Jesonian … November 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3480)

jesonian-cover-amazon

On hundreds of occasions, I was sitting backstage in my Green Room in a church somewhere in America, waiting for the program to begin, when there would be a timid knock on the door and the sponsor would appear, and he or she would awkwardly and sheepishly say, “Well, there are not many people here, but it will be worth it if you reach even one person.”

I often found myself smiling approvingly, as if I agreed with the bizarre statement. Let me make it clear. It was never worth the effort, the spirit, the energy and the creativity that Ms. Clazzy and I mustered to reach “just one person.” It is ineffective, it is inefficient, and therefore it certainly is not the will of God.

Jesus punctuated this point in Matthew 23:15. If you ever read that chapter, you will find that Jesus is extremely pissed off. He has reached the end of his ministry and he’s nauseated by the religious system, which has not only blocked his efforts, but has left the people impoverished, physically and spiritually. He accuses the religious leaders of exhibiting great pretense over traveling land and sea to preach their foolish doctrines, and when they finally gain a convert, they turn the poor son of a bitch into “twice the son of Hell” as they are themselves.

Amen and Amen.

Our religious system has taken a message that God sent through Jesus to reach humans, and has replaced it with a human message which is continually trying to please God. Therefore, our congregations are emotionally immature, spiritually stunted, mentally confused, physically tempted, and pleading for other folks to come to the sanctuary and be equally as damaged, in order to help defray the cost of the mortgage on the church building.

Religion sucks. There’s no other way to say it.

God intended to bring an abundant life which was suited to humans, not abundant rules, regulations and commandments that scare them away.

Church has become a place where we train people to be so heavenly that they become hellish. It is a hiding place for the insecure, the demented and those who feel a need to establish their superiority over their fellow-man.

Are you religious? You should find out. Here’s what religion believes:

1. God matters more than people. (The Bible makes it completely clear that how we treat people is what God believes we feel about Him).

2. People are evil. (Actually, people are encumbered with the knowledge of good and evil. Through spirited instruction, they can let the goodness win.)

3. Evil is powerful and often wins. (Evil is trapped in the atmosphere of Earth, and historically never wins.)

If you believe any one of these three things listed above, you are religious, and being religious, you will develop a childish reverence to God and a growing distaste for people.

You will find yourself cast into the role of “twice the son of Hell.”

Donate Button

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

Good News and Better News… November 7th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3118)

good-news-trinity-mansfield-sign-pic-1Autumn reminds me of getting older. It occasionally offers memories of the warmth of earlier days, but things start falling off your limbs.

As I woke up and drove to Trinity United Methodist Church in Mansfield, Ohio, it was a beautiful, sunshine-blessed fall morning–invigorating to the body and soul. I think other people felt that as well, because Pastor Bob and the congregation shared a gentle and kind greeting.good-news-trinity-mansfield-clouds-pic-2

I was also blessed to have my nephew and sister-in-law show up for the gig, and we had a few minutes in my green room to catch up and rediscover why we like each other (even though we’re related).

Then it was time for the service. I’m always intrigued by the fact that we pursue the traditions of religion without considering whether they are adequate for the needs of humans. What is the purpose of God putting together a ceremony which does nothing to enrich the lives of the participants?

What do we need from church?

First and foremost–good cheer.

Fortunately for us, Jesus said “he came that our joy might be full.” For after all, we cannot survive another experience that leaves us contemplating without rejoicing.

The second thing church should give us is fellowship.

Once again, God looked ahead and saw our need. Jesus proclaimed, “By this you shall know my followers–that they have love for one another.”

After good cheer and fellowship, we all desperately need forgiveness.

Jesus warned us that “except we repent, we shall perish. But if we do repent, “God is faithful and just to forgive us.” This pardon makes us a little bit more willing to consider being gracious to others.

So you can see, what we need out of church is also what God expects out of church.

Passing off the traditions of men and calling them the commandments of God is what really pissed off Jesus.

So the good news is that if we offer hope and cheer, fellowship and forgiveness, we will not only be doing God’s will, but we will be presenting an atmosphere which is conducive to the growth of human beings.

The better news is that it is a lot more pleasant to do this than arguing over hymns, trying to stay awake during sermons, and bickering over the color of the carpet in the vestibule.

good-news-trinity-mansfield-jon-pic-3

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


Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

Good News and Better News … August 1st, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3020)

Good News Enola NewsletterI always request a church newsletter–every place I go. I imagine the staff might speculate on why I want it. They might think I’m trying to confirm whether our appearance was adequately advertised, but since I’m already there, it would be fruitless to know.

The reason I read the church newsletter is that I’m trying to figure out what they’re doing and where they’re going.

It’s very important. Without a definite idea on doing and going, we can find ourselves whisked away with many a tornado of confusion.

So I read the newsletter of Enola Emmanuel United Methodist Church while I was sitting in my green room before the program.

The main article was about “branding”–passing on an easily identifiable image to the surrounding community concerning mission.

Here’s the dilemma: in branding, we too often try to chase spiritual goals, using limited human abilities. For instance, we extol the importance of prayer, witnessing, church attendance and Bible reading to human folk who spend most of their time working, eating and sleeping.

Jesus had a different idea.

He told us that the world was full of tribulation but there wasn’t anything we would be able to do about that.Good News Enola Good cheer

He also said the world would need to be overcome. He placed that chore on himself.

He gave us a human mission: “Be of good cheer.”

Yet if you share this with people, they look at you as if you’re silly or irresponsible. But good cheer is the only thing we can accomplish with energy.

It begins by understanding that church should not be a service or a worship experience, but rather, a rally. We need to teach our congregations to:

1. Be

“I will find joy, joyfully”

2. Of

“I will join with others”

3. Good

“Together we will discover what is valuable”

4. Cheer

“Linking in fellowship, we will celebrate goodness”

Removing celebration from church is like taking the breath out of lungs. It leaves us with reverence and no praise. The Gospel of Jesus was intended to be human-friendly, not ethereal.

Good News Enola penSit down, take a pen and paper and write what turns you on. Make a list of the things you find joyful, enhancing and enriching. Then go out and find a way to do those things while benefitting others.

There is an empty chair waiting in the church for the person who will dare to be real and admit that he or she is human, and not ashamed of it.

The good news is that branding is finding our way to “be of good cheer.”

The better news is that cheerful people are a great draw.

Good News Enola chair

 

Donate Button

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

Leaky… September 3, 2012

(1,627)

I don’t like to be vulnerable. I understand the importance of it; I appreciate that we best express our humanity one to another by admitting our foibles and allowing others to get a quick peek into the cellar of our disappointment. It doesn’t make it any more pleasant, though. Especially when you’re traveling on the road and touring, you need to be careful not to come across desperate, needy or cloying. I don’t ever want anyone to contribute to my work on the road because they’re afraid that my bald tires will blow out on the freeway as I leave town.

That’s why it was difficult yesterday in South Lyon, Michigan, when I was sitting in my green room preparing for the morning’s activities, and a spry, bright-eyed gentleman walked in and told me that my van was leaking from the radiator. I wasn’t upset with the news. I wasn’t nervous or concerned about the repair. After all, if you drive a vehicle around the country, you will have a certain amount of expense to maintain it. I just don’t like the sensation of coming across as a vagabond with no means of caring for my own needs.

Let me make something clear–at no time did this fine gentleman ever cause me to feel diminished. It was all in my head. So I put it out of my mind, went into the morning service and had a grand time with these outrageously inspired individuals. During the service, the gentleman who had discovered our radiator leak asked for help after the conclusion of the morning’s program, to assist us in putting our van in good enough shape to send us on our way. So while I had the blessing of interfacing with the audience, three or four of the men from the church went out and ministered to my Ford. They were astute, aware and qualified.

So by the time I finished trying to give a collective hug to the entire congregation and made my way out to my transportation, these gentlemen already had everything under control. They had filled it up with “Stop Leak,” told me of some needful repair, and I was on my way.

As I drove towards my lodging, I still had those misgivings–about being too open and available. But then I came to the realization that if I hadn’t been “leaky,” those fine folks would have had no way of expressing their affection, mercy and graciousness to me.

  • I want to be powerful. (Sometimes God needs me to appear less.)
  • I want to be large and in charge. (God often recommends the lower seat.)
  • I want to appear manly and full of promise. (As I’m aging, a limp is being added to my walk, to temper my stride.)
  • I want to have the privilege of making my own decisions in my own way. (I find strength in a multitude of counselors.
  • I want to believe I can handle all of my own mishaps without intervention. (God sends angels to me and I must learn to recognize them–otherwise, I miss my piece of heaven.)
  • I want to be free of leaks. (I’m often just a big drip.)

I realized that I was asking this congregation yesterday morning to expose themselves, open their hearts, show their fears and discuss possibilities on how to plug up the holes in their lives. I was expecting them to do this without I, myself, ever presenting my own lacking. Oh, I am very willing to be self-deprecating or even forthcoming, but in some areas I like to maintain control.

Areas like my radiator.

But “he that would gain his life will lose it, and he that will lose his life shall gain it.” Temporarily yesterday, I lost control of my van. It was put into the capable hands of intelligent, caring brothers. I closed down my ego and I opened up the potential for receiving generosity. Because of that, it was a better day.

Here’s the truth: Mitt Romney is leaky. Barack Obama is leaky.  My dear God, Jesus was leaky. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading for a better solution, while God watched his blood to drip onto the ground. We’re not looking for people who aren’t leaky. We’re looking for folks who will allow others to help them.

I had a blessing in South Lyon which actually enabled me to become more of a blessing to them. I am leaky.

When I try to plug those on my own, I lose the benefit of showing a part of myself that is more relevant to those who are searching for greater humanity … and less deception.

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

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: