Good News and Better News … June 27th, 2016

Good News Kochenderfer 2 

Jonathots Daily Blog

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My visitation yesterday was to the Kochenderfer United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, not far from Harrisburg, the capital. A smile comes to my lips as I imagine you reading this, trying to mentally pronounce the word. For the sake of brevity and clarity, from now on I will refer to it as “KC.”

They were in the midst of a VBS explosion, hoping for 150 kids from the community to come out and enjoy some inspiring activities, complete with nutritious snacks.

So I slid in to address the humanity. After all, there are two aspects to our everyday challenge: there is the goal, and there is the humanity.

We love to talk about goals, so when the humanity arrives and robs us of some of our aspirations, we lament how it would have been “so much better if it had worked out according to plan.”

This has created a generation of people who struggle, promoting two central principles:

  1. Life is hard.
  2. Hard is good.

And why do we think hard is good? Because it makes us feel grown-up and causes us to believe we’re mature, like our parents. Unfortunately, it also makes us grumpy, grouchy, overly sensitive, depressed, despaired and I suppose even constipated.

But it’s the price we pay for being Earthlings, right?

Hogwash.

Such foolishness only makes disgruntled disciples of a Gospel that was meant to set us free.

So I don’t know if people agree with my simple approach to matters or not, but I have found it to be very liberating to my own soul.

Jesus really had only two things he wanted to get across to the human race. Matter of fact, he makes it clear that this is why he came to be among us:

A. “I have come to give you life and it more abundantly.”

B. “I have come that your joy might be full.”

We think he’s talking about heaven. But since Jesus said that he wanted his will to be “done on Earth as it is in heaven,” we should probably get busy practicing.

I let the people at KC know that if something comes along and robs you of your sense of abundant living and jubilance, you should be suspicious. Matter of fact, I guarantee you that if church was a place that produced abundant life and full joy, there might be more people showing up.

So by the time we got done chatting, fellowshipping, celebrating, laughing and crying at KC, I think the congregation was pretty well convinced that I was sold out on the concept of living abundantly with a jovial glee.

Did I have any converts? Did anyone buy into the concept that life is not meant to be hard and that hard is not a good thing?

I can’t be sure. But I know this–pain never produces gain.

That’s the good news–the arrival of pain is always a warning to cease the stress which produces the ache.

For you see, the better news is that “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”

Good News Kochenderfer 1

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Jesonian: Order of Importance… June 1, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2251)

jesus in a fieldThere is the smell of “stale God” in the air.

It stinks.

The odious cloud has risen from a thousand misunderstood scriptures, ten thousand meaningless sermons and a million converts sitting around thinking that saying a prayer or munching on Holy Eucharist does anything of lasting quality.

Maybe it’s just this American attitude that everything is important, which makes us end up giving undue attention to the least effective path to progress.

I will tell you this–I’ve read the Gospels many times, and it doesn’t take much perusing to discover that Jesus had an order of importance when it came to human living. It may astound some of the faithful to discover that he doesn’t give prominence to prayer, fasting, church attendance or Bible reading. He assumed that we should just do those things on our own time, without any pomp and circumstance, to help us energize the things that are important.

From my discovery, these are the five that keep us alive:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

I remember when I was ten years old, I sat down and picked out my favorite army men. After that I never played with the others. I lost out on some great toys. The same thing happens when we pick our favorite people.

2. Don’t judge people.

Drawing conclusions makes ugly pictures and jumping to conclusions always lands you in a mud puddle.

3. “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

If you happen to be going through some lean times, you might want to fatten up your generosity. Human beings are led by example.

4. Don’t be a hypocrite.

Nobody expects anybody else to be perfect. But we do require honesty about faults.

5. Go the second mile.

Life is not meant to be easy; otherwise, lazy people would soon be in charge. It’s in the second mile of effort that we discover the treasures of our own perseverance and the mysteries of human life.

I can guarantee you that whatever afterlife awaits us will have little to do with piety or sanctimonious practices. But if you pursue these important things, you will find that whatever is awaiting us is merely a continuation of the joy we have found in our magical five.

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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.

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Jesonian: Mothering Women … May 11, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2228)

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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The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

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