G-Poppers … July 10th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop sat and listened intently.

It was very moving.

The President of the United States was singing “Amazing Grace.”

Of course, some people would consider it a ploy. Others would insist it disrupted the separation of church and state.

Yet insane moments demand vulnerable souls to question the heavens about earthly things.

Amazing Grace. G-Pop considered the phrase to be two unique words.

Unfortunately, the human race often falls into two camps.

1. The religious: “This is who I am and I’m so ashamed, so I need God to forgive me or I am damned.”

2. The secular: “This is who I am so get used to it and damn any God who has a problem with it.”

It’s too bad.

In both cases, we start with an insecurity which we maintain, either out of fear or stubbornness.

G-Pop realized that he thought of amazing grace much differently. Two words.

Amazing–G-Pop believed that to be the definition of life.

He contended that humans have a simple responsibility:

  • Learn amazing things
  • Find amazing opportunities
  • Do amazing deeds

After the amazing part has been pursued and we ask, seek and knock–then we can lift our heads to the sky, smile and leave the rest to God’s grace.

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

Jonathots Daily Blog

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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.

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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

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

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Miss A Walk-up … September 9, 2012

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I always try to make friends with the maintenance people at the motels where I stay. I find them to be nice folk, and honestly, it’s always good to be friends with someone who’s “nuts about bolts.” So when I was leaving my lodging in Detroit, the fellow in charge of taking care of the property ran up to me and said good-bye and asked me where I was heading.

“Mishawaka,” I responded.

His brow furrowed as he squinted, questioning, “Miss a walk-up?”

I chuckled. Apparently combining his lack of geographical knowledge of Indiana with my lazy morning tongue, I had failed to communicate the name. “Mishawaka,” I enunciated, sounding out each syllable.

He paused. I think he was trying to gauge exactly what the word was and also whether I was having one of those “senior brain clogs,” where yesterday was merging with today to form a mental mush. Suddenly he launched into conversation. He talked about how when he was a kid, his father called certain apartments “walk-ups.” He explained that he was certain that his father also missed those old walk-ups and pined for the days when things were simpler and more concise.

I realized that my maintenance buddy was convinced that he had understood me, and that I was a little bit wacky, and I knew that I was going to Mishawaka, and he had misunderstood.

He kept talking. Pretty soon he was discussing how the problems in our country seemed insurmountable because we had lost our values. I had a choice. I could stop him and explain that Mishawaka was a little city in the Hoosier state, and probably embarrass him, making him feel ridiculous, or I could give up on the notion of reality and simply leap into the stream of thought and try to swim my way to shore.

You see what I mean? The reason most of us never get along with other people is that we have so much agenda crammed into our confines that there is no room whatsoever for our friends and new acquaintances to squeeze in a notion. So I decided to forget about Indiana and Mishawaka and simply participate in the present flow of conversation. We talked about walk-ups. We talked about missing things. We talked about life.

It lasted probably no more than seven or eight minutes, but by the time we finished, he was convinced that he had used his young, fertile mind to communicate with an aging gent who had temporarily gone into a nostalgic burst of reminiscing. And I was aware that we had fortunately escaped a moment of embarrassment which would have stuck with him for some time.

Somewhere along the line, we have to stop being defensive, or we’re destined to be offensive. I wish I could spend fifteen minutes with every minister and politician and communicate that principle into their sermons and stump speeches. When I am dealing with human beings, I honor a five-step process when yakking with folks:

1. Don’t argue. Just follow through with what’s on their minds. Don’t try to change the subject to your particular liking or evangelize them to your cause. Get where you want to go by letting them do the driving.

2. Find reasons for agreement and pose ONE question. You’d be surprised at how many things we all share in common. If you have a mind to plant a new seed inside people, just save it for later on in your interchange with them, and pose that one question that will get them to think.

3. Listen for people’s hearts instead of focusing on their ideas. America is overloaded with politics, religion and gossip. The poor, hapless masses are at the mercy of a sea of doctrines and statistics. Please forgive them if they end up piping some of those back to you because they just heard them on TV and want to show off. It doesn’t mean it’s their heart–it’s just topical.

4. Believe in something. I have trouble with conservatives AND liberals. Conservatives can tell you what they’ve been taught and liberals are willing to abandon their ideals so as to maintain some sense of being intellectual or contemporary. Believe in something–not a whole bunch of stuff–but find a few things that have proven to be true in your life, and have a story about them.

5. Always leave every conversation loving. Leave loving. Now, there’s a bumper sticker. We have some folks that show up loving and leave fussy. I would much rather show up fussy and leave loving.

My dear repairer of motels in Detroit never did understand that I was heading for Mishawaka, Indiana. Who cares? It wasn’t worth humiliating him to make the point that he was wrong. Until we reach the conclusion that fellowship is more valuable than always being right, we are a missile unguided, shot off into the air to land somewhere on an innocent bystander. So in closing:

May opinions be damned

Yes, a curse on my will

Settle the angry sea

Proclaiming, “Peace, be still.”

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