Jesonian … June 16th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3705)

“When are we going to stop all this stuff you’re teaching and go back to who we really are?”

This statement seems to ooze from the twelve disciples throughout Jesus’ entire three-and-a-half year ministry.

They didn’t mind being taught, just as long as they didn’t have to learn.

And they didn’t mind learning sometimes, as long as they didn’t have to apply.

And applying was alright every once in a while, as long as it was a one-time thing that didn’t need to be repeated.

You can look at the disciples as either some of the whiniest men that ever walked the face of the Earth, or be candid and admit that they were typical.

Typical of us all.

Every one of us arrives at the Gospel with too many pre-conceived ideas. No wonder Jesus referred to the experience as being “born again.” Otherwise, we try to join a club that pursues all the traditions we have contrived since our birth.

Why are we going to Samaria?

Why was this man born blind?

Why do you talk so tough to the Pharisees?

Why can’t we divorce women?

Why are we supposed to love our enemies?

Why don’t we kill the Romans and start over again?

Why can’t I be scared in a boat when there’s a storm?

Why are we inviting tax collectors into our really neat band of brothers?

Why can’t we bring down lightning and thunder on the Samaritans?

You see, the Gospel is not just a plan of salvation, it’s also salvation from our plan.

Because without the Gospel, everyone would run hither, thither and yon, starting their own renditions of what Jesus said, coming up with funny-sounding names, and focus on one doctrine over another.

Wait. We’re already doing that.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself is to know that Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion.

It is not a revolving door, where we enter to worship, and leave to catch the beginning of the football game on Sirius Radio on the way home.

The Gospel is the essence of eternity, functioning on Earth. No other philosophy, no other interaction and no other manifesto ever came along which included God, Nature and people.

Instead, each of these other religions focus on one of these factors. In some religions, God is over-emphasized. Other approaches place too much importance on Nature. And of course, there are philosophies which contend it’s a human situation–i.e., every man for himself.

The Gospel is not going away. It is not going to be replaced or even mingled with provincialism. It took the disciples a long time to understand this.

But if we all join together with good hearts and good cheer, we might be able to shorten the process and get people rejoicing again, with exceeding gladness.

 

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Jesonian … May 26th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3684)

The key to success is a smart start.

Human beings fail because they start out on the wrong path, but determine to stick to the plan instead of changing their steps and beginning again. Sometimes it’s good to be perseverant, but often it’s like throwing marshmallows at a brick wall.

Jesonian is finding the heart of Jesus. His goal was to gain total humanity, while simultaneously using his spirit to “show us the Father.” Therefore, it is wise to tap his experiences.

You don’t have to go past the first verse of his manifesto–the Sermon on the Mount–to uncover what Jesus believed to be the key to attaining full awareness and a completed life:

“Blessed are those who know they are spiritually poor.”  Thus: Find your weakness, discover your strength.

This is completely opposite from the way we are trained. The media thrust is always, “Find your strength, deny your weakness.” In other words, play up what you can do and play down what you can’t.

Yet what happens when we fail to deliver? We feel compelled to deceive. Otherwise, it may appear that we do not have enough self-esteem to carry the day.

There are two things the human race admires: humility and competence. This is why Jesus told us to lead with an awareness of our own weakness. “He that will gain his life will lose it.”

Why? When our claims are proven false and we fail, looking incompetent, we become defensive, which removes all semblance of humility. “He that would lose his life for my sake will gain it.”

Can we establish an inventory? Can we do it humbly? And then, can we give a competent performance which grows to excellence, startling our critics and increasing our value?

In today’s “super-church” promotion, we have the ongoing premise that “we are all great–we’re just waiting for the enemies in front of us to be destroyed by God’s hand, so that our miracle can be manifested.”

This may get you a hoot and holler in Houston, but it does not give you the kind of start in your life that is sustainable. “Blessed are those who know they’re spiritually poor.”

I am not good at spiritual things. I’m just a few steps out of the jungle, granted a larger brain than the ape and a soul provided by God, which I am still trying to comprehend.

Acknowledging my status launches me into discovery of what talents, gifts, abilities and attitudes I can muster, developing them into strengths to counter my weakness.

The power is in our weakness because once established, it opens the door to progress.

If we lead with strength, then when our weakness shows up, we appear to be insipid liars.

Yes, being Jesonian is making a choice.

Will you follow the folly? Or will you pursue the wisdom of one who came to learn human life, show us God, and empower us to make this journey more and more like heaven on Earth?

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Good News and Better News … March 5th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3602)

A Jesus mask: Putting the face of Jesus on things we have decided are nice, easy, positive or comfortable.

In doing this, we attempt to transform the Gospel into a social message which is palatable for our chosen lifestyle, never really asking ourselves if it has a universal flavor.

Honestly, I almost didn’t write about this today–there are so many examples that I didn’t know how to isolate them off to the number of paragraphs you would be willing to read–but I trust that you might be willing to do some investigation on your own. So let’s look at three of the masks:

1. If you work real hard, you can get whatever you want.

You hear this on every talk show. During the Olympics it became a mantra. The variations, like “dream big, get big” pepper the common dialogue of the average day.

We put Jesus’ face on it. We decide it sounds like Jesus. But Jesus spoke a startling phrase: “To those who have, more shall be given, and to those who have not, even the little they have will be taken away from them.”

2. Giving to the poor is the highest form of charity.

It makes for a great nightly news story–some individual or organization passing sandwiches out to the homeless, complete with a hygiene kit of toothbrush, toothpaste and a small washcloth.

We’re moved to tears. We put a Jesus mask on it.

But Jesus said “the poor you have with you always.” They’re not going to go away. “Do for them what you can” but don’t make it an all-encompassing mission.

Poverty is more than a lack of things. It is often a lack of understanding.

3. God has a wonderful plan for your life.

Now we’re really crying, because even though we’re going through these huge problems, in the long run God will pluck us out of our pain and place us on higher ground. Unfortunately, although we put the Jesus mask onto this concept, his message was quite different.

Jesus said, “Except ye repent, you will perish.” In other words, ladies and gentlemen, you are in the middle of an evolving situation and an evolving planet, so you’d better evolve or you will dissolve.

Jesus is not against positive thinking. Jesus just wants us to understand that thinking good thoughts and clinging to them by faith is not the same as “letting your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.”

The good news is that the Gospel is meant for humans.

The better news is, the Gospel makes us better, not things better.

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Jesonian … February 10th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3579)

There are two distinct types of abuse.

There is physical abuse, punctuated by an attack against body, heart or mind. It leaves cuts, bruises and scars. It is nasty, evil and inexcusable.

The other form of abuse is neglect. Being commissioned to perform a responsibility, someone decides to set it aside in favor of other pursuits, leaving that which was meant to be cared for destitute.

Although a case could be made that the religious system continues to physically abuse Jesus of Nazareth by crucifying him weekly in sermons, attempting to stimulate some sort of passion from the congregation, I shall step aside from such discussion in favor of presenting the true abuse.

We preach a Gospel of salvation which includes emphasis on “one time only, better do it today, this could be your last chance, hell is hot, Jesus loved you so much that he bled, and don’t you want to go to heaven” rhetoric in an attempt to frighten hearers who have already heard this many times before.

Meanwhile the real message of Jesus–the one that makes him our intimate, elder brother, and also affords the planet an opportunity for peaceful cohabitation–is often read aloud with the energy of reciting last week’s grocery list.

If you’re going to be Jesonian, you need to love Jesus. If you’re going to love Jesus, you’re going to get to know what’s close to his heart. And when you get to know what’s close to his heart, you will no longer be satisfied with a crucified Savior, but instead will become a disciple, pursuing a dynamic lifestyle.

You don’t have to go any further than the first three beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount to see what Jesus was all about. Matter of fact, I could spend the rest of my life elaborating on that trio and never run out of material.

It begins with the reality, follows with a challenge and culminates with wisdom.

The reality: we are happy because we are poor in spirit.

The reason that makes us happy is because we can stop trying to be spiritual instead of human. Once you find your classification, it’s so much easier to compete. Not an angel, not a saint, not a theologian, but rather, a human who is impoverished in the realm of spirit.

First realization: I am human and it is good.

God said so when He got done creating us. I don’t think He lied. Sure, we’re unpredictable, but since He’s not afraid of that, why should I apologize?

This is followed with a challenge. “Blessed are those who mourn.”

I have emotions and this is good.

Although we try to suppress them, these feelings continue to pop to the forefront, churn up our throats and waggle our tongues. Rather than deny them, we should use them to feel, to laugh, and most certainly, to mourn–to escape being uncaring bastards and instead, weep over the loss and pain in the world around us.

This climaxes with a bit of eternal, precious wisdom. “Blessed are the meek.”

Although there is a campaign to promote the notion that the more we brag, the stronger we are, the human race actually has a tendency to cut the stilts out from under those who try to walk too tall.

We honor humility. We are geared to destroy pride, even when it dwells within us.

Humble: “I am weak and it is good.”

In these three statements Jesus establishes a Gospel which is not only able to be mastered by humans, but can also be passed along as the living bread of truth that we all desperately need before we starve to death emotionally and spiritually.

I am human and it is good.

I have emotion, and it is good.

I am weak, and damn straight–it is good.

 

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Good News and Better News… September 25th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3441)

From my expression in the picture, you might think I’m sad. Not so.

Actually, I’m just thoughtful.

I am at a complete loss at knowing why God enjoys working with humans. I don’t get it. He favors us, He loves us, He trusts us to communicate His ideas. I, for one, would have selected talking raccoons–unusually clean and cute.

But not God. No–people.

Because that is the case, it is useless to ask Him to kill off our enemies. We become absolute jerks when we wish that tragedy or difficulty would befall those who stand against us. And certainly, we are fools in attempting to make some folks less valuable.

Since we’re not going to change God’s mind about His devotion for the human race, we all need to develop a plan. Otherwise we will literally find ourselves outside God’s will.

How can we trust people who are just as devious as we are if we actually admitted we were? What is the game plan going forward?

  • Bigotry has failed.
  • Culture is just another way of expressing bigotry.
  • Politics has created the “great divide.”
  • And religion fosters self-righteousness.

The truth of the matter is, if I can wrap my mind around being a “work in progress,” I might just be able to allow you to be one, too.

If I think that because Mommy and Daddy raised me and I bought a house and I pay my bills and stand up for the National Anthem, that there isn’t much for me to learn, then I will probably be a thorn in the side of my fellow-travelers.

Springing from that thoughtful expression came the following conclusions:

1. Start telling the truth.

Who knows? It might catch on. Make it a game. Every time you lie, deduct a dessert from your menu. And even if it doesn’t become a fad, at least you can tell yourself that you aren’t a liar.

2. Divide the world into two groups–people you know and people you don’t know yet.

Any further division is prejudice.

3. Don’t be afraid of what comes out of you.

Some of it will be crap. Some of it will be inspirational. If you’re willing to sift, question, converse and contemplate your feelings instead of embracing them as long-lost relatives, you have a chance of catching your own insanity before it races down the street naked, offending others.

The good news is that because you are a “people” you get included in the blessing that God loves the world.

The better news is, if you will just sit down and consider your life instead of shouting it through a bull horn, you might just end up justifying His faith in all of us.Donate Button

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Jesonian–Troubling (Part 1)… July 1st, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3355)

jesonian-cover-amazon

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.”

These are the words of Jesus.

But you see, there’s my problem. Believing in Jesus is simpler for me. It’s believing in God that itches my brain.

You see, God has a lot of history–thirty-nine books of Old Testament, filled with murder, mayhem, racism and contradictions–before we arrive at the doorstep of the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth, where Jesus emerges and begins to speak to the world.

Every once in a while, I’m sitting in a room by myself and a sudden gust of realization sweeps in and blows my mind.

God?? What in the hell am I thinking? How could there be a God?

And this isn’t because there are bad things happening–it’s just that the stories told about this god are similar to the Greek mythology concerning Zeus. All at once, I am inundated with feelings of foolishness and slowly, bitterness jumps into my heart, mocking me for following such ancient tales.

Sometimes the Holy Bible reads like a Grimm fairy tale, full of witches, warlocks and little boys and girls threatened because they’re on their way to grandma’s house.

But then I pause. Why? It’s the chimpanzee.

Although I believe that science is the favorite hobby of the Father in Heaven, the order in the Universe, even in the midst of chaos, and the fact that human beings exist, hearkens to the presence of a Universal Creator. Feel free to try to deteriorate the human spirit, soul and intellect, and place it side-by-side with the animals–but if any one of us spent a week trying to reason, infiltrate and dine with chimpanzees (supposedly our closest relative) we would quickly return to the human race with newfound appreciation.

I’m sorry–animals are animals and people are people. There’s a huge gap. Somebody–did you hear me?–somebody put that gap there.

On the other hand, upon spending several weeks with the chimpanzees of theology, I am equally as baffled by the fact that for some inexplicable reason, they want to blur the God of Judaism with the person of Jesus.

So if the proclamation is, God is Jesus–I’m there, and the spiritual evolution from God and the devil playing poker with Job’s soul, to “love your neighbor as yourself” was needed and makes complete sense.

But if Jesus is God, I really have to include stories from the old volume, which are absolutely implausible, without merit and of no benefit to any creature on heaven or Earth.

It is troubling.

Without being accusatory, may I suggest that all of us, to some degree, are turmoiled by this mish-mash and collision of meaningless facts being thrown together into one book called the Bible and then dubbed “Holy.”

If you will allow me, over the next couple of weeks, I would like to deal with this troubling situation–because to a certain degree, all an atheist has to say to any Christian is, “Really???” and we are immediately defensive.

Because we possess our own doubts.

So doubts be damned and discussion begun, I will see you next week.

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G-Poppers … February 23rd, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3228)

Jon close up

G-Pop stumbled upon another one of those YouTubes, in which a renowned atheist was railing against the wickedness of God, contending that the Almighty was heartless and uncaring, allowing pain and suffering–especially among innocent children.

G-Pop watched the whole thing.

He hates name-calling. But people do it.

The Good Book itself has some notorious passages, which are rather vicious in marginalizing the value of anyone who disagrees. Such a verse is found in Psalms 14:1, where we are told that those who do not believe in God are “fools.”

We pridefully quote that little piece of sonnet, fully believing that it is the mindset of the Universal Diety, who is so offended by His detractors that He decides to ridicule them.

G-Pop wants to ask, “Don’t you think that’s highly unlikely? If You really are God, how much more of an ego boost do you need?”

Now I would contend that the gentleman sharing his unbelief on the Internet is very consecrated in his negativity. Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that people who are atheists have a more clear idea about their disbelief than many Christians have regarding their true belief.

But I will also tell you that denying God is foolish. It doesn’t make you a fool; it’s just a foolish assessment of available information.

Because creation–the Universe–is a blending of cosmic and chemistry. And when you assume that the God of the Universe is merely dealing in a cosmic format of emotion, paralleling humans, then you fail to recognize the Great Physicist and Chemist He must truly be.

It’s called an eco-system. We talk about it all the time. Even atheists do.

Atheists don’t seem to object to the fact that the lion eats the antelope and God doesn’t intervene.

They don’t lament the hundreds and thousands of species on Earth that go extinct every day simply because they became unacceptable to the chemical environment.

Atheists don’t seem to note that the power of free will, which they freely use to express their disdain for divinity, also gives everyone else permission to praise or reject anything they want.

Atheists fail to surmise that just because a substance or creature doesn’t appear to have any other value than the one science has presently assessed it, that sometimes, through knowledge, we discover that icky-sicky bread mold can become the miracle drug, penicillin.

The Creator had a huge job. How can you make a world that is chemically challenged, balanced, engaged and even in some cases forbidding–and still insert a cosmic energy which allows for improvement, excellence and discovery and mercy?

His answer to that was to make humans.

Humans, who had a little bit of the jungle, but also a bit of the divine, were to be the caretakers, the explorers and the researchers of life, to make it more pleasant for everything.

But in maintaining free will in these creatures, He also opened the door to the possibility that greater knowledge could generate greater evil.

A balance was struck.

Sometimes a maniac will roam the streets, kill children, and we scratch our heads and wonder why God didn’t stop it, while simultaneously ignoring the corps of policemen who track down the murderer and imprison him.

Nothing can be understood in life if we view it only from a cosmic perspective.

Our journey also is not clear if we consider it only to be chemical. Much of what we used to think was good has proven to be evil. Much of what was once deemed worthless is now studied in laboratories and has become the latest treatment in fighting cancer.

God suffers under the burden of being smarter than those around Him. Because of that, He has to field their grievances, which are often based on misunderstanding or a complete lack of comprehension.

It is foolish to try to deny the existence of a cosmic God who is also a Chemist. He has done His very best to provide protection for the Earth by humans, who were created in His image.

That is, if they will just consider that they were created.

 

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