1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Make the World a More Flowing Place


Start with agreement

One of the more nasty vices that has slipped into our society is the attitude that we must establish how we disagree with one another in order to keep our ideas, our politics and our faith pure.

We lead with it.

We watch a movie and criticize it instead of first offering the things we enjoyed.

We read a book and tear into it before we share the parts that were enlightening.

We listen to music and complain that it’s derivative or doesn’t have the right beat or lyrics, instead of isolating off the portion that was enriching.

I do believe if you came to Almighty God and asked Him to say one nice thing about Satan, He would reply, “You know, he used to work here—as an angel.”

It won’t kill us to do this

And doing so will set in motion a completely different mindset and manifestation of emotion in the room.

Start with agreement

Then if you feel a need for further comment, enter at your own risk.

It’s a wonderful way to cut down on the animosity that has cropped up in the “Mean Streets.”

Just remember it this way:

First, agree.

Then suggest.

And if you must…

Share the rest.


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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 21) Five Months … April 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Five months ago I began this series on “Reasonable.”

I initiated the idea that it is completely useless to follow Jesus–being Jesonian–without offering to our planet a reasonable nature.

Let’s look at our consensus:

1. Free will

Human beings have the right to make their own choices.

2. Liberty

The more we promote freedom, the better off we are in the eyes of God.

3. Unjudging

Take a moment, go back and find the people you’ve criticized and tell them what a jerk you were.

4. Good cheer

We need to begin to believe in the joy of our own testimony and life.

5. Mercy

The only time that grace terminates is when we become ungracious to others.

6. Humility

There is a built-in reward for pursuing our dreams with excellence.

7. Considering

Demanding more is the best way to make sure you will get nothing. Find what you have and delight yourself in it.

8. Priority

Just uncover the best ways to bless other human beings.

9. Leavening

Silently, but persistently, insert good into the mix.

10. Resilience

Survive the critics. Avoid criticizing.

11. Peaceful

Always arrive prepared to listen, and chat up if you must.

12. Repairing

Find reasons for commonality.

13. Logic

Consider science in understanding faith.

14. Living

Don’t be in a hurry to call something dead.

15. Doubt

To question is to care.

16. Purity

Just keep it simple.

17. Quietly

At least half the time, try not to be noticed.

18. Wounded

Use your wounds for healing others, while being proud of your scars.

19. Apolitical

If the government is of the people, then work on the people, not the government.

20. Silence

It seems that wisdom always arrives an hour later than opinion. Wait for it.

The beauty of these twenty axioms is that you could pursue one and change your own life and enhance the lives of those around you.

You could try one each week and literally create a radical revival.

Being reasonable is not a noble task taken on by saintly believers–it actually is the only reason that we are able.

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G-Poppers … March 18th, 2016

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Jon close up

G-Pop sat quietly, listening to two family members talk about politics. Even though they are loving companions in every way, the political scene does divide them–right down the middle of their concerns.

Their conversation was interesting, but filled with assumptions which have cropped up in this present field of candidates.

Assumption 1: Politics is a different game and doesn’t have to follow the same rules. In other words, we expect them to lie.

Assumption 2: We’re in the process of choosing the best from the worst instead of merely attempting to extract the worst from the best.

Assumption 3: It’s not going to get any better.

G-Pop thought to himself that the true mistake lies in thinking that we are picking a leader instead of allowing the definition of leadership to do the selection for us.

Leadership has four components which end up with a determination.

1. Kindness: “I don’t want to start the fight.”

Anyone who thinks that politics and leadership is about fighting is promoting survival of the meanest.

2. Honesty: “I don’t want to initiate the lie. If lying is going to go on, I would rather watch it happening instead of being the founder of the deceit.”

3. Respect: “I don’t grow with your failure. I don’t need to honor iniquity, but I do need to ensure that the mistakes of others are corrected by nature instead of my rage.”

4. Resolve: “I don’t want to be the first to give up. I also don’t want to be the last to give up once it becomes obvious that change is necessary. I would like to give the plans available a chance to survive a bump or two instead of assuming that we’re heading off a cliff.”

When a good leader puts kindness, honesty, respect and resolve together, he or she ends up in strength, which is: “I don’t want to abandon goodness.”

For as G-Pop listened to his family members discuss politics, he realized there is no difference between being angry at the rich or angry at the poor. You’re still too damn angry.

Somewhere along the line, we have to put our faith into goodness winning the day, and not retreat from that purity … simply because evil does a lot of growling.

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G-Poppers … February 12th, 2016

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Jon close up

 G-Pop remembers when he bought a dog for his youngest son.

A trip to the rescue shelter, a scanning of canine candidates, and a selection of the family mutt–an animal with so many donors that breed identification was laughable.

The whole process, counting food and bowl, was $45. For that sum, a family friend was acquired, absent any pedigree.

Yet buried in the genetics of this pup was a little bit of hound.

The young son discovered this one night when he imitated a dog howling, and the mixed-up barker launched a woeful moaning into the air.

The dog resisted his inclination. He tried to refrain from being “nothin’ but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time.”

But eventually, the sound of hound came forth.

He was embarrassed.

Matter of fact, after the outburst, he drug himself from the room to reflect on his folly.

Just for the record, we are all mutts, too.

All us Americans.

We have so many breeds within that it would be impossible to find purity in any of us. And we’ve certainly got some hound.

Yes–there is much that hounds us:

  • We are hounded by our selfishness.
  • We are hounded by our fears.
  • Certainly hounded by our sense of entitlement.
  • And also, by our prejudices.

So politicians, ministers and corporations try to get us to release our disconsolate, mournful bay.

They tempt us to be mean and grouchy.

They lure us to our worst place, where we wallow in dissatisfaction, “the hound of hell.”

So then we whine. I do think we’re embarrassed by it–we want to run and hide because of our weaker nature taking over.

But shame on those who draw out the parts that hound us.

Our dog was noble, loyal and loving.

But sometimes, to establish our pleasure–and dominance–we made him howl like a hound.

G-Pop thinks it’s time for us to stop barking at the moon.

Matter of fact, maybe it’s time for all of us to find our better pooch.

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Confessing… August 1st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

In the summer of my sixteenth year, my human sexuality cornered me like a ravenous jackal.

I discovered that my penis also had a “wonderful plan for my life.”

I was in the midst of my first serious relationship with a girl and my curiosity was out to see the cat. I had lived as a good church boy, vacant of any understanding of my body parts beyond my hands and knees for prayer. No one had ever told me what I was supposed to do with what.

Only when.

At the same time, I struck up a friendship with Ben, who was one year younger than me. He, too, was on the quest for fire.

So even though we spent sufficient time working on our church coffee-house together, whenever we were out driving around and talking, we were speculating on the anatomy of the various females we encountered, possessing the knowledge of a new-born baby pontificating on eating steak.

Now, there was a drive-in theater about fifteen miles from our home called the Queensland. On Saturday nights, this establishment showed X-rated movies. I had never seen such a flick, and was beginning to feel the absence.

So I talked to Ben and we decided to make a trip down to this theater and bring paper and pencil to become great students. A couple of other guys got wind of it and begged to go with us. Our first instinct was to say no, but when they continued to plead, we acquiesced.

It was only when we got a mile from the theater that we discovered the other two guys hadn’t brought any money along for admission. So I opened up the big trunk of my Impala and they crawled in to hide, so we could get into the drive-in without paying for them.

It worked beautifully.

Upon arriving and finding our speaker-box of choice, we slyly let them out of the trunk and they came into the car. For the next three-and-a-half hours, the four of us drooled like teething babies.

We saw things we had never seen before. Some of it we liked, and some of it was grotesque and scary.

But we watched it all.

I was the oldest one in the car, and therefore should have had better sense–especially in assessing who I took to see the “skin and sin.”

The following Wednesday, I was called to the preacher’s office. One of the young boys who had been in the back seat had a fit of conscience and confessed his evil deed to his parents. I was confronted, disciplined and told what a “terrible witness I was.”

I didn’t care.

I guess none of these young men ended up being rapists or sex offenders, but I’m very sorry for what I did. I had no right to tie their confusion in with my confusion to create chaos.

What should I have done?

I probably should have complained to the adults around me about how ignorant and devoid of knowledge they had left me, in a world of lions, tigers and bears–oh, my.

So when I became a father, I told my children very early about the sexual aspect of their lives.

I don’t know if it affected their purity… but it certainly eliminated their guilt.

 

confessing car trunk

 

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Populie: God Bless America… July 2, 2014

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Kate Smith

God is still pretty popular.

America, too.

Yet there are many people who believe the two are synonymous–practically inseparable.

Thus the populie: “God bless America.”

Politics loves this slogan because it enables them to incorporate just enough religion to get the evangelical vote and just enough patriotism to acquire the libertarians.

Entertainment plays off the idea by producing both tear-jerking war movies and also flicks that question the authenticity and purpose of nationalism.

And of course, religion is partial to this idiom simply due to the fact that if we are convinced that we are favored by God, we might be able to get by with a few more inconsistencies before Daddy calls a time-out.

Yet as we near Independence Day, I am focused in on the power and veracity of the statement, “To he who much is given, much is expected.”

So because I love my country, respect our attempts at democracy and favor our liberty, I would like to deny the populie of “God bless America” and replace it with, “God challenge America.”

I know that God chastises those He loves–to make us sharper and more powerful. Yet we are losing our authority, presence and respectability due to the belief in our exceptionalism.

  • When it comes to women, we should be world leaders in equality, but we trail behind others.
  • We should take it seriously to stop killing. After all, when we discover a few packages of tainted ground beef in a grocery store, every package is recalled. Yet if twenty-two children are killed in a school, we continue to taint our lives with guns.
  • We should expand ourselves in equality by including others we do not agree with, honoring their right to freedom. God respects free will above all else, even purity.
  • We should be a nation that excels in productivity. For instance, I think we’re taking the wrong approach to the minimum wage. To give people more money for what they’re already doing is not only foolish, but actually a slothful business practice. But by the same token, if we can encourage productivity in our work force while passing along the dividends by increasing paychecks retroactively or offering bonuses, then we’re making our workers part of the solution instead of tying them in with the problem.
  • Why aren’t we leaders in morality?
  • How about civility?
  • Instead of arguing about the climate of the Earth, why don’t we at least see if there’s something we could do and then surprise ourselves by doing it?
  • Why don’t we take our young generation and encourage them to be respectful, industrious and creative instead of working to legalize more drugs, to dull their senses?
  • Why do we allow our older citizens to become bitter and calloused instead of demanding they use their journey to become wise and merciful?
  • If we truly do have the best medical care in the world, why aren’t we healthier?

Hiding your talent and refusing to use it is considered to be the definition of a sluggard.

Knowing what to do and not doing it is the best example of sin.

And living beneath your privilege only generates self-pity.

The populie is, “God bless America”–a way to live off the past by pretending that the present is sufficient because a Divine Presence controls our future.

My hope in this season is that we will allow God to challenge America to live up to our ideals, abilities and dreams.

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Jesonian: Heart Creatures … April 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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human heart

Some straight talk

We are human

Humans are heart creatures

We are emotionally driven

We are emotionally entered

Emotions require clarity

Clarity allows for purity

Purity is the removal of fear

Fear keeps us from love

Love allows for mercy

Mercy obtains mercy

First for ourselves

And then others

Humans are heart creatures

It is a balance of abundance and absence

Abundance of light, the knowledge of good

The absence of darkness, the knowledge of evil

The lie is that we need to study evil to be mature and understand it

Permeated with the darkness of evil

We become frightened to share our heart

Blessed with the light of goodness

We relax and allow ourselves to be transparent

Transparency opens the spirit

The spirit renews the mind

The mind motivates the body

We are human

Jesus says out of the abundance of our heart

We speak.

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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.

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