Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 1) … May 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2921)

Reverend Meningsbee

There had been no national spotlight on the little town of Garsonville, Nebraska, since a bumper crop brought in some news coverage to report that a local grocer was selling golden sweet corn for a penny an ear.

That was thirty-two years ago.

The little town continued to grow corn but never was able to offer it again at such a reasonable rate.

Now all of a sudden there was a new interest in the community because the author, Dr. Frederick Meningsbee, had accepted a calling to be the minister at the Garsonville Community Church. At one time the church had 175 people in attendance each Sunday, which was not too bad for a town of 1,423 souls. But a combination of inadequate pastors and growing apathy had trimmed the ranks down to a solid 83 individuals who continued to attend–some out of persistence and others because long ago, they signed the loan for the property.

No one quite knew why the good doctor from an eastern university was taking such a lowly position in Garsonville.

Meningsbee had gained some attention of late, penning a volume entitled “The Jesus Church.”

Not a single soul from the pastor-selecting-committee had read the book, but figured that because the title included the words “Jesus” and “Church,” it must be divinely acceptable.

So on Dr. Frederick’s first Sunday, 143 people showed up, along with a couple of national bloggers,who were hoping to make a name for themselves by covering the story.

After a couple of hymns were sung and prayers uttered, Meningsbee rose to his feet and said, “This shall be a very short service–basically just an opportunity for me to tell you that when you arrive next Sunday, you will be handed a bulletin, which I am sure you are accustomed to. At the top will be instructions on the procedures and approaches for that day’s service.”

After finishing this short statement, the new preacher closed in prayer and the service was over.

Everyone left the church to head home and wait for their chicken, dressing and ‘taters to finish baking.

It was an unusual beginning but no one was suspicious of what might be unfolding in the future.

For after all … only Reverend Frederick Meningsbee knew the plan.

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G-Poppers … January 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2800)

Jon close up

Over the Christmas celebration, one of the family members asked G-Pop if he had any predictions for the coming year.

Actually, speculation on the future is not as difficult as it might seem. After all, the entire Earth works on the “sow-reap” concept.

Unfortunately, right now our country is in a fighting mood. Everything is a political fight, a social struggle, a spiritual confusion and an emotional upheaval.

  • We honk our horns in traffic more often.
  • There’s more impatience in the air.
  • And to some degree, we feel the answer to every question is violence.

So making predictions about the future is a little gloomy. Therefore, let’s avoid it. G-Pop would rather focus on the ingredients to put together a consciousness which welcomes the idea of change while honoring powerful, proven tradition.

It really settles around three rules. Tipping out hat to the Olympics, let us refer to them as the Golden Rule, the Silver Rule and the Bronze Rule.

The Golden Rule is easy:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Yes, until we are certain of the direction we want for our own lives, we cannot grant others the courtesy of similar liberty, but instead will stand at a distance and criticize them because they dare to pursue their dreams.

How about the Silver Rule?

To he who is given much, much is expected.

We need to take responsibility. In other words, if you have ten of something, you shouldn’t be waiting for someone who has five to give. Although we want to be successful, we fail to invest ourselves in the procedure. Step up with what you’ve got instead of insisting it’s not enough.

And then there’s the Bronze Rule.

To get mercy, you must be willing to give it.

God knows we all require some measure of mercy. But if we have no track record of being merciful to others, we will find that our bank accounts are vacant of deposits, and when we need mercy the most, we will be absent forgiveness.

So rather than being dark with predictions based upon a fussy populace, G-Pop would rather encourage us to go for the Gold, celebrate the Silver and rejoice over the Bronze.

Be a neighbor, find a friend.

Be fruitful, eat fruit.

Give mercy, get mercy.

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Jesonian: Morning Person … August 9th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2657)

sun rising

Jesus is a Savior because mankind decided to reject his first offer of Son of Man, and kill him off.

Jesus is the Christ because God ignored our verdict and raised him from the dead.

This is great stuff for Sunday. But my week has seven days.

So Monday through Saturday, I need the Nazarene to be something more than Jesus Christ.

Jesus is my Lifestyle Coach.

It’s really what he wanted. He desired us to believe in him for his words. That’s what he said (with his words, by the way).

So since my day begins with a morning–as does yours–it would be nice to know what Jesus felt about the morning, and how he suggested for us to become better “morning people.”

  1. Don’t be in a hurry.

The best way to ruin your day is to start off in a rush. Jesus hung around a lot. He escaped the crowds. The Bible says he “tarried” even when people wanted him to come quickly. Hurrying destroys us. It makes us lose our power while simultaneously taking ourselves too seriously

     2. Get rid of yesterday.

It is unlikely that we will be able to enter our time machine and go back and redo anything. So the power of refusing to think about yesterday, or as Jesus said, “Take no thought,” gives us the full capability of considering how we want to butter our daily bread.

      3. Ignore tomorrow.

People are only interested in the future because they believe it is beyond their control, and therefore they are victims to what will transpire. If you understand that the future does not exist until you craft it through your decisions, using your free will, then you will also comprehend the need to avoid crafting too soon.

Jesus comically told his disciples, “Today’s got enough problems of its own.”

        4. Be of good cheer.

  • I’ve achieved more in my life by joking than I ever did lamenting.
  • I’ve made more friends poking fun at myself than I ever have reciting my accomplishments.
  • And I’ve gained much more energy by smiling than by frowning.

Once you realize the world has tribulation, trying to stop the turmoil is fruitless unless you want to halt the insanity temporarily–with a good laugh.

      5. Be ready. It’s coming.

The next thing that needs to be addressed will become pretty obvious. You can make your lists, but sometimes, #16 bumps the 15 previous candidates out of the way and wins the debate.

It’s just the way things are. Flexibility makes us powerful. Stubbornness always makes us stupid.

So avoid the dastardly, useless statement that you are “not a morning person,” and instead, look at the direction your Lifestyle Coach takes you in dealing with the first fruits of the day.

 

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Jesonian: Before We Walk … March 9, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2171)

footprints he wantsDon’t be afraid.

Life will make sense if we can be sensible.

God, nature and science work together.

They were never intended to be separate.

So we were created by God, given nature as a place to live and work, with science providing ideas, guidelines, principles and knowledge that make our earth function.

It is a team organized to bring you individual challenge, opportunity and joy.

So please remember, your destiny is not determined in the heavens, stars or your DNA.

You are in charge.

You have the past as a teacher.

You have the present as a stage.

You will decide your own future.

Now, stand up and walk.

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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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Take a Chance… November 11, 2012

(1,696)

My failures don’t languish and decay in the garbage dump of effort, but rather, putrefy and stink up the joint in the residue of my own indecision.

In other words, eagles fly, chickens get plucked.

I have a diagnoses for our country. After traveling this great land of ours for decades and putting a stethoscope on the heart of America, I can tell you with a great amount of certainty where we ail. For you see, Republicans think that people are too dependent on government. The Democrats feel that the populace is waiting for God to solve everything. Actually, they are both right–our nation is infected with the disease of “destiny-itis.”

All good souls are waiting for something to come along, clarifying needs to be done. It’s in our art, it’s in our politics, it’s in our theology and it’s in our educational system, which is keen on math and English but often fails to intone the warnings of history.

A great king once said, “Time and chance happens to all,”but we spend most of our hours trying to extend our time on earth and miss the chances that do come our way.  therefore our aging process makes us more grumpy and dissatisfied instead of ecstatic and fulfilled.

How did destiny and the belief in life being out of our hands ever gain such a stranglehold? It’s a great question. The answer will determine whether you’re a victim or a victor.

To escape the trap of destiny, you have to reject two widely accepted ideas, which are blatantly flawed.

1. Everyone was born to do something.

2. God has a wonderful plan for your life.

Let me give you a quick example.

Although the liberals in the United States would insist that America is gun crazy and that placing some sort of control on firearms is the best way to stop the violence that surrounds us, you only have to go north of our border to Canada to discover that the fine folks in the provinces have a record for the least violence in the world, but own more guns per capita than the United States. Were they “born” with an ability to possess weapons without killing each other? Is it God’s will that they be a peaceful sort of nation, and His determination that the American culture be vicious and mean-spirited? Of course not. Canadians grow up around guns and learn from birth not to point them at people. Americans desire guns and are not given the same instruction concerning where to aim their calibre. It’s that simple.

In the great debate over “nature” and “nurture,” we should just stop the conversation, because it’s all about nurture. We all have been nurtured to be in our present condition–so if you are raised to believe that you are “born to do something” or that God is pulling the strings, you will more than likely pass over chances to be fruitful because you’re confused over whether they have come from your birthright or from your divine Creator.

I think in the religious world, this belief is propagated because we contend that Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God, was “born” to do the will of his Father by dying on a cross for the sins of mankind even though, before his death, he proclaimed in the Garden of Gethsemane, that he had completed his work.

In the secular world, the inclination is to pursue “destiny” because we have so many unexplained predispositions in the general population that it seems to us that these inklings must have been ingrained in the DNA.

I’m sorry–it’s just not true. We are either given a life to live or we have been given a life which can be snatched away from us when we fail to follow the unknown rules that hatched us.

I often tell people in churches that God has a wonderful life for your plan. My heavenly Father does not tell me what to do. The Bible says He’s a good Father. A good father does not force his child into a plan of his making and then withhold blessing when the offspring fails to fulfill. Why would we think God would do that? By the same token, why would we believe that God, who is the founder of the concept of free will, would birth us in a certain direction without us being able to choose a detour?

  • I was not born to write.
  • I was not born to sing.
  • I was not born to be fat.
  • I was not born to be funny.

The chance to do these things came my way and I leapt on board and have survived the bumpy ride. I do not know why we think that something is more plausible if we are “born” to do it and therefore it’s out of our control. Do we think that frees us of responsibility? Is it our way of apologizing for our choice? Do we really want to worship a God who has pre-booked our flight and will punish us or at least levy a penalty for any changes on the itinerary? So foolish.

But it is why the American people are always two steps through the doorway of pissed off. For the truth is, if you have forfeited your rights, liberty and choice on where your life is headed, no matter whether you’ve done it in a secular way–by believing you are pre-determined at birth to do a particular thing–or if you’ve done it in a religious way–by pretending that God is pulling the strings–the helplessness that follows the decision does not inspire effort, but rather, welcomes anger and apathy.

Take a chance. Time is passing. Chances are racing by. Grab one.

The worst thing that can happen is you fail. But the truth of the matter is, failure is guaranteed if you do nothing–because your birthright will not make you free, and God has no intention of rallying an army of robots.

Watch out for destiny. It is contagious. It is deep in the bloodstream of all the rebirth of interest in fairy tales, mysticism, fantasy, soul mates and even musings over the end of the world. Keep three important things in mind:

1. The future is not decided until you decide it.

2. You were not “born” to do anything, but were given an opportunity to be born again–to do everything.

3. If you wait on the Lord with no plans on running a race of your own, you will end your life at the starting gate.

Take a chance. Free yourself of “detiny-itis” and soar with the eagles instead of remaining earth-bound with all the chickens. It is the law of the sky.

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

Rich Path… October 31, 2012

(1,685)

A storm called Sandy. What’s next? A beach named Rainy?

I was scheduled to be in Richwood, Ohio. So you don’t have to grab your maps, it is a tiny community of 1500 people about one hour northwest of Columbus. Since the Buckeyes are experiencing their first major storm of the season, I opted not to take the freeway route, because I figured people would still be driving seventy miles per hour, running into each other and backing up traffic so that we would all end up going seven miles an hour. Instead, I took State Route 37–and opened up a treasure chest of memories.

Driving through Lancaster, I passed by the elementary school where my two young boys attended for three months back in 1980 when I was traveling the country with my Broadway-style show, Mountain, and they were staying with their Grandma, continuing their studies. I was trying to turn religious and classically-trained young folk into Broadway singers and dancers. I fell a bit short on the dream.

Just about five miles further up the road, I passed by the church where I shared just six days ago–and had one of those sweet memories of the dear hearts at New Zion.

In no time at all, I was driving along on 37 and came to Interstate 70–a truck stop where I once sat in a booth with my girlfriend and planned how we would escape her parents’ disapproval and some day be married. This monstrous achievement was discussed over waffles and eggs and ended up being pulled off–much to everybody’s surprise.

Putting my foot on the gas pedal, I was soon in Granville, the location of the first performance I ever did in my life, at a nursing home, when I was twelve years old, singing old hymns to old ladies on an old piano with three fellow young’uns. I even remember the first song–it was Kneel at the Cross.

As I continued on my rich path of discovery, rain pelting on the windshield, allowing for memories to flood my mind, I cruised into Alexandria. I drove by a church where Terry, the bass guitar player for our high school musical group, sat with me out in a car and told me that his girlfriend had left town to go become a nun. Pretty devastating stuff when you’re sixteen years old–so crippling that Terry went home that night and tried to kill himself by overdosing on aspirin. Fortunately, taking four of them does not have lethal results.

I arrived in Johnstown, Ohio, which doesn’t look any different from when I was a kid and played football against their team. I remember the game, because it was the only time in my brief gridiron career that I intercepted a pass. Linebackers don’t get to do that very often. And I must clarify this by telling you that it was NOT a great feat of athleticism. The quarterback of the other team was so frightened of me running in to tackle him that he threw the ball right at my chest, and somehow I ended up on the ground with my arms wrapped around it. Still, an interception.

Another nine miles and I was in Sunbury, the place of my birth. It now is a bustling little city, but during my tenure it resembled a sleepy little village. But still, there was the Sunbury Grill, which touted its $1.29 lunch special, complete with a fresh slice of apple pie, and the building that once held my dad’s loan company, where he used to sit in the back room, rolling cigarettes and trying to make extra money for the family by filling out tax returns for wealthy farmers.

I crossed Interstate 71, which used to be a place that had two restaurants, and now is populated with hundreds of businesses. By the way, one of those restaurants had a waitress who happened to be my mother, who selected to work at that profession after my father’s death, I think more or less because she enjoyed yapping with people. It is there that she met Eric Burton and the Animals in an era when they were roaming the jungles of rock and roll. I was not there for the introduction, but it would certainly have been fascinating to hear my mother try to talk to these English-born Bohemians.

The rain kept falling and I kept driving. arriving in Delaware, Ohio, and passing by Bunn’s Famous Restaurant. (You know it’s famous because the sign says so.) It was just a few short years ago that I went to that particular establishment to meet with my sister-in-law and nephew, just seven months after my brother passed away. They were devastated by the loss, but it is amazing what a good meal and some good humor can do in a short period of time.

On my way to Richwood to finish my odyssey, I drove through a little town called Magnetic Springs, where I once joined four other comrades from my local church to participate in what was called a Bible League tournament, which basically was Jeopardy!  focusing on the book of Deuteronomy. The reason I recall that particular event was that I was only thirteen years old and was not supposed to be permitted to join the senior high team, but because I objected, citing that there was no rule against it, I not only ended up on the senior high team, but by the end of the year was captain. It made me smile. For verily I say unto you, there is a certain amount of “trouble maker” necessary to end up doing good.

And then there was last evening. Brave Ohio souls came out in the rain, sleet and cold and huddled together for an hour so we could talk about good things, good ideas, good memories, and even some better choices. In no time at all I was back in my van, driving to my headquarters.

I was really surprised on my way back when I passed by the hospital in Delaware. I didn’t realize it was on 37. It’s where they took my wife and second son, Joshua, after he popped out as a big surprise in that loan company I mentioned before, in Sunbury. Yes, an ambulance arrived and took them both to this Delaware hospital, where they were put in isolation (since he was apparently born contaminated, outside the sterility of the medical complex).

I munched on a vegetarian Subway sandwich and drove on through the misty night. After about an hour, I was back in Lancaster, and there was the nursing home where my mother spent her last days. I recalled the last time I saw her. I took her to a shopping mall, bought her some of her preferred candy, and on the way home, we sang her favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross. My mother could never sing on key, but made up for it with vigorous pipes.

I was back. Mine was a rich path, full of memories. But it was not unique to this hometown turf of my youth. I have been a blessed man–to crisscross the United States at least a hundred times, and I could take one of these nostalgic journeys almost anywhere in this country. I have similar memories in California, Alabama, Florida, Arizona, Texas and even more recently–Utah.

As I nestled myself in bed last night, I realized that I had just spent an evening driving through a “Sandy storm” to discover a very valuable truth: Life is not difficult. We honor the past; we thrive in the present. And in so doing, we impact the future.

If you forget any part of it, you feel an empty spot somewhere in the corner of your heart. But when you do all three, life ends up being what it is–and that is always just enough.

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

Lower Seat… October 30, 2012

(1,684)

A storm called Sandy. What’s next? A beach named Rainy?

I was scheduled to be in Richwood, Ohio. So you don’t have to grab your maps, it is a tiny community of 1500 people about one hour northwest of Columbus. Since the Buckeyes are experiencing their first major storm of the season, I opted not to take the freeway route, because I figured people would still be driving seventy miles per hour, running into each other and backing up traffic so that we would all end up going seven miles an hour. Instead, I took State Route 37–and opened up a treasure chest of memories.

Driving through Lancaster, I passed by the elementary school where my two young boys attended for three months back in 1980 when I was traveling the country with my Broadway-style show, Mountain, and they were staying with their Grandma, continuing their studies. I was trying to turn religious and classically-trained young folk into Broadway singers and dancers. I fell a bit short on the dream.

Just about five miles further up the road, I passed by the church where I shared just six days ago–and had one of those sweet memories of the dear hearts at New Zion.

In no time at all, I was driving along on 37 and came to Interstate 70–a truck stop where I once sat in a booth with my girlfriend and planned how we would escape her parents’ disapproval and some day be married. This monstrous achievement was discussed over waffles and eggs and ended up being pulled off–much to everybody’s surprise.

Putting my foot on the gas pedal, I was soon in Granville, the location of the first performance I ever did in my life, at a nursing home, when I was twelve years old, singing old hymns to old ladies on an old piano with three fellow young’uns. I even remember the first song–it was Kneel at the Cross.

As I continued on my rich path of discovery, rain pelting on the windshield, allowing for memories to flood my mind, I cruised into Alexandria. I drove by a church where Terry, the bass guitar player for our high school musical group, sat with me out in a car and told me that his girlfriend had left town to go become a nun. Pretty devastating stuff when you’re sixteen years old–so crippling that Terry went home that night and tried to kill himself by overdosing on aspirin. Fortunately, taking four of them does not have lethal results.

I arrived in Johnstown, Ohio, which doesn’t look any different from when I was a kid and played football against their team. I remember the game, because it was the only time in my brief gridiron career that I intercepted a pass. Linebackers don’t get to do that very often. And I must clarify this by telling you that it was NOT a great feat of athleticism. The quarterback of the other team was so frightened of me running in to tackle him that he threw the ball right at my chest, and somehow I ended up on the ground with my arms wrapped around it. Still, an interception.

Another nine miles and I was in Sunbury, the place of my birth. It now is a bustling little city, but during my tenure it resembled a sleepy little village. But still, there was the Sunbury Grill, which touted its $1.29 lunch special, complete with a fresh slice of apple pie, and the building that once held my dad’s loan company, where he used to sit in the back room, rolling cigarettes and trying to make extra money for the family by filling out tax returns for wealthy farmers.

I crossed Interstate 71, which used to be a place that had two restaurants, and now is populated with hundreds of businesses. By the way, one of those restaurants had a waitress who happened to be my mother, who selected to work at that profession after my father’s death, I think more or less because she enjoyed yapping with people. It is there that she met Eric Burton and the Animals in an era when they were roaming the jungles of rock and roll. I was not there for the introduction, but it would certainly have been fascinating to hear my mother try to talk to these English-born Bohemians.

The rain kept falling and I kept driving. arriving in Delaware, Ohio, and passing by Bunn’s Famous Restaurant. (You know it’s famous because the sign says so.) It was just a few short years ago that I went to that particular establishment to meet with my sister-in-law and nephew, just seven months after my brother passed away. They were devastated by the loss, but it is amazing what a good meal and some good humor can do in a short period of time.

On my way to Richwood to finish my odyssey, I drove through a little town called Magnetic Springs, where I once joined four other comrades from my local church to participate in what was called a Bible League tournament, which basically was Jeopardy!  focusing on the book of Deuteronomy. The reason I recall that particular event was that I was only thirteen years old and was not supposed to be permitted to join the senior high team, but because I objected, citing that there was no rule against it, I not only ended up on the senior high team, but by the end of the year was captain. It made me smile. For verily I say unto you, there is a certain amount of “trouble maker” necessary to end up doing good.

And then there was last evening. Brave Ohio souls came out in the rain, sleet and cold and huddled together for an hour so we could talk about good things, good ideas, good memories, and even some better choices. In no time at all I was back in my van, driving to my headquarters.

I was really surprised on my way back when I passed by the hospital in Delaware. I didn’t realize it was on 37. It’s where they took my wife and second son, Joshua, after he popped out as a big surprise in that loan company I mentioned before, in Sunbury. Yes, an ambulance arrived and took them both to this Delaware hospital, where they were put in isolation (since he was apparently born contaminated, outside the sterility of the medical complex).

I munched on a vegetarian Subway sandwich and drove on through the misty night. After about an hour, I was back in Lancaster, and there was the nursing home where my mother spent her last days. I recalled the last time I saw her. I took her to a shopping mall, bought her some of her preferred candy, and on the way home, we sang her favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross. My mother could never sing on key, but made up for it with vigorous pipes.

I was back. Mine was a rich path, full of memories. But it was not unique to this hometown turf of my youth. I have been a blessed man–to crisscross the United States at least a hundred times, and I could take one of these nostalgic journeys almost anywhere in this country. I have similar memories in California, Alabama, Florida, Arizona, Texas and even more recently–Utah.

As I nestled myself in bed last night, I realized that I had just spent an evening driving through a “Sandy storm” to discover a very valuable truth: Life is not difficult. We honor the past; we thrive in the present. And in so doing, we impact the future.

If you forget any part of it, you feel an empty spot somewhere in the corner of your heart. But when you do all three, life ends up being what it is–and that is always just enough.

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

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