Good News and Better News… June 19th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dislike–deciding to “diss” liking.

In the pursuit of what we call love, and even unconditional love, we’ve reached a point where we just don’t like each other anymore. We have the appearance of Atlas carrying the world on our shoulders because we feel compelled by our civilized natures to be as calm as possible.

We “diss” liking. We claim great affection for souls around us while privately rolling our eyes, communicating that they are annoying.

So when I arrived yesterday morning at the Ruskin United Methodist Church, I was looking for people who like each other. Because here’s the truth–a paraphrase of John the Apostle: I don’t think you can love God if you don’t like people.

It seems that God is really proud of His creation.

I know we portray an anxious deity, constantly perturbed over our sins, but since He gave us the ability and even the permission, I seriously doubt that He will be terribly upset when we occasionally go errant.

The greatest arrogance, the most self-righteousness, and perhaps the sin of all sins, is to believe that human beings are not worth liking.

  • It’s in our government.
  • It’s in our religious system.
  • It’s in our movies.

We are training ourselves to be suspicious, and failing to acquire great moments of human fellowship that just demand a little bit of mercy and grace.

I’m not one to advocate looking in the rear view mirror and assuming that the past was better than the present, but I will tell you, if there was any era when people were given the chance to excel without being pre-judged, then we might want to reach back into that span of time and regain some of that tenderness.

For the good news is, God likes people.

And the better news is, He loves those who like them, too.

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True Trinity … December 6, 2012

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Jon Signing

The final performance of 2012.

It happened last night at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida, in front of a handful of lovely folk who were unaware of the significance but still managed to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

We did it again. We traveled from coast to coast this year sharing a simple message of “NoOne is better than anyone else” to tens of thousands of people. In the process, I discovered the true trinity. Even though I have no intention of replacing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there IS another triangle of possibilities that work together to our good.

First, you have to love yourself. That’s tricky business. Sometimes when you say it out loud it comes across as pompous and arrogant. But loving yourself is really the intentional blend of self-awareness and hope. In other words: “This is where I presently am and with God’s help, here’s where I’d like to be.” When you mix it that way, it creates an intoxicating brew called humility.

Then, once you’re humble, you’re ready to love people–the second part of our trinity. I must tell you that loving people is not a theory. It is always giving the person right in front of you adequate attention while maintaining your faith in humanity as a whole. That kind of thinking will certainly be challenged by everyday events, which will create in you–patience. In our patience we possess our souls–but also the capacity to love. As you know, without a little bit of long-suffering, love has about a fifteen-minute shelf life.

So you learn to love yourself by using self-awareness and hope, which generates humility. You take that humility out to your fellow human beings and love them, giving them the attention they deserve, use a little bit of faith and it produces patience.

Then you’re finally ready to love God. And those who love God need to do it in spirit and truth, and we know that God loves people who are humble and patient. Too many folks try to love God before they love themselves or others–or they get that self-righteous mixture of loving themselves and God and being prejudiced against others. Or they try to love people and themselves and leave God out of the equation and become frustrated and angry.

No, the true trinity is to love yourself by blending self-awareness and hope to create humility. Then go out and love people, giving them the attention they deserve and a little boost of faith through patience. And then you’re ready to love God in spirit and truth, bringing your humility and patience to the heavenly party.

What I often saw this year was misplaced affection–called love–which didn’t work together, but instead pulled people apart in dissension.

  • Love yourself.
  • Love people.
  • Love God.

It’s a great trinity–well worth our time, energy and worship.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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