Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 7) Considering … January 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

He didn’t suggest the fig tree, even though they were plentiful in his environment.

For you see, Jesus was quite aware that even though the fig tree grew in the arid, sandy soil of Mesopotamia, it often would sprout leaves to protect itself from the sun, but “cursedly” refuse to offer any fruit to anyone else.

In discussing our lifestyle, Jesus said, “Consider the lily.”

The lily has three aspects to its persona that are much more suited for Planet Earth:

  1. The lily knows it is supposed to grow
  2. It doesn’t work hard (toil).
  3. It isn’t convinced it might need to cheat to get its way (spin).

We are supposed to be lilies.

In being this beautiful flower, we expect growth, we stop struggling and we refuse to lie. This opens the door to just enough optimism that we can work with the available realism.

And the enemy to “lily life?” Those who proclaim that “people don’t change.”

It fascinates me that those who call themselves liberal–who deeply embrace evolution–think that such a transition ceases to apply when it comes to their own lives.

And those who do not believe in evolution, but prefer creation, still contend that God created them to be at least partially miserable.

We are lilies.

This means we need to learn how to consider. And considering is a decision to pursue a better solution instead of suffering in our tradition.

So how can you be reasonable?

A. Find your soil.

You won’t grow lilies in the desert. Even though Jesus was surrounded by desert, he suggested that his disciples find a place where lilies can grow.

B. Sink roots.

Don’t keep changing your mind and following every wind of doctrine. Find principles that have proven to be of lasting quality, creativity, invention, peacefulness and good cheer.

C. Suck in the light.

It is very difficult to grow lilies in a cave of misunderstanding. We are not mushrooms, which sprout in darkness. If you are surrounded by darkness, you will not pursue considering. Therefore you will fall short of considerate.

  • We are not fig trees, trying to just “get by” in the desert.
  • We are not mushrooms, tolerating the darkness.
  • We are a lily.

Therefore we grow as we stop working so hard and refuse to join the cheaters.

 

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Good News and Better News… November 9th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News Osceola 2

I did not sit there and count, but I do believe it was about seven of the good brothers and sisters from Osceola, Indiana, who came up to me and in varying ways, exhorted me to “keep doing what I’m doing” and “please don’t stop.”

These lovely folks are pastored by a fine fellow named Bob. Yes, there’s something truly endearing about being associated with a “Pastor Bob.”

He was a kind, considerate fellow, and along with his wife, (who, by the way, has an infectious laugh) has taken on the responsibility of bringing joy and inspiration to dear folk living in Northern Indiana.

I was so greatly encouraged by all the individuals I met at this church.

Some were aspiring ministers.

Others were hard-working Hoosiers looking for a little piece of hope to both lift up their souls and challenge them to excellence.

There was even one young dude who had a heavy metal band.

It was a mixture of American humanity.

And out of that stirred-up bowl rose a voice challenging me to continue what I am doing, and never stop.

So I asked myself, “What is it these people want me to truck on, sharing across the United States?”

Well, first, I guess they want me to continue to speak to the weakness of power.

Yes, we have leaders who are in control in this country who often pull up lame because their goals are inhuman. In the secular community, it’s the notion that “the meaner you are the more powerful you become.” And in the religious community it’s the proclamation that “we need to get people to come to God.”

The truth of the matter is that it takes more guts to find a way to get along with people instead of fighting, and God never intended people to come to Him. That’s why He sent Jesus–to go to them.

A second reason folks might want me to keep on doing my little work is that I believe it’s important to bring true possibilities to humans instead of insisting that our race consists of either animals or angels.

We aren’t. We are human.

And unlike the animals, we require inspiration; and quite different from the angels, we desperately need to be entertained while receiving it.

When you arrive at that blending, you become a friend to the human race instead of putting them in the monkey cage, or thinking we can ascend to the heavens.

And even though I’m theorizing, I would assume that the Osceolians might want me to continue to broker a deal between “works” and “grace.”

I don’t know why we feel we always have to choose between these two. I, for one, am so blessed by the grace of God that I would like to go out and share some good works. It’s not that I think good works replace the grace of God. But I also do not believe that grace has provided me free admission to anything without tapping my involvement.

The marriage of works and grace is the definition of the life of Jesus: God graced him with being a son, and he returned the favor by making many become sons of God.

Osceola, I enjoyed myself so much, and send my love your way. You have the good news.

And in closing, I offer you one beautiful piece of better news:

There is the life we are given, and there is the life we return. Our only job on this journey is to make sure the life we return … is a bit better.

 

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