3 Things… November 9th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Make for a Beautiful Sunset

1. The presence of some purple and green in the color sweep

 

2. A stillness in the air–not too hot, not too cold

 

3. Stealing the time to stand on your porch to gaze at the wonder

 

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Sweet, Salty and Hot… October 6, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

At last night’s gig, we received a “chili” reception.

What I mean is, they had a chili cook-off before our show. Fortunately for us, they set aside some of the magic potions for us to take back to our motel and enjoy. As I sat down in front of my bowl, I thought about how marvelous chili really is.

The first magnificent thing about the concoction is that it’s simple. Three major ingredients–beans, meat and tomatoes. If you don’t have those three elements in your chili, you may have come up with something that is in the household, but not in the immediate family. It takes beans, meat and tomatoes to make a basic chili.

Now, some people like their chili sweet, others salty and certainly there are those who prefer it hot. Each one of these groups would insist that their particular preference is the actual definition of chili, but truthfully, the mixture is best presented by the inclusion of  … beans, meat and tomatoes. Otherwise you end up with goulash or Sloppy Joe. Whether it is sweet, salty or hot, it is still called chili and therefore gets included on the menu.

As I munched on my meal, I thought about how much better off we would be if we approached our Christian faith the same way. In other words, once all the ingredients are in place, whether you like your faith sweet, salty or hot makes little difference. As long as you don’t mess with the holy three, you’re in pretty good shape.

And what would those three be? What would define a good Christian experience, establishing the necessary pieces to call it such?

1. We “bean” with Jesus. (I apologize for the pun. It was available, I was weak, I took it.) How can you tell that someone has “bean” with Jesus? They consider him to be the example for living instead of just the sacrifice for sin.

2. We “meat” the requirement of loving one another. (Again, my apologies.) Referring back to Jesus, he established this as the criterion for knowing whether someone was his follower. If they do not show love one for another, they have started their own club, just displaying a cross on their steeple.

3. No tomato is better than any other tomato. Hop in the pot and join the stew. Anyone who makes distinctions about human beings and judgments based upon any feeling of superiority has ceased to follow a Christian philosophy and has amalgamated into their thinking some sort of cultural preference that shuts out those folks that Jesus loves.

There you go. That’s how you make a Christian. Those are the ingredients.

Now, to continue, some people like it sweet. Their God is love and will always love, in a loving way, the whole world, which needs a loveable hug.

I don’t care if it’s sweet, as long as they’ve “bean” with Jesus, “meat” the requirement of loving one another and accept all the tomatoes off the vine.

There are those who like it salty. They’re interested in points of doctrine, deep theological discussions and will even dabble in some of the psycho-babble of our time, linking it with Biblical implications.

Who cares–as long as they stir in the beans, meat and tomatoes?

And certainly, there are those who like it hot. They want the message to burn all the way down to their innards, believing the Word of God to be infallible, without question, searing away the evil in our world and establishing the good.

More power to them–as long as they accept Jesus as the source of wisdom, they love one another without question and they include everybody in the gift of salvation.

You see? Chili is like being a Christian. If you get the basic ingredients in place, flavoring it is just fun, and I don’t mind if you flavor it one way or another, as long as you can still see the evidence of those three main ingredients: Jesus, loving one another, and an open door to everyone.

They sent home a couple of different kinds of chili with us. I ate one of the warmer varieties, which stung my tongue, and Jan opted for the more benign, kindergarten variety.

But you know what? We both had chili.

And just like in the Christian experience, when you get it right and all the ingredients are in place, there’s one thing for certain: it’s a gas.

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

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