Ask Jonathots … November 10th, 2016

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What role do you think the media played in the 2016 Presidential election?

Decide.

It’s the most important step each one of us takes in our lives. Decide what we think is important and steer our life in that direction.

Without this determination, we often find ourselves misled by the passing fancy of an overzealous press or an under-informed society.

Once you understand the function of the media, you can begin to comprehend how their input is valuable, and where it is detrimental to your own well-being. Here is the agenda of the media in the United States of America:

1. Dig up information–the fresher the better.

In the process of desiring to bring news-breaking stories, often truth and detail are compromised. So in order to be intelligent, you must realize that what you hear is not dependable unless it has survived 72 hours of scrutiny.

2. Fill time.

When the nightly news was only half an hour in length, there was no requirement to cover so many stories with so many angles, as with the introduction of the 24-hour news cycle.

It is similar to going to a party knowing you’re going to stay an hour, or going to a party knowing you will be forced into the confines of that environment for four hours. Under the one-hour limit, you don’t have to work so hard to fill the time, and therefore may actually be less likely to lie, exaggerate or gossip.

3. Make money.

Yes, the media is at the mercy of sponsors, and they often have an agenda. So the media finds itself subject to that agenda, and therefore they pad reports with stories which support the requirement.

So whenever you watch a news organization, you are getting their “take” on the news instead of an even representation.

As for me, I consider what the media is doing–having already determined three things for my own lifestyle

A. I will love my neighbor as myself.

B. I will take personal responsibility for my life.

C. I will be of good cheer.

I feel that the media during this Presidential election was instrumental in robbing us of a sense of brotherly love, personal responsibility and certainly a desire to have good cheer.

There were just times I had to turn it off  to maintain the integrity of my heart’s desire and mission.

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Ask Jonathots … December 31st, 2015

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I’m 15 years old. Last night my mom and dad started talking about the storms going on this winter and got into a ferocious argument over climate change. My dad says the climate is God’s business and that He’s in control of it, and that people always think the weather is odd. My mom totally thinks we have just about ruined the planet. What are your thoughts on the subject?

One of the most misinterpreted concepts is “God has a plan.”

When that is followed through to a conclusion, you enter a realm of predestination, where our efforts, directions and motivations don’t matter because they are subject to being changed by a Universal Creator.

If by “plan” you mean that Nature takes its course, then you might be onto something.

Faith has no battle with science as long as faith understands that God has set in motion a natural order which works by principles, and not chance.

This is why Jesus told us to study nature–to discern the signs of the sky and apply that same philosophy when we evaluate how we handle our lives.

Therefore, since Nature has a course and is functioning under scientific principles, it is our responsibility as inhabitants of Earth, to study these axioms, be sensitive to them, and adjust to what we can do to be better caretakers.

So the debate over climate change is ridiculous–because it’s not an issue of whether the world is going to end by floods or fire, but whether we can become students of the Natural Order which God has put in place and address the situations of our time.

In other words, if the increase in carbon dioxide is proving, to some degree, to be detrimental, what could possibly be wrong with adjusting our output, to be more aware of Nature’s course?

The problem comes when we feel the need to be dark and dreary, pronouncing doomsday instead of insightful, helpful and hopeful.

Here’s what I would tell your mother and father:

There is an Earth. It is the Lord’s and the fullness of it.

We have been placed here to be an intelligent presence and to take care of the planet and each other. Anything we can do to improve the situation based upon our discoveries makes us good stewards of our home.

It’s as simple as that.

It is useless to talk about climate change and insist it’s going to destroy the world. Equally as meaningless is to treat the Earth like toilet paper and fail to recognize that every action has a reaction, equal in force and opposite in direction.

So my approach is simple:

  • I will listen; I will learn.
  • I will do what I can to help Mother Earth do her job, which is to run her course.
  • I will never be afraid … nor proclaim that our surroundings are without hope.

 

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The Trouble With Trouble … January 15, 2013

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boat in high windThe same breeze that fills our sails also blows down our fences. Is it an angelic blessing or a demonic curse? Actually, the wind is just rapid air movement, which we can either harness to use for power or has the seeming ability to place us in the harness.

Here’s what I know: everything that has happened in my life has brought me to where I am, which generally speaking is good. And the only thing that will ever be totally detrimental is whatever kills me.

So how can we remember that in the midst of facing the hassles and nastiness that come our way–to somehow retain the objectivity that all things work together to the good?

I have a four-step process that I follow whenever the storm starts blowing my way and I am not sure whether it’s just trouble, or an opportunity to correct my direction:

1. I grab five minutes. I don’t care if people are hurrying me to make a decision. I am not interested in being pressured. If I don’t have five minutes to set aside to calm down my blood pressure, allowing my heart, spirit and mind to create a working team of solution, then I have already admitted failure and have given into the worst possible scenario coming my way. You would be amazed at how much better you feel after five minutes of non-reaction. After all, the brain shuts down from seeking new solutions because the spirit is not seeking new ideas. And the spirit is not sending new ideas because the emotions are not seeking counsel, but are rather trying to take over the show. Five minutes.

2. I start looking for God‘s sense of humor. I think we fail to realize what a card and a comic our heavenly Father is. It’s not that He’s laughing AT us, it’s just that He knows we are better people when we laugh with Him and consider chuckling about ourselves. If you’re looking to buy a new car and you can’t make the decision, what better way for God to point you in the right direction than to let your old car break down? That’s just a giggle fest. But it takes five minutes of clear thinking to find God’s sense of humor.

3. After that, I always find–at least ninety per cent of the time–that it is better to adjust to the wind than it is to push into it. Some people call this compromise and consider it distasteful. They are also the folks who appear determined–as they crash their boat on the  rocks. Human life is much more about evolution than creation. Don’t forget that. The times I have pushed on ahead, I have found myself in a desert place, very alone, absent wisdom, devoid answers and seemingly without God. Adjust, don’t push.

4. And finally, celebrate the breather. Some of us never get the chance to enjoy our lives, consider the lily or hug our families if something doesn’t stop us–which appears to be troublesome but actually is just a command to enjoy. I have had a broken down vehicle alongside the road and turned it into a family picnic, a conversation about life or a great card game with my children, and was actually sad when the repairman told me we were ready to go.

You see, the trouble with trouble is that it’s not always trouble. Blessing and cursing look the same until you take five minutes to trace their source.

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