Good News and Better News … May 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2943)

Good News Cross Plains

When I was twelve years old, a school buddy invited me to his church for a night of revival, with the tease of a delicious pot luck dinner preceding the event.

I was thrilled.

Of course, I was interested in the pot luck dinner, but much more excited over the chance to see my friend far away from school books and blackboards.

The revival was held at his home church–a Pentecostal Baptist.

I didn’t know much of anything at that point in my life, so I can’t tell you a lot about the evening’s activities, except that at one point during the sermon by the guest evangelist, he paused, staring at the audience with bulging eyes, sweat dripping from his brow, and proclaimed, “God’s grace cannot be earned, nor can it ever be lost.”

The reason I remember this statement is that it evoked an explosion of cheers, applause and “hallelujahs.” The folks really liked it.

Of course they did.

We all deeply enjoy free stuff.

The idea that none of us had to work on our salvation or had any chance of losing it just because we went on a “lying spree” was certainly intoxicating to the spirit.

But unfortunately, when you put no expectations on human beings, generally speaking, you get no production.

When I visited Fishersville United Methodist Church yesterday, I was struck by two outstanding realizations:

  1. These were some lovely, intelligent and caring people.
  2. But left to themselves, they can be lazy, uncaring and unfeeling.

I will tell you that no Creator with the intelligence to make a kidney which enables us to pee would ever let human beings think they did not need to be involved in their own lives, or even their own salvation.

We certainly wouldn’t do that with our children: “I love you, Johnny, so you don’t need to do any chores or clean your room because my affection is enough.”

If we did that we would be in danger of raising a criminal or a politician.

It is important to realize that God loves us.

But He’s also provided a purpose for life, where we learn to take responsibility for ourselves and save some extra time to assist others.

I refer to it as “sanity saves.”

If you do not stay involved in your own life, with an awareness of what you need to work on, your brain will deteriorate to the point that learning ceases to be possible. Then you’re stuck with what you know and nothing else.

God gives me a “sanity save” every day.

My mind is renewed by the celebration of knowing that the Gospel that Jesus preached is not only a message to make me Heaven-worthy, but also Earth-friendly.

It gives me sanity and it saves me from becoming an emotional and spiritual bum.

Without these sanity saves, we start relying too much on chance, fear or a presumptuous faith to carry us through difficulties, instead of using principle, prayer and the power of learning to grant us the wisdom to overcome.

As the folks came to my table yesterday, I found myself conversing with an 89-year-old World War II veteran. He was standing next to a nine-year-old boy.

They both came to chat with me. I looked into their eyes and saw the same thing. There was a sparkle of enthusiasm with the moisture of repentance.

It is what makes us powerful human beings–that which excites us should make us repent. And the repentance stimulates more excitement.

Sanity saves: when we take the salvation provided and turn it into a lifestyle that considers others.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that God’s grace is never deserved, but does offer us lives of sanity.

 

Donate Button

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

 

Ask Jonathots …December 17th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2785)

ask jonathots bigger

I have a co-worker who thinks that all the religions of the world are the same. She believes that they all teach human beings to love and respect each other, take care of those in need, be honest and that there’s something greater than ourselves. I have other friends who disagree vehemently. What do you think?

Choosing up sides seems to be the great pastime of the human race. A sociologist might insist that this is natural since we basically are gregarious and like to clump together.

But I think it is often a sign of our insecurity and the lack of faith we have in presenting our individuality.

Is there a purpose for religion?

Is it the bastion for our souls or is it, as Karl Marx insisted, merely an opiate for the people, to keep them calm so they can be controlled?

If you remove the word “religion,” then you’re left with a term called “belief.” And belief should be an acceptance of scientific discovery mingled with a psychological profile of getting along with others, interspersed with our theories of what an afterlife might truly be.

If religion could transform into belief, then I think it would become rather obvious to us how it should play out in our society. Whatever the religion and whatever the contentions may be of those who deem themselves holy, there has to be some respect given to one another and to the planet, not merely a conjecture on for heavenly dreams.

So I will tell you–not all religions are the same, simply because not all religions honor Earth, humanity, justice and respect for the scientific community.

There are three questions you can always ask of anyone who claims to have a religious inclination, and from the answers, you can determine whether the religion is Earth-friendly or has a tendency to alienate human beings from their environment:

1. Does the religion believe that some people are better than others?

If it does, it generates the climate for dissension, which will never allow us to be peacemakers.

2. Does the religion accept the fact that the world is evolving, and that everything in it is expanding to a different situation?

If the religious community continues to insist that our creative God did not evolve things through time, then there will be a complete misunderstanding on how to handle the natural bumps that come in the road.

3. Does the religion believe that kindness can endure and win out, or does it demand or tolerate retribution? Even though we may have a desire for revenge, that particular action has no end game, since there’s always someone prepared to retaliate to the last attack.

Not all religions of the world are sensitive to these three ideas.

If they aren’t, they hinder the progress that God intended for human beings.

If they do offer agreement in these areas, then they are not only acceptable, but necessary to our emotional and spiritual growth.

 

Donate Button

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

***************************

Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

"Buy

 

 

Godfusion … July 28, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1957)

People are immediately turned off if you make them feel ignorant or if you make things too complicated. So in our time, religion and atheism have joined forces to turn God into a confusing dilemma—alas, an unnecessary pursuit. A fresh wave of agnosticism in this country portrays those who have a belief in a divine being as being backwoods, unintellectual or just generally speaking, lacking the fetchings to ever place them at the front of the line. 

In retaliation, a very conservative religious surge presents God as a complex Being with stringent demands, unusual tastes and apparently insecure enough to constantly need the confirmation of our love and devotion. 

It seems bizarre to me that these two should unite to create a climate in which spirituality is chilly, to say the least. 

God is dead.  

That’s what some people claim. Even if it’s not true, no one wants to be around a deity who is even on the verge of dying. Is God so old that He’s out of touch with anything our younger generation might consider valuable? 

God is mean. 

Some people would insist that it’s not an inherent rudeness but rather, an unflinching desire for morality at all costs. 

God is Jewish. 

Yes, we have the joining of Jews and Christians—once again to the alienation of the Muslim community—instead of the purity of a Christian faith which keeps itself focused on the lifestyle of Jesus instead of cautiously clinging to the tenets of the Old Testament

God is busy. 

There are those who feel the Supreme Being just has too much going on to be interested in the meager affairs of His human creation. 

God is needy. 

Yes, we are told that He’s a jealous God and will have no other gods before Him (even though I don’t know why that would be an issue, since He insists that He’s the only God…) 

All of these converging contradictions create a Godfusion—a frustrating misrepresentation of our Creator, which leads people to either run away in horror or smirk at the notion of Bible stories

Who is God? Let us start off with three simple insights: 

  1. God is not much use to us if He doesn’t like humans. Any belief that contends that He is miffed, distant, demanding or bewildered by our choices and make-up is a bizarre notion, considering that He was so meticulous in creating us.
  2. God, being a Spirit, needs to find a way to communicate to us, who are in flesh and blood, by devising a persona that is earth-friendly. I don’t know what you call this Being—I know him as Jesus. And even if there wasn’t a carpenter born two thousand years ago, we would need to come up with one to help us relate to a Spirit and help bring that blessing to us in a human way.
  3.  God is of little use to human beings if he isn’t fatherly. Any discussion about the Divine that takes us into a belief that He is irrelevant to human life because He is beyond our comprehension, or we are so beyond the comprehension of religion that we have become irrelevant to faith leaves us alone and fatherless. 

It is time to understand two very important things about moving our faith, our beliefs and our ideas forward: 

  • We need God. Without Him, it is virtually impossible for us to grasp the brotherhood of mankind. If we’re not related to a common Father, then we’re just warring tribes, looking for reasons to get enraged so we can set our war machine in motion.
  • If we don’t have a God, we begin to believe that this life is all that matters, and any time we’re only given one choice, we not only lose our motivation, but we also begin to lose the desire for excellence.

Be careful of the Godfusion in our country today, instigated by both atheists and religion, to chase our Father from us and coronate either a clown or a dictator. We need a Father who is in heaven. Earth cannot be a jungle—it was created to be a garden.

And until we get back to the Garden, we will be in danger … of flirting with extinction.

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

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: