Good News and Better News … February 26th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog


I dig faith.

It’s what I claim to believe. My belief, though, is constantly challenged by problems and fatigue. Truthfully, faith does not sustain me. Rather, it is there to energize my hope. It causes me to reach for more.

I live off perspective. I do not see faith. Perspective is what I do see, and how I process it.

It begins with tinglings and inklings in my being, whenever I hear the word “Earth.”

What is the Earth to me? Is it an accident? Is it a punishment? How about a planet that is damned?

The Garden of Eden–a hopeless experiment? An orb floating through space, in rebellion to the Force, waiting to be disintegrated if it doesn’t comply?

My perspective of Earth is also my passion for life. If I think that I’m stumbling–trembling my way through 70-plus years of sorrow, to finally be rewarded with a heavenly utopia, then I will claim to be a person of faith, while acting like a miserable son-of-a-bitch.

On the other hand, if I try to make the Earth the center of the Universe, the Great Mama to be worshipped and honored, I will soon become angry with all the Homo sapiens who infest my surroundings as they gradually destroy our Mother.

Now, this could make me nasty.

People often wonder why there is so much belligerence on Earth–why folks seem so cranked and ready to fight.

It’s because their faith is greater than their perspective.

It’s an easy thing to believe in God. It’s not so easy to find God in what surrounds us. To achieve this, we must gain the correct perspective:

  • We must realize that the Natural Order is geared to rain on the just and the unjust without apology.
  • We must understand that whatever we sow we will certainly reap, even if we just came back from a seminar on grace, informing us that we are free from responsibility for our actions.

What is your perspective?

To be a Jesonian person is to understand the heart of Jesus. Jesus was thoroughly committed to the notion that the Father’s will could be done on Earth as it is in heaven. He put it right in the middle of his favorite prayer.

If the Earth is cursed, then aren’t the inhabitants equally doomed?

Will there be only 144,000 people salvaged?

Is everything meaningless?

Are we just here to confirm our salvation, awaiting the gates of heaven?

The good news is, I have faith. It bolsters my hope.

The better news is, my perspective tells me to value this planet, with the understanding that my passion for my life and work here will be infused into Eternity.


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Heaven’s Gates(ville) … January 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog


cring and clazzy billboardThe words are quite stunning.

Though if you stop and think about it, it not only makes sense, but sets in motion a way of thinking, a passage of human heart and a philosophy of life which challenges us to excellence, while providing a plain path.

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Although this phrase is contained in the famous Lord’s Prayer, and often receives no more notice than other lines within the structure, it really is the heart and essence of the mind of Jesus.

Think about it. What is my job?

To find out what heaven is going to be like and do my best every day to construct a prototype in the life provided around me. In so doing, I achieve two goals:

  • Confirm that I actually believe in something instead of mouthing words.
  • Bring a little heaven down to earth.

Where it gets complicated is in trying to summarize heaven to a few ideas instead of getting all caught up in “streets of gold, gates of pearl” and ten thousand years of praise and worship.

I made an attempt. And since I’m in Gatesville, Texas, this weekend, I thought I would share with them the three aspects of heaven I feel are transferrable to earth:

1. God.

I don’t think I want a heaven without God. Gee whiz–I think I could get universal agreement on that. The problem is, God has a speckled reputation. Some people think He’s mean, some would portray him as the hall monitor of morality, and others find him ethereal–floating in the clouds. But after all that gets done, the most universal thing I find about God, and certainly played out through his son, Jesus, is that God is love. Any attempt to portray Him with different light is a dilution of His power.

So if heaven exists with a God of love, it is my mission on earth to bring that love–to myself first and then to others.

2. Unity.

I have good news. There will be no political parties in heaven. No denominations. No races. No religions. All that will survive in the place of Supreme Reward are those who have faith and mercy.

No race. No religion. No politics in heaven.

So it stands to reason that if I want to make a little piece of heaven on earth, I should replicate that in my interactions with my brothers and sisters. I have found a quick way of phrasing that phenomenon. I tell everyone I meet that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Yes, I bring a bit of eternal life every time I eliminate the differences between people and replace them with similarities.

3. Joy.

Since God will dry all our tears in heaven, it is safe to believe that the greatest gift of eternal life is joy. So I believe it will be the mission in my life–however long I am allowed to stomp about–to teach happiness, live happiness, share happiness and be happiness.

Yes. “Be of good cheer.”

Verily, verily I say unto you, sadness and worry do nothing to aid our dilemmas–just start the misery early.

So I believe heaven will be a place with God, unity and joy.

This morning, in Gatesville, Texas, I will tell people that God is love, and any other representation is afoul.

I will insist they understand that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” To build little boxes for people is the busy project of the devil’s workshop.

And I will certainly espouse joy and tell the dear folk to “be of good cheer.”

It is not of much value to bring earthly fear to earthly creatures who are basically a little lower than the angels and a bit higher than the monkeys.

Bringing heaven is allowing the God of love to unify us in good cheer.

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Spirit and Truth: Kneel … January 24, 2013


kneelSomewhere deep in the woods, the paths of religion and spirituality cross-sect near an old oak tree. Well, perhaps not an oak tree, but I like the poetic music…

Normally, the pursuit of God and the acquisition of God are quite divergent paths. Much of what we choose to believe and follow in our worship is more cultural and traditional than it is actually heavenly or practical.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that as long as we don’t pass it off as some sort of universal edict from the Almighty Creator. But I do believe that somewhere along the line, spirit and truth need to merge into the simplicity of hope which energizes our lifestyle and gives thrust to our efforts.

I think that crossroad occurs when we consider the words from the Lord’s Prayer: “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is where spirit and truth unite to form a true faith for those who dare to believe.

Bluntly, there is nothing that is truly spiritual that isn’t also truthful. And there is nothing that is everlasting in truth that isn’t spiritual. So over the years, many things have been believed by religion which had to be cast aside when revelation of knowledge exposed that these contentions were erroneous–or sometimes completely flawed.

For instance, in our own country, slavery was condoned, promoted and authenticated in the scriptures by religion, which misused and misinterpreted ideas to “buy in” to the complexion of the day. Of course–not by everybody. There were those who were spiritual who understood that slavery was eternally a false institution and therefore had no spirit of God in it. They were right.

So my particular belief system is rather childlike. If I discover something that is true, I also know it’s spiritual. And if I uncover something that is truly spiritual, it’s not difficult to align it with the truth. So where do we begin? What is the ultimate crossroad between religion and spirituality, where we decide to build our personal church and kneel to worship?

I have three of them–the three “stones”  I use as a foundation for my faith in God:

1. NoOne is better than anyone else. I won’t go near any organization, political party or denomination that plays around with this principle or even debates whether there might be exceptions to it. it is non negotiable.

2. Free will is sacred. If you are still living in a theology which insists that “God has a wonderful plan for your life,” you are going to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for God, who is on the other side of the room, waiting for you. No earthly mother or father would make a plan for their children and dangle it in front of them as a condition of receiving approval and love. Why do you think God would do that? The day you understand that God has a wonderful life for your plan, you will start moving out on your talents and succeeding, instead of waiting for Divine inspiration–which has already arrived.

3. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. You’ve got to be careful with this one–many religious organizations insist they believe it, until you happen to do something they disagree with, and then you find yourself suddenly shunned or separated. This means that even the sinful nature that may come across our paths is not able to separate the sinner from the mercy and tenderness of his heavenly Father. Don’t try it. When you are the one to tell one of God’s children that he or she is not part of the family because of their predilections or weaknesses, you will not only incur the frustration of the person you have shut out, but will also find yourself on the wrong end of discipline coming from your heavenly Father.

There you go. Those three ideas are enough to maintain an exciting, vibrant, spiritual, intellectual, romantic and jubilant life. You can feel free to toy with other traditions or suggestions, but be fully aware that if you decide to mess with what God has already put in place, you will end up on the wrong side of history.

Where religion and spirituality meet is called spirit and truth.

It is where we pursue God’s will being done here on earth as it is in heaven, and we realize that if it can’t be done here on earth, then we have to question whether it was God’s idea in the first place.

Too simple? Maybe so. But complication is when we lose our true belief and sacrifice it to error.

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Our Father, Who ART … April 28, 2012


God worries me.

I mean, after all the years of Him fidgeting over my foibles, maybe it’s my turn to do a little worrying. What worries me about God is that in an attempt to keep free will intact and faith functioning, He puts promotion of His concepts and even His identity into some pretty pitiful hands. So what really troubles me is that I am asked to believe in some One or some Thing that is so ill-defined that the minute I try to concretely establish my devotion in a particular direction, one of these “authorities” will step in and tell me that I am erred in my assertion.

There is no doubt about it–God definitely needs a better public relations firm to represent Him.

Because some people portray His Holiness as being a business man–“business as usual.” “How’s the corporation of the universe coming along?” “Let’s take a look at the bottom line.” “We’ll be able to increase profits if we lay off a few people, send a typhoon and eliminate the competition.” Am I the only one who has trouble envisioning Our Father as Donald Trump? Do I really want to worship some CEO who’s always plotting whether it’s time to fire me?

Then there are others who would lead you to believe that God’s a politician. Matter of fact, I think they would insist that He’s opened up some branch office of heaven right outside Washington, D.C., near the Beltway. So the minute you think you know what His position is on some particular issue, it may change to gain a political advantage over His enemy, who is obviously anyone who is not conservative–or wait a minute–that could be liberal. So even though I want to be extended grace, I want it because I did fall short of a great ideal and need to repent–not because I’ve been deemed to be in an adversarial party or because some deal has been struck in the back room of a committee, changing the rules. I don’t want God to be a businessman, and I certainly don’t want Him to be a politician.

A preacher?? Do I really want to believe that Our Father is religious? I think of the religious people I’ve known in my life–and many of them have had attributes of generosity, kindness and purity, but with that has come an extremely grumpy side–prone to being judgmental. I can’t afford Our Father to be judgmental. I don’t want to live in a household that wants me to cry over spilled milk. And I don’t want to believe the Ten Commandments dictate whether I will be loved on any particular day. I really don’t appreciate my whole life being broken down to an anecdote followed by three points with a closing benediction.

But on the other hand, I don’t want Him to be a doting daddy. I don’t need to imagine Our Father walking around heaven showing the angels the latest pictures of me on my vacation in Virginia Beach. I do hope there’s no room in glory where every trophy, blue ribbon and A+ I ever received on a paper is on display. I need more than that–more than confirmation that everything I do is all right, or condemnation that everything I do is less than acceptable.

I think there are folks who think that Our Father is nothing more than a manufacturer–kind of like He had this great idea for a new universe, put it together, started to market it, lost interest and is now just looking for someone to purchase it so He can unload the problem. I do not want to believe that I don’t matter. In my more generous moments, I don’t want to believe that YOU don’t matter.

Likewise, I would not want to go along with the folks who insist that God is a great scientist. Is it really all just an experiment? Are we just specimens, brought in to test new products? In other words, is one lab rat just as good as another? Is He looking for answers at the bottom of a test tube? Or is He really interested in all of my inward parts?

I’ve gone up and down the list of possibilities of what God might be like–paralleling the avocations and occupations of our earth–and at the end of my search, I’ve only come up with one acceptable, pleasing alternative:

Our Father, who ART…

That’s it. God is ART. He’s an artist. There it was, all the time, buried in that Lord’s Prayer–and we thought it was just a transitional verb.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? What do we know about artists?

  • They’re always trying to create something. Doesn’t that sound like God?
  • They’re willing to evolve. Hell-o?? You see what I mean?
  • They’re looking for beauty in everything, including a pile of trash, which they turn into performance art. That’s me, baby!
  • They’re a little Bohemian–not stuffy and staunch, like Aunt Mabel following Sunday services.
  • They’re interested in other people’s creative ventures.
  • They always believe there’s something that could be done from scratch to make things enlightened.
  • They are struggling. Don’t you want to have a God who is still trying to find ways to improve the situation?
  • And they are neither liberal nor conservative, just … thinking. If thinking is against the law of any organization, you probably shouldn’t join.

God is an artist. That’s it! He would like to make a profit, like a businessman, but if He doesn’t, He’ll open up another can of tuna. He’s willing to enter the political world to try to get his art more recognition–but as long as a little child stops, stares and smiles, He’s pleased. He wants to proclaim the great joy of birthing a new, glorious project, but doesn’t sit around and criticize others who don’t catch the vision. He dotes a bit over His creations, but also is very well aware of the place where a little bit more blue would have been preferable to the moss green. He is a manufacturer, but resents the notion that any one of His creations could be exactly duplicated on an assembly line. And He has a process–a faithful of procuring of the energy from within His soul to produce His art–but He wouldn’t call it a formula, like a scientist does.

There you go.

I feel so much better. I don’t have to worry about God anymore. It was especially becoming distressing to me in this day and age, when atheists and agnostics are beginning to arrive in more attractive packages. When I grew up the only recognizable atheist was Madeline Murray O’Hare, who greatly resembled the witch who ate Hansel and Gretel. But now we have comedians, actors, politicians and cool people denying “Our Father.” All you have to do to get the best parts of a Creator is remove all the worst parts of promoting Him. I would tell Bill Maher that our world is better with Our Father.

I don’t need religion–which brings in the businessman, the politician, the preacher, the daddy, the manufacturer or the scientist. I do require Our Father, who ART. I want a friend who likes to make things from scratch and proudly display them as part of His own soul. I want a beatnik Creator–so that at some point, after I’ve shed this mortal frame, I can greet Him, give Him some skin and say: “Cool, Daddy-o.”


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Stinky Worms — September 22, 2011



People complain.  Usually two reasons–first, they complain because they don’t think they get what they deserve; and secondly, deep in their hearts, they know they don’t really deserve it, so they complain about how their unworthiness is going to leave them out in the cold.

It’s always been the same. Even back in the Old Testament, the children of Israel were freed from Egypt to go into a desert where they became hungry. So as the story goes, God sent manna from heaven. It was a little wafer that tasted like honey, landing on the grass each morning, and all they had to do was go out and gather it–an omer apiece, for each man, woman and child.  Now, I don’t know what an omer is, and the Bible tries to assist our understanding by explaining that it is one-tenth of an ephah. (Thanks a lot.) So let’s just say that it’s somewhere between the size of a McDonald’s coffee cup and the trunk of a Chevy Impala.

Here was the catch for this magic bread–it only lasted for a day. So if you tried to store it up, you would wake up the next morning and it would be full of worms and it would stink. (I assume this was God’s way of making sure that people would not horde, creating the dreaded “omer envy.” )

Yes–stinky worms. The manna was for today and if you didn’t use it, it turned into stinky worms. 

Right on point. Likewise, if we don’t use our daily bread of emotional give-and-take to heal ourselves and keep ourselves fresh for each and every moment of our lives, we, too, will wake up to a heart filled with stinky worms. There are three types, you know:  doubt, dismay and disgust.

When you don’t deal with your daily bread of emotions and address your feelings in a candid and often-times humorous way, you will find that doubt will become part of your ongoing position. You see, doubt is not something we feel towards God or others. It may manifest itself that way, but because we actually DO love our neighbors as ourselves, when we cease to comprehend that we are going to attempt to address our own difficulties, we certainly do not have any faith that others will do it, either.  So we doubt ourselves first, others second, and of course, once you doubt people, it’s hard to believe in a God who made them. Doubt cannot be resolved by telling people to study the Bible or become more spiritual. That’s why Jesus said that “if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed’ and do not doubt in your heart …”

So where does doubt come from?  The emotions. “I did not deal with today’s problems so I probably will not deal with tomorrow’s, so in seven days I will have a week’s worth of difficulty which will certainly make me feel weak.”

Now that’s a stinky worm.

The second one is dismay.

  • ” ‘Dis may be the worst I’ve felt waking up in my whole life.”
  • ” ‘Dis may be the least money I’ve had to live on since I was a baby.”
  • ” ‘Dis may be the worst group of people on any job that I’ve ever held.”

Because once you realize that you’re going to dodge your emotions instead of dealing with them, a bit of dismay comes into your life about the prospects of improving your situation and making things better. Candidly, this is where I meet most people. They’ve already given up on the notion of newness of life; they have not seen their faith in God deliver any practical goods to the table and they’re going through the motions of adulthood without any sense that improvement is on the way.

Now that is a stinky worm.

Which lends itself to the final “smelly wiggly”–disgust. It’s so easy to become disgusted. Disgust is the sensation that fills our being when a seed of anticipation we had in our youth is snatched away and we’re just left with dirt. We can’t even stare at the dirt, hoping something will grow, because we know the seed is gone. It makes us grumpy with other people, selfish over the few crumbs we have and suspicious of anything or anyone who would suggest that life has potential.

It is a stinky worm.

Once you decide that you’re going to table the discussion of your emotions and what you feel, you open the door to worms inhabiting your daily bread–because it was never meant to last more than twenty-four hours. 

Doubt, dismay and disgust.

So politics feeds on these worms by trying to make people even more disgruntled with present conditions. Religion acknowledges the worms by telling us that “someday we’ll go to a better place that isn’t infested.” Corporations attempt to advertise less wormy options. But no one addresses the real problem. When we receive our daily bread of both trial and opportunity, if we do not emotionally address what we feel and turn it into a sense of good cheer about our possibilities, we will try to bottle up our feelings and end up with stinky worms.

What can you do with a society that doubts that miracles are still possible, is dismayed over the surroundings presented to them and has a certain amount of disgust about life as a whole? The only possibility is to take our daily bread, use it in the day to address our problems and then, as evening falls, “let it go”–and prepare for the next day’s opportunities.

If you can’t get yourself into the twenty-four-hour period that is afforded you, you will either presumptuously think that tomorrow will be better, or you will give up on all the chances that could come your way.

Stinky worms: doubt, dismay and disgust.

It’s no way to live.  It certainly isn’t what God intended when he created a utopia called Eden. So what can we do to expose our infestation and set in motion a new way of thinking that allows us to deal with our feelings in the correct moment instead of allowing them to decay inside of us? Because what we all need is a sensation of being clean. 

Yes. Clean, baby, clean.

A Day Late–and Duller for Sure — September 21, 2011



“Give us this day our daily bread and …”

Did you ever notice in The Lord’s Prayer that the daily bread part and the forgiving of others is connected?  “Give us our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

So how do food and forgiveness get linked together? Well, obviously, they don’t. So the daily bread spoken of here has nothing to do with nutrition. Let’s be honest–you and I don’t need anybody to give us our bread.  We can both make it and bake it. The daily bread mentioned in this prayer refers to the circumstances coming our way just through the living of life and our awareness for dealing with them in the moment instead of putting it off to another day.

Can I be so bold as to say that our problem as human beings is that we are emotionally dealing with yesterday’s problems when today’s shipment arrives? So we are constantly dialing in the wrong response. When today shows up sunny, we are still trying to recover from yesterday’s downpour.  Therefore we are emotionally diametrically opposed to our own better interests.  Yet we are instructed in this society to keep a cap on ourselves and be a grown up because that’s the way to live.  Yet if you pile enough days up in a row with no reaction, you start building up a storehouse of resentment that completely incapacitates you from receiving blessing when it actually does arrive. So it’s easy to settle in to a sour disposition just to protect oneself from the horror of past unresolved feelings and the apprehension over what’s around the corner.  See what I mean?

Daily bread is for today, not tomorrow.  It is what I need to consume, digest and pass out of me before a new day begins. If I don’t, I become emotionally constipated–disgruntled by the whole process of devouring anything else.

  • Most of us aren’t ready for our miracle because we’re still trying to recover from the horror of hearing about our disease.
  • Most of us are incapable of embracing a new possibility because we are lamenting the last lost horizon.
  • Most of us cannot move into fresh relationships with companions because we are still stinging from the disappointment of our previous encounter.

Daily bread is linked to forgiving others because if we do not clean our slate every twenty-four-hour period, we are not energized to receive new data. This is why it is important to be emotionally forthcoming. It’s an attribute we have tried to assign to women over men or even to one race over another. That is error.

In studying the life of Jesus, the first thing you will notice is that he lives in the moment. He may be on his way to heal a twelve-year-old girl, but when a woman touches the hem of his garment, he stops and celebrates with her because that is what the moment demands emotionally. When he is getting ready to heal a man with a withered hand, he pauses before completing the process to challenge those in the room who were objecting to the procedure because they deemed that it was performed on the wrong day.

“Give us this day our daily bread” is making sure we are ready for this portion of emotional blessing and strain that is coming our way because we have cleaned out the fear, apprehension and misgivings of the previous day. If you don’t do this, you start piling up–you begin to respond on Tuesday to what you should have said on Monday. You will find yourself reacting from last Wednesday’s pent-up anger over a statement made to you on this Wednesday in love that you misinterpret.

Emotional health is realizing that life happens in twenty-four-hour units. You cannot be an emotionally healthy person and misunderstand this concept.

“Give us this day our daily bread”…AND understand that as we forgive others we find forgiveness, which sets in motion a landing space for tomorrow to arrive.

So what happens if we do decide to ignore this concept and we start storing up our daily bread, remembering the events of previous days as we enter the next one? Well, that unfortunate procedure is detailed in another story in the Bible, which ends up with, would you believe it?

Stinky worms.

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