Confessing … December 5th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2753)

XXXI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Three unwise men.

I met them many years ago.

They came my way one at a time, but quickly clumped together because each one was well aware of the exploits of the others, and had gone on many missions together chasing stars.

They had mental problems. This was not my opinion–they had the certificates and hospitalizations to back it up.

Yet I found a place in my heart for each one, and likewise, they were grateful for acceptance, and nestled up close to me.

We worked on Basic Humanity 101: courtesy, respect for women, getting a job, paying your bills, eating well and not putting substances in your body making you Jekyll instead of Hyde.

There was some progress.

Matter of fact, for a few months I felt as if a transforming miracle had swept over the lives of this trio, causing them to sing a new song.

But then it stopped.

I don’t know what it was. The creeping insanity that lingered dragged each one of them down into the pit of despair. Maybe they stopped taking medication. Maybe they saw flaws in me that gave them license to challenge my credibility. I don’t know for sure. But somewhere along the way it became necessary for me to try to salvage their families, their concerns and especially their children.

Yes, eventually these three unwise fellows became my enemies. They didn’t like me anymore. They accused me of being crazy.

My heart was broken because my dream of repairing the breach in their souls was devastated by crumbling results.

I failed. At least, that’s the way I felt.

I took them to the water but they weren’t thirsty enough to drink. So then my mission was to save the children and the wives.

I guess I’m happy to report that the offspring of these three disturbed individuals are no longer under the pressure of being subjected to insanity.

It is a victory.

But I loved these three gentlemen. I still do.

And every day I work a little harder to become understanding, gracious and clear-headed enough to be of value.

But please, don’t tell me that you’re unaware when craziness sets into your friends. Don’t go on television and claim that you were “completely surprised” by the fact that your kin became unkind.

I not only saw that these three guys I worked with had turned a corner, but I was fully aware that they had rejected reasoning in favor of calamity. I had plenty of time to free their kids from danger.

I feel humbled by my lack, encouraged by what I learned, but fully cognizant of the fact that salvation is God’s business … and He is the only one who has the power to truly transform lives.

(Perhaps there is a fourth…)

Confessing The three

 

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G-Poppers … October 30th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2738)

Jon close up

G-Pop wants his children to be aware:

“Don’t be overwhelmed with the underwhelming.”

There’s so much in our society that is loud and proud that sometimes it’s difficult to discern the portions of behavior that are valuable, and the truths that are worthy of being upheld.

There are two great dangers in this journey we call human life:

  1. Being convinced that what you’re hearing the most is real.
  2. Being jaded because what you’re hearing the most is insane.

In both cases you put yourself out of the game, becoming either a pawn of the craziness or too cynical to believe in better things.

So what’s the answer?

G-Pop suggests to his children that they stop listening to the noise, and instead, listen for the harmony.

There are ideas that have lasted for thousands of years and have endured the ridiculous to bring the sublime.

G-Pop has a simple test he places on every notion that tries to crowd into his mind:

A. Does it make us laugh?

It’s possible to have laughter that’s based on prejudice and sarcasm, but eventually when we laugh we do learn to chuckle at ourselves and our own inconsistencies. People change more quickly through a giggle than they ever do through a sermon.

B. Does it make us feel?

For you see, the danger is not being inundated with information and painful reports which cause us to close off our hearts so as not to feel the pain anymore, but rather, to limit what comes inside and make sure that we can feel for those around us.

Don’t listen to a report on CNN telling you that 328 people died in an earthquake in Afghanistan. Put yourself under the rubble and you’ll feel the impact.

C. Does it make us better?

Simply watching a movie about depravity is not the pathway to understanding reality. Reality is useless if it doesn’t challenge us to go the second mile and supersede our jungle instinct to find our Garden of Eden.

If you’re listening for the noise, you can’t hear the harmony–and that harmony is a three-part anthem:

  • History sings its truth
  • Present life adds its part
  • And our story chimes in to create a chorus of joy.

 

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Good News and Better News … September 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2692)

Gooe news Reedsburg

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding.

I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

Yesterday morning, I was in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Since your travel plans probably don’t have you going there in the near future, let me tell you that it is a quaint, Midwestern town and that my experience was delightful and insightful.

I found people who still possessed an inspirational ilk.

They believe in the belief of believing.

They still contend that belief stimulates the joy of true believing.

Let me tell you a little bit about them:

1. They don’t want to give up.

Even though they’re fully aware of the dangers of our society, they insist that there are still many ways of escaping the insanity, while still recognizing reality.

2. They hope there is a God.

They are not so arrogant as to stomp around the room, insisting they have been to Mt. Heaven and had dinner with the Divine. Their expression of confidence lies in a hope that a Heavenly Father is still working with human beings.

3. They want to do something.

It’s not so much that our generation is lazy, as that we are paralyzed with fear and mocked by those who are convinced that nothing can be done. “Give me something to do” is probably the best five-word phrase that can fall off the lips of any human being. That doesn’t mean we don’t trust God or believe in His grace–it’s just our simple way of thanking Him for sending mercy our way.

So even though I found these Reedsburg folks to be delightful and insightful to my life, I was very pleased to bring them even better news.

I told them:

A. God wants to be human

God has no desire for us to become more religious, more heavenly or even more angelic. He came to Earth in the form of Jesus to make it clear that He loves human beings and wants to see if we can learn how to do this better.

B. God knows we are all made of heart.

We had several breakthroughs yesterday–they were all emotional realizations, not scriptural translations. We are creatures who add to our faith by feeling, lest we become boring and discouraged.

C. If you share your life, miracles will follow.

Certainly some of the best parts of the service yesterday were when people opened their mouths and their life poured out. God doesn’t want us to be perfect, God wants us to be honest.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stop-off in Reedsburg. I hope they did, too. And I hope they remember … no amount of prayer to the heavens is equal to a simple conversation and confession to one another.

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Jesonian: Born… December 7, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2436)

baby born bigger

Being born is important, necessary, a boat launching.

If you were born in a manger, there is certainly some significance to that, along with an accompanying story. Yet we often determine the success of an individual based upon his or her roots, or as we phrase it, “humble beginnings.”

So it is markedly amazing that some of the greatest people in history were given extremely stressful or poverty-stricken conditions at birth.

Jesus was born.

We have a whole holiday about it. While some people debate whether the season is given enough reason of spirituality, I would rather focus on that night–when a virgin was placed in a dastardly position, and asked to perform a task, minus any experience.

Nothing of any significance in faith can be achieved unless we understand the purpose of the mission of that evening in “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Actually it never changed. Although we have many Calvinistic preachers who want to insist that the reason for the appearance of the Christ was for him to die on a cross, that fatalism removes our choice.

“Peace on Earth, good will toward men.”

  • It was the byline of the night.
  • It was the ‘holy tweet.”
  • It was the mission statement.

And it didn’t change when Jesus became a man:

  • “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
  • “My peace I give to you.”
  • “Peace be unto you.”
  • “Love one another.”
  • “Be reconciled to your brothers.”
  • “Whenever you’ve done it unto the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”

Here’s a strong statement: Jesus was not born to die, he was born to bring peace and good will.

(Don’t argue with me–take it up with the angels.)

And he faithfully conducted his business, echoing the voice of these heavenly proclaimers all through his ministry, until humanity came along and put nails in his healing hands and his traveling feet. It was only then that they could stop him.

So we have to learn the difference among these words: mission, free will, insanity and grace.

  • The mission was “peace on Earth, good will toward men.”
  • The free will was offering humans a chance to decide what they thought about it.
  • The insanity was rejecting it and killing the messenger.
  • And the grace is that if we choose to still believe in that “peace on Earth, good will toward men”… we can be born again.

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Untotaled: Stepping 30 (November 12th, 1966) Candy Crash … September 6, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2344)

(Transcript)

A mumbling conversation.

An attempt to disguise the nasty details of a tragedy from the fragile adolescent.

That would be me–the teen who is to be seen but never understood.

I listened carefully.

Whispers.

Aunt Janice. Uncle Randy. My cousin Jeremy. And my cousin Candy.

My ears perk when I hear “Candy.”

I love Candy. I mean, I love her because she notices me. She believes I’m alive. Her eyes focus on me instead of quickly darting away to other distractions.

The last time I saw her she said, “Jonathan, you look nice today.”

My breath squeezed from my lungs. I thanked her and rushed from the room, went outside, found a corner unto myself and cried.

No one sees me. And certainly, no one thinks I look nice.

So I listened more intently.

Car wreck. Injuries.

And then many hidden words I can’t quite make out.

When suddenly, the room stands still as I hear uttered, “Candy was killed.”

I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. I didn’t want to know–but I had to ask them.

They rebuked me for listening in on adult conversations. I didn’t care.

“What happened to Candy?” I shouted, trying to pull up short of a scream.

Driving on vacation in Florida, Aunt Janice, Uncle Randy, Jeremy and Candy were struck by a drunk driver who went left of center, seriously injuring three of them … and killing the flower.

I couldn’t comprehend.

I saw no reasonable purpose for such insanity.

One week passed. It was Candy’s funeral. Aunt Janice was there in a body cast, Randy with a broken leg and Jeremy, all cut up and weeping. The whole room smelled like blood and rubbing alcohol.

One by one, family members passed by Candy’s casket. They paused and wept for a young woman with such promise, struck down at twenty-one.

It was my turn.

I spoke firmly to my legs, asking them to move, and gradually made my way to look into the mahogany box.

It was so odd.

Because she had been thrown through the windshield and severely mutilated, they had constructed a mask of her face made out of plastic, put make-up on it and squeezed it over her fractured features.

Before me was a doll.

It was a mannequin representation of a living soul.

I must have stood there too long because my mother came to my side, poked me in the ribs, and told me to move on.

I did so obediently, having no urge to stare at the harlequin before me. I excused myself and went outside.

About ten minutes later I returned. No one was in the room–just the casket, the empty shell of a saint … and me.

Mustering all my strength, I walked over again and looked at my departed loved one.

I said, “Candy, you look nice today.”

 

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

G-29: Flooded With Doubts … June 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2269)

arkAn unacceptable level of arrogance manipulated its way into human kind, generating an intolerable volume of violence.

Drunken on self-esteem and pleasuring itself on the shedding of blood, the human race had scampered away from all reason, teetering on the verge of mutual insanity.

  • The Creator had doubts.
  • The Father of all sensed regret.
  • Was there any way to salvage the situation?

For previously in the evolutionary process, the passing of years eliminated the scoundrels who failed to adapt, rendering them extinct.

But since the decision was made to create a caretaker who possessed both “jungle” and “garden”–both animal and the image of God–something different would have to be done rather than waiting for the creatures with big brains to think up new ways to kill each other.

Those who were meant to be caretakers had rejected all care and only pursued taking.

This is where the story begins about a man named Noah.

There are those who doubt the existence of this individual and certainly question the validity of a Great Flood covering the earth. And whether you believe that the Creator spoke to one man, asking him to “go-fer” wood to build an ark is insignificant to the fact that a communication was sent across the ages to us–through a childlike story–that God regretted His decision to make Homo sapiens.

This shows us the emergence of His character from being an over-attentive and perhaps even overly critical parent, to changing His mind and becoming a loving Father who provides opportunity to one and all.

Believe what you will about the story, but know this: at some time in the history of the Universe and the genealogy of our planet, a Father who spawned us created a Mother who guides us.

After the alleged flood, the Creator decided to welcome an environment with “seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, cold and heat and day and night”–a planet where it rains on the just and the unjust, and it’s up to those who find justice to use that knowledge and the elements of the earth to their advantage.

Isn’t it important for us to believe that the Creator regretted making us, but also regretted destroying us? Since repentance is an intricate part of our own lives, it’s good to know that our Father had a similar revelation.

People will always be people–but because we have Father God and Mother Nature, we have the parenting necessary to give us a sense of the spiritual and a respect for the natural.

This gives us the opportunity to be the caretakers we were meant to be … taking what we need in order to care for the world around us. 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

The Presence of Absence… August 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1984)

I am annoyed with the void.void

  • “I don’t believe”
  • “I don’t care”
  • “I don’t forgive”
  • “I don’t change”
  • “I don’t take crap”

I hear these statements screamed–a sociological rattletrap which is puttering down the highway towards a conversion to nothingness.

In the pursuit of personal freedom and individuality, we are completely abandoning the commonality and joy of being part of the human tribe.

It is the presence of absence.

It is the extolling of a vacuum, portraying that we are intelligent by having stumbled upon this emptiness.

God seems to be gone. Compassion is optional. Mercy is conditional–usually limited to those of our own household. Repentance is a joke because it requires that we consider our own lacking. And humility sucks–especially when we can blare our own horns to scare away the critics.

What I want to ask, very simply, is: do you really WANT to live in a world that is Godless, lacks compassion, is unmerciful, never-changing and arrogant?

I understand there are flaws in every system existing that is man-infested. But at least in the realm of spirituality, we will allow weakness to wheel its way through the front door of the sanctuary and sit in our midst without demanding that the person involved completely conform to some sort of mantra created by the intellectual elite.

I am tired of watching television or movies and being told that life sucks.

There you go. I should put that on a bumper sticker and slap it on the back of my van.

  • I am frustrated up to my gills with the ocean of ideas that look on the dark side of life, contending that we’re being innovative.
  • I don’t want True Blood. Matter of fact, I don’t want any blood.
  • I don’t want Breaking Bad. I would like to hear about people who have the guts to do something good in the midst of insanity.
  • I don’t want to hear about a Boardwalk Empire, where murder was the way to advance commerce instead of coming up with innovation and letting it play out.

I am weary of ill-doing.

Call it out–don’t critique society around you because you think it would make Jesus cry. Jesus is pretty resilient. But he does demand that we keep our hope for life instead of giving up and insisting that absence is our presence.

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