3 Things… October 4th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Cause Great Decisions

1. Disconnect your faith.

You have some work to do before you pass it off to heaven.

 

2. Engage your brain.

Count the cost–see what you have and what you can do with it.

 

3. Welcome back your faith.

Now you know where you are, so invite help.

 

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Jesonian: (Part 2) The Preparer … June 7th, 2015

 

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus for Jesonian

Hearkening back to my school days, I recall four distinctly different types of teachers:

  • Paul the Paycheck
  • Larry the Lecturer
  • Mike the Mentor
  • Fred the Friend

(There were also the female counterparts of Paula, Lorraine, Michelle and Freda.)

Paul the Paycheck was a reluctant participant in the educational process, but faithful to his duties, always reminding you, though, that he wasn’t paid enough and could have gone into business and been rich.

Larry the Lecturer was in pursuit of the morality of learning, insisting that placing fine detail in a child’s brain was the best way to keep him or her from delinquency or poverty.

Mike the Mentor was pretty well aware that the best way for information to reach the adolescent brain was to provide examples which were easily understood in the teenage thinking process.

And Fred the Friend was the type of teacher who realized that students were going to learn what students were going to learn, but the lasting impression for their high school experience would be a loyal, intelligent and cool teacher.

Paralleling this to the religious system, we have a church today that teaches that Jesus is Paul the Paycheck, who died for our sins and now has become Larry the Lecturer, making sure we don’t accidentally have fun, ending up in a pit of evil.

We can certainly understand why this approach is not absolutely filling the pews.

But it only takes a quick study of the Gospels for us to realize that Jesus came to mentor his 12 disciples, and by the end of the session, called them “friends” because he shared his life with them.

So when my Mentor and Friend tells me that he is preparing a place for me, I am fully aware that he is working for my completion in the following areas:

1. Helping me find out what’s good for me here so I will know what I enjoy and what I would love to do forever.

2. He is also helping me find the perseverance and sense of humor to survive the bad that comes my way, by acquiring the ability to count the cost and avoid unnecessary conflict.

3. He’s placing his spirit deep within my being so I begin to recognize in the world around me what is growing towards the good, what is stagnant and what is determined to be dark.

4. He has placed the confidence in me that because of his mentoring and friendship he knows exactly what to provide for me in the life to come. to keep the joy of goodness flowing.

So my heaven will not be your heaven. My heaven will be a glorious expansion and explosion of the good I’ve already found here, thrilling my soul.

It will be prepared for me by my Preparer.

It will be a home where my Mentor and Friend can join me in freedom, fullness and pleasure.

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Three Ways to Start Fresh… January 1, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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bread bigger

Dream and scheme.

It is the dual approach used in the United States by those who are pursuing success.

We are told to have “big dreams” and be prepared to scheme our way into the marketplace using cunning–everything short of illegality.

The pundits of this philosophy sit back and smirk at its ambiguity. In other words, how realistic are dreams and how proficient is it to scheme for what we want?

The “dream and scheme” tactic is not only inefficient but also dangerous–inefficient because it leaves us at the mercy of hope, and dangerous because we are tempted to cheat.

As we begin the New Year, we often have the sensation of wanting to improve our lives. But dreams put us to sleep, threatening nightmares, and scheming puts us in a competitive arena with those who may be more ruthless.

Here’s how you can start fresh:

1. Don’t fret over what you haven’t done.

There’s a reason for it. Don’t study the reasons so much. The past only gives you a certain amount of input before it turns into a nagging mistress.

2. Set your aspirations based on what you can do instead of what you want to do.

If you’ve never done it before, although you tried, your next attempt will probably be no more illustrious. Instead, winnow down your talents to those you can perform when sick, inspired, depressed, under pressure or handicapped. After all, these are your gifts. Use them well.

3. Don’t blame anyone.

That includes yourself. Circumstances always arise to bring tribulation. We have two defenses against such onslaught:

A. Count the cost.

In other words, don’t budget in what you don’t have. Only consider what’s available.

B. Be of good cheer.

And here is my definition of good cheer:

Nothing happens until I show up. Nothing is over until I give up.

If you will escape the “dream and scheme” apparition which is haunting our culture, you can begin a fresh, new life–working with your abilities, doing what you can do, and not taking things so personally.

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Jesonian: We Are Not the Bread … September 28, 2014

bread prettier with yeastJonathots Daily Blog

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We are not the bread, we are the yeast.

We are not the world, but rather, the light.

We are not the meat. Salt, we are.

We are not the soil, but seed to be sown by the sower.

We are not the wineskin. Behold, new wine.

What does Planet Earth need?

  • Spirit: God is with us if we are with each other and sensitive to his creation.
  • Life: abundant possibilities producing the opportunity to use what we have instead of lamenting our lack.
  • Joy: be of good cheer. Nothing happens until we involve ourselves in the process.

Jesonian is not a religion, a belief, a system of worship or a moral code for judging others. It is when we add our lifestyle of effort, mercy and love to what is available.

It transforms entertainment into inspiration, business into creativity, faith into living works, politics into compassion that counts the cost, family into an every-growing inclusion of our brothers and sisters, and relationship into eternal connections.

We are not the bread.

We have not come to be served … but instead, to serve.

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A Moving Experience… August 30, 2012

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I didn’t expect to stay this long.

When I arrived in Michigan twenty-four days ago, I had a full calendar of events taking me all over the central and eastern parts of the state. I devised a plan. I was going to move to a new headquarters every Monday, nearer to my business and engagements. But when I arrived in Lansing I found lodging so well-suited to our needs that I took a closer look at my plan and realized that I was already centrally located, and could just drive out to fulfill my obligations. So I settled into this one place for the past twenty-four days, which gave me my requirements, and I jettisoned myself around the Wolverine State via my van.

But today is moving day. It is time to move closer to Detroit where I can finish up my tour of this delightful location with these blessed people.

Moving day used to be a problem. You can imagine–if you had to lift your life out of your home every seven days, put it in a van and travel down the road to a new abode to set up camp, it could be a maneuver filled with indecision, frustration, labor and strife. Let’s look at those four things: indecision, frustration, labor and strife. Anyone over the age of ten will quickly inform you that all of those things are unpleasant, if not useless. But still we pursue them. Doggone it, sometimes we even feel grown-up, mature and sacrificial because we suffer through them.

I don’t agree. I sat down one day and looked at the things that made moving difficult, and rather than accepting them as my lot, I changed them. It really all boiled down to having just too many things to carry. So I made two important steps: I got rid of what I did not need and I incorporated the rest into fewer containers.

For instance, we were carrying around five clothes bags for our stage outfits. Clothes bags are not suitable for long-term travel. They are difficult to get into and they don’t exactly keep your clothing wrinkle-free. We got rid of the bags and substituted a lovely clothes trunk with wheels. We fold them up nicely, and when it is time to use them, we remove them and iron them as required. We also had our food and utensils spread through too many bags. I simplified that by moving into one case on wheels, also. So eventually, what used to take three or four hours to pack up can now be achieved in about forty minutes.

It removes the dread from my head. And when you take the dread from your head and instead, move towards solutions, you clean up mental pollution. You stop being afraid. It’s powerful.

So I woke up this morning looking forward to a move. Of course, something will come up that I am not expecting, but as long as it’s not mingled with my own inefficient disorganization, it probably won’t take me down.

I bring this up today not because I think you are horribly interested in my packing patterns. It is because I would like to introduce you to a simple four-step process for anything you will ever do in your life.

1. Have fun. If you think that such advice is cute and trivial, then you don’t understand anything about what makes our journey on Planet Earth successful. If you don’t find a way to make things fun, you will remove the joy from your existence–and the Bible makes it clear that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” (No wonder most people look like they’re exhausted and it’s only eight-thirty in the morning…)

2. Make a plan. It doesn’t mean you’ll get to use it. It just relieves your brain of the tension of believing that everything is hanging out in the air without any resolution. Jesus said you should “count the cost.” Sit down and figure out what you can do, what you can’t do, what might come up, what has come up in the past–and blend it all together into a concise idea that you can pursue … while having fun.

3. Keep it easy. The minute you begin to complicate your life, you are mingling your arrogance about your talent with the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Jesus said that his yoke, which is basically his way of doing things, is easy–and his burden is light. The contortions that religionists put their congregations through in the pursuit of divine favor may truly be the only thing worthy of hell. Keep it easy. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking that you can handle it if it becomes hard. You can’t.

4. And finally, don’t worry. I was trying to think of a mental process or reaction that was more worthless than worry. I decided that a tie for first place might be wishing. But I still think worry would beat it out. Worry is the fussiness of simultaneously believing that life “should be easier” while trying to make it harder. Talk about double-minded! Jesus said,“Take no thought for tomorrow.” Don’t worry. And don’t come back with some cute little phrase like, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have my problems.” I not only have had your problems, I’ve had mine. The Bible tells us there is no temptation that is not common to all men. Worry is what we decide to do when we really don’t want to do anything about something that demands effort.

So there you go. As I move out of my Lansing location and travel to Detroit today, I am fully implementing this quartet of possibilities.

  • I will have fun.
  • Because I have made a plan.
  • And even though that plan may change, I am still going to keep it easy.
  • And I refuse to complicate the myriad of twists and turns of life by worrying.

This applies to everything. It would even apply to solving the economic problems in this country–that is, if we had Republicans and Democrats who could have fun with each other, make a plan, keep it easy and not worry.

A moving experience–it happens every time I go from Point A to Point B without becoming frightened about Point Z, looming in the distance.

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