Good News and Better News… October 16th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3462)

The world curses

We praise

The world complains

We sing

The world divides

United we stand

The world judges

We forgive

The world’s mean

We are kind

Yet for some reason, because there is a screaming dialogue constantly going on, promoting “might makes right,” we become tempted to curse, complain, divide, judge and be mean.


When we don’t, we feel like limp, leftover losers.

Please observe the picture inserted.

This is a bowl of some leftover something-or-other that we had several days ago, and enjoyed thoroughly–so much so that we thought we might reheat it and have a second go at it. We didn’t. So because it sat around, it got old and eventually became unidentifiable. Once I got the picture, I threw the leftovers away.

The Jesonian–the lifestyle of Jesus–is not a practice of being defensive. We’re not supposed to wait until the world curses to praise, nor should we wait until the whole world is erupting in meanness to express kindness. If we do, we appear to be leftovers.

It may not sound very practical to approach North Korea with diplomacy. It may seem unrealistic. So we are ready to enter a third conflict, already entangled in two unwinnable wars. It’s the thrill of the kill, which is always much more intriguing to those who are not going to be killed or have to do the killing.

The church has lost its heart–and the heart of the church is Jesus. The soul of the church is God, the mind of the church is the Holy Spirit, and the strength of the church is the Body of Christ, working together.

We’ve lost our heart.

No longer do we thoroughly believe in the Golden Rule. We think it might be a great idea, but has no application–just a doctrine for limp leftover losers.

We piously believe we’re better than those who are cloying and clawing their way to the top–but then we buy magazines to read all about who they dissed, who they hurt and who they’re sexually involved with.

Being in love with Jesus is more than dipping your head in reverence to the cross. It’s lifting your head in respect to a message–and it’s holding that head high, knowing that evil cannot win. It’s just too greedy. It eventually chews off its own leg.

There will never be a replacement for praise, singing, standing, forgiving, and kindness. It is what the victors do after the vanquished have failed.

The good news is that we have a message.

The better news is, the message always ultimately wins.Donate Button

 

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Good News and Better News … February 22nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2852)

Composite with borders

Jesus never answered a question the way the asker hoped he would respond.

“Who is my neighbor?”

“It’s that guy laying on the side of the road wounded, that everybody’s ignoring.”

“Is it right for us to pay tribute to Caesar?”

“Sure–if it’s Caesar’s gig.”

“How many times should we forgive people?”

“490 seems fair.”

“What must I do to be saved?”

“Go give your money away to the poor.”

If you’re waiting for truth to emerge from the mass of human opinion, you will spend your life following foolishness.

Thus, the layout of the four pictures in today’s array.

Picture 1, with Jan on set. We arrived in Christ Lutheran Church on Hilton Head Island and set up our equipment. It was the first and best thing we could accomplish.

Because of the nature of the promotional beast in America, Janet and myself maintain obscurity. No one cared that we set up our equipment, but we knew it was important to do it well, and to be ready.

The next picture shows the ceiling of the beautiful church we were in. They are lovely people, but they are religious. It is my job to take that religious fervor and try to turn it into a common sense faith.

Then you see a picture of my wheelchair, sitting by itself in the parking lot. That’s to remind me that showing my weakness only lends itself to creating strength. No one is self-sufficient. We have weaknesses, and if we’re willing to admit them to others, we open the door to a mutual humanity.

And finally, there’s a picture of a rear view mirror. Honestly, I cannot go forward without understanding where I’ve come from, and learning from those experiences to benefit myself, and therefore enhance the life of others.

Humility is not an option we select when we are in a particularly good mood or have sung a moving hymn. Humility is survival–allowing ourselves wiggle room just in case our frailties show up instead of our strengths.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the people at Christ Lutheran yesterday. They were sparkling, delightful and intriguing.

And it was my joy, since I knew they were aware of the Christ, to reacquaint them with Jesus. Long before he got the promotion to be the Christ, he walked among us as Jesus, changing lives, challenging stereotypes and transforming the world.

That’s the good news.

The better news lies in a comment that the dear pastor made to me right before I was departing on Sunday. He said one lady had commented that the service was “the closest thing to a tent revival she had ever seen in the Lutheran church.”

I don’t know if she meant that as a compliment, but I do know this–I am moving ahead in my mission, looking forward to the day when we will be so hungry for revival that we won’t care whether it’s in a steeped-ceiling cathedral or a stained-canvas tent.

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Good News and Better News … February 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2852)

Composite with borders

Jesus never answered a question the way the asker hoped he would respond.

“Who is my neighbor?”

“It’s that guy laying on the side of the road wounded, that everybody’s ignoring.”

“Is it right for us to pay tribute to Caesar?”

“Sure–if it’s Caesar’s gig.”

“How many times should we forgive people?”

“490 seems fair.”

“What must I do to be saved?”

“Go give your money away to the poor.”

If you’re waiting for truth to emerge from the mass of human opinion, you will spend your life following foolishness.

Thus, the layout of the four pictures in today’s array.

Picture 1, with Jan on set. We arrived in Christ Lutheran Church on Hilton Head Island and set up our equipment. It was the first and best thing we could accomplish.

Because of the nature of the promotional beast in America, Janet and myself maintain obscurity. No one cared that we set up our equipment, but we knew it was important to do it well, and to be ready.

The next picture shows the ceiling of the beautiful church we were in. They are lovely people, but they are religious. It is my job to take that religious fervor and try to turn it into a common sense faith.

Then you see a picture of my wheelchair, sitting by itself in the parking lot. That’s to remind me that showing my weakness only lends itself to creating strength. No one is self-sufficient. We have weaknesses, and if we’re willing to admit them to others, we open the door to a mutual humanity.

And finally, there’s a picture of a rear view mirror. Honestly, I cannot go forward without understanding where I’ve come from, and learning from those experiences to benefit myself, and therefore enhance the life of others.

Humility is not an option we select when we are in a particularly good mood or have sung a moving hymn. Humility is survival–allowing ourselves wiggle room just in case our frailties show up instead of our strengths.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the people at Christ Lutheran yesterday. They were sparkling, delightful and intriguing.

And it was my joy, since I knew they were aware of the Christ, to reacquaint them with Jesus. Long before he got the promotion to be the Christ, he walked among us as Jesus, changing lives, challenging stereotypes and transforming the world.

That’s the good news.

The better news lies in a comment that the dear pastor made to me right before I was departing on Sunday. He said one lady had commented that the service was “the closest thing to a tent revival she had ever seen in the Lutheran church.”

I don’t know if she meant that as a compliment, but I do know this–I am moving ahead in my mission, looking forward to the day when we will be so hungry for revival that we won’t care whether it’s in a steeped-ceiling cathedral or a stained-canvas tent.

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G-Poppers … August 21st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2669)

Jon close up

 

His name was Richard Milhouse Nixon. He was the 37th President of the United States.

In 1972, he pulled off a landslide victory for a second term, even though it was reported that some of his cohorts had broken into the headquarters of the Democratic Party at the Watergate Apartments.

He was so popular that he could have told the truth. But he made two mistakes–missteps that our politicians and celebrities continue to do today.

When the press found out about the break-in at the headquarters, questions arose. Nixon believed two things:

  1. They’re out to get me.
  2. Deny and let it die.

Because he felt that there were those individuals who were determined to destroy him, and that if he just denied the rumors that the confrontation would eventually go away, he set in motion the destruction of a President–similar to the demise of Frankenstein.

We created him, therefore we had to kill him.

As G-Pop sat down to think about those times in the early seventies, when lies were passed on as explanations, he realized that he needed to talk to his granddaughters about a human being who just happens to be a woman who is running for President.

She is making the same two mistakes.

Her name is Hillary Clinton. And even though she saw her husband err, deny and ultimately experience humiliation because of it, she is traipsing down the same path because she believes that politics has a different set of rules than real life.

Perhaps it will just go away.

But for every Watergate break-in which could be quickly handled in two news cycles through veracity, there is always a Woodward and Bernstein who will get to the bottom of the story and expose the coverup.

I do not know what possesses fully grown, allegedly mature human beings–to think that they can escape the scrutiny of a society that gets its kicks off of scrutinizing.

G-Pop wants his granddaughters to know there’s only one way to handle an error–especially if it is a mistake that was committed in ignorance or innocence.

A. This is what I knew.

Yes, at the time the flaw was perpetrated, this is what I knew about the situation, this is what I believed and this is what I thought.

B. This is what I know.

Now that time has passed, I see what was incorrect or insufficient.

C. So what now?

Since you are involved and I have told you the truth of the matter, how shall we proceed?

It is the natural inclination of human beings to forgive–unless they’ve been deceived. If we are deceived, all bets are off.

It’s really that simple. It doesn’t mean that all human beings will grant you pardon, but the ones who don’t look foolish and small.

Most Americans would have easily given grace to Richard Nixon if he had just been forthcoming about his involvement–or lack of involvement–in the Watergate break-in. For after all, they voted for him. They wanted to feel like they made the right choice. He turned a pimple into a cancer.

Hillary Clinton is doing exactly the same thing.

G-Pop just wants his granddaughters to know that this is not the way to act to be a solid citizen, or even to survive adversity.

He wants them to know that Hillary Clinton is first and foremost a member of the human race … not the only woman we could ever find to run for President. 

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“Ifing” Way: Part 1… October 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2387)

If bigger

What if a voice of sanity had risen up at various stages in the story of human history, to offer a challenging view when craziness was about to win the day?

If …

It was the third night in a row she had returned home from work brooding. It wasn’t that she was always a sparkling conversationalist, but now a sadness had etched its way onto her features, making her apppear continually unhappy, which left him a little disgruntled, feeling that he was somehow at fault.

Tired of being uncertain of her feelings and attitudes, he broached the issue.

“What’s wrong — and before you tell me nothing, let me tell you that I know there is something, so let’s work with it from that angle.”

She looked surprised.

He laughed. “So now you’re gonna act surprised,” he said. “I know you’re not surprised. You probably just don’t want to talk about it.”

She took a long pause–so lengthy that he almost inserted another opinion, but restrained himself to allow her space.

“I have something to tell you,” she began, tears forming in her eyes.

He squelched an internal flinch, wondering how this could end up with anything good.

She continued. “You know that tree we were supposed to avoid?”

He thought for a second, then remembered and nodded.

She went on with her tale. “Well, I was a little confused about it. Maybe even a little frustrated. So I spent some time down there, just checking it out. I immediately discovered it wasn’t that different from any other tree on our land. Matter of fact, it was rather pleasant looking. Appealing.”

He resisted the instinct to interrupt and just nodded again.

“Well, long story short, I got tempted, maybe even urged, to eat the fruit. And ever since then, I’ve felt guilty and naked.”

“What do you mean by naked?” he inquired.

She squinted. “You know. Without being covered.”

“Covered with what?” he asked, frowning.

“I don’t know. This is why I didn’t want to tell you. I knew you wouldn’t understand. You are so much a man…”

“Now I am confused,” he inserted. “We’ve never talked like this before. It was never ‘man’ and ‘woman.’ Just us. What’s going on?”

“I ate the goddamned fruit,” she screamed. “There! You’ve got it.”

Adam took a deep breath. He knew the next thing he would say was crucial. “So that’s why you feel bad?”

“No!” she said emphatically. “I feel good! Alive! Alert. Just confused. Maybe if you ate the fruit with me and shared in the experience we could work it out together. Aren’t you self-conscious about being naked?”

“Actually,” he replied, “I’m baffled about the concept. I just thought this is the way we came.”

She sighed, frowned, hissed and grumbled all at the same time. At length she spoke.

“So are you gonna eat the fruit with me or not?”

He took her by the shoulders, pulled her close and kissed her on the forehead.

“No. What we’re going to do is take you to our Creator and explain what happened.”

She pulled back in horror. “No damn way! He’s gonna kill me. Isn’t that what He said? If you eat the fruit you’ll die?”

“Yes,” said Adam. “But I didn’t know what it meant, so I just kind of ignored it.”

“I don’t want to die,” said Eve.

“I don’t want to lose you,” said Adam. “But … I don’t want to lose Him either. Don’t make me choose.”

She burst into tears. He embraced her and held her close.

“Listen,” he said. “If He loved us enough to make us, He sure can love us enough to forgive us.”

“Us?” she questioned.

“Yes. We’re in this together. And together, let’s go talk to Him.”

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

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We Are (The Jesonian Creed)… February 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2140)

We are blessed. holding hands

We are mourners, but comforted.

We are hungry and thirsty for better things, and end up filled.

We are merciful and in so doing, get our needful share.

We are pure in heart, which enables us to see God.

We are peacemakers and blessed to be called the children of God.

We are the salt of the earth.

We are the light of the world.

We are a city set on a hill for all to see.

We are not alone.

We are not even lonely.

We are loved.

We are possessed by love.

We are part of an ever-growing family.

We are perfect, even as our Father is perfect.

We are able to pray and be heard.

We can forgive and be forgiven.

We are given daily bread.

We can lay up treasure in heaven.

We are in no need of worrying.

We can seek first the kingdom of God and have everything added unto us.

We can stop judging, unafraid of being judged.

We are able to ask and be given.

We are able to seek and find.

We are able to knock and have the doors flung open.

We are given good gifts.

We can bear fruit.

We are able to bless the least of these.

We are known by God.

And we are built upon the rock, and even though the storms will come and the rains will pelt and beat upon us, we are not going to fall.

(Adapted from Matthew 5, 6 and 7)

 

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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

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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

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The Presence of Absence… August 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1984)

I am annoyed with the void.void

  • “I don’t believe”
  • “I don’t care”
  • “I don’t forgive”
  • “I don’t change”
  • “I don’t take crap”

I hear these statements screamed–a sociological rattletrap which is puttering down the highway towards a conversion to nothingness.

In the pursuit of personal freedom and individuality, we are completely abandoning the commonality and joy of being part of the human tribe.

It is the presence of absence.

It is the extolling of a vacuum, portraying that we are intelligent by having stumbled upon this emptiness.

God seems to be gone. Compassion is optional. Mercy is conditional–usually limited to those of our own household. Repentance is a joke because it requires that we consider our own lacking. And humility sucks–especially when we can blare our own horns to scare away the critics.

What I want to ask, very simply, is: do you really WANT to live in a world that is Godless, lacks compassion, is unmerciful, never-changing and arrogant?

I understand there are flaws in every system existing that is man-infested. But at least in the realm of spirituality, we will allow weakness to wheel its way through the front door of the sanctuary and sit in our midst without demanding that the person involved completely conform to some sort of mantra created by the intellectual elite.

I am tired of watching television or movies and being told that life sucks.

There you go. I should put that on a bumper sticker and slap it on the back of my van.

  • I am frustrated up to my gills with the ocean of ideas that look on the dark side of life, contending that we’re being innovative.
  • I don’t want True Blood. Matter of fact, I don’t want any blood.
  • I don’t want Breaking Bad. I would like to hear about people who have the guts to do something good in the midst of insanity.
  • I don’t want to hear about a Boardwalk Empire, where murder was the way to advance commerce instead of coming up with innovation and letting it play out.

I am weary of ill-doing.

Call it out–don’t critique society around you because you think it would make Jesus cry. Jesus is pretty resilient. But he does demand that we keep our hope for life instead of giving up and insisting that absence is our presence.

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