It Takes a Knife… February 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2139)

Bowie knifeSelfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy.

Trying to avoid being overly dramatic and resisting the temptation to fall into the cliché of deeming them the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” let me just choose to refer to selfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy as the Four-headed Buffoon.

Of course, no one would admit that our country is plagued by this off-key quartet. So we have come up with different names for the vices:

  • Selfishness is disguised behind self-esteem.
  • Prejudice is marketed as cultural pride.
  • Politics is pushed onto the unsuspecting public as “the great debate.”
  • And apathy is perhaps the worst of all because it hides behind the beauty of “family,” leaving behind the needs of others.

Can I tell you what I’ve learned over my forty years of traveling the country? Railing against the rabble is similar to spitting in the wind and picking off a scab before it heals. It all comes back to haunt you.

So my way of resisting the short-sightedness of selfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy is to bring a knife–something to cut through the foolishness.

For instance, I don’t want to argue with you about what’s selfish. I just want to joyously, almost comically, pursue generosity. And I’m talking about silly giving–a quarter to a kid on the street, a dollar to a street-corner beggar. Anything to cut through the delusion.

Likewise, I don’t want to jump into the argument of race, creed–or sexual orientation, for that matter. I just travel around proclaiming, “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Slice, slice. You can sort it out from there.

And politics is simple. I don’t follow any party–you are in danger of becoming drunken on the liquor of self-satisfaction. I talk about what’s best for the heart of human beings. You know what happens? Sometimes that’s conservative and sometimes it’s liberal. Get my point?

And I take out my great big Bowie knife of being interested to overcome the cloud of apathy that darkens our skies. Yes, I spend an extra minute asking one additional question of another living soul about his or her dreams instead of merely focusing on the weather or “how are the kids are doing?”

It takes a knife to cut. And if we’re ever going to trim away the foolishness of selfishness, prejudice, politics and apathy, it will take the sharpness of generosity, knowing that NoOne is better than anyone else, bringing true emotion and being interested in life … instead of acting like a damn tourist.

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Heaven’s Gates(ville) … January 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2132)

cring and clazzy billboardThe words are quite stunning.

Though if you stop and think about it, it not only makes sense, but sets in motion a way of thinking, a passage of human heart and a philosophy of life which challenges us to excellence, while providing a plain path.

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Although this phrase is contained in the famous Lord’s Prayer, and often receives no more notice than other lines within the structure, it really is the heart and essence of the mind of Jesus.

Think about it. What is my job?

To find out what heaven is going to be like and do my best every day to construct a prototype in the life provided around me. In so doing, I achieve two goals:

  • Confirm that I actually believe in something instead of mouthing words.
  • Bring a little heaven down to earth.

Where it gets complicated is in trying to summarize heaven to a few ideas instead of getting all caught up in “streets of gold, gates of pearl” and ten thousand years of praise and worship.

I made an attempt. And since I’m in Gatesville, Texas, this weekend, I thought I would share with them the three aspects of heaven I feel are transferrable to earth:

1. God.

I don’t think I want a heaven without God. Gee whiz–I think I could get universal agreement on that. The problem is, God has a speckled reputation. Some people think He’s mean, some would portray him as the hall monitor of morality, and others find him ethereal–floating in the clouds. But after all that gets done, the most universal thing I find about God, and certainly played out through his son, Jesus, is that God is love. Any attempt to portray Him with different light is a dilution of His power.

So if heaven exists with a God of love, it is my mission on earth to bring that love–to myself first and then to others.

2. Unity.

I have good news. There will be no political parties in heaven. No denominations. No races. No religions. All that will survive in the place of Supreme Reward are those who have faith and mercy.

No race. No religion. No politics in heaven.

So it stands to reason that if I want to make a little piece of heaven on earth, I should replicate that in my interactions with my brothers and sisters. I have found a quick way of phrasing that phenomenon. I tell everyone I meet that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Yes, I bring a bit of eternal life every time I eliminate the differences between people and replace them with similarities.

3. Joy.

Since God will dry all our tears in heaven, it is safe to believe that the greatest gift of eternal life is joy. So I believe it will be the mission in my life–however long I am allowed to stomp about–to teach happiness, live happiness, share happiness and be happiness.

Yes. “Be of good cheer.”

Verily, verily I say unto you, sadness and worry do nothing to aid our dilemmas–just start the misery early.

So I believe heaven will be a place with God, unity and joy.

This morning, in Gatesville, Texas, I will tell people that God is love, and any other representation is afoul.

I will insist they understand that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” To build little boxes for people is the busy project of the devil’s workshop.

And I will certainly espouse joy and tell the dear folk to “be of good cheer.”

It is not of much value to bring earthly fear to earthly creatures who are basically a little lower than the angels and a bit higher than the monkeys.

Bringing heaven is allowing the God of love to unify us in good cheer.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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All Wrapped Up… December 28, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2104)Bible wrapped

The gospel works.

That’s why we call it “good news.”

On the other hand, our culture is not nearly as efficient. It is often a cult of cop-out convenience.

I don’t wish to become brash or harsh, but I do want to say that there is an ongoing danger of people wrapping the culture of our country in the pretty paper of the Bible, tying it up with the bow of “God and country.”

Let’s make some distinctions:

1. The gospel teaches “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Our culture, on the other hand, promotes the idea, “do unto yourself while including others.”

2. The gospel teaches that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Meanwhile, back at our culture, it is promoted that we are all unique, and therefore different.

3. The gospel: “give and it will be given unto you.” The culture: “get what you can and give to others as you can.”

4. “Don’t judge others.” There’s the gospel. In the culture, we preach, “Don’t allow yourself to be judge.”

5. Continuing on with the gospel: “to he who is given much, much is expected.” We have a three-word cultural mantra: “cut yourself slack.”

6. And finally, the gospel teaches that “whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Yet the popular philosophy in our culture is, “After we reap, we will get around to sowing” with a sidebar of, “It’s not my fault.”

So in an attempt to hold people in a church, we create a surrogate–impregnating faith with our culture.

  • Our sermons are laced with grace, absent any responsibility or guilt.
  • We teach that God has “a wonderful plan for our lives” in order to stay hip with all the fantasy and Hobbit movies.
  • We insist that “God will supply all our need” without warning people that He does expect us to show up and be involved.
  • We pretend we can love the sinner and still hate the sin.
  • We literally screech that God’s salvation and grace is free to all, leaving us with believers who are bound to a culture, habits and lifestyles that are not fulfilling.

I don’t see anything wrong with wrapping the gospel up in what is culturally pleasing. You can use all the technology, all the music stylings and all available data to sparkle the message in a contemporary way. But when you start preaching the culture in the name of the gospel, you are flirting with disaster.

So how do you know when you’re in the presence of the gospel?

You’ll hear a message that teaches us to believe in God … while taking personal responsibility for your hunk of the kingdom.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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Prince of Pieces … December 22, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2098)

big pharisees

Little fellow, what happened?

Prince of peace

Good will toward men

Come and see

Good tidings of great joy

Welcoming working-class stiffs

Wise souls heading westward

Excited young virgin

Questing young man

Simple and free

Do unto others

NoOne is better than anyone else

Judge not

Whosoever will may come

Then … the message was altered, the guest list trimmed.

Over the passage of time, those creaky patriarchs of purposeless passages, who once provided for a wicked king insight about your life and birthing locale, so that he could go and take his evil might in an attempt to slay all innocents–yes, those notoriously negative ninnies who sit around dusty books with dirty minds and prohibit gentleness to permeate the cause, indeed, religionists crept in and gradually ate away at the peacefulness of the baby and replaced it with the growling, garbled language of self-righteous philosophers.

Of course, such self-proclaimed notables are never satisfied with one another, so discussion became debate, which raged into a debacle and devastated everything once laced with good cheer.

Even though you told them to “remain as one,” they defiantly disintegrated into hundreds of pieces, holding fast to their own traditions, proclaiming them to be the commandments of God.

What happened, sweet baby?

Where is your holy loneliness?

Where is the message of hope?

Why is it replaced by doom and gloom?

Are we the light of the world?

Or are you the only beam provided?

Are we the salt of the earth?

Or do you deem us tasteless?

Prince of pieces

I fear, young heart, that we no longer listen to the angels of our better nature

Or follow the star in the sky

As you spoke to an aged, cranky Pharisee so many years ago, warning him of his loss of identity and true heart, I must tell you, Babe of Bethlehem, with all the gentleness I possess and humility of my soul … you, too, must be born again.

 

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

What I NEED for Christmas Is … December 12, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2092)

guitar jass and johann

1. To see the appetite for life reborn in my brothers and sisters of our country.

2. Humility becoming the hip choice.

3. To be a Democrat in my heart and soul and a Republican in my mind and body.

4. Forty-eight people in charge of moving and shaking who still believe we can make a difference.

5. An angry divorce between spirituality and religion, with Jesus being awarded custody of the children.

6. Fifty pounds from my body melted into the cosmos.

7. Telling the truth becoming an accepted, popular fad

8. Americans sharing America with the world.

9. Amazing energy granted to me so I can act out my dreams.

10. NoOne is better than anyone else.

Make room with the “Inn” crowd

I can see the Star

I don’t need a Santa Claus

Let me slide in … and bring my own sack of toys

 

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Five Signs You Are Doing Fine… November 13, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2066)

I'm okWe do not need discouragement to be discouraged.

We are human, capable of getting depressed on our birthday because of the possibility of our imminent death.

Once you realize that we, as a species, are tuned to the negative–and you also come to the realization that merely “acting positive” does not stimulate extra energy or true emotion, you can realistically look at the barometers which allow sunshine to enter our lives instead of dark clouds.

I can think of five of them–a quintet of good signs for “people mental health.”

1. “I don’t complain.”

That doesn’t mean I like everything that happens–but complaining is a mask we wear for arrogance, which stifles our possibilities and eliminates grace from working in our spirits.

2. “I am learning.”

I can always pick out folks who are in trouble because they are resistant to the notion of change and won’t admit that they require refreshing.

3. “I know my gifts.”

Let me give you a definition of gift: a gift is a talent or ability which when applied, normally allows me the opportunity to overcome my difficulty.

4. “I am aware of my limitations.”

There is a power in knowing when to say, “I can’t do that.” It opens the door to collaboration and provides the opportunity for someone more suited to the position to provide excellence.

5. “I am looking for reasons to join in fellowship instead of alienating myself from others.”

If you believe that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” you will constantly be looking out for fellow travelers to chat with and to energize you as you exhort them.

Church attendance is dropping in this country because it’s no longer popular to believe. But it is also drooping because we don’t like each other anymore.

Take a look at that list and realize that a complaining know-it-all who has an over-assessment of his or her ability, and thinks they don’t have weaknesses and avoids interaction with other humans which might create change is probably the most dangerous bomb in the world. They are flesh, stuffed with the explosive of discontentment.

There are your five signs that you are doing fine. Think about them. Better yet, keep a good sense of humor as you change the ones that are undercutting your joy and success.

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

A System, Not a Plan… October 10, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2031)

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

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

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