Good News and Better News … March 7th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2866)

wilmington composite

2:42 A.M.

I am suddenly awake.

It is a ritual I follow every Saturday night before the Sunday morning sharing of my heart with a congregation. This week it was Lutheran Church of Reconciliation in Wilmington, North Carolina with Pastor Bill.

What wakes me up at that early hour is a mingling of excitement, inadequacy, a hint of fear and wonder. Yes, I wonder if I can get enough of “me” out of the way to be able to feel for those around me.

For I will tell you–the good souls of Lutheran Church of Reconciliation deserve more than a pompous ass. Even though I don’t view myself in that manner, it doesn’t hurt to take a few moments to scour the soul for hidden dirt in the corners.

That’s why I have posted a picture of my pillow. During those late night sessions, my pillow becomes my sounding board as I muse some important questions:

1. Can I get rid of my anger?

We’re all angry. We all have an axe to grind. We all have unrequited feelings that whine at us. But they are useless when we are interfacing with our brothers and sisters.

2. Can I find my weakness?

Jesus said when I’m weak I’m strong.

Why? Because talking about our strengths is easily misinterpreted as boasting instead of reality. Sharing our weaknesses links us with others who are duly reminded of some shortcomings of their own.

Which leads me to:

3. Exploit it.

Yes. Exploit my weaknesses. Giggle about them. Tell stories that show how these frailties have failed me–but the grace of God has saved me. This brings me to:

4. Chase away my fear.

My greatest fear is that I will be exposed for my foibles. If I share my own mistakes, the human race does not have to expose me. Which concludes with:

5. Let love laugh.

  • Love is fine when it speaks.
  • Love is better when it hugs.
  • But love is supreme when it laughs.

Yes, a full-hearted laugh at my humanity lets you know that I believe that God will see me through.

When I finally get peace over these five, sleep slips back in. I’m ready.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that when I take the time to prepare my heart, I have the right tool to open the hearts of others. These beautiful people in Wilmington did just that.

One man shared with me the spine-tingling story of his calling from God.

Another lady was dealing with a nasty email, which she decided to answer with gentleness.

Yet another gentleman came up with a memory of using his talent.

And there was a woman with a painful event from her past which had been eased by the sweetness of Spirit.

They tell us that people in America are angry. Here’s the truth: angry people attack, which causes other angry people to attack back. Disappointed folks hurt–but cheerful souls heal.

So what is my mission?

Get America to be of good cheer.

 

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G-4: Stay or Go? … December 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2103)

 

clayI did it.

I made something.

Like every endeavor known to man, I felt greatly fulfilled upon completion, and a little disappointed with the inadequacy of the final product.

You see, in my mind, it should have been much better. But when I was finished, there were flaws. To my comprehension, glaring.

It was time for a decision–a very important one, may I add.  Do I stay or do I go?

Do I step up to what I have produced, proudly taking ownership, and begin to work with it until it becomes better, or do I distance myself from the project, expressing my displeasure and pretending that it wasn’t my fault?

Being creative does not guarantee perfection. Matter of fact, it usually presents you with the opposite: imperfection that yearns for your abiding, loving touch.

There is nothing I have ever done which possessed the qualities of my vision when I finished the first prototype.

That’s just life.

Where we develop a sense of purpose, devotion, loyalty and perseverance is in the extent to which we take responsibility for our labors, and nurture our creations to better forms.

  • No family is perfect.
  • No song is perfect.
  • No nail in a board is perfect.

Everything in life requires a second visitation, demanding that we take personal responsibility.

Is there a time to go? Is there a time to walk away from what hatched from your egg and emerged as a big disappointment? Here’s a guideline:

  1.  If it resembles what you want, but merely needs some work, stay.
  2. If its existence is proven to be a hurtful thing to those around you and yourself, go.
  3. If it is full of promise but ugly, stay.
  4. If it’s ugly, lacking promise, go.

The most valuable concept to possess in the human brain is the knowledge that nothing we touch is birthed in perfection. You have to come around, take a look, find out what needs to be fixed … and produce the good humor that makes correction process tolerable.

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

WINona … October 5, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2027)

lightAfter my show in Circleville, Ohio, a woman asked me where I was heading. I told her I was going to Winona. She frowned and inserted, “Winona? Are you kidding? They don’t even have a stop light.” (I was completely unaware that having a stop light was the new criterion for village viability.)

But I guess everybody has standards for what they think is normal in their surroundings. I personally like the fact that Winona has “WIN” as the first three letters of its name. I know it’s a little silly, but I believe a bit of mirth is necessary in our lives to keep us from becoming dark “doodis” or “doodats.”

And that got me thinking about the word “win.” I think we have the mistaken idea in our society that some people are born winners and the rest are innately losers. I don’t agree. I think there are easy things we can do which cause us to chalk our efforts into the win column more than in the loss. Actually, these steps are so simple that people might consider them to be trivial. But it might be a mistake to call something ridiculous until you put it into practice and find out how the wheel rolls.Winona UMC

What will I tell the good folks of Winona this weekend, encouraging them to win instead of lose?

1. Stop blaming other people. One sure way to lose control in your life is to insist that someone else holds the key to your success, which they have swallowed and you are now waiting for it to come out their back side. I am tired of finger-pointing, folks with their noses out of joint, and stiff-necked grown-ups who just don’t take personal responsibility for their own actions. Do you want to do something really exciting? Blow everybody’s mind and take the blame for something you DIDN’T do. It gives you the power to change the circumstances while feeling free from the guilt.

2. Do one thing better. Don’t try to change your whole life. Just find one thing that comes up every day and do it with a bit more flair, finesse, attention and care. It will be noticeable. Acting like you are trapped in your own haplessness with no remedy guarantees that you will stay a failure and have those around you testify to your inefficiency. How can you advertise being a loser? Act disappointed, depressed and dismal. All of your friends and enemies will fill in the blanks.

3. And finally, to chalk one up for a win: Be of good cheer. All losers have three things in common. They’re grumpy, they’re glum and they’re gloomy.

Just removing these three things from your life and replacing them with a bit of humor and perspective sets you apart from the masses, which are determined to paint all dark brown rooms black.

That’s what I will share with the good folks of Winona. I will tell them to cease to be ashamed of their lack of a stop light and instead:

  • Stop blaming other people
  • Do one thing better
  • And be of good cheer.

In that way they will be able to live up to the first three letters in their name.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

The On Must Go Show … September 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2015)

onFuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

But last night, in the middle of my show, when my electronic piano went fuzzy, it was very hard to bear. Bluntly, it’s difficult to be a workman without tools. Maybe we should not be too vulnerable to the world of miracle machines, but unfortunately, we ALL suffer under the addiction.

I made what I thought was a “quick fix” and tried to do one additional song, but my piano had figuratively stomped out of the room and called it an early evening.

What next?

The good folk who had come out so graciously to see and hear us did not need to be disappointed by my failing keyboard. Also, in my opinion, it was not necessary to involve them in the dilemma since they probably have sufficient difficulties of their own.

You see, it’s not so much that “the show must go on,” but instead, “the on must go show.”

If you’re going to call yourself a craftsman–someone who has achieved a level of expertise–it is your job to be “on.” What does that mean to me?

To be “on” is to know what and why I am doing what I’m doing. When I forget that, I become simpy, obnoxious and double-minded.

An electronic keyboard throwing a fit onstage doesn’t have anything to do with my calling. It is my duty to stay “on.”

So then I am ready to go. I love people who really understand the word “go.” It means “keep moving towards a solution.”

If you have an emotional breakdown every time you see a breakdown in your plans, you will be useless to yourself and others. It was my job to come up with a solution on the fly with regard to my temperamental eighty-eight keys. I did not look to the audience; I did not look to my stage partner, and honestly, dear friends, I didn’t look to God.

Even though I believe that He is constantly divinely inspired, I do NOT think He has hung out a shingle advertising, “Piano Repair.”

It was MY “go” and mine alone. I needed to move towards a solution. I had approximately three seconds of dead air available to achieve a positive direction. Here’s what I did: I rose from my piano and quietly moved over to the grand sitting nearby and continued my escapade. I made no explanation; I didn’t apologize. Truthfully, I didn’t even acknowledge that I had a problem, which brings me to the final point–“show.”

Here’s what I think a “show” is: don’t make your job and your life everybody else’s business.

After all, it’s only “sharing” if people are interested in what you’re saying. After that, it’s boring. It was not the privilege of that audience to be privy to my tribulation. They were there to join into a common experience of inspiration and entertainment.

I wish I could pass this on to politicians–that it’s their job to be “on,” to move forward to solution, and to understand that it’s not the fault of the American people that they’re inept.

Every preacher should realize that when he or she arrives on Sunday morning, they need to be “on” and go towards Spirit–and not show the congregation all the frailties of finance or the frayed carpet in the narthex.

It’s a part of growing up.

I don’t know if some of the people in last night’s audience even knew there was a lack. Good. For after all, they don’t need another concern, do they?

So I pass this along to you, not to lead you to believe that I’m special or a dynamic professional. What I did last night was basic–basic humanity.

The on must go show.

It’s the ability to rejoice in your burden ,,, and be grateful that you’ve been given the honor of carrying it.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Sittin’ in the Van on a Rainy Day… July 10, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1939)

vanThe plan was to hold a meeting in the sunshine, maybe even sitting in a park. Minnesota provided us rain instead.

A change of venue. Honestly, that can often be enough to destroy any momentum.

But my traveling companion of seventeen years and I decided to enjoy the rain pelting against our big, black van and hold our conversation in the interior of our cab. You understand, it only worked because both people agreed.

We live in a day and age when equality is defined as “one person quietly dominating as another one obviously submits.” This would explain our lack of progress. For candidly, in order for human beings to be successful, there needs to be agreement.

It’s actually pure mathematics. For our morning session to gain purpose, both of us had to overlook the rain, ignore our disappointment if such existed, and add our energy.

Yes, often rather than having a decrease of enthusiasm due to a change in plans, life actually requires a boost in energy to compensate for any disappointment.

I was so happy that my friend added her energy. She didn’t act like she cared one little bit if we were sitting in a rain-soaked van or were perched in a park. After all, what made the difference was being able to discuss really neat ideas.

To further complement the notion of growth, after we add our energy, we need to subtract our ego. There will be plenty of ego to go around during the final celebration of victory. To insert ego into the process of planning–or even performing–the task is not only futile, it is the death knell of achieving your purpose.

After you’ve added your energy and subtracted your ego, it is mandatory that you multiply your talent. If what you were going to achieve was able to be accomplished by only using the ability you’ve taken out of mothballs, it would have already happened. You will need to stretch the rubber band of your talent to handle the new horizons.

This expansion is a process of rejecting fear, embracing love and keeping a great sense of humor.

After you’ve multiplied that talent, you should divide your treasure. And what IS our treasure? Three things:

  • Our time
  • Our passion
  • And our money.

Make sure you’ve got enough for yourself. Poor people are terrible emissaries for generosity. Make sure you procure enough for your mission, so you can keep yourself in the game. And then set aside some for your brothers and sisters, who have not yet discovered the true beauty of multiplying their talents.

Sitting in the van in Minnesota on a rainy day with my friend, I felt a sense of satisfaction.

Because we added our energy, subtracted our ego, multiplied our talent … and made plans to divide our treasure.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Quatrain of Racism … June 4, 2013

(1,902)

I am disappointed

You are prospering

I am jealous

Therefore you’re inferior

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

******

Jonathan’s thinking–every day–in a sentence or two …

 Jonathots, Jr.!

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https://jonathots.wordpress.com/jonathots-jr/

******

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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