Salient … May 21st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3673)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

There is no escape.

No value in running.

Certainly no place to hide.

There are nearly a billion eyeballs staring at you and tens of millions of I-Phones trained on your every move.

Privacy is a concept but never a reality. You are being viewed, and often critically. Even individuals who do not speak to you are still noting your temperament, actions, generosity or lack of compassion.

Perhaps the greatest irony in the human experience is the notion that each one of us should carry a certain amount of overwrought self-esteem, even though simultaneously, you will not tolerate it in any other mortal.

Common sense should kick in. You and I should realize that since we are a species that respects the hell out of humility, pushing our self-worth too far guarantees a backlash from those who feel we are overbearing.

You must realize that kindness, mercy, grace and gentleness are not virtues but rather, precautions–used by intelligent people to protect them from the galling scrutiny of bystanders who draw conclusions from very little evidence.

And from those conclusions they decide how they will treat you.

Case in point:

Sometimes they don’t even know why they don’t like you, but they remember how you cut someone off in traffic, and it pissed them off.

They recall being in the room when you lied to your wife or your family.

They watch as, for the fourteenth time, you walk by a homeless person who is seeking a buck.

They burn with anger over your lack of consideration, caused by your perpetual boredom with your own life. Even though they themselves wouldn’t have done anything differently, you are not permitted indiscretion. You are not allowed to be obnoxious.

Courtesy is not an adventure of the meek, trying to keep the world civil. It is a coat of armor to protect against the slings and arrows which come from the probing public, always ready to indict, prosecute and convict.

And that doesn’t even take into consideration that there may be an Eternal Creator, also watching, who happens to know the number of “glares in your head.”

If you decide to be surly, always realize that there are people who saw it. They will take that encounter and use it against you in a time and place which you do not know.

So now for our salient moment. May I keep it simple?

Be mean, be seen.

Be kind, clear mind.

 

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Jesonian … April 7th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3635)

Every story is better told and more effective when the facts are allowed to line up in a reasonable order.

Such is true of the Gospel of Jesus.

Theologians spend so much time proclaiming him the Son of God that they lose the fragrance and uniqueness of the Son of Man. In an attempt to make the tale “super” they lose all of the “natural.”

The average person going to church is deluded by an array of facts which just don’t add up to a crucifixion.

One of those great misconceptions is that Jesus was extremely popular. There were certainly occasions when his crowd appeal spiked, but it always revolved around three stimuli:

A. Was he doing miracles?

B. Was he feeding people?

C. Did it look like he was the Jewish Messiah?

Whenever the populace became convinced through these three “signs and wonders” that God was going to save them from the Romans, they rallied around Jesus. Whenever it was obvious that he was intent on sharing a more universal message which included people that were not Jewish, they slipped away.

Let’s look at some facts:

1. Jesus was rejected by his home town, Nazareth, and never able to return again. Not only was he ignored, but threatened with death–dangled from the edge of a cliff.

2. Even though Jesus held a great revival in Samaria with the testimony from a woman at a well, when he returned to the city, he was forbidden to enter by the town fathers because they found out he also ministered to the Jews.

3. When he fed the 5,000 in Galilee, the hordes followed him for a while–until he told them this was not a food pantry, but rather, that his words and life were the message they were supposed to “eat.” They all departed–except for the twelve.

4. Over and over again, interest sparked with the Pharisees, but when Simon, one of their number, invited him to a special meal, the Pharisee snubbed Jesus and treated him like an outsider.

5. After the resurrection, it is recorded that over 500 people saw Jesus–witnesses of the miracle. But on the Day of Pentecost only 120 remained. Kind of a drastic drop-off.

I guess we feel the need to believe that Jesus was greatly appreciated by the people in his generation, and taken to be crucified only by a handful of powerful critics.

It’s just not true.

We are told that most of the time he dealt with twelve disciples–and he focused on three of them, to be the core leaders. We have some idea of the size of a normal following of Jesus when the scriptures let us know that he sent seventy out to share in his name.

If you are trying to give credence to the message of Jesus by pointing out how enthralled the Jewish community and the Roman oppressors were, then you will be sadly disappointed when you read the actual accounts of his mistreatment and the number of individuals who desperately tried to ignore him.

We’re even told that John the Baptist’s disciples did not believe in him.

Jesus had a model. It’s very simple: Develop a hot core of followers and let them radiate the message.

Nowadays we are so eager to build up numbers in the sanctuary that we fail to build up people. Jesus basically spent three-and-a-half years working on twelve human beings.

  • One of them betrayed him and killed himself.
  • Another denied him, and was prepared to leave the work.
  • Yet another one doubted that a resurrection was possible.

Do not despair–Jesus suffered the same slings and arrows of human apathy that you and I encounter every day. He just had a great system. So when he left the planet, there was a handful of people who knew what he taught, knew what he stood for and were prepared to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to give them the power and insight to take the Gospel to the whole world.

*****

Like the mind of Jesus–without religion? Buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

G-Poppers … August 12th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3031)

Jon close up

G-Pop is finding it a bit difficult to speak to his children.

For it seems that ideas which once had universal appeal have now been categorized as antagonistic to certain political persuasions.

Matter of fact, just the other day he told one of his sons that “being kind is smart.” The young fellow, who is a Republican, thought he was speaking against the Grand Old Party, and espousing some namby-pamby liberal propaganda.

Likewise, G-Pop told one of his daughters that there is great wisdom in “minding your own business.” She concluded that he was a Republican who wanted to keep the government out of his affairs.

And G-Pop seems to baffle everyone when he contends that one of the greater axioms of life is “don’t complain.” To the majority of his children, this sounds almost un-American.

So in the quest to gain political footing or governmental control, virtuous principles are being abandoned in favor of temporary tantrums.

G-Pop thinks we’ve totally forgotten what makes America truly exceptional:

We are a people who are poor in spirit but mourn in our meek way as we hunger and thirst for greater understanding and righteousness, extending mercy to others, while keeping an eye on the purity of our motives. We are always looking for ways to make peace, realizing that doing so will bring some persecution from those who would rather destroy. But we take heart, knowing that our forefathers suffered the slings and arrows of the insane mob which tried to promote war, as we choose to rejoice and be exceedingly glad because we know that history is on the side of the nation that honors humanity.

You see, the problem could “beatitude.”

And G-Pop is curious.

Is there a political party that believes in this?

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

It Still Works … August 1, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1961)

nooseThree hundred and sixty five days.

That’s a year, right? I mean, I know it’s a year, but sometimes you look at a number you’re totally acquainted with and it looks weird to you.

But anyway, it was one year ago that a friend of mine called me on the phone, distraught, disappointed, disgusted and feeling generally … dissed.

He had faithfully worked a job for three years, trying to improve the quality of his performance and expand as an individual, only to be struck down in an ego battle with a new employee who decided that my friend was in the way and needed to be disposed of quickly.

He was fired from his position.

He was hurt. He had never experienced such humiliation.

It is difficult, at that point, for anyone to believe that anything good will come out of the situation. Foolishness, self-righteousness and revenge seem to have great power when we’ve been laid waste by the selfishness of others.

It’s because we have all been taught a lesson or two about “might making right.” We all think the Marines should sweep in and punish the evil-doers. We succumb to the notion that if God really loved us, He would destroy our enemies.

So I was pleasantly surprised when my friend received my counsel. My advice was simple:

“Stupid that pretends to be smart always eventually gets exposed as stupid and then–ends up smarting.”

For instance, we see Haman in the Old Testament, plotting against Esther, to murder the competition by building a gallows where he hoped she would be hung for being a traitor. But move ahead a few months. Truth comes out, lies are exposed, plots are revealed … and Hamen is hanging from his own gallows.

Meanwhile, back to my friend: one year to the day after he was demoralized by the foolish avenger, he not only has grown, prospered and enricheded his sitruation, but the gentleman who decided to mark him for destruction–he, himself, is now gone to parts unknown.

The good news of the gospel WORKS.

Jesus never told us that wisdom is a fully grown plant. It is always a seed. It demands that we place it in the ground provided for us and then have a bit of patience to see goodness come to fruition.

The only other alternative is to indulge yourself in a bloody hand-to-hand combat with other human beings until you are eventually vanquished by someone stronger.

When my friend called yesterday, to tell me of the fate of his foe, I was relieved. I was not comforted because someone suffered the slings and arrows of his own device, but rather, I felt a sense of great wonder–that the gospel of Jesus, which is normally eyeballed as a philosophy of the weak and poor–had once again proven that it triumphs over the rich and the haughty.

It still works, my friends. Normally, it demands that you swallow a lump of pride and digest it out of your system in order to give God a chance to prove the point … and bless you.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Fallback Position… July 8, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1937)

Lot's wifeNow abide faith, hope and love…”

Really?

Where do they abide? Do they have a home somewhere that we can visit? Or are they polite virtues, waiting to be invited into our houses?

Even though these three have great power to turn our race into a meaningful creation, there are forces at work in the human family which would love to limit their effect. And you know what the problem is? It’s all done under the guise of acquiring knowledge.”

Faith suffers because there are folks who promote the “regality of reality,” where faith is concluded to be ignorant, silly and unrealistic. I will concur with them that faith in the presence of stark reality does appear to be somewhat child-like. As I hear some talk show host decry the story of Noah and the Ark as being “foolish fable,” I have to ask myself, then why is this he still talking about it–after five thousand years? Faith has the luxury of longevity, whereas reality has about a twenty-four-hour lifespan.

Likewise, hope suffers from the same slings and arrows. Whereas faith is often attacked by a darkened reality, hope is buffeted by cynicism. The three mantras of the cynic are:

  • “We already tried that”
  • “People can’t pull that off;” and
  • “How do we know that the goal is suitable for everybody?”

Cynicism is the enemy of hope, who desires no enemy.

And then there’s love. Love is drained of its influence and passion by fear.

  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of strangers.
  • Fear of anyone outside our little circle.
  • Fear of being abandoned.
  • Fear of not being given our due.

So even though faith, hope and love try to abide, reality, cynicism and fear do their very best to evict them.

This would be fine if the battle lines were drawn clearly between two camps dubbed “Good” and “Evil.” But it isn’t that way. Even those who have a sustaining trust in God have relinquished their faith, hope and love–adapting to a society which touts a temporary reality, a growing cynicism and a penchant for fear.

Is it possible to have faith and still be so absorbed in this world that you remove the mustard seed from the ground so nothing grows?

How about claiming to have a hope, but still privately nurturing a cynicism about humanity, and therefore the Creator who spawned the idea?

You might even insist that you’re a loving individual, but so overtaken by your own worries and trepidations that you fail to step out of your circle and expand your vision.

I’m afraid the church has taken a fallback position, trying to be relevant to our society instead of being the great welcome wagon to faith, hope and love.

I reject all reality if it ignores the importance of faith.

I’m going to walk away from my cynicism because it taints my hope.

And I will allow the Holy Spirit to dispel my fears so that my love can be pure.

I am not ready to surrender.

I don’t need … a fallback position.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: