Jesonian … November 18th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Those that are not for us are against us.

Those that are not against us are for us.

These seem to be two contrary thoughts–even a contradiction. Yet Jesus said both of them.

And due to a lack of understanding, the soldiers of the cross all line up behind one campaign or the other.

Some churches firmly believe that the Gospel is under attack by a sinful world, manipulated by Satan.

Other churches insist that people are basically good, and it’s up to us to help them through their hard times so they can find themselves.

We even divide our political parties along the same lines. Devout Republicans tend to favor isolation, and the Democrats are proponents of intervention.

We also see this clearly with James, John and Judas. James and John were isolationists. When they came to Samaria and the people rejected them, they were angry and suggested the folks should be destroyed for their lack of hospitality.

Jesus rebuked them and said they didn’t understand what spirit was working inside them.

Judas, on the other hand, criticized Jesus for spending money foolishly instead of taking the funds and using it to feed the poor. Jesus replied to him that the poor were never going away, and if we try to resolve poverty, we’ll end up angry and bitter. He said the best we can do is offer what we can afford.

The battle still rages today:

Are we going to be a church of isolation, a country of isolation, or should we favor intervention, both spiritually and politically?

What is the way of the Earth? What is the true message of the Gospel?

Did Jesus come to isolate off a group of believers, or did he come to intervene in the lives of everyone?

Neither.

The Gospel interrupts.

It offers an alternative. It sheds light and produces salt as evidence of another possibility.

The Gospel interrupts the process by offering a more common sense, logical, easier and gentle approach.

When the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, they asked him what he thought they should do. He doesn’t answer specifically. He says, “If you have no sin, you should feel free to cast the first stone to kill the woman.”

The Bible says at this point, he turns around, stoops and fiddles in the dirt with his finger. He leaves it to them to come up with the right answer.

It is rather doubtful if we can live in a world that is an Internet click away from covering 25,000 miles, and believe we can isolate ourselves from other nations.

It is equally as ridiculous to contend that our intervention–taking over the circumstances of nations–will do anything to generate permanent resolution.

Jesus has called his church to be an interruption. While enjoying our lives of simple Gospel bliss, we offer an alternative to others through our example and our generosity.

We interrupt.

Jesus said, “I didn’t come to bring peace. I came to bring a sword to divide people.”

The ultimate interruption.

To be a Jesonian believer is to understand that isolating ourselves from others does not alleviate being at the mercy of their insanity, but also understanding that intervening and thinking we can feed all the poor is equally as unstable.

What we can do is interrupt.

In the process of living a full, joyful life, we brush up against others, and in doing so, we plant the seeds of better notions. For after all, people are not changed by being ignored or controlled.

They must see our good works to glorify the Father in heaven.

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G-17: Dust, Breath, Soul… March 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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Take a moment.cloud of dust

Step out of the jungle.

Walk away until all the noise disappears.

What do you feel?

Free. Separate. Valuable.

For you see, there must be more than survival.

There needs to be a special purpose and energy for welcoming the new day.

I will tell you of a certainty, eating and drinking are thought-clogging.

Dominance produces a winner with no real victory.

Yes, we need to have a creature possessing a brotherhood with the jungle, but a sonship with the spiritual.

Dust. I am of Earth. It is where I came from and where I return.

Breath. I am alive. I require sustenance but I share with the earth my best, also.

Soul. I am of God. Not personally divine. A pinch of salt for the earth, a single ray of light for the world.

I am compelled to escape mere survival in reverence to holy pursuits.

Dust of the earth. Breath of life. Living soul.

Blessed, but no longer suitable for the jungle, and much too unpredictable for the heavens.

Suspended…

A miracle in contradictions.

 

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Ears to Hear … May 29, 2013

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Lakeview UMCDo you know what the problem is with talking? It’s fairly important that you make sense,  don’t speak too long and bore people. That’s not easy.

Sometimes I wish I could just write and not do public speaking–simply because the possibility of me going haywire on my logic or becoming long-winded looms heavy. Matter of fact, sometimes I am reluctant to sing the second verse of a song because I fear I’ve lost the attention of the audience.
I will admit that it’s an insecurity. But I think it’s a good one.

There is just too much talking in our society. And to make sure that nobody else gets a word in edgewise, public speakers insert delays, “a-a-a-h-h-s,” and “u-u-m-m-m-s” just to maintain the podium while they try to figure out the next thing they want to say. It’s really ugly.

The only time to continue to share your thoughts is when you KNOW there are ears which are actually hearing. That would eliminate about 60% of political speeches and an equivalent number of sermons.

Matter of fact, when Jesus wanted to make it abundantly evident that he was saying something really valuable, he led off with, “Verily, verily, I say unto you …” He would often end that same passage with, “He that has an ear, let him hear.”

I’m desperately trying to only talk about things that are important. Sometimes that’s just being silly.  Yes, it is very, very essential that we be silly.  But I know this. Three things should be accomplished in the process of speaking your mind:

1. Never pontificate your points unless you’re ready to receive information that elaborates on your issue or even contradicts your assertion. There’s nothing worse than someone who gets caught in a mistake but continues to preach the same message even though it’s been proven to be erred.

2. Update your proclamations by including evidence that YOU find. I suppose if you read all the jonathots I’ve written since I began, you might find contradictions. They aren’t really contradictions. They are holy findings and realizations that have enlightened my original opinion with mercy and wisdom. It is not flip-flopping to move toward truth. It is stupid when you don’t.

3. And finally, the most important thing to remember when speaking is to convey that you are open. Every little piece of dialogue shared that shuts out another human being, puts God in a box, or forbids creative expression will have to be eliminated eventually–and replaced with openness.

So as I head off tonight to Lakeview United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, I must realize that these folks don’t OWE me an ear to hear. Lakeview signAs a matter of fact, many will arrive and try to discern me on face value, tainting their own potential for receiving. But as long as I am ready to receive from them, find out new ways to communicate, and stay open, my time of words and thoughts will carry some gravitas.

I don’t know everything. I wouldn’t want to know everything–because it would make life tedious. And I do know this–the knowledge I possess needs to expand.

He that has an ear, let him hear.

A good thought. For after all, the human ear sits back on the head and has to take its turn behind a yapping mouth, a nosy beezer and sleepy eyes.

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