1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Be Smart)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

To Be Smart

The vocal chords and the tongue have very little to do with intelligence. Surprisingly, the brain is also often a deterrent to being aware of the truth.

The best way to be smart is to be honest.

And the preferred path to honesty is to get rid of the fear of being considered out of step or not in the know.

So this week, try one thing to open the door to becoming smarter: That which you’ve seen and that which you’ve heard is the only thing you will declare.

In other words, if you read it on the Internet or catch wind of a rumor, restrain yourself. If you haven’t seen it and you haven’t heard it, don’t confirm it.

The most powerful part of your life is your personal testimony and journal about your own discoveries.

When something comes up that you have not seen or heard, simply reply, “I’m sorry, I don’t have much personal experience in that matter.”

It does not make you look stupid. For after all, the only way to look ridiculous is to pass along ideas which end up being false. The better way to come across intelligent is to let people know that you will only offer insight if you have personally seen and heard.

Other than that, you simply listen and see if you can garner some data which might be tested and proven to be true.

A great man once said, “Be careful how you hear.”

He also said, “The light of the body is the eye.”

True.

So take this week, and instead of going to the trough of the Internet or the news services to discover erroneous stories which you pander off to your friends, speak only what you have seen and heard.

It is a powerful way to look smart.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… January 7, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Pohymn January 7

I, You–God

I am the light.

You have a light.

God is our light.

I have a great family.

You have one, too.

God is no respecter of persons.

I am smart.

You are educated.

God has wisdom.

I am beautiful.

You are attractive.

God looks on the heart.

I am great.

You are good.

God is … God.

I make mistakes.

You have sins.

Grace covers us all.

I am busy.

You are involved.

God is available.

I have insight.

You have opinions.

God has experience.

I have faith.

You have hope.

God is love.

I am bound for heaven.

You can come, too.

God has brought it here.

I need some changes.

You need to repent.

God agrees.

I am listening.

You are listening.

God is listening.

An understanding that passes all peace.

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Untotaled: Stepping 20 (March 18th, 1965) Bible League … June 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

In the midst of puberty, football, family problems, unbearable school work, insecurities and an unwillingness to walk the dog, I managed to wiggle in time to attend church.

I didn’t go there because I loved God or was fond of listening to sermons. Matter of fact, I couldn’t recall one single point from one of these elongated discourses. No, I went to the Steeple House to see church friends and because I had an abiding love for gospel music.

So when it was announced by our pastor that a competition would begin in the style of College Bowl, using the Bible for questions and answers, and that we would be competing with eleven other churches in our district, to win a trophy, I was immediately on board. It would give me a chance to be with my friends, carpool to new locations, and actively participate in a way to prove that I was better than others.

The first category for our pursuits was Acts of the Apostles, which had intelligently been shortened to the Book of Acts. We studied the material for three weeks. The teams were divided into Junior Bible League and Senior Bible League.

I was at an annoying age–the oldest in the Junior League, but youngest in the Senior League. So they stuck me in the younger group. We went out for the first competition and won handily against Milford.

Having a disconcerting mixture of ability and ego, I quickly decided that the Junior Bible League was beneath me, so I immediately began to lobby to be in the Seniors. This stimulated many discussions, church board meetings, and phone calls among pastors, all trying to decide if it was righteous for me to be with the older participants.

I think they wanted me to give it up. Yes, they figured that eventually I would stop asking.

But I didn’t.

So by the third contest, studying the Book of John, I wore them out and was placed on the Senior Team. Within two weeks, I was one of the starting members and on the third week was voted Captain.

Can I tell you the problem with progress? The reason life has steps to it is so we can enjoy the graduations–because even though I got my way and was on the Senior Team, I was stuck there for four years, with no further encouragement for ascension–just an expectation of ongoing winning.

For the first three years we won the trophy for the best Bible League Team in our district. But by the fourth year, quite honestly, I just wore out.

My jot was exhausted and my tittle lay dangling.

So the lasting memory of this experience is that we lost, in my final year, because of my indifference, and I shall forever be remembered as the guy who almost pulled it off.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to stand up against unreasonable rules and regulations. But often they are there to ease us into a joyous journey, where we have the pleasure of growing instead of the aggravating expectation of doing well … again.Donate Button

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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

 

 

A Dying Breed … January 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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cottonShe passed by me without saying a word, heading for the door.  It had all the appearance of an exit. Suddenly she paused, turned on her heel and walked slowly back toward me.

She said, “I’m a dying breed. I was raised two counties over. My mama and daddy grew cotton, so we spent all of our time in the field, crawling on the ground and picking cotton, dragging huge sacks behind us to collect the fruits of our labor. It was so hot that I had to cool my feet in the shade of the plants, and sometimes the work day was eight to ten hours. We didn’t have much, but we always seemed to have enough.”

And then she just stopped talking.

I looked deep into her eyes. It was like bathing in a well of experience. I suppose some people would consider her rural, rustic or maybe even rugged. It isn’t really so. That’s just another example of how we make quick judgments because we’re too lazy to spend time with one another. I realized she was embarrassed with her own silence and would soon slip away, so I decided to ask her a question.

“What did you learn?”

She didn’t miss a beat. “I learned to take care of myself and to not ask too much of others.”

It was one of those simple, beautiful, profound answers, laced with so much experience that additional wording would have been cumbersome.

“I just wanted you to know my story. How I’m part of a dying breed. People today don’t understand and kids would have no idea. I enjoyed your show.”

She quietly turned, walked away and disappeared out the door.

I thought about her words. The truth is, I don’t take care of myself enough. Somewhere between silliness and believing in the abiding grace of God, I float along, thinking that each day is promised to me instead of a gift. Much to learn.

And even though I try hard to be a servant instead of a burden, there are still strides to be made in that arena, too.

I sat and thought for a moment.

  • Some people read the Good Book to find their inspiration, believing it to be the sole source of life and instruction.
  • Others stubbornly wait for God to give them a burning bush to illuminate their path.
  • I suppose there are even people who are praying for an angelic visit to grant them the insight to propel their heart’s desire.

Not me.

Since we’re all part of a breed that’s dying, the smartest thing we can do is listen, observe and believe in other members of the herd that come our way, and accept the beauty: that it’s a gift from God.

 

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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

New Life… January 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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New Life

I picked up my calendar and noticed that tonight I’m going to be sharing at New Life Lutheran Church in Pearland, Texas. I couldn’t help but notice the two words: New Life.

I like that idea. I think everybody wants a new life to some degree, even if they’re enjoying the essence of their present journey. “New” is fun and fresh, and “life” is beautiful, if for no other reason than it’s the absence of death.

But I have never been a soul satisfied with the offerings of organized religion. I want new life, but Heaven and the promise of eternal existence is not enough to get me through Earth.

I need some heaven done here.

This is what Jesus promised in the Good Book–that it was possible for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I’ve always wondered why we thought Heaven was going to be so special if we weren’t impressed with the adventure God offers us on Earth. It’s like owning a Toyota Camry and being dissatisfied, and having the company offer you a Tercel. Still made by Toyota. No reason to believe the different name will make things better.

So I go to Jesus to find out what he thinks life is. Two things jump out immediately. He contended that life should be “abundant” and life should be “joyful.” Actually–full joy.

So what is abundance? I suppose it could be interpreted as “wealth” or accumulation. But I think in this case it means variety.

Yes, I will know that I have new life when I’m not afraid of what’s coming. If God was with me yesterday, why would I believe that overnight He’s abandoned me simply because today offers a different dilemma?

Yet, it is what plagues us. We really gain new life when we’re not afraid of what’s coming and we welcome the abundance because we know it grants us the wisdom to use our talents to gain our security.

And I need joy. Joy is the decision to be happy while you’re pursuing contentment.

If you do it the other way around, you’ll end up quite disappointed, trying to find contentment as a means of determining your happiness. This means that every disruption of your experience, actually bringing abundance, will distress you instead of bless you.

Yes, “new life” is the ingenious blending of abundance and joy.

So as I talk to these folks tonight I will share with them that Jesus did not come to try to make things comfortable. Instead, he came to comfort us as we grow able to handle our circumstance while maintaining our good cheer, eager for a chance to prove that what is in us … is up to the challenge.. 

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

The Carlisle Connection (a simple story)… August 14, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1975)

Nothingness cried out into the darkness, and …

God appeared.

God created man for fellowship.

Man requested woman for companionship.

Woman sought knowledge and uncovered confusion.

Confusion stumbled about, probing for intelligence.

Intelligence acquired experience.

Experience persevered and accumulated information.

Information repeated itself and became boredom.

Boredom gave up … and was left with nothingness

We begin again.

This time, let us hope that we seek wisdom instead of mere knowledge.

A better choice always saves time.

Carlisle Church

Carlisle Church

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Chingaling … December 9, 2012

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Jon Signing

 

“How’s your chingaling?”

Sounds like the typical, comical loaded question, doesn’t it? The chingaling is that delightful area located between our heart and our soul, where ideally, our feelings turn into praise. You can completely destroy the potential of a human being by dulling the chingaling or disconnecting it, causing the brain to stop learning, leaning to its own understanding.

The chingaling is under attack in America:

  • What could be spirit has turned into religion instead of experience.
  • We are satisfied with beliefs that fail to deliver fruit. What was meant to be government “of the people, by the people and for the people” has become politics, segregating us into our prejudices, rather than teaching us to pursue the common good.
  • Our chingaling desires real romance, but we are instead inundated with a war between the sexes, extracting the life-giving force of tenderness.
  • Movies that were intended to inspire our chingaling to greater human feats of generosity and intelligence are now just coy vehicles for promoting violence.
  • Sports, which used to be an inspiring way to initiate competition, have now become the generator of anger and malicious words and actions.

The chingaling of the American public is under attack. The end result is that we have emotion without feeling and spirituality without praise, so we settle for crocodile tears and worship services.

It’s not enough. Human beings are emotional. When legitimate heart is removed from endeavors and we try to replace it with duty or phoniness, we stagnate. We revert back to family, culture, misgivings and bigotry.

I feed my chingaling every day–because if what I feel does not turn into praise, then I will stop learning and never expand. But if what I feel does result in praise, I can renew my mind and bolster my strength.

What should we watch out for?

1. Repetition. Let us be frank–lightning cannot be captured in a bottle. Therefore, blessing can’t be packaged and shipped off for mass sale. The blessings of the Lord are fresh daily.

2. Cynicism. I don’t mind a good dose of sarcasm or satire, but when I’m led to believe that reality is dark, I am prepared to do battle for the light.

3. Frustration. Frustration is not the natural result of human beings living their lives. Frustration happens when we make wrong turns, and rather than taking the time to correct them, we assume that our choice was acceptable.

If you can avoid those three monsters, you can clean out your chingaling and get ready to feel again with your heart and praise with your spirit. It will set you apart. It will make you a little peculiar.

But it has always been those who have pursued excellence who ultimately carry the banner for better humanity.

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