1 Thing You Can Do This Week (to Improve Your Chances)


Don’t Drop Your Anchor Until You’re Catching Fish

When I was a kid my dad took me out fishing in our very small boat. There was a motor on the back, so for a while we trolled, but when we hit a spot where we had some strikes and caught some fish, he stopped the boat and dropped the anchor.

We did not drive around the lake dropping the anchor a dozen times hoping for the best. The purpose for dropping the anchor was made manifest by catching fish.

You may think you know what you want.

You may have a five-year goal plan.

You may have already purchased the materials for your project.

But if all of that organization has failed to bring forth any “fish,” then now is not the time to settle in, commit, get a mortgage or invest money into your dream.

Wait until you start catching fish before you drop your anchor. Then don’t lift your anchor and depart until the fish have ceased to hit your hooks.

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly donation for this inspirational opportunity

 

Three Ways to Be Valuable Without Being Used … December 4, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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high five big

For every reason you can give to encourage people to be generous, open and expansive, they are fully prepared to counter with a hundred excuses why such benevolence never works.

It is usually accompanied by some well-rehearsed horror story, when an attempt was made to share heart, soul, mind and body with another human being, only to be used or abused.

This leaves you standing there, holding your rejected virtue, sheepishly walking away, dismantled by their aggressive dismay.

But somewhere along the line, the human race must be caring enough to include one another, or we very well may resort to eating one another.

So how can we be valuable without being used?

1. Invest in people, but do it in three phases:

(A) Start by offering your ears. If you listen to folks, and realize they are either crazy or unwilling to heed advice, you might want to keep that relationship on the back burner. But if you discover that these people are not just hearers of the word, but might actually become doers, you can move to phase two of your investing.

(B) Time. Never give people time if they’re not listening. It’s a waste of … well, time. And since you have limited quantities of that, you may not want to be too extravagant. If you discover that investing your minutes in people is fruitful, then you can consider the generosity of money.

(C) Yes, some people are worthy of a financial risk. But never pursue them if they aren’t listening.

2. Don’t be in demand–just available.

You may think it’s cool to be popular and bombarded with requests, surrounded by those who need your care, but it gets old really fast, and the personal benefits aren’t obvious. To make sure that you’re not in demand, but just available, learn how to say no.

Yes, every once in a while, when you sense that people are taking advantage of your soul, choose to pass on the present opportunity. It will balance things out and will let them know that when you are involved, you’re in it all the way.

3. Use hope for your own dreams and common sense for the dreams of others.

If you believe you’re going to be a millionaire, that’s absolutely fine. But if you’re gathering around a candle, holding hands and joining in the belief that someone else is going to be a millionaire, you’re an idiot.

Your hope belongs to you because you can sustain it with your own faith and survive any failure in your own way. But you cannot maintain the faith of another person, nor control his or her disappointment.

So when people share their dreams with you, be enthusiastic, but also ask the logical questions that cause them to think, instead of getting generally “goosey.”

If you pursue these three approaches, you can avoid being a doormat … while still becoming a door.

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The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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

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Check out Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories’Til Christmas

The Best Christmas Stories You’ll Ever Read!

Click on Santa to browse "Mr. Kringle's Tales ... 26 Stories Til Christmas"

Click on Santa to browse “Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories Til Christmas”

25 Smackabonies… January 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I'M book coverIt takes two different desires to write a book. Well, at least it should:

  • First, a vision of something to say.
  • And second, an arrogance that you actually have a right to say it.

I decided I wanted to write a novel. It went swimmingly until I splashed down in self-doubt.

What you may not know about the writing process is that you pen many, many pages which will never be used or are simply edited down in your completed manuscript.

Mine was a simple telling of the “greatest story ever told.” I wrote a first-person account of the life of Jesus–him telling his own story–including possible scenarios of what may have happened during “the missing years”–between the ages of twelve and thirty.

In 1993, I reached a juncture in the story where I was about to enter the last days of his life. I stalled. I didn’t want to write something predictable. I didn’t want to share the story of the final moments in the life of Jesus of Nazareth in a traditional way.  So I did what all writers do when they’re poised at a fork in the road.

I stopped.

My two oldest sons, who had just moved to Nashville and started working, were greatly concerned. They loved the book and wanted to see me finish it. So unbeknownst to me, they found an empty apartment in our complex which was fully furnished and was rented out to visiting parties for $25 a night. They rented one day’s lodging for me.

This was quite an achievement. It cost twenty-five dollars–hard-earned money they really didn’t have. (We jokingly referred to dollars as “smackabonies.”)

They came to me, handed me the key, and said, “Dad, get away. Go write.”

I was moved by their generosity, but was also fighting a severe bout with a urinary infection at the time. I had a sting in places on my body which were never meant to be stung. But rather than disappoint them, I took my old manual Royal typewriter with  an “a” key which failed to finish its bottom, and headed off for the seclusion.

I have honestly never had such a transforming experience. Sick, with a mild fever, in great pain, I sat behind that typewriter and hammered out seventy-five pages of my book, taking me through the betrayal, the trial, the crucifixion and the resurrection of my dear friend.

It was amazing.

The pain I felt only helped to feed the passion of the moment. Page after page flowed from me, almost like automatic writing, if there is such a thing.

I don’t know what my sons expected, but when I walked out the next morning with nearly ninety fresh pages of my book, they were in tears. They spent the next several hours reading the fruit of my labors and the grapes of their generosity.

It was just 25 smackabonies, after all.

But to them it was a gold mine. And to me it was a treasure chest.

I have never forgotten it. And it makes me realize that the greatest accomplishment in life is discovering that God, your friends and your family not only love you … but are prepared to invest in you. 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

So, Sow… December 19, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2096)

farmerEveryone wants to be unique–yet no one wants to be peculiar.

Unique means “one of a kind.” To gain that individuality, you have to step away from the herd, chew your grass differently and end up producing fortified milk.

But in our society unique is defined as “doing what I want in the moment.” The absence of finding a position makes it unclear to those around where to find you.

Our culture teaches this ridiculous concept: let me reap and then I’ll sow–I promise.

In other words, “give me a reason to become excited and I’ll become excited.”

“Give me money and I’ll invest.”

“Give me a climate where everyone agrees with my philosophy, and I’ll embrace them with love.”

“Give me the funds for education, the books for reading and the classroom for receiving and I will eventually turn into a student.”

“Give me sex and I’ll consider love.”

“Grant me financial security and I will give my best impersonation of happy.”

“Take away hassle and I will try not to be grumpy.”

“Remove intimidation and bullying and I will show up to give you a better adequate performance.”

“Take away all the things that make life human and I will show you how divine I can be.”

This insipid thinking revolves around the word “unconditional.”

  • Unconditional love: take me as I am and critique nothing.
  • Unconditional faith: believe as I do and question nothing.
  • Unconditional politics: be Republican or Democrat, swallow the pill and support the party.
  • Unconditional romance: love me even though I have stopped loving myself by refusing to move in the direction of improvement.
  • And on top of this, we use the dynamic of God‘s love, God’s grace and God’s mercy as the model for this ludicrous acceptance of mediocrity.

Let’s look at the way it was meant to be from the foundation of the world:

I promise to sow so I can reap.

There is nothing that will be harvested from our life journey unless we have first planted our seed.

There is nothing that is guaranteed without our focus and commitment.

And there is no way that reaping will occur before sowing–or the entire cosmos will implode.

I sat around a table last night with family and friends to celebrate my birthday. But we did not celebrate the passing of a year adding to my longevity. What we celebrated was my belief in the treasure of sowing … to reap.

Stop cheating yourself out of the joy of human life. You will never reap until you sow. No matter how much you plead and beg for a loan from the universe, the heavens will turn a deaf ear … until you can bring collateral.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Enlightened … October 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2044)

child-prayingThere may be nothing more pitiful than a believer who has ceased to have faith in the power of prayer, yet continues to mumble the words,  fearing sacrilege.

Even though churches continue to host seminars on the precepts of prayer, thinking they will unlock some magical formula, the true essence of communicating with the Father as a child is to be forthcoming, and to make sure you arrive at the meeting with all your chores completed.

Did you follow that?

If you will allow me to continue my story concerning arriving at the end of our year in solvency, you will agree with me that being darkened, or cynical, about our problems, is not only useless, but veers toward destruction.

So being practical–counting the cost, finding out how we can contend, having all the ends meet, and controlling as many factors as we can–is ALWAYS the preamble to prayer. After all, any child in a household who shows up asking for more, having not completed the agreed-upon household activities, is certainly headed for a rebuff.

You can’t remove the practical and think you’re going to arrive at the spiritual.

You can’t be Andrew, from the Good Book, asking Jesus to feed the five thousand, without letting him know there are five loaves and two fishes available.

After we finish the practical aspects of counting, contending and controlling, we are ready to have a great one-on-one with our Father in heaven and boldly enter His presence–because we KNOW we have done all we know to do and we can stand.

Then prayer works.

About three years ago I realized that telling people I was going to pray for them without  doing something to assist, was worthless. Even if it was just an encouraging email, a few dollars sent their way, or linking up other people to help them, prayer works best when people have let God know they are invested by offering what their possessions and talents.

Why would God want to invest in a project that we’ve decided is not worth our own time and effort?

Sometimes, for me, it can be hearing about someone who has a brain tumor and putting myself back in a hospital room so many years ago, recalling the sensations of fear that flooded my soul.

It is my investment. So then, when I pray, I am merely trying to get God to follow up on my backing.

It creates a sensation of being enlightened.

I would describe that jubilant revelation as the result of a four-step process:

1. I refuse to focus on the problems and become cynical.

2. I have become practical by counting the cost, deciding how I will contend and taking control where necessary.

3. I am satisfied that my contribution is complete, yet I find there is still a need.

4. I rejoice that I can solicit God to come in to the project and cover the need that is beyond my scope.

There it is.

I feel a great confidence that our traveling team will end this year in total victory. Avoiding the darkened countenance of cynicism while applying the practical of what we have available, we can come with assurance to our heavenly Father and ask Him to contribute.

It’s a great way to live.

The best way to become an agnostic is to pray thinking that God manipulates everything. You will soon become a liar who pretends to be faithful–or you will walk away from your belief because you childishly thought that your Daddy should take care of everything while you watched.

Prayer is powerful because it asks God to believe in what we have already decided to pursue.

Make up your mind:

  • you can follow the world and be darkened and cynical.
  • Or you can apply the practical, which is necessary to fulfill the natural order in which you live.

Having completed that task, you can become enlightened by including your Father in everything you do.

I am confident–not because I’m a religious man, but because I have escaped religion and have begun to move out in everyday workable faith.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Moment-O … July 14, 2012

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I think I finally understand.

Sometimes it’s not so much that I’m dense or lacking intelligence, but rather that I have a pernicious unwillingness to come to logical conclusions. You too?

Yet I do finally understand why they refer to alcoholic beverages as “spirits.” There is something inside every human being that knows that we need to be prodded by, if you will, these “spirits”–to foster the better parts of ourselves which energize us instead of leaving us forlorn and bedraggled.

I came to this conclusion last night while sitting in the home of my son, having come to meet and visit my new grandson, Johann Luther Cring.  I brought a little oil along with me so we could anoint and christen the fine young man and welcome him into our family as one of us and also as a member of the noble human race.

It was rife with spirit. Because it was already rich with spirit, there was no need for alcoholic spirits to be introduced into the event. Teetotalers are often critical of those who imbibe, thinking these people are weak of character or just have some sort of desire to turn life into a party. Not so. Deeply ingrained in our genetics is the knowledge that we require emotional explosions to keep us from being overcome by circumstances–or just bored. So if you’re not going to tap one spirit, you end up untapping another.

Last night this just made sense to me–because after all, it IS about grabbing the moment to justify the journey. There is no explanation for a creature of our intellect and potential to live for less than a century and then disappear–unless that life is saturated with living. For that to happen, we need spirit. And to gain spirit, we must allow our emotions to be released from their cage of captivity, to be freed to roam, unleashed and permitted the opportunity to express true heart.

Yes, I am saying it aloud–you can’t touch the spirit of a human being unless you first unlock the emotions. To use spirituality to merely promote prayer, foster fasting, generate giving or wiggle out worship is wasting the mission and worthiness of the quest for God. And unfortunately, most people can’t unlock their emotions unless they’re a little inebriated. So you can either be drunk on spirits from a bottle or uncork the Holy Spirit that’s bottled up inside you and let it take you on its “magical mystery tour.”

Last night was immense. It’s because the process of human expression was honored. Everyone in the room was emotionally invested in the birth of a new son and the joy of knowing that the precarious process, although very natural, was pulled off without tragedy. Because we were emotionally invested, the room was engorged with spirit. We just talked a little better. Our thoughts escaped fiscal responsibility and fears of pending doom, and for a few moments we allowed ourselves to revive and believe again in our dreams. And because the atmosphere was enlivened by spirit, everyone felt mentally renewed. It was like our brains had been cleansed from all the unrighteousness of worry, naughtiness and apprehension.

We were thinking better. And you know what happens when you think better? You actually become thoughtful. And once the brain has a chance to rejuvenate ideas instead of merely falling into a default position, all the participants are physically challenged to be healthier, wealthier and wiser–so that we can be around for a long time to enjoy the company of young Johann.

It was a moment–one that should never be isolated as unique–as long as we know how to pull the fine wine of the spirit from the cellar of our existence and use our emotions to drain the cup of all its sweetness and delight.

You WILL be involved with the Spirit. You can do it by pressing in on the breath of life granted to you by your Creator and becoming emotionally invested in your own pursuits, or you can drink a few glasses of wine until you let your guard down and allow your heart to feel.

I just don’t want to be drunk on anything but life. That’s my choice. I’m not being judgmental of others, but as long as there are opportunities to toast the initiation of those who are born–OR born again–I will use the Spirit that is in me rather than the spirits that merely dribble down my gullet.

I am grateful for this. Now I know this may sound trivial, but I will tell you–the more you allow yourself to be emotionally invested, the opportunity to be “spirited” will suddenly flourish in your soul and you will be mentally renewed and physically challenged to live out a better life.

Although the old saying is “seize the day,” the truth of the matter is, there are too many moments to wait for a whole day to pass.

Leap in.

Bring your heart.

And taste the spirit.

   

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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