Good News and Better News… September 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Is peace merely the absence of war or a majestic anointing to dissuade all conflict?

This question crossed my mind Sunday morning when Janet and I had the privilege of sharing our program at Peace Lutheran Church in Palm Bay, Florida, under the able leadership of Pastor Paul. Although the folks were hesitant at first to open their hearts to “us strangers,” in no time at all the glory of Spirit filled the room with reconciliation, realization and renewal.

It was good. It felt good.

Which brings me to my point this morning. Even though we may exalt ourselves for being extremely intellectual or even spiritual, we actually spend most of our lives being prompted by our feelings. Some would insist that this predilection is our weakness, but I have discovered that our emotions are what endear us to the Creator.

So when anyone steps into Peace Lutheran Church, they are taking the pulse of the heartbeat in the place.

Is it a sanctuary for redemption minus the fussiness propagated by our society? Is it warm with human smiles–aglow with care, and just lit up by the notion that “all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord?”

Only after we feel good about a place do we actually look around to see.

We notice faces. We observe actions. God forgive us, we become spies at our present location. Are we critical? Unfortunately, yes.

This is why there must be a belief system on Earth that understands that we’re constantly letting our light shine before all men. There is no backstage for the journey of faith, nor are we given a dressing room. There is no time to learn lines because all the daily setups are improvisational.

  • The world is looking.
  • The world is critical.
  • The world must see evidence for what it feels.

And finally, if we like what we feel and we’re pretty satisfied with what we see, we’re ready to hear.

As we know, faith comes by hearing, so it is the responsibility of every believer to bring peace to our quadrant by providing a faith that can be seen and felt.

That was our message yesterday. We must stop insisting that merely opening the doors to a house of worship promotes brotherly love, good will or recognition of our Creator.

No–if people don’t feel it they will never see it.

And if they don’t see it, they won’t hear it.

So the good news is that by the time I left Peace Lutheran I felt them and I saw the love of God. They let me eyeball their soul.

And the better news is, I can now trust what I hear from them.

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G-Poppers … February 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Even though G-Pop knows that his children are smart and sharp enough to make good decisions for themselves, he is a bit concerned that the recent redefining of leadership is quite confusing.

Leadership is not an accumulation of stats and facts to place on your resume, or the ability to get people to vote for you to confirm your prowess.

Leadership is very simply an awareness. It is a two-part principle.

Anyone who is going to be a great leader:

  1. Tells the truth.
  2. Hears the truth.

Yes, there is a truth we know. It is our treasure-house, holding the contents of our understanding.

Telling the truth is essential. And even though lying has jokingly become a national pastime, everyone eventually becomes weary of a liar and unceremoniously boots the scoundrel out the door.

But we can’t stop with our truth. We can’t halt in the middle of the road, build a fort and say, “We need go no further.”

Telling the truth has to give way to hearing the truth. A leader must be submissive to listening to what he or she does not know. It requires a stillness in the soul, remaining silent for a season in order for personal truth to grow from acquiring new information.

If you cannot tell the truth and hear the truth, you will never be a good leader.

So G-Pop hopes that his children will ask four very important questions when they consider what leaders to honor:

1. Do they tell the truth?

2. Do they honor the truth?

3. Do they know there is more truth beyond themselves?

4. Are they searching for that unknown truth?

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Seven Points… May 23, 2013

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In the midst of scrambling some points with a couple of dozen good eggs in Seven Points, Texas, last night, I discovered that there really are seven points necessary to put together the kind of human life that is both good to ourselves and valuable to others.

First, I think it’s important that we CARE. After all, apathy is when love has died and finally shows up as a frown on your face.

The second suggestion I would make is to HEAR. Faith comes by hearing. That may explain why we’re in the middle of a faithless generation–people have stopped listening to each other.

How about ACCEPT? Certainly there are folks who might consider me to be wishy-washy, because I believe that if I can’t accept something in the life of another human being, I choose to ignore it. The other options are to judge them or try to change them, both of which are contrary to good sense and the Jesonian philosophy.

If I were to go for a fourth idea, I would certainly recommend REJOICE. The reason the joy of the Lord is our strength is because the absence of finding purpose in our journey makes us feel weak. There is something positive about hanging around with individuals who can kick up their heels and squeal in delight.

I think we should INTERCEDE. When it is in our power to do something good, to fail to pursue it is certainly sin. I sometimes see problems in people’s lives, and it’s just too painful to discuss it with them, so instead, I pray for them or I stand in the gap to make sure they don’t get hurt while they’re learning better ways.

Here’s a sixth one: TRUTHFUL. There aren’t many things we owe one another, but the truth is hard to top. There’s something about looking someone in the eye and refusing to lie to them that creates a bond of trust which is beyond measure.

And if you will allow me a seventh possibility, I would call it YEARN. Instead of becoming nagging ninnies, constantly fussing about the way life is, there should be a yearning in our hearts to see things get better. People who do not yearn always end up complaining–which is the best way to chase God away–AND all the people created in His image.

So here are the seven points I garnered last night from Seven Points, Texas:

  • Care
  • Hear
  • Accept
  • Rejoice
  • Intercede
  • Truthful
  • Yearn

And if you take the first letter of each and every one of those, you end up with the acronym “charity.” And charity is when love gets up out of its chair to answer the door because someone needs help.

Tonight I am off to Shreveport, Louisiana, where thirty years ago I first met my partner, Janet. So we will take a little walk through some memories, and hopefully in the process, create some new ones.

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