Good News and Better News… January 23rd, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-trump-obama

On Inauguration Day 2009, many of my conservative brothers and sisters were profoundly convinced that Barack Hussein Obama was the Anti-Christ.

Likewise, this past Friday during Inauguration, many of my more liberal brothers and sisters were in a complete stew over the assumed devastation coming with the Presidency of Donald Trump.

In this back-and-forth treachery of accusations, abiding truths are being completely ignored.

Since 9/11, we have become a nation living off of hope because of our fears, and ending up with fears because of the disappointment caused by our hope.

But hope and fear are not opposites, but rather, uncomfortable cousins–because when hope does not deliver its promises, it produces fear over its failures. And when our fears are in full force, hope is set aside with a jaded sneer because we are convinced there is really no way to escape our difficulty.

In the midst of this topsy-turvy war between hope and fear, faith and love have been set aside.

Very simply:

  • Faith is when I realize that when God and I work together, great things can be done.
  • Love is when I decide to include you.
  • And then the three of us–God, me and you–can do almost anything.

The aspiration of the church should be to return faith and love to the equation so that hope and fear do not continue to rebound off one another.

The good news is that faith makes us believe in both a divine possibility and our involvement in the solution.

The better news is that when we include love, we increase our numbers, we increase our passion, and therefore we increase our possibilities.

 

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G-Poppers … April 22nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wishes for his children to listen carefully.

Yes, during this season of great confusion, it is important to be careful how we hear.

With rivers of information flowing through the countryside with greater speed than ever before, there are also mounds of misunderstanding pouring out raw sewage of stupidity, tainting the flow.

Beware the liberal.

Also beware the conservative.

The thing to remember is that truth has no agenda–just a message to make us free; free of the obstruction of needing to stand behind an opinion.

You can always identify the words that are rotten with antagonism.

They blame.

Each political party, every religion, countless races–all point a finger at one another to create blame.

Is there blame? Perhaps. But such accusations need to take a journey through scrutiny.

It begins with the facts. It’s difficult to get them. Websites, news reports and pundits tend to obscure them behind statistics and endorsements.

Listen to all sides, and then find that sweet spot in the middle, where truth has cuddled up, waiting for the persevering soul to discover it.

Find the facts. Don’t be so sure.

Once you find the facts, then it’s important to decide who or what is responsible. Finding the responsible parties is not a decision to target blame, but rather, discovering who has the power to bring solution.

Who is responsible?

Could it be that we are responsible?

What part of the responsibility can we take onto ourselves, to make sure that something will be addressed?

Then, once responsibility is addressed, any blame that needs to be brought forth in order to clean up the nastiness can be pointed out without fear.

  • Facts.
  • Responsibility.
  • Blame.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work if you go the other direction–blaming someone and making them responsible to fit your allegation.

G-Pop must warn his children that if they pursue the facts to ascertain responsibility, to correctly place blame, that they will find themselves being neither conservative nor liberal–just real.

It is a season when goodness will be determined by those who are not so intent on advertising the badness in their adversaries.

To do this requires a set of ears tuned to history and the love of humankind … instead of listening for reasons to confirm our suspicions and alienate one another.

 

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G-Poppers … February 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

On any given Sunday, G-Pop has the honor of sitting and sharing in front of an audience that mingles Republicans and Democrats indiscriminately.

Matter of fact, the Sunday morning church service may be the last location in our great country where conservatives and liberals have to sit side-by-side and crack open a common hymn book and sing harmoniously.

One of G-Pop’s sons suggested that such an environment demands too much compromise to be of use in the “kingdom of truth.”

Not so.

In the realm of reconciliation and the pursuit of being a peacemaker, there are only two enemies, and only one true danger.

Separating these two enemies is the job of every good-thinking man and woman. The two enemies are arrogance and ignorance:

  • Arrogance contends, “I am smarter than you.”
  • And ignorance insists, “I am better than you.

Every tragedy which has befallen our species has occurred when the statesmen and spiritual leaders of our time became too busy with politics and religion, allowing arrogance and ignorance to coalesce.

As long as we keep them separated, we can address the insecurities they possess individually.

Case in point:

Racism is the merging of arrogance and ignorance–people who think they’re smarter than other people, who also have decreed that they’re better.

It happened with the Nazis–the arrogance of Germanic tribes who thought they were smarter led to the conclusion that they were better–a Super Race.

It is what festers in the Middle East.

And it is what causes us–a supposedly enlightened people–to still be struggling over issues of color, sexuality and gender, far beyond the time of reasonability.

G-Pop teaches a simple message.

He tells people clearly, “If I am smarter than you in some areas, you are certainly smarter than me in others.”

And … no one is better than anyone else.

 

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Jesonian: The Pro Cons… October 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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jesus and woman caught in adultery bigger

There is something comforting about finding yourself in the care of a professional who is willing to clarify and make things easier.

It is a beautiful thing.

It takes what would seem to be insurmountable–or even punishing–and transform it into merciful and workable.

Jesus was a pro.

He was a professional savior who was well-geared for ministering to human behavior because he, himself, was human.

But the first difficulty he faced in procuring this acumen was dealing with four “cons:” condemn, confront, control and console.

For generations, religious fervor and political bondage had created a climate of condemning and controlling. Matter of fact, even to this day a large percentage of those who claim to pursue the faith of Jesus Christ do so by condemning what they have determined to be iniquity, teaching their congregations that “God is in control of everything.”

So talk about walking into a hornet’s nest, or better phrased, a gathering of “shewbread conservatives,” Jesus arrived at the pinnacle of this judgmental juggernaut.

For the Jews had a system for condemning people for breaking the least little Sabbath rule, and the Romans had created such fear in the populace that the masses were contained and controlled by perpetual apprehension.

Our “Pro” had to dispel condemning and controlling. Had he not succeeded at that, all he would have accomplished was a new sect of Judaism, which would have no chance whatsoever of gaining attention in the Gentile world.

So the ministry of Jesus consisted of a confronting consolation, or sometimes it was a consoling confrontation.

As in the case of the woman caught in adultery, it was necessary to free her of the condemnation of the Pharisees, while snatching her out of the control of the murderous mob in order to console her and tell her that she was not condemned and confront her–to go and sin no more.

And in the case of the disciples, he confronted them in the Garden of Gethsemane–to stay awake and watch with him one hour, only to return to find them asleep, and relent in consolation: “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

There is a great sense of relief when you’re in the hands of a pro–when you know that the God who made you has become the God who is like you, and has shared a message that does not condemn your ineptness, nor does it control your destiny.

Jesus was a pro.

His philosophy cost him his life. So please honor him by doing the Jesonian thing:

  • Take the time to confront so that you may console.
  • Or console those who are already being condemned, so you can gently confront them to newness of life.

 

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Three Ways to Avoid Politics … October 9, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I grow very weary of politicians who discuss voting blocks, demographics and pet projects.

In like manner, ministers perturb me when they wax eloquent about liturgy, communion, baptism and the history of the church bell.

Corporations which feel they have “pulsed the market,” finding a strategy for selling their products instead of pursuing improving their quality also leave me cold.

Politics is when any institution–or even individual–attempts to execute a plan instead of planning an execution for absurdity.

Yes, politics should be avoided at all cost or it will end up robbing you of a soul, which comes in handy.

Here are three ways to avoid this political morass:

1. Evaluate issues, not causes.

For instance, I’m against all killing. Because of that, the Republicans are often angry with me when I don’t jump on the Humvee to head off to war. The Democrats frown in my direction because I’m against abortion. I don’t care. I give myself the gift of consistency, affording me the blessing of avoiding hypocrisy.

2. Don’t be afraid to be wrong.

Every great idea should be trimmed in elastic. It will need to stretch to adjust itself to the needs of humanity.

  • The Constitution is not written in stone. It has required many amendments and is not yet done breathing.
  • The Bible must spiritually keep up with the changing needs of the hearts of men.
  • And the movies should go back to moving us instead of shocking us.

I am often wrong. Matter of fact, one of my greatest joys in life is to say “I am wrong” before someone else discovers my dumbness.

3. Think about people instead of institutions.

I frustrate Republicans, Democrats, conservatives and liberals because I have just not found that any one of them has the ability to aid the cause of Earth without in some way digging in their heels and stopping a needful evolution.

You can feel free to be political, but eventually you’ll have to swallow something which is contrary to your soul, for the good of a cause that does not address the true nature of the need.

Not for me.

I am free.

My freedom was bought with a price.

And I have no intention of selling it to the highest bidder, nor joining a party which offers nothing refreshing.

 

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Jesonian: They’re History… August 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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swirl politicsConservatives, liberals, Tea Party, politicians and pundits.

Sounds like a daily line-up of guests on America’s revolving twenty-four-hour news cycle. But really, it’s the same boondoggle that existed in First Century Palestine, without the aid of antennas, cell phones, Twitter and technological toys.

For undoubtedly, the Pharisees were the conservatives–a blue-collar group of religionists who insisted on a strict enforcement of the Law of Moses while simultaneously creating their own oral interpretation via endless discussion.

The Sadducees were the liberals, who had removed all of the internal combustion from their beliefs, didn’t believe in a resurrection, were quite agnostic and had incorporated large portions of Greek philosophy into their mindful arsenal.

Then here come the Essenes, who were kind of disgusted with both of the former configurations, and had created their own Tea Party, living outside Jerusalem–disgusted with everything going on which wasn’t born of their own fears.

Herodianspolitical think tanks, gathering to try to find a way to maintain some form of Judaism while also satisfying the vapid egos of Herod and Rome.

And finally, the Scribes–those pundits who literally studied every jot, tittle, comma and dramatic pause to attain deeper meaning, only ending up with lesser quality because they focused on unimportant issues.

And even though the five conclaves nearly despised one another during their brief time on Earth, the history books lump them into one gigantic oppositional party…attacking Jesus.

Yes, the only thing they agreed on was a single alliance–standing against heavenly progress done on Earth.

And if the foolhardy arguers of our time aren’t careful, the only thing they’ll be remembered for is standing in the way of what human beings need during our time, while generating imaginary conflicts which render improvement impossible.

Because here is what antiquity will tell you: when you ignore an emotional need of humanity by fighting and arguing over the spiritual revelation that has come your way, you will be viewed by history as a villain.

If you look at the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth very carefully, you will realize that he answered their questions, ignored their traditions, took his message to the people and then, when they finally hatched an idiotic plot to bring him before a kangaroo court and marched him off to execute him as a criminal, he warned them that “their house would be left to them desolate.”

None of these five groups exist today.

There are no Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians and Scribes.

And if we’re not careful, their counterparts in our time will be dubbed equally as meaningless.

What is the goal of the Jesonian life?

  • Find the emotional need.
  • Be sensitive to the spiritual revelation.
  • Renew the mind of your generation.
  • And grant us all the strength to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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

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Jesonian: Mothering Women … May 11, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus with womenThe conservatives insist that they honor women by extoling the difficulty of being a housewife and a mother.

The liberals scoff at these limitations, claiming to offer choice and equality while promoting young artists who refer to their sisters as “chicks, hoes and bitches.”

We are in a perpetual cycle–which ends up being vicious, may I add–because it offers women sympathy and mothers them without ever pursuing parity.

Oprah Winfrey, who would certainly claim to be a twenty-first-century feminist, still giggles along with comedian Steve Harvey, as he segregates the sexes by their cultural predilections, maintaining that it is some sort of God-ordained division.

Meanwhile, we’re in search of humanity, since masculine and feminine restrictions are driving us off the road and into the ditch. We really don’t have to look far.

Jesus came along to set people free so they wouldn’t have to be victims. He did the same thing for the ladies.

1. Even though he lived in a male-dominated society which had created a system of divorce in which a man could abandon his partner over any whim that might cross his mind, Jesus insisted that women were not emotional ditzes, and that the only reason for breaking a marriage apart was adultery, committed by either party.

2. Jesus made it clear that there was no need to have two different gospels–one pink and one blue–but trudged through all the areas near his home with men, women and children listening to the same teachings and commandments.

3. Jesus also made it clear that women’s money was good. Matter of fact, Mary Magdalene, Susannah and Joanna, three of his more affluent followers, were listed as underwriters of his traveling outreach; no men were ever given credit for donating funds.

4. Jesus wouldn’t let women play the victim. Whether it was the woman of Samaria, who wanted to produce a little deceit about her marital status, or the woman caught in adultery, who was forgiven by Jesus but also told to “go and sin no more,” Jesus made it clear that the true path to equality is to shoulder responsibility.

5. Jesus believed that women could “carry the baggage.” It was Mary Magdalene who announced his resurrection. The Book of Acts is filled with women who befriended nomadic disciples and opened their hearths and homes to the message of the Nazarene. If you remove the women from the early church, you have a lot of sermons, but no follow-up for the converts.

Jesus never mothered women, making them feel less.

He would not permit a condescending tone in their direction.

He challenged them to achieve humanity.

As long as women are talking about glass ceilings, unfair pay, mistreatment in the workplace, and even sexual harassment, they will continue to place themselves in the back seat of the vehicle of commerce.

Jesus only made one mistake when it came to women: he ended up betrayed because he picked Judas instead of Judith.

It isn’t that women aren’t treacherous–it’s just that the Jewish Council didn’t allow females into their meetings … even if they were plotting murder.

 

 

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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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