Jesonian: EARTH 101 … April 13, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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The search for a world without problems is a decision to stumble down a back alley of disaster.image

Yes. Trying to avoid difficulty is the best way to obtain more.

Life has problems.

These trying situations keep life lively. Living must be lively or we end up bored and cease to grow.

So let us understand: God does not have a will–not in the sense of a pre-determined plan of action which He adheres to without revision.

Free will eradicates heavenly “big plans.”

God has a way: a way of working, breathing, loving, sharing and expanding. It is expressed clearly in the actions of Nature.

Learn the style  of God’s earth, and your problems begin to submit to the ways of the Creator.

EARTH 101

1. What needs to be done?

Don’t be afraid. Don’t over think. Look at it honestly: what is needed?

2. What can I do?

Don’t exaggerate. Don’t promote. Don’t explain. Don’t complain. Just produce a practical list of your abilities.

3. Is it enough?

Sometimes your ability is enough. Sometimes it’s doggone close. Sometimes other folks see you trying and offer help. Sometimes time changes the circumstances.

4. Can I work with less?

Is there a way to be creative? Can I share the responsibility with others? Does it all have to happen now? Can I make a start of it by handling a portion of the problem?

After you have finished this EARTH 101, the struggle that remains following this analysis is your true need. Your lack. The starting line of your faith.

And very simply, my dear friend, the Good Book says that this need is what God promises to supply.

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The Cheat Sheet… November 4, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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big WyethI thought it would be handy to have the conclusions of the past three days of jonathots placed in one essay for you to access quickly when you find yourself dealing with ProbOne, ProbTwo or ProbThree.

So what happens in a moment of weakness when you find yourself grumbling, “It’s not fair!”?

Just ask yourself:

  1. Who am I working with?
  2. What needs to be done?
  3. Where will we need to work?
  4. When is the deadline?
  5. Why is it being done?

How about when ProbTwo raises its ugly head and screams in frustration, “It’s not enough!”

Just go back to kindergarten:

  1. Cut.  Are there things we can do without, and still feel that we have enough?
  2. Paste. Sometimes it’s a good idea to delay one thing in order to take care of another.
  3. Color. Make yourself more attractive and viable by thinking, working and discussing instead of complaining.
  4. Play. Get around other folks and collaborate. The Good Book never says that God will take care of your financial needs. It says that MEN will give to you.

That’s how you handle ProbTwo.

And finally, ProbThree: “It’s not my fault!”

Look at your fingers. Where are you pointing?

  1. Are you pointing up? That means you expect God to do everything, putting Him under the gun when you’ve messed things up. It makes you feel inferior.
  2. Are you pointing down? Do you really believe the devil is to blame for all of your difficulties–or even some of them? Do you actually plan on doing battle with the fallen creature? This promotes superstition, which is never a good thing to have around when you require knowledge.
  3. Are you pointing out? Blaming other people for your situation? Remember, the best way to handle your life is to point inward, letting yourself know the magic formula for responsibility:  I have ability; I have problems. And responsibility allows me to point to myself without feeling the need for guilt. How?

I use my ability to help my problems and I use my problems to enhance my abilities.

You may want to believe that your tribulations are unique, but really, pretty much all of them fall into these three categories.

I thought you might like to have them on one reference page.

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Two Speeches (not from the stump) … September 23, 2012

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I don’t agree.

Political parties and pundits tend to aggravate some little open wound in my soul which refuses to heal, becoming calloused to the bizarre. I guess the popular thinking is that a certain amount of lying, cheating, attacking, fussing and maneuvering of truth is necessary to win an election. I not only disagree with this premise, but I wonder if anyone has actually ever tried to utilize the facts faithfully to a conclusion before giving up early in the pursuit to strike back over a recent smarting smack.

What I will share with you today are two speeches–one from each of the men running for President of the United States. These discourses don’t actually exist, of course. They are what I feel each individual candidate might want to express if he was intent on winning the job on both merit and humility. I will begin with the incumbent:

My name is Barack Obama. I would like to continue being your President. I guess, in a manner of speaking, you could say that I won the job four years ago. I have learned that there is a difference between winning and succeeding. I was not ready for all the surprises. No one can be prepared–because, dear folks, there is a world of problems out there in what we call the world. It is impossible to understand that in entirety until you actually get in the position where you need to make decisions that affect the lives of millions. But I have learned. May I tell you this–it is not easy to learn. You are tempted to explain your mishaps and trumpet your victories. Here is an assessment: some of my decisions were good. Others are still working out. Some of my choices, though, didn’t completely address the need. Once again–learning. To be President of the United States, in my opinion, means you have to know the difference among those three conclusions. I will tell you, after four years, I understand so much better what is going to be effective and what is a waste of energy. So let me tell you what I would like to do, should you grant me four more years:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

I ask you to give me a chance to use what I have learned. Thank you for your trust.

Another offering:

My name is Mitt Romney. I want to be President of the United States. I have no experience in this job. I have lived a full life. I have a collective understanding of business and commerce, discovered through my work,  family and adult journey. I am rich. It doesn’t make me better. It also doesn’t make me the enemy. I understand that when you are given much, much is required of you. I realize that I will be taking what I have experienced and using it the best I can, while learning how to be a good President. I will need help–not because I am helpless; it’s just that some of the assistance will need to come from Republicans, Democrats, independents and Americans of all types. I will need to listen to all of these voices because they are you. I will:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

Thank you for your time. I can’t promise you an easy solution–I can tell you that we will be able to do this together. I will bring all I know and a heart to learn more. Thank you for your trust.

The pundits would not like with these two speeches. They would insist that showing vulnerability is displaying weakness, and since they believe that politics is a jungle, that such openness would turn a candidate into a lame antelope instead of a roaring lion. Maybe they’re right. But see–we don’t know. There is no way to be sure, because no one has ever had the guts and determination to stay faithful to the understandable truth throughout an entire campaign. I will tell you this–without a heart filled with simplicity and a humble spirit, the responsibility of guiding human beings is carried out by a fool instead of a righteous king.

Two speeches–it is my offering for today. I guess my only counsel to you would be that the more you hear of these admissions from which ever candidate, the better prepared he will be for the inevitable struggle of leadership.

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If I Were a Republican … May 10, 2012

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If politics were farming, the farmer would rise from his bed in the morning, sow salt in his own field and by lunchtime, be complaining about how the former landowner had ruined the property. By dinnertime, at a fundraising banquet, he would be asking everyone to vote for him as “Farmer of the Year,” having never planted one seed.

Just my opinion.

But setting aside personal assertions and convictions, let me take one day and tell you what I would do if I were a Republican.

  1. I would take specific responsibility for my part in the present “Bungle in the Jungle.” The beginning of this century was a difficult time in this country and decisions needed to be made–some of which were overwrought. No one really denies that except when they want to portray that they are squeaky clean and the other side is stained with guilt. Any Republican politician who would take on the specific errors that were made during the previous eight years of administration and isolate them off, while temporarily ignoring the faults of the adversarial party could look like a freaking genius.
  2. I would keep the discussion on governing and stay out of religion. A quick opening of the history book will show you that whenever religion and politics have mingled, the results have been dastardly, if not lethal. Governing demands the ability to see the view of all of your citizens instead of trying to climb the Tower of Babel, to look down on the hapless masses who are lost, without a savior. Traditionally, the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. The creature has big ears and a long nose. The Republicans would do better to focus on their ears, to hear, and stop being quite so nosy. Is it possible to be a good Christian and be a politician? It is if you know when to render and how to render–like Jesus said. What I believe cannot be what I enforce. The minute it is, it is no longer true faith–it is legalism.
  3. I would discover a historical sense. If I were a Republican I would stop trying to be the party of Ronald Reagan, and rather, emphasize that I was the party of Lincoln. Ronald Reagan, like all Presidents before and after him, found his own unique way to place our country deeply in debt. But Abraham Lincoln did three things the Republican Party could still use–and advertise–instead of allowing the Democrats to claim Honest Abe as one of their own.  (a) Lincoln taught the sanctity of the union over the preeminence of state’s rights; (b) he freed the slaves even though he, himself, was hardly absent bigotry or misconceptions. Why? Because it was the right thing to do; and (c) he used government to keep the people in power instead of allowing corporations and business to control the issues. If I were a Republican I would talk more about Lincoln than Reagan.
  4. I would stop the battle between men and women. I do not understand what politicians think they’re going to achieve by continuing to propagate a struggle between the genders in our species. Any party that comes along and generates equality between men and women, and refuses to join into the foolish cultural battle of the struggle between the sexes will gain the respect of both sides. You can’t win an election with just men. And you can not win an election with just women.
  5. And finally, I would focus on finance. If you really believe in the free enterprise system and smaller government, favoring businesses to prosper instead of going into bankruptcy caused by the difficulty of obtaining start-up cash and high taxes, then stay on point. The issues of abortion and gay rights will not be settled in a political campaign. They will be discussed and ultimately concluded in the judicial branch of our checks and balances. So drop all of the pretense of self-righteousness–and focus on money. Do I think the Republicans have an advantage over Democrats with this issue? If they don’t naturally, they surely can promote it as such. If I were a Republican, I would never stop talking about the economy and the steps necessary to return us to a sense of responsible capitalism.

Absent of these five steps, the Republican Party greatly resembles the organization of our moms and dads, with no understanding of the current top forty. My parents were staunch Republicans. But all of my brothers became Democrats, except me–who is apolitical. The party loyalty did not continue to the next generation. Why? Because it appeared that the organization was always defending instead of leading.

So if I were a Republican, I would strongly invoke the name of Abraham Lincoln as I led our country forward to the aspirations of even greater freedoms for its people. Of course, I’m not a Republican, and if I were, they probably wouldn’t listen to me anyway. But I thought you might be interested in some of my thoughts, although they are just as valuable and worthless as everybody else’s. To be completely fair, if you will allow me, I will take the position tomorrow of explaining what I would do if I were a Democrat.

Of course, as I have stated before … I am not.

I have always made a rule in my life to never go to any party that doesn’t have refreshments. 

  

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What’s the Problem? … May 9, 2012

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 It never works. It just doesn’t. 

I know I’m not supposed to say “never” but sometimes, if you don’t use the word “never,” you will foolishly continue to pursue avenues that cause you to slide off the road and fall into the ditch of dopiness. 

What never works? You come upon a person, or even a group of people, who are disgruntled, and ask them the question, “What’s the problem?” 

No problem in life is ever solved from a position of superiority, fear or dissatisfaction. Somewhere along the line, we have to relent to the notion that our dreams are not fast-food from McDonald’s, where we roll up, place an order and pick it up in less than a hundred and twenty seconds. 

Life is not difficult—it’s just life. It contains rules and regulations, which are frequently changed—refreshed, if you will—just to make sure that the participants are paying attention. But people become disgruntled because they feel that somehow they’ve been “dissed” and they’d like to grunt at you about it. 

You see why I say it never works? Because life doesn’t “diss” anyone, and there is no one willing to listen to perpetual complaining from another human being. What we all admire are humans who suffer quietly while they actively plan their next adventure. Now, we don’t admire it enough to actually imitate it, but we do understand the power of such a profile. 

This is why politics doesn’t work. By the time politicians and law-makers get together to try to resolve a conflict, the public is so frustrated by the situation that every overture towards solution is dashed on the rocks of cynicism. And then it becomes more entertaining to complain than it does to refrain from the insane. Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that much of the humor in our country is merely disgruntled grumbling, which the audience nervously laughs at because there seems to be no reprieve. 

What is the answer to the economy? I hear people in a disgruntled way articulating on the elements of the situation, but no one really takes a great stab in the dark at a possible plan of action.

We have the same problem in religion. I’ve listened to countless ministers lament that numbers are dwindling—but I hear no ideas. The original purveyor of our message, Jesus, didn’t seem to have much problem drawing people to himself. No one knew he was divine—they just liked him. Does the world like the church? Does the world like politicians? 

The problem is not that we have a problem, but instead, that we are beginning to address the problem after we’re already disgruntled about it. It stymies us. And, returning to my original theme—it never works.

So I’ve decided to contribute my little portion towards the formulation of a new attitude in our world. Here’s my contribution:  I’m going to keep from being disgruntled so that I can articulate my feelings more clearly about what I desire, pray my prayers with more intelligence, and be available to enact the next good idea without negativity. To do that, I have to realize four principles about this thing called life:

1. It’s not limited. Most of the time we feel like we’re in a box that’s closing in around us. The box is our finance, which we believe is continually dwindling. The box is our talent, which we contend was too small to begin with. The box is the amount of love we receive, which we fear is uncertain. Once you believe life is limited, you start rationing, withholding, cheating and even lying. It may be difficult to allow yourself to expand your thinking to the notion that there are resources yet uncovered which can benefit your soul, yet without that boost of energy you will become exhausted every time a problem dares to lift its ugly face to stare at you.

2. Life is not for us or against us. The best way to describe life is that it shows up in the morning at work, punches the clock, does its job and then goes home at the end of the day. It has one purpose—to keep things as even and level as possible, so that every human being has the potential for success and the opportunity for failure. Trouble ensued when you believe that God is for you and the devil is against you, or the Republicans or Democrats are for you and that other group over there is against you. There is no bogey man, just creaky floorboards and dark closets.

3. Life is not sympathetic. I have stood by the side of the road staring at a flat tire for at least five minutes, wondering why the depleted rubber circle that is now completely “smushed down” will not rise up and improve its situation and bless me. I could have checked my tires. That would have helped. I could have noticed that my tires were going bald. Ingenious. So my flat tire feels no sympathy towards me whatsoever, no matter how many times I kick it, curse it or glare at it. Mercy is given to the merciful. What does that mean? To be merciful to someone else means that you are aware that life is not sympathetic—and therefore, it is your job to be so. That sensibility invigorates your entire being. It helps you in your own life—to be aware of upcoming problems. Life is not sympathetic.

4. But finally, life is not impossible. Oh, we get grumpy and fussy and insist that no one has ever suffered such slings and arrows. Job just had bad acne; we’ve got real problems. We’re just a bunch of babies who can’t find our pacifiers. I learned a long time ago—nobody I owe money to wants to put me in jail. They just want payments. The thunderstorm is not out to destroy my plans—just water the earth. And evil is not meeting in a board room somewhere, plotting the demise of all that’s good. Rather, evil occasionally books a room for the night in my heart and tries to trash the location like some traveling rock band. Yes, I am my own worst enemy, because I always give up one idea short of God’s plan to save me.

Nothing is impossible. It just takes time—and a belief that we are not limited, nothing is for us or against us, but sympathy is not available—only opportunity.

So the next time you are tempted to ask, “What’s the problem?” understand that if someone is not asking you for assistance, they are probably not ready to receive it. Instead, they are in that no man’s land, where complaining sounds like righteous rhetoric.

We can do this. We can solve all the problems in this country as soon as some brave leadership steps forward and soothes the common mania that has transformed us into disgruntled gripers. Once we do that, we will gain the faith that we are not limited, life is not for us or against us, nor is it sympathetic, but always prepared to respond to those who believe that nothing is impossible. 

  

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