Jesonian … December 16th, 2017

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A day in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Although most theologians would like to focus on the 24-hour period leading up to his crucifixion, the Gospels do offer us other examples. One of the primal outlines is found in Matthew, Chapters 12 and 13. You may feel free to read it–I will not tax your spirit or patience by parsing it verse by verse–but there are six things that become clear from perusing the story line.

1. Jesus was not a theologian.

His disciples walked through a field of corn, and even though it was forbidden by religious edict to eat it–especially on the Sabbath–they partook. Jesus defended them to the Pharisees, who were ready to leap upon the activity to prove the unworthiness of Jesus’ Kingdom movement. During this exchange, Jesus makes a profound statement: “The Sabbath is for man.”

It is geared for us, in order to replenish, rejuvenate and renovate our thinking.

2. Jesus was not a rabbi.

He strolls into a synagogue and disrupts the service by healing a man with a withered hand. He is accosted for this untimely interruption, and replies, “Each one of you will save a donkey from a trench, but you won’t do anything to help this fellow.”

Yes, Jesus was guilty of interrupting the flow of worship.

And contrary to the common patter:

3. Jesus was not a Jew.

Not only did he break the Jewish laws, taunting them in doing so, but we are informed that he was a voice, a spirit and a teacher in whom the “Gentiles could trust.”

Even though his proximity to Jerusalem might generate the assumption that he was a Son of Abraham, he made it clear that he was around “before Abraham.”

Shall we press on?

4. He was certainly not a traditionalist.

The religious leaders believed he was satanic. They swore he was casting out demons by the power of Satan. Of course, none of them could cast out a demon, but Jesus made it clear that he had come to destroy the works of the devil and that they needed to be careful not to mock the moving of the Holy Spirit just because it was inconvenient to their case.

So Jesus is not a theologian, a rabbi, a Jew or a traditionalist. And by the way:

5. Jesus was not a family man.

When interrupted by his mother, brothers and sisters during a time of ministry (because they wanted to take him home, thinking he was crazy) Jesus turned to the crowd and claimed them as his new family.

Yes, Jesus might find it difficult to be in a church service, welling up over allegiance with people simply because of shared DNA.

So as Matthew describes a day in the life of Jesus, when he defies theologians, upsets a rabbi, walks away from Judaism, breaks traditions and sidesteps family involvement, he ends the discourse by establishing who the Nazarene really was.

For the Master sat down and told a story: “The sower went forth to sow seed.”

6. Jesus is a sower.

He’s not concerned about isolating off perfect soil, but merely casting the seed in the direction of any possibility.

A day in the life of Jesus will let you know that his message was human, geared for humans, addressed to humans, human-friendly and human-saving.

He discarded religion in favor of the reality of those souls God sent his way.

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Jesonian… January 28th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus knows us because He was us. (What a great title for a praise band song).

He didn’t come to Earth to stand afar and consider our befuddled actions from his undergirded, divine nature. He was human.

He learned, he grew and he found favor through trial and error. I didn’t make that up. That’s what the Gospel of Luke says.

So by the time he reached his thirty-first birthday and was sharing the Sermon on the Mount, he had a firm comprehension of the human reaction to life.

It is in four phases:

  1. We feel
  2. We muse
  3. We think
  4. We do

There are folks who reject their feelings, muse over their failures and go to their brain–only to find it a library chock-full of old information, and therefore end up doing things repetitively, wondering why they can’t change.

Our emotions exist to tell us what we feel. They are not definitive, they are not final–they are sensors.

Our spirit is there to muse–to add that gentle balance that “all things will work together to the good.” Muse is the root word of music. The spirit should be the soundtrack to our solution. Sometimes it takes an hour; sometimes it takes a year. I suppose there are even things that take a lifetime.

But when we enter the third phase, we must be careful. We think.

Contrary to popular opinion, the mind is dangerous. Why? Because it is already programmed. It has our culture, our bigotry, our training, our prejudices and our false statistics. It’s the reason Jesus told his disciples, “Don’t think so much.”

Because if you come across a problem, feeling it may be a difficult one, and you muse over it in your spirit, but then decide to seek an answer in your brain, you’ll consider data that is often only worthy of the trash bin.

But do we put it in the garbage? No.

So when we start thinking, we start worrying, which negates our spirit and frustrates our emotions. We literally do the first thing that comes into our head–and it’s often wrong.

So what did Jesus suggest? What is the Jesonian?

Take your feelings to your spirit and muse over them until you get the music of wisdom–either from God, your own fresh experience, or even the counsel of others. Then move on that tuneful wisdom and do what’s right. At this point you can come back and renew your mind. It’s like putting another book in the library.

Your brain starts gaining flexibility.

The Sermon on the Mount is not a wish list by a religious boy who came from God, possessing an advantage. It is the observation of a man who lived in a household with at least six other brothers and sisters, worked as a carpenter, flushed out some bad demons in the wilderness, and was prepared to look at life as it really was … instead of trying to think he could handle everything.

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 21) Tied … September 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

Really weird dreams.

Ever since Sunday, Meningsbee had been plagued by bizarre nighttime visions, each one nearly sensible and then suddenly making a left turn into Wackyville.

In one of these nightmares, he saw young Hapsy, trapped in a glass ball, rolling down the hill toward six-foot-tall bugs with hammers in their claws.

In another one, he dreamed that Patrick Swanson was water skiing on the Sea of Galilee, throwing fish at nearby peasants.

He also had one with Sammy Collins passing out candy bars shaped like Jesus for what he assumed was communion.

But the strangest one of all was seeing himself crawling on the dirty floors of the big city mall searching for pennies, which he then gingerly picked up and ran over and dropped into the tin cup of a blind man who greatly resembled Stevie Wonder.

Meningsbee recognized the problem. It had happened to him many times. Surrounded by people in need, he began to absorb their pain, feeling it was christ-like to express compassion. He was not only losing sleep, but also the hope and optimism necessary to share the power of faith with the living souls around him.

Opening up the Good Book, he happened upon the story of Jesus casting the demons out of a man who claimed the name “Legion.” On this particular reading, his focus was riveted on the closing exchange between Jesus and the man. The one who was once named Legion begged Jesus for permission to come along on the journey.

Meningsbee understood. You couldn’t blame him. The most exciting thing that had ever happened to this exorcised soul had come, and was now about to be gone. All he had left around him were people who thought of him as a crazy man, who certainly would not be quick to forget his gruntings, growlings and groanings.

The logical thing was to go with Jesus. Sit by the fire. Remember the miracle and attempt to resume his life in the midst of his benefactor.

But Jesus said no.

That’s right–Jesus turned him down. Jesus told him to go back to his own people and friends and tell them what good things God had done for him.

A noble answer for a noble cause. But there was something Jesus didn’t share–if you’re going to help people and continue to be a touchstone of gentle comfort to the world around you, learn how to be tied in without being tied up.

Truth was, Meningsbee knew he could spend his whole life just working with Hapsy, Matrisse and Kitty. He could cordon off the next six months to try to make peace with Sammy Collins and Patrick Swanson.

Yes, he could pick up pennies and try to enrich the prospects of the blind beggars around him, or he could take a tip from Jesus and be tied in but not tied up–allow himself to be human with the people but not swallow all their fears.

There is a point when a teacher needs to assume that the lesson has been taught, and open the door to new students.

Otherwise, he is no longer a teacher.

He is merely a caretaker for a handful of misfits he refuses to let graduate.

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G-Poppers… June 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop received an email from one of his children.

“Dear G-Pop: Why is there so much killing going on?”

He sat for a moment, thinking. Then he sent back this note:

We are in a struggle with anti-matter.

There are human beings who have decided that nothing matters. Once they come to that conclusion, they believe life is insignificant.

You can walk around the fringe of the problem by trying to remove guns, increase background checks and ask law enforcement to be more enforcing. But until you address the heart of the “matter,” these frustrated killers will slip through the safety net.

It is up to each one of us to take care of the “crazies” who surround us and make sure we do our part to prevent the next massacre.

Learn what to listen for.

1. “I don’t matter.”

Whenever you hear anyone state these words, stop what you’re doing and get involved. Listen to them. Take them someplace positive. Give them a reason to exist. Work with them shoulder to shoulder and see if it doesn’t improve the outlook.

2. “You don’t matter.”

Yes, there are folks who will decide for you exactly what your value is and limit the scope of your power. When you run across these people, take them into your home. Let them walk through some of your journey with you. Show them how your faith has feet.

3. “God doesn’t matter.”

Even though many of these murderers use the name of God to justify their mission, they obviously have given up on a Divine Being because they contend He’s given up on all of us. For example, it’s impossible to kill a deer if you think it has a soul or if it has the capacity to talk to you. To turn into a creature of mayhem, you have to believe that human beings are just ants.

And since Jesus told us that each human life is worth “many sparrows,” those who come to the conclusion that God doesn’t matter become dangerous.

At this point, you should invite two friends in. Don’t lay this on yourself. You’re dealing with a serious issue. You have to counsel with other people about the deteriorating scenario with this troubled soul.

The three of you should gently go and share with this person, to reason with him. Perhaps you can get him or her to once again believe in a loving Father and Creator or seek professional help.

4. “Nothing matters.”

When you hear a friend, relative, acquaintance or co-worker state that nothing matters, it’s time to contact the authorities.

You will certainly be afraid that you’re jumping the gun, but in this case that may very well be true. You may be jumping ahead to avoid the destruction of a gun.

When people begin to believe that nothing matters, they are susceptible to dark and evil suggestions which can lead to lasting tragedy.

With every single vicious, gun-slinging event that happens in this country, there are always at least four people who are fully aware of the pending calamity and decide not to interfere.

  • Law enforcement will not be able to solve this problem.
  • Making guns more difficult to acquire will only have limited effectiveness.

We need human beings who are attentive to the situations that come their way–when “anti-matter” tries to turn friends into demons.

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G-Poppers … May 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wonders if his children comprehend the origin of evil.

After escaping the notion that we are plagued by demons from hell or caught up in a Luciferian revenge plot, we are left with the reality that evil is simply human beings gone amuck.

But is it all the lust of the flesh? The lust of the eyes? The truth is, most carnal sins do little to hurt anyone but the offending party.

G-Pop is curious if his children can recall an old-fashioned word which seems to have fallen out of favor: cunning.

Yes, it is a cunning spirit inside a conniving human heart which plans the offense, and even death, of other souls.

G-Pop’s not quite sure where it started–maybe it was thousands of years ago, when the human race lived in tribes and one tiny village thought it was clever to withhold the location of a good hunting ground from another nearby clump of people, so as to gain superiority.

In doing so, the selfish clan established a wicked premise: “We are better than you.”

Once that idea is invited into the minds of people, they will always be looking for ways to express their dominance, to the detriment of others.

For after all, in the 1950’s, in the southern part of our nation, no white family would discourage black people from singing Negro spirituals, clapping their hands, eating neck bones with collard greens or acting quiet and humble. Matter of fact, any Caucasian person would insist it was “just the black culture.”

They felt magnanimous by being aware of the preferences of their darker-shaded neighbors, allowing them to practice their desires.

It was cunning–a way of saying, “You’re not as good as me because you don’t do the same things I do. I pretend to bid you well, but reject your choices.”

This is why, in our present environment, politicians are able to convince us that Mexicans are rapists, all Muslims are potential terrorists, and billionaires are out to strangle the poor so they can fill their coffers.

We once believed that America was “the great melting pot.” It’s been replaced by the insistence that “we are the great grocery cart.”

We lay inside this country–separate, culturally bound, no longer searching for commonality, but instead, faking a reverence for each other’s cultural inclinations, while privately looking down on each other for having them.

It is a cunning spirit that gradually welcomes segregation and eventually invites violence.

Will G-Pop’s children become aware of this, or buy into the ridiculous notion that we’re actually involved in culture conflicts, which can be alleviated by more education and understanding of our differences?

Going back those many thousands of years, if the selfish tribe which found the excellent source of food had simply said to themselves, “This other tribe is also hungry and there’s plenty for everyone,” then how many wars, executions and genocides could have been avoided?

The source of evil is the cunning notion that if I can convince you that you’re not quite as good as me, I can relegate you to a position where I can move you anywhere I want.

Until we become the great melting pot again, we will struggle in alienation which ironically seems to be feeding tolerance, but actually is just a cunning way to starve people of equality.

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Jesonian: Enlightened … September 20th, 2015

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The average man sitting in the audience listening to Jesus of Nazareth believed the following:

1. God was angry and manifested His displeasure through disasters, afflictions and plagues.

2. Nature was beyond comprehension, and to be feared because demons caused illness.

3. People were evil unless they were related to you or were part of your village. Any strangers who lived outside your enclosure were dangerous and needed to be killed.

How do you address such superstition and ignorance?

Here’s one thing we know for certain: Jesus did not cater to their bigotries, wave their flags or agree to their religious lunacy.

Jesus told them that God was our Father. As our Father, He is at least as nice as we are as parents.

Jesus told them that Nature was meant to be understood and discerned, and we can apply what we learn from that study to improve the quality of our lives.

And Jesus told them that we are judged by how we treat our enemies or those who are adversarial to our point of view.

It was an enlightened way of thinking, containing one solid eternal truth:

Where the Spirit of God is, there is freedom.

Every time we try to remove freedom from people, governments, spirituality or relationships, we place ourselves in a Dark Ages of misunderstanding, setting us back generations.

Unfortunately, those who followed Jesus did not remain enlightened.

  • They went on Crusades.
  • They bought human beings and used them as slaves.
  • They attacked their brothers and sisters who had different lifestyles, calling them abominations.

I don’t know where the Spirit will take us in the years to come, but I do know that the true gift of God’s presence will be granted to those who are enlightened.

And to be enlightened, you must believe in freedom instead of legalism.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: E Is for Eliminate… January 5, 2015

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 Building block E bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

Overestimation of ability is the sure-fire way of draining energy. Human beings have very little will-power. Nothing will be achieved without understanding it.

For every magical story you can relate about someone who overcame difficulties through resolve, I can provide a million testimonials of wishy-washy results.

It is in the exaggeration of our goals that we cripple ourselves with the burden of too much anticipation, which is often followed by too much disappointment.

I can not eliminate anything. The minute I believe I can, I will make bold statements which I will be unable to achieve, causing me to want to lie. And I will tell you right now–even though we seem to be a society that condones lying, there isn’t a human being who will actually put up with anyone telling them one.

So what are we looking for? If I smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, can I really throw them away, go cold turkey and survive? Am I a hero, or am I setting myself up for an incredible fall which will make me fearful of reaching the heights of such conviction again?

Here’s the axiom:

Work on working on the work of simple progress.

If I could put that into the hearts of every brother and sister I encounter, I could lift the burden of expectation and replace it with practical approaches to making things a little bit better.

For instance, when I rounded the corner this year and wanted to lose weight, I realized that I needed to adopt an improved philosophy. Here it is:

1. Less of what I am doing.

Yes, if I can just do less of over-eating, I will be much acclaimed, even in my own mind. If every fat person would simply eat a hundred fewer calories a day, they would lose a pound a month. Remarkable.

2. More of what I want to do.

Once I stop chasing the rabbit of promises, which is wearing me out because of the futility of my efforts, I can settle down and just begin to do more of what I want to do. If every person in America smoked one less cigarette, ate one more vegetable a day and walked up that one flight of stairs, our health care costs would drop drastically.

3. And finally, just learn to tell the truth about both.

In other words, “This is what I’m doing that’s making me miserable, and this is what I need to do to make me happier.”

As people, we have a childish inclination to justify all of our actions, as if they’re really our aspirations.

Learn how to be pissed off at what’s hurting you, and delighted with what helps.

The word “eliminate” is impossible for human beings.

  • It is not our function to eliminate poverty. Keep in mind, the impoverished person must be willing to cease his or her condition.
  • We do not have the gumption to eliminate our bad habits. We can lessen them–and ultimately might convince ourselves that we don’t need them.

Arrogance is anyone who believes they have the capacity for scaring away all their demons. It’s just not possible.

The demons know us well, and have found clever hiding places.

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