What I Owe … May 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2229)

I Owe YouThings sure seem to be getting noisier.

Of course, there’s always been some racket raised from the human race, with the clamor of complaint and the lament of lacking. But it sure feels like what is important is shoved to the back of the news in favor of gossip.

I don’t offer this as a criticism. Let people do what they want to do.

But it does make me wonder what I owe to my fellow-travelers. Here’s what I came up with–I owe my brothers and sisters:

  • a pure heart
  • a seeking soul
  • a renewed mind
  • a willing strength.

Now I’m tempted, like everybody else, to advance a deceitful heart, a religious soul, a made-up mind and an overwhelming burst of strength.

But simply because things are promoted does not make them right, and running a country on the basis of the majority rule only puts off the inevitable need to recognize the truth, which often hangs back with the minority.

So the questions I ask myself are:

How can I have a pure heart?

That’s simple. Tell the truth as much as possible and if a lie comes from my lips, make sure I’m the first one to catch it and correct it.

To have a seeking soul:

I have to admit to myself that my faith must grow instead of just remaining stubborn. After all true spirituality is about building a road instead of a fort.

How does one renew one’s mind?

I call it “learning-thinking.” After all, there is thinking which has stopped learning, and there’s learning that doesn’t think that much. This is even simpler. Knowledge is better than opinion, and truth trumps them both.

And finally, since I owe a willing strength:

I can pay that debt by bringing what I’ve got to every situation without trying to control, manipulate or make excuses.

Yes, it really is that simple. Because if I tell the truth, let my faith grow, drop my opinion in favor of what’s everlasting and I bring what I’ve got to every situation, I suddenly become valuable.

That’s what I owe you.

And by the way … it’s all you owe me.

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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

 

 

Elf Control Band… December 14, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2093)

Clazzy Christmas bigJust because you can doesn’t mean you should–and also, just because you shouldn’t have, doesn’t require that you spend a whole lot of time regretting.

That’s life.

This comes to my mind as I remember the Christmas 2000, when I convinced myself to open up a store for the holiday season. My daughter-in-law, Angy, was anxious to attempt a business project and I was in my usual adventurous state of mind to comply. We called it The Clazzy Christmas Store in honor of a CD recently put out by Janet and myself, loaded with music of the season.

We immediately ran into two problems: the amount of money we were able to afford to rent a commercial space in a shopping mall was not sufficient to acquire property in a successful, ongoing avenue. No, our funding only allowed for us to rent this type of facility in a mall which was dying out due to lack of interest, with quite limited foot traffic.

Secondly … well, we had no idea what we were doing.

Perhaps if this idea had been placed in a locale other than Outer Mongolia and staffed by leadership which had at least read an article on opening up new business, it might have prospered immensely. But because it was in a commercial environment that would have been well-suited to a tribe of monks, it was necessary for us to create a stir and generate publicity by offering incentives which we thought would stimulate commerce.

  • So we hired a good Santa Claus, who alternated wearing both a red suit and a white suit.  Unique.
  • We had parades through the parking lot to draw attention to ourselves and increase interest.
  • And our third little escapade was to start something we called The Elf Control Band.

I went into a recording studio, took some classic rock songs and replaced the lyrics with Christmas sentiments (often silly in content) and then took my children–who ranged in age from third grade to junior high school–to embody these band members, dressing them in rubber elf ears, striped socks, funny hats, then placing them on a stage, lip-syncing and dancing to the songs which I had recorded.

To our amazement, this actually worked.

Although to this day my children insist that they do not have fond memories of the excursion, we got press coverage, television cameras and probably drew in the most “mall millers” this particular shopping center had experienced since they discovered fifteen dead raccoons in the heating ducts two years earlier.

We stocked our store with decorations and as much inventory as we could afford, and to our great fortune, only ended up by Christmas Day, losing about ten thousand dollars.

But here’s what I know: my children would never have had the experience of doing this together, creating a bond which has now lasted a lifetime. Matter of fact, one of them picked up a bass guitar that Christmas season which he has never put down and still plays funk and jazz today. Another one of the children started playing tambourine, cow bell and wood block and branched out into a career in drumline and technical support for those who march to a different beat.

It was truly amazing. It was creative in an environment where such shenanigans were viewed as bizarre, but still managed to gain enough acceptability to produce a smirk or two instead of just leers.

What I learned from The Elf Control Band is that even though something may seem silly, frivolous, out of step with the times or just downright ridiculous, it still can produce great benefit if energized by passion and love of life.

Some people spend their time wishing for what they could do. Others lament what they’ve already done.

I like to go out and do stuff and then … remember the good parts.

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

Full of Wonder … September 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2008)

watchLife is usually so full that we wonder if things are going to work. Yes, those are the building blocks for wonderful.

Without the pressure and often intimidation of a challenging schedule, there is also an absence of the possibility of great benefit and blessing.

I ran headlong into this scenario yesterday. I arrived at a church where things were very busy. After all, there was a boy who needed to be baptized, church ladies who required thanks for all their work putting together delicacies, finance procured for the congregation, the “pray” needed “luded” and the “dox” needed a bit of “ology.”

It kind of squeezed me into a corner of limited time and  I felt like an accordionist in a polka band who thought he was coming to perform for a bar mitzvah but ended up gigging at a circumcision–cut short.

Being a human, my first inclination was to be frustrated. Now understand–this was not directed at anyone else, it was just that my “full” didn’t seem to be heading towards “wonder.”

I took a deep breath–literally–then set into motion a process I have grown accustomed to using when my humanity wants to become unraveled in public.

1. Less is more, if less is given a chance. In other words, whatever time I use, I should use wisely and excellently.

2. Don’t be in a hurry when you haven’t got enough time to waste. The three crazy demons that infest humanity, causing us to look inept, are hurry, worry and flurry. (They tend to clump, by the way.)

3. Rejoicing is more attractive than lamenting. Being grateful for the opportunity to have any opening in life is much more powerful than complaining about the portion provided.

4. Focus on people, and God will show up. After all, nobody out in the audience knew what I expected, so any complaint coming from my lips would make me look absolutely ridiculous.

5. Nothing is personal unless you take it personally.

6. Do well. Sometimes the spotlight only hits you for a minute. Be ready.

7. And finally, don’t expect–but do be prepared.

I just exercised my human right to buy some time and do things better instead of freaking out and doing things poorly and making excuses about my lousy presentation.

You know what? It ended up being a great day, even amazing.

For the reason that God’s grace is sufficient for us is not just that He gives us favor because we’re His children–it’s because He gives us full schedules, where we wonder if things are going to work out.

And when they do, we discover the true definition of “wonderful.”

 

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

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