Jesonian … July 7th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3726)

Truthfully, I am very cautious when coining a word or phrase. Even though it may have its charm, it walks a fine line along the cliff of silliness, threatening to fall and be dashed on the rocks of criticism below.

That being said, I felt today’s Jesonian message required the introduction of a word–mainly because in “minting” it, the union of the parts brings to mind the purpose of the action.

So having survived my overly elongated explanation, let me talk to you about “Prayerapy.”

It is a blending of prayer and therapy, which is exactly what prayer was intended to be. Although we envision bowed heads in regal circumstances, offering well-rehearsed soliloquys of devotion and requests to God, Jesus had an entirely different perspective on prayer.

He said it should be free of “much speaking,” should never use “vain repetition,” and certainly was not to be performed “to be seen by others.”

He said it was nurtured by a few simple ingredients:

1. A private closet

2. Shut the door

3. Keep it simple

4. Say secret things to a God who hears in secret

5. Use the kingdom of God within you

6. Speak your heart

7. Leave rejuvenated

Therapists are successful because they get us to talk. We can listen to our own ideas coming out of our own mouths. And faith comes by hearing.

Therefore, healing begins when we hear our thoughts, our concerns, our wishes and our fears spoken aloud from our own lips, announced to our ears.

It is the perfect time to talk out loud, knowing that you’re being heard by your soul, your heart and your Father in heaven.

Then every prayer is answered–because the Bible makes it clear that God is willing to give wisdom and strength to anyone who asks, without questioning the beseecher.

So emerging from that closet, you will have a better understanding of what your heart sounds like, and will come forth with new wisdom and strength.

Prayerapy does not guarantee that a check will come in the mail, your rent will be paid, or that you’ll be healed of your disease. But it will certainly set in motion the awareness, the clear-headedness and the joy which makes the solutions appear more plausible.

*****

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Good News and Better News … April 2nd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3630)

Little Jonathan, Jonny, Precious, Jon, Big Jon, Rock, singer, artist, Jonathan Richard, lover, boyfriend, daddy, Papa, father, traveler, performer, controversial, G-Pop, blogger, songwriter, friend.

These are all names associated with me over the years. What a list.

I am not that significant. But I also must tell you that Alexander the Great was not that great, and Ming the Merciful was often fussy.

Names are bandied about to explain what we feel rather than to clarify what someone or something is. This came to my mind last night when I watched the NBC version of “Jesus Christ, Superstar.”

Not only did he need to be “Jesus,” but someone required him to take on the name “Christ.” And not only “Christ” but now, by reputation, he has become a “Superstar.”

A list of such names and adjectives is accumulated in Isaiah from the Good Book.

  • Wonderful
  • Counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of Peace

I suppose most people would proclaim that Jesus was all of those. But I’m sorry. “Wonderful” just does not do it for me. Sitting around and praising a deity for his goodness does very little to enhance my life.

Some folks would find it essential to establish that he is a “Mighty God,” but I think mastering the rising of the sun and the setting of the same makes that pretty clear.

“Everlasting Father?” I actually need a father here. I don’t know if I need one for eternity.

“Prince of Peace?” That’s cool, but the Prince of Peace also required that I be a peace-maker.

As I look at all the superlatives used to describe the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the one that stands out to me from the list is “Counselor.”

Jesus is my counselor. He has kept me out of jail. He has assisted me in maintaining my fibers of sanity. He has led me in understanding how to become more valuable to the human beings around me. He has informed me on discovering when a door is closed and when it is open.

He taught me to ask and seek and knock instead of complaining about the menu that life has thrust at me.

Because I have accepted him as my counselor, wonderful things have happened. I have been able, through my testimony, to confirm that he is a “Mighty God” and an “Everlasting Father.” And peace? He has been a Prince.

But more importantly, he is my counselor because he is my confidante, and for those who pursue the path of atheism, he is my invisible friend, whom I frequently talk to. And if he doesn’t exist, he’s still a great therapy session. After all, not everyone can afford two hundred dollars an hour for a professional.

I do believe that what you call Jesus does determine the level of religiosity which plagues your soul–because every drop of traditional religion that inhabits us also inhibits us.

So the good news is that Jesus, being versatile, has many names, and just like you and me, has taken on a variety of personas.

And the better news is, you can feel free to call him anything you want.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2990)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Premise: Six couples on a ship, cruising through the Caribbean, participating in a couple’s retreat…

 

Dear Man: What are you talking about?

 

Dear Woman: Just be patient. Follow the premise. Do you see the six couples?

 

Dear Man: Are they squabbling?

 

Dear Woman: Each one on the verge of divorce. So they have all decided to take this last step in an attempt to save their marriages, even though all six are pretty well convinced it’s over.

 

Dear Man: So why are they on the cruise?

 

Dear Woman: Propriety. Maybe it just sounds fun to go on a cruise. Who knows? But they’ve agreed to do the therapy for three days, mingled with daiquiris and fresh crab.

 

Dear Man: OK. I can see it. So what’s the point?

 

Dear Woman: In the midst of the journey, the ship, although a pretty large yacht, is struck by a tsunami.

 

Dear Man: Wait. There are no tsunamis in the Caribbean.

 

Dear Woman: Work with me here. Let’s say there are. It’s huge. The tsunami, I mean. It destroys the ship and all the crew and counselors are lost except for these six couples, who wash on the shore of a desert island.

 

Dear Man: Is one of them named Gilligan?

 

Dear Woman: No. There’s no Professor or Mary Ann, either. Just six couples who went on a trip in an attempt to save their marriages–kind of.

 

Dear Man: You got my interest. So what happens next?

 

Dear Woman: That’s the point. Suddenly six couples who were fighting and arguing discover that they are marooned and in need of cooperation.

 

Dear Man: Don’t you think they would just keep fighting?

 

Dear Woman: Not if they want to survive. You see, I think that’s what keeps the gender wars alive in America–the luxury of laziness. Because we have so much time on our hands, and we’re not trying to raise crops and fight off Indians, and keep the drought from destroying the cattle, we have all this extra energy that we spend finding reasons to dislike each other.

 

Dear Man: That’s a little weird.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But think about it. If six quarreling couples suddenly found themselves trapped on a desert island, needing to interact to live, would there even be any discussion about who’s spending too much time at work or who needs more space?

 

Dear Man: Of course not. They wouldn’t even talk about man and woman issues at all.

 

Dear Woman: Here’s where it gets exciting. I think four things would immediately come to play. First, what do we really need? Not “what do we want?” or “what can we complain about?” What do we really need to make it through this day and maybe tomorrow?

 

Dear Man: I get it. Can I do a second one? I would want to know what you can do. After all, we have suddenly gone from being six couples to twelve people. So what can you do?

 

Dear Woman: And you would want to know about yourself–“what can I do?” Which leads to the fourth point: “What can we do together?”

 

Dear Man: So you’re saying, as men and women, we are much better off when we’re in survival mode instead of arguing about Netflix and PTA meetings.

 

Dear Woman: Absolutely. If our lives revolved around “what do we really need, what can you do, what can I do and what can we do together?”–we would embrace compliance.

 

Dear Man: Because on a desert island there is neither male or female. You are either a contributor or you are a drain on resources.

 

Dear Woman: Well said. So what happens if we simulate this in our everyday lives and look at each other as contributors instead of competitors?

 

Dear Man: That could be truly amazing.

 

Dear Woman: And amazing is exactly what we need to survive.

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The Alphabet of Us: F is for Fret … January 12, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2471)

Building Block F bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

Fear tentatively creeps across the stage and cautiously introduces “fret”–then runs and hides. Fret takes over.

Fret has three modes of operation:

1. Hesitation. “I’m not sure.”

2. Procrastination. “Let’s wait a little while.”

3. Frustration. “What the hell is happening?”

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that fear is what got our fretful show going. Matter of fact, it’s almost impossible to trace it back to a specific apprehension that triggers our nervous twitches and worrisome attitudes.

People spend millions of dollars in therapy attempting to find the lineage of their fret. Honestly, my dear friends, I think it’s time and money wasted.

Since fret has decided to be the front man for the “band of fear,” you might want to deal with the lead singer.

Therefore, the main reason we hesitate is because we either refuse to deal with what we have or we’re convinced it’s insufficient. Here’s a great piece of advice:

What you have you have. What I have, I have.

Waiting for a new shipment to reinforce our supply causes us to fret. We do much better when we assume that no more is coming and we make a plan to use what we have.

Likewise, we procrastinate because we are unsure that what we have can be turned into what we can do, and that it will have any impact in solving our situation. Can we simplify?

What we can do is what we can do, and if more is needed, there is nothing we can do.

And often, developing a sense of humor about our lack causes others, and even God, to want to step in and fill in the gap.

And finally, frustration is when we’re constantly obsessed with the finish line and have lost sight of the steps that get us there.

For if I find out what I have and what I can do, I have the great opportunity to celebrate what is at least a good start.

Fret is an exercise in vanity.

It is the notion that we have achieved some status of importance that should make us pressure-free.

But if we find out what we have, and we discover what we can actually do and we pronounce it to be a good start, then hesitation, procrastination and frustration will be dismissed from our cast and replaced with much better actors.

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