Good News and Better News … May 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2950)

Mt Pisgah 3Pastor John Crawford had decided to retire.

While in the midst of considering what would be his favorite chair, he was urgently “recalled” to help out at the Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church near Verona, Virginia.

It was a temporary assignment that has lasted for twelve years.

I was fortunate to be invited to share with the delightful congregation and Pastor John this past Sunday morning.

The people are the salt of the earth, unfortunately living in a time when the masses prefer pepper.

Yes, we are a generation who has convinced ourselves that we are happiest when we portray reality as being dissension, describing politics as deception, and fostering religion that has more verse than rhyme.

So as I settled in to play music and chat with these inspiring individuals, I wanted to make sure I kept it simple–not because they were incapable of complexity, but because I am incapable of complexity.Mt Pisgah 2

If it’s necessary to make things difficult to find solutions, please do not contact me.

I’ve read the Bible through enough times that I have discovered there’s a central theme. Such a golden stream of understanding can never be achieved by focusing on a few passages here and there which seem to back your favorite prejudice.

The central theme I’ve discovered is that God will have a kind people, or no people at all.

Yes, I’m telling you–God is love until you get Him really frustrated. At that point He is described as a consuming fire. And what really sparks His blaze? Unkindness.

In our society, we now believe that the tougher you look, the meaner you act and the more aggressive you become, the better off you are in this dangerous climate.

Holy hogwash. It’s about being kind. Which, by the way, begins with the word “kin.”

Yes, to be kind you have to learn how to treat everyone you meet as kin.

This means you will continue to love them through their quirks, their preferences, their ideologies or even, God forbid, their diverse choices in baptism.

Kind.

Mt Pisgah 1For instance, I can never pray to my Heavenly Father unless I’ve already expressed kindness to His children. I even exaggerate it–especially when I’m feeling grumpy and my natural inclination is to spit at the world around me. Instead, I keep my saliva to myself, pucker up and force a kiss.

Case in point, driving to the church yesterday, a young man came behind my van, honking at me. I was a little surprised so I slowed up, thinking I must be doing something wrong. This infuriated him even more, causing him to pass me and give me the finger as he zoomed by.

Now, when I was younger I would have been aggravated at this assault to my person. But in my present mindset, I land somewhere between baffled and amused. (Because if he’s going to give me the finger over my slow driving, he should be around when my real faults show up.)

The good news is that being kind–treating all souls as your kin–is guaranteed to produce pleasure in the heart of God. There may be other things you can do to make Him happy, but they are completely negated if you are unkind.

The better news is that kind is not nearly as exhausting as mean.

Mt Pisgah 4 

Donate Button

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

 

Confessing … November 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2752)

XXVIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

His name was Conley and he had a bad influence on me.

Aw, hogwash. Actually, Conley was successful in finding the bad influence in me.

Ironically, we sang gospel music together–and discovered that when Amazing Grace stopped having such a “sweet sound,” we were quick to rediscover the “wretch” in each of us.

Conley was not an evil person; he was mischievous, comical and deceitful.

So one day when I was driving my old van and entering a thoroughfare, we were joking around–me in the driver’s seat and him lying on a beat-up couch we had inserted into the vehicle. Suddenly there was a huge bump.

Apparently in my oblivion, I ran into a car which was driving in the first lane, which I was trying to enter. I pulled over and so did the car.

Conley grabbed me by the shoulder and said, “Let me do all the talking.”

Seemed good to me.

So Conley got out and began to complain to the driver, whose car we had struck, saying that the poor hapless fellow had changed lanes into us, striking us, and therefore, it was his fault.

I had no idea how Conley could possibly know this, considering that he was lying down in the back of the van, which had no windows on the driver’s side. It did not even occur to me that Conley was making up the story line as he went along.

The police arrived and issued me a citation for changing lanes without safety. I was prepared to pay my ticket and let that be the end of it.

But Conley got a twinkle in his eye, said we should go to court, that he would testify on my behalf and that we would beat the ticket.

So we did.

I didn’t go along with the plan because Conley overwhelmed me with his personality. I was just as much a jerk as he was. I was just wrapped up in a thicker covering of self-righteousness.

So we went to court and Conley testified that he saw the gentleman change lanes into us, therefore creating the accident. Even though the other driver had given a report to the contrary, the judge believed Conley.

My citation was dismissed and we both left the courtroom feeling we beat the system.

So because I was not convicted of the citation, the driver was not able to retrieve his repairs from my insurance company.

I didn’t even feel bad about it.

At that point in my life I had this idea that if you were ingenious enough to lie, then it was the system’s fault for being so stupid.

I wish I could tell you that Conley saw the light and became a more industrious person. Actually, the last time I saw him, he split town, leaving behind a trail of seven bad checks he had written in my community.

I do not blame Conley for my actions.

As I sit here today, I wonder how much “horrible Houdini” is still left in me–prompting me to escape my responsibility, congratulating myself.

I pray that’s dead.

But I want to thank you for allowing me another chance to confess it … and drive a stake through the heart of that demon.

 

Confessing collision

 

Donate Button

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

***************************

Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

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

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

 

 

Three Things You Can Do Today to Change Your Life… June 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2261)

Jan lipsIn a great push for unconditional love and accepting people “just as they are,” we have closed the door on the benefit and blessing of self-improvement.

Here’s my take: I don’t want your unconditional love.

I want you to let me know how I can do things better, and then grant me your unconditional mercy as I move forward and try.

I don’t want you to accept me just the way I am if it’s going to make me obnoxious, shorten my life or pull me away from my potential success.

Minus condemnation, please clue me in on an idea which will enhance my possibilities.

Here is a truthful statement–it is much easier to repent of silly foibles than it is to constantly offend other people and try to cover one’s mistakes.

Candidly, the process is not complicated. Matter of fact, I would like to suggest three things you can do today which could change your life. If you pursue them for a twenty-four hour period, they will produce such obvious blessing that you may choose to continue.

1. Tell the truth.

Every one of us has found shortcuts and side streets from the path of honesty. I don’t know if we think it’s clever, intelligent or just fun to pull the wool over people’s eyes, but you will be astounded at how freeing it is to answer yes or no, or give an accurate account of your present situation.

Just try it for one day.Jan eyes

Now, I am not talking about going into your past and confessing all of your sins. I am merely speaking of taking today’s situations and baptizing them in the truth.

2. Don’t make promises.

If you don’t want to do something, try to tell people your real feelings. If you can’t do that without hurting them, don’t promise to participate, but instead, tell them you will think about it or attempt to participate.

People are quick to jump on our words and turn them into promises, so you must make sure you are clear that you’re either unwilling to join, or undecided.

3. Avoid excuses.

Jan earThe most annoying attribute in the human personality is explaining our motivations, hoping it will replace positive action. What a bunch of hogwash.

Stand behind what you did or apologize for it–but never try to persuade people who have been affronted by your actions to understand why you slighted them.

These are the three things you can change today which will not only make you a better human, but will immediately increase the trust people have in you, and therefore open the door to more acceptance.

Somewhere along the line, our culture needs to realize that accepting one another as we are is negating the power for human beings to evolve.

Isn’t it interesting that a generation which touts the importance of evolution wants to emotionally and spiritually stay the same?

 

Donate Button

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

Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

G-5: Night or Light… January 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2110)

brighter lightIn the Good Book, it states, “Work while it’s day, for the night comes when no man works.”

One might have a tendency to become cynical since that statement was written in a time where the world ran on “candle power.” Since then, we’ve become more advanced in the ability to light up the night incandescent. But the idea is not solely based on whether the night hours can be illuminated by bulbs. There is a night that has nothing to do with a light show.

I once told my children that nothing good happens after 10:00 P.M. They gave me the obligatory stare of disapproval, since all of them deeply enjoyed staying up late, attempting to be grown-up and independent.

There is a power to light.

There is an energy infused into our beings when the daily sunshine offers encouragement for the possibility of our scheme.

The absence of that particular brightness robs us of the chemicals to our brain which induce true creativity and welcome transparency.

I believe that.

During a very brief stint, I ran sound at a Blues Bar. Everything was dark–only partially revealed through colored lights, smoke hanging in the room. Eight o’clock at night at the Blues Bar was festive, exciting and filled with celebration. By ten o’clock, a new element was in the room, which brought less jubilation and more confrontation. By the time the bar closed, a darkness, misery and dismal cloud hung over the room, festering the occupants and making people irritable and fussy.

We need light.

We have convinced ourselves that the study of darkness is the evidence of our maturity and the scope of our receptivity. Hogwash.

Dark is dark and light is light, and when all is said and done, you will be remembered by how much light you brought into the world and how much darkness you dispelled.

Here are three things I know–a trio of ideas that I incorporate into my daily life and message which comfort me in knowing that I am becoming “the light of the world” instead of encouraging bleakness. I tell people:

  1. We can be honest. Yes, darkness requires deceit in order to function.
  2. We can do better. When we begin to accept the mediocre, what we actually achieve is destitution.
  3. We are not alone. To preach the absence of God, love or even a cosmic karma which returns our actions back to us is to turn the light off in the human soul, making us all blind.

There is a night that falls on our society, and it’s best to be tucked away in your home, safe and sound.

For truly, any New Yorker will tell you that Central Park is a beautiful place … until the sun goes down. 

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

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