Jesonian … August 18th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There was an old gospel song that used to get the hometown folks clappin’ and snappin’. It had a lyric which proclaimed, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.”

I grew up in a small town that believed, like most small towns, that if the world behaved like they did, there would be eternal peace. But since the world didn’t behave, all the children needed to be careful going into the big city, or worse yet, into the world.

Matter of fact, like most small towns, over half of my graduating class still lives within ten miles of the place where they got their first kiss.

It’s easy for people who have religion to attack the world. Matter of fact, there are many preachers who wouldn’t have anything to share if they couldn’t criticize the world, sin and the souls around them. Even those practitioners of philosophies which portend to have more open-mindedness will still gladly join into a conversation of discussing how damnable things are on the planet.

Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible to be so in love with God and so hateful of the home He’s given us.

Now I remember. I forgot the lyrics: “This world is not my home.”

It makes me wonder why Jesus prayed that heavenly things be done on Earth.

God is a good Father. As a good Father, he knows His children. And the Earth is filled with His children.

He understands that the world is stuck in a rebellion resembling a sixteen-year-old: snotty, bratty, selfish, indulgent, unappreciative–but certainly unwilling to go anyplace else. That’s a sixteen-year-old.

So maybe we should walk away from our gospel songs and even our theology and take a careful look at what Jesus said about the world.

Two things:

1. “In the world you have tribulation.”

I suppose you could blame God for that–not because He steps back and lets things happen, but because He gave us free will. Honestly, if I had created beings that possessed as much intelligence as humans, I would have curtailed free will.

It doesn’t make sense. For people to have imaginations from the time of their youth, but for those musings to be generally evil, doesn’t bode well for blessings to flow across the land.

But it was God’s way.

He made us smart, with the ability to choose to be stupid.

Therefore, at one time or another, somebody is always being stupid, which makes it seem like all matter is about to fall apart. Jesus called this “tribulation”–a sense that things never find peace or settle down.

Now most religionists love that particular verse about tribulation in the world. Matter of fact, they stop right there and use it as a platform to preach against every sin that comes to their minds. They never factor in the second thought that Jesus had on the world:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. And He didn’t send His son into the world to condemn the world, but so that they could choose to be saved (paraphrase).

Of course, the key coupling there is “so loved.”

Not a passive appreciation.

Not a duty of being a parent of something you wish you could abandon.

But a deep emotional commitment, free of condemnation.

So here’s the truth of the matter, although I don’t want to anger some gospel song writer: this world is my home, for the time being, and I am passing through.

My job is to have good cheer when I see the tribulation, and make sure, through my face, my actions and my tenderness, that those around me know exactly how much they are so loved.

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Good News and Better News … February 26th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I dig faith.

It’s what I claim to believe. My belief, though, is constantly challenged by problems and fatigue. Truthfully, faith does not sustain me. Rather, it is there to energize my hope. It causes me to reach for more.

I live off perspective. I do not see faith. Perspective is what I do see, and how I process it.

It begins with tinglings and inklings in my being, whenever I hear the word “Earth.”

What is the Earth to me? Is it an accident? Is it a punishment? How about a planet that is damned?

The Garden of Eden–a hopeless experiment? An orb floating through space, in rebellion to the Force, waiting to be disintegrated if it doesn’t comply?

My perspective of Earth is also my passion for life. If I think that I’m stumbling–trembling my way through 70-plus years of sorrow, to finally be rewarded with a heavenly utopia, then I will claim to be a person of faith, while acting like a miserable son-of-a-bitch.

On the other hand, if I try to make the Earth the center of the Universe, the Great Mama to be worshipped and honored, I will soon become angry with all the Homo sapiens who infest my surroundings as they gradually destroy our Mother.

Now, this could make me nasty.

People often wonder why there is so much belligerence on Earth–why folks seem so cranked and ready to fight.

It’s because their faith is greater than their perspective.

It’s an easy thing to believe in God. It’s not so easy to find God in what surrounds us. To achieve this, we must gain the correct perspective:

  • We must realize that the Natural Order is geared to rain on the just and the unjust without apology.
  • We must understand that whatever we sow we will certainly reap, even if we just came back from a seminar on grace, informing us that we are free from responsibility for our actions.

What is your perspective?

To be a Jesonian person is to understand the heart of Jesus. Jesus was thoroughly committed to the notion that the Father’s will could be done on Earth as it is in heaven. He put it right in the middle of his favorite prayer.

If the Earth is cursed, then aren’t the inhabitants equally doomed?

Will there be only 144,000 people salvaged?

Is everything meaningless?

Are we just here to confirm our salvation, awaiting the gates of heaven?

The good news is, I have faith. It bolsters my hope.

The better news is, my perspective tells me to value this planet, with the understanding that my passion for my life and work here will be infused into Eternity.

 

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Jesonian–Troubling (Part 6)… August 5th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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jesonian-cover-amazon

It is troubling.

Yet I must profess to you that no one has greater joy and regard for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross than I do. It is my salvation and it rattles my consciousness to a sensibility of my own sinful nature and the grace of God.

That being said, I fear that the church has become “atone-deaf.”

Nearly desperate to land on a universal message for Christianity which can be compactly shared at a moment’s notice, we have placed too much attention on a hill called Golgotha, and not nearly enough tender loving care with a Sermon shared from a Mount. In doing this, we have contradicted things we know about the nature of God in order to fulfill the doctrine of the propitiation of sin.

For instance, God ordained free will for humans. Yet we’re led to believe that “from the foundations of the world” it was pre-destined that Jesus would be killed on a cross.

When God spoke through the Old Testament prophets, He declared that He wanted mercy, not sacrifice. Yet for some reason we decide that He changed His mind and adopted human sacrifice as the symbol of His covenant.

As a writer, the first thing you learn is to be faithful to your characters. You can’t manipulate the plotline by causing your character to do something completely beyond the scope of his or her nature, just so you can advance your story.

God gave us free will. We chose to kill Jesus.

God hates sacrifice. He took the death of Jesus and transformed it into our salvation.

What was meant for evil, He made good.

Atonement should be a central theme in the Christian message. It is powerful. It is priceless. But by no means should it be preached so loudly that it makes us deaf to the greater matters of the kingdom–tenderness, responsibility, excellence, consolation and tolerance.

What can we do to keep the death of Jesus in perspective?

I have always received the gift of Calvary as my salvation and a license for me to go out and salvage. How? First, deal with my own appetites and also multiply my talents. Once I become the salvager–the “light of the world” and “the salt of the earth”–I have the ability to transfuse the energy of salvation, pass it along to others and see them reborn.

The conclusion? As a saved soul who has become salvaged and a saver, I fulfill the purpose of me being rescued.

We’ve got to start listening again. We have to stop trying to fulfill denominational doctrine and instead, emphasize the character of God.

Jesus lived for thirty-three years to give the human race a chance to accept his message. He used stories; he used confrontation. He used healing; he used mercy.

And at the end of it all, we used crucifixion.

God, in His infinite grace, chose to take the blood that we shed and make it a symbol of our salvation rather than a further curse of our rebellion. It’s remarkable.

But if we want to find the heart of Jesus, it is not at Calvary.

It is in the words, deeds, actions and anointing of his life.

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Good News and Better News… July 3rd, 2017

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Freedom.

It is the best America has to offer.

It is the finest export to the world around us.

Because it hearkens to the freewill the Creator gave every human, it is the voice of God in a world of devilishness.

It is slightly weakened by the application of democracy. Although the voting concept seems intelligent, it still concludes that the majority rules. The assumption that the majority is always right–or ever right–is historically erroneous.

So freedom, which is a purity hatched in the heavens, is tainted by democracy, which allows for the sheer brute force of numbers.

For that reason, democracy does not work in every country. Freedom, which has a universally healing effect, can often be destroyed by inserting democracy into nations which are ill-suited for the process because they are surrounded by intimidating forces.

And then there’s politics. Politics is what democracy produces in an attempt to create balance, which ironically, actually imbalances everything. It no longer is an issue of what’s right or wrong or what might be a valid issue, but rather, what your political party supports and how you can also support it.

In no time at all, we lose the individuality of having one stance on a single issue and a different angle on another. Just the removal of politics would make democracy work better, and democracy would work beautifully if it kept its eye on freedom for all.

241 years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a piece of rebellion. It wasn’t a country and certainly wasn’t based solely on freedom, because many of the inhabitants of that nation were thought of as inferior.

It was a piece of rebellion.

It now becomes our job to turn it into freedom that can function as a democracy without the burden of politics.

The good news is that God loves freedom.

The better news is that if we will commit to good reason, we will never miss politics.

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Good News and Better News… March 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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If you get a penny for a thought, then sense would cost you hundreds of dollars. It is the commodity the human race haggles for, but often settles for much less dividend.

There are three types of sense: ultimate sense, common sense and human sense.

For the sake of simplicity, let me explain that ultimate sense is, “I’ve got God’s brain.”

Common sense could be defined as, “I’ve got a good brain.”

And human sense, plainly stated, is, “I’ve got my brain.”

None of us have ultimate sense. There are inklings in ancient writings that someday, once we have surrendered to death, all knowledge will be transfused into our eternal spirit. But I secretly believe that the Creator of the Universe will probably hold back a few details for Himself.

Now, common sense is that basic 25 things we learn before the age of five which continue in our adult life if we trust them and pursue them. They make us happy people.

For instance, don’t stick your finger into a light socket (pictured above). Being nice to people, generally speaking, makes them be nice to you. Don’t stick a Q-tip too deeply into your ear. Water boils at 212 degrees, but don’t thrust your hand into it. If you want to be around people, set up a respectable shower schedule.

It is not only common–it is understandable. Most of the difficulty that befalls us is from rejecting common sense. Is it rebellion? Is it stupidity? Is it forgetfulness?

No. It’s when we get overtaken by human sense.

Human sense is that selfish notion that we are unique and require our own set of rules. This makes us ask three ridiculous questions:

  1. What do I lack?
  2. How unfair is this?
  3. Why doesn’t anyone care?

So long before we can get answers, we have to be ministered to and healed of these nasty insecurities which trap us into human sense and deny common sense.

Truthfully, if you want to have a revival in your church, just take three or four months to journey your congregation on returning to common sense, ignoring the selfishness of human sense, which fails to recognize other people or the power of universal principles.

The good news is that God, with ultimate sense, sent Jesus to teach common sense to try to awaken us from our human sense of doom and gloom.

The better news is that if you can awaken the common sense in people again, they begin to believe that God is a possibility instead of a myth.

 

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Good News and Better News… February 20th, 2017

 

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church-lady

Scold: a nasty rebuke offered by a disciplinarian to an underling.

No one likes to receive the scold. Matter of fact, it can unearth a teenage rebellion out of an eighty-year-old.

And also cloistered within “scold” are two other words, just as fussy and frustrating:

Cold: an absence of warmth, and

Old: the passing of years, turning us into grumpy sorts.

Although a strong case can be made that repentance is at the heart of our faith, trying to initiate that with harsh words offered to a fellow-traveler is highly unlikely. But it’s exactly the approach we take in the religious system to attempt to get people into the church.

We scold.

First we scold by saying, “We just don’t understand why people don’t come to church,” instead of sitting down and coming up with the logical reasons why a human being might not want to flock to the flock.

Then we turn cold.

If they actually do pop in on Easter, Christmas or for the baptism of a little grandson, we don’t know how to treat them. To a certain degree, we are frightened of the outside world–therefore, when people show up, we’re at a loss to muster the confidence to welcome them wholeheartedly.

And of course, we are freakishly old.

We expect people to come into the church and adapt to our ancient traditions. It’s been years since we’ve questioned whether the rituals in the church actually minister to human beings, or are just symbols of what we think the Divine might like.

The good news is, if we’ll stop scolding people with our cold attitude from an old mindset, we might just free up a new idea, using our talents to embrace strangers.

The better news is, we really have no option. If we don’t evolve very soon … there will be no one left around to scold.

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Getting in Character … August 3rd, 2015

 

Jonathots Daily Blog

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spice rack

From Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage and all the men and women, merely players.”

The society of humanity offers pernicious quantities of advice while releasing miniscule portions of support.

There’s a very simple reason for this. Each one of us mortals is deeply afraid that we will fail to receive our required recognition.

So because this climate exists, caution is pushed to the forefront to protect our turf, which lends itself to a backlash, often resulting in evil.

Therefore, we are offered a banquet table with the only entrees being “dull” and “dark.” For a while “dull” is offered as normal, which is followed by a rebellion, which tries to focus on the more unseemly parts of our character. And then, when we get nervous about the world becoming too dark, we “dull out” again, to an uncomfortable level of blandness.

It happens in politics, religion and entertainment.

No one seems to be able to break the cycle. We seem to accept the fact that life in itself is pretty boring, unless you spice it up with vice, sin and bleakness, which lends itself to selfishness and evil.

Yet the people who are recalled by historians as earth-shakers always provide something bold and bright.

Without these individuals, our history would have ceased many times over and cast us into a permanent Dark Ages.

How can you offer something bold to overcome the dull?

Always remember that human beings have two basic needs: they require purpose and praisepurpose in the sense of understanding why they are doing what they are doing, and praise exemplified through enjoyment and appreciation.

So first of all, you can affect any scene in your life by bringing purpose and praise to it instead of feeding the bland and the boring.

Secondly, we need something to enlighten us. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with exposing the darker portions of the human character as long as you do it with light instead of exaggerating the depths of bleakness.

Things get dark enough without us turning off the lights. People of character always must bring some light to the darkness; otherwise, we’ll end up negative and cursing one another.

  • If the world becomes too dull, we become infatuated with the dark.
  • Once frightened of the dark, we too quickly will return to the dull.

Your job, while getting in character, is to bring the bold and the bright and become a light to the world.

 

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