Iowa Lot… July 24, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Iowa cornIowa lot to fruits and vegetables. They have prevented me from killing myself with fats and carbs.

Iowa lot to my parents. They could have fought instead of having sex.

Iowa lot to my third grade teacher. She got me interested in history, and the rest is … well, my life.

Iowa lot to my enemies. Trying to destroy me, they accidentally alerted me to dangerous flaws.

Iowa lot to good tires. They make my engine usable.

Iowa lot to mistakes. They are the potholes that teach me how to be road-worthy.

Iowa lot to my family. Learning my virtues while ignoring my vices, they continue to make me look good.

Iowa lot to Gloria, who came down from her highest and accepted our kin and has gone to her hallelujah moment.

Iowa lot to my voice. It keeps working, sometimes without the assistance of my brain.

Iowa lot to faith, hope and love – these three. But the greatest is remembering to use them.

Iowa lot to God. He gives me free will and then bravely rides shotgun on the bumpy ride.

Iowa lot to my fat body. Without it, I just might have leaped on anyone wearing perfume.

Iowa lot to Iowa. She has welcomed me to share my talent and heart.

I owe a lot.

I am debtor to all.

I will spend the rest of my life attempting to repay the loan…with interest.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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

Come Along … October 11, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

My legs are not working very well.

It is a simple statement. Looking down at it typed on this computer screen, it seems rather insignificant. Like most truly profound realizations, it comes suddenly, sits on top of your life and demands attention. The question is, what is the nature of the effort I will give to such an interruption?

First of all, I am not surprised. I am often amused when people act shocked by events which certainly had many warnings. One of our greatest human hypocrisies is the instinct to be wounded by the knife that is often in our own hand.

I weighed twelve-and-a-half pounds when I was born. For a myriad of reasons, I have continued to escalate from that point. A conversation on the issue would include a discussion of my metabolism. Also in that exchange would be a lifestyle which certainly has enjoyed fits of festive excess. Matter of fact, it is rather unusual for a man of my girth to survive to the ripe old age of sixty years. I am here courtesy of three miraculous ingredients: vegetables, exercise and the grace of God.

Unlike many people of my circumference, I have always been a consumer of fruits and vegetables. I also have partaken of much physical activity and exercise, even up to a few days ago, when my legs decided to take a much-needed vacation without giving two weeks’ notice. But mainly, God has found it, in His infinite wisdom, to forgive my many indiscretions, accept my fits of repentance and allow me to be a productive citizen of both the kingdoms of earth and heaven. For this I am grateful.

I have on occasion in my life, taken advantage of the medical field to improve my situation. If you will allow me a bit of candor, it has been a mixed bag. There are things that science does well, and things that the knowledge of man does absolutely poorly. If your particular affliction lands on the list of well-known cures or acceptable remedies, you are blessed and usually can receive relief from a doctor or nurse. If you fall out of the parameters of present research, comprehension or understanding, you will have the sensation of being a guinea pig–inflicted instead of affected. You can feel free to disagree with me on this and your opinion is just as good as mine.

But as I look at the work that God has given me for the past forty-two years, reaching out to my fellow human beings with a message of hope, compassion and common sense, I am not inclined at this point to turn myself over to the Philistines so they can cut my hair and rob me of my strength.  My hair, in this case, is the talent God has given me, and my strength is the joy I have in sharing it and seeing how, in my own simple way, I am able to touch the lives of my equals.

So what am I to do with a pair of legs yearning for retirement, when the top half of my body is churning for the thrill of the pursuit and the ecstasy of victory?

I would like you to come along with me as I pursue a miracle–or discover the true heights and depths of my foolish quest.

Here is the miracle: can I learn the wisdom afforded me about my health, weight loss, exercise and even water retention, which will enable me to take this temporarily detained body of mine and move it back into a position of mobility?

Or: will I discover that I have crossed some line, where my lack of attention to my own physical well-being has left me destitute and without recourse?

You certainly can understand why I find it difficult to believe that my Friend, who art in heaven, would abandon his buddy, who is bound by earthly limitations. I have trusted Him all my life, and on this Thursday, October 11th, I will trust Him again.

So what does that mean? It means that I am heading off tonight, by faith, to Sycamore, Ohio, to share my hopes and dreams in front of a small gathering of people. I will be doing so in a unique way.

I will be sitting in a wheel chair that I have rented for the occasion.

Do I feel a sense of personal loss or vacancy over appearing debilitated or weakened? Of course. I am a man. (Ignore that little piece of macho.) I am a human–and therefore, I want to appear strong and in control. But the issue comes down to whether I wish to sacrifice my pride, or lose my mission.

Let’s talk about what I DON’T know. I don’t know anything about a wheel chair. I don’t know if I have enough leg strength to get in and out of it to perform my duties. I don’t know if people will accept me as I am, and realize that the most important thing about me is the message I bring. I don’t know if you can sit in a wheel chair and play a piano. I don’t know if any of this will work.

But faith is not the substance of things “checked out;” it is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is also not the evidence of tried and true practices, but instead, the fierce pursuit of things unseen.

For the next little while, I would like you to come along with me on this journey. I am sure some of you will desire to rebuke me. Others will pray for me. There may be a few who will just find this a piece of fascinating poetry and prose. It makes no difference.

What I can promise you is an odyssey–and that it will come to an end. Our story has this beginning, many conflicts, I am sure, and will culminate with a third-act conclusion.

So I am off tonight to Sycamore, God willing. And I never ask Him to be willing until I make sure of my own stockpile of desire.

  • I am embarrassed, but not defeated.
  • I feel lonely, but not alone.
  • I feel weak, but not destroyed.
  • I feel abandoned, but also reinforced.
  • I feel selfish, but also generous.

I feel it’s time to close this particular jonathots … with the tale incomplete.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

From the Ground Up … May 24, 2012

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I don’t pride myself on being intelligent. I have found that true intelligence lies in possessing the ability to identify your ignorance. Unfortunately, lots of folks I meet need to let the “smart” move away from their ass to their brain, with a pit stop at the soul. Yet I don’t think most people’s arrogance is a malicious act, to hurt anyone. I believe it’s because we’re all defensive over our weakness and it troubles us rather than alerting us to what our task truly needs to be.

I have told you many times in the jonathots that human beings consist of the heart (our emotions), the soul (our more spiritual side, a mind (our brain and the control center to our bodily functions) and a strength (which is the human form with all of its components and hardware).

About a week ago I had a tremendous revelation–like most such epiphanies, other people probably thought of it years ago and I just stumbled upon it on my way to the barn. May I present my thought? Each of us has one weakness. I don’t know whether it’s genetic, spiritual or part of the natural order–but it is our “cross to bear.” The question that remains is whether we’re going to climb up on that cross to crucify ourselves, or instead, whether we will create an awareness of our weakness and gear our lives in a direction to play that Achilles heel to our advantage.

My weakness is my body. I was dealt a hand of genetic mumbo-jumbo. I have heart disease and diabetes in my family. I have genetic predisposition to obesity. Apparently, it’s essential for me to be bald. Now, I knew this early on. Truthfully, realizing our weakness does not constitute victory over the situation–because the fact of the matter is, if you’re like me and have a weakness in your body, you can start feeling sorry for yourself very strongly, which drags your emotions into the pit as well. Once your emotions are swallowed up, you find very little of a spiritual dynamic for improvement, so your faith wanes. When your faith wanes, your brain takes over with doomsday proclamations, causing you to be less sharp mentally and to come across dull and uncaring. So as you can see, one weakness–in my case, a physical one–if it is not isolated, can quickly own your entire body.

It’s the difference between carrying your cross and dying on one.

Fortunately for my soul, heart and mind, I did not become defensive over having a weak body. Early on I realized that what I ate was not nearly as important for making me slender and beautiful as it was to keep me from killing myself and infiltrating the other parts of my being, which did not need to suffer from my innate weakness. With the body I have been given, I shouldn’t still be alive at sixty years of age. I applied two very simple principles to the situation:

1. Don’t fight the weakness. When you try to turn your weakness into a strength or an excuse, you miss the point. You already have three other strengths, so what you want to do is to keep your weakness from overwhelming your other parts. I have been fat all my life–but I’ve never become emotionally fat, spiritually fat or mentally a fathead. Once you stop resisting the notion that you have a weakness and resenting the hell out of it, you can actually find the power to use that weakness to your advantage.

2. Once you calm yourself down and realize that weakness is common to all of us and is what makes us part of the human family, you can start working from the ground up. For me that was easy. Since my particular cross to bear is physical, I went back to what makes the human body more profitable to its own cause–food, exercise and nutrition. It’s about eating what comes out of the ground. Everything that flowers from the earth is high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat and calories. Everything that doesn’t come out of the ground normally is high in fats and sugars and lower in nutrients. Once I understood this, I worked on my taste buds instead of developing arguments against the reality of the earth system. And because of that, I am still here today.Even though I have had occasions to overeat animal fats, sugars, salts and starches, I have certainly, over my lifetime, eaten more fruits and vegetables and things from the ground up rather than the other choices.

You have to decide where you’re coming from. If your weakness is emotions, then from the ground up you need to live a life of great humor and transparency. If you have a weakness in the spiritual realm, where the things of faith seem illogical and meaningless, then you should address that weakness by finding the most practical application in the everyday life to discover the presence of God. If your brain is your problem, then you should find the chemical imbalances or address the learning disorders, and using reasonableness and patience, attempt to “tune up” that great, fleshy computer.

If we didn’t have a weakness, we would continue to try to dominate each other, and human existence would be a stand-off instead of a fellowship. And let’s be honest–the most obnoxious people in our lives are those who believe they are strong in everything when everybody else knows their true limitation.

From birth, my body has been my adversary. It will be with me until the day I die, when it more or less becomes “dusted off.” So I spend my time using my emotions, spirit and mind to counteract the weakness in my body, providing my strength what it needs from the ground up–fruits, vegetables and everything that sprouts from the earth. (A golden nugget–if it grows in the earth, eat a lot of it. If it walks on the earth, well … more often than not, walk away from it.)

Can it really be this simple? Well, it had better be. Otherwise, none of us will ever be intelligent enough to figure it out.

 

  

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