Good News and Better News… July 10th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3363)

There’s only one rule.

Everything else is suggestions based upon respect to that principle.

The one rule is simple: love your neighbor as yourself. It also has a valuable addendum: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, while you’re loving yourself and your neighbor, you’ll probably end up doing something, so start learning to:

Do for two.

Me and you.

So powerful is this rule that it has intelligently been dubbed “Golden.” It is not a thought. It is not a point of discussion. And it is not debatable based on our particular definition of “neighbor.” Matter of fact, it affords us the expansive notion that these others we are to “do unto” include dogs, cats, trees, the sky and the entire cosmos. (He that has an ear, let him hear.)

But this Golden Rule cannot be replaced, displaced or even considered equal with other practices.

For instance, I believe in prayer. Sometimes it’s very helpful in assisting me to love my neighbor as myself. But it is not a substitute.

I like to read the Good Book. It gives me insights on better ways to communicate with my neighbors. But reading is not living.

Going to church offers fellowship and encouragement to pursue the goal–yet attendance to such a worship experience does not guarantee adherence to the ultimate truth.

Jesus did not die for the sins of the world–he died for the Golden Rule. Because without it, the world is beset by sin.

I just thought I should mention this to you today, just in case you were getting caught up in recent spiritual fads and Biblical chicken tracks.

The good news is, there is a rule.

The better news is, when applied, the gold makes us all rich.Donate Button

 

 

 

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

 

Advertisements

Populie: Is There a God? … May 7, 2014


Jonathots Daily Blog

(2224)

worldIt is very popular to question the existence of God.

It is usually accompanied with the lie that in doing so, we, as humans, become more powerful and intelligent. Thus the POPULIE, delivered with a quizzical, doubtful tone: Is there really a God?

Politics favors this quandary because it promotes the notion of “us against them.” We can talk about culture wars. One party can be on the side of faith and the other on the side of knowledge. We can even present it in a dramatic form as “the saved against the damned.” What a great way to get people to the voting booth.

Entertainment pushes the concept by showing us through movies and television shows, that truly intuitive and mature people are always at least perplexed by the question of the presence of God, and usually in choosing disbelief, are proven to be more intellectual.

Ironically, even religion desires this discussion be thrust to the forefront because it provides the sense of being “persecuted for righteousness sake,” proving our devotion by defending the Almighty against His foes.

Yet the foolishness of the process leaves us stymied as human beings, without the ability to make quality decisions in our lives based on the truth that surrounds us instead of chasing dreams–whether they be in Bible learning or college classrooms.

Let me tell you what I feel. I do not have enough faith to accept the idea of a spontaneously spawned universe. When I watch a show like Cosmos, to follow through on the precepts presented by scientists about how all this began is much more of a fairy tale to me than accepting the potential of a creative force.

Yes, I doubt too much to be ignited by the Big Bang Theory.

There are three factors that scream at me that there is a divine reasoning in the universe:

1. An order in the chaos.

Even though the world is filled with tribulation, upheaval and ongoing evolution, there is always an order, sensibility and common agreement that steps forward to greet the next possibility.

If everything was chaos we would have to believe that luck was in charge, which is no different from believing that God is.

2. A respect for nature.

Since I believe God to be the Creator, He has put a team in charge of the maintenance of His creation. It’s called the natural order. And when you respect the rules of the system which flourishes around you, you set in motion the possibility of prospering. When you deny them, you are at the mercy of an evolutionary chopping block, which is not afraid to bring the hammer down.

3. A faith in progress.

The whole panorama of the law of physics points in the direction and favor of those who step out, try new things and acquire the instinct to go forward.

  • After all, the single cell had faith to become two cells.
  • The first fish emerged from the water to dry land, becoming the grandfather of the amphibians.
  • And dinosaurs, who learned to accept their surroundings, eventually became crocodiles.

There is a faith involved in what we do.

I guess I could be sympathetic to the agnostic or atheist if it weren’t for the fact that there are laws in nature which are immutable. We call it science.

It is just impossible for me to believe that laws can be instituted without a legislator. And to me, that legislator is God.

So even though it may be the populie of our day and age, to try to be cool by questioning the reality of a Creator, I cannot muster enough trust to believe that all of this around me … spontaneously came from the dust of nothing.

 Donate Button

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

 

 

The Universe Sandwich… March 17, 2014


Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2178)

Big BangLiving in an era when literally dozens and dozens of television channels are at the whim of my choice and the thrust of my thumb on the selector, I stumbled across two programs promoting ideas on the origin of the universe.

One was on a Christian broadcast and was making a divine appeal about the creation of the universe by God. The other, more secular, was called Cosmos, and was explaining the Big Bang theory, with very expensive graphics and computer-generated images.

They shared only one thing in common: they both ignored each other.

I thought how foolish it was for us to choose sides when it comes to discussing the origin of our species. Here’s what I think:

The universe is a sandwich: you have bread, meat and if you’re smart, a really nice condiment, like mustard.

  • I happen to believe that God is the bread of life.
  • Science is the meat, providing the protein for our meal.
  • And nature is the mustard, tying the two together and granting us flavor.

All you have to do to understand evolution, and even consider something like the survival of the fittest, is allow for the concept that there was an “Our Father who art in heaven,” who provided the “ready, set, go.” Feeling the need to eliminate “Dad” baffles me.

By the same token, believing that the earth was created in six actual days so that you can tout how powerful your Divine Being truly is, is equally as obtuse when there is ample evidence not more than seven miles down the road from me that the rock formations have been around for more than seven thousand years.

Stubbornness is the best way to remain ignorant. Whether you’re a preacher displaying that nasty vice or a scientist with a multitude of degrees, “stupid” is still pretty ugly.

I believe that God is alive and created everything.

I also believe that evolution was His choice in doing so.

I also contend that the process seems to have actual, factual basis — up until you arrive at the time of the creation of human being.

Why is it so difficult to think that a creative God could use science until He wanted to create personal caretakers in His image — a little less than the angels and a little smarter than the monkeys?

So here’s what I hold out as reality to you this morning:

A. I want a Creator

B. I need science

C. I will listen to nature.

To me, this three-step process permeates every piece of truthful knowledge that’s ever been propagated in the human race.

Without a Creator, we’re stuck with science and nature–educated but lost.

Without science, we have a Creator and nature, and we become smug in our lack of information.

And without a Creator and science, we worship nature and become overly superstitious.

So when the logos, which is the word of God, meets up with the cosmos, which is science, you have our atmosphere–which is nature.

The universe is a sandwich–bread, meat and mustard.

And you and I, just like at Subway, get to decide for ourselves what other fixins’ we want to put on it.

Donate Button

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

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.

What I NEED for Christmas Is … December 12, 2013


Jonathots Daily Blog

(2092)

guitar jass and johann

1. To see the appetite for life reborn in my brothers and sisters of our country.

2. Humility becoming the hip choice.

3. To be a Democrat in my heart and soul and a Republican in my mind and body.

4. Forty-eight people in charge of moving and shaking who still believe we can make a difference.

5. An angry divorce between spirituality and religion, with Jesus being awarded custody of the children.

6. Fifty pounds from my body melted into the cosmos.

7. Telling the truth becoming an accepted, popular fad

8. Americans sharing America with the world.

9. Amazing energy granted to me so I can act out my dreams.

10. NoOne is better than anyone else.

Make room with the “Inn” crowd

I can see the Star

I don’t need a Santa Claus

Let me slide in … and bring my own sack of toys

 

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

I Got to P… November 14, 2013


Jonathots Daily Blog

(2067)

SixFor a five-year period, I wrote screenplays–seventeen of them in all, with thirteen movies produced in an independent-film format. Trust me, I was no threat to either Aaron Sorkin or Steven Spielberg, but considering the meager budgets involved, some pretty amazing projects were completed and released into the cosmos.

What I discovered when I wrote these screenplays was that people involved in artistic pursuits are often pressured by two different camps to comply to an agenda:

  • Religious writers are compelled to profess
  • Secular ones are taunted and teased to be profane

So if you wanted to write things that were acceptable to church people, you had to profess the principles of religion faithfully, while being careful not to add anything worldly, untoward or negative to your script.

On the other hand, if you wanted to get intrigue and interest from the “film festival crowd,” a certain amount of off-beat, unrealistic and profane inclusion was necessary.

I found both camps to be obnoxious.

I don’t have to go any further than the Good Book to demonstrate the aspects of good story telling. This is the reason I believe that the Good Book still has value. The writers felt no compulsion to profess, nor did they feel pushed into making the tales more profane in order to create a wider audience. They just shared it.

So you have King David, who writes really beautiful songs and poetry, but also is a lousy father and an adulterous murderer.

You have Samson, who did mighty deeds for the children of Israel, but also ended up blinded and humiliated because he let his “little head” rule “the big head.”

You have a story of the Jewish nation which is equally peppered with both praise and ridicule for their works and deeds.

By no means did the writers of the Good Book want to either profess or be profane. Instead they went for a third Pprofound.

This is what I pursued in my screenplays, too.

And what is profound? A profound script has heart, soul, mind and strength in it.

1. Heart. What is the real emotion involved? I am not talking about made-up feelings so the writer can manipulate his characters to do as he proposes. I am speaking of the unabashed, unapologetic sensations that go along with the story and our participants.

2.  Soul. What can we use of faith, hope and love to propel our tale and still achieve better conclusions? Removing spirituality from great writing is similar to jotting down your thoughts with invisible ink.

3. Mind. What is accurate? If we’re going to be in the desert, people should get thirsty. If we’re going to be on the ocean, someone should be seasick. Failing to produce accuracy in the pursuit of either profession or profanity is a journey into faulted futility.

4. Strength. What is human? Don’t ask your characters to be superheroes. There’s too much of that in our theater today. Don’t portray them as demons. Expose humanity without fear or prejudice.

I don’t know–maybe someday I’ll start writing screenplays again. But if I do, I won’t be anemic and merely profess my own beliefs. And I won’t pursue profane, espousing the common whim of present-day society.

I will find the heart, soul, mind and strength in the journeys of my characters … and allow the words to produce profound results.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Fairfield’s White Unto Harvest… November 12, 2012


(1,697)

Life is awkward.

Nothing of any significance will occur in the reading of this essay unless you understand this. Life is filled with moments of inconvenience which can either mount up in your mind and seem unconquerable, leaving you in despair, or can be taken on one at a time, with a tenacious sense of humor and be overcome.

It’s really that simple. Those who try to supersede the awkwardness of life by avoiding nervous encounters end up in a smaller and smaller world with fewer and fewer possibilities and more predictable friends and circumstances–which annoy them because of how bland they are.

Now, I had a fabulous Sunday morning in Fairfield, Ohio. It wasn’t fabulous because everything worked perfectly. It wasn’t astoundingly delightful because the cosmos came into synchronicity with my purpose. No–it was awkward.

Arriving at the gig, I discovered there were three big steps leading to the platform. Right now I don’t do steps. Sometimes I can successfully pull it off without looking like a worm ascending a plank–if there is a handrail available. You guessed it–no handrail.

Awkward.

On top of that, before we came on to share our bits and pieces, there was a march of children bringing in boxes of toys for the needy and a very well-produced salute to the military by the chancel choir, complete with veterans standing up in correlation to their particular armed services song.  Let’s review: marching children, a salute to supporting our troops.

Awkward.

Following the introduction by our dear sponsor, we received no greeting of welcoming applause, so I had to begin my show in total silence. It would be difficult to explain to you how awkward that feels without placing you in that position–which I mercifully do not desire to do.

Did I mention that life is awkward?

At the end of my program, during my final song, the ushers suddenly decided to start collecting the love offering used to defray our expenses. I have a particular hatred for this. It makes me feel like I’m either singing for my supper or I’m trying to drain the audience of finance by emotionally stimulating them with one of my musical selections. I gently requested that they stopped passing the plate, but they ignored me. It bothered me enough that I missed one of my lyrics, but then I shook it off and completed the song.

I want you to understand that this is not an indictment of Fairfield or an attempt to get you to feel sorry for me. This is life at its best–awkward as hell, waiting for me to bring a little heaven.

If you’re going to live on a planet that decides to rain whenever it wants to, using machines that have parts that break down, surrounded by fellow travelers who are convinced they have the right of way and subsisting in a body that is racing towards death, you might want to adjust your thinking and be prepared for a bit of evolution.

I loved those people yesterday–but what I want them to understand is that our country will never be what it was or become what it needs to be without them first learning to take awkward and change it into possibility. As long as you run away from awkward, you will run right into the arms of defeat.

Life is about overcoming awkward moments.

Take this morning: we are packing up our headquarters, loading it into a van, and driving down to Louisville, Kentucky, to unpack it and start another week. There are folks who would be convinced that is virtually impossible, and if not impossible, certainly a hassle– and henceforth unwarranted. As long as you maintain that mentality, you will be at the mercy of tribulation and under the control of those who have figured out a way to survive a moment’s fussiness.

Nothing is easy. I have been on a food regimen now for a month. So yesterday, I decided to go to the pot luck dinner provided by the church. It was lovely, generous and delicious, but NOT low-calorie. So the amount of food I was able to put on my plate and still maintain my regimen would have caused a hummingbird to complain to the restaurant management. It made me a little grumpy in the afternoon when I didn’t have any calories left to consume.

Awkward.

We as human beings have no way of gauging our success unless we can look back on how well we handle ourselves in awkward moments. I was hesitant to write about this today because I don’t want the folks I fell in love with yesterday in Fairfield to think I am complaining. Quite the contrary–I relish them. How will I ever get a chance to prove the value of my philosophy of life if what I believe and think isn’t challenged?

I feel good this morning–not because every aspect of my plan came off with utter precision. It’s because I devised a scheme through a series of well-placed chairs to mount the stage and get to my keyboard and off the stage and into the wheelchair, cruising on to my book table, without falling flat on my face. Glory be to God and praise the Lord and pass the ammunition (in honor of Veteran’s Day).

I am grateful that when the offering plates were passed, completely against my wishes, that my wilfulness did not win out, but instead, I went with the flow and the sun still shone and the earth revolved. Not everything has to be done my way in order to end up working out for my good.

I am overjoyed that I survived a church potluck and somehow or another made it to 5:15 that evening, where I was once again permitted to be a consumer and enjoy additional nutrition.

Life is awkward.

As Jesus said, the fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few. Why are the laborers few?

Is it because people are lazy? Absolutely not.

Perhaps people are looking for a handout and don’t want to work? I don’t believe so.

I believe it’s because people are scared hopeless over the prospect of the shifting sands moving beneath their feet, changing their circumstances and creating an environment they were not prepared for. So they try to play it safe.

You have to decide–is life a shooting range where you stand at a distance and aim for paper targets, hoping to achieve a bull’s-eye? Or is it a forest where deer hunting season is in full progress and you’ve just discovered you’re a buck? Yes, the buck starts here.

Thank you, Fairfield. I am so grateful for you proving once again that love is not a confirmation of what we believe, but rather, an extremely awkward process wherein we continue to believe, often without ANY confirmation.

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

%d bloggers like this: