Good News and Better News… September 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog


Is peace merely the absence of war or a majestic anointing to dissuade all conflict?

This question crossed my mind Sunday morning when Janet and I had the privilege of sharing our program at Peace Lutheran Church in Palm Bay, Florida, under the able leadership of Pastor Paul. Although the folks were hesitant at first to open their hearts to “us strangers,” in no time at all the glory of Spirit filled the room with reconciliation, realization and renewal.

It was good. It felt good.

Which brings me to my point this morning. Even though we may exalt ourselves for being extremely intellectual or even spiritual, we actually spend most of our lives being prompted by our feelings. Some would insist that this predilection is our weakness, but I have discovered that our emotions are what endear us to the Creator.

So when anyone steps into Peace Lutheran Church, they are taking the pulse of the heartbeat in the place.

Is it a sanctuary for redemption minus the fussiness propagated by our society? Is it warm with human smiles–aglow with care, and just lit up by the notion that “all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord?”

Only after we feel good about a place do we actually look around to see.

We notice faces. We observe actions. God forgive us, we become spies at our present location. Are we critical? Unfortunately, yes.

This is why there must be a belief system on Earth that understands that we’re constantly letting our light shine before all men. There is no backstage for the journey of faith, nor are we given a dressing room. There is no time to learn lines because all the daily setups are improvisational.

  • The world is looking.
  • The world is critical.
  • The world must see evidence for what it feels.

And finally, if we like what we feel and we’re pretty satisfied with what we see, we’re ready to hear.

As we know, faith comes by hearing, so it is the responsibility of every believer to bring peace to our quadrant by providing a faith that can be seen and felt.

That was our message yesterday. We must stop insisting that merely opening the doors to a house of worship promotes brotherly love, good will or recognition of our Creator.

No–if people don’t feel it they will never see it.

And if they don’t see it, they won’t hear it.

So the good news is that by the time I left Peace Lutheran I felt them and I saw the love of God. They let me eyeball their soul.

And the better news is, I can now trust what I hear from them.

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Untotaled: Stepping 51 (September 17th, 1969) I’m Already Gone… January 24, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



For nearly a week I had been having nightly dreams, similar if not identical.

The root plot of each one of these mini-movies in my mind was a sense of being displaced.

In these visions, I usually woke up late and realized that school had already started. I found myself rushing around to dress, only to realize that I had no need to do so because I had already graduated from the institution and was merely attending for lack of anything better to do.

It was the strangest sensation, mingling freedom with anger, throwing in a dash of craziness.

I was never a great fan of the schoolyard, nor of the classroom that was inevitably attached. But now I felt like a prisoner.

I didn’t know if it was the death of my father, the incident of being caught lying on my job in the summer or the fact that I was dating a girl, but I found myself completely disinterested and even annoyed with all the little trinkets of childhood they tried to throw my way.

The music group I had started years earlier had evolved into some sort of creature I no longer recognized and was out of my control, so I avoided practices, and had my friends chasing me down to find out where I was.

The church I attended seemed more critical of me and my ways than critical to my spiritual well-being. The singing was flat, the preaching was judgmental and the folks I once respected now looked like they belonged in an old folks home.

I was generally pissed off, but covered it up pretty well with a sardonic attitude which occasionally sprouted sarcasm.

So when the sociology teacher told us we needed to read a book that addressed the transitions of our present time and give a report on it, I was oblivious and completely unmotivated with the project–so much so that when the day arrived to give the report in front of the class, I had neither a verbal explanation about my book or why I read no book.

So giggling a bit in my innards, I stepped to the front of the classroom and delivered an impassioned commendation of a volume entitled “In Search of the American Soul.”

It was so well-received that at the end, the class and the teacher gave me a huge round of applause. I even fielded a couple of questions from my instructor about the book and answered adeptly before sitting down to the admiration of the entire room.

Of course, the only problem was there was no such book.

And two weeks later, when the written report was due, and it was required to place on the completed paper the Library of Congress number of “In Search of the American Soul,” I had no such available data.

So when the teacher asked me where my written report was, I was forced to explain to him that there was no book and that the oral report I had given was improvisational.

I thought he might give me a few points for originality, but he was so upset about being duped that he flunked me.

This caused the National Honors Society, of which I was supposedly a member in good standing, to contact me and tell me that my grades had fallen below acceptable levels for their revered organization.

I didn’t care.

I was already gone.

Looking back on it, I don’t know what anybody could have done to revive my interest in adolescent concerns.

It’s just that I graduated before graduating day, so I was going to have to hang around and wait for my class to catch up.

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