Ask Jonathots… July 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Last year my friend’s fiancé drowned in a flood. He is very bitter and blames God. What can I say to him?

Before we discuss what you can say to him, let me ask you a question: is it possible that this fiance would have drowned in a flood if there were no God?

In other words, are there floods on Earth? Does water rise? Do people find themselves caught in odd circumstances? And does water filling the lungs kill a person?

The question that’s actually being posed is, “Should God intervene in every situation to eliminate death and destruction?”

And if He were to do that, how would He determine when it was time for someone to actually pass on? In other words, if there were no bad things that happened in life, would there be good things that happen, or just sameness?

We appreciate blessing because we’re fully aware of the possibility of difficulty.

We appreciate our loved ones because we know we’re mortal and susceptible to termination.

So if there were no God, how could one get rid of humans from Earth to make room for more humans? Would we be satisfied with that system, or decry it for its unfairness?

God had an important decision: How could He create a Natural Order which could be studied, but also does its best to keep things even so that the rain and the sunshine “fall on the just and the unjust?”

And after developing this system, was God willing to take the criticism from those who presently feel cheated, and receive too much praise from the ones who are overly confident?

  • Equity.
  • Fairness.
  • Justice.

The best thing God could offer was a clear statement to humanity–study the face of the sky and learn the ways of Nature.

Case in point: I was heading out on tour this year to California when I realized that the weather patterns were forbidding such a maneuver. I changed my itinerary. I based that decision on what I knew about El Nino, and how I have seen it work in the past. I ended up not being caught up in floods and blizzards, but instead, continuing my work unabated.

I used the greatest blessing–it’s called knowledge.

So what do you say to your friend?

I don’t know.

I don’t know what he can hear.

Sometimes it’s just better to hug people until they get their wits about them again.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 30 (November 12th, 1966) Candy Crash … September 6, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

A mumbling conversation.

An attempt to disguise the nasty details of a tragedy from the fragile adolescent.

That would be me–the teen who is to be seen but never understood.

I listened carefully.

Whispers.

Aunt Janice. Uncle Randy. My cousin Jeremy. And my cousin Candy.

My ears perk when I hear “Candy.”

I love Candy. I mean, I love her because she notices me. She believes I’m alive. Her eyes focus on me instead of quickly darting away to other distractions.

The last time I saw her she said, “Jonathan, you look nice today.”

My breath squeezed from my lungs. I thanked her and rushed from the room, went outside, found a corner unto myself and cried.

No one sees me. And certainly, no one thinks I look nice.

So I listened more intently.

Car wreck. Injuries.

And then many hidden words I can’t quite make out.

When suddenly, the room stands still as I hear uttered, “Candy was killed.”

I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t think. I didn’t want to know–but I had to ask them.

They rebuked me for listening in on adult conversations. I didn’t care.

“What happened to Candy?” I shouted, trying to pull up short of a scream.

Driving on vacation in Florida, Aunt Janice, Uncle Randy, Jeremy and Candy were struck by a drunk driver who went left of center, seriously injuring three of them … and killing the flower.

I couldn’t comprehend.

I saw no reasonable purpose for such insanity.

One week passed. It was Candy’s funeral. Aunt Janice was there in a body cast, Randy with a broken leg and Jeremy, all cut up and weeping. The whole room smelled like blood and rubbing alcohol.

One by one, family members passed by Candy’s casket. They paused and wept for a young woman with such promise, struck down at twenty-one.

It was my turn.

I spoke firmly to my legs, asking them to move, and gradually made my way to look into the mahogany box.

It was so odd.

Because she had been thrown through the windshield and severely mutilated, they had constructed a mask of her face made out of plastic, put make-up on it and squeezed it over her fractured features.

Before me was a doll.

It was a mannequin representation of a living soul.

I must have stood there too long because my mother came to my side, poked me in the ribs, and told me to move on.

I did so obediently, having no urge to stare at the harlequin before me. I excused myself and went outside.

About ten minutes later I returned. No one was in the room–just the casket, the empty shell of a saint … and me.

Mustering all my strength, I walked over again and looked at my departed loved one.

I said, “Candy, you look nice today.”

 

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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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

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Populie: The End Is Near… April 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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moonIf politicians want to scare up votes, they always alarm the public with a new “evil empire” which is poised to destroy us and the rest of humanity with a nuclear weapon.

Whenever religion senses apathy or diminishing capacity within the membership, it begins to tout proudly and enthusiastically, “Jesus is coming soon.”

And the entertainment industry, in the pursuit of displaying a social consciousness, makes movies, songs and plays about the destruction of the earth through environmental indifference, which leads us to live in caves and throw rocks at each other.

Meanwhile, real life goes on and doesn’t seem to have enough contestants for the game.

Yes, the POPULIE I am speaking of is the contention–or even insistence–that “the end is near.”

There are three main problems with this particular popular lie:

1. What advantage is it to us to be living in the end times?

If it’s true, it places a greater responsibility on us to be proficient. If not, we go down into the history books, filed away next to “the earth is flat” people and the judges at the Salem Witch Trial.

2. If we believe the world is going to end, we certainly do not want our lives to end.

You see the bigotry here? In other words, God should come and smite the earth while providing us an ark of safety. Why? Do we really want to believe in a God who is a respecter of persons and likes some folks better than others? Are we anxious to see a battle fought in the Middle East where the “blood is so thick that it comes up to the bridles on the horses?”

3. And of course, most important is the foolish, ongoing drivel that the future is determined by destiny.

I personally believe there have been many antichrists on Earth since the prophesy by John in the Good Book. But there have always been enough “christs” on earth to stop them.

I don’t view prophesy to be fact, but rather, warnings–and a word to the wise should be sufficient.

So what can we do in this crazed age of cataclysmic yearning?

A. Then.

Yes. Look at history. Learn from it. Study it. Know that the people who lived before us were humans also, and if you can avoid their mistakes, you don’t have to repeat them.

B. Now.

Live. Take what you’ve learned from “then,” apply it, and let the Spirit lead you every day into gentle conclusions that seek reconciliation instead of trying to foster all of your personal demands.

C. Tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is decided by how well we learn and live.

I will not join in to the craze about the end of the world. I will not scream at the top of my lungs that “Jesus is coming soon,” nor that the polar ice caps are melting, and certainly will not be peering into the skies for missiles.

Then I learn.

Now I live.

Tomorrow is decided by my learning and living.

 

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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.

Two Bits… August 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1972)

coinIn case you didn’t know, two bits are a quarter.

In my lifetime, I have gone from hearing people saying, “a nickel doesn’t buy anything” to “a dime doesn’t buy much” to “a quarter is worthless” and if it weren’t for the ever-loving Dollar Store, we would be tempted to continue the decline.

Basically, I’ve got it figured that life only allows me to offer my two bits. If I spend less than that in my efforts, I end up being cheap and falling short of my dreams. If I try to spend more, I end up in debt to everybody, still explaining why I haven’t achieved much.

So thinking on that today, I decided how I would spend my quarter–two bits.

I wouldn’t give more than a penny for my thoughts, since often they are tempted to swerve into the worry lane. Worry is the most useless expenditure of our two bits–because if it’s important enough to be worthy of worry, it probably requires more effort than concern. And if it isn’t important enough for worry, we always look foolish for taking the detour.

Let me see–I would spend a nickel on prayer, if by prayer, you mean talking to God, listening to God, following what you’ve learned from Mother Nature, and being faithful instead of opinionated.

How about four cents for faith? Why four? It’s a nice alliteration (four for faith) and I also think that faith is just a little less powerful than we make it out to be. Many people would disagree, but I think our faith often flirts with presumption, fear, a bit of futility and a sense of superiority. True faith is finding something that’s substantially good in the first place and investing more of yourself in its advancement.

Moving along–I do think humor is worth a nickel. Humor and prayer are great teammates. While we’re waiting for our prayers to be answered, it’s better to be smiling than staring off in the distance. Good cheer is what keeps us from believing that our prayers are being ignored, and also helps us target our faith in toward joy.bridgedaytime

That leaves me a dime. I would invest that dime in my talent. None of us know how things are going to pan out after we die, and the only thing available is this next breath that fills our lungs with the possibility of usefulness. So focusing on my talent–using it well, perfecting it, multiplying it and placing it into the right situations–is the greatest gift I can offer to the progress of humankind. It may not be a lot, but it’s nice to have it available so if someone asks, you don’t have to waste time being shy or having to rummage through your closet.

So there you go–my two bits.

It’s heavy on using what God has already given me, staying in contact with Him, giggling more than Googling, finding the right spot to insert my faith, and avoiding the stubbornness of worry.

How will you use your two bits? Because if we put them all together–two bits, four bits, six bits–we eventually get a dollar.

And then maybe we can change the world… because the buck will stop here.

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