3 Things… February 15th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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 To Help Sustain Great Love

1. Tell the truth

 

2. Be the first to admit your mistakes

 

3. Constantly evolve toward kindness

 

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Jesonian … October 28th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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jesonian-cover-amazon

It’s called a non-sequitur.

Jesus was downright a master at it.

It’s when folks are talking about a particular subject, and you come along and insert a completely different idea, which takes the conversation in an unexpected direction.

Once, when confronted with a cynical young man named Nathaniel, who had pompously posed the nasty question, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Jesus popped off with a non-sequitur. Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

Was it true? Was it an accurate representation of Nathaniel? Who knows? It was a non-sequitur. The boy thought he was going to say something stinky, and Jesus freshened it to something different.

Just like the woman at the well, who thought she was going to get into an argument with a Jew about how they treated Samaritans, and Jesus replied, “I can give you living water.”

You see, it wasn’t on point. But it chased away the stink.

Likewise, when he was conversing with a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who wanted to exchange compliments about being teachers of God, Jesus commented, “You must be born again.”

And he did it again with a bunch of people lamenting a tower falling on innocent people and killing them. Jesus’ non-sequitur was, “If you don’t repent, you will likewise perish.”

He frustrated his critics by refusing to allow them to control the topic.

A bunch of angry religionists brought a woman caught in adultery, quoting scripture about how she was to be killed. Jesus inserted a non-sequitur. “Well, I guess the person who throws the first stone should be without sin–otherwise, it wouldn’t be proper.”

The use of the non-sequitur peppers the ministry of Jesus, allowing him to spice the hot topics.

It is his way to chase away the stink.

Rather than talking about how crappy people act, or how negative the thinking may be, simply having the ability to steer the conversation in a meaningful motion by using a non-sequitur, without making apologies for diverting the subject, is truly an act of brilliance.

If you want to be Jesonian, you’re going to learn how to use the non-sequitur.

What non-sequitor would you use when somebody wants to talk about the end of the world and nuclear annihilation?

How about a non-sequitur when someone wants to grump, complain, or even brag about President Trump and Washington, D. C.?

Can you come up with something to chase away the stink of those who insist they hate change while living in a world that does nothing but evolve?

Jesus did not come to bitch about the bad attitudes that surrounded him. He ignored them by enlightening the mindset, using the non-sequitur, and in the process, chasing the stink away.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 10) Resilience … February 7th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2837)

Jesonian hands

Your personal resilience is truly a great gift you can impart to yourself, and even a greater blessing to bestow upon others.

Walking through life believing that you’re going to overcome all difficulty through perseverance or prayer is a cruel and unusual punishment.

Life never intended to please you. This is reasonable. Life actually offers a blank canvas which occasionally arrives already marred.

There are five tribulations which are common in the human experience. Failure to realize this causes us to develop a childish mentality. It begins this way:

I plan something.

Reaction 1:  Inconvenience. In other words, something came up.

I’m sure you know people who become exasperated over inconvenience, when it is actually the least pernicious of the five tribulations. If I am going to be a reasonable human being, possessing resilience, I must be prepared to evolve.

Because often, after inconvenience comes obstacle. Something is in the way.

I’ve never had a plan that didn’t require some adjustment. It is inevitable.

And obstacles often lead to resistance. Someone is disagreeing.

Truthfully, I can’t think of any statement you could make without having someone disagree with it. This is why each and every one of us must make sure that we actually believe in what we’re doing and we’re ready to reason with our adversaries instead of attacking them.

And I’m sure you are fully aware that resistance can lead to criticism. That’s when those who disagree with you decide to take a stand against you.

Butting one’s head against the wall is what produces headaches. When I run across people who are against what I’m doing and reasoning has failed to reach them, I know it is time to relocate. A plan that fails to work in Location 1 might work better in Location 2, where you don’t have to struggle with your enemies.

And finally, you can run across downright refusal. Progress is blocked.

This is when you must count the cost and have a Plan B ready, which honors Plan A, but separates itself enough from the original idea that those who have blocked your “A game” plan are ill-prepared to prohibit the new idea.

For instance, I’m not so sure that Jesus was supposed to die on a cross, but when human beings became hypocritical and religious, God had a Plan B to grant us salvation.

Resilience is knowing that inconvenience, obstacles, resistance, criticism and even refusal loom on the horizon.

Those who are reasonable in the Spirit have prepared for such eventualities by evolving, adjusting, reasoning, relocating or if necessary, even implementing Plan B.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 11th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Nov 11

A Picture of Time

The first shall be the last

The slow will run fast

What we think must surely change

All our plans will rearrange

The price will exceed our wealth

We will struggle for better health

What we believe will soon evolve

As the world continues to resolve

Our family grows to travel away

While dreams threaten to go astray

For we must learn to prepare our feast

Set the table for those deemed least

And conquer the fear that swallows our love

Soar like eagles but live like the dove

Learning the power of speaking what’s true

Keeping some old but embracing the new

No, life is not a bowl of cherries

Settled by destiny or holy fairies

It is at best a time to learn

To spy the corner and make the turn

Uncertain of what may lie ahead

Resurrecting breath and burying the dead

For soon we all will cease to be

A picture, a thought, a memory

So stand for something, as dear souls should

And pray to God that it is good. 

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

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Three Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Life… June 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jan lipsIn a great push for unconditional love and accepting people “just as they are,” we have closed the door on the benefit and blessing of self-improvement.

Here’s my take: I don’t want your unconditional love.

I want you to let me know how I can do things better, and then grant me your unconditional mercy as I move forward and try.

I don’t want you to accept me just the way I am if it’s going to make me obnoxious, shorten my life or pull me away from my potential success.

Minus condemnation, please clue me in on an idea which will enhance my possibilities.

Here is a truthful statement–it is much easier to repent of silly foibles than it is to constantly offend other people and try to cover one’s mistakes.

Candidly, the process is not complicated. Matter of fact, I would like to suggest three things you can do today which could change your life. If you pursue them for a twenty-four hour period, they will produce such obvious blessing that you may choose to continue.

1. Tell the truth.

Every one of us has found shortcuts and side streets from the path of honesty. I don’t know if we think it’s clever, intelligent or just fun to pull the wool over people’s eyes, but you will be astounded at how freeing it is to answer yes or no, or give an accurate account of your present situation.

Just try it for one day.Jan eyes

Now, I am not talking about going into your past and confessing all of your sins. I am merely speaking of taking today’s situations and baptizing them in the truth.

2. Don’t make promises.

If you don’t want to do something, try to tell people your real feelings. If you can’t do that without hurting them, don’t promise to participate, but instead, tell them you will think about it or attempt to participate.

People are quick to jump on our words and turn them into promises, so you must make sure you are clear that you’re either unwilling to join, or undecided.

3. Avoid excuses.

Jan earThe most annoying attribute in the human personality is explaining our motivations, hoping it will replace positive action. What a bunch of hogwash.

Stand behind what you did or apologize for it–but never try to persuade people who have been affronted by your actions to understand why you slighted them.

These are the three things you can change today which will not only make you a better human, but will immediately increase the trust people have in you, and therefore open the door to more acceptance.

Somewhere along the line, our culture needs to realize that accepting one another as we are is negating the power for human beings to evolve.

Isn’t it interesting that a generation which touts the importance of evolution wants to emotionally and spiritually stay the same?

 

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The Can Ran… August 26, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1987)

 jon and jan up

I can be honest

I can stop complaining

I can give you space

***

Choosing to serve thrusts me into mastering.

An honest answer surprises humanity and pleases God, leaving me free from further lying.

Refusing to complain allows me to learn, which keeps me in the hunt to evolve.

And when I stop interfering with others, I suddenly have the time to perfect my gifts.

I can be of value … if I value what I can be.

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After Sunset… March 25, 2013

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A good plan. It is important. Not because it always comes off without a hitch, but a good plan is necessary simply for the reason that nothing in life comes off without a hitch. It’s just too overwhelming to come up with stuff on the spot, while being bombarded with new surprises. That’s why most exasperated people find themselves sighin’ and cryin’. Nothing is going to work out the way we planned it.

I think the majority of the human beings on this planet have come to that realization but some of them have made an incorrect decision concerning that revelation. Why plan in the first place since everything is going to go topsy-turvy now and again?

So this has brought about an atmosphere of demanding “guarantees.” Can you guarantee me this? Will you put a guarantee on that–just in case? Do you promise it’s going to work out that way? And if it doesn’t can we blame you?

I think the healthiest moment of my life was when I realized there ARE no guarantees, and that the pursuit of such a venture is not only presumptuous, but dangerous.

I had a good plan for Sunday, March 24th. And to my surprise, nearly ninety per cent of it came off with no hiccups. It was really quite astounding.

I began my day in Trinity, Texas, with two presentations in front of some of the kindest and loveliest people you’d ever want to meet. Russ and  Carol had apparently sat down at some time or another and realized that the Golden Rule begins by figuring out how you’d like to be treated yourself, and then just Xerox that and present it to your neighbor.

I found a motel room that permitted me a late check-out on Sunday so that I could go back after my morning engagements, eat a bite and rest before driving the two hours down to Houston for my evening encounter. (Of course, this courtesy did come at the price of fifteen extra dollars for my motelier. But I’d already prepared for the fact that favors often demand cash.)

I got to put my feet up–and all the other parts attached–for about an hour before driving down to Sunset United Methodist Church in Houston, with Winston and his blessed cohorts. It was a beautiful journey. I had allotted time for traffic in the big city, because Houston, like any typical American metropolis, will suddenly back up traffic just to intrigue the tourist trade. But there was none on this particular Sunday and I cruised in with time to spare, set up and had an absolutely magnificent visitation with the good folks at Sunset.

It was done, I was done and all that remained was to drive out of Houston, find a motel room, and settle in for the night in a lovely “ker-plop” of exhaustion.

It worked.

But if it hadn’t worked that well yesterday, I was prepared to make some revisions. I think if we’re going to be intelligent, we need to realize that anything short of our murder grants us the brain and will to evolve–because all we want at the end of the day, is to be able to collapse in a chair and speak to the room around us, “It was good to be alive today.”

So remember two important things:

1. Make a plan because you WILL need to change it.

2. There are no guarantees.

If you follow those two simple principles, then after sunset, as the night is falling, peace will settle on your soul.

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