G-Poppers … August 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop just wasn’t sure it was relevant.

He wanted to share a story from the Acts of the Apostles from the Good Book, but was concerned that when it comes to the Bible, many people are looking for religion instead of reality. Yet the parallel to our times was so strong that he decided to take a risk.

The tale is rather obscure and rarely spoken of in church circles. It’s about a fellow named Simon, from Samaria. He is described as a prominent man with great influence and appreciation among his peers. When the disciples of Jesus appear, sharing their message of love and hope, praying for the sick and bringing the Holy Spirit to the masses, Simon is impressed by the anointing and intrigued at the opportunity.

So he approaches Peter. He says, “How much would it cost for me to get the Holy Spirit?”

To a man who believes that material things provide all security, it was logical for Simon to think there was a purchase price for anything and everything. We’re even told that Simon professed to be a believer–but what he was interested in was absorbing the power.

G-Pop would like to pause for a moment and parallel this with Hillary and Donald.

Both of them claim to be Christians, feeling the need to acquire that support and even be immersed in the community. But simultaneously, they deny the power of the message of Jesus of Nazareth and his lifestyle.

  • Jesus did not verbally attack his enemies.
  • Jesus did not subjugate the poor.
  • Jesus did not think that lying was an option.
  • Jesus did not believe that one person was better than another.
  • Jesus did not contend that the Jews had an edge over the Gentiles.

Yet we have two candidates running for President who purport to be followers of Jesus, and are not bearing fruit of his mission in their everyday lives.

Returning to the story, when Peter was offered money by Simon, who was referred to as a Sorcerer, his reply was very blunt. “Take your money and go to hell.”

Today the response given by the Christian community and evangelicals to the Presidential candidates is quite different. It’s because they don’t believe in the insights of Jesus and are looking for a political solution.

What would happen if the Christians in this country stood up to Hillary and Donald?

Because when Peter challenged Simon, there was a happy ending.

Simon repented.

Hillary and Donald will continue to assert that cutting, hurting, attacking, back-biting, gossiping and lying are viable ways to become the leader of our nation until people who treasure faith stand up and say, “To hell with this.”

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Ask Jonathots … August 6th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I’m worried about my best friend. We are both sixteen and have played on our school football and basketball teams for years. So this past year my bud has been changing. He’s avoiding me and other friends, too, and says that he’s not going to play next year. I really think something is wrong, but when I ask him about it he just shrugs me off. What should I do? It’s his life, but I want to intervene.

Two words: best friend.

If he considers you to be his best friend, the question you have to ask yourself is, “Why isn’t he sharing with me?”

Don’t ask the question to make yourself feel bad. Understand that if you are his best friend and he’s not sharing with you, there are only two logical reasons:

  1. What’s going on in his life is too embarrassing to share with anyone else.
  2. He doesn’t think anyone would understand–including you.

Then ask one more question.

Which one of these two possibilities can you address?

You cannot eliminate his embarrassment, but you certainly can express to him–through your actions and your own personal confessions–that you can be trusted and that he can share without fear.

When I can’t get friends to open up to me, I take them to the side and admit something personally with them. Just letting them know that I trust them and that I have problems is often the catalyst that will open their hearts to consider unburdening themselves.

As long as people view you as an unknown, they will avoid you.

You can’t take the embarrassment out of an embarrassing situation, but you can confess some of your weaknesses in private with your best friend–letting him know that there’s no shame in a struggle.

The only real darkness in life is to continue to struggle in shame.

 

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A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

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$3.99 plus $2.00 S & H

$3.99 plus $2.00 S & H

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

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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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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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”

Leaning … November 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2070)

bad weatherI said yes to life, so here comes no–to give me a chance to prove my point.

The push.

I shove off to achieve and circumstances push back. Now what?

Leaning–either to my own understanding, or trusting God. One makes sense to me and the other sounds really religious. But here’s the problem with my understanding: it is generations and generations and situations and situations, literally screaming at me, “Be careful!”

Now deep in my soul I know that I’ve never been successful while pursuing a path of caution. I haven’t even managed to manipulate a comfortable status quo. After all, the world is filled with tribulation and if you’re not prepared to adjust to the new dilemmas, you will lose ground even if you don’t move one way or the other.

  • My understanding tells me to find a safe path.
  • My understanding reminds me to protect myself.
  • My understanding has a tendency to negate the feelings of others.
  • My understanding generates suspicion which limits my possibilities by removing folks who could be my benefactors.

Trusting God is the step of allowing myself to “be ready.” Ready for what?

  • Ready for change.
  • Ready for adjustment,
  • Ready to use my talents.
  • Ready to recognize opportunity.
  • Ready to completely alter my circumstances if such a maneuver grants me my heart’s desire.

Yes, it comes down to a choice between “be careful” and “be ready.”

Case in point is what happened to me this weekend in Vandalia. I was a little bit frustrated with the circumstances of an engagement that came our way. It was a late-notice arrangement and I was never fully convinced that the venue wanted us to come in the first place. I’m a human being. I want to be loved, I want to be appreciated and I want to be needed. I felt the church had decided to “accommodate” me. I hate that word. I don’t want to be accommodated–I want to be desired.

So because of that, when a storm watch foretold of bad weather on Sunday night, I seized on the opportunity to cancel the date, fully aware that if there were a tornado watch in the air, all of God’s little children would scurry to their basements.

You see, it sounds logical. But actually I was being careful.

Careful about the storm, careful about the audience, and mostly–careful to avoid humiliation by small attendance.

As it turns out, the alleged vicious outpouring from the heavens never materialized and the concert could have been held without interruption.

My leaning was to my own understanding. Rather than being ready to use my talents, abilities and take a chance that things would work out to the good, I decided to be careful. I did it because I was frustrated, cautious and quite honestly, a little lazy.

So the good folks of Vandalia never got a chance to receive what we could share with them.

  • I was tentative
  • I was traditional.
  • I was fussy.
  • I decided to be careful.

And by the way…I was wrong.

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

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