Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Hey, I got the message you wanted to see me.

 

Dear Man: Yeah, I have a job interview coming up and I wanted your insight.

 

Dear Woman: Okay…

 

Dear Man: You seem reluctant. What’s the problem?

 

Dear Woman: I’m not reluctant. It’s just that you’re really smart, you know what you’re doing and you’ve gotten jobs before…

 

Dear Man: I know, but this interview is with a man, and I thought you could give me some tips on how to approach it.

 

Dear Woman: (chuckling) You do understand, it’s not like there’s a real “Hair Club for Men” and we get together once a week to discuss our plans.

 

Dear Man: I know that. I just want to get an edge so I can get off on the right foot.

 

Dear Woman: Well, the wrong foot is thinking there’s a context for dealing with other people.

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: Once we start boxing people up by sex, race or any way at all, we’re showing both our disrespect for them and our insecurity about ourselves.

 

Dear Man: Gee, whiz, I just wanted some advantage…

 

Dear Woman: OK. Here’s an advantage. Work on your content. And here’s your content: “This is who I am, this is what I want and this is what I can offer.” In that order.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t that pushy?

 

Dear Woman: No, pushy is when you think you can look some magical way or produce some mystical dialogue that suddenly makes you appealing to a male boss.

 

Dear Man: There are prejudices.

 

Dear Woman: Yes, there are, but you won’t overcome them by giving into them. Find your content. Don’t try to outsmart. Instead, out-start them. Anticipate the questions and provide the information you know he will need. Then gently guide him to the questions you want him to ask you.

 

Dear Man: How do you do that?

 

Dear Woman: Balance. If you hear something you don’t agree with, say right out loud, “That hasn’t been my finding.” It will surprise him. It’ll make him ask questions about why you differ. Nodding your head and smiling is the best way to make sure that you don’t get a job. Stop worrying about the context. In other words, “I’m talking to a man so I should do this.” Focus on the content: “This is who I am, what I want and what I can offer.” Then if he is not in the same place you are…well, you wouldn’t want to work there anyway, right?

 

Dear Man: I hear what you’re saying but I don’t know whether I can do that or not. I’ve spent my life trying to please.

 

Dear Woman: I understand. But it’s time to take steps toward clarifying your content instead of groping around, trying to find the context and submitting to it.

 

Dear Man: I’m so glad I called you.

 

Dear Woman: Oh, you would have figured it out. But in the process you might have missed out on a good job or two.

 

Dear Man: So, content, not context. Out-start them instead of trying to outsmart them.

 

Dear Woman: That’s it. Good luck.

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Jesonian: Content or Context … September 7, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Osteen

Once again, the religious community has blown up over the wording shared by a lady in Houston, Texas, as she attempted to explain how she believed that God “wants us to be happy.”

Was it simplistic? Perhaps.

Was it completely unbiblical? Of course not.

Was it unbalanced? Indeed.

The thing we have to remember about the Bible is that it offers us six thousand years of spiritual evolution, as human beings have come to grips with the heart of our Creator.

We start out in the book unwilling to speak His name, and by the time the volume is finished, we’re calling Him “Daddy.”

So it’s important that we learn the difference between content and context. Fortunately, if we’re willing to accept scriptural inclination, that direction is provided by giving special emphasis and recognition to the words of Jesus.

When we do this, we have an arbiter who literally does fulfill the law and the prophets, as he also teaches us to “render unto Caesar.”

But if you happen to be of a denomination which favors a specific doctrine and searches the Good Book to confirm that contention, then you probably will find yourself at odds with others on occasion and a bit zealous about proving your point.

So in my awkward way, allow me to take a series of the social issues of our day, and rather than addressing them by content, offer you the context I have found based on the inklings, words, personality and mission of Jesus.

1. Abortion.

“Don’t send them away.” Children are the closest thing to heaven that we have on earth.

2. The Internet.

“The light of the body is the eye.” Therefore if you fill your eyes with darkness, you will dicover darkness within.

3. Conflict between men and women.

“In the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female.”

4. Marijuana.

I think Jesus would say he wished we could get high on our own light.

5. Capital punishment.

“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

6. Poor people.

They aren’t going away. “Do what you can for them.”

7. Culture clash.

God doesn’t have favorites.

8. Facebook.

“Don’t do your deeds to be seen of men.”

9. Homosexuality.

Why are you leading with your sexuality?

10. Guns.

“They that live by them shall die by them.”

11. Pornography.

Lust is emotional adultery.

12. Racism.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

13. Family.

“If you only love those who love you, you’re no better than the heathen.”

There’s my offering.

And when it comes to the issue of happiness, Jesus made it clear that it is primal in God’s mind. The Sermon on the Mount begins with “blessed,” and then it takes the rest of the time to explain our responsibility to ourselves, others and God in a quest to maintain that bliss.

So if we are going to live in a society filled with confusion, we must stop contributing to the baffling conflict and begin to simplify things down to a context which will clarify situations instead of further complicating them with more stipulation, legalism or “popcorn philosophy.”

This is why I use the word “Jesonian.”

It’s an attempt to find abundant life … through discovering the heart of Jesus. 

 

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While I’m Looking … February 5, 2013

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eyeballWhile I’m looking for a happy millionaire, a cool cat, a pleasant planner, a thoughtful thinker, a Christian Christian and a content God, I do believe it would be a good idea to pursue some of the things I’ve learned while trying to uncover these treasures.

For instance, I have discovered that the best way to be happy is to show up with your own batch of good cheer instead of assuming it will be provided upon your arrival.

The best way to be a cool cat? Be aware of the world around you, care about what people are saying–and only share when you know it’s going to edify and help someone.

Even though people exchange pleasantries all the time, I have learned that the best way to come across pleasant is to always lead with a smile–even if a frown is thrown back in your face.

And in this era of knowledge being pushed constantly, with tons of statistics backing up every point, I like to flush my brain out and become the thoughtful human being I need to be by living out a simple principle: whatsoever things are good, think on those things. There are people who may accuse me of having my head in the sand, but I think that’s preferable to tossing my mind in the gutter.

To honor the beauty of the word “Christian,” I have selected the following profile: I always imagine that Jesus has asked me to keep an eye on his house while he’s out of town. If my neighbor did that, I would be conscientious. If my neighbor asked me to watch his home, I would take care of it the way I know that HE takes care of it. And if my friend trusted me enough to watch over his abode, I would make sure that when he returns, it’s just the way he likes it. Jesus loved people, hated pretense and was not terribly interested in religious practice. He’s left us in charge of his roof and doorstep. We might want to respect his wishes.

And finally, while I’m looking for a content God, I am going to choose to believe that God most certainly must be more gracious, merciful and nicer than me. It amazes me that some people worship a divine being who is NOT as courteous and loving as they themselves. I do not know why I would want to give my devotion to a spirit which I would not want to spend ten minutes with, sharing a McDonald’s hamburger. Yes–most certainly God has to be better than me. Otherwise, I’m sorry–He doesn’t get to be God.

I figure these practices and initiatives are gonna keep me busy–and also, might prevent me from becoming cynical about my quest for finding these particular individuals. Because who knows? Maybe they don’t even exist. But if they don’t, my world does not become better by knowing that. So I will continue to look for…

  • a happy millionaire
  • a cool cat
  • a pleasant planner
  • a thoughtful thinker
  • a Christian Christian
  • and a content God.

After all, it’s not that painful to go around and investigate. Truth be told, I’m having the time of my life.

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I’m Looking For… A Content God February 4, 2013

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handsGrouchy, grumpy and growling–three attributes we associate with being cantankerous and therefore, usually equated with getting old. Actually, teenagers can be just as grouchy, grumpy and growling as the retirement set, but apparently the younger generation has a better public relations agent.

I believe in God. I belive in God for three reasons:

  1. The world is too magnificent, too intricate and too well-devised to be an accident of a “Big Bang” idea.
  2. I need someone to love me as I find ways, through trial and error, to be more loveable.
  3. I am arrogant enough to desire immortality.

Now, you will notice that I don’t choose to believe in God simply because the Bible tells me so, that I am fearful of the power of His nature, or even because I’m frightened of a devil’s hell. No–I’m looking for a God who’s content–because I know that I’m better when I allow myself to be.

Unfortunately, that book called the Holy Bible presents at least three different Gods, if not more:

  • There’s the God who created the world, walking around like a proud papa, calling everything good and placing gold stars on daily assignments.
  • Then you’ve got the God who had some sort of faith crisis own and began demanding the foreskin from male children, the deaths of the Amorites and Philistines, the forbidding of shrimp scampi and the killing off of folks in Sodom and Gomorrah because…well, because they weren’t right in the head. We go through a season of this God, who seems to be enamored of blood, requesting that small animals be killed as confirmation of forgiveness, and relegating women to the status of cattle.
  • All of a sudden, some of the prophets from the minor leagues started sharing about a God who didn’t like killing animals and preferred mercy over sacrifice, and this carried through until we were given a live and in-person interview through the deeds and ideas of this fellow named Jesus. We were told that he was God. Suddenly back in our presence was a God who cared about people, told stories, condemned hypocrisy and welcomed repentance.

Recently I told a theologian that I was in search of a “content God” who was thrilled with the invention of fish in the ocean. He frowned and replied, “All the gods of the Bible blend into one God, who was all things and whose ways are mysterious. We will not understand until all things are revealed.” I looked into his dissatisfied face (which was grouchy, grumpy and growling) smiled and walked away.

You can feel free to boil down the entire Bible in an attempt to come up with a God who was able to kill children because they mocked a prophet but also heal the lepers because they cried out in praise. Not for me.

My God is a content one–because I know that I’m better when I am content. My God is the one who sat down on Friday afternoon, during his “week” of creation, and looked at man and woman, which He had just formed, and smiled in joy–with a tear in His eye.

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