Jesonian … January 6th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sitting my eleven-year-old self down right in the middle of the Junior High Sunday School class, my attention was riveted on the astounding, emerging breasts of Terry and Linda.

All at once I was startled by some words that came out of the mouth of our schoolmarm-deacon’s-wife teacher. She was reading the names of the twelves disciples when she stated, without flinching, “James, the Less.”

It just piqued my curiosity–so much so that I raised my hand to ask a question. She was so flabbergasted at seeing a student express interest that she paused for a second, and then finally acknowledged me.

I asked, “James the Less? Who made him ‘Less?’ And who has the right to call him that?”

She was stymied. My particular question was not covered in lesson book under “potential points of discussion.”

I waited for her response. At length, she replied, “Well, I don’t know for sure, but maybe it’s because he wasn’t as important as the other James.”

This infuriated me. A God in Heaven who thinks some people are more important than others? How can He be “no respecter of persons” when He’s keeping a private list of “Faves?”

I objected, and all at once some of the other students (who had been deep in Sunday-morning comas) began to listen, and agreed with my concerns. What right did we have to call this James “the Less” and give the other James more value?

Even though this was many years ago, I had been trained in a spiritual communism. Amazingly, we still tout these concept even today.

Everyone is the same, as far as their worth.

Everything that everyone does is just as precious as what another person does.

Of course, this is total foolishness.

I do expect my airline pilot to have more expertise than the city bus driver. I’m not taking anything away from the bus driver, but I am asking the airline pilot to take his job very seriously, and to show up with integrity and deeper knowledge.

We must understand that James the Less was given that name on Jesus’ watch. Jesus had three disciples he favored over the other nine. Favored in what way? Whenever he went into critical situations or needed men of great faith, Peter, James and John were ushered to the front.

Yet we never feel as if the others are slighted–until one day they decided to get fussy. They sat around and discussed who would be the greatest. To stimulate the conversation, they had to begin with the premise that each one of them was just as essential as the other.

Jesus rebuked them. He said, “These are concerns that the world has. It won’t be that way with you. For you, he that would be master must be a servant.”

Jesus offered a Jesonian philosophy. It still works today. When Jesus found people, he did three things:

1. This is who you are.

When a man with many demons cast out of him wanted to join Jesus’ troup, he sent the man back to his own town, to spread the word.

“This is who you are.”

Much of our life span is wasted denying who we are. Maybe we find it insufficient. Maybe we think we should be given more focus. But in the process of arguing over who we are, we fail to reach the second point.

2. This is why it is good.

The greatest gift we can give anyone is to help them understand why who they are is so good. James the Less was not offended because James the Less knew who he was and why that was a great contribution to the cause.

James, who was considered greater, was balanced out by realizing that in order to maintain his place in the front lines, he needed to be “servant of all,” even to James the Less.

3. The Gospel will show you how you can peak.

Yes, once you find out who you are and realize that it’s good, Jesus has a style to grant you relevance.

I always have to giggle when I hear someone advertise “The Great Smoky Mountains.” Actually, when you place a Smoky Mountain next to Mount Everest, it might look like flat land. But because the Smoky Mountains are strategically placed–where there are no other mountains around to compete–they are not only beautiful and entertaining, but considering their location, can be called “great.”

Find your location and peak. Don’t situate yourself next to people who have a different mission and try to pull them down, criticizing them to make yourself look better.

The Gospel of Jesus teaches you how to peak in your own arena.

Unfortunately, my schoolmarm at the church that day could not give me an answer to my question. She was just like me. She was taught that calling someone “less” was an insult.

Actually, when you’re James the Less, you just use wisdom to make sure you don’t hang around the other James too much–but instead, find out who you are and why that’s good.

And then let the Gospel show you how to peak.

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Ask Jonathots … January 5th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

How important is self-esteem?

Damaged people.

They are everywhere.

It would be foolish not to include ourselves.

But as important as it is to acknowledge the damage, it is even more essential to prescribe the correct repair.

Self-esteem is like going out and buying a large picture to hang over the hole in your wall. It is not a solution, but rather, a temporary fix.

Self-esteem functions under three very dangerous premises:

1. Because you were born, you matter.

2. There’s no one quite like you.

3. Therefore, you are special.

This particular “candy-bar philosophy” has no grounding in reality.

There are concepts, however, which have proven to have longevity. For instance, the Bible says:

  • All have sinned.
  • There’s none righteous.
  • Whosoever will may come.
  • God is no respecter of persons.

A completely different approach.

In self-esteem, we are encouraged to ignore our problems and deny our commonality. Unfortunately, if everybody is special, then nobody’s special. If everybody matters, then it’s difficult to get personal attention.

So what should we be trying to achieve? Self awareness.

I have some good.

I have some bad.

I have some lazy.

I have some worry.

I have some fret.

I have some genetic predispositions.

I have family.

I have responsibilities.

I have real pressure.

I have phony pressure.

I also have my present talent so I can launch my solutions.

If we cannot be self-aware about our status, we will lean on “puffy” principles, which make us appear more grounded than we actually are.

When we remove the pressure to be right and eliminate the need to be the center of attention, we can begin to understand that the Earth works when we allow place for each other.

Thus, sometimes we’re the head and on other occasions, the tail.

Ironically, self-esteem robs us of the worth we could possess by taking on simple tasks using our ability–and basking in the joy of completion.

Here is the essence of self-awareness:

We are saved by grace.

But we are distinguished by service.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 8th, 2016


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn June 8th

The I’s Keep Coming

I was raped

I am a rapist

I killed a gorilla

I aborted a fetus

I laughed at a vicious joke

I told the joke

I preached a sermon

I am a sinner

I am a virgin

I am promiscuous

I am a liberal

I am a conservative

I cheated on my taxes

I pay too much tax

I am saved

I am lost

I am Muslim

I am Hindu

I hate Jews

I despise Palestinians

I am a Christian

I am an atheist

I love animals

I butcher cows

I bully weaker folks

I pee in the pool

I am an American

I want to kill all Americans

I am a terrorist

I am terrified

I am a racist

I am considered inferior

I am a man

I am a woman

I want to die

I am dying

All God’s children

No respecter of persons

Papa’s love

Mystifying

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A System, Not a Plan… October 10, 2013


Jonathots Daily Blog

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fourGod has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I’m sorry. Just not so.

After a billion years of pursuing human free will and “raining on the just and the unjust,” God has no intention of revising His perfect system by forfeiting His authority to a small group of contemporary theologians, filmmakers, greeting card producers and novelists.

It is impossible for God to be “no respecter of persons” and then turn around and delegate mission, talent, ability and position to specific human beings. What He came up with is brilliant.

It’s a system. A climate. An energy in which we all live, to rise and fall on the merit of our abilities and attitudes.

“As long as you shall live, there shall be seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

I refer to this conglomeration as The Natural Order.

It’s what we all share in common–and because we do, we can share in common. OR we can try to express our supremacy over one another by insisting that the Universal Creator has singled us out above all others for some unique posture which sets us apart from the rest of humanity via our traveling orders.

Ridiculous.

1. Seed time and harvest.

In other words, we have the same soil, so it’s important that we get the right seed. For instance, this is not a great time in the history of mankind to stubbornly pursue intolerance. It is also fairly foolish to follow the bandwagon as it marches down the road repeating old tunes, old ideas and old arrangements instead of creating new music. Get the right seed. That’s how you gain your personal advantage in this life.

2. Cold and heat.

Set the temperature. Sometimes it’s important to be hot and passionate. On other occasions, wisdom tells you to cool your heels–relax and trust what you’ve already planted to grow, instead of becoming impatient. Setting the temperature for your endeavors grants you the insight of surviving the wait without feeling the weight.

3. Summer and winter.

Learn the seasons. As Ecclesiastes says, “to everything there is a season.” What does that mean? It means you should not be harvesting when you haven’t planted and you shouldn’t insist on pursuing ideas which have proven to be ineffective simply because they favor your party line. Study the world. Study the faces of the people around you. See what is conducive to change. See what change is conducive to the people.

4. Day and night.

One of the ways we know that young humans have actually grown up is that they stop feeling the need to stay up all night in order to prove their independence. The human experience requires compartments of time. I believe there are two things you should do every day to create faithfulness, two things you should do every day to generate adventure, and two things you should do every day to remind you to be merciful. Work the clock.

This Natural Order is the four-part system given to every human being, and NoOne is better than anyone else. Learn it, use it, expand with it and honor it. You will succeed.

  • Get the right seed
  • Set the temperature
  • Learn the seasons
  • And work the clock

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