Ask Jonathots… September 8th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog


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I had to do a short talk in speech class and wanted to chat about my church experience, but I felt I had to offer a disclaimer about Christianity: “I’m a Christian, but I don’t hate you.” I would love to stop having to do that. How?

Every single week, Americans go and spend money at Wal-Mart, even though it is pretty well known that their products are manufactured through cheap labor, often with the mistreatment of the employees. Should we stop shopping at Wal-Mart because the company has chosen practices that disregard the workers in other countries?

You can feel free to do so, but Wal-Mart is not going to be affected by your decision.

Or you can come to the conclusion that the only responsibility you have is to make sure that your life, your aspirations and your interactions with other human beings are free of intimidation and unfairness.

You’re not responsible for Wal-Mart.

You are responsible for you.

It’s very important that each believer in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth understand that the religious system that represents him is guilty of excess, greed, indifference and at times the subjugation of the poor. The system has drug its feet on issues of human rights and racial and gender equality.

Yet to stop attending a church, turning it over to the indifferent, is failing to capture an opportunity to quietly change the atmosphere.

If enough people show up at the religious system and refuse to merely act in ritual and repetition, then eventually, because the religious system likes to collect offerings, it will have to change in order to accommodate the new spirit.

For instance, I only buy groceries at Wal-Mart. Why? Because most of the products that come into the grocery department are not grown in sweat shops. It is a small consideration but still a difference.

And I don’t refuse to go to the church because it is filled with hypocrisy and vanity, but instead, I go to encourage my brothers and sisters and fellow-humans to be of good cheer, lighten their load and give a damn.

So I suppose if I were standing in front of your speech class, I would say:

“I’m a follower of Jesus. He thinks we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus was fine until the committee showed up–just like the United States was a great idea until politics corrupted it. But I neither give up on Jesus nor the United States just because those who scream the loudest are ignorant. I am a follower of Jesus. I don’t make a very good Christian, because I’m just not religious.”

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Three Ways to Remain Interesting… October 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog



  • Causer
  • Teller
  • Complainer

We are inundated with people who select one of these three profiles as their contribution and involvement in handling problems.

For after all, some people cause problems. All of us occasionally find ourselves in that position.

Then there are those who think they’re very intelligent by telling people where problems exist, without offering any solution.

Then there’s the complainers. They want utopia and are prepared to sass and fuss their way to get it.

Well, you can see the dilemma. Even though all three of these offerings are common, they are also universally disliked. Yes–we are all guilty of doing things that we cannot tolerate in others.

No one likes anyone who causes problems. Likewise, it’s aggravating to be around people who tell us about problems and offer no solution. And certainly, we want to run out of the room screaming when we hear people complaining.

So how can we remain interesting so that human beings actually want to be around us instead of avoiding us?

1. Be a solver.

Please understand, your solution doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be a willingness to go for resolution instead of maintaining fearful reservations.

2. Be a calmer.

I’ve never seen anything accomplished through strife or vanity. Yes, the correct response to a stormy situation is, “Peace, be still.”

Never be in a hurry and never worry. It is a winning combination.

3. And finally, be a listener.

Even though the human tendency is to have 80% interest in ourselves and 20% in others, you can gain great viability simply by dropping your interest in yourself to 60% and your involvement with others to 40%. I often refer to this as “the second question.” For instance, if somebody tells you he’s going on vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains, bump up your stock by inquiring, “Sounds great! Why the Blue Ridge Mountains?” Then give him a chance to talk and yourself to listen.

You can continue to be a causer, a teller and a complainer when it comes to the normal trials and tribulation of everyday life, but people will soon lose interest in you. If you want to stay on the front burner of notice and appreciation. the best way to do that is to be a solver, a calmer and a listener.


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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

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