Good News and Better News… April 3rd, 2017

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Perhaps a good definition for foolishness is to pursue an answer which you already have acquired, hoping that this time you will get a different response.

It’s kind of like when religious people ask, “What would Jesus do?”

I guess the concept is that his desires and inclinations may be such a mystery that we need to go to fasting and prayer to attain them.

Actually, all the church would have to do is ask the question, “What did Jesus do?”

It’s not like his life is a secret. He didn’t withhold his preferences from us. And it’s not like he didn’t lay out a road map for both his personality and his heart–whether it was about politics, where Jesus made it clear that he had no preference–any Caesar was as good as any other Caesar. And in the realm of social matters, Jesus was clear about the existence of the natural order, but if that is altered by human free will, we are not to judge others who choose a different path.

Jesus certainly made it clear that women were equals, though his church today continues to forbid them place and purpose.

So I guess we continue to pose “what would Jesus do?” so that we can slam enough scriptures together, out of context, to make it look like Jesus would agree with us.

What Jesus liked was obvious: humility, endurance, personal responsibility, faith, compassion and honesty.

What Jesus did not like was equally as obvious: hypocrisy, pretense, superiority, laziness, prejudice and over-emphasis on family and culture.

We could make great strides in the church if we ceased pretending that we are bewildered about the mind of Christ. Shoot, the Apostle Paul told us that “we have the mind of Christ.”

So why not use it?

Here’s the good news: Jesus is an open book. (Four of them, in fact–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.)

The better news is that when you study his character, you find out that he offers the only path which leads to peaceful coexistence among human beings.

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Ask Jonathots… July 21st, 2016

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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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Ask Jonathots… June 23rd, 2016

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In this political season, I find myself thinking about the issue of lying. We point fingers–but at the same time, accept the notion that “all politicians lie.” And I must admit, I’ve told my share of whoppers. So what is the truth about lying? Is it possible to live life without doing it?

Telling the truth is not a virtue.

It’s not like giving to the poor, sacrificing one’s life for your country or even rescuing baby seals from the Canadians.

Telling the truth is an issue of survival. It is essential to accomplishing our goals.

So is the truth built into the natural order?

Yes. Because when the truth is not told, there is no way to adequately proceed with our lives–the premise we’re basing everything on is sand instead of rock.

In other words, someone might turn to me and say, “Do you think you can drive to Albuquerque by next Thursday?”

If my immediate response is yes, without checking the mileage, then I easily make myself a liar when Thursday rolls around and I have not arrived in Albuquerque.

It may sound noble to ask people to tell the truth. But every human being wants to look like he or she is at the top of their game–always putting their best foot forward. This nurtures lying.

The best way to escape lying is to learn the majesty of three responses:

1. I don’t know.

You can avoid about 50% of your lying by being willing to admit that you don’t know. With the availability of the Internet, “I don’t know” does not mean you will remain ignorant. It just means you are not going to lie.

2. I’ve never done it before.

A good portion of our lying is in the arena of the false promotion of our efforts and background. If you’ve never done it before, that does not mean you don’t get to do it now–it just means that those who are asking you to participate should be aware that they are dealing with a novice.

3. I’m not so sure this is something I like.

Politeness contributes to a huge portion of the lying that goes on. If something doesn’t ring your bell, you need to let people know before your bell is “ringless.” This kind of candor will free you of many ridiculous commitments, which you will end up pursuing begrudgingly.

So the first fruits of the truth is to acquire these three intelligent answers.

In doing so, you buy yourself time to learn, consider and be motivated toward enthusiasm.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … March 12th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I hope you don’t mind me sending along my ideas and feelings in the form of this note. I just didn’t want to sit down and have a face-to-face discussion, get interrupted and lose my train of thought.

Even though I see us making gradual progress to understand one another, I feel there is one large hurdle that we just can’t seem to get over.

You think I’m weak.

It’s not your fault. You were taught to do it. All the television shows portray women as having great intelligence, but falling apart under pressure.

You and I were born practically equal.

For the first ten years of our lives, our bodies were almost the same. I ran as fast as you, and you cried like a girl when you fell down and skinned your knee. Then the natural order–Mother Nature–came along and changed things to make sure that our species would be able to have a mother and a father to push the plan ahead.

I got estrogen, which gave me breasts, a period and hormones of sensitivity. You got testosterone, which gave you balls and a single-mindedness toward single-handedly procreating the species.

I no longer could run as fast as you could.

I couldn’t lift as much weight.

A few days every month, I found myself nearly out of commission due to my menstrual cycle.

At that point, you looked upon me as weaker.

It infuriated me. I could still think, feel and react with as much smarts as you, but because of my lesser muscle mass and need to mother children, I felt that I lost respect in your eyes.

I hate that.

It seems ridiculous to me that we view one another based upon the conditions of our genetic responsibility instead of realizing that we are both human beings and share almost everything in common.

I am tired of being the weakling–but I’m also tired of apologizing for having an emotional side which you may or may not understand.

So you try to be sensitive to my lack. That can make you consider me the weaker sex, which can end up with me being nothing more than “the little woman.”

Do you understand? I can’t be just “the little woman” and stay sane. I have to be more than a birthing chamber that ovulates three or four days a month.

I yearn for the time when we were children and had a childlike appreciation for each other. There were no “girl baseball teams” and “boy baseball teams.” We played all the games together.

I don’t want to be your weakling.

I don’t want to struggle to get respect because I’m seen as inferior. I don’t want to be viewed as bitchy and pushy.

Do you understand what I’m saying? Can you fathom how horrible you would feel if you were deemed second-rate? Why would it feel any different for me?

I thank you for reading this.

I’m not trying to blame you–I’m just curious if you can comprehend my heart.

Can we escape the futility of separating the sexes into Mommy and Daddy?

You don’t need to respond, but if you do, be candid and not afraid to share you heart.

I was thinking of you.

Woman

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 13) Logic … February 28th, 2016

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Jesonian hands

Logic is knowing what to use, how much to apply, how long to pursue and who to involve.

Logic is often avoided because people want to revere words like “faith” or “perseverance.”

Unfortunately, because we’re human beings, we often ignore logic–not out of some noble venture of scanning the heavens but rather, due to a stubborn nature or lazy disposition.

There are even those who contend that if they are true believers in a Divine Being, they must reject logic in favor of hope.

But in the Jesonian, we have the balance:  it’s knowing when to apply the right measure of faithful effort.

For sometimes …

1. Let it pay out.

In other words, get your hands on it.

It’s not anybody else’s business but yours. It is in the scope of your ability. It is part of your daily bread. It is the talent that has been given to you, which needs to be multiplied. It is God, sitting back in his easy chair in heaven, waiting for you to take authority.

It is important to know when we are supposed to get our hands on it and mold it into something beautiful.

2. Let it play out.

Get your hands off of it.

Once it has become obvious that our input is counterproductive or useless, the quicker we abandon the present dilemma and move on, the better the chance that the Natural Order can play it out and good things can be born.

We spend too much time arguing at walls about why they are there. We are not called to knock down walls. We are to avoid the walls, and let Mother Nature tear down the barricade.

People ask me what I think about certain issues. Truthfully, I don’t. They are often anti-human, anti-kindness, anti-wisdom and certainly anti-logic.

My job is to let it play out and get my hands off of it.

3. Let it pray out.

Get God’s hands on it.

There is a gap between what we are able to achieve and what needs to be done. It is what the Good Book calls the “need” that God is prepared to supply.

God will always give us wisdom and strength, and sometimes it is His good pleasure to give us the Spirit to intervene on behalf of humanity.

When something is important and your hands cannot touch it, and other hands need to be removed from it, then put it in God’s hands.

This three-part anointing of logic will suit you well in everyday life–just by simply posing the question:

Whose hands are needed here?

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Good News and Better News … January 4th. 2016

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“May the force be with you.”

‘Tis a current sentiment merged with a movie event.

Once again, a hope desiring to see the Heavens save the Earth–a flurry of beliefs in a blizzard of supplications producing an avalanche of conflict.

Yes, while the Jews honor tradition and the Muslims bow to Mecca, the Middle East burns–violently.

Simultaneously, the Baptists preach against, the Lutherans for and the Unitarians insist they never preach.

The Golden Rule becomes just a coined phrase.

We do not need the force to awaken; creation has already given us a Natural Order ripe with a crop of solutions, if we can find laborers to harvest them:

  • Remember, there is no destiny–just a destination.
  • Get along with each other or join the dinosaurs.
  • We are the ones who must awaken and use the force.

Yesterday, this was amazingly acted out to my ears as a young couple in the motel room next door yelled out the problem. It went something like this:

1. “We ain’t got enough and it’s your fault.” (Trying to find blame just lengthens the game.)

2. “You always…” (Humans are never consistent, even in the bad department.)

3. “If I can’t be successful, I at least want to win the argument.” (Keep in mind, all of nothing ends up being the same amount as half of nothing.)

4. “I’m leaving until you come to your senses.” (Unfortunately, reasoning is a profile better performed by at least two.)

The good news, my friends, is that the force has never slept, therefore, need not be awakened. Everything is available if we are willing to ask, seek or knock.

How about some better news?

That would be this: we actually need each other to find all these cures.

By the way, that young couple from the room next door got over their huffing and puffing, and started talking instead of blowing their house down.

May all of us little piggies do the same.

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Ask Jonathots … December 31st, 2015

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I’m 15 years old. Last night my mom and dad started talking about the storms going on this winter and got into a ferocious argument over climate change. My dad says the climate is God’s business and that He’s in control of it, and that people always think the weather is odd. My mom totally thinks we have just about ruined the planet. What are your thoughts on the subject?

One of the most misinterpreted concepts is “God has a plan.”

When that is followed through to a conclusion, you enter a realm of predestination, where our efforts, directions and motivations don’t matter because they are subject to being changed by a Universal Creator.

If by “plan” you mean that Nature takes its course, then you might be onto something.

Faith has no battle with science as long as faith understands that God has set in motion a natural order which works by principles, and not chance.

This is why Jesus told us to study nature–to discern the signs of the sky and apply that same philosophy when we evaluate how we handle our lives.

Therefore, since Nature has a course and is functioning under scientific principles, it is our responsibility as inhabitants of Earth, to study these axioms, be sensitive to them, and adjust to what we can do to be better caretakers.

So the debate over climate change is ridiculous–because it’s not an issue of whether the world is going to end by floods or fire, but whether we can become students of the Natural Order which God has put in place and address the situations of our time.

In other words, if the increase in carbon dioxide is proving, to some degree, to be detrimental, what could possibly be wrong with adjusting our output, to be more aware of Nature’s course?

The problem comes when we feel the need to be dark and dreary, pronouncing doomsday instead of insightful, helpful and hopeful.

Here’s what I would tell your mother and father:

There is an Earth. It is the Lord’s and the fullness of it.

We have been placed here to be an intelligent presence and to take care of the planet and each other. Anything we can do to improve the situation based upon our discoveries makes us good stewards of our home.

It’s as simple as that.

It is useless to talk about climate change and insist it’s going to destroy the world. Equally as meaningless is to treat the Earth like toilet paper and fail to recognize that every action has a reaction, equal in force and opposite in direction.

So my approach is simple:

  • I will listen; I will learn.
  • I will do what I can to help Mother Earth do her job, which is to run her course.
  • I will never be afraid … nor proclaim that our surroundings are without hope.

 

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