Catchy (Sitting 9) A Given Inventory … August 6th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It was good to have Jo-Jay along on the trip back to headquarters. She was energetic, funny and very generous. She wanted to buy Matthew a whole new wardrobe, but he settled for a black leather fedora, which made him look dangerous–in a goofy kind of way. Arriving in town, Jo-Jay took her leave so she could acquire lodging for what was more and more appearing to be a protracted stay.

When Matthew came into the office, he was greeted by Randall, Landy and a stranger. It was obvious that the stranger was a lawyer. (Matthew contended that barristers had a certain “sniff” about them.)

Randall and Landy asked Matthew to sit down, and then explained that they had no interest whatsoever in being a part of the project that Arthur Harts had proposed, to popularize Jesus. But they did want to sign an agreement that any money that came into the business or profits incurred would be equally shared among the partners.

“So let me get this straight,” said Matthew. “You don’t want to work on this promotion. But if the promotion does well, you want to be able to acquire your share of the profits. Is that about right?”

Comically, both of them turned to the attorney for approval before answering. He nodded his head, and they mimicked. Matthew laughed.

“Randall, Landy…” said Matthew. “It is a bit amazing to me that we have this great thing going together until we find out there may be some money. It’s like my old Grandpappy used to say. ‘Poverty has many friends because you have to huddle by the fire. But being wealthy allows you to purchase an island hut with central heat.'”

Randall and Landy stared at Matthew, bewildered.

I’ll tell you what,” said Matthew, picking up the document they had given him. “I’ll look this over.” He thumbed through it. “Fifty-seven pages long. And I’ll get back to you.”

“Don’t take too long,” said the attorney, minus expression but with a threatening air.

Matthew went into his office and pulled up his emails. There was an expected one from Paul Padwick, wishing him well but wanting no part of the endeavor. There was also a second contact from Michael Hintson, continuing to apologize for missing his airplane. Michael had only one question: was the Catholic Church backing the idea? Because he could certainly use the support from those in his district who favored a Pope.

Susanna–Soos–was thinking it over. Mary Rogers Kent (Mother) was now a Buddhist. Lydia Lars, otherwise known as Layla, said she would contact him the following week, after the woman who did her astrology chart weighed in on the possibility.

Matthew was suddenly overcome by an uncontrollable giggle.

He had been given an inventory. Now he had to decide what he could do with it.

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Ask Jonathots … September 24th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

It seems to me that you only win in life if you’re aggressive. For instance, Donald Trump, who is extremely defensive and cutting, leads in the Republican polls. I’m not asking you to talk about politics, just answer this question: how can Jesus suggest that we get anywhere by “turning the other cheek?” Or is he just talking about the afterlife?

I think the problem in most people’s thinking is that they like to characterize certain words as positive or negative. Putting it in simpler terms, most folks would consider passive to be the opposite of aggressive.

But the issue is not whether we should be aggressive. The issue is, to whom?

You are absolutely correct–aggression expressed to others as a means of domination or for generating payback is not only non-spiritual, but also generally considered, in the long run, to be a lame choice.

Yet we are certainly supposed to be aggressive to ourselves. Intertwined in the teachings of Jesus is a strong motivational message to go the second mile, be perfect even as the Father in Heaven is perfect, and take care of the beam in your own eye instead of worrying about the mote in your brother’s eye.

The foible in humans is that we would much rather be aggressive toward other people’s weaknesses than our own.

Donald Trump is characterized as aggressive, but he isn’t alone. There is a general consensus in our society that we can achieve success by–pardon the expression–“trumping” others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

After all, insult may be the only word that never requires a period. As long as an insult is hanging in the air, it’s just awaiting the arrival of the next insult.

So what does it mean–to be aggressive to yourself?

1. Take an inventory.

Consider what you actually can do instead of what you want to do, and then work on those talents.

2. Practice what you want to achieve until you reach the point that you don’t have to make excuses for your shortcomings.

There will still be failures but you want to make sure they are not caused by your lack of perseverance.

3. Don’t compare your work to the work of others.

Compare it to your own vision and what you desire to achieve.

The Jesonian life–a life following Jesus–is an aggressive one–but not in relationship to our judgment and critique of others.

Rather, in our own passion to perfect our ways … and learn how to go the second mile.

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Three Ways to Finish … March 19, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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finish line

Arguably, the largest misconception in the ongoing pursuit of human relationship is the assertion that a good excuse is as powerful and proper as a promised result.

After all, we pretend to forgive those who give up along the way of completing a task. We really don’t. We join their retreat, sigh and walk away disappointed.

Unfortunately, it only takes a handful of disappointments before we just stop trying. When we find ourselves confined, unable to try, we are convinced that change is impossible.

The end result is a jaded population. It’s a prison for creativity.

So how can we finish? Please consider three steps:

1. Don’t start.

Yes, there are times that even if the cause is noble, the circumstances and surrounding attitudes are insufficient to even begin the endeavor.

We must be careful to never ignore the history that precedes us and boastfully tout that we can overcome it. There are just some things that should never be started because they cannot be finished.

And there is nothing worse in life than laying the foundation and being unable to complete the project, leaving behind a constant reminder of egregious stupidity.

Listen carefully. If it doesn’t seem plausible or pleasant…pass.

2. Don’t hurry.

The best way to make sure that you will fail to finish is to hurry and make mistakes that have to be redone, producing the frustration that causes us to want to throw in the towel. Slow down.

I have taught my children that if you find yourself late to an appointment, take your watch off, stop looking at it, set it aside and just realize that you’re going to be a little late–and will be much later if you worry and hurry.

Yes, sometimes in a project you reach a point where it’s not certain you will finish, so the best you can hope for is to pace yourself in a joyous way that allows for the possibility.

3. Don’t quit.

Consider your inventory.

  • Do you have the ingredients?
  • Do you have the time?
  • Do you have the energy?
  • Does the need exist?

Then hang in there.

Oftentimes, assistance arrives when people finally realize that you have no intention of fizzling out.

For after all, why would you give help to someone who is hapless and on the way to defeat? We help people who are working hard.

These are three great ways to finish. You will notice they are absent excuses, completely devoid of self-pity and all the frustration has been ripped from them.

What you have is the decision-making power to begin, pace yourself and stay with it–because who’s to say this project is any less viable than the next one? 

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