1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Become a Better Communicator)

Don’t Quote From the Bible

Or Shakespeare, for that matter.

You might want to avoid constantly popping off with lines from old movies.

And nobody’s that interested in what your grandmother once said.

Human beings are just adverse to verse.

Along with coming across pious, self-righteous and intimidating, it leaves the listeners feeling ignorant if they’re not aware of the reference or fail to measure up to the content.

The Good Book even warns that “the letter kills.” In other words, quoting the Bible without allowing for the spirit of the idea to be included does nothing but condemn people.

HOW DO HUMANS LEARN?

Human folks do not learn by hearing lessons or even reading intelligent reports.

We imitate.

We see things we like or we view actions which have proven to be successful, and we come up with our own rendition.

Whenever you quote from the Bible, you’re not only telling people that “God has spoken,” but you’re also interpreting what God means. And the Good Book itself makes it clear that there is no private interpretation. In other words, you and I have not cornered the market on summarizing the heart of God.

This is why Jesus suggested that we “let our light shine before men, that they see our good works”–and then, from that positive experience, they can glorify the Father in Heaven.

The Bible does not encourage people to become faithful followers. You do that through the “word of your testimony.” Learn how to interact without needing to reinforce your experience with an “amen” from Almighty God.

It will turn you into a much better communicator.

 

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Jesonian … October 2nd, 2018

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Christine and Brett.

You may not immediately recognize the names. They have been referred to as “Doctor” and “Judge.”

Doctor: a person with a diagnosis and a treatment for illness.

Judge: an individual who sifts through facts and pronounces sentences.

They have also been categorized as Democrat and Republican.

Woman and man.

Victim and abuser.

Innocent and guilty.

But in the Mind and Spirit of God, they are Christine and Brett–two human beings on a planet of eight billion others, who have a conflict with one another.

The way our government and our society have decided to resolve this difficulty is to separate them, bring them into a room, have each one tell their story and let the public decide. Since this approach has ended in a fiasco, it might be interesting to consider the Jesonian technique–the way Jesus would assess Christine and Brett, separate from Doctor and Judge or woman and man. How might he suggest they come to reconciliation?

THE WILL OF THE FATHER

Jesus, in the 18th Chapter of Matthew made it clear (just in case nobody was certain or was questioning): it is not the will of the Father in Heaven that anyone should perish.

We mere mortals have a tendency to choose sides, kiss our favored and hurl rocks at the cursed. Not the Father.

Here’s the process Jesus suggested should happen:

PERSONAL CONTACT

When Christine realized that she had an unresolved conflict with Brett, and he was about to take a very, very important job, she should have contacted him personally. It would not have to be on the phone–it could be a letter or an email. She could have sat down with her husband, the members of her family and even some attorneys, and drafted a note with the following three elements:

1. Brett, what you did to me many years ago is still troubling.

2. I would like to know that this is not part of your behavior going forward, so that I can be supportive of your selection to the high court.

3. I would appreciate it if you would contact me, let me know of your memories of this event and what you feel about it looking back.

Yes, Jesus said that every human deserves to first be confronted privately. Christine was not emotionally healed to such a degree that she was able to do such a thing but the truth is, her own restoration should have already begun and be completed with Brett’s apology and her forgiveness.

BRING WITNESSES

If Brett decided to ignore her, say he didn’t know what she was talking about, or even deny her story, then she should have called in her witnesses. These are the people who were either there or they knew Brett’s situation very well. With this testimony standing strongly behind her, she should once again contact him and give him the chance to recant and admit his involvement in the situation.

Unfortunately, Christine did not bring witnesses, and all the hoopla we heard through the grapevine about these bystanders favored Brett. It may not be true. It just means things were mishandled, and no witnesses were produced to back up the original story.

This travesty of emotional mayhem played out on television last Thursday.

BRING TO THE PUBLIC

In the plan of Jesus, if Brett decided not to be agreeable to Christine and the testimony of the witnesses, at this time she should go to members of Congress and place him in front of the nation for review.

Arriving in that Senate chamber, she would have evidence that she had contacted him personally and she would have witnesses to the incident.

Christine should also have insisted that they both be in the Chamber at the same time, so it would not be an oration of two spurned adolescents, but rather, a human drama playing out in real time for all to discern.

If this path that Jesus suggested had been followed, it would not have been a case of “he said and she said.” Rather, “it has been said, confirmed by witnesses, presented to the accused, and he has refused to respond.”

If there had been an attack and Brett knew he was wrong, admitting his fault after thirty-six years would have only increased his stock.

As you can see, it would be a completely different scenario.

So for those individuals who think that Jesus is a religious icon with “holey hands and holey feet,” continuing to bleed for the sins of mankind, may I offer the possibility that he is a victor who lived a human life and presented the very best ways to do so.

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Jesonian … July 21st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus is not a conservative.

“He who is given much, much is expected.”

“Whenever you’ve done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”

Jesus is not a liberal.

“The poor you have with you always. Do what you can.”

“Every good tree brings forth good fruit.”

Jesus is also not a vegan.

Too much talk about killing the fatted calf and eating it, and of course, there was that time he devoured the grilled fish by the seashore.

Jesus is not a member of the NRA.

“They that live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

“My kingdom is not of this world; otherwise my disciples would fight.”

Jesus is not religious.

“Avoid vain repetition.”

“Thinking with their much speaking that they are pleasing God.”

Jesus is not an anarchist.

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

“I have not come to destroy the world, but to save it.”

Jesus is a FAITHOLOGIST.

He studied faith, analyzed it, prayed for it, praised it, wondered where the hell it was when it wasn’t there, and showcased it.

He was a Faithologist.

First he taught people to have faith in themselves…

“You are the salt of the Earth.”

“Your faith has made you whole.”

…then God:

“Our Father, which art in heaven.”

“If you, being evil men, give good gifts, won’t your Father give even better?”

In his Faithology course, he taught faith in Nature:

“You can discern the face of the sky.”

“Consider the lily and how it grows.”

And he taught us to have faith in others:

“Give and men shall give to you, good measure, pressed down, running over.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

He came in human form to talk to human beings about human things in a human way, to encourage human excellence. He certainly was the Great Humanist.

But he taught this by extolling the power of faith–that even as a mustard seed, if we will not doubt in our hearts, we can move mountains.

*****

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Good News and Better News… August 7th, 2017

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It is truly amazing how God’s plan for my life works so much better when I make good decisions.

Maybe that’s because God, who gave every human being free will, does not “plan our life.” Instead, he offers wisdom, strength and grace to those who remain humble. I see this every single day of my time on Earth.

Some people are waiting for God to do what He’s already done.

Others take what God has done and go out and do something with it.

I was a blessed man to be granted the opportunity to share at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Palm Harbor, Florida. I ran across people who were thinking about making good decisions.

One fellow candidly told me that when he walked in and saw that there were guest ministers, he wanted to walk right back out. But he decided to sit down –n a grumpy sort of way–and ended up being thrilled with his choice.

Another fellow was recovering from stomach problems and decided to come in spite of them, and departed exhilarated.

I ran across person after person who explained to me that the facts set before them did not necessarily warrant optimism or faith, but they chose to rearrange circumstances to their better advantage.

Jesus never criticized anyone for showing initiative to change his or her life. In our religion we often connote that too much ambition, or even an overload of passion, is detrimental to Godly humility. In the process, many of those who darken the door of the church are plagued by insecurity.

I am a human who truly has been granted a great opportunity of possibility–I get to go and share my thoughts, my songs, my words and my good cheer, with the aspiration of inspiring others. Did God plan for me to do this? He certainly is grateful for my efforts–and I, for His mission.

The good news is that we have been given the tools, the opportunity and the potential to make fruitful lives.

The better news is that our Father in heaven, from a position of support, is admiring our growth.

 

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Jesonian… April 1st, 2017

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jesonian-cover-amazon

Unconditional love.

The phrase has been so overused that now it is tossed off as a given.

It is a symbol of tolerance, a byline for acceptance; a teary-eyed sentiment conveying that we are truly embraced by affection.

If by unconditional love you mean verifying and legitimizing everything people do, then absolutely not. But if by unconditional love you mean a decision to stay with people and continue to be supportive, even though they are struggling or having problems, then assuredly.

But the definition is a slippery banana peel which needs to be clarified. It takes seven verses from the Good Book in Matthew the 16th Chapter to do so. These define what unconditional love is from the perspective of Jesus, who came to show us the attitudes and mind of the Father in Heaven.

In the 16th verse of that 16th Chapter in Matthew, Peter has a brilliant moment. When asked by Jesus, “Who do you think I am?” he quickly replies, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”

Jesus steps right into him with praise–and not only praise, but offers the status of a new name, and says that because of his great answer, he will be given more authority.

But just a few verses further, when Jesus is explaining to the disciples where the Jerusalem experience might lead, and that he will be killed by the Jewish elders and leaders, Peter rebukes him. I don’t know–maybe the disciple was high on his own praise–but he says that Jesus is mistaken–nothing like that could happen.

Under the popular concept of unconditional love, we would expect Jesus to say, “That’s all right, Peter. It is a bit difficult to comprehend. But hang in there–you’ll eventually get the idea.”

Under the umbrella of unconditional love, we would not expect, Jesus to call him Satan simply because he didn’t understand what was going on. But that’s exactly what Jesus does.

Because even though it says that “God so loved the world because he gave his only begotten son,” everlasting life is contingent upon us accepting that gift.

We are told that we are saved, but we are also warned that we will have to endure to the end to receive the realization.

The definition of unconditional love from the aspect of the Jesonian is as follows:

“I will love you enough to tell you the truth, because the truth will make you free–and only when you’re free do you really learn to love.”

When you remove the truth from love, what you have is flattery. It may feel the same, but it lacks the veracity to sustain us through the hard times, where our weaknesses will obviously be exposed.

To love someone is to tell him or her the truth. The truth grants the individual the ability to be free of the humiliation of being exposed. And once absent fear, a freedom to love is unleashed.

I am afraid that people who accept unconditional love as a guarantee that they will never be challenged will never truly learn to love.

  • Jesus loved Peter enough to praise him–when it was the truth.
  • He loved him enough to call him Satan when that also was the truth.
  • And even though Peter denied Jesus, Jesus never denied Peter.

Get your definition of unconditional love correct and then you can implement it:

“I love you enough to tell you the truth, so you can be free to learn to love.”

 

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Good News and Better News … October 3rd, 2016

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good-news-frankenmuthUnderrated:

The cheese on a pizza.

Sliding on a pair of socks which just came out of the dryer.

A plate of nachos when you’re really, really hungry.

An evening of television without politics.

The Frankenmuth United Methodist Church.

Yes, to the outside observer, the congregation meeting in Frankenmuth seems to be a small, middle-America United Methodist Church. As a society, we’ve nearly given up on such institutions.

I totally disagree.

From the minute I stepped in the door and met Pastor Scott, with his warm, inviting, gentle ways, to when I walked out to climb in my van, I was awarded the opportunity to be in the presence of untapped miracles.

By no means am I trying to tell you that the emotional environment of the Frankenmuth United Methodist Church is suited to the taste of the common person. To him or her it would still reek of religion and provincial thinking.good-news-frankdnmuth-sign

But the potential is there to do great things for mankind. What is missing?

Joy.

Joy is the unity of confidence and gratitude: A confidence based on the fact that we feel valuable, and a gratitude because we know a bit about our own unworthiness.

  • Too much confidence appears to be arrogance.
  • Too much gratitude creates a timid soul.

How do we generate joy?

Joy is when our “face shows our place.”

In other words, it bubbles out. Peter, in the Epistle, declared it “a joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

The folks in Frankenmuth still believe that their “Father, which art in Heaven” is a hard-ass. It’s just difficult to look at Him as “Daddy” when you find His demands unrelenting.

It causes them to be cautious–more fearful than appreciative–and it makes them reluctant to invite others to church because they’re pretty sure their friends would be unimpressed.

The good news is, if the Frankenmuth United Methodist Church would allow for more emotion in their worship experience, they would begin to realize why they meet together.

The better news is: when they are more certain of the reasons for their gathering, others will want to gather around their reasons.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: Z is for Zeal… June 1st, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

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building block Z

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

“Be careful.”

I think it’s safe to say that all parents mouth that sentiment at least a thousand times to their child from birth to high school graduation.

It’s sound advice if it’s defined correctly and backed up with suitable examples. What we’re really trying to tell our offspring is to be smart.

But sometimes it’s not smart to tread carefully.A greater danger sneaks into the picture, creating a fuzzy outlook on life. Because careful can easily become cautious.

The difference between careful and cautious is that careful is a profile to be ready for trouble and cautious is a decision to look for it.

Ultimately, caution tends to lead the over-protected soul into a pathway of suspicion. And of course, when you think that everything or everyone is out to get you, you not only miss out on many blessings, but eventually something or someone does get you–merely to mock your defenses.

Here is the truth of the matter–human beings cannot live without passion. Even if we become passionate about being suspicious, we are still engaging ourselves in an active profile.

So without abandoning the position of being careful, how can we unleash the energy of our faith and talent into the world around us?

Zeal.

  • “I am ready.”
  • “I am not hesitant.”
  • “I am not fearful.”
  • “I also am not stupid.”
  • “I’m ready to believe that something good can come my way.”

Without zeal, we become encumbered by conspiracy theories and absorb the available doom and gloom in the room.

As careful leads to cautious, zeal opens the door to zealous. Matter of fact, the Good Book tells us to be zealously affected by a good thing. Zealous is when we take our “ready” status, select a favored cause and become excited.

I’m not completely sure what the Father in heaven dislikes, but I will tell you–He is deeply enthralled with human beings who are excited.

Zealous contains two important parts:

1. “I believe it’s possible for something good to happen.”

2. “I believe I’ve found it.”

Zealous is the opposite of cautious.

It is walking into a room knowing that you’ll be looking for a light switch instead of cursing the darkness. This culminates in the word “zealot.”

It is most unfortunate that this word has such negative ramifications. Actually, a zealot is someone who is committed and has become excited because he or she is ready for something good to happen.

We can’t live our lives like pre-teen girls who see a small spider in the corner of the bedroom and spend the rest of the night believing that hairy-legged varmints are crawling all over them.

Zeal makes us ready to be zealous, excited about possibilities, which gives us the opportunity to become committed zealots–chasing down a miracle that will change our world.

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