Good News and Better News… August 28th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3413)

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther marched to the Catholic Church in Wittenburg, Germany, and nailed his 95 theses of grievances and complaints onto the door. Thus began the Reformation Movement.

So, could I be any more blessed than to be at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Lakeland, Florida, during the commemoration of the Reformation? And I didn’t even plan it. I just went with it.

That’s been the great joy of my life–to stop struggling so hard to achieve my will, and to find my needs accomplished in the unfolding of the opportunities that come my way.

Pastor Robert is a fine, congenial gentleman who shepherds this church, filled with delightful Lutherans who would make Brother Martin smile with pride. We just had a hum-dinger of a time (if you are allowed in this day and age to say “hum-dinger.”)

Because Pastor Robert and his assistant, Doug, have a gentleman’s style about them, the congregation came through the front door a bit excited over the prospect of having a unique “spiritual entrée” to accompany their usual “tater tots.”

It makes a difference. People who believe breed faith, and faith is able to manifest miracles.

Martin Luther had one major premise, summing up his 95 theses: “We are saved by grace.”

Dr. Luther was very concerned that we would lose our sense of awe and wonder over God’s salvation and begin to think we could “work our way to heaven” or, “what’s the sense of even trying?”

But the new message for the Lutheran Church–and all churches who have joined into this Reformation–is that we have been saved by grace to be gracious.

A church without gracious people is like a door without a knob. You might comprehend that there should be a way to get in and out, but nobody has given you a handle.

People complain that the church is getting older, but when you’re talking about graciousness, age is insignificant. Matter of fact, could there be anything more appealing than a genial, loving and giving 78-year-old man or woman who has an open heart to the human beings around him or her, and is ready to be accepting?

You can’t build a church without old people.

As the Prophet Joel proclaimed, it is those of elder years who provide the dream for the vision that the younger folks bring–the dream being that mystical mixture of what might be, while confirming that it is possible by sharing what has already happened.

People of grace need to be gracious. If not, then all the objections lodged by Martin Luther are empty and cold.

The good news is that five hundred years ago, the church went through a Reformation which opened the door to salvation by grace for everyone.

The better news is that we are due for another Reformation.

 

Donate Button

 

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

 

Advertisements

Catchy (Sitting Two)This Young Man … June 18th, 2017

Matthew Ransley was an advertising agent but fancied himself an executive. He was a founding partner in a company called S.E.E.D.S.–an annoying, elongated acronym: “Selling Everything Everywhere, Delivering Success.”

Matthew was very good at what he did. He worked at being congenial but if sufficiently aggravated, could launch into a rampage to defend one of his well-guarded opinions.

It was Tuesday when the phone rang and Mariel, his secretary (though she preferred “executive assistant”) was not yet at work to answer, so Matthew found himself taking the call. It was from Marcus Tomlinson, an attorney—an attorney for the estate of Arthur Harts.

Matthew knew who Arthur Harts was, and had even heard that the old man had died. He listened carefully as Mr. Tomlinson explained about the recent reading of the will and the revelation of the “Make Jesus Popular” addition.

It did cross Matthew’s mind that it might be a crank call. But the attorney established credibility because he seemed to know what he was talking about, including an abundance of information about Matthew and his agency.

“The reason we called you is that we thought that your agency’s name, S.E.E.D.S., sounded a little religious, and in doing a background check on you, we also discovered that you had some interest in matters of faith and such when you were a student back in college.”

Matthew smiled. He remembered. College–a chance to plan your future while simultaneously ruining your life. After graduation he had included every piece of resume-worthy material possible on his application to gain employment.

He had begun a club during his college years, launching a fledgling organization initially called the “Son of One” (he being the only member at the time.) His vision was to create a para-religious/party-motivated/pseudo-intellectual club, which would attract both thinkers and drinkers.

Before too long he achieved a member and they became the “Crew of Two.” Then came another and they became the “Tree of Three.” When a fourth joined, they dubbed themselves the “Core of Four.” A fifth inductee created the “Hive of Five,” and a sixth, the “Mix of Six.” When a seventh young lady cast her lot with the organization, they became the “Leaven of Seven,” where they remained throughout their university years, garnering no new converts.

Matthew assumed this was what the attorney was referring to when he mentioned “some interest in matters of faith.” Honestly, the seven young folk liked to talk about God and politics until the wee hours of the morning while indulging in “the beer and bong.” It was hardly a consecrated conclave, but rather, dedicated to the proposition that all men–and women–are created equally arrogant.

“What is it you want?” Matthew asked. It was too early to chat–or reminisce.

Mr. Tomlinson proceeded to explain that one of Arthur Harts’ dying wishes was to give two hundred fifty million dollars towards increasing the popularity of Jesus.

“How popular does he need to be?” asked Matthew. “I mean, they named a religion after him, and, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t our entire calendar run by the date of his birth?”

There was a moment of silence. Then Lawyer Tomlinson spoke in metered tones. “Let me just say that I don’t know much about religion, or God for that matter. I am merely performing the literal last request of a very wealthy man.”

“So what do you want me to do?” inquired Matthew.

“What do I want you to do? I guess I want you to tell me that your agency will take two hundred and fifty million dollars and at least try to make Jesus more popular.”

“We could start a rumor that he and Elvis are going to get together and cut an album.”

A pause. “Sounds fine with me,” replied Tomlinson.

Matthew chuckled. It was becoming quite evident that this lawyer was merely going through the motions of fulfilling a contractual oddity. On the other hand, as unusual as the request sounded, the two hundred and fifty million dollars did offer a bit of sparkle. As a founding partner in his business, did he have the right to reject such a lucrative offer simply because it was weird?

The lawyer piped up, uncomfortable with the delay. “Perhaps you could suggest someone else.”

Matthew laughed nervously. “No, I don’t really think I could suggest anyone else. I’m not familiar with any All Saints Agency or God Almighty, Inc.”

“It is two hundred and fifty million dollars. I mean, can’t you do something?”

“Yes,” said Matthew. (He figured it was always better to say yes to two hundred and fifty million dollars. You can revise your answer later, but in the meantime, well, it’s two hundred and fifty million dollars.)

Matthew punctuated his acceptance by adding, “Maybe we could get Jesus to date a supermodel.”

“I think he’s dead,” said Tomlinson, without inflection.

“Not according to advertising.”Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

 

 

Good News and Better News… November 16th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2754)

Good News Leo

You can like them.

You can ignore them.

You can get fussy about them

But people aren’t going away.

This came to my mind yesterday as I was honored to share in front of the dear souls in Leo, Indiana.

Pastor Dave walks in a congenial competence. I fear he might consider that statement to be a left-handed compliment or even an insult, but he would misunderstand.

The American public-at-large needs congenial competence.

We’re constantly tempted to be unfriendly while infested by excuses for failure instead of showing a steady leadership which offers a sense of comfort.

There’s something wonderful about being congenial. Saying hello to your fellow-human without scrunching your brow with suspicion may be the definition of God’s love.

And also taking a few moments to figure out what you can do, supplying an effort equal to your promise is a stroke of genius.

I don’t ever want to lie to anyone.

I wear my weaknesses as proudly as I display my strengths.

My weaknesses tell people they can trust me because I haven’t tried to hide them. My strengths can exhilarate them because they understand that I’ve taken the time to work on myself and try to pursue the second mile.

I suppose when I finished up in Leo yesterday, there were individuals who would have said we had a morning of revival, but without being coy, I would contend that we had a morning of “vival.”

I’m not so sure any of us were truly alive until we got together–because the worst prison we can find for ourselves is a cave of our own misunderstanding. We need one another, because without that contact, we think we are smarter than we actually are.

I so enjoyed the people. I loved hearing their stories. I was thrilled with the look of hope on their faces.

I am proud to say that I joined Pastor Dave in trying to be a congenial, competent person.

For this is my prayer:

I want to bring you joy and deliver the little dab of talent I can as efficiently as possible.

 

Donate Button

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

***************************

Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: