Jesonian … October 7th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is nearly impossible to be Jesonian–a true follower of the heart of Jesus–without fully comprehending that there are two Gospels. Shall we name them the “Galilee Gospel” and the “Jerusalem Journey?”

It is the reason theologians struggle with the message of Jesus, finding themselves complicating it so that the dual approaches can co-habitate within one faith. But it’s an error to do so.

Jesus had one message but two missions. His two missions were:

  1. To bring the message to fulfill the love
  2. To present himself as the doorway to fulfill the law

In Galilee he talked about life–abundant life. He lived with his disciples in joy–fully. He spoke of God as a Father and all of us as brothers and sisters. He explained the dangers of anger and lust. He clarified that the things we do to other people are recorded as actions performed to God. It was human–everyday fodder for feeling and believing.

But to fulfill the Law of Moses and welcome the Children of Abraham into his mission, he labored among the stringent, inflexible Jews, trying to reason with them and gather them together under a new understanding. These religionists had “jot-and-tittled” themselves into frantic insecurity about the purposes of God, and even, to a degree, agnosticism about the existence of Jehovah.

The Jerusalem Journey was filled with thinking, musing, mulling, wondering, questioning and attempts at compromise. It was a futile effort to afford political correctness to a manifesto meant for the whole world, and not merely designed for one hundred miles of landscape in the Middle East.

Did Jesus know that the Jews were going to reject him?

Did Jesus know it would end so badly, with his execution on a cross?

You can debate that all you want, but we are certainly aware that he reached a point where he had to relent to the conclusion that you can’t “put new wine into old wine skins.”

The problem in today’s church is that we focus too much on the Jerusalem Journey and don’t thunder the celebration of the Galilee Gospel.

Too much musing, too much debate, too much thinking and too much meditation.

It’s time for us to return to the Gospel of Galilee, when life was abundant and joy was full. It’s an easy message to remember: go, do, give, be.

  • Go unto all the world.
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Give and it shall be given unto you.
  • Be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

Such a message offers redemption for failure, while simultaneously providing exhortation to challenge indifference.

There is a danger that we in the church will stall–trying to fulfill the law instead of fulfilling the love.

Stop thinking so much about it.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 1st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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What Is Kind

Today I viewed a kindness

Which healed me of a blindness

For the lies make me weary

My soul dark and dreary

Drowning in the carnal swill

Cynical, angry, had my fill

When there it was before my eyes

The reason for learning, the essence of wise

All it was–opening a door

An insignificant, meaningless chore

Patient he was, allowing her to pass

Grateful she seemed, this aged lass

A smile passed between the two

“As unto others” is what we do

I stood and peered at the holy place

Where new friends came, face to face

And yearned to join their heavenly band

Find my place to lend a hand

I noticed a man with a cardboard sign

“Will work for food” read the line

I pulled a five from my stash

He popped a grin–so little cash

I nodded to him and sealed my mind

The only cure for crazy

Is to discover what is kind

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G-Poppers … January 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop loves the Gospel.

Not because it’s religious, but because it’s good news. And good news always has a market, an audience and a possibility.

Many religious people think the Gospel is Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the world. This is the invitation to salvation, not the solution to human conflict. After all, you can have seven billion baptised believers in the crucifixion who still want to kill each other.

The power of the Gospel is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

For years, it has been honored as a sacred oracle, and even though tarnished, attacked and ridiculed, it stood the test of time–the only hope for us getting along with each other.

Then came 2016.

Under the masquerade of a Presidential election, the Republicans, Democrats, press, pundits and lobbyists worked together to dismantle the integrity and power of the Golden Rule. Through countless proclamations, we were told that “loving your neighbor as yourself” was too weak a position to defeat ISIS, negotiate Syria, overcome racism or eliminate terrorism.

You and I were there for it. It was televised nightly–a four-step process:

  1. People are different.
  2. Difference makes conflict
  3. Because there’s conflict we need to be strong
  4. Because we’re strong, we will make enemies

It was a macho, self-righteous belief that the “exceptionalism of America” means that we have a duty to view ourselves as superior to the rest of the world.

Both political parties utilized the platform, abandoning the Golden Rule in favor of alleged “brass balls.”

What is G-Pop telling his children?

What is our mission in 2017?

Get out there and renegotiate the Golden Rule.

  • Stop advertising violence and the aggressive idea that another drone strike will take care of our problems.
  • Stop focusing on our differences.
  • Stop colorizing people with blue, black, red, yellow or orange.
  • Find common ground and build a hope there.

Yes, the Golden Rule is under siege.

For thousands of years, it has prevented us from dissolving the human race

The Golden Rule is still gold.

It just needs people who will continue to tout its value.

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G-Poppers … January 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Over the Christmas celebration, one of the family members asked G-Pop if he had any predictions for the coming year.

Actually, speculation on the future is not as difficult as it might seem. After all, the entire Earth works on the “sow-reap” concept.

Unfortunately, right now our country is in a fighting mood. Everything is a political fight, a social struggle, a spiritual confusion and an emotional upheaval.

  • We honk our horns in traffic more often.
  • There’s more impatience in the air.
  • And to some degree, we feel the answer to every question is violence.

So making predictions about the future is a little gloomy. Therefore, let’s avoid it. G-Pop would rather focus on the ingredients to put together a consciousness which welcomes the idea of change while honoring powerful, proven tradition.

It really settles around three rules. Tipping out hat to the Olympics, let us refer to them as the Golden Rule, the Silver Rule and the Bronze Rule.

The Golden Rule is easy:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Yes, until we are certain of the direction we want for our own lives, we cannot grant others the courtesy of similar liberty, but instead will stand at a distance and criticize them because they dare to pursue their dreams.

How about the Silver Rule?

To he who is given much, much is expected.

We need to take responsibility. In other words, if you have ten of something, you shouldn’t be waiting for someone who has five to give. Although we want to be successful, we fail to invest ourselves in the procedure. Step up with what you’ve got instead of insisting it’s not enough.

And then there’s the Bronze Rule.

To get mercy, you must be willing to give it.

God knows we all require some measure of mercy. But if we have no track record of being merciful to others, we will find that our bank accounts are vacant of deposits, and when we need mercy the most, we will be absent forgiveness.

So rather than being dark with predictions based upon a fussy populace, G-Pop would rather encourage us to go for the Gold, celebrate the Silver and rejoice over the Bronze.

Be a neighbor, find a friend.

Be fruitful, eat fruit.

Give mercy, get mercy.

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Jesonian: The Rule of the School … November 15th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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empty classroom bigger

The latest piece of pseudo-intellectual drivel seems to be the jaded proclamation, “People don’t change.”

It’s especially disheartening when coming from the mouth of a prison warden, a psychiatrist or a minister.

I suppose we could take this entire essay to discuss the validity or over-simplification of such a decree. Matter of fact, as Christians we could cite that even though the disciples spent at least 38 months with Jesus of Nazareth, the amount of personality and ethical change inside each one of them was questionable.

Peter may have confessed his faith, but he was still prone to over-exaggeration and eventually, denial.

James and John may have ceased to be fishermen, but maintained much of their prejudice, wanting to kill a group of Samaritans.

Thomas certainly had a conversion experience, which he often chose to doubt.

And Judas was elected treasurer, only to betray his position… and his friend.

So it is obvious to me that Jesus was the Christ, but not necessarily able to completely change goats into sheep. No, it seems that we get lost in that process and end up basically being asses.

Yet I must tell you, if I thought that change was impossible, I would not be able to tolerate the mediocrity of the world around me.

So what is the truth?

Actually the truth is a coagulation of two principles. Whatever you are, whatever you were, whatever your inklings or whatever your genetics, you can be transformed by a pair of unchanging and necessary conclusions.

We call the first one the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Yet I must tell you, that single concept becomes merely idealistic if you don’t take the “rule to school.”

In other words, if you do not allow the truth of the Golden Rule to enter your daily activities, you will worship the premise as you simultaneously defile it.

There has to be an application for the cleansing power of “love your neighbor.” This is found in John the 8th Chapter, verse 15. Jesus makes a simple statement.

He says, “You judge according to the flesh. I judge no man.”

We do become different people when we realize that “loving our neighbor as ourself” is the survival mode for human interaction, and that the only way to apply it is to never judge anyone.

You may feel an inclination towards a lifestyle, a genetic predisposition, or have just developed habits which seem to cling to you like feathers in the wind, but you can still be completely reborn by realizing that loving your neighbor is refusing to participate in any judgment about him or her.

Are you ready for some truth?

  • Jesus did not believe in adultery, but he forgave an adulterous woman.
  • At no point in the Gospels will you find a situation when Jesus supported gay marriage, yet I guarantee you–he would never condemn a homosexual.
  • It would be difficult to make a case for Jesus being pro-choice, but it would be equally as difficult to think that he would forbid a woman the right to choose.

I am often confused why we think it is necessary to hold a conviction and then force others to comply.

For instance, I do not like alcohol and never have. Yet I would be completely against Prohibition.

I think smoking marijuana is granting yourself a license to be inept in the name of recreational drugs, but by the same nature, I think it’s wrong to condemn and incarcerate those who want to puff.

An obvious way we can all change is to admit that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is the essential chemical compound of life, but the only way to take that rule to school is to refuse to judge anyone.

It is never all right, and certainly is never God-ordained.

Even though the Apostle Paul had his experience on the road to Damascus, by the time he got on the road to Corinth, he had somewhat turned back into an officious, overly opinionated Pharisee.

But there is one thing he never lost: the realization that we are to love one another … which means expressing mercy instead of judgment.

 

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Prince of Pieces … December 22, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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big pharisees

Little fellow, what happened?

Prince of peace

Good will toward men

Come and see

Good tidings of great joy

Welcoming working-class stiffs

Wise souls heading westward

Excited young virgin

Questing young man

Simple and free

Do unto others

NoOne is better than anyone else

Judge not

Whosoever will may come

Then … the message was altered, the guest list trimmed.

Over the passage of time, those creaky patriarchs of purposeless passages, who once provided for a wicked king insight about your life and birthing locale, so that he could go and take his evil might in an attempt to slay all innocents–yes, those notoriously negative ninnies who sit around dusty books with dirty minds and prohibit gentleness to permeate the cause, indeed, religionists crept in and gradually ate away at the peacefulness of the baby and replaced it with the growling, garbled language of self-righteous philosophers.

Of course, such self-proclaimed notables are never satisfied with one another, so discussion became debate, which raged into a debacle and devastated everything once laced with good cheer.

Even though you told them to “remain as one,” they defiantly disintegrated into hundreds of pieces, holding fast to their own traditions, proclaiming them to be the commandments of God.

What happened, sweet baby?

Where is your holy loneliness?

Where is the message of hope?

Why is it replaced by doom and gloom?

Are we the light of the world?

Or are you the only beam provided?

Are we the salt of the earth?

Or do you deem us tasteless?

Prince of pieces

I fear, young heart, that we no longer listen to the angels of our better nature

Or follow the star in the sky

As you spoke to an aged, cranky Pharisee so many years ago, warning him of his loss of identity and true heart, I must tell you, Babe of Bethlehem, with all the gentleness I possess and humility of my soul … you, too, must be born again.

 

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Twenty Seconds… March 7, 2013

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watchBad language–a phrase usually associated with four-letter words, by people who act like they’ve been splashed with acid upon hearing such foulness. Truth of the matter is, there’s lots of bad language. It is also not limited to four-letter words.

Any words that are hurtful, boring and confusing are nasty and anti-human.

Any phrasing of the language that aspires to hurt people, leaves them bored or at the end of the discourse, produces more confusion than understanding is detrimental. So you can see, bad language is not limited to street talk or R-rated movies or blue comics.

I’ve heard bad language in classrooms, as teachers have espoused information which has left their students uninspired, with no desire whatsoever to pursue knowledge.

I’ve heard bad language in churches, as repetition and repudiation have caused people to recoil in fear instead of embracing a loving heavenly Father.

I’ve watched television shows espousing themselves clever by portraying what they determined to be “reality” which left the viewers hurting and sometimes even bored in their confusion.

I will repeat it again: any words that hurt humans, bore them, or confuse them are bad language.

  • If you can’t take the hurt out of your words, to make what you have to say is interesting and to connect the dots to produce comprehension, then it’s like you’re cussing a blue streak.
  • If you’re spending your time studying prophesy, don’t be surprised if people perceive you as Harry Potter or a hobbit.
  • If you think that a string of four-letter words linked together actually form a sentence, you may need to go back and study subjects, verbs and objects.
  • And if you think you’re going to get more than twenty seconds to make your heart’s desire clear to others, you are sadly mistaken–and on the verge of hurting, boring or confusing your hearer.

Often people ask, “Well, what do you believe?”

I would suggest that you have a twenty-second, thirty-word answer. For instance, the Bible is full of them. John 3:16 is less than thirty words. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”–the summation of the whole Bible–is much less than thirty words.

So when the question is posed to me, “what do you believe?” I know I have less than twenty-seconds of attention span. So here’s my answer:

“I believe in a God who wants heaven to begin here on earth by including everyone as brothers and sisters and knowing that ‘NoOne is better than anyone else’.”

That’s mine. It’s not hurtful, not long enough to be boring and not confusing. Matter of fact, I’ve found it to be a conversation STARTER instead of killer.

Sometimes the spotlight will hit you for twenty seconds. You will need to escape bad language which is hurtful, boring and confusing.

What are your thirty words?

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