Ask Jonathots… June 25th, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2614)

ask jonathots

My best girlfriend and I meet for lunch once a week. She is overweight and is on a diet–and she does seem to be losing some weight. But every time we eat out she orders huge meals and extravagant desserts. Every week. I don’t want to judge her. Should I say anything?

Your question is fascinating.

First, let’s start with some facts.

Every one of us has three different parts: the person we are born with, the person we are trained to be, and the person we decide to be.

You must understand, your girlfriend’s birth and circumstances are not the same as yours. And more than likely, her training does not duplicate the training you received.

I found some contradictions in your explanation. The truth of the matter is, your girlfriend is not on a diet if she’s ordering huge meals and extravagant desserts.

So I guess your question to me is, what do I do with a person who thinks she’s dieting, but who’s really acting out the elements of her birth and training?

The answer is really simple. You can do nothing.

Because until she decides to kick in the third part–her contribution–what she decides she wants to be–then all of your prodding, which you may deem to be encouragement, will only come across as criticism.

So you really need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. If my girlfriend has a metabolism which is going to keep her pretty plump, am I all right with that?
  2. If I’m not all right with that, am I prepared to walk away from the relationship to keep from harming her soul by my continual disapproval?
  3. And finally, if I decide to walk away, am I going to be able to find the attributes that drew me to this young lady with someone else in a thinner package?

Here are some of the stark realities regarding weight loss:

95% of the people who lose weight put it back on, usually with some additional. This should tell you that we do not have it figured out. When you take into account metabolism, digestion, training, appetite, and the human brain’s tendency to occasionally push things too far, we are probably a full generation away from a solution to obesity.

Will power only works for Will.

So what should you do in the moment?

Easy. Get a quiet space of time when you know her heart is open, and let her tell you what she feels about her weight instead of you telling her how much better she would be if she were smaller.

Once you hear her explanation, make a decision to stay with her if you can help, and leave her if you can’t.

Got a question for Jonathots? Send it to jacquelinebarnett76@gmail.com.

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If Jesus Were in Charge… January 4, 2015

pastor Jesus big

  • Religion wants to worship God.
  • Hope wants to find God.
  • Faith wants to see God.
  • Love wants to share God.

Church is becoming an exercise in futility because man was not created to worship. Worship was created so man could revel with the joy, love, faith and hope that pulsate within. It is a chance to express the hope to find God, the faith to see God and the love to share God.

But how do we do it? What would a church service be with Pastor Jesus?

If you read the Gospels closely, the answers are pretty clear, at least to this pilgrim. Every time Jesus got together with people, there was some sort of transformation, victory or healing which occurred. People felt they could come with their illnesses, insufficiencies, questions and frustrations and not have to wait through an entire service to have them addressed.

Yes, I believe church should begin with prayer, hugs, words of encouragement or even just a good cup of coffee. We begin with a season of healing–heart, soul, mind and strength.

I think if Jesus were pastor of a church, next would come testifying. Those who have been blessed, healed or rejuvenated get a chance to share their hearts. Others who have had dynamic weeks can express gratitude for intervention.

So once people have been healed and given a chance to speak out as part of the family of God, then it’s time to teach. Instruction is motivated at this point. Healing and testifying have been accomplished, so we have the opportunity to explain the mind of our heavenly Father, and offer better ways for us to get along with each other.

Healed, testified and taught, we are anxious to celebrate. Let the music begin. I don’t know why we expect people to sing their way into a good mood. Music was meant to produce emotion and praise–which normally follows an experience.

And finally, after celebration, we give. We close out the service providing finance–as each one has prospered throughout the week.

It was the style of Jesus to heal, open the door to testifying, teach the masses, celebrate the message and then allow them to give of their substance so the work could continue in the next village.

Church has become a commemoration, when it was meant to be a combustion–stoking the fire of belief so it can burn brilliantly.

If Jesus were in charge, church would be about people instead of causes, concerns, committees or even communion. Will we ever see such an opportunity come our way?

I guess when we finally grow weary of being pious and become wary of being godless.

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Why I Come … June 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2265)

“What caused you to come to our little town?”Burlington

I hear this question everywhere I go.

I guess there’s some sort of assumption that I should be elsewhere or some place the inquirer deems to be more important. Yet I learned a long time ago–it’s not about where you go. It’s about what you do when you get there.

After all, we have a dual responsibility in life: to enter the doors that are open and to make sure when we finish, we leave behind blessing.

I have two reasons for coming and going in my life. They haven’t changed in forty years. Although they’re not always compatible with the inclinations society’s trend, I refuse to change them, because the quality they bring to my life and to those around me is undeniable.

1. I come so that people can have life and it abundantly.

Yes, I enjoy arriving in situations where people have given up on the excitement of just being alive and allowing a fresh stream of consciousness to re-baptize them with the joy of living.

“Abundant life” is when you’re no longer afraid of the change that certainly must come. You know you have the ability to love and be loved.

2. I come that your joy may be full.

Joy is underrated. It is a happiness we select because we know that temporary set-backs are always transformed by patience, perseverance and purpose.

God is in control. In other words, He has established a beautiful universe and a natural order, and if we learn it, it will feed us instead of attack us.

This is why I come–and you would think, with such a universal message of gentleness and encouragement, that I would be welcomed with open arms and a sense of anticipation everywhere I go.

But as long as there are individuals who gain strength by hurting others or limiting the capacity of their fellow-humans, I will have my enemies.

I know who they are, and I know where they are. But as Jesus requested, I love them too.

I have come to bring abundant life, with the aspiration that joy can be made full.Donate Button

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After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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G-7: Move or Stay… January 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2123)

allergyIt is not healthy to remain in an unhealthy situation.

This might seem an obvious assertion, unless you consider that people have a tendency to do what is “normal” instead of what is beneficial.

We just get used to stuff. Then we convince ourselves that it’s meant to be, God’s will, our lot, a cross to bear, or even worse, a mission field.

Keep in mind, you have a certain amount of energy. It is a daily gift which should be used wisely–because honestly, it can’t be conserved. You can’t save up Tuesday’s passion for a Thursday adventure.

So we have to be careful to be in surroundings that move us. And if we’re not moved, then we need to move.  Staying is not an option.

How do you know?

1. Is there a hunger and thirst for life? If you’re surrounded by an atmosphere of negativity, despair and complaining, it’s going to be very difficult to forge a future. Even if they’re your relatives, it doesn’t change the level of obnoxious.

2. Is there change in the air? Human beings are either evolving or they’re going extinct. It’s just the natural order. If there isn’t a sense of wonder about innovation, you will start settling for things instead of choosing them.

3. Is there enough heart around you to be touched? There are individuals who think it’s adult to remain aloof and free of emotion. I will agree that too much sensitivity becomes annoying. But if a climate of your choosing does not have people in it who are capable of being touched in the heart, then you have to depend on them to be spiritual. Human beings are not naturally spiritual. Or you’re expecting on them to be smart all the time. (I don’t think I have to even speak to that.) The ability to be emotionally impacted is a sign of mental health.

4. And finally, is there still an abiding faith? Listen to the next five things the people around you say. Is there anything positive in them? Of course, we can all get aggravated and turn dark in our mood, but generally speaking, if the next five things said don’t have love and encouragement, you have found yourself in a dark cave where light is considered an intrusion.

Of course, you can continue to stay in bleak environs and try to be “this little light of mine.” But remember–there’s a reason people have chosen the path of despair, and they won’t be satisfied until you despair along with them.

The most important decision you will make in your life is where to invest your ching.

And if you stay where there is no movement, you will eventually be forbidden to move those who stay.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

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click to hear music from Spirited 2014

The Money Brick … January 11, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2117)

Some people are stained glassbrick of money

Others, just stained

Either way, we’re hurtin’

Our flaws bring us pain

Or is it that our pain invites the flaws?

Who knows?

Stained-glassers focus on the flaws

Stainers, on the pain

But both remain

And it is useless to counsel a leper

And mean-spirited to offer a good book to a blind man

I awakened in the middle of the night, finding myself deep in thought. I like that. I believe life should be a balance between discouragement and satisfaction, exhorting us toward greater discovery. As I was quietly lying in my bed reflecting, a sense of well-being and warmth filled my soul.

Some folks would become cynical if I suggested God was speaking to me. They would insist I was just being prodded by my own conscience. To each his own.

But the revelation was that it is beautiful that I am traveling, excellent to share my life with tens of thousands of people, smart to write daily columns and ingenious to always be trying to update the material and the message to reach a specific gathered audience.

Then a yearning came. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was the realization that even after all these projects and outreaches are done, I still have time on my hands. After all, the bills are paid. I often have a little extra money.

Time and money–the dynamic duo. When they work together, lives can be changed.

In that moment of quiet, I was strongly impressed to take a small purse of cash–what I now refer to as a “money brick”–each and every week and invest it in human beings.. Here’s why:

  • Some people will not listen to words.
  • There are those who refrain from partaking of a melody.
  • And very few individuals will tolerate a sermon.

But everyone appreciates a few dollars offered as encouragement and evidence that they are not alone.

I don’t have much; I’m not going to pay off people’s debts. But sometimes what the stained-glassers and the stainers need is just a dollar or two–to let them know that someone sees them, cares and wishes them God speed.

Money does talk. It speaks a universal language.

So I thought that the generous folks who contribute to my cause would not mind me setting aside a specific amount of coinage each week, to bless the folks I encounter on a daily basis. I have requested that God send such individuals my way.

We shall see.

I will offer the brick … and ask God to provide the mortar. 

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

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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

Reservations… December 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2094)

angel light“Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord…”

These were the words uttered by the Virgin Mary of Nazareth upon hearing that she was to be the human incubator of the Messiah. Of course, she had no idea what the project entailed, nor exactly how God works with people to perform greatness.

  • Jesus was an idea.
  • God loves ideas.

The problem with our comprehension of the Divine is that we believe the “idea person” should jump in and do all the work. It doesn’t happen that way.

Actually, if you study the story carefully and put it into the context of Mary’s lifespan, it is a tale of unfulfillment, punctuated by obedience and highlighted by very brief moments of encouragement.

For after all, getting pregnant in a small town when you’re not married is not pleasant whatsoever–especially among people who consider stoning. Being a teenage girl going through morning sickness, swollen legs and a growing belly leaves little time for reflections on angels and promises.

And then to discover that your family is about to be taxed and you will have to leave town during your third trimester to journey over a hundred miles away–only to have your water break right outside the town of your destination, while your husband is unable to find any kind of lodging without situating you next to an animal–well, it certainly takes the glimmer off the original statement of acceptance and willingness.

But it didn’t stop there.

She was chased out of Israel, lived for at least five years in a foreign land, returned home to renewed gossip from non-forgiving-nor-forgetting townsfolk, and settled into what seemed to be a quiet life with a normal family, with no signs of her “miracle son” being particularly special, except for the one time when he was twelve years old and disobeyed her by hanging out in the temple.

When he was grown, she watched his erratic behavior as he lived among wild beasts and fasted, preached against religious intolerance and was rejected by his home town and nearly killed.

Shortly after that, his execution was completed on a hill–hung between two thieves and thrown into a tomb, where to her amazement, he was resurrected. But even at the point of her death, his movement and words had not traveled much beyond the borders of Judea. Hardly confirmation for a world-wide savior.

All of this was initiated by an angel’s proclamation and the only further confirmation she received to give strength to the original promise was an occasional dream, which she had to choose to believe was significant.

The Christmas story is a beautiful insight into the mind of God. It reminds us that everything which is eventually deemed heavenly is brought to pass … through earthly sacrifice.

 

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

Some Total … October 30, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2052)

calendar

This morning it was egg whites, bacon and half a grapefruit. Yesterday, cereal, a few nuts and grapefruit.

Breakfast.

I mention the meal because it’s what I partake of right before I write this article to you every day.

Every day.

What a fabulous phrase. As much as we would love to take bows for sporadic activities, pointing to them as an indication of our progress, it is actually what we decide to do every day that energizes our character.

So in a sense, I’m a very selfish man. Even though it may appear that I am graciously offering encouragement to folks all over the world through my scribblings, the action of doing so affords me an emotional and spiritual cleansing daily, which transforms me into the man I am.

I will say this bluntly–if you don’t do something every day that is purposely accomplished, faithfully delivered and inspired by the rejuvenation of new ideas, you will eventually become convinced that life is pretty boring, which can lend itself to anything from lethargy to depression.

So here’s a simple little phrase to remember in becoming an “every day” human being instead of a hit-and-miss planet creature:

SOMEhow do SOMEthing for SOMEbody

Because SOMEday you will be SOMEwhere and need SOME more.

This is a fabulous philosophy, and makes twenty-four hours seem like a lifestyle instead of a waiting room for the next piece of “planned excitement.”

Matter of fact, I was shocked the other day when one of our potential sponsors said that he was going to “pass” on having us in this year, but “maybe next year.”

My mind nearly went into a spastic seizure. Next year?? Doesn’t this fellow know that’s three hundred and sixty-five days away? Three hundred and sixty-five opportunities to gain value, produce emotion and advance the cause. But you see, he’s convinced that he’s mature by being a big planner instead of a simple doer.

Every day.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t even have to be meaningful. It is a quality ritual wherein we prove our belief in the value of life by setting off moments for intentional endeavor.

In doing so, you go from being a victim to a victor.

You transform yourself from haphazard to motivated.

And you start appreciating the power of the rising of the sun and the setting of the same as a great barometer for self-inspection.

Let me say it one more time:

Somehow do something for somebody because someday you will be somewhere … and need some more.

 

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