Drawing Attention … August 29th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Here’s a video of the upcoming schedule for Jonathots.

Press or click the middle of the screen and enjoy.

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Published in: on August 29, 2018 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Good News and Better News… November 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-man-thanksgiving

Yesterday–for the first time all year–I did not go to a church and share my heart for a Sunday morning worship service.

I am officially on hiatus for the Christmas season. I think the obvious questions would be, how do I feel about not ministering and performing. Did I miss it?

Actually what I felt was nothing.

Although some people would consider that to be a negative statement, “nothing” is the most positive position in which we can find ourselves.

Several years ago I was prompted in my spirit to close letters I wrote to a friend with the phrase, “without nothing.” I think she was a bit confused by this departing phrase, but it’s quite simple. Without nothing, something has no chance of happening.

The best way to ensure that you will not pursue anything of new value or creativity is to constantly claim, “I’m busy.”

Busy smothers the better parts of our soul

Busy convinces us that we have no time.

And busy shuts out others in preference to a pre-arranged party-goers.

When we finally stop being busy, we can arrive at nothing, which then offers the possibility of something.

If we don’t have enough time on our hands to be nearly frustrated by the time on our hands, then we’ll never use the time on our hands to take our hands to create.

  • Without nothing, there is no something.
  • Without a void, there is no filling.
  • Without loneliness, no new relationships.
  • Without grumbling over the absence of a feeling, there is no seeking innovation.

So as I sat in my chair Sunday morning, thinking for a moment what song I might be singing or story I might be telling under normal conditions, I was suddenly flooded with the assurance that God uses nothing to get my attention to do something.

That’s the good news.

The better news is: I found something.

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Waiting for the Load… October 13, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Swimming pools have water. May I follow that revelation with the admission that I enjoy water? Baptism, baths, splish or splash–the wet stuff is nice.

That’s why it’s difficult to believe that until I was twenty-seven years old, I never put on a suit, went to a swimming pool and jumped in the water with my friends. I was fat. I was that “adolescent obese,” where as a man, you have muscle and strength but you’re also covered with enough loose skin and blubber to make it appear, from a distance, that your sex is ambiguous. At least that’s the way I felt.

I actually sat by the pool with my companions, dressed in long pants, shirt and shoes and pretended I was having a good time while they all acted “cool in the pool.” They pleaded with me to come in but I always told them, “Next time.”

As you well know, next time never comes.

Matter of fact, as I look back on it, I’m not quite sure what finally prompted me to slide on a pair of short pants, take off my shirt and flop my way into the refreshing tide. I think I finally just got tired of being tired. I got weary of being the one who had explanations for all my insecurities, which were generally accepted by those around me.

I bring this up to you because the first time I did go in a pool without a shirt, wearing trunks, was probably one of the more horrible experiences of my life. I  succeeded in finding a time when there was no one at the pool and slid into the water without being eyeballed. But lo and behold, before I was able to make my departure, a kid’s party invaded the establishment, with balloons and about twenty of the brattiest children I have ever met. So I dunked myself under the water to hide my obvious thighs, but the time of the party extended beyond my available pool time. In other words, I had to get out of the pool in front of the kids.

I put it off and I put it off. Finally, it was beginning to look like I might be a little odd or checking out the children for hanging around so long, so I headed for the exit steps and ascended. As I came out of the pool, I noticed that the children, who had been screaming and playing behind me, suddenly fell silent. All at once, one of the boys started to laugh, which caused all the other children to burst into hooting and hollering.

I was humiliated and angry–and in my haste to try to grab my shirt, I tripped over a chair and fell against the fence. This only increased the enjoyment of my little rabble-rousers. I stomped away, saying some nasty little piece of nothing in their direction. It was months before I attempted to be courageous again.

But I learned that day. Well, maybe it was weeks after that I learned. But eventually, a lesson did land in my spirit. Here it is. No matter what we attempt, no matter how we try, no matter how much we plan–every day life is going to arrive with a load.

It isn’t there to aggravate us. It isn’t Satan tracking us down so he can poke us with his pointy tail. It isn’t because we are full of evil and depravity. And it isn’t because we “forgot to do something” and next time we need to be more careful. It’s just that God allows Mother Nature to mix things, up so all the big boys and girls don’t grab all the big marbles and go into the big house and make their big plans and look out of their big windows–and laugh at all the little people. In other words, all of us take a turn at losing our marbles.

This week, as I have launched on this faith-mission with my health, the realization about the “Load” has been prevalent in my mind and present in my reality. Take yesterday. I love Fridays on the road because I have an extra writing session–a letter I write to 350-plus pastors across the nation who have become my acquaintances and friends. It is also laundry day. Without fear of losing my macho portion, I love the smell of clean clothes. It is a day to plan for my weekend, when I will get to meet wonderful, dynamic human beings and share my dribble of talent and insight.  Yesterday was no different. I had all those blessings, but mingled in was the realization that I am struggling in my walk.

So what is the key to life when we’re all “waiting for the load”–that unexpected punch of possible problems that comes our way, ignoring both our wishes and our pre-packaged purpose? It’s a two-step process:

1. Plan simple so complications won’t frustrate you. If you look at what you decide to do on any given day and you’re already exasperated, take four things off the list. Because four things will get added on later without your permission, and if you have kept your list intact, you will not only be overwhelmed, you will become infuriated.

2. Budget in time for rest. You may not get it, but if you don’t budget it, you can guarantee yourself that you’ll never find a moment to take a breath during the day.

There’s the magic. I woke up yesterday morning knowing that I am still having pain in my legs, with some difficulty in standing to my feet without a grimace or two. So what became my load?

Well, because I have been working so hard to try to walk, I had to overcome a muscle ache in my right leg. But I did have a great bathroom stop which, for some reason or another, seemed to alleviate some of the discomfort.

I made my way down to the pool in the wheelchair and lowered myself into the water and it felt so good–but walking around in the pool was a bit painful and caused climbing the steps and getting back into the chair to have a bit of a Herculean effect.

It was completely balanced–but I did not begin the day setting any anticipations that did not seem reasonable. I was waiting for the load.

It is coming. There is no temptation that is not common to all of us. Please do not think you are going to escape making tough decisions in faith, simply because you have padded a bank account, paid into Social Security, done an oil change on your car or saw the doctor a month ago. There is one certainty for all of humanity–there will eventually be something that comes our way that we did not plan for that will jettison us from this earth.

So, what did I learn yesterday while I was “waiting for the load?” I once again praised my heavenly Father for such an articulate and meticulous organizational creation, available to us mortals if we will allow ourselves to be human instead of insisting that we’re gods.

Here is a four-stanza little verse that I pass on to you, which you may want to absorb into your everyday thinking:

No more than we can bear

Not less than we can share

Not easy to make us lazy

Not hard to make us crazy.

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