1 Thing You Can Do This Week To Communicate Yourself More Clearly to Others


Pick Your Eye Placement

The human eyes, being the windows to our soul, are perhaps our most powerful way of passing along our inner thoughts and unfortunately, our internal prejudices.

Bluntly, eye contact is powerfully overwhelming. Sometimes it’s just not needed. Often it can be intrusive. Matter of fact, animals in the jungle do not make eye contact with each other unless they’re ready to square off and fight.

Therefore, deciding what to do with your eyes in any particular  situation grants you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not passing along false information to other people because they misinterpret your gaze.

This is the power of the cell phone. When you’re going into an environment where you do not know anyone, you’re not aware of how things will turn out, or striking up conversations with the people next to you may be perceived as wacky, look down at your phone. Pen a note. Peruse a book.

If you want to convey that you’re deep in thought, stare straight ahead.

If your selection is to scan the room as if you’re keeping yourself open to possible introduction, then turn your head from right to left and go back and forth like you’re slowly mowing a lawn.

Yet, when you’re in a new situation, avoid eye contact. Since nobody knows you, it will generally be considered to be criticism.

As De Niro once said, “Are you lookin’ at me? Are you lookin’ at me?”

Save your eyeballs for better use—intimacy.

Where you place your eyes determines what you are communicating to the surrounding atmosphere.

Just keep in mind—until your presence is welcome, your eyes can be viewed as being too aggressive.


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3 Things… January 4th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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You Can Do to Make People Believe You Are Smarter

1. Talk less

 

2. Make more eye contact

 

3. Carry a planner–old school

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Published in: on January 4, 2018 at 1:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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Good News and Better News… October 2nd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3448)

She was a sweetheart.

During my two presentations at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Clermont, Florida, I got a chance to meet this delightful woman.

She bounced up to my book table and engaged in conversation. About halfway through our exchange, her face got a little more serious and she asked me, “How do we rate? I mean, you go to places all over America. How would you rate our church?”

I knew she wanted a serious answer, yet I wasn’t going to placate her nor was I going to try to place some burden on her heart by pointing out an inadequacy.

“You’re kind of right in the middle,” I said.

She started to smile, then squinted and replied, “Well, that’s not very good.”

After nearly forty-five years of traveling America and sharing in a vari=ety of venues, many of them churches, I will tell you what makes a good church. It begins and ends with the word “generous.”

One of the most chilling statements Jesus offered to his disciples, and to us who would follow his message, was “to he who much is given much is expected.” So it’s a little optimistic to think that you’ll receive eternal salvation while lounging on a heavenly hammock. So here are the three things that make a great church:

1. Generous space.

Sanctuaries are too cramped. They’re confining. This stifles the sensation of freedom. Since your church probably is not filling up the sanctuary for every service, take come pews out. Create room. Make people aware that they have the freedom to extend their legs and arms. Give children a place to crawl.

Clear everything unnecessary from the platform. There should be room for three or four people to stand side by side easily.

If you give air to the room you give air to the people to give air

2. Generous face.

If you’re not going to talk to someone, don’t peer from a distance. It’s creepy. And when you walk up, don’t stay too long, but do make eye contact while you’re there.

We met a fabulous brother named Joe at Shepherd of the Hills. He was not an “average Joe.” He was loving, giving, kind, and made us believe that we had a primal place in his present consciousness.

No one expects you to be a counselor or long-lost friend from high school, but grant folks the dignity to enter your generous space and receive your generous face.

3. Generous grace.

You have no right, privilege or scriptural authority to probe into the lifestyles of those who worship next to you. Share the Gospel of Jesus and let the Gospel do its work. The Holy Spirit is much more adept at convicting people than you are with your gossip. I don’t care what you hear about people. I don’t care what you think about people. At no time do you, I or anyone else have the permission to judge anyone.

It is possible for any church in America to become a Jesonian church–a Jesonian Catholic, a Jesonian Baptist, a Jesonian Methodist, a Jesonian Lutheran, a Jesonian Pentecostal–but it requires you to take on the heart of Jesus instead of pounding your favorite theological nails.

The good news is that Shepherd of the Hills Church has this delightful lady who is not willing to subsist in the middle.

And the better news is, if you make your church a generous space with a generous face, offering generous grace, you will grow.

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Untotaled: Stepping 19–(February 16th, 1965) Achy … June 21, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Just south of my rib cage, ending just north of my knees, is an aching, throbbing pain, which has a grip on me and won’t let go. It is a gnawing discomfort, tingling my bowels, unrelenting, yet strangely, not totally unpleasant.

I felt it for the first time last summer when I went to Benny’s house–a friend of mine in the neighborhood–to goof around and figure out what to do with the day to make it go quick and slow at the same time.

As I arrived, there was Benny’s mom, standing outside with a garden hose, watering her bushes, dressed in a bikini. That was the first time I felt the ache.

It possessed my body. I didn’t want to look at her but I had to because she was … well, she was everywhere. She turned and smiled, which only made the ache worse. I couldn’t make eye contact because my vision kept falling on larger proportions.

I excused myself, telling her I had to go home. But I really didn’t. I ran to a nearby tree and hid, peeking around the corner of the bark, to stare at her.

The ache increased. It was almost unbearable in an exciting kind of way. I wasn’t sure if I needed to go to the bathroom or if my stomach was exploding.

Every time she glanced in the direction of the tree, I ducked behind it. But unfortunately, being a large young fellow, I protruded from the width of my disguise.

So the next time I ventured a glance, she was staring in my direction. She waved at me. I produced some sort of lame response using my hand, and ran to my house, into the garage, into the furthest corner where there was a fishing tackle box and a bucket we used for minnows.

I grabbed a nearby tarp and threw it over me so nobody could see me. I just sat there, smoldering in the heat, aching.

After about fifteen minutes, it went away.

But now today at school, it’s back again. It happened when we were called to an assembly and Louise turned around in her chair to talk to me before the principal began the event.

She’s so pretty–and the ache is back, so strong that I cannot enjoy the magician and his show, planned for the assembly. Instead, I just dream of Louise and me, together.

The ache.

Do you know what I 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

 

 

Terkel… February 23, 2013

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On the third day I decided to stop.

Sprawled on the gravel near the dumpster behind the convenience store, sitting out in front of my motel, was a man who certainly conveyed that he had lots of time on his hands and not too many places to go. I guess that’s a quaint way of saying–homeless.

I passed by him in my van the first two days, waving and smiling. On my first passage, he seemed a bit bewildered by my friendliness but on the second day he returned my greeting with the vigor of a long-lost friend watching his confidante fly off to Siberia on a secret mission.

But on the third day I decided to stop. I rolled up, eased my window down and said, “How ya’ doin’?”

Stumbling to his feet, staring into the distance and refusing eye contact, he replied, “Zeus has given me the light.”

I paused, recollecting my Greek mythology. Zeus was the top-dog god on Mount Olympus. I continued. “Zeus, huh? How’d you get an appointment with him?”

The question obviously baffled him so he continued his runaway train of thought. “Mercury gave me wings,” he proclaimed, still staring off into the distance.

It seemed we were going to run the entire roster of Hellenistic deities.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

There was a long pause. I decided not to repeat my question. I felt it would seem as if I were insensitive or impertinent. I just waited. At length, he responded.

“Terkel. T-e-r-k-e-l.” Each letter grew in pitch of volume and intensity.

“I would have guessed Brian or Kenneth based on your age,” I replied.

For the first time the trance was broken and he glanced at me with a crinkled brow. Noting his coherency, I asked, “So what are you doing out here behind the convenience store?”

He yelled, ‘The policeman said I could be here as long as I didn’t lean against the building and sat on the gravel. It’s public property.”

I obviously had struck a nerve.

“You misunderstood my question,” I explained. “What I’m asking you is, what’s your story?”

“Zeus gave me…” he began.

I interrupted. “Listen, Terkel. I don’t know whether you believe in Zeus or not, but let’s just pretend for a second that you don’t. If you’d like me to stop bothering you, I get it. But really, it’s quite simple. I have passed by you for two days and waved, and I thought i would stop this time–just to see if there was anything human that could happen between us.”

This time he paused, recollecting human manners. “Do you have any money?” he asked.

“You know I do,” I replied. “You see, they don’t let you leave the back end of the convenience store and roam around if you don’t have it.”

I think he smiled, which led me to believe there was a little bit more inside of him than just a supernal messenger from Zeus.

“Do you have any money you can give me?” he asked more pointedly.

I reached for my wallet, pulled out two one dollar bills, and as I was beginning to hand them to him he added, eyeing the cash, “Breakfast tacos are three dollars.”

“You  mean Zeus left you out here without breakfast?” I probed with a smile.

He smiled back, as if mirroring my image. I reached into my wallet and added an additional one to my offering. “Breakfast tacos it is, then.”

He took the money and inquired, “What’s your name?”

“This is gonna be weird,” I said. “My name is also Terkel. T-e-r-k-e-l.” I mimicked his previous bravado.

He chuckled in spite of himself. “You’re not Terkel,” he said.

“Neither are you.”

He chuckled again.

“You see, this wasn’t so bad. We talked for a minute, we got past the lineage of the Greek gods and you ended up with money for breakfast tacos.”

I reached down to close my window, finishing up the conversation. He stepped forward, and for the first time, looked me in the eyes.

“Thank you, Terkel,” he said. Then he stepped back and stared in the distance as if perched on the deck of the Santa Maria, peering for the north star. He mumbled something about Zeuss and collapsed onto the gravel in a giant heap.

I drove away. I do not know if I did a good thing or a bad thing. Such determinations, in my mind, are deliberated by foolish souls who pursue levels of divinity instead of acquiring the true depths of their humanity.

What I did was something different. And without difference, we are stuck with what and who we are … believing that nothing can change.

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