1 Thing You Can Do This Week

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

To Be Happy

There is no such thing as the whole enchilada. Enchiladas arrive in parts and need to be put together.

Most of our joy is taken away from us when our contentment is disrupted because we have not prepared ourselves for how things are actually going to roll out.

Once we realize that provision will be made in stages, we can teach ourselves to be excited about the arrival of each portion.

It’s a very simple statement to remember:

MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PIECES.

Nobody ever nervously achieves success.

Nobody ever maintains a smile while fidgeting about whether a missing detail is delayed.

Find your peace in your pieces.

What do I actually have in front of me?

What can I start to do with what I have?

And how can I slow down the process and be thrilled with my pieces?

Happiness is when we really believe that we have enough–and if for some reason we don’t, that all things do have the ability to work together–as long as we maintain our perspective.

So take this week and work on this one thing:

I will have peace with my pieces.

 

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G-Poppers … January 5th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop has a heart to share something with his children.

There is a certain hint of sadness that settles into a life filled with goodness–goodness, in this case, being defined as a willingness to learn and adapt to the ways of Earth instead of ignoring, rejecting or refuting them.

Once we make our peace with the planet of our birth, and cease to turn our backs on its beautiful, natural ways, some goodness makes its home in our hearts. This is not always permanent, but it visits enough that we should always keep the guest room ready.

But finding the goodness of life does introduce brief periods of melancholy.

After all, if you do decide to “love your neighbor as yourself,” you might actually begin to have empathy for people, even though they don’t love you the same way.

If you pursue becoming “the salt of the Earth,” you might shed a tear over a tasteless society.

Discovering ways to be “the light of the world” just punctuates the darkness.

Contentment sweeps through your soul when you cease to judge others, but realize that their paths will contain sadness and struggle, and find joy in living instead of acting like the whole journey is about making heaven, and speculating with too much revelry about who occupies hell.

There is a certain sadness that accompanies goodness; a mourning that follows being blessed, which requires comforting.

It does not leave us inconsolable–we are not without remedy. God will need to dry our tears.

Rather, it is the sense of yearning to continue to find the grace of God by simply complying with the flow of Earth, and feeling pain for those who continue to rebel.

The Twenty-Third Psalm phrases it best:

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…”

Yes, when the sweet blanket of forgiving goodness covers our wounded souls, it is our mandate to feel deep, heartfelt mercy for those who are chilled by reality.

 

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Jesonian–Troubling (Part 8)… August 19th, 2017

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jesonian-cover-amazon

I am wondering if Christianity can become a mission, cause and lifestyle instead of slinking back into the profile of being “one of the major religions of the world.”

The decision lies around the word “learning.”

For some reason we have taken the simple message of “love your neighbor as yourself” and complicated it with doctrines, forming a morass of misunderstanding.

If we think that faith and hope are even close to charity, we have misconstrued the message of Jesus. Jesus came to turn love into a lifestyle.

He taught in parables whenever he was with the masses, expecting to motivate them to believe for mighty things. Only when the disciples complained about being confused by the stories did Jesus teach them further. His goal was to get these disciples out on the road as quickly as possible, to share their hearts with other people.

Otherwise we have the quandary found in II Timothy 3:7, which describes a church which is “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.” Jesus said his “way is easy and his burden is light” and that the Gospel is so simple that a “wayfaring man” can understand it.

Why do we believe that writing 3,000 new books on church practice will promote revival?

Perhaps I am the hypocrite speaking to the hypocrisy, because I, too, scribe my essays, trying to uncover some hidden meaning.

There is no hidden meaning. Just as we would not hide the groceries from our children to find out how determined they are to avoid starving, God certainly has not withheld peace of mind, contentment and joy from his offspring.

The church spends too much time teaching and not enough time sharing.

That’s troubling.

We keep studying the Old Testament–which really wants to study the New Testament. As Jesus said, Abraham yearned to see the Messiah. Yet we think one more classic tale, another seminar or a sermon series taken from a different angle will suddenly alert the congregation to its true soul.

There are three things that matter. They are what make you a Christian or separate you from the Kingdom of God:

  1. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  2. Don’t judge people.
  3. Multiply your talents.

The pursuit of these three things will keep us busy for a lifetime. Trying to figure out what the Apostle Paul meant or what I Peter was connoting or if Hebrews was really written by Timothy will not make good disciples.

We think interactive church is having people stare at a screen and sing songs. Interactive church is actually when humans offer a testimony, which builds up other brethren to share, embracing and encouraging each other.

It is troubling.

We have become a church of learning instead of a body of sharing. Until that changes … we will be as boring as we seem.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 26th, 2017

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Shadow People

Tiptoe through the room

With a sense of gloomy doom

The message of the day

Has already slipped away

Leaving a darkened view

Instead of a holy renew

Peering for the sinister

Ignoring the need to minister

They wander to their wonder

To dwell upon the blunder

Energized by the pain

Pleased that all’s insane

They whisper to the hearer

Attacking those much dearer

Destroying a reputation

With distorted information

While insisting it is good

What God “would” and “should”

Piously shaking their head

Parsing the words that were said

Is there evil about?

Can we cast some doubt?

There is too much joy in this place

So it is balanced by their frowning face

The Shadow People always arrive

When revival threatens to come alive

And they dim the light of contentment

By pointing toward some resentment

We can never let them go

We just pray that they will grow

But evil thrives in their glance

Destroy your hope if they have the chance

The Shadow People will come again

To douse the fire and find the sin

They speak in tongues with no understanding

Critical of others and always demanding.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 11) Peaceful … February 14th, 2016

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Jesonian hands

Love is a committed affection.

War is a committed aggression.

Peaceful is a committed listening.

As you can see, every aspect of human behavior, whether it yields goodness or pain, does demand some level of commitment.

So those who think peacemakers are weak fail to realize the courage it takes to listen to tons of foolishness to find one idea that is worthy of discussion and diplomacy.

Those who contend that a war can begin or end without the destruction of the dreams of many hopeful souls are foolhardy.

And souls believing that love is complete by pursuing commitment or satisfied merely by producing affection often find themselves more often than not falling out of love instead of into it.

It is reasonable to be loving.

War is when we cease to be reasonable and start searching for dominant weapons.

But what does it mean to be peaceful? Or how would we even know that we’re seeking for peace instead of just building up a case for our war effort?

The steps to “peaceful” are very simple, but essential:

1. No one to attack.

As long as we believe that our system of values has to be defended, we might fall victim to being overly sensitive, desiring someone to attack. Actually, everything I believe will continue to be true, whether I defend it or not.

My compulsion to defend is an admission of my insecurity over the quality of what I believe. To be peaceful, you must have an abiding sense that there is no one to attack.

2. Nothing to prove.

I am often astounded at how little confidence we have in the truth to make freedom, and love to find a way.

Believing in truth and love is not a hippie philosophy, but rather, the only hip way to avoid struggling to prove our point when our point, if it has value, has a natural mission to prove itself.

3. Nowhere I’d rather be.

Is it possible that much of the warring that goes on in our species is because we are jealous, and have convinced ourselves that someone has something that we must possess–otherwise, we will feel diminished?

There is no place I’d rather be. That sensation gives me a warm blanket of feeling peaceful.

Contentment is when we are sure that the place we have landed is our next station of learning.

War is when we convince ourselves that something needs to be attacked to prove our point, because our status and power must be supreme.

It is the reasonable mission of those who are guided by spirit to be peaceful.

Stop attacking.

Stop trying to prove a point.

And start enjoying where you find yourself blooming.

 

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Good News and Better News… November 30th, 2015

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Good News Newnan Tree

Having spent four days with friends and family, dissecting the “outers” and innards of the seasonal bird, yesterday we found ourselves in Newnan, Georgia, fellowshipping with Kingdom folk at Cornerstone.

We had met Pastor Rick many years ago when we still called ourselves middle-aged, so it was a delight when he extended an invitation for us to come and present a Christmas show for those who would dare to congregate on this particular Sunday morning.

I do love Christmas–not only the festivity of joy and giving, but also the focus it brings to the true message of Jesus.

Although Easter affords us the promise of salvation, Christmas explodes with the thrill of heaven coming down and bringing glory to our souls.

There are two abiding messages that erupt from the birth of Jesus:

  1. Don’t be afraid.
  2. Peace on Earth, good will toward men.

In this era in human history, when people are making huge sums of money by scaring the crap out of us. and peace on Earth seems as likely as me becoming thin, it is good to remind ourselves that the only way to strive for such a condition–where fear is diminished and peace is increased–is to allow ourselves to have good cheer and feverishly chase down common sense.

I cannot tell you how delighted I was at all the enlightened souls I met at Cornerstone. Such stories they possessed–from gospel quartet singers, to engineers, to people of great diversity and struggle. Each one found a level of contentment.

It was a beautiful morning to set in motion the miracle of Christmas: new things can be born which really can change the world.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that my dear friends at Cornerstone can avoid all the rhetoric and anger of the upcoming election by keeping their eyes on those two central truths demonstrated so beautifully on that first Christmas night.

We must learn to listen to the angels of our better nature, which tell us to stop being afraid.

And never doubt that the only way we will ever achieve our purpose is to be in the camp of those who work for peace on Earth and good will toward men. 

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Getting in Character … July 27th, 2015

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Siskell and Ebert

From Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage and all the men and women, merely players.”

A good performance does not guarantee a good response.

Learning this may be the secret to both contentment and success.

Somewhere along the line, we have acquired the idea that good things eventually receive acclaim. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are factors at work in the marketplace of humanity that are often geared to eliminate competition by thrusting good ideas, good sensations and even good performances to the rear. Otherwise, mediocrity would have no chance of surviving–and we all know that the mediocre is often hoisted on the shoulders of the masses and proclaimed to be excellent.

So the first thing we must do is establish a standard for ourselves that is higher than present expectation.

There’s a simple reason for this:

If we do receive rave reviews, then we know that it was brought about by concerted effort rather than luck. And if we don’t, we can have confidence that any persecution or retribution that comes our way is more than likely being spawned from some pit of prejudice or jackal of jealousy.

So if we’re not going to always receive what we’re due for our performance, what is the purpose of trying to excel, or stepping out on the stage of life to display our hearts in the first place?

Every real performance which is practiced and perfected affords us four delightful conclusions:

1. We can stop lying.

That in itself should be enough to encourage us toward developing the glorious rendition of our part.

2. Every good performance exposes our insecurities.

Isn’t it fascinating that rehearsal always brings the faults to the forefront, and then we can decide whether we are secure enough to improve them?

3. Performance eliminates conceit.

There is no need to be conceited about something that is obviously good. Conceit is generally birthed in a person who privately fears that what he or she has to share is insufficient. So they try to cover it up with pomp and circumstance.

4. And finally, the pursuit of a great performance, whether regaled with honors or not, gives us a huge opportunity to overcome our fears:

  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of obscurity
  • Fear of being critiqued
  • And fear of suffering injustice while knowing deep in our hearts that we’re doing something of great quality

The truth of the matter is, great does not always rate. It doesn’t come with a guaranteed award.

But it does reward us with a true sense of confidence… that we have stepped out and found our best.

 

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