Jesonian … June 16th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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“When are we going to stop all this stuff you’re teaching and go back to who we really are?”

This statement seems to ooze from the twelve disciples throughout Jesus’ entire three-and-a-half year ministry.

They didn’t mind being taught, just as long as they didn’t have to learn.

And they didn’t mind learning sometimes, as long as they didn’t have to apply.

And applying was alright every once in a while, as long as it was a one-time thing that didn’t need to be repeated.

You can look at the disciples as either some of the whiniest men that ever walked the face of the Earth, or be candid and admit that they were typical.

Typical of us all.

Every one of us arrives at the Gospel with too many pre-conceived ideas. No wonder Jesus referred to the experience as being “born again.” Otherwise, we try to join a club that pursues all the traditions we have contrived since our birth.

Why are we going to Samaria?

Why was this man born blind?

Why do you talk so tough to the Pharisees?

Why can’t we divorce women?

Why are we supposed to love our enemies?

Why don’t we kill the Romans and start over again?

Why can’t I be scared in a boat when there’s a storm?

Why are we inviting tax collectors into our really neat band of brothers?

Why can’t we bring down lightning and thunder on the Samaritans?

You see, the Gospel is not just a plan of salvation, it’s also salvation from our plan.

Because without the Gospel, everyone would run hither, thither and yon, starting their own renditions of what Jesus said, coming up with funny-sounding names, and focus on one doctrine over another.

Wait. We’re already doing that.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself is to know that Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion.

It is not a revolving door, where we enter to worship, and leave to catch the beginning of the football game on Sirius Radio on the way home.

The Gospel is the essence of eternity, functioning on Earth. No other philosophy, no other interaction and no other manifesto ever came along which included God, Nature and people.

Instead, each of these other religions focus on one of these factors. In some religions, God is over-emphasized. Other approaches place too much importance on Nature. And of course, there are philosophies which contend it’s a human situation–i.e., every man for himself.

The Gospel is not going away. It is not going to be replaced or even mingled with provincialism. It took the disciples a long time to understand this.

But if we all join together with good hearts and good cheer, we might be able to shorten the process and get people rejoicing again, with exceeding gladness.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: Q is for Quality … March 30, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2547)

Building block Q big

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

“Quality of life.”

It is a phrase that is usually introduced when a catastrophic accident has left a victim comatose, with very little brain activity and response. We then ask the powerful question: are more heroic measures necessary and will they guarantee a quality of life?

Yet I must tell you that in any gathering of human souls, the most common subject that can stimulate conversation is to ask the simple question: How many people here have had a disaster in your life?

All of us are on the other side of a fiasco.

Unfortunately, many folks remain in a coma–not a physical repose, but rather, a startled, unresponsive condition.

The quality of life suffers.

So in considering our journey on this “alphabet of human essentials,” the word quality must be included, because it is necessary periodically for us all to take inventory of our faculties and realize what is paralyzed and needs to be revived. We require:

1. A quality of heart.

To achieve this, we must decide to tell the truth. What stalls our emotions is dodging a maze of lies.

We shut down. It’s too painful to continue and too revealing to admit.

The quality of the heart is always cleansed by deciding to tell the truth.

2. The quality of the soul.

Although there are religionists who tout the power of worship, praise, meditation, fasting and sacraments, the human soul maintains its quality by learning to love people.

Candidly, it’s impossible to carry on a gentle, mature relationship with ourselves when we despise another human being who mirrors our features.

To gain quality of the soul, you must always be in a learning profile to love people.

3. The quality of the mind.

Since the brain is a storage area, it often needs to be cleaned out to make room for our new stuff. We never really acquire a quality in our minds until we’re confident that we’re thinking for ourselves.

To be assured of this, we must abandon teachings, indoctrination and prejudices which were thrust deep into our gray matter as truth–and confirm they are wrong. You achieve quality of the mind when you begin to think for yourself.

4. And finally, there’s the quality of our strength.

Our bodies. The body only demands one thing of us: apply what works.

For instance, yesterday I ate some delicious food. It wasn’t particularly high in calories, nor was it filled with starches and fats. But my particular physicality has grown accustomed to a certain diet and is in no mood to suddenly transform to new recipes.

I had a minor reaction. I learned.

All my body requires of me is that I apply what works to keep a well-oiled, humming machine.

It is possible to survive the accident and end up in a coma. Therefore, it is only natural that we, as human beings, encounter personal tragedy and likewise become suspended in a state of confusion.

Get a quality in your heart, soul, mind and strength by deciding, learning, thinking and applying.

 

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Boiler plate 

Sometimes… January 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2135)

Jon black hat

Sometimes I do something right and I’m surprised how easy it was.

Sometimes I refuse to get upset and end up sleeping better.

I stop talking about God and do my best impersonation.

I refuse to have an opinion and start learning again.

I am amazed that someone wants to make love with me.

Sometimes I don’t honk for honkable offenses.

I laugh at myself  and make more friends.

Sometimes I only eat when I am hungry.

I pretend I’m the other guy looking at me.

Sometimes I don’t have to act interested; I actually am.

I walk back and pick up the trash that fell out of the overstuffed can when I tried to push more in.

Sometimes I really do pray for someone when I say I will pray for him.

I bravely tell the truth and feel clean.

Sometimes I love myself enough not to like me.

And sometimes I wonder if I could upscale … to oftentimes.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

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Five Signs You Are Doing Fine… November 13, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I'm okWe do not need discouragement to be discouraged.

We are human, capable of getting depressed on our birthday because of the possibility of our imminent death.

Once you realize that we, as a species, are tuned to the negative–and you also come to the realization that merely “acting positive” does not stimulate extra energy or true emotion, you can realistically look at the barometers which allow sunshine to enter our lives instead of dark clouds.

I can think of five of them–a quintet of good signs for “people mental health.”

1. “I don’t complain.”

That doesn’t mean I like everything that happens–but complaining is a mask we wear for arrogance, which stifles our possibilities and eliminates grace from working in our spirits.

2. “I am learning.”

I can always pick out folks who are in trouble because they are resistant to the notion of change and won’t admit that they require refreshing.

3. “I know my gifts.”

Let me give you a definition of gift: a gift is a talent or ability which when applied, normally allows me the opportunity to overcome my difficulty.

4. “I am aware of my limitations.”

There is a power in knowing when to say, “I can’t do that.” It opens the door to collaboration and provides the opportunity for someone more suited to the position to provide excellence.

5. “I am looking for reasons to join in fellowship instead of alienating myself from others.”

If you believe that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” you will constantly be looking out for fellow travelers to chat with and to energize you as you exhort them.

Church attendance is dropping in this country because it’s no longer popular to believe. But it is also drooping because we don’t like each other anymore.

Take a look at that list and realize that a complaining know-it-all who has an over-assessment of his or her ability, and thinks they don’t have weaknesses and avoids interaction with other humans which might create change is probably the most dangerous bomb in the world. They are flesh, stuffed with the explosive of discontentment.

There are your five signs that you are doing fine. Think about them. Better yet, keep a good sense of humor as you change the ones that are undercutting your joy and success.

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Quatrain of the Second Coming … October 22, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2044)

Jesus sky

Did you like us?

Will you come back?

Please give us time

We are still learning

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

Published in: on October 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Think and Learn: Heal … January 25, 2013

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lily's kneeThe picture is that of a knee scab on my granddaughter, Lily’s, leg. She acquired the injury while running to the bus stop with her pet bulldog and the fine animal decided to become exuberant, joining her in the scamper, but instead, ended up tackling her like a Baltimore Raven linebacker.

That was two days ago. It is now healing. That’s what it’s supposed to do. That is what is being accomplished.

We are supposed to heal, too, you know. Healing in the human being happens in the mind. The truth of the matter is, you can get emotionally to the point that you’re feeling. You can find a good reason for kneeling, based upon spirit and truth and seeing God’s will done here on earth as it is in heaven. But the healing of our woes and most of our body’s aches and pains happens in the brain. The spirit has to be able to get up there and renew that cranium device. And God, don’t we resist it.

Matter of fact, it is a huge problem in our society. Our thinkers refuse to learn and our learners are devoid of thinking.

Yes, the people who are leaders in our country, who should be thinking up new ideas on how to get us out of our doldrums, do not have the ability to learn the new things that are necessary to keep their thinking fluid. The young folks in our country, who do accumulate new information, are not being taught how to take those bits and pieces of data and put them into practice in a thinking environment. So our thinkers don’t learn and our learners can’t think.

Nothing gets healed.

What you want in your life is a brain that can think, remembering all the experiences that are pertinent to your situation, but is equally pliable to learn every new piece of valuable input provided, to make the solution process more effective.

How do we get there? How do we get to a place where our brain sets healing into motion throughout our entire being?

After we learn to feel, being touched by infirmities and tempted by the various devices in life, and then we kneel in worship at the beauty of spirit and truth, we have gained the good cheer and common sense to blend thinking and learning.

If I am stuck with what I currently know for the rest of my life, I am limited. On the other hand, if I am always learning and never “coming to the knowledge of the truth,” I am equally as perplexed. Healing happens inside us when we combine what we think and know with what we learn and acquire. It is the perfect balance.

Once you feel, you have a reason to kneel. And once you kneel, you can heal those things that ail your mind–to walk in newness of life.

Think–yes, indeed. Use your brain. Conjure all the memories of past victories and the lessons from the defeats. But then, allow yourself to be renewed by learning everything available to you, receiving counsel and blending what you think with what you’ve learned, in order to generate your healing.

It is a powerful way to live. It is the only way to be healed.

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Two Speeches (not from the stump) … September 23, 2012

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I don’t agree.

Political parties and pundits tend to aggravate some little open wound in my soul which refuses to heal, becoming calloused to the bizarre. I guess the popular thinking is that a certain amount of lying, cheating, attacking, fussing and maneuvering of truth is necessary to win an election. I not only disagree with this premise, but I wonder if anyone has actually ever tried to utilize the facts faithfully to a conclusion before giving up early in the pursuit to strike back over a recent smarting smack.

What I will share with you today are two speeches–one from each of the men running for President of the United States. These discourses don’t actually exist, of course. They are what I feel each individual candidate might want to express if he was intent on winning the job on both merit and humility. I will begin with the incumbent:

My name is Barack Obama. I would like to continue being your President. I guess, in a manner of speaking, you could say that I won the job four years ago. I have learned that there is a difference between winning and succeeding. I was not ready for all the surprises. No one can be prepared–because, dear folks, there is a world of problems out there in what we call the world. It is impossible to understand that in entirety until you actually get in the position where you need to make decisions that affect the lives of millions. But I have learned. May I tell you this–it is not easy to learn. You are tempted to explain your mishaps and trumpet your victories. Here is an assessment: some of my decisions were good. Others are still working out. Some of my choices, though, didn’t completely address the need. Once again–learning. To be President of the United States, in my opinion, means you have to know the difference among those three conclusions. I will tell you, after four years, I understand so much better what is going to be effective and what is a waste of energy. So let me tell you what I would like to do, should you grant me four more years:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

I ask you to give me a chance to use what I have learned. Thank you for your trust.

Another offering:

My name is Mitt Romney. I want to be President of the United States. I have no experience in this job. I have lived a full life. I have a collective understanding of business and commerce, discovered through my work,  family and adult journey. I am rich. It doesn’t make me better. It also doesn’t make me the enemy. I understand that when you are given much, much is required of you. I realize that I will be taking what I have experienced and using it the best I can, while learning how to be a good President. I will need help–not because I am helpless; it’s just that some of the assistance will need to come from Republicans, Democrats, independents and Americans of all types. I will need to listen to all of these voices because they are you. I will:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

Thank you for your time. I can’t promise you an easy solution–I can tell you that we will be able to do this together. I will bring all I know and a heart to learn more. Thank you for your trust.

The pundits would not like with these two speeches. They would insist that showing vulnerability is displaying weakness, and since they believe that politics is a jungle, that such openness would turn a candidate into a lame antelope instead of a roaring lion. Maybe they’re right. But see–we don’t know. There is no way to be sure, because no one has ever had the guts and determination to stay faithful to the understandable truth throughout an entire campaign. I will tell you this–without a heart filled with simplicity and a humble spirit, the responsibility of guiding human beings is carried out by a fool instead of a righteous king.

Two speeches–it is my offering for today. I guess my only counsel to you would be that the more you hear of these admissions from which ever candidate, the better prepared he will be for the inevitable struggle of leadership.

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