Good News and Better News … October 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News Edgerton

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding.

I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

  • You can usually find a pretty decent place to stay.
  • If you pursue the pep for pepperoni, pizza parlors are pretty plentiful.
  • Almost always there’s a park nearby for sitting and viewing.
  • And grocery stores prosper in all 50 states.

What you occasionally may feel you lack as a traveling troubadour, is encouragement.

I don’t offer this as a lamentation, but rather, a statement of fact–that folks who live in towns often want to promote their lifestyles to the detriment of those who travel about. After all, gypsies are still considered “tramps and thieves.”

I share this candidly with you. Even though you may feel you’re on a mission or that you have something of value you would like to share, this does not always come with appreciation.

But in the midst of every threatening pity party comes the grace of God, to bolster your ego before it collapses in on your determination.

That’s how I would describe my stay in Edgerton, Wisconsin.

Afforded the blessing of three sharings at a church, I was touched by the openness of the local newspaper–which not only advertised our appearances, but offering second-mile enthusiasm in doing so.

When I arrived at the church for setup, a fine fellow named Jim, who just happened to be the pastor, found himself in the position of being the sole carrier of our equipment, since others did not make the scene. He not only had a servant’s heart, but also a mule’s will to tackle the deed without complaint.

Before I left for the presentations that day, I opened up my email and there was a note from a gentleman I hadn’t thought of for nearly thirty years. He remembered some special words I had shared with him which continued to influence his life.

Already my heart was full.

It overflowed after the first show, when another fine fellow who had seen me four years earlier, launched into further conversation about specifics regarding my books, which had enriched his life.

But it didn’t stop there.

One after another, the fine souls who attended this Edgerton church were not only kind, generous and open, but seemed determined to make me and my dear partner feel as if we were long-time residents, or even kin.

They did something amazing. They let us in.

Even though they are warned by a 24-hour news cycle to be suspicious and even angry, they stepped away from that ridiculous counsel and allowed us to be part of them for a brief season.

Matter of fact, one dear woman scurried to my table and asked me if she could hug me.

Yes, you can hug me–if you don’t mind me taking some of the love and energy you’re offering, and sticking it in my soul for lonelier days ahead.

It was our last day in Wisconsin after spending 91 of them “badgering” the locals with our message: no one is better than anyone else.

Thank you, Wisconsin, and a special thank-you to Edgerton.

I leave you with only one word of advice. If you want to draw people to yourselves and see lives changed, let them in to your living room, to see who you really are. Because people are not turned off by your weakness … unless you insist that you’re always strong.

 

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An Eye for a Tooth… July 17, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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eyeballGenerally speaking, I make a practice of avoiding anything that Hitler liked. Matter of fact, sometimes I’m a little uncomfortable about sporting a mustache.

Adolf despised gypsies, spirituality, homosexuals and let us not forget … Jews.

But ironically, considering his disdain for Abraham’s seed, he was a faithful follower of the Law of Moses–at least in the sense that he fervently applied the discipline of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” If a German soldier was killed in occupied lands, it was the edict in the Nazi Party to have ten locals murdered in retribution.

So even though the concept of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is included in what we refer to as “holy writ,” I know that it never came from the mind of any God who created human beings and understands our chemistry.

As a race, we are completely and totally devoid of the ability to be even. So what we always end up doing is plucking out an eye … for a tooth.

For instance, if we had actually gone in to Afghanistan after 9/11 and used specially trained troops to hunt down Osama bin Laden and twenty-eight hundred of his cult members and punished them for what they did in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and then departed, we would have demonstrated the literal application of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

But that’s not what we did.

Infuriated, bruised, energized and over-wrought, we launched ourselves into twelve years of war, costing hundreds of thousands of lives.

Why? Because human beings can’t measure. Even though Jesus warned us that the “meter we measure out” to other people will come right back to us, we become enraged and inflict too much punishment for what has happened to us.

So are you telling me that God didn’t KNOW this about the emotional human beings He created?

  • Are you telling me He would have told Moses to unleash vengeful people on their enemies, hoping for some restraint?
  • How about this–did we really need to drop two atomic bombs on Japan, killing hundreds of thousands of people, to end the war–pay back for Pearl Harbor?

What might seem to be an unpatriotic questioning of our country’s dealings is actually just a microscope placed on human character, explaining WHY retribution never works.

If you punch me in the face, I am much too explosive to immediately respond to you because I am completely capable of losing control and taking more from you than you gave to me–even to the point of destroying your life.

The purpose of turning the other cheek is not to be a loser. It is to give yourself a chance to keep from losing control and doing something that you truly should regret, but end up rationalizing.

It is astounding to me that our heartland citizens always espouse that we are “a Christian nation,” when we continue to follow the principles of Judaism, Islam and even Adolf Hitler. Someone has to grow up.

If we really could be even and take “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” then who knows? Maybe the system would be a deterrent to evil. But historically, dastardly acts have always stirred formerly reasonable people to flirt with darkness.

So what IS the answer?

We need to admit that an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” and any attempt to initiate punishment on our own is not only going to perpetuate the problem, but will actually accelerate it.

I turn the other cheek because I don’t want my temper to control my future.

There you go.

After all, if you don’t do it that way, you find yourself defeated–with the world turned against you, stuck in a bunker, too frightened to swallow the pill and too much of a coward to put the gun to your head.

 

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I’m Looking For… A Thoughtful Thinker February 2, 2013

Thinker

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Laying on the table in front of me are two pictures. One is a grainy black-and-white photograph of the decaying skeletal human remains discovered in Auschwitz at the end of World War II–evidence of the genocide perpetrated by Hitler and his henchmen, to eliminate Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and other folks deemed undesirable.

The other picture is a glorious color photo of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, complete with Michelangelo’s rendition of God and man touching hands, creating an eternal link.

The two photos share very little in common–actually, only one definite similarity. Both of them were conceived in the brain of a human being. One, a dastardly mutilation of mercy and concern, often passed off as satanic intervention; the other, a glorious connection between the spirit of man and the Spirit of God, generating the miracle of creativity.

What’s the difference? After all, we are constantly talking about the power of knowledge without taking into consideration that there are two Garden of Eden varieties: the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil.

It would be difficult to make a case that our generation is stupid. We may be the most educated race to ever walk the face of the earth. But the problem with thinking is that if it isn’t thoughtful, it can quickly become crude, self-involved and even dangerous, finding itself spewed from the darker regions.

Yes, to be a thinker is only good if you’re thoughtful. If the goal of receiving information and learning better ways is to use that tool of comprehension to enrich your own life and the lives of others, then the acquisition of knowledge transforms into wisdom. What is the turning point to change a mere human brain into an instrument of thoughtfulness?

1. I have what I need. Every nasty inclination occurs because we convince ourselves that we are cheated, short-changed or ignored. Somewhere along the line, in that glorious gray matter located in our cranium, we need to settle the score and understand that what we presently are working with is our treasure. It is when we begin to believe that we need more that we hatch plans to steal it from others.

2. I will use what I have. Even though laziness is a dangerous vice, when you team it with optimism, it becomes the breeding ground for the kind of thinking that makes us believe we deserve something without ever using our stockpile. One of the questions I ask myself monthly as I analyze my own progress is, “Am I using what I have instead of awaiting a shipment of supplies?” Nothing creates frustration any quicker than believing that opportunity is right around the corner rather than walking over and answering the door which is already being knocked upon.

3. I will daily invite God to come along on my journey. I am not going to be so ridiculous as to believe that He is in control of my life when He’s made it quite clear that He has granted me complete free will. I also will not be so stupid as to merely have a worship experience with Him in a religious sense without welcoming the wisdom of His spirit and the knowledge of the natural order into my decision-making process. Somewhere along the line, if you can stop being religious, you might actually get the chance to meet God. Likewise, if you’re an atheist, it’s going to be easier to garner information from nature–God’s workbench. I think it is impossible for human beings to be thoughtful until they stop needing more, but instead, use what they have and include God in their daily activities.

Without this, our brains become greedy, envious, lack-luster and we contend that we are the masters of our own fate, without having to give an account to anyone else of our deeds. I will go so far as to say that if Adolph Hitler had followed these three principles, it would have been impossible for him to lay a single filthy hand on any member of the Jewish community.

Too much thinking–not enough thoughtfulness.

My gift to you is to never use my brain without first connecting it to my more thoughtful nature. In so doing, I can tap the knowledge of good … and bypass the evil.

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