Good News and Better News … May 7h, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog


West Virginia Jon and Jan

Wedged, Virginia.

Yes, squeezed in between West Virginia and Virginia is the little village of Peterstown, where I was fortunate to spend my Mother’s Day Sunday with the fine brothers and sisters of the Mountaineer State.

I don’t know whether it’s the blessing of aging or a submission of my well-traveled soul, but I seem to be finding greater delight in the human beings around me instead of constantly taking an inventory of their deficits.

I don’t know if the world is getting better or not, but perhaps if I decide to get better, the world might just seem that way.

The good news is that I see a gradual awakening in the American population–an alarm clock going off, letting us know that we’re in need of a new morning. Honestly, no one is springing out of bed to face the day. Most of us are reluctantly reaching over to punch the snooze button, hoping to gain a few more moments of unconsciousness.

But the alarm continues to sound.

It rings in our politics, our racial relationships, our families, our educational system, and certainly in our churches.

As it pertains to the latter, we are mercifully beginning to understand that church is not a dining experience, where we perch, get served a meal, and sit around with our friends discussing the menu and the quality of the attention given to us by the waitress.

Church would be better described as a self-service gas station, where we roll in knowing we need fuel, but understanding that we’re going to have to give something to get it.

That’s what I sensed Sunday morning with the Peterstown conclave.

They might be willing to be served–but they also were completely open to the idea that it is their turn to give back to the system.

God did not create human beings to worship Him. The angels had already filled that position. God created human beings for companionship and to replenish the Earth.

So every minute we spend in His house, we should enjoy sweet fellowship among our friends and great conversation with our Heavenly Father, preparing ourselves to replenish the Earth.

And what does “replenishing the Earth” mean?

Giving back just a little more than we take.

So I come out of my experience in “Wedged, Virginia” rejoicing over the alarm that is awakening our culture from a deep sleep of emotional and spiritual lethargy.

That’s the good news.

The better news is that we human beings are always smarter, sharper and funnier when we’re involved–instead of sittin’ on our butts, waiting for the dinner rolls to be served.

West Virginia Composite 2


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G-38: Poised… August 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog




A quick checklist.

Becoming human, born of a woman, living as a man. Accomplished.

Exiled, time in Egypt. There are no chosen people, just folks who choose well.

Living. Thirty years of just being an everyday brother, friend, son, merchant and helper. Done.

Baptized. Cleansed from inadequacy, tempted as we all are.

The message. We are meant to be blessed. We are called to bless. Amen.

Challenged. Answers without anger; a philosophy put to the test.

Healing. Compassion for the ravaged, opportunity for the depressed. Their faith made them whole.

Resurrection. Lazarus brought back to life. A stir of hope in the hopeless surroundings.


Perhaps mankind can get it right this time.

Waiting to see.

The religious rowdies are too scared to intervene, frightened of government and the crowd.


Spikenard. A gesture of reverent friendship poured out in gratitude, followed by a self-righteous, angry disciple, challenging the waste and leaving the room feeling rebuked.

Suddenly the Spirit of Cain: jealousy, lethargy, mediocrity, arrogance, despair and unresolved conflict.

Murder enters the heart of Judas Iscariot.

Free will shall be honored.

Things have changed.

It is time for Plan B.


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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

Some Total … October 30, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog



This morning it was egg whites, bacon and half a grapefruit. Yesterday, cereal, a few nuts and grapefruit.


I mention the meal because it’s what I partake of right before I write this article to you every day.

Every day.

What a fabulous phrase. As much as we would love to take bows for sporadic activities, pointing to them as an indication of our progress, it is actually what we decide to do every day that energizes our character.

So in a sense, I’m a very selfish man. Even though it may appear that I am graciously offering encouragement to folks all over the world through my scribblings, the action of doing so affords me an emotional and spiritual cleansing daily, which transforms me into the man I am.

I will say this bluntly–if you don’t do something every day that is purposely accomplished, faithfully delivered and inspired by the rejuvenation of new ideas, you will eventually become convinced that life is pretty boring, which can lend itself to anything from lethargy to depression.

So here’s a simple little phrase to remember in becoming an “every day” human being instead of a hit-and-miss planet creature:

SOMEhow do SOMEthing for SOMEbody

Because SOMEday you will be SOMEwhere and need SOME more.

This is a fabulous philosophy, and makes twenty-four hours seem like a lifestyle instead of a waiting room for the next piece of “planned excitement.”

Matter of fact, I was shocked the other day when one of our potential sponsors said that he was going to “pass” on having us in this year, but “maybe next year.”

My mind nearly went into a spastic seizure. Next year?? Doesn’t this fellow know that’s three hundred and sixty-five days away? Three hundred and sixty-five opportunities to gain value, produce emotion and advance the cause. But you see, he’s convinced that he’s mature by being a big planner instead of a simple doer.

Every day.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t even have to be meaningful. It is a quality ritual wherein we prove our belief in the value of life by setting off moments for intentional endeavor.

In doing so, you go from being a victim to a victor.

You transform yourself from haphazard to motivated.

And you start appreciating the power of the rising of the sun and the setting of the same as a great barometer for self-inspection.

Let me say it one more time:

Somehow do something for somebody because someday you will be somewhere … and need some more.


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Flat-Out Tired… March 13, 2013


flat tireFinishing my morning writing session yesterday, having spoken to you about how problems are really doorways to new ideas, I came outside to discover that I had a flat tire on my van.

Candidly, a flat tire might just be the symbol for all representations of inconvenience. Some people would just reach in, grab their spare and change it. I admire those folks–the way I appreciate individuals who win the Decathlon in the Olympics.

It is not me. I am not lazy but my inability combined with my unwillingness can certainly resemble lethargy. But because I had just written to you about doorways, I realized that all this event really did was create a new scenario to some things which absolutely needed to be accomplished anyway.

I had known for two weeks that I should purchase new tires for the back of the van. I was putting it off as long as possible–in order to fulfill my ongoing reputation for a bit of procrastination. There was no more need to procrastinate.

So instead of becoming frustrated, I realized that my morning had changed. Fortunately for me, right next door to our lodging was a car repair shop. Unfortunately, the young manager who walked over to see if he could assist informed me that his business did not handle tires. But in the process of discovering this, he asked me to locate the jack, so I searched through the van, and lo and behold, in moving a few things around, came upon a twenty-dollar bill. Even in the midst of my harried pursuit, I felt a great burst of appreciation.

I tucked it in my pocket, not thinking any more about it, and when it became obvious that this fine gentleman was not going to be able to help me, I reached into my wallet and gave him five dollars for his time. He refused it but I insisted–and he took it and strolled away.

Talking with Jan, we decided it was a good idea to get our tire fixed and incorporate our other duties around the perimeter of the process. So she went back next door to see if that non-tire-repair shop could simply air up our tire, in order for us to drive someplace to get it fixed. Because we had been generous with the young man with the five dollars. two of his employees came over, got the van lifted up with their equipment, took off the old tire and put on our spare. We were grateful.

So I reached into my pocket and pulled out my magic twenty and gave it to them. We went down the road, got two new tires on the van which we needed anyway, and the whole excursion only cost five dollars and a bit of changing of our agenda.

I learned something–I shall call it the “Here Philosophy.”

Life comes along and says, “Here it is.” Honestly, most of us are stalled with just the vision of the situation set before us. If we would just understand that “here it will not change the situation, no matter how much we discuss it or avoid it, we could move to Step 2, which is:

“Here we are.” The essence of this maneuver is to understand that there’s nothing wrong with being dismayed, as long as in the midst of your lamentation, you are gathering your resources to resolve the dilemma. After we survive “Here it is” and we allow ourselves to discover “Here we are,” God arrives.

Here I am,” He says.

That’s right. If I had NOT been in the midst of trying to solve the problem of the flat tire, I would never have moved things around in the van and found the twenty-dollar blessing God had waiting for me. You see what I mean? “Here it is” leads to “Here we are” which leads God to be able to say, “Here I am.”

And once God is linked up with your efforts, you can smile, step out and say, “Here we go.” We are on an adventure instead of a death walk.

And it was. It was NOT a problem–it was a doorway. And once I came through the doorway, I enacted the “Here philosophy:”

  • Here it is: stop fighting it.
  • Here we are: start bringing it.
  • Here I am: thank you, God, for uncovering that twenty-dollar bill.
  • Here we go: we got the tires we needed in the first place.

And, by the way, we were very successful in achieving most of the other projects along the path.

Sometimes life is flat and our tires imitate. When it happens, put into practice the “Here philosophy” and understand that you will never get God to show up–until He’s convinced that you showed up.

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