Good News and Better News… August 7th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is truly amazing how God’s plan for my life works so much better when I make good decisions.

Maybe that’s because God, who gave every human being free will, does not “plan our life.” Instead, he offers wisdom, strength and grace to those who remain humble. I see this every single day of my time on Earth.

Some people are waiting for God to do what He’s already done.

Others take what God has done and go out and do something with it.

I was a blessed man to be granted the opportunity to share at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Palm Harbor, Florida. I ran across people who were thinking about making good decisions.

One fellow candidly told me that when he walked in and saw that there were guest ministers, he wanted to walk right back out. But he decided to sit down –n a grumpy sort of way–and ended up being thrilled with his choice.

Another fellow was recovering from stomach problems and decided to come in spite of them, and departed exhilarated.

I ran across person after person who explained to me that the facts set before them did not necessarily warrant optimism or faith, but they chose to rearrange circumstances to their better advantage.

Jesus never criticized anyone for showing initiative to change his or her life. In our religion we often connote that too much ambition, or even an overload of passion, is detrimental to Godly humility. In the process, many of those who darken the door of the church are plagued by insecurity.

I am a human who truly has been granted a great opportunity of possibility–I get to go and share my thoughts, my songs, my words and my good cheer, with the aspiration of inspiring others. Did God plan for me to do this? He certainly is grateful for my efforts–and I, for His mission.

The good news is that we have been given the tools, the opportunity and the potential to make fruitful lives.

The better news is that our Father in heaven, from a position of support, is admiring our growth.

 

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The On Must Go Show … September 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2015)

onFuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.

But last night, in the middle of my show, when my electronic piano went fuzzy, it was very hard to bear. Bluntly, it’s difficult to be a workman without tools. Maybe we should not be too vulnerable to the world of miracle machines, but unfortunately, we ALL suffer under the addiction.

I made what I thought was a “quick fix” and tried to do one additional song, but my piano had figuratively stomped out of the room and called it an early evening.

What next?

The good folk who had come out so graciously to see and hear us did not need to be disappointed by my failing keyboard. Also, in my opinion, it was not necessary to involve them in the dilemma since they probably have sufficient difficulties of their own.

You see, it’s not so much that “the show must go on,” but instead, “the on must go show.”

If you’re going to call yourself a craftsman–someone who has achieved a level of expertise–it is your job to be “on.” What does that mean to me?

To be “on” is to know what and why I am doing what I’m doing. When I forget that, I become simpy, obnoxious and double-minded.

An electronic keyboard throwing a fit onstage doesn’t have anything to do with my calling. It is my duty to stay “on.”

So then I am ready to go. I love people who really understand the word “go.” It means “keep moving towards a solution.”

If you have an emotional breakdown every time you see a breakdown in your plans, you will be useless to yourself and others. It was my job to come up with a solution on the fly with regard to my temperamental eighty-eight keys. I did not look to the audience; I did not look to my stage partner, and honestly, dear friends, I didn’t look to God.

Even though I believe that He is constantly divinely inspired, I do NOT think He has hung out a shingle advertising, “Piano Repair.”

It was MY “go” and mine alone. I needed to move towards a solution. I had approximately three seconds of dead air available to achieve a positive direction. Here’s what I did: I rose from my piano and quietly moved over to the grand sitting nearby and continued my escapade. I made no explanation; I didn’t apologize. Truthfully, I didn’t even acknowledge that I had a problem, which brings me to the final point–“show.”

Here’s what I think a “show” is: don’t make your job and your life everybody else’s business.

After all, it’s only “sharing” if people are interested in what you’re saying. After that, it’s boring. It was not the privilege of that audience to be privy to my tribulation. They were there to join into a common experience of inspiration and entertainment.

I wish I could pass this on to politicians–that it’s their job to be “on,” to move forward to solution, and to understand that it’s not the fault of the American people that they’re inept.

Every preacher should realize that when he or she arrives on Sunday morning, they need to be “on” and go towards Spirit–and not show the congregation all the frailties of finance or the frayed carpet in the narthex.

It’s a part of growing up.

I don’t know if some of the people in last night’s audience even knew there was a lack. Good. For after all, they don’t need another concern, do they?

So I pass this along to you, not to lead you to believe that I’m special or a dynamic professional. What I did last night was basic–basic humanity.

The on must go show.

It’s the ability to rejoice in your burden ,,, and be grateful that you’ve been given the honor of carrying it.

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

Quatrain of Humor … June 24, 2013

(1923)

More life

Less strife

No fear

Good cheer

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

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 Jonathots, Jr.!

Click below for a quick daily thought from Jonathan

https://jonathots.wordpress.com/jonathots-jr/

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

The Shovel… December 29, 2011

(1,377) 

Jonathan in Miami

A man found himself abandoned in a hole, with no visible means of escape. Terrified questions attacked his brain: “How did I get here? How do I get out?” The two fears collided for some time, causing him to be immobilized in trepidation until finally he came to his senses and realized that the most important thing was to get out and THEN consider what had entombed him. So he grabbed his shovel, the only tool available to him, and started to work. Hours passed. After taking a rest due to near-exhaustion, he looked around and realized he was no better off. Matter of fact, from his seated position on the ground, it seemed he had fallen even deeper into the abyss. What was he going to do?

He was about ready to give up when a thought came to his mind. He looked at the shovel in his hand and realized that rather than being an aid to his salvation, it was just causing him greater harm. He chuckled a bit to himself at the notion that he was trying to escape a hole by digging his way out. The shovel was not his friend–the shovel had become his enemy. He set it aside and tried to devise another plan, but for some mysterious reason, his brain kept floating back to the shovel, wanting to utilize the old implement. Yes, he was drawn to his adversary. It aggravating him that he was such a creature of habit and his repetition was causing him to not only lose all hope, but maybe relinquish his life. It suddenly occurred to him that unless he could get that shovel far away from him, he would never be able to escape. Grabbing it and mustering every bit of energy he possessed, he flung the shovel into the air. It landed high above his head, out of sight. He rested for a few moments and then rose with renewed vigor, and using his own hands, legs and feet, he crawled, wiggled and climbed his way to safety.

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Charlie was trying to quit smoking. This was his seventeenth attempt at de-cigaretting himself. Obviously, the previous efforts had failed. Some of his expeditions into becoming smoke-free had lasted as much as four days–down to as little as four minutes. He didn’t understand why he was unable to escape the nastiness and unhealthiness of the practice. In most areas he was a pretty strong fellow, with good resolve, but when it came to those little white sticks, he was as weak as a kitten. But it was Thursday and it was time to try again. Three hours later he lit up. What was wrong with him? He drew a deep breath and with that intake of air, he was granted a revelation–because what he took into his lungs was the fragrance and overwhelming odor of tobacco. He understood in that moment that even though his brain and soul were intent on quitting smoking, his atmosphere, including the air he breathed, was filled with the intoxicant.

So he scrubbed his house, opened up his windows and sprayed all of his surroundings with Febreeze. In the process, he discovered that his abode was littered with memorabilia to the habit–ash trays, match books, cigarette lighters, abandoned packages of cigarettes, cartons hidden in cupboards–all luring him into his addiction. He grabbed a big trashcan and began to throw things away. Before he knew it, he needed an additional trashcan to complete the effort. But finally his house was clean and free of all accoutrements to the deadly intake. He even had to throw away that ashtray he kept in his bathroom for his morning cigarette–the one made by his young son in kindergarten.

He recommitted himself–and this time lasted for five days, until he was sitting in his car and was overwhelmed by the desire for a drag. What was wrong with him? The light bulb went off in his brain. He had not cleansed his vehicle. It smelled like freshly lit-up tobacco, and the ashtrays were full of abandoned butts. He quickly drove to a nearby car wash and paid fifty dollars for the car to be cleaned, detailed and the ashtrays to be absolved of their smelly contents. He drove away and never smoked again. He realized that sometimes it’s not enough to desire to overcome your problem–if you’re still surrounded by the things you want.

It’s a valuable lesson.

The truth of the matter is, if you find yourself in a hole, guilt is useless, questioning is nearly comical and frustration rings a bit of self-righteousness. We, ourselves, dug most of the holes that imprison us.

And the only way to escape is to acknowledge that fact …  and throw the shovel away.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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