When Living Stops and Breathing Continues … November 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2064)

Aerosol oxygen mask on patient“I just don’t know what to do!”

Be careful.

This statement is not a question. When you hear people speak it aloud, do not assume they are looking for counsel.

Rather, it is a proclamation–a surrender.

Too many individuals have given up on the idea of happiness as being childish and immature, and have settled in to try to achieve contented breathing. They have become so involved with forgiving others, their calling or being overwhelmed with responsibility that they have ceased to pursue the idea of being happy.

Matter of fact, in our art and literature we often decry such an emotion. We like to take people who act happy and portray them as inexperienced and unaware.

But I’m curious–if happiness is not the goal of our earth journey, then why do we think we would be comfortable with it in the afterlife? Wouldn’t we find it unusual? Perhaps redundant? Or would we continue, in eternity, to consider happiness to be “unrealistic” and keep waiting for the sky to fall on us?

If you don’t start believing in happiness now, you will never be allowed to have happiness forever.

So what can you do when the process of forgiving other people and yourself, or pursuing your job and calling with its responsibilities, has sapped all the maple out of your syrup?

Every day of your life, make sure of three things:

1. I am involved in my own choices.

Never sacrifice your ability to decide to either God or man. We gain power, intelligence and creativity when we allow ourselves the privilege of stopping, considering, concluding and moving out on an idea born of our own spirit.

2. I feel joy, which brings strength.

I will take a moment every single day to make sure that I allow joy to be a part of my experience. What is joy? It’s the knowledge that God has everything under control. And what is that control? Nothing can separate us from His love–therefore there is nothing which is truly terminal.

3. I am moving toward what is proving itself to be fruitful.

When I lived in Tennessee we had a tree in our front yard that was proclaimed by the former owners to be a pear tree. Here’s the problem: it never produced pears. I caught myself one day telling a visitor that it was a pear tree. Then I paused, took a deep breath, and said, “Honestly, I don’t know WHAT kind of tree it is. But one thing for certain–it’s NOT a pear tree.”

If your tree isn’t making pears, don’t think that next year will be any better. Pursue what is fruitful, even if it is not immediately to your preference. In the long run you will enjoy success much more than tradition.

  • We must continue to forgive.
  • We should pursue our calling.
  • And taking responsibility for our life is essential for maturity.

But when these three things rob us of joy, turning us into mere “breathing organisms,” we need to restore our choices, regain our strength and pursue our fruit.

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Unconditional Growth… July 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1946)

couchI remember it vividly.

A mother came to me for counsel with her nineteen-year-old daughter, She explained that her parenting principle had always been “unconditional love.” All at once, in the middle of the mother’s speech, the girl interrupted, screeching, “Yes, mom! You gave met unconditional love, but you didn’t teach me how to make myself lovable!”

Perhaps that’s why we need two–a pair of parents, that is–one to maintain the standard while the other assures the child that there is no condemnation.

The Good Book tells us that God “disciplines those He loves”–and the truth of the matter is, a heaven with no hell is an invitation to mediocrity. And a hell with no benefit of a heaven is a plunge into dark despair.

In our generation, unconditional love has just become another “feel good” lie. We have several of them:

  • Everyone is unique.
  • Everyone deserves an equal chance
  • There is no prejudice in our society.
  •  And unconditional love is what we should offer one another.

But this is not the way human beings work. Certainly we need the reassurance that our inadequacies will not result in exclusion, but each one of us also needs to know that there IS a point of excellence which is required of us in order to be included in the circle of the celebration.

After God created man and woman, He told them to be fruitful–to multiply and replenish the earth. You can either believe that this was a message of mere exhortation, or realize that it was the yardstick set by the Divine for human development.

Be fruitful: don’t settle for what you’re doing if there’s a possibility of pursuing just a little further.

Multiply: take what you have and use it instead of hiding it, deriding it or explaining away your indecision through fear.

Replenish: stop being a taker. Give something back before you demand your next shipment.

When we finally arrive at the concept that unconditional love is really a belief in unconditional growth–a balance between maintaining a standard and making sure that those around us feel free of condemnation–yes, if we don’t start instituting that practice, we will have an ambiguous mission for our generation, which will leave people crying “foul” simply because they are challenged to do their jobs.

So if God isn’t always patting us on the head, telling us how cute we are, but instead, demanding that we repent and revise our deeds, why would we think that child-rearing should be any different?

Unconditional growth–the amazing mixture of maintaining the standard while providing the gentle reassurance of no condemnation.

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Galvanized … June 27, 2013

(1925)

GalvaLife is not about always being right. If it were, we would be doomed to constant condemnation with ongoing reminders of our inefficiency.

Life is about getting simple.

Even though they are tempted to complicate their existence, intelligent and spiritual people always break down every piece of valuable information to its smallest part. And then …

Well, that’s the key. Once you find out the simple way to live, then the entire journey becomes about being faithful.

When I stood in front of the folks in Galva, Illinois, last night, I realized that they were encountering the same kind of confusing rhetoric in their everyday lives that I experienced myself. For instance, I am told that to be a complete, whole person I must purchase, believe, sign on the dotted line or rally behind some sort of cause which is presently in vogue. In the process of trying to chase down these dangling morsels offered to me, I lose sight of my own mission and sense of mercy.

So what is the goal in being with these gentle human beings in Galva, Illinois?

To galvanize. To literally shake up and excite one another with precious ideas that we hold dear–and to refuse to be sucked in with transient experiences which don’t offer any promise of improving human beings.

I pity those who are trying to be political in a world where politics has proven to be enigmatic, if not dangerous. I feel sorry for those who pursue religion, with all of its fussy doctrines, when spirituality is simple and has one moving part: NoOne is better than anyone else.

Galvanizing–uniting behind ideas that we know are historically human-friendly, are filled with God’s grace and are easy to remember.

Because the second part of being galvanized is to take a piece of steel and put a coating of zinc on the outside to protect it. What is our coating of zinc for our steel of faith?

I think it’s very compact and easy: I will live a life of good cheer, but I also will not be led astray by whim, fancy, fad, and intimidation.

Galvanize-to excite one another with good things and to use that sensation of goodness to protect us from the ridiculous onslaught of movements that are contrary to the advancement of mankind. I will finish up in Galva tonight. And yes, we will galvanize ourselves:

  • We will become excited about good things and use those good things as a protection against lunacy.
  • We will avoid all attempts to seek out enemies in order to prove that OUR cause is better.
  • We will rejoice in goodness instead of making fun of it because we deem it “too wholesome.”
  • We will uncomplicate our lives and be thankful that we have the ability to do so.
  • We will believe in a God of love and extract from our faith any images that deny His existence.
  • We will value fellowship over worship and tenderness above attempts to turn people into what we want them to be.

The problem is not that some people are better than other people and education is not a solution that will make us superior. Some folks just learn to learn the right things–and then stay strong in them.

It is the difference between addressing your problem and your problem residing at your address.

 

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******

 Jonathots, Jr.!

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******

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Twain — Part II … March 1, 2013

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Both candy and fruit have sugar in them. The difference is that fruit also has nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Candy doesn’t.

So if you will allow me, for the sake of this essay, I will talk to you about “candy culture” and “fruitful faith.”

“Candy culture” is what looks really sweet, so it’s gobbled up and ends up rotting everything in our heads. “Fruitful faith” is developing a taste for things that are really good for you and then finding your peace with the sweetness contained within.

So here’s what candy culture tells us about relationship and marriage:

1. Emotionally men and women are completely different from each other, so it is practically useless to try to have conversations to work out feelings. Instead, the less we share with each other and the more we accept one another’s preferences, the better off we are.

2. Spirituality is really religion and religion is a very personal thing. We don’t want to force our belief system on anyone else, so of course, discussing the nature of God and how the planet earth works in the realm of the soul seems to be both frustrating and alienating.

3. Since men and women are believed to be so different emotionally, their brains also work with patterns unique to their genders, which usually boils down to some derivation of the “hunter/gather” theory, with men being the aggressors and women being the nesters.

4. Concerning our strength, physicality and sexuality, we are constantly, in this “candy culture,” attempting to blend love, having children and pleasure, to create a package of romance that is palatable to both parties and explainable to the surrounding world.

As you can see, in the “candy culture,” the collision of a lack of information with uncertain conclusions leaves the individuals involved in relationship second guessing each other, paranoid and ultimately, angry–either out of suspicion or dissatisfaction.

So what is a “fruitful faith” relationship?

1. In the realm of emotions, it is necessary to find a common humanity. If you’re going to get along with anyone, you have to find out what things you share in common concerning your desires, emotions and dreams instead of focusing on what may be obtuse or outlandish differences. Every discussion of an emotional nature should begin with two things: honesty and the statement, “As a human being, I … “ When two people agree emotionally on the parts of their beings that have common humanity, the issue of male and female quickly disappears.

2. In the realm of spirituality, there is a need for a common God. If one party believes in “destiny” and the other holds fast to “free will,” the relationship, in times of crisis, will disintegrate in confusion. We need a common God. That notion is not popular in the “candy culture,” but arriving at agreement about what God does or doesn’t do may be the greatest salvation you could ever provide to a relationship. And by the way … keep it simple. Make sure that your belief system has only one or two moving parts, and learn to trust that movement.

3. A common plan. Two heads are better than one–ONLY if they fuse their ideas. Two bull-heads that never stir in with one another just keep butting. A common plan is when ideas are shared, written down, and the “best of the best” is put together. Sometimes one person will contribute more than another. Other times, the other party will be the major donator. It doesn’t matter. Pursuing a common plan is the only way to have a single-minded relationship, which, by the way, may be the sexiest thing in the world.

4. And finally, a “fruitful faith” relationship has a common pleasure. Do yourself a big favor and remove children and love from sexuality. Those two things will have been handled beautifully by your emotions, spirit and mind. For human beings, sex has one purpose and one purpose only–pleasure. When you add anything else into it, you either over-emphasize the value of the act or degrade the energy. If two people who are emotionally seeking their humanity, spiritually worshipping a common God and putting their shoulders behind a common plan come together to pursue a common pleasure, watch out. “Sky rockets in flight.”

This is the difference between a “candy culture” and a “fruitful faith” relationship. If you want to keep your love going with another human being, emotionally you will need a common humanity, spiritually a common God, mentally a common plan and physically a common pleasure.

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Scrambled Eggheads … February 12, 2013

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Jon Signing“It could be this or it could be that, and of course, there’s a chance that it just might be…”

These are words you certainly don’t ever want to hear from either your mechanic or your doctor. Honestly, they’re not particularly helpful to hear from anyone. In this season in our country, when we are most in need of a defining message, what we have is a cacophony of voices screaming at us–usually offering a book for sale at the end of their proclamation of doom and gloom.

It just doesn’t help. Watching television news is like peering at a bunch of eggheads, who scramble around trying to argue their point with nobody able to make a good omelet. Let me boil down the scrambled messages being offered:

1. “You are important so find your talent.” Can I edit this? You are just as important as you allow yourself to believe that other people are important, and you may feel free to USE your talent–as long as you are humbly aware there is always somebody more accomplished than you.

2. “God doesn’t make mistakes, so be happy.” Well, it is my recollection that God was so disappointed with His creation at one time that He destroyed the world, and then later felt really bad about doing it. I do not need a God who is mistake-free. I would just like to have a God who catches His own boo-boos before He drowns the world. I don’t need God to be perfect in order for me to enjoy the process of watching the world move forward, perfecting.

3. “It’s a tough world, so cover your backside.” If you’re always looking around to see your backside, you’re never looking forward. In my experience, the minute you take your eyes off the road, you greatly increase your chances of ending up in a ditch. Here is a simple way of looking at it: take a few minutes to study the past, celebrate your present, and while you’re at it, get some idea and vision for what you want for yourself in the future, because it is all up to you.

Just with these three “screamers” from the eggheads spilling out, you can be overwhelmed with too much information, receiving mixed signals which only produce frustration instead of clarity.

Is there a message that is universal to human beings? Probably not–but I do know a first step that usually takes us in the right direction: share your fears. They’re not doing you any good. They hide inside of you and only to show up when your greatest opportunity for success is available, nagging you about the pitfalls of trying anything new.

A spoken fear is not only an unmasked enemy, but also establishes your humanity with the world around you and takes you out of the role of being a competitor and into the possibility of becoming a brother or sister.

Let me be the guinea pig:

  • I’m fat. At my age, I’m finding it very difficult to shed pounds. I’m wondering if my physical weakness is going to overtake my emotional and spiritual zeal and put me down.
  • My knees aren’t getting any better. I persist in walking, but can tell that it really isn’t helping me–just establishing my perseverance.
  • I wonder if I’m doing enough. When I think about doing more, I hit a wall as to know what to do, and dangerously reach a point of being unappreciative for my present accomplishments.
  • I’m afraid my children will not use faith to their advantage, but instead, will be absorbed by the worldly silliness around them, becoming flippant instead of fruitful.

Honestly, my dear friends, I could go on all day. And every time I speak one of my fears out loud, it shrivels–even as it wiggles out of my mouth.

The less fear you have, the more room there is for love. And if you build a space for love, all of the family can move in: understanding, compassion, humor, tenderness, awareness and intelligence. And if you have that family living inside you, you will use your talents. You’ll find a way to be happy and you won’t worry about your enemies because you’ll be too busy coming up with ways to creatively intimidate them … by loving them.

So you can continue to listen to the scrambled eggheads as they fry the truth and poach each other’s messages. For me, I am going to share my fears, and in the process, resurrect my love.

Because honestly, if love is not enough, maybe the world should end.

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Finding a Message in a World a’Twitter: Act II – The Conflict… December 12, 2012

(1,727)

Jon Signing

Do you want to have an intriguing dinner party? Then invite a bunch of atheists and believers over to your house, and as you serve the first course of soup, pose this question: Did God create man because He was lonely, or did man create God because he was?

Be prepared for some lively discussion. Matter of fact, some of your guests may stomp out, abandoning their main course and certainly their dessert. This confluence of confusion is all based around the foolishness of pursuing or rejecting a belief in a divine being instead of finding the footprints of that intelligence in His own creation and then tracing those clues back to His character.

If life is really just a big crap shoot of luck or misfortune, then candidly, a belief in a reasonable Creator is far-fetched. But if you take the time to study this planet we call earth–what works–you will emerge with your own personal message. In essence, your clue.

Mine, as I told you yesterday, is: NoOne is better than anyone else. That clue led me to several “con-clue-sions.”

1. The earth demands fruitfulness. Things that do not want to progress end up flailing and eventually die. This is something you can find in the Bible OR Darwin.

2. It is the responsibility of earth inhabitants to replenish and give back. Once again, science, technology, religion and even government require a certain amount of payback for receiving the blessings of earth. Those who don’t want to participate in this are always eventually identified as scoundrels.

3. And the third and final thing that is obvious to me as I have spread my wings with my message is that we live in a world that requires us to include. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with” specking out” your own space as long as you afford that to others–even that lion in the jungle. Earth creatures who decide to be insulated from the world around them, vindictive to different species or members of their own group, end up ostracized or extinct. They are also proclaimed by history to be fools.

So before you get into a big discussion about God or the absence of a supernal presence, make sure you understand the evidence that has been left behind in the present plane of existence we call life.

I selected my message of NoOne is better than anyone else because it honors the need to be fruitful, to replenish the earth and to include others. Am I saying that those three things are always easy? No. But they are made easier because the elements that are placed here for our use are not resistant to the flow of these concepts. We may think that having might and strength is the way to rule the world, but every previous empire that followed that philosophy is no longer in existence.

Here’s a clue: Switzerland thrives. It is never conquered, it doesn’t have financial difficulties–matter of fact, it possesses a big hunk of the world’s banks. It doesn’t take sides. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all become Swiss, but I am telling you there is a natural order to this planet that requires that we honor a message and in so doing, discover the purpose for our being and perhaps, the source of our beginnings.

So here is the conflict: those who discuss God without honoring His ideas, which are clearly laid out through His creation, end up looking backward and ignorant. Those who deny God without discovering His fingerprints all over the earth, end up appearing to be inflexible and dogmatic.blue marble

Find your message. Find it in the earth, and then look for those who have also discovered similar evidence and are on the hunt for whoever or whatever got this big, blue marble rolling.

 

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