Ask Jonathots… September 29th, 2016

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I am always suspicious of superstition–blaming resistance on outside forces and nefarious entities. But at the same time I believe the blessings in life are always wrapped in hassle and difficulty. How can you tell the difference between the resistance that comes from a bad idea and the resistance that come from the brink of greatness?

In the moment of conflict, our personal reaction cannot be controlled.

Even though people insist they can “count to ten, take a deep breath” or “breathe a prayer” to muster a mature response to difficulty, we have already locked in our profile.

This is the essence of “turn the other cheek.”

Jesus is saying that we must literally choreograph our reactions. Otherwise we will spill out the abundance of our emotional turmoil.

Therefore, it really doesn’t matter if something comes from a nefarious source or if it’s just an inconvenience.

Our reaction determines if it will be elongated or eliminated.

So we should be working on an emotional sense of security. We are heart creatures. We don’t answer tribulation from our spirit. All communication comes from the abundance of our heart.

So where should we start?

We should work on the dance–the ability to know how to move when life tries to stop us. To do this we must learn to recognize the triggers that cause us to fall back into genetic or pre-programmed training instead of making our own pure choice.

1. If I’m angry and I do not reveal it, it will turn into frustration, which will make me incapable of handling any unwanted surprise.

2. If I feel cheated and don’t voice my concerns, I will accidentally look for ways to diminish the ego of others to match my depleted profile.

3. If I’m tired of trying, I will stop doing the necessary steps that make my effort productive and start acting entitled.

4. If I believe that I’m supposed to find my enemies in order to isolate and avoid them instead of love them and overcome them with wisdom, then I will become paranoid and find myself making new adversaries.

Even those evangelicals who fear Satan and his wiles need to realize that the punishment of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was to be cast down to Earth. In other words, evil has to work with Earth-bound fussiness to get at the believer.

So any way you look at it, the more you prepare for life by choreographing an emotional outlook that is not shocked by the arrival of setbacks, the better the chance that you can conquer problems–whether you believe they are natural or supernatural.

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Count to Eleven… March 23, 2013

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elevenLife is not a plan, but rather, an unfolding story with plot twists and turns, which if one survives, provides the potential and climate for a happy ending.

There you go. That’s the truth.

This week I saw this personified when my business partner, Janet, took off to get her hair done. You may remember, several days ago that I told you she was in the market for a perm. She did her homework, found a good place to go, procured her finance and set aside adequate time for the excursion.

Of course, “the greatest laid plans of mice and men” go kerplunk, kerplop. That would also include the well-thought-out concepts of women looking for a good hair-do. For as it turns out, she was well into the process of getting her hair curled when the young lady who was performing the job realized that it wasn’t going to work and began to make a myriad of excuses about the reason that this mission had become impossible. In the process, bits of Janet’s hair decided to leave its moorings, which required that there be a trimming, which was not part of the plan.

When she returned, I was astounded at how calm she was–at peace and really, overjoyed. Her assessment of the whole event was that the perm gave her just enough curl to make her hair full-bodied, she received a nice dispelling of her split ends and the whole thing didn’t cost very much–because of course, they did not charge her for the privilege of being part of the disaster.

She abandoned her plan, entered the story, survived the details and got a happy ending.

Traditionally we tell people to count to ten whenever they are confronted with a surprise difficulty in order to curb their temper or fear. But I have to tell you–it may be necessary on many occasions to count to eleven.

The art of success is determined through the craft of survival. Here are five things you should consider whenever confronted with the disintegration of a scheme:

1. Look for a clue. Remember–God has no desire to make you look stupid. So often, buried in the midst of a crumbling fortress is a sweet little sign of a means of escape.

2. Open the door. It is no time to get picky, when the world is falling down around you. When you find a door that appears to be a solution, use it instead of over-thinking it.

3. Consider the mix. Remember, all things work TOGETHER to the good. So don’t isolate off one particular dramatic part of your dilemma and focus on it. Set everything down in front of you and evaluate it as a mix instead of individual punches in the face.

4. A time to wait. Human beings were never designed to be patient. Yet sometimes it is necessary for us to delay our expectations. When we know we’re going to have to wait in the airport, we take a book. It is a good idea to have other things to do while you’re waiting for your present situation to improve.

5. And finally, ask yourself where you’ve been. We do not lose our history as we live out our present. Everything we’ve learned, everything we know, everything we believe and everything we possess is of value to us at all times if we don’t act like we just got hatched from a nearby egg.

There you go.

Of course, all those may be difficult to remember in the midst of a crisis, so let me put it in a simpler form:

One, two, look for a clue

Three four, open the door

Five, six, consider the mix

Seven, eight, a time to wait

Nine, ten, where you been?

And finally, eleven: on earth as it is in heaven.

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