PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… May 27th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2593)

Pohymn May 27

Allow Me a Chance

I know the world is full of guile

But please allow me a chance to smile

I am fully aware of the anguish and pain

Yet reflect I will on remaining sane

To continue to believe in the common good

I must pursue what I think I should

For joining the shouting of the angry mob

Makes me nasty, failing at my job

Yes, I have a life that I must live

Solitary to me, my soul to give

A breath of peace to the exhausted clan

Remaining faithful to the glorious plan

For love is the only essence divine

Understanding one another the heavenly sign

So please, some room, a little space

To share my gift with the human race

By refusing to hurl that initial stone

Let people live, yea, leave them alone

Unless they cry out for a bit of relief

Perchance they desire some fresh belief

Then humbly I share the little I know

Gently support them as they grow

Step away, you cynics, and jaded fearful

Placing sweet hope in visions more cheerful. 

 

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Three Ways to Avoid Arrogance … July 24, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2301)

ThunderlipsIt’s always easy to identify the loser.

On a show like America’s Got Talent, you can always pick the ones who have absolutely no ability by how much they jabber about the quality of their gift, and also brag about winning the contest.

Yes, I will say it clearly: talent does not dissipate with age but certainly dribbles away with much-speaking.

It’s called arrogance.

Even though we live in a society which insists that a certain amount of self-confidence is necessary to get the job done, every single one of us despises another human being who touts his or her prowess.

With that in mind–fully aware that the herd of humanity will kick you out of the corral if you become too bossy–let’s look at three ways to avoid this nasty tendency for over-wrought boasting:

1. Never talk until you “do.”

Even if someone asks you about the extent of your work, always choose to demonstrate instead of becoming demonstrative in your language. Each one of us has a market value. Certainly, we have personal value to ourselves, our families and even to God. But our market value is what the other travelers on the road consider our attributes to be worth.

Let your light shine. Then you have a chance to be proven successful and rather than needing to bolster your own ego, you can be uplifted by others, and therefore choose an adequately humble response.

2. Don’t “do” without a story.

In other words, if you don’t have something to say or share, don’t jump into the race just so you can tell folks you were there for the running.

After all, is there anything more comical than a fat person saying they plan to start an exercise regimen tomorrow?

Or in my profession, I run across people who claim to be writers but have no daily output. Can you tell me a job you can do once a year and still be proficient at it?

Have a heart that can tap your experience that gives you a reason for what you do, which makes you precious to others.

3. Let the story bring the glory.

If you’ve got a good message and you’re sharing it with people who need a good message, then a better message will come out of it as proof of the value of your efforts.

It’s why Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.”

  • Not their claims.
  • Not their degrees.
  • Not their position.
  • And not even their potential.

Does your story create another story which brings glory to the situation?

There you have it.

Anything you do to try to convince people of your quality before you do it is wasted time. Trying to do something without having experience and a goal of edifying is equally as annoying. And finishing up what you do without having an obvious experience for the common good is just aggravating.

Arrogance is where non-talented people go when they feel they can intimidate the audience into being appreciative.

 

 

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G-25: Insulate or Isolate? … May 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2242)

handsSo you found yourself in the middle of a raging feud with your brother and a festering jealousy exploded into a violent rage, ending up with you murdering your sibling.

When confronted with the facts, you lied and then got caught–and instead of being executed for your crime, you’ve been exiled to the Land of Nod, East of Eden.

Now what?

The truth of the matter is, life doesn’t stop with the latest happy event, nor does it cease at the conclusion of a tragedy, but goes on.

How? The immediate temptation is to insulate yourself:

  • Why did this happen and how can I avoid it ever happening again?
  • How can I improve my image as quickly as possible?
  • Going forward, how can I play it safe?

This is what happens when people are bruised, offended, battered or just intimidated by the sheer, brute force of responsibility.

They begin to seek protection instead of opportunity. They request a reprieve from interaction instead of gaining strength through fellowship.They lessen their workload, insisting that being overwhelmed was what caused the problem–only to discover that being underwhelmed leaves them bored.

It’s a tough decision, but the most crucial moment in our lives–when we realize that the next thing we do needs to be important –and also better.

There is another path.

Isolate.

1. What did I do?

Sometimes we don’t totally realize the magnitude or the insignificance of our deeds and either overblow them or downplay them, never having an actual assessment of the event. Without this, it’s difficult to repent.

Yes, repent–the magnificent blending of “I’m sorry” and “this is how I’m going to change.”

2. What can I do?

Even though a certain desperation and futility can follow a defeat, the sooner we start convincing ourselves that we can be fruitful and contribute to our own efforts and the common good, the better off we will be.

Yes, as we’ve isolated off our deed, now we need to isolate off the abilities that remain.

3. Where do I start?

I hope it’s not an overstatement to say that the greatest danger in life is to either try to do too much or too little. Too much puts us right back at being overwhelmed–which may be the cause of our deviation in the first place. Taking on too little causes us to feel inadequate and weakened.

Where do I start? Isolate off a beginning point–and get busy.

It is a true statement that there is no sin or action that cannot be forgiven, but even little mistakes can stall us forever if we insulate ourselves from the truth instead of isolate the mishap…and discover a reason to commence.

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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

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Populie: It’s a Free Country … May 14, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2231)

it's a free country

POPULIE: an idea that is so popular that we feel there’s room to stuff in a lie or two to plump up the concept.

Freedom is a wonderful expression but the notion that we’re all free to do whatever we want, based on our whim or citizenship, takes a precept and turns it into a populie. America is not a land of freedom–it is a community of diversity, grounded in liberty.

First and foremost, we have to understand that religion, politics and entertainment, once again, love the populie.

Politics extols the virtue of “it’s a free country” to promote planks in its platform which may historically be proven to be erred, but for the time being, gain applause from the crowd and votes on election day. Remember, politics doesn’t care about posterity–just the temporary tally.

Entertainment, of course, wants to advertise the notion of abstract freedom because then really trashy ideas or short-sighted philosophies can be inserted into movies, music and television and presented as reality, under the guise of free expression.

And religion screams of the glories of the First Amendment when insisting that there is a need to alienate some faction or movement from their ranks due to its absence of reverence.

But actually, the word “freedom” needs to be replaced with “liberty”–and there is a great phrase in the Good Book, which states, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

In other words, if you’re going to do anything in the name of God, make sure you grant the human race liberty.

What is liberty?

Liberty does not require that I give permission, or even approval, of what is done. It is the offering of choice–as long as that decision doesn’t rob choice from another.

When you place that definition on our current social environment, much clarity comes to the forefront. I am not trying to tell you that I’ve discovered the Rosetta Stone for Earth’s peace and harmony. There are many complicated discussions which will ensue on a myriad of topics, but in a nation that allows for diversity, but also still pursues righteousness, you can account for both by opening the door to liberty.

For instance, I don’t believe in abortion. But I do believe in choice.

The pro-life people would find that wishy-washy. My response? If you really think it’s wrong to kill babies, then help advertise birth control, personal control and open up more adoption centers. You do not have the right to steal the liberty of choice from your fellow-citizens.

To those who are pro-choice, who would be angry with me because I disapprove of the procedure and therefore cast a dim light on ladies who pursue it, I would say, “You can’t have it both ways.” Most people don’t advertise their abortion on Facebook. There is a stigma to it. It is a needful hesitation, giving respect to life. If a woman chooses that path, she should be granted the liberty, but it does not require my rubber-stamp.

I feel the same thing about marijuana. I don’t like it. It doesn’t meet my specifications for quality or even inclusion, but if marijuana wants to come in as a choice for people in our country, and fall under the same scrutiny as all other smoke products–in other words, being forbidden in public places, never sold to children and studied continuously for its health difficulties–then so be it.

I feel our country becomes much simpler when we allow for debate, we arrive at liberty, we provide choice, but we guide the results in the direction of a common good instead of cheering on the noisy rabble.

It is not a free country–it is a country of liberty.

And liberty requires that we offer one another choice … while allowing others to have an equal amount of choosing.

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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

 

 

Darkened … October 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2044)

dark room oneAs much as I enjoy traveling across the United States, meeting the fabulous collage of human beings afforded to me, one of the more difficult aspects of the journey is finding a way to end the year’s activities and partake of Thanksgiving and Christmas without depleting my coffers in the process.

And you must add onto that the fact that most of the venues which normally open their arms are particularly busy themselves, at the close of the season, with projects pre-determined.

This year we ran head-on into this dilemma. Like every other American, it appeared we were going to end up with more things in our “required” pile than we had in our “possess” pile. It was a problem. Or shall I say, it IS a problem?

It made me realize there are really three ways to handle the everyday blow-ups that happen to our well-conceived plans. The first way is what we shall refer to as “darkened.”

We fall back on our upbringing, whether conservative OR liberal, and believe that by becoming either constrictive or free-wheeling, that we will overcome our circumstance. This philosophy is prevalent in our society, characterized by conservatives who allow too little and liberals, who allow too much. They both insist they are making their stands on the basis of protecting liberty, but merely shutting the door does not keep the cold out and opening the door and turning up the heat does not seem to make it any more toasty either.

It is darkened–a pursuit of resolution with an inclination toward cynicism. It is traditionalism honored over common sense. And since the conservatives allow too little and the liberals allow too much, they are immediately at war with each other, resorting to insult and defamation of character instead of rhyme and reason.

We must be careful that when we’re talking about the realm of the emotions and spirit that we don’t emulate the political scene in our country, which has driven us into a gridlock of name-calling and stonewalling.

  • I am not conservative. Sometimes the answer to a problem is to open up possibilities beyond what we have accepted as normal in the past.
  • I am not a liberal. Just because people desire or campaign for some particular right, that it should be granted to them if it’s contrary to the common good.

But because this stalemate persists, the conscience of our country has become darkened, and cynicism has replaced the willingness to try new ideas and to evolve old ideas to fresher conclusions. How do you know that cynicism has entered your life?

1. You have an idea of how things are going to play out before you even try them.

This isn’t the fruit of experience. This is a careless disregard for the possibility of the grace of God and human effort to bring about miracles.

2. You think that restricting people or giving abstract freedom is the way to control natural events.

Free will IS intact–that’s why the dialogue on what is best for everyone needs to be in place.

3. You have gradually bought into the mantra that people are “no damn good.”

You certainly cannot preach a message that “God so loved the world” and also be a little pissed off all the time.

Our society has become darkened by a cynicism that promotes either a conservative or a liberal agenda instead of what is nurturing for human beings. We can’t allow too little and we can’t allow too much.

So what is viable?

See you tomorrow.

 

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Apologies All the Way Around … October 20, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2042)

I need one fromFalwell Jerry Falwell, Liberty University and all those people who participated in the Moral Majority, who inundated our society with vicious insults and threats.Bill Clinton

I would certainly like one from Bill Clinton for his part in making politics scandalous, phony and treacherous through his affair with the little girl.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get one from Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart for taking the precious gospel of Jesus and turning it into a beach ball, which they batted around through greed, sexual exploitation?

I burning crosswould love to hear a bit of repentance from the American church, which remained silent while segregation raged for decades.

I also would welcome some reflection from the Tea Party, which thinks it has the right to stifle any ideas contrary to what they deem to be their common good.obama

And I certainly think we are due a bit of contrition from President Obama for biting off more than he could actually chew, and so anemically launching a campaign intended to relieve the suffering of the poor, only to further confound them.

Without an apology, we have a series of assumptions:

1. “You know that I know I’m a little bit wrong, so why do we need to talk about it?”

2. “It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be, and if I admit too much, I open myself up for my critics to disembowel me.”

3. “Get over it. Let’s move on. What benefit is there in focusing on our mistakes?”

4. “Nobody’s perfect. So why should we waste time examining our imperfections?”

These excuses have prevented us from being a nation that purges itself from stupidity but instead, keeps souveniers which we later display to our children–for them to pick up and resell.

We need apologies all around, if for no other reason than to make sure that the cursed attitudes that kept us repeating the same ridiculous processes can finally be buried in a grave with a tombstone warning us of the deadly results.

Since I don’t know if these individuals will ever come forward with contrition, let me start:

  • I want to apologize to all the people I spoke against in my past because I was ignorant of the freedom God gives to human beings to find their own path, without interruption from my scrutiny.
  • I apologize to my children for being overwrought, too lenient or just not available.
  • I apologize to my wife for being a less-than-adequate husband while trying to become a consummate artist.
  • And I apologize to myself for being a morbidly obese man my whole life, and so far never being able to find a way to unlock my fleshly prison.

You see? It’s not that hard.

And even after the apology is given, it’s a good thing, every once in a while, to remind people that those errors not only disrupted the natural order, but must never be repeated again.

How ’bout it, my friends?

Apologies all around?

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

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Shell-rocked … July 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1956)

faithlutheranshellrock

  • The me you see
  • The me that’s me
  • The me I’m freed to be

 It’s three different people, you know. Maybe success in life is about getting that trio of personalities to blend into oneness—for if they stay separate, there can be a lot of frustration.

As I head off tomorrow morning to Faith Lutheran Church in Shell Rock, Iowa, I am completely aware that God was speaking the obvious when He said that “man looks on the outward appearance.”

Honestly, my dear friends, my outward appearance has never been my “best foot forward,” unless you are fond of stumbling:

  1. I am fat.
  2. I am certainly NOT tall, dark and handsome.
  3. The aging process has relieved me of my hair.
  4. And I don’t seem powerful because my knees are pretty bad and I utilize a wheelchair to cover long distances.

Now at first reading of this description, you might be sympathetic, or even feel that I need your pity. But that’s the me you see. That is not the me that’s me.

The me that’s me is a father who has raised six sons, traveled the country many times over, written symphonies, books, movies, and has performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people.

I learned early in my life that my best shot was to abandon beauty, my “good looks,” and instead, take a good look at myself and find the best way to be of benefit to others, and therefore find great prosperity in my soul.

new jon and janSo what does that mean?

It means that I’ve developed a sense of humor about how I look, a sense of passion about what I do and a deep abiding gratitude for who I’ve been freed to be.

For you see, that is the third process. God has come along and given me permission to be a new creature—born again, as it were. He has implanted in my spirit notions, ideas and promises that don’t always jibe with my reality, but still remain available if I’m willing to accept them by faith.

Take salvation, for example. I’m glad He handles that particular arena. If I were in charge of salvation, I would first of all have to always be a good person, saying all the right things, while being that guy who believes in life after death even in moments of doubtful consideration.

But I don’t have to worry about that.

The reason most people get shell-shocked on their way to Shell Rock is because they become anxious about what other people are going to think about them and they don’t have much confidence in God pulling off His part. They have bookends of insecurity, making them very nervous about their own package of talent.

I fully expect the people in Shell Rock to initially see me as a fat guy rolling along in a wheelchair. In fact, if it were a silent film, that would be it. But life isn’t a silent film:

  • We get the chance to have a voice.
  • We get the chance to express ourselves.
  • We get the chance to be loving.
  • We are afforded the opportunity to be generous.
  • We are provided moments when we can be confrontational in a way that benefits the common good.

And I am not about to ever forget that even though people may have an immediate visceral reaction to me and I may have gifts that can overcome that prejudice, it still holds no candle to how much I am loved by my Father.

If you’re going to be successful on Planet Earth, you have to realize that the me that people see can never, ever be perfected. No matter how many times you lift your face, tuck your belly or comb your hair, someone will have a problem with your appearance.

So spend more time with the “me that’s me,” and perfect the art of being yourself. And don’t be afraid to move towards excellence.

Because when it’s all done, even when people reject your offering as a whole, you can come home to the “me you’re freed to be” … in the arms of your Father in heaven.

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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