Good News and Better News… October 9th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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This weekend was the Fall Festival at the Emmaus Lutheran Church in Orange City, Florida. Also appearing, on the under card, were Cring & Clazzy.

Please understand, I am not lamenting having second billing. After all, the church does use the occasion to raise funds for a very worthy cause.

It’s just that in this season of mediocrity colliding with confusion, the church can no longer take an approach of “business as usual,” as it prepares for the Pumpkin Patch sale, while the huge hand basket arrives to take everybody to hell.

What are the needed adjustments?

What is the responsibility of the fellowship of the followers of Jesus in this season of turmoil and tribulation?

The first and foremost principle that we as Christians and churchgoers need to understand is the power we possess, instead of complaining over our inability to affect circumstances.

One of my sons contacted me this weekend in frustration and said, “Pop, what can we do?”

From his message I sensed that he had a real heart to make a difference, but all he sees are gray walls of discontentment closing in on him. Perhaps the answer is so simple that it escapes those who are trying to participate in complex study. Here’s the path:

Stop trying to do what you can’t do.

In the pursuit of equality, we believe that everybody, everywhere, has equal ability for everything. What could be more ridiculous?

About fifteen years ago, I was traveling with my family band. During a performance, I turned to the audience in speaking about my oldest son’s bass guitar playing, and shared that Jesus was impressed, because “my boy plays bass guitar better than Jesus.” It was a jocular toss-off, based upon Jesus himself saying that “greater things would we do because he goes to the Father.” But it offended the pastor, who insisted that if Jesus wanted to play bass guitar, he’d be the “best bass guitar player in the world.”

We have become defensive. Desiring to do everything, we’ve ended up doing nothing. Keep in mind that perseverance is a virtue–but “stubborn” is a vice.

God the Father has given Mother Nature to us to clarify what we are good at and what we aren’t. If you have tried to do something five or six times and failed on each occasion, number seven is not going to work either. Although you may find testimonials of people insisting it was on the 28th occasion of launching their idea when it finally worked, God is pretty merciful. He lets us know when something is growing and when something is dying.

So that’s my message to the people of Emmaus and also to the folks who faithfully read this blog.

Stop trying to do things you can’t do.

It opens the door for others to perform their talent and magic, while you watch. And then they can step back and allow you the platform for your gifts.

We will continue to flounder in a series of projects, proposals and even prayers–unless we begin to assess what we do that actually works, and what we continue to chase, hoping it will catch fire.

The good news is that each one of you has gifts that have market quality and human ministry.

The better news is, if you will stop trying to do what you can’t do, you’ll have so much more time for what you do well.

 

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Populie: Life is Dark … February 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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  • It is popular to complain.better true detective
  • And an ongoing lie is the assertion that “everything is getting worse.”
  • Put them together and you have the Populie, “Life is dark.”

Matter of fact, one way to receive ridicule and to present yourself as a novice is to say things are not as bad as they are made out to be. Be prepared to be called sentimental, maudlin or schmaltzy. If you find something to be praiseworthy, you risk losing the audience that is prepared to bitch.

  • Politicians revels in this climate because they can rail against the party in control, portraying that these renegades in power are hauling us “to hell in a handbasket.”
  • Religion picks up the banner and carries it proudly because it loves the idea that mankind is depraved and is desperately in need of an always-forgiving God.
  • And of course, entertainment is delighted with the notion, promoting projects like Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Dexter and True Detective as examples of “real life” projected onto the screen, knowing the market that exists thinks blood is cool–as long as we aren’t the ones bleeding.

So sometimes it becomes difficult to step out of this shadowy kingdom of “populie” reasoning and offer alternatives that are not nearly as debilitating.

1. Life continues through birth.

What do I mean by that? We stop believing in the power of living when we’re always trying to kill things off. There has to be a sense of regeneration, reclamation, salvation and solution or human beings despair. If you’re not going to birth something in hope, you will add to the darkness by dousing your light.

2. Caring for others is the only way to secure your own space.

Yes, we are selfish. We are concerned about our own needs. But if you’re going to stomp on the face of the person just below you, be prepared to get a foot in your own face from the one who has ascended higher than yourself.

I love other people because I need love–and the only way I could ever hope that this love will be there when I need it is to make sure I continue to put love seedlings in the soil.

3. Promoting “bad” advertises mediocrity and discourages the pursuit of excellence.

Honestly, if all I have to do in life is be better than the characters on television, I really am just fine. We aren’t given real heroes; we don’t have those who have struggled and overcome, and we are absent enough examples of people who stand up against the system to prove their point.

Everywhere I go now, even in the religious system, there is an abiding sensation that “life is dark.” I plead with my own family and children to stop peppering their minds with incessant violence, perversion and bleak dreariness that’s offered in our present politics, religion and entertainment.

I plead with you.

Because remember: the loss of empathy is the death of humanity.

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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

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