings instead of what temporarily satisfies the whim.

3. The end game.

Yes, how is this going to end up? If we follow through on the present thinking, where will it take us? Honestly, we can’t decide the future of our society merely based upon greed. People who have the intelligence to understand where things are headed also have the responsibility to pipe up and challenge the end game.

So we’re going into Iraq. When do we leave?

We’re legalizing marijuana. What is the outcome?

We’re limiting the use of guns. Can we project where this will take us?

The majority does not rule; the majority is just loud.

We need insight from spiritually and emotionally mature statesmen and stateswomen, who will remind us of history, take us to what we require instead of what we just want, and follow through our efforts to a conclusion, projecting the end game.

Let’s stop taking a vote. Instead, let’s take a moment and find out what’s best for the whole human race … instead of just our little circle.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Somebody Should Do Something…. May 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2237)

There are two simple ways to immediately improve your life.

First, get rid of all your committees.

Second, start doing some rendition of what resembles your dream and then be prepared to change.

Since our present society is completely unable or unwilling to pursue either of these options, then please settle in for a long winter’s nap of repetitive nonsense. And one of the main pieces of nonsense is the ongoing droning drivel that “somebody should do something.”

Let us understand–somebody already has.

  • We wouldn’t have cures for disease if they hadn’t.
  • Slaves would not be freed without somebody doing something.
  • Salvation for the human soul would never have been accomplished from a “do nothing” Savior.

It isn’t like we have to come up with our own idea or create a world unto itself–unique to our circumstances–to accomplish good deeds. There are many paths set before us, tremendous options and inspiring tales to thrust us forward in the direction of accomplishment.

We are reluctant–both as a species and then, as individuals.

Why?

There are two nasty principles that were ingrained in us at a young age, no matter what culture we came from.

  1. Don’t make a fool of yourself.
  2. Leave well enough alone.

For some reason, as a race, we learned these much more easily than we did long division. Maybe it’s because we’re basically insecure, and both of these concepts feed that timidity, making it easier for us to remain stagnant.

Maybe it’s because indifference burns fewer calories and allows for more naps. I don’t know.

But the end result is a disgruntled multitude, complaining about the absence of leadership while simultaneously resisting any prophetic voice that would advance a new theory.

You have to make up your mind. If you want to extol the status quo, do so, but please never complain about the blandness of your grits. Or … prepare yourself for the shock that if anything is going to be done, to look any further than your own motivation is an exercise in futility.Abe

HitlerBecause there is really only one moving part in the human experience–only one thing that separates an Abraham Lincoln from an Adolph Hitler. Both men were bigoted in their own way. Both men took office believing that a particular sect or race of human beings was inferior. Both individuals had a certain dictatorial style to their rule. (Yes, Abraham Lincoln was called a dictator.)

The difference between Abraham and Adolph is that when information was given to Mr. Lincoln to prove that slavery was wrong, dangerous and god-forbidden–he changed.

On the other hand, when the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States were perched on the outskirts of Berlin and it was obvious to everyone–including Chancellor Hitler, that the war was over, he literally dug into his bunker and permitted the slaughter of an additional quarter of a million people to justify his foolishness.

Therefore, saying that somebody needs to do something is an ugly blending of self-pity and stubbornness.

And self-pity and stubbornness are the main attributes of all the inhabitants of hell.

A footrnote: muich thanks to my dear brother from yesterday morning at Algood, who told me his pet peeve was the phrase, “somebody needs to do something.”

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Arizona morning

heAfter an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Taking a Decision … February 10, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2147)

decisionThere is no such thing as making a decision.

By the time committees, opinions, selfishness and reluctance are factored in, progress is brought to a grinding halt in order to maintain some silly notion of “consensus.”

Some things are just too important to leave to the mass hysteria of voting.

It’s all about taking a decision.

In 1970, I took a decision to fly out to Arizona to pick up my girlfriend, who was pregnant, even though the counsel from all my friends, family and certainly her family was for us to be apart. Forty-four years later, there are a lot of exciting human beings walking around because I took that decision.

In 1972, I wrote two songs and decided to go into a recording studio to make a 45-RPM record. Young boys from Sunbury, Ohio, were not allowed to do such things–at least that was the opinion of those I asked for help. Forty-two years later I am still making music all across America. Matter of fact, I sang one of those two songs on Saturday night.

In 1975, everybody had a bad mood about me leaving Centerburg, Ohio, to move to Nashville, Tennessee, to seek a greater platform for my writing. I took the decision and ended up getting my song signed and making the gospel charts.

In 1980, I took a decision to hire nine actors and book a 25-city tour of the country with my musical rendition of the Sermon on the Mount, called Mountain. I was told that the market would not allow for a “religious” piece, which sported dance and peppy music. I ignored them.

In 1984, society was shocked when I took my children and wife on the road as a family band, traveling across the country, especially since one of my sons was disabled and had to be carried around from place to place. Six years later, when we finished the journey, tens of thousands of folks were appreciative that we took the decision.

In 1991, in the midst of great financial solvency and success, I took a decision to leave the road with my family, so that my sons, who were getting older, could have lives of their own instead of mirroring their father’s pursuits. It didn’t add up on paper. But it was the right way for us to multiply.

Again, in 1996, the propriety of the community in which I lived frowned on the concept of me taking on a female musical partner and including her three children in my family. Such things were simply not done in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Eighteen years later and at least twelve tours across the country, the heavens rejoice and America is a little bit different.

In 2001, it was against all sense to start a symphony orchestra in the middle of “Country Music USA.” Once again, I “passed” on policy. Because I did, the Sumner Pops Orchestra existed for eight years and provided funding, opportunity, entertainment and inspiration for an entire county.

In 2006, the cynics chuckled when I joined with my son and daughter-in-law to make independent films. Those involved in the film industry mocked us for attempting to make twelve feature-length films in a year. But taking this decision put us on the map–and they are still benefitting from that journey today.

In 2010, the dictates of my budget, housing and lifestyle forbade the possibility of continuing to use my talents to make a living. So I walked away from my house, climbed into my van and became a vagabond, sharing a message of hope for this generation, in front of what is now hundreds of thousands of people.

It isn’t that I reject input from others. But remember, counsel is only good in your life if it is given in faith.

It is a horrible disappointment when it is offered to promote fear.

Happy birthday to Jon Russell!

Join us tomorrow for: Quatrain of the Circus.

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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

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. . . knew what to do … October 26, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2048)

five thousandCommittees can be powerful as long as they are headed by a visionary person of principle who reminds the gathered of the power of truth instead of giving in to convenience.

We should never throw a good idea aside, but also never embrace one when it has fallen by the wayside and is being maintained for the sake of tradition.

If they had held a committee meeting on a hill so many years ago when five thousand hungry people, who had been listening to teaching for days, were famished and in need of nourishment, the vote taken by the thirteen members of that body of consideration would have been to “send the folks away” and hope for the best. Even though a young itinerant minister named Jesus asked the opinion of his fellow-travelers, the story tells us that he, himself “knew what he was going to do.”

And because of his sense of mission and mercy, the folks were fed, using the resources of the reluctant committee members, stimulating their faith by giving them the chance to be part of a miraculous event–even though they might have voted against it.Abraham and cabinet

In 1861, a less-than-popular Abraham Lincoln ascended to the role of President of the United States. He surrounded himself with both advocates and critics, trying to form a government that would cohesively address the issue of slavery.

Yet I will tell you, if Abraham Lincoln had left the decision up to his Cabinet and Congress, we would be two nations today–one of them probably still having some form of sophisticated slave labor.

Abraham Lincoln knew what he was going to do–and somehow or another found a way to get those around him to come along and appear as if they were part of the solution instead of being entrenched in the problem.

Over and over again, throughout history, men and women of purpose and conscience have sat in front of committees, and rather than surrendering their leadership to the temporary will and often insanity of the popular opinion of the day, they guided their constituents to better conclusions.

gay rightsRecently, even in our country, on the justification of gay Americans to have civil rights, there has been a committee of those who have focused on the morality or normalcy of the issue instead of the liberty and justice that is required for all. Even in the face of such comprehensive division, we, the people, found the impetus to begin the journey to grant our citizens their due.

Do we all agree?

Absolutely not.

Is there a right and wrong here?

Often, my dear friends, freedom dictates that we abandon the notion of purity in favor of equality.

There is much to do in this country–and since we cling to a notion of democracy, it probably will require committees for accomplishment. But we do need those who chair the conclave of “deciders” to have an understanding of history, an appreciation of freedom and a stalwart will to abandon popularity in favor of posterity.

Can we find such individuals? Will we take the time to select leadership that will spur us to discover the inspirational choices … which will make our children call us blessed?

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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