Jesonian … June 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3698)

It wasn’t a “God-storm.”

The disciples were wrong. They were wacked-out–frantic over a poor use of faith.

They were probably reflecting back to several weeks earlier, when they were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, got swatted by a cloud burst with huge waves, thunder and lightning, were surrounded by other little boats, and Jesus walked on the water to save them.

Now, that was a “God-storm.” In other words, a storm that required the hand of God. But the little squall that blew up on this night was not a “God-storm.”

The disciples should have known–for Jesus was sound asleep on a pillow in the boat.

Let’s keep in mind–you’ve got four fishermen on this craft–at least that many. This isn’t their first raft trip. It’s not the first time they saw the waters well up around them.

But back before they were disciples–when they were men–they handled it. If they didn’t, they died.

But now, you see, they had faith.

And their faith, instead of making them whole, had made them lazy.

They didn’t need to wake up Jesus. They had just grown accustomed to the Master handling all the difficulties, and they were in no mood to put themselves in jeopardy by practicing what they had been taught.

They didn’t want to “take no thought” about the storm.

They didn’t want to be the “salt of the Earth and the light of the world.”

They were completely content being followers–while Jesus was trying to make leaders.

They were lazy.

This is the same problem we have in the Christian church today. The faith we espouse is making us lazy instead of whole.

For I will tell you–I cannot attest to the fact that the Christians I know are the nicest people I know.

I cannot testify that these same Christians are the smartest, most generous, most open-minded and most forgiving people I have encountered.

They are simply too damn lazy from living off grace to use their faith.

Somehow or another, Jesus had called men to be on his team, and they had all turned into little children: “Daddy! We’re gonna drown! Don’t you care?”

Even two ounces of faith would tell you that if Jesus is asleep on the pillow, this must be a livable situation.

Maybe it’s a “Me-storm.” That’s one that only requires “me” involved to produce a safe conclusion.

Maybe it’s an “Us-storm.” That would include my partner and myself, working together to provide energy, brains and faith.

Perhaps it’s a “We-storm.” We might have to beckon the whole family, maybe the congregation, the town, or who knows? The nation.

But when it’s not a “God-storm,” don’t expect God to take care of it.

Jesus wanted his disciples to trust him. But he wanted to trust them, too.

So if you want to have a Christian walk and you want to be Jesonian, you’ll have to learn the difference between a “God-storm” and a “Me-storm.”

After all, it’s not that God fails to answer your prayers. He just wonders why you’re so lazy, and don’t answer your own.

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Jesonian … January 20th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3558)

A growling grouchiness tends to fester my soul every time I sit down in front of some sort of clerk who wants to ask me questions so that he or she can “punch me into their system.”

I have a natural inclination to turn and run full speed out of the room, thus “unplugging.”

Systems don’t work.

Now, I know over-generalized conclusions such as this one are frowned on by people who want to remain congenial and open to all parties, but once any organization or movement acquires a mortgage, as far as humanity is concerned, they usually become no damn good.

Rules are established, guidelines are formulated, temperaments are discussed and limitations established.

I don’t care if the system is taking care of the poor, preaching the Gospel or electing candidates to office–just the presence of the instinct to follow an “inner office memo” filled with stipulations stifles creativity and smother passion.

Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night-Step 1 of any system.

Play it safe.

Nicodemus did not know whether his friends would approve of him interacting with the rogue Galilean, so he “came by night.” I’m sure he thought he was smart. I’m sure he believed he was more open-minded than his buddies, who wouldn’t come at all, even if it was pitch black.

He begins his dialogue with Jesus by trying to coerce a mutual sense of equality from the Nazarene–Step 2 of a system. “We know you’re a teacher sent by God.”

(Just like us…)

Every system wants to make everything the same for everybody, because if it isn’t, it’s just not fair–and if you acquiesce to one person, then everyone wants the same consideration.

I am not a conceited man, but my mission is not the same as the pastor of some United Methodist church in Wisconsin. I am not better than him–but I have been given more. And the scriptures tell me that because I’ve been given more, more is expected of me.

Jesus doesn’t mince any words with Nicodemus. He doesn’t give in to the equality theory, but tells Nicodemus that he “must be born again.” The cleverness of the statement–the parallel of spiritual rebirth to original birth are ignored by this scripture peruser.

He does what people always do to someone who apparently wants to rock the boat–he mocks the simplicity. He makes fun of Jesus suggesting that an old man could go back into his mother’s womb. He might even have chuckled at his own reference. He is convinced that in a world of black and white, it is necessary to strictly honor the available colorations.

Jesus explains to him that it’s an uncomplicated concept and challenges Nicodemus to walk more in his intelligence instead of marching in beat with the purists. Jesus says, “If I tell you of Earthly things and you don’t understand, how could I ever tell you of heavenly things?”

Then, as always, the system is offended, and begins to denigrate the concepts which lead to the conclusion of personal responsibility.

It is so much easier to be religious if you believe God is in control, has a plan for your life, is moving angels and demons back and forth and has already won the battle. It becomes a bit more intricate when you realize the Kingdom of God is within you.

Nicodemus departs, unimpressed. Matter of fact, later on the scriptures refer to “some of the Jewish leaders” who privately had sympathy for Jesus and his Kingdom movement, but were afraid to speak up.

Nicodemus found himself trapped. When the Council decided to have a meeting to put Jesus on trial, and Nicodemus objects to them indicting the Master without hearing him, they dismiss Nicodemus. They ask if “he, too, is a Galilean.”

He says nothing more. He is silenced.

You will never make strides in your spiritual life or truly understand the humanity of Jesus and the mission he had to save souls as long as you hide behind vespers and prayers.

Jesonian is a lifestyle.

And Jesus spent his life being the champion of the human race. To do so, he had to dodge many systems and ignore those who were locked up in the mindset of the moment instead of grasping the born-again heart of those who were fully aware that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”

 

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G-Poppers … June 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

“It is the mingle that produces the mangle.”

G-Pop will freely admit that the phrase may sound a little too cute, but nevertheless, bears repeating.

How we mingle our thinking determines whether virtue, progress and intelligence will become mangled.

It all revolves around two insidious but often blended ideas:

  1. It’s not my fault
  2. God will take care of it

Yes, in an attempt to free ourselves of any responsibility for failure, we seek villains to blame for the destruction in our society.

Or we stand back, feigning helplessness, reciting our prayers, waiting for a divine being to intervene and make the world a better place.

And then, there is the ridiculous mingling of the two:

“Since God will take care of everything, why should I force myself to do things that are unnatural to my present thinking?”

It is the mingle that invites the mangle.

Because once you convince a generation of human beings that they are without fault and that God has a plan for everything, you scrawl a permission slip for people to continue their ignorance and prejudice.

Even though we contend “the truth makes us free,” we fail to realize that this freedom is only achieved if we’re willing to know the truth.

And here’s the truth:

G-Pop tells all of his children that if any one of us is within three feet of a problem, we probably have some responsibility for the situation.

And if we’re not within three feet, we still have the potential–within that yard of our jurisdiction–to improve the world.

  • There is no progress without repentance.
  • But there is no repentance minus confession.

“If we confess our faults, we will be healed.” If we don’t, we remain sick.

The more we insist that we are guiltless, the more intensely others look for our guilt.

And the idea that a God who created the universe and made human beings with a brain attached to their hands and feet without expecting them to use the connection, is just pure farce.

If you want to stop the mangling of truth, justice and mercy, you will have to attack the credibility of “it’s not my fault” and “God will take care of it.”

Unless we repent, we will perish.

And not even a God of mercy will stand in the way of our disappearance.

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Cracked 5 … May 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Things I Saw When I Came to West Virginia

A. Country roads

 

B. Coal miner’s son

 

C. A sign: “You are now leaving East Virginia”

 

D. blue, Ridge Mountains (keep them in your prayers)

 

E. Almost heaven 

Cracked 5 Mountain

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 1) … May 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

There had been no national spotlight on the little town of Garsonville, Nebraska, since a bumper crop brought in some news coverage to report that a local grocer was selling golden sweet corn for a penny an ear.

That was thirty-two years ago.

The little town continued to grow corn but never was able to offer it again at such a reasonable rate.

Now all of a sudden there was a new interest in the community because the author, Dr. Frederick Meningsbee, had accepted a calling to be the minister at the Garsonville Community Church. At one time the church had 175 people in attendance each Sunday, which was not too bad for a town of 1,423 souls. But a combination of inadequate pastors and growing apathy had trimmed the ranks down to a solid 83 individuals who continued to attend–some out of persistence and others because long ago, they signed the loan for the property.

No one quite knew why the good doctor from an eastern university was taking such a lowly position in Garsonville.

Meningsbee had gained some attention of late, penning a volume entitled “The Jesus Church.”

Not a single soul from the pastor-selecting-committee had read the book, but figured that because the title included the words “Jesus” and “Church,” it must be divinely acceptable.

So on Dr. Frederick’s first Sunday, 143 people showed up, along with a couple of national bloggers,who were hoping to make a name for themselves by covering the story.

After a couple of hymns were sung and prayers uttered, Meningsbee rose to his feet and said, “This shall be a very short service–basically just an opportunity for me to tell you that when you arrive next Sunday, you will be handed a bulletin, which I am sure you are accustomed to. At the top will be instructions on the procedures and approaches for that day’s service.”

After finishing this short statement, the new preacher closed in prayer and the service was over.

Everyone left the church to head home and wait for their chicken, dressing and ‘taters to finish baking.

It was an unusual beginning but no one was suspicious of what might be unfolding in the future.

For after all … only Reverend Frederick Meningsbee knew the plan.

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Ask Jonathots … June 11th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

I know this question gets asked a lot, but with all the flooding and tornadoes going on, and people losing their homes, I can’t help but wonder why God allows all of this destruction?

There are two forces at work on Earth: Nature and human desire.

Human desire wanted to build a city below sea level in Louisiana. It is called New Orleans. Mother Nature creates storms to replenish the earth with water and has thoroughly warned us that anything below sea level will…well, be below sea level.

As long as we live lives where we believe that nature is our enemy or that nature can be ignored because of our prayers, we will suffer some of the painful conclusions that befall those who ignore the obvious.

For instance, certainly by this time, since we know that a lot of tornadoes move through Oklahoma, it might be smart to build a system that protects people–and even their homes–from destruction. The fact that the people in that region believe that the present tornado might just be the last one could be classified as a bit ignorant.

You would have much less destruction and loss of life on Earth if the humans who have desire took into consideration the natural order, the way of the earth and the history of how things work.

As long as human desire ignores Mother Nature, she will plow right through our plans and leave many people sad.

So what can we do? Learn how things work.

For instance, instead of arguing about climate change, why not just take the precaution that the climate is changing and make a few adjustments in order to submit to the trend?

But I will tell you–prayers to God will not stop the movement of Mother Nature. God uses the natural order to bring balance to everyone, so that it rains on the just and the unjust.

So what can you do?

Don’t build your house on the sand.

And if you do, be prepared for your living room to be filled with 4 feet of water.

 

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Populie: It’ll All Work Out… July 16, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2293)

dorothy exposing the wizard

It’s popular to encourage one another–yet a lie sneaks in when we tell people things will get better without their involvement.

Thus the populie, “It’ll all work out”–it, in this case, normally referring to God, country or destiny.

Religion loves “Happy Heaven travelers.”

Politics adores happy voters.

And the movies certainly favor happy endings.

What’s wrong with that? Is it bad to believe in a positive outcome instead of dwelling on the negative gloom and doom that threatens the horizon?

No. It’s just an issue of how we get there.

If we get there through deception, then we’re not only going to be disappointed, but defeated and ill-suited to take on tomorrow’s adventures.

I do believe in the power of faith and the notion that things can work out. It’s just that I honor a three-step process–because God, my country and certainly a destiny which is failed to be written in the stars can’t guarantee me anything without me showing up prepared.

For things to work out:

1. Nothing happens without a person or people.

I have found that my prayers are much more effective when they’re linked with both supplication and the intelligence of others joining me. I have discovered we have a better country when we include everyone and take others into consideration instead of bullying them because they’ve fallen out of favor. And my destiny is achieved based on how well I handled today, without worrying about tomorrow.

2. We need to get started in order to receive inspired ideas.

Even though we like to believe that every vacation should be paid for up front, each project should be endorsed and funded and our relationships guaranteed for a lifetime, deep in our hearts we know that’s not human.

Inspiration is given to those who are inspired to do something now. The minute we take it to a committee, we’ve already decided not to do it. If you don’t believe me, just look at Washington, D.C.

3. Endurance is knowing when to change and when to continue.

I run across people who think they’re doing a good thing, while they repeat the same mistakes, mistakes dashing their hopes.

And I run across individuals–including myself sometimes–who pull up one block short of completing the trip.

Endurance is what is necessary to save us from calamity, but it is acquired by being inspired with ideas on the move and finding out whether those notions are encouraging us to evolve, or press on with the same path.

  • God is not a solo act. He travels, unites and bonds with human beings to perform His will.
  • Our country is “we, the people” instead of “we, the whim.”
  • And since there is no tomorrow until we create it out of free will, destiny is a modern-day Mother Goose created to comfort folks who have decided to give up.

Watch out for this populie. It’s sneaky.

Sometimes you might feel like the ogre under the bridge, scaring off all the little children by being realistic. Yet we have to speak the truth with love.

Great things demand a person or people, inspiring ideas freshened by effort, and knowing the difference between keeping on and changing course.

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