Three Ways To Change Your Image… April 16, 2015

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cheshire cat smile big

30% of your image is based upon people’s prejudices and 70% of it consists of how you project yoursef. (Honestly, I just made up the percentages, but the balance seems pretty accurate.)

There is nothing you can do about the 30%. You can’t help it if you look like somebody they don’t like, or if you’ve voiced an opinion which found their disfavor.

But you can work on the 70%. You can improve your own image to the public at large.

I would suggest three different techniques, which are fairly easy to enact and don’t demand that you spend forty days in the wilderness, fasting and praying.

1. Smile.

You probably do smile sometimes. Just do it a little more.

The reason for smiling is not to come across as jovial or a sap, but instead, to affect your default face.

We have a countenance we settle into when people aren’t looking or we’re just sitting around. If you’re not accustomed to smiling, that appearance will end up being grim or despaired. The corners of your mouth will turn down instead of slightly turning up.

Keep this in mind–every time you smile, your eyes also rise and light up. Every time you frown, your eyes are cast down.

Smiling lets people know that you’re ready for the challenge because deep in your heart you believe that all things will work together for the good.

2. Courtesy.

Just say “thank you.”

It won’t kill you. It will feel unnatural at first–matter of fact, some folks will say you don’t need to say it. That’s true. And that’s also what makes it powerful.

You will be surprised at how much courtesy has slipped from your mannerisms.

When somebody hands you something, say thank you.

Open a door every once in a while, whether it’s a man or a woman.

And let somebody go in front of you in the grocery line if they only have one item.

It’s a simple act that makes you look like a saint of God.

3. Patience.

Patience is not allowing yourself to be walked on, but instead, making a decision on how you walk and the joy you keep in your life while doing it.

Never sit and wait.

If you discover there’s going to be a wait, do something else.

If you’re stuck in traffic, turn on the radio and start singing at the top of your lungs.

If you’re in a line, pull out your phone and read your emails or strike up a conversation with someone nearby.

Patience is not achieved by learning how to wait. Patience is acquired by distracting yourself from the wait.

Honestly, if you change these three things, you can immediately create a new image.

And in doing so, the landing strip that people allow in their hearts for your ideas will be much wider, longer and more open.

 

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Three Ways to Acquire Patience… January 29, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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popscicle tower bigger

Not everything in life has a purpose, but everything in life can be assigned a purpose.

This is where patience comes to play.

Patience is the tool we pull out of our shed when we run across events which appear to be purposeless, and rather than floundering or losing faith, we hammer down value into the situation.

For after all, every wait becomes a weight unless we change it to a way-to.

So what is patience?

1. Pay attention.

While I am here, I will notice what has brought me to this point, what appears to be available to me to improve my situation and the best ways to set a good idea in motion.

It reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episode, when the man’s truck breaks down in the desert and after several days he dies of thirst and when the rescuers arrive, the bizarre revelation is that all the time, his truck was hauling water.

More often than not if we’re paying attention, our solution–or at least elements of it–are in the surroundings where we find ourselves, stalled.

2. Pay your dues.

If we’re going to be placed in a dilemma when for a certain length of time we will be immobile, we might as well practice.

When I was much younger, I had an upcoming musical performance in which I had a piano piece that was well beyond my ability. I was sitting in a room with a friend talking about how I was uncertain of this particular composition.

He jokingly said, “Do you know what you’re sitting on?”

I looked down. It was a piano bench. And where there’s a piano bench, somewhere there’s a piano. Sure enough, stuck in a side room I found a piano. I took my bench, went in and paid my dues–I rehearsed.

The amount of time it takes to worry is an equivalent to the amount of time it would take us to practice our way to victory.

3. Pay respect.

It seems to me that when we are in the fit of impatience one of the first things to depart is civility.

Remember that old saying–“biting the hand that feeds you?”

After all, you only have three friends: you, God and other people.

If you are frustrated, you’re probably not very friendly.

If God knows there are people around to help you, He will probably leave it up to them.

So in the midst of trying to be patient, cordiality must be maintained and respect for the feelings of others, because you just never know who has the rope to throw your way, to pull you out of your ditch.

Patience is looking for hope in a meager possibility. It is a length of time that comes our way before we find resolution.

You might as well put it to use.

The old saying is, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But the truth of the matter is, lemons only make lemon juice.

It’s necessary, through our patience, for us to bring the sweetness.

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The Alphabet of Us: D is for Despair… December 29, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Building Block D bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

DESolate. “I got nothing.”

PARalyzed. “I can’t move.”

Despair is when these two come together and we are convinced that our situation is unchangeable.

It is also a miscalculation–allowing the emotions and the brain to wage war with one another instead of consulting the wisdom of the soul and using the body to do something to improve our surroundings.

I believe it occurs in the human family because we get three things out of whack:

  • God scares us
  • Mother Nature confuses us
  • And people piss us off

When this occurs, the only reaction that seems logical to us is to relive our defeats.

So first, let’s get these three things straight:

  • God is our Father. In other words, He’s stuck with us. Nothing can separate us from His love.
  • Mother Nature is a system that can be learned. Yet she has no favorites.
  • And people are inconsistent and must be handled with a good sense of humor.

Without this, we quickly lose sight of any goal motivation and resolutely determine to lick our wounds in some corner of our mind or cave of our emotions.

Here are two very important precepts that just happen to be true–at least from the perspective of my journey:

1. Nothing is personal.

The rain that falls from the sky wasn’t sent from some dark place in hell to taint your picnic. If you had checked the weather forecast two days earlier, or even the sky, you might have had an inkling of what was coming down.

2. When it is personal, it is nothing.

You should rejoice. Why? Because anyone who takes out a vendetta against you will soon lose interest. The only way to keep anyone intrigued in bullying you is to give them focus by being angry or upset. With the 24-hour news cycle, the attention span of our country has gone down to about twenty-four hours.

So as long as you understand that nothing is personal, and on those rare occasions that it is personal, it is nothing, you can allow your soul to give you patience and wisdom to survive some disappointment–which gives your brain the chance to come up with a plan on what to do next.

Despair is not merely self-pity–it is a self-pity cemented by a lack of understanding of how life really works. 

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Why I Come … June 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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“What caused you to come to our little town?”Burlington

I hear this question everywhere I go.

I guess there’s some sort of assumption that I should be elsewhere or some place the inquirer deems to be more important. Yet I learned a long time ago–it’s not about where you go. It’s about what you do when you get there.

After all, we have a dual responsibility in life: to enter the doors that are open and to make sure when we finish, we leave behind blessing.

I have two reasons for coming and going in my life. They haven’t changed in forty years. Although they’re not always compatible with the inclinations society’s trend, I refuse to change them, because the quality they bring to my life and to those around me is undeniable.

1. I come so that people can have life and it abundantly.

Yes, I enjoy arriving in situations where people have given up on the excitement of just being alive and allowing a fresh stream of consciousness to re-baptize them with the joy of living.

“Abundant life” is when you’re no longer afraid of the change that certainly must come. You know you have the ability to love and be loved.

2. I come that your joy may be full.

Joy is underrated. It is a happiness we select because we know that temporary set-backs are always transformed by patience, perseverance and purpose.

God is in control. In other words, He has established a beautiful universe and a natural order, and if we learn it, it will feed us instead of attack us.

This is why I come–and you would think, with such a universal message of gentleness and encouragement, that I would be welcomed with open arms and a sense of anticipation everywhere I go.

But as long as there are individuals who gain strength by hurting others or limiting the capacity of their fellow-humans, I will have my enemies.

I know who they are, and I know where they are. But as Jesus requested, I love them too.

I have come to bring abundant life, with the aspiration that joy can be made full.Donate Button

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

A Three-Headed Monster… May 15, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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three-headedIt is different. There’s no doubt about it.

After seventeen years of traveling the United States with Janet, crisscrossing the nation many times, I can tell you, there is a new attitude in the air.

Perhaps it’s wrong for me to use the word “new.” That connotes something positive or transforming. Instead, the experience is a bit regressive, harkening to a time when we made our decisions through the dark cloud of caution instead of the bright sunshine of optimism.

It may be the reason that the majority of our populace refers to themselves as “conservative”–simply because there’s an underlying message in that proclamation which cries out: “Leave me alone.”

If it is possible for me to share this without you feeling that I’m critical, then you have a true understanding of my heart.

There’s a three-headed monster at work. If you don’t understand this monstrosity, you could become discouraged, or even jaded.

  • Hurt
  • suspicion
  • and apathy dictate the choices of those who are in power and even the souls of those who feel powerless.

And it does no good to ask them why they hurt, the cause of their suspicion or to attempt to stimulate them out of apathy. Because people feel hurt, they are suspicious of anything that comes along that might increase their pain, so they choose to do nothing, to protect themselves from further damage–thus apathy.

Both Janet and I have sat down and considered the fields set before us and have carefully chosen our approach.

The only successful approach to hurt is mercy.

Mercy is a magnificent virtue. It not only grants healing to the suffering in front of you, but gives permission to others, and even God, to be merciful to you.

In trying to broach suspicion, the only path that has any prudence is patience.

That’s why the Good Book says “in your patience you possess your soul.” No one in this country will be successfully overwhelmed, pushed, criticized or evangelized into a new awakening. It will take patience. And that requires that I find something I enjoy doing, keep pursuing better ways to do it and run on my own pleasure instead of a clock.

After you hurdle the hurt through mercy and broach the suspicion with patience, apathy will only be overcome by good cheer.

Yes, I believe we have a much better chance of laughing our way out of our misery than we ever will debating it or legislating it. I contend that discovering powerful reasons for being alive opens the door to problem-solving.

It is different. It requires that we minister to hurt, suspicion and apathy.

It will take merciful people who patiently are enjoying themselves and are not in a hurry for results … and bring along buckets and buckets of good cheer.

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

Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Twenty-eight Years Later… April 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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jon with lightningIn my calendar of life, 1986 was a year that arrived, determined to leave its mark and remembrance.

I was in my sixth year of being a paternal care-giver to my twelve-year-old son, who had been struck by a car in the summer of 1980, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state.

  • State–no change.
  • Vegetative–present but uncertain response.
  • Persistent–no end in sight.

I also discovered that my wife was pregnant with our fourth child. It dawned on me that in short months I would be traveling on the road around the country speaking and sharing my heart with an entourage of a sixteen-year-old, a ten-year-old, a disabled child, a recuperating wife and new-born baby.

Honestly, I just chose not to deal with it.

It was in the month of June that Joshua, my “special” child, suddenly contracted pneumonia and died.

My new baby was born two months earlier than expected, in a hospital in Peoria, Illinois, and shortly after that, a promise given to us to use a house for the holiday season was removed one hour before we arrived to occupy and be a celebrating family.

We were stunned by it all.

We ended up in Lexington, Missouri, in motel rooms, feverishly attempting to generate yuletide cheer.

But 1986 was not yet satisfied with all its provided turmoil. On Christmas Day, my wife slipped and broke her ankle, side-lining her for two months, while I took the two older fellows back on the good ole’ gospel trail.

Tonight I return to Lexington, Missouri, for the first time in twenty-eight years.

I have good news for these delightful human travelers: I can tell them of a certainty that we, as people, can not only survive, but prosper in our trials.

It’s not that there’s a silver lining to every cloud or a new dawning after the blackest night.

It’s just that sometimes, each one of us needs to know what we have inside of us–or we assume we are empty.

The trial of your faith worketh patience. And patience intends on doing a perfect work–showing us that struggle is the only thing we all share in common.

I am of a belief that this realization should be a valuable contribution … to my Missouri friends.

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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

Acts-I-Dent… May 22, 2013

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dentAmazing grace is only amazing if it helps us find a way to stop being so stupid.

Even though I am very grateful for grace, mercy and forgiveness, somewhere along the line, I would like to grow up, mature a little bit and not always be standing in the bread line of neediness. If you don’t agree with this, I understand. There are many religious AND non-religious people who find submission to inadequacy to be appealing–or maybe even the definition of humble. I happen to think that you don’t get the CHANCE to be humble until you do something great.

So you see, on Monday when I backed my van into a truck, denting my door (see above picture), I did not feel humbled by the experience because I did NOT achieve anything great.

What I would like to describe is the process my brain unleashed following this little piece of idiocy. When I felt the thump of making contact with the pick-up truck, I thought:

1. “Oh, crap.” Truthfully, it wasn’t crap–but for the sake of discussion, let us keep that word. It is my normal reaction to difficulty. I have not become a supernatural being who welcomes adversity because it builds patience and character.

2. “Oh, no.” The realization came very quickly: I was entering a world of insurance companies, phone numbers, complaints–and fussiness. I hate those places. Sometimes I pursue extra work just to make sure I don’t have to do THAT work. So realizing I was now in an unwelcome realm, I moved to:

3. “Oh–who or what  can I blame?” Let’s be honest–no one wants to look like a loser, so even when we do loser things, we want to make sure that everybody thinks we are winners doing loser activities. To achieve that requires some back-pedaling and manipulation of the story. But since I don’t like to blam eother people for my mistakes, I had a fourth notion, which was:

4. “Oh. Where can I run?” I don’t have very good legs at this point, so escaping the scene of the accident was unlikely (unless I was being trailed by a herd of turtle-constables). So in that split second, when all these conflicting thoughts were jockeying for attention, the first viable inclination surfaced:

5. “Oh. I’m not gonna lie.” I was not going to tell the guy I hit that it was his fault because he hit my rear end. I’ was not going to tell my friends in the van that it was their fault because they distracted me. The cleanliness of that notion quickly took me to:

6. “Oh, It’s my fault.” Okay, okay–no one likes to say it. But the sooner we get to that freeway of understanding, the faster we can exit from our calamity. It was my fault. I can give you excuses. I can tell you I was tired. I can tell you I should have already been in my room instead of out shopping. I might even get your sympathy. But my series of explanations would never get your respect.

It was my fault. And I have the dent to prove it.

That wonderful admission to myself brought about another reassuring ointment to my mind and heart:

7. “Oh–I’ll survive.” I always have. There’s no reason to think this is the one that’ll take me down. Not until I am unconscious, flying away to eternity, will I run across a problem which is beyond my power–based upon my willingness to adjust.

I was not proud of my stupidity. I don’t ask God’s grace to cover it. God’s pretty busy in Oklahoma right now. What I want is to tell you is that the Acts that I put forth Dented my van.

It was me. I am better because I survived the seven-step process–which only lasted two or three seconds in my mind–to finally land in the reality that I will “never be left nor forsaken.

Stop being afraid of the truth and give yourself a chanceto be made free.

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Jonathan’s thinking–every day–in a sentence or two …

 Jonathots, Jr.!

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

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