Good News and Better News… December 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3160)

good-news-jon-birthday

 

“Jesus was born to die.”

That’s what the preacher said.

He seemed pretty sure of it, too, because he kept repeating it over and over again during his “sermonic” pursuit.

I listened carefully. Here was the premise for the assertion–the best I understood it:

God, who created the universe, decided on His own, from the foundation of the world, that He would save the human race (which was not yet placed in the Garden of Eden) from their sinful nature, which they had not yet manifested.

It seems that since God made these creatures called humans, He placed within them a self-destruct switch, which is triggered and causes them to pull up lame, inept and basically evil.

So God put Himself in charge of them and each of their destinies, plotting their lives, and moved them about like fleshy chess pieces, understanding that in the long run, the end result of the game would be “checkmate.” In other words, they would need a Savior, and such an individual would have to come to the world as one of them, but be secretly enhanced with the dynamic advantage of knowing that his preaching, healing, conversations, or even established relationships were basically doomed, and that ultimately, his purpose for arriving on the planet was to slowly bleed out on a cross and die for the irreconcilable imperfections of humankind.

Although there are many scriptures from this God which inform us that He completely disapproved of animal sacrifice and found it gross, we are led to believe that He ignored those sentiments and killed a human being to prove that His initial idea of “original sin” was correct.

We are to ignore the birth of this son named Jesus in deference to his death.

We are to consider his teachings, but understand that basically, because of our faulted and feeble frame, we are incapable of living out his ideas.

Motivation to aspire, dream and grow is removed from us because basically without this “saving plasma,” we are completely lost and without remedy.

We are never to look on the cross as something that happened to Jesus, but rather, for some mysterious reason, something that Jesus caused to happen.

Even though we tout that human beings have free will, we quietly negate such a notion in favor of destiny, God’s will and a pre-formed path for each and every human unit.

Then we stand back and wonder why these human beings that were created seem vacant of expressing passion or goodness, but are constantly weeping over their failures in an attempt to be worthy of their salvation, and therefore feel a need, to some degree, to constantly re-start their appreciation for the blood atonement.

We just can’t wait to get the baby to the cross.

We have a lapse in our theology because we do not understand that God, being God, is completely able to give us choice while simultaneously having insight on where things might be going.

We do it with our own children. We have fears and apprehensions that they will struggle in certain areas, but we never take away the opportunity for them to surprise us. In other words, a disobedient five-year-old who breaks a lamp and giggles about it is not immediately sent to jail.

No, we give him another chance.

So during this blessed season, I wanted to offer a counter-view to this preacher who was so positive that Baby Jesus is just a prop on the way to Calvary.

For here’s the good news. It’s found in John 3:16:

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”

But the better news is in the next verse, where it’s made clear why Jesus came. It states:

“God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world.”

 

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Christmas Council … December 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2101)

council in heaven

God was angry–more with Himself than anything else. The connection He had once made in a Garden had failed to bloom.

So he called a Council together–of a heavenly sort.

Yes, the God of heaven and earth called the best of the sky and the land together to discuss a problem: what shall we do with humankind?

The noble notion of creating a fleshy creature in His image had deteriorated to wars, fear, anger, lust and mainly, most appalling of all, perpetual indecision.

  • The angels were invited to this Council.
  • Philosophers throughout history who had passed on to reward.
  • Lovers
  • Writers
  • Musicians
  • Craftsmen
  • Architects
  • And even the handful of professional religionists who had actually made it to the other side in spite of their predilection for “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.”

It was a lively discussion.

The angels were completely perplexed by why creatures who had been endowed with such insight spent all of their time using their wits to destroy one another.

One of the angelic messengers inserted, partly tongue-in-cheek, “If they want to destroy each other, why not give them an assist?”

The philosophers insisted that the problem was poverty and ignorance, some earthly travelers plagued by one, others cursed by both.

The lovers insisted on romance and the poets proclaimed the satisfaction of deeper thought.

One brave former priest challenged the Almighty by suggesting that human beings might be more spirited if the conversation with the heavens was not so one-sided.

On and on the debate raged.

God quickly realized that certain words were leaping from the discussion–repeated constantly:

“King.”

Jew.”

“Priest.”

“Philosopher.”

“Man.”

“Woman.”

“Politician.”

“Savior.”

After the passage of time (though being in a supernal location, such tick-tocking never actually occurs) God announced His decision.

“Human life is a theory. At least, that’s the way humans are approaching it. And I believe they’ve come to the conclusion that success at such an endeavor is completely impossible. I believe they require a picture–an example, as it were. Yet I know some of you think it would take a king. But actually, what we need is a kingdom that can live inside the emotions and soul of every son or daughter of Eden.”

“Some of you think he should be a Jew, born of the House of David. But I’ve grown weary of relegating a special position to one race of people.”

“A philosopher? Perhaps…but with a simple idea: Love your neighbor as yourself.

“A man? A woman? The better parts of that union: a child.”

“A politician? Truly, wise as a servant, but may I add, harmless as a dove.

God paused for a minute before He continued.

“Members of this august Council, what we need is a human who gets it. A human being who understands his own limitations while believing that limitations don’t really exist.”

God stopped his speech and looked into the faces of the assembled. They were puzzled.

“You see? Now you all look human.”

There was a laugh in heaven, as there always should be. Now the key was to bring the laugh to earth.

So one night God joined His spirit with a woman, to birth a baby who became a child and never lost the glee for living, teaching us that we, too, must become as little children.

God called the experience Christmas.

We called it Jesus.

 

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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

Two Bits… August 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1972)

coinIn case you didn’t know, two bits are a quarter.

In my lifetime, I have gone from hearing people saying, “a nickel doesn’t buy anything” to “a dime doesn’t buy much” to “a quarter is worthless” and if it weren’t for the ever-loving Dollar Store, we would be tempted to continue the decline.

Basically, I’ve got it figured that life only allows me to offer my two bits. If I spend less than that in my efforts, I end up being cheap and falling short of my dreams. If I try to spend more, I end up in debt to everybody, still explaining why I haven’t achieved much.

So thinking on that today, I decided how I would spend my quarter–two bits.

I wouldn’t give more than a penny for my thoughts, since often they are tempted to swerve into the worry lane. Worry is the most useless expenditure of our two bits–because if it’s important enough to be worthy of worry, it probably requires more effort than concern. And if it isn’t important enough for worry, we always look foolish for taking the detour.

Let me see–I would spend a nickel on prayer, if by prayer, you mean talking to God, listening to God, following what you’ve learned from Mother Nature, and being faithful instead of opinionated.

How about four cents for faith? Why four? It’s a nice alliteration (four for faith) and I also think that faith is just a little less powerful than we make it out to be. Many people would disagree, but I think our faith often flirts with presumption, fear, a bit of futility and a sense of superiority. True faith is finding something that’s substantially good in the first place and investing more of yourself in its advancement.

Moving along–I do think humor is worth a nickel. Humor and prayer are great teammates. While we’re waiting for our prayers to be answered, it’s better to be smiling than staring off in the distance. Good cheer is what keeps us from believing that our prayers are being ignored, and also helps us target our faith in toward joy.bridgedaytime

That leaves me a dime. I would invest that dime in my talent. None of us know how things are going to pan out after we die, and the only thing available is this next breath that fills our lungs with the possibility of usefulness. So focusing on my talent–using it well, perfecting it, multiplying it and placing it into the right situations–is the greatest gift I can offer to the progress of humankind. It may not be a lot, but it’s nice to have it available so if someone asks, you don’t have to waste time being shy or having to rummage through your closet.

So there you go–my two bits.

It’s heavy on using what God has already given me, staying in contact with Him, giggling more than Googling, finding the right spot to insert my faith, and avoiding the stubbornness of worry.

How will you use your two bits? Because if we put them all together–two bits, four bits, six bits–we eventually get a dollar.

And then maybe we can change the world… because the buck will stop here.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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