Ask Jonathots … May 19th, 2016

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I heard an Olympic official on a national television news show say, “People will always cheat. It’s human nature.” Do you think this is true?

“To err is human and to forgive is divine.”

This is the classic axiom.

Unfortunately, the proverb has a missing piece. Actually, it should state: “To err is human, but to repent is human also.”

There are two little devils that chase the human heart, trying to turn us into scoundrels.

Ignorance and arrogance.

We only become hapless when we try to combine these two and justify one with the other.

For instance, I may say something stupid, which is completely forgivable unless I try to convince you that it wasn’t stupid at all–you either misunderstood me or you’re not hip to my particular perception of life.

Ignorance is forgivable.

But when it links up with arrogance, not even divinity can salvage such a stubborn creature.

So my problem with the statement provided in your question is that as long as we view cheating as a normal side road taken by humans which needs to be avoided and confessed, we are fine. But when we begin to believe it’s part of our character–an arrogant segment of us that cannot be removed–we not only lose our redemption, but we lose any portion of us to redeem.

So what is the correct profile?

  • Ignorance happens.
  • Ignorance is exposed.
  • Ignorance is confessed.
  • Forgiveness is granted.
  • Knowledge expands.

This is the process that makes a solid human being.

But if we express ignorance, have it exposed and we defend it with our arrogance or insist that what we have done is “no worse than anyone else,” then forgiveness is impossible and knowledge is stalled.

Repentance is not a noble action, but rather, a necessary position that all humans take to make sure that we progress in wisdom and understanding instead of finding ourselves falling back on the failing positions of former times.

So in conclusion, I would say that ignorance happens, and as long as arrogance doesn’t show up, repentance can open the door to forgiveness, which allows knowledge to rule the day.

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Ask Jonathots … April 7th, 2016

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There are many new weight loss supplements, procedures and surgeries. In your opinion, are they all scams? Is there any real help coming out of the medical and health field for weight loss, and what do you foresee in the future?

I have been overweight since birth–well certainly, since middle school.

So I am fully aware of the perils and purposes of weight loss.

It is similar to any endeavor of self-improvement. There is a certain order of events which must click into place to make the process work correctly.

As to your question about supplements, surgeries and procedures, we will get to that in a minute. First we have to understand the three-step process involved in self-improvement:

1. Without hating myself or making excuses, I have become dissatisfied with my situation.

In other words, occasional fits of guilt do not stimulate us to pursue wisdom, and having an excuse for why we are the way we are only makes us look anemic and stupid. When I am successful at weight loss, it is initiated because I am dissatisfied with my present situation yet feel no need for hating nor explaining myself.

2. I am prepared to honestly assess what I am willing to do and what I am not willing to do.

Even though doctors, friends and fellow-fatties may try to convict us of our need to lose weight, all of this is nothing but guilt until we have decided exactly what we’re open to.

What I’ve come up with is this: I am willing to change eating patterns that are unhealthy, eat a little bit less and not eat anything after dinner.

Right now, that’s my level of openness. I will not increase that through intimidation or self-incrimination. It’s what is available to me.

3. Establish a reward.

Human beings do not do well pursuing discipline without praise.

Reward yourself.

If you’re going to buy low-calorie food, make sure you get the kind of low-calorie food that may be a little more expensive, but is to your liking. I feel one key is to remove everything from your house that is high in calories, so if you do accidentally splurge, you’re falling off a shorter cliff.

These are the three things that have to be in place before you consider anything else. Once established, and once there is good cheer and satisfaction in your emotions about them, then you’re ready to consider other options.

Now, the ridiculous part about surgery is that you still end up having to be on a diet and eating less. It may take some immediate weight off, but that wieght is quite willing to come back quickly.

Supplements are comical because unless they are absorbed into the blood stream, most of them are eliminated through bowel movements or urine.

Honestly, the best procedure is to stick to whatever simple plan you come up with and make sure you honor it in joy.

For instance, the elimination of extra sugars from your diet will subtract about three pounds a month.

Cutting your carbs in half will cut five pounds a month from your waistline.

And, as in my case, not eating after dinner will generally shed somewhere between two to four pounds a month in itself.

If you’re in a hurry, your weight loss plan will fail.

The goal should be shedding about three or four pounds a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but at the end of a year, you’ve taken off fifty pounds–and fifty pounds is normally enough to alleviate much of your sadness and medical conditions.

I’m not a great fan of supplements, procedures and surgeries. It’s not that they’re scams–just that they are bandages which are eventually ripped away, taking with them the scab that was protecting your healing.

Look at the list of three things.

  • Are you ready to deal with them?
  • Are you ready to be honest about them instead of making promises which are unresponsive to your needs?

Remember this fact: if weight loss is based on what anybody else wants you to do, including God or your doctor, it will crumble.

So you have to decide what you want to do … and your level of commitment to achieve it.

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Three Ways to Use Your Doubt… October 23, 2014

 

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cliff

 

In the traditional story of Easter, three interesting characters are brought to the stage.

  • Judas, who betrays
  • Peter, who denies
  • And Thomas, who doubts

Unfortunately, the audience viewing the drama is encouraged to believe that all three of these individuals are equally culpable.

Please understand–there is a huge chasm between betrayal and denial, and likewise one existing between denial and doubt.

Betrayal is doubt which has already given up on the idea and is looking for a reason to rationalize its treachery.

Denial is doubt that has never been voiced, but when put under the pressure of persecution, exposes its weakness.

But on the other hand, doubt is what human beings do to flush out the trash and make room for new stuff.

It is a good thing.

There is not a day that goes by when I do not doubt the existence of God. No hour goes by when I do not question my own ability. And no minute ticks away when uncertainty does not stall me for a second or two concerning my resolution.

Trying to dispel these uncertainties through a chatty spirit of positive thinking is not only hypocritical, but futile.

Doubt is the powerful tool that transforms us from nostalgia to action. Use your doubt to:

1. Dispel fake faith.

What is fake faith? Any belief you hold which has not been personally tested. It is the accumulation of knowledge with no experience. It is the fear that if your faith was brought into the heat of the day, it would shrivel up and die.

Probably fifty percent of what we all believe is not only impractical and implausible, but actually inhibits us from living with lighter hearts.

2. Use your doubt to understand others.

Too often we become frustrated with human beings because they dare to speak the confusion that we try to hide behind our fake faith. I have much more compassion for people when I’m willing to admit my own doubts.

3. And finally, use your doubt to learn to be more honest.

  • Doubt is your spirit crying for a moment of truthfulness.
  • Doubt is when your heart desires to remove the clog of unanswered questions.

Thomas was not a denier nor a betrayer. He was a man who was dealing with some pain and rather than drinking it away …  he posed the question.

 

 

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Populie: The Battle Between Good and Evil … October 22, 2014

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Jesus and the devil

Sometimes I believe that the promotion of “good” is merely permission to be pious and the elevation of “evil” is just a bunch of geeks from high school, who think it’s neat to scare people with their darker side.

It ends up promoting this popular lie–populie–of “the battle between good and evil.”

Religion is enthralled with the concept because it allows for an all-powerful God to flex His muscle against a strong Luciferian army which is doomed to failure, but in the meantime frightens the world with all sorts of dastardly deeds.

Amazingly, entertainment is obsessed with the notion because it welcomes witches, demons, flying dragons and all sorts of apocalyptic paraphernalia, to keep the audience on the edge of its seat, wondering if any glimmer of goodness can survive.

Politics learned a long time ago that it’s a lot easier to motivate people by getting them to hate something than to love something.

So if we hate evil and those who perform the nefarious deeds, we can don the cloak of righteousness and represent purity to the world around us.

So the original Soviet Union was not deemed to be a dumb government complexity, but rather, must be referred to as “the evil empire” in order to create a devilish enemy.

I am weary of it all.

I am especially weary of those who tell me that I can’t believe in God unless I believe in Satan. They insist that because the Bible proclaims that this fallen angel exists as a real creature of festering fussiness, that I must embrace the ideology that surrounds him or else deny the validity of the Holy Book.

Yet when the storyline plays out in the Good Book, the saner writers tell me frankly that every temptation comes from my own lust.

I am told that God doesn’t tempt me, nor does He desire for me to be tempted.

Matter of fact, Jesus said, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

So what is evil?

Evil occurs when the good that humans could have accomplished is delayed or tabled in committee.

Good transpires when evil is stopped by humans who are thinking ahead.

To me it’s just that simple.

Every evil that has happened on the planet earth since the beginning of time has human fingerprints. There are no claw marks left behind, nor cloven hoofprints. It always has something to do with someone who just failed, in some way or another, to love his or her neighbor as themselves.

We are drawn away by our own lusts.

Love is available to us but it does not allow us to dominate or destroy, so instead, we pursue lust.

  • It is the source of all iniquity.
  • It is the source of all evil.

As long as we believe that we are the pawns in a gigantic chess game between God and Beelzebub, we will fail to take responsibility for our own deeds and instead, act helpless when we’ve been given the power of a sound mind instead of a spirit of fear.

I know there will be many people who disagree with me, and since I do not hold the golden key to universal truth in my hand, these detractors may be right.

But I don’t think we become better people by blaming an outside force for our own damned laziness.

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

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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.

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Turning Kids Into Humans: (After 18) Grown Out … October 13, 2014

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Humanating

 

Eighteen years of age.

You’ve made it. More importantly, your little bundle of joy has survived.

Now there are three choices: grow up, grow in, grow out.

Factually, there’s not much you can do about them growing up, although it is possible for them to get mature physically and still be babies internally.

But there is a new trend in America to ask our children to grow in, towards us. We decide to rescue them from life’s inevitable failures by welcoming them back, rent free, into the domicile, quite happy to be Mommy or Daddy once again. This practice has generated a class of people who originally were working but now are still searching, convinced they have plenty of time to assume human responsibility.

Your goal should be to help them grow out.

As quickly as you possibly can, develop an adult relationship with your son or daughter instead of a co-dependency. If you’ve taught them to be human beings by inserting empathy and gratitude into their everyday lives, then you should be confident of seven things that you mutually hold dear. Your child should know:

  1. I’m no better than anyone else.
  2. I’m responsible for my own actions.
  3. I will work with what I have.
  4. I know that truth is the gold standard in human relationships.
  5. I look for opportunity, not short cuts.
  6. I am a heart, soul, mind and strength creature.
  7. I am fully aware that how I treat people is what I really believe about myself and God.

You may want to sit down and have a delightful conversation about these seven glorious ideas before they launch into their future

You haven’t lost an off-spring; you’ve taken eighteen years to mentor a friend. Enjoy them. And as they move about the Earth and realize that these platinum attitudes work, they will sing your praises.

Never forget that bringing creatures into this world is just a part of the biological cycle.

Turning them into human beings is the joy of the truly spiritual.

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

 

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

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

Jesonian: What do you know about him? … October 12, 2014

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He was called a bastard because his mother got pregnant before she was married.

He was born in poverty in a stable reeking with animal manure.

Even when his family tried to establish a life in the little town of Bethlehem, they were visited by astrologers from the East who brought gifts, but also brought down calamity on their lives because they accidentally passed on information to a jealous king who put out a contract of death on the little boy’s life. So they were forced to go into exile, into the land of Egypt, where they were strangers, and for about six years tried to subsist and carve out a life, as additional brothers and sisters were added.

His father, a man who believed in guiding his life by dreams, returned them to Judea, only to find out there was still danger, so they settled back into the community where the original gossip about his conception had brought them such pain.

He struggled to learn how to become a carpenter, even though deep in his heart, there was a strong calling toward other missions and goals.

He was made fun of by many of the local children because his customs seemed foreign, his demeanor was simple and he had not learned the letters of the Jewish law in their time-table.

He spent years in a small-town life without ever taking a wife of his own.

When he embraced the aching wishes of his heart and began to share a message of love and hope, which included not only Jew but Gentile, the local townsfolk pushed him to the edge of a cliff and threatened to murder him.

He escaped to a nearby fishing village, where he began to teach and discovered there was often healing, and miracles which followed when the people brought their faith to the situation.

His brothers and sisters thought he was crazy and came to retrieve him, so he was forced to alienate himself from them. He would not see them again for two years.

Even though his message did nothing to hinder the well-being of the Roman Empire, all the factions of the religion of his countrymen turned against him as one, plotting his demise.

Yet he persisted.

The advancements he presented in his teachings are still a stumbling block to many fundamentalists today:

  • Women are as good as men.
  • “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is foolish.
  • It is what we do to the least of our fellow-humans that matters most.
  • There is neither Jew nor Greek.
  • We are not to judge.
  • There are people who are born to be eunuchs and born by the will of God to be a certain way.

Eventually he was betrayed by one of his closest friends, accused on trumped-up charges and killed for a crime of sedition, which was the furthest thing from his doctrine–for he believed it was important to render unto Caesar the things that were Caesar’s and unto God the things that were God’s.

He was abandoned by his friends and tucked away quickly in a borrowed tomb so that the surrounding faithful could honor the traditions of their religiosity.

It was in that tiny enclosure that he was finally able to manifest the true essence of his power, by being allowed to rise from the dead.

But after nearly two thousand years, a name that was reviled, persecuted, rejected and cast aside from his brethren is now the central figure in the history of the world.

Because when war has finished tallying all of its victims, there will always be a need for the voice of peace. And the voice of peace was found in his throat and resounded through his message.

Do you know him?

How much do you know about him?

Because the more you know, the lighter your load.

 

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

 

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

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

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