Cracked 5 …March 3, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Other Things You Can Say After Farting in Public

A. “Wow. I had to work on that one for a half an hour.”

B. “I pronounce this as a blessing to the entire room.”

C. “It wasn’t me, dammit. It wasn’t me!”

D. “Please excuse my imaginary friend, Randall. He ate cabbage.”

E. “Attention! I am conducting a study. What do you think that smells like?”

 

cabbage

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Published in: on March 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm  Comments (1)  
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Friends With Benefits… October 14, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I do believe she was a little peeved with me, even though her cordiality remained intact during our entire exchange.

She questioned an assertion I had made during my presentation, about Jesus wanting to make us all “look good.” The premise of my statement was based on the feeding of the five thousand, when the disciples were unable to muster either courage or faith for the experience, but Jesus granted them a tender leniency and came up with a plan to involve them–even though at first they were reluctant participants.

She said she was baffled at the notion that Jesus would want to make anyone “look good.” I think she believed that being the son of God, he had an agenda of a divine nature which superseded all temporary relationships or slack that one might cut to a companion during a weaker moment.

I was sympathetic. I understand that our religious system conveys that God stomps around heaven, frustrated that His will is not being done. Unfortunately, I could never worship such a Being. Why would I be interested in a God who is not as friendly to me, sensitive to me or as willing to adjust to me as one of my friends?

If He truly has the power of being all-knowing, why can’t He know that sometimes I’m weak without being angry about it? And on those occasions, I could really use Him to be tender instead of full of commandments and wrath.

Yes, I believe that Jesus came to earth so that we would understand that our relationship with God is “friends with benefits.”

Not only do we gain a friend who is our Father, our Companion, and our Giver of grace, but the story also tells us that at the end of this excursion of relationship, we get to go to heaven.

Why would I worship a God who does not want to make me look good, but is so intent on His own mission that He doesn’t even take a second to factor in my frailties?

I shared this with her but I don’t think she was convinced. Some folks need a God of rigorous principle, so that by toeing the line they can feel empowered. And when they fall short they can fearfully repent, hoping to achieve His mercy.

Honestly, if that’s the way God really is, I am literally in a helluva lot of trouble.imaginary friend

Bill Maher often jokes that people who believe in God are just pursuing an “imaginary friend.” Okay, let’s play along.

What if He IS an imaginary friend? At least He’s a friend, right? He’s not out to smite me with fire and brimstone, decimating my house for all generations. And considering the fact that the average therapist costs somewhere between $150 and $10000 an hour, it is certainly a cost-saver to have an imaginary friend to listen to your lamentations.

Also, if He ends up being imaginary, what did I lose? So I die and find out there’s nothing. Of course, I jest, because I wouldn’t even find out, would I?

On the other hand, if it does end up being some rendition of what I believe, then I get to meet the Person who understood every step of my journey, relished my foibles by showing His wisdom to my betterment, and stayed closer than a brother.

Perhaps my Friend is imaginary. I don’t think so–but I do know this: He is a Friend.

And as a Friend … He is intent on making me look good.

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Here You Got–November 10, 2011

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EC + W = IND.

Looks like a formula, doesn’t it? I guess it really is. We do live in a material world, chemically charged, and we are part of that process. So what is this little formula? Let me break it down for you: EC stands for “emotional counting.” The W signifies “worry” and the IND is “indecision.” So what IS emotional counting?

Emotional counting is when we fail to come clean with the feelings from the previous day and carry them over without self-discovery into today’s activities, allowing them to color how we view our possibilities.

In other words, if I had a bad day yesterday and failed to clean myself out emotionally with God, the mirror or a friend, and then I look at the little dab of what I have, that little pile of potential will always look insufficient.

Yesterday’s unresolved problems always make today look impossible—and when we think things are impossible, we commence to worry. Worry, very simply, is pitching a fit that “life is unfair.” Let me tell you—life is unimpressed. Life does not care that we are spoiled brats who threw a temper tantrum because we didn’t get what we wanted.

Next, when worry fails to produce inspiration, we choose the dastardly position of indecision, which causes us to finish our day in greater frustration, compiling our emotional upheaval. This is why those who have problems continue to be plagued by more problems, which we deem to be bizarre and unrighteous.

You cannot count your blessings or even assess the value of what you presently have if you’re still distressed over yesterday’s failures. Looking back on yesterday causes us to worry about tomorrow, making us squander today. Just go back and read that sentence to yourself again. It is a powerful thought.

Emotional counting is allowing ourselves to be ungrateful for what God has given us and what has been provided by our own hands because of fear of yesterday’s inadequacies following us into this 24-hour period. It makes us lose all faith in ourselves and God to supply the need.

So emotional counting produces worry, which is the arrogance of thinking that things should be different, which incapacitates us with indecision.

 And what is the danger with indecision? Is it necessary to make decisions every day? Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s a jungle out there?” It’s true. And when we choose to be indecisive because we’re worrying over our lack, due to being emotionally clogged up, we leave much of our destiny in the hands of others—who just go ahead and decide for us.

Emotional counting is when we cease to believe that we have enough if we just can come up with a very good angle. So can I give you a better formula? How about this one: C + P = A

Yes, simply Counting what we have and know instead of coloring it with a dark crayon energizes us to do a bit of P—Planning. How can I take what I have and make it work for today without allowing myself to be overly concerned with tomorrow? And when you legitimately count what is available to you and permit yourself the grace of planning instead of worrying, it always leads to A: action.  Yes, as human beings we just feel better when we’re in motion. “And a body in motion shall remain in motion and a body at rest shall remain at rest.” Likewise, a body that’s emotionally distressed will remain that way and one that is worrying will eventually turn into the proverbial wart.

Ingratitude is not merely acting like we don’t appreciate what has been provided. Ingratitude is also believing that it’s just not enough.

God does not have any victory in making us look stupid. God does not receive glory by abandoning His friends in the middle of the desert. But God is quickly rejected by those who will not deal with their emotions and begin to view their possibilities through a clouded lens which produces worry, causing them to land with indecision.

“Here you go” is when we allow ourselves to be emotionally clean by speaking out our worst fears to God, the mirror or our friend. And “here you got” is when we view what is available to us in a positive light because our cleansed emotions do not prompt us to begin to worry and become indecisive.

If I will clean up my emotions, I can count my blessings and plan to use them well in this day’s period, which will prompt me towards action. Remember, often our problem is not that we are destitute, but rather, that we look beyond today’s need and project what tomorrow will demand.

Counting + Planning = Action. 

But to count with a sense of joy what God has given us demands that we remove all the emotional frustration of the previous day … and give God a good chance to bless us right now.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Here You Go–November 9, 2011

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Sitting in the parking lot of a very crowded department store, I saw a gentleman emerge with two large carts, completely filled, heading for his car. I think I noticed it because it is unusual to see someone pushing two buggies. Anyway, he arrived at his car and began to unload the bags from the carts and set them in front of his door. I immediately thought to myself that this plan of action was erroneous–and sure enough, when he pulled out the fourteenth or fifteenth package and placed it in front of his door, it occurred to him that he had blocked the door with his purchases and was therefore unable to load them in. He stood there for a second, trying to figure out how to get the door open without disturbing the pile, and then, in a fit of anger, kicked one of the bags which caused a can to roll out. A car drove by at that exact moment, honking at him as he scurried to retrieve the item. He shook his fist at the driver in frustration and stomped back to his packages, which were still blocking the car door, and in a fit of fury, moved the bags from the door so that he could gain access, all the time growing more and more angry over having to double his efforts. Honestly, I felt sorry for him, while simultaneously wondering how he had gotten a pass from the barn in which he certainly lived.

Here’s what crossed my mind. The scenario before me is very similar to how we conduct our daily lives–not that it’s a matter of grocery bags that we stack in front of our car door, but rather, untapped and unresolved feelings that block the entrance to possibilities. Americans just somehow or another feel stronger when they hide their emotions. We are an insulated people who try to escape any appearance of being vulnerable by denying that we have misgivings and doubts. It renders us insipid because eventually, our feelings block our entrance and exit to anything new that might give us greater insight.

Yes, it is important to be clean with your emotions. The issue becomes how to achieve this. After all, sharing candidly with everyone can certainly be a formula for devastation or betrayal, but failing to clean our emotions out will taint our efforts with the nastiness of unresolved conflict. What should we do?

The problem is residue. Very few of us actually get the purity of a new day’s advantage because yesterday is still jamming up the passage, failing to allow any chance for joy to enter our being. So somehow or another, we have to release our emotions for what they are. It doesn’t really matter how we do it. It may be the true power of prayer. Even if atheists are right and there ends up being no God, having an imaginary friend to share your emotions with on a daily basis is therapeutic.

On those occasions when I do not feel that I can be completely honest with the folks around me, just having a heavenly Father who has an ear without always giving an opinion is priceless.

Sometimes a mirror will do. Yes, just being able to look into my own eyes and speak the truth of my inward parts is a stroke of brilliance.

And then there are those times when a friend can be trusted and we’re able to share temporary, fleeting ideas without fear that they’ll be thrown up to us later. Whatever the case, it is impossible to have good spiritual and mental health if you’re emotionally clogged up, causing the entrance to your soul to be blocked off.

Here are some signs that you are backed up:

1. You wake up with dread. Dread is one of the common indicators that we have untapped emotional quantities in us that should be released in some fashion.

2. You have targeted another human being as the source of your problem. I will admit to you that people can bring conflict into our lives, but they are not the reason we have lost our way. Only I can truly destroy myself. When we start targeting a single member of the human family as the source of our misery, it is because we have not allowed small moments of emotional issues to be released and shown for what they really are–miniscule.

3. If you find yourself reluctant to seek spiritual guidance or enlightenment, it’s pretty sure that you’ve blocked the entrance to that soul of yours with emotional baggage. God always seems far away when our problems are too near. The emotions are the doorway to the soul. If you feel spiritually dry and empty, it’s because your emotions have not been fulfilled, released and given the freedom to be expressed.

For the next few days, I’m going to take you on a journey to what I call the Here Philosophy–because after all, we are here for a while, and it would be excellent to have a life that is conducive to planet earth.

The Here Philosophy begins with “Here you go.”   In other words, “Here’s what I feel.  I can’t change it until I express it.”  Because every thought seems to be right when it is inside of us, and is only revealed for what it truly is when we allow ourselves the blessing of full disclosure.

There is no power in claiming to be a believer in God and being crazy. One of the things the Bible tells us we should have is a sound mind–and that begins with, “Here you go. This is what I feel, right or wrong, and until I clear the way, nothing good can get into my spirit.”

Back to my story–I watched as my friend loaded the last bag in the car, walked around to his entrance, slammed the door, and I realized that from his perspective, his whole day had been ruined. How unfortunate.

You can’t put the bags in front of the door and think that anything is going to work right, and you can’t hide your emotions and pretend like they don’t exist and think that your soul can receive the touch of God.

You are emotional. Stop trying to hide it, and instead find a way–God, mirror or friend–to pop off and get it taken care of.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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