G-Poppers … August 11th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop spends more time thinking than he does talking. Long before he offers a chat to his children, he tosses the ball of confusion around in his brain to see if he can get it to bounce right.

Such is the case between caring and involved.

Normally we think that if we care, we will become involved–but the danger of becoming involved is, with our assistance, we bring our opinion.

This year G-Pop has learned this lesson with great clarity. He aspired to be helpful and involved. Why? Because he cared.

But he did not believe that caring was enough–caring being that action of expressing concern and standing ready with prayer or even some financial support, to help those around him achieve what they set out to do.

  • “Caring” comes without interference.
  • “Involved” often brings a bit of nosiness and mouth along with the tender touch.

For instance, does God care for us or is God involved? And if He is involved, where does that place free will?

In other words, can you be involved in other people’s lives and still completely honor their choices, without displaying a disgruntled expression?

G-Pop believes the answer is no.

Here’s a truth: it’s better when people work out their own problems. We need things to be our idea. If possible, we need the idea to be born of our will.

Following advice does make you a follower.

G-Pop now realizes that he needs to care, but not get so involved. Caring will always be received well but involvement can be interfering.

So G-Pop says to his children, be careful not to intrude and then become offended because people treat you like you’re an intruder.

“All I was trying to do was help.”

What we should try to do is care–and encourage people as they find their path. Because if we stand afar and care more instead of involving ourselves, the number of people we can bless increases.

Because here’s the fact: involvement is downright exhausting.Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

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Good News and Better News … May 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2950)

Mt Pisgah 3Pastor John Crawford had decided to retire.

While in the midst of considering what would be his favorite chair, he was urgently “recalled” to help out at the Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church near Verona, Virginia.

It was a temporary assignment that has lasted for twelve years.

I was fortunate to be invited to share with the delightful congregation and Pastor John this past Sunday morning.

The people are the salt of the earth, unfortunately living in a time when the masses prefer pepper.

Yes, we are a generation who has convinced ourselves that we are happiest when we portray reality as being dissension, describing politics as deception, and fostering religion that has more verse than rhyme.

So as I settled in to play music and chat with these inspiring individuals, I wanted to make sure I kept it simple–not because they were incapable of complexity, but because I am incapable of complexity.Mt Pisgah 2

If it’s necessary to make things difficult to find solutions, please do not contact me.

I’ve read the Bible through enough times that I have discovered there’s a central theme. Such a golden stream of understanding can never be achieved by focusing on a few passages here and there which seem to back your favorite prejudice.

The central theme I’ve discovered is that God will have a kind people, or no people at all.

Yes, I’m telling you–God is love until you get Him really frustrated. At that point He is described as a consuming fire. And what really sparks His blaze? Unkindness.

In our society, we now believe that the tougher you look, the meaner you act and the more aggressive you become, the better off you are in this dangerous climate.

Holy hogwash. It’s about being kind. Which, by the way, begins with the word “kin.”

Yes, to be kind you have to learn how to treat everyone you meet as kin.

This means you will continue to love them through their quirks, their preferences, their ideologies or even, God forbid, their diverse choices in baptism.

Kind.

Mt Pisgah 1For instance, I can never pray to my Heavenly Father unless I’ve already expressed kindness to His children. I even exaggerate it–especially when I’m feeling grumpy and my natural inclination is to spit at the world around me. Instead, I keep my saliva to myself, pucker up and force a kiss.

Case in point, driving to the church yesterday, a young man came behind my van, honking at me. I was a little surprised so I slowed up, thinking I must be doing something wrong. This infuriated him even more, causing him to pass me and give me the finger as he zoomed by.

Now, when I was younger I would have been aggravated at this assault to my person. But in my present mindset, I land somewhere between baffled and amused. (Because if he’s going to give me the finger over my slow driving, he should be around when my real faults show up.)

The good news is that being kind–treating all souls as your kin–is guaranteed to produce pleasure in the heart of God. There may be other things you can do to make Him happy, but they are completely negated if you are unkind.

The better news is that kind is not nearly as exhausting as mean.

Mt Pisgah 4 

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The Alphabet of Us: A is for Anger… December 8, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2437)

Baby block A bigger

All human beings possess a heart, a soul, mind and strength.

Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

  • Trying to deal with our emotions by thinking our way out of the situation is doomed to failure.
  • Becoming emotionally involved with mathematical equations is equally sunk in the bog.
  • And ignoring our spirituality, hoping to physically dominate in every facet of our lives, is just downright exhausting.

Every human being gets angry. Beware of those who insist they don’t–they are ticking time bombs, having stuffed all of their frustration down inside, likely to explode at a most inopportune time.

Anger is an emotion. To take a class in anger management is the belief that we can control that emotion by using better thinking.

I must disagree. As an emotion, anger must be handled emotionally.

So in pursuing the alphabet of us, let’s look at how we should handle our anger:

1. Be verbal.

Emotions should not be trapped without speech. It is “out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” What you want to ensure is that you can speak in a climate where you don’t have to be judged by your adversary, but can sound off to a friend and hear your feelings expressed in syllables.

That’s right–practice. Rehearse your anger–in the mirror, to a friend, to God or to anyone who is not the source of your resentment.

2. Listen to yourself.

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of an argument and hearing yourself voice your misgiving for the first time, and suddenly realize how stupid it is. Then you’re stuck in the midst of a fight, with your pride trying to win the day.

Listen to yourself.

That’s why we need to be spiritual. It is the soul that gives us the ability to separate out the real complaint from the blown-up rendition.

3. Clear your head.

There’s only one way to renew your brain. Make sure you take all previous experiences and set them aside in favor of a fresh encounter.

That’s what clearing your head is. It’s offering a brand new pathway, to allow conversation to produce change.

4. And finally, choose what’s really important.

Before you go have that interface with a person who has upset you, find out the core issue. Keep your anger as small as you possibly can to make it easier for the person hearing your insights to comply.

The biggest mistake we make is separating our parts–heart, soul, mind and strength–and believing they have the power to act on their own.

They are a team. They perform best as a team.

And the only way to handle anger is to use their teamwork.

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

*****

Check out Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories’Til Christmas

The Best Christmas Stories You’ll Ever Read!

Click on Santa to browse "Mr. Kringle's Tales ... 26 Stories Til Christmas"

Click on Santa to browse “Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories Til Christmas”

Three Reasons to be Kind … June 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2275)

hands in mirror1. Mean is a major commitment. Kind, on the other hand, allows room for adjustment.

2. You never know who you don’t knowknows.

3. Joy is not about what we do, but the feeling that remains after we do it.

I don’t have time or energy to maintain a sullen, suspicious or fearful profile. It is exhausting.

If there is no god, then the world needs my help even more. If there is a God, how I treat people is what I think of Him.

I want to be happy.

To achieve that, I must avoid regret and grudges. There are no guarantees … but being kind is safer than being mean.

 

 

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Arizona morning

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!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

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