Practical … October 24, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Nuts-and-Bolts1Meanwhile, back at our dilemma:

The problem we face here on the road at the end of our yearly odyssey will not disappear just because we throw some cynical attitude its way. Trials and tribulations are not impressed with our disgust. And also, you must understand that heavenly conclusions cannot be achieved without pursuing some sort of earthly application.

To put it bluntly, prayer becomes useless if we haven’t tuned our senses to the world around us and find ourselves ready to move out on the opportunities that come our way.

Therefore it is just as possible to pursue a darkened path by saying we have faith in God, but not taking the cues from the world around us, and instead, insisting that our particular miracle must float down from the heavens.

This lends a second possibility in approaching our human quagmires: practical.

Amazingly enough, the Good Book, which is often portrayed as ethereal, is actually better presented as a handbook for planet living. Practical divides into three parts:

  • Count
  • Contend
  • Control

First of all, we should count what we actually have. Don’t expect any progress to be made if you’re not willing to invest what you already possess. Much of the cynicism and darkened conclusions will depart when we realize we have resources.

Case in point: when you’re trying to feed five thousand people, five loaves and two fishes don’t seem like very much, but they aren’t nothing–and at least it affords the opportunity for in-depth conversation.

Secondly, after we know what we have, we need to contend. What does that mean? It means, “Where are we?” Knowing our resources will not always stimulate faith, but sometimes will weaken our resolve. There will be some human effort involved in achieving divine conclusions, so it is necessary for us to understand our emotional state, our spiritual belief, our mental awareness and our physical strength. If we are going to be an army, we need to be well-fed, well-trained and well-armed.

And finally–control. Sometimes the whole problem cannot be whipped in one whack, so we should work on our negotiation skills, to buy time to take on our difficulties one piece at a time.

For instance, here on the road, it is ridiculous for me to worry about what we’re going to do at the end of next month. Instead, I should focus on what happens today and at the end of this week. Won’t that get me closer to my goal?

Count: what do we have?

Contend: where am I emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically?

Control: can I divide this up into smaller pieces?

Pursuing this path removes the specter of darkened cynicism, which opens the door to our Creator being willing to link with His creation. Once that relationship is initiated, our third possibility comes to play.

See you tomorrow.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Moment-O … July 14, 2012

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I think I finally understand.

Sometimes it’s not so much that I’m dense or lacking intelligence, but rather that I have a pernicious unwillingness to come to logical conclusions. You too?

Yet I do finally understand why they refer to alcoholic beverages as “spirits.” There is something inside every human being that knows that we need to be prodded by, if you will, these “spirits”–to foster the better parts of ourselves which energize us instead of leaving us forlorn and bedraggled.

I came to this conclusion last night while sitting in the home of my son, having come to meet and visit my new grandson, Johann Luther Cring.  I brought a little oil along with me so we could anoint and christen the fine young man and welcome him into our family as one of us and also as a member of the noble human race.

It was rife with spirit. Because it was already rich with spirit, there was no need for alcoholic spirits to be introduced into the event. Teetotalers are often critical of those who imbibe, thinking these people are weak of character or just have some sort of desire to turn life into a party. Not so. Deeply ingrained in our genetics is the knowledge that we require emotional explosions to keep us from being overcome by circumstances–or just bored. So if you’re not going to tap one spirit, you end up untapping another.

Last night this just made sense to me–because after all, it IS about grabbing the moment to justify the journey. There is no explanation for a creature of our intellect and potential to live for less than a century and then disappear–unless that life is saturated with living. For that to happen, we need spirit. And to gain spirit, we must allow our emotions to be released from their cage of captivity, to be freed to roam, unleashed and permitted the opportunity to express true heart.

Yes, I am saying it aloud–you can’t touch the spirit of a human being unless you first unlock the emotions. To use spirituality to merely promote prayer, foster fasting, generate giving or wiggle out worship is wasting the mission and worthiness of the quest for God. And unfortunately, most people can’t unlock their emotions unless they’re a little inebriated. So you can either be drunk on spirits from a bottle or uncork the Holy Spirit that’s bottled up inside you and let it take you on its “magical mystery tour.”

Last night was immense. It’s because the process of human expression was honored. Everyone in the room was emotionally invested in the birth of a new son and the joy of knowing that the precarious process, although very natural, was pulled off without tragedy. Because we were emotionally invested, the room was engorged with spirit. We just talked a little better. Our thoughts escaped fiscal responsibility and fears of pending doom, and for a few moments we allowed ourselves to revive and believe again in our dreams. And because the atmosphere was enlivened by spirit, everyone felt mentally renewed. It was like our brains had been cleansed from all the unrighteousness of worry, naughtiness and apprehension.

We were thinking better. And you know what happens when you think better? You actually become thoughtful. And once the brain has a chance to rejuvenate ideas instead of merely falling into a default position, all the participants are physically challenged to be healthier, wealthier and wiser–so that we can be around for a long time to enjoy the company of young Johann.

It was a moment–one that should never be isolated as unique–as long as we know how to pull the fine wine of the spirit from the cellar of our existence and use our emotions to drain the cup of all its sweetness and delight.

You WILL be involved with the Spirit. You can do it by pressing in on the breath of life granted to you by your Creator and becoming emotionally invested in your own pursuits, or you can drink a few glasses of wine until you let your guard down and allow your heart to feel.

I just don’t want to be drunk on anything but life. That’s my choice. I’m not being judgmental of others, but as long as there are opportunities to toast the initiation of those who are born–OR born again–I will use the Spirit that is in me rather than the spirits that merely dribble down my gullet.

I am grateful for this. Now I know this may sound trivial, but I will tell you–the more you allow yourself to be emotionally invested, the opportunity to be “spirited” will suddenly flourish in your soul and you will be mentally renewed and physically challenged to live out a better life.

Although the old saying is “seize the day,” the truth of the matter is, there are too many moments to wait for a whole day to pass.

Leap in.

Bring your heart.

And taste the spirit.

   

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

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