Good News and Better News … May 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog


Konnoak Hills UMC Good News

Our clothes get dirty.

When this happens, we check our GPS and head off toward a local laundromat.

It is always an adventure–we certainly encounter some intriguing human beings.

Jan met a woman who was frail, lying on a bench, who told her that she had spent the night in a hospital ward, taking chemotherapy. She explained that she needed to eat something but was not really hungry.

Jan pressed the point and offered to buy her a meal. The lady described in detail a certain entrée just down the road at Bojangles that she might be able to choke down–mentioning that she would want the selection with extra hot sauce.

So Jan and I trekked to Bojangles to procure the treat.

Why? Did we do it because we thought the woman was in need of nourishment? Were we convinced that this little action of mercy was a way to convey love and affection to this frail child of God?

Absolutely not. We did it for us. For after all, to do anything else makes you feel like crap.

Let’s understand something–people who are lost are horrible.

That’s why they’re lost. They’re not “partly good and partly bad.” They aren’t following five of the Ten Commandments. They are often selfish, liars and wiling to do almost anything to get their way.

The truth is, you have a choice in life: you can work or you can con. If you don’t want to work, you’ll probably end up conning.

Anyway, back to the story: we brought the chicken, gave it to the lady and left her alone to enjoy her delicacy. A few minutes later she was gone. (I asked Jan to do a sketch of her just so we would have the memory. See below.)

We have to remember what the purpose is for hope, faith and love.

We’re not hoping the world becomes a better place, that our faith will produce miracles, or love will change the planet.

Hope, faith and love abide. That’s what the Good Book says. They abide because they really don’t solve problems–they just prevent us from becoming part of the mess.

Hope gives me the confidence to get up every morning thinking I can actually accomplish my mission.

Faith embraces me with the belief that I am not alone–what I do and say matters.

And love is my doorway to escape hate because hate sucks.

When I went to the church on Sunday morning–Konnoak Hills United Methodist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina–this was fresh on my mind.

Such beautiful people with wonderful stories, who are constantly being bombarded with the concept that the world is changing at a breakneck pace, so they’d better grab onto the caboose or be left at the station.


Right now in our country, “crazy” thinks it is the boss. It’s time for us to rise up and share the good news:

  • Shouting is loud, not smart.
  • Popular is advertised, not quality.
  • Anger is mean, not strong.
  • Cynical is frustrated, not clever.
  • And atheism is the absence of hope, not evidence of intellect.

I gave my faith, hope and love to the folks yesterday morning at Konnoak Hills. That’s the good news.

The better news is that I hope they’re smart enough to realize that the lost we are trying to reach can never be virtuous enough to please us.

It’s up to us to bring the heart, soul and patience to the matter.


Good News Winston Salem

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Three Ways to Curry Your Enthusiasm …March 5, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


cheering big

Enthusiasm is an emotional oxymoron.

To one person’s ear it sounds like a “rah-rah” attitude with very little substance to back up the initial burst of confidence.

On the other hand, trying to conduct business, relationships, family life or spirituality without some degree of enthusiasm leaves the surrounding terrain dusty and arid–a desert, devoid of emotion.

So what should we do? How can we curry our enthusiasm to our advantage instead of curbing it out of fear of coming across childish or over-wrought?

1. Stop faking your excitement.

Phony enthusiasm is not the seed that bears fruit for real enthusiasm. Instead, it makes us appear as lightweights, unable to handle the difficulties which will certainly occur in the process of pursuing a great idea.

You have to be honest–if you don’t feel it, you don’t feel it. And if you’re candid about it, the opportunity for greater insight which may stimulate your curiosity can come forth and provide you with a blessing.

2. Stop comparing yourself to your expectation.

There is a certain amount of self-satisfaction necessary for us to gain a foothold to improve. If we incriminate ourselves too much, we will kill the will to be better. So even in the midst of self-critique and the ravaging of our attitudes, we need to understand and retain the parts of us that are good and can be carried on into the next realm of adventure.

Just because I’m ignorant in one category does not mean that I don’t have valuable data in another. If you’re expecting to be right all the time, at least half the time you will be unhappy.

3. Start noticing people who are trying (including yourself).

The most beautiful sight you will ever eyeball is an individual who has made mistakes, repented of the deeds and is in an often-clumsy endeavor to improve.

Look for the smallest little jot or tittle or progress and extol it.

In a generation that believes that all of its virtue and vice is included in the womb-sack, you have an advantage by believing that you control your own destiny and choices. A world without enthusiasm is a planet devoid of the hope that stimulates faith which encourages love.

I would not want to live in such a climate–so I will train myself to have a legitimate enthusiasm which is based on my reality instead of fueled by my dreams.

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