Jesonian: Every Week at 11 A. M…. May 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2237)

serviceChurch.

Some people revere it; other folks revile it.

I am curious if anyone’s interested in attempting to revive it.

Yes. What is a Jesonian church?

What would a church be if it was headed by Pastor Jesus?

We don’t need to speculate too much because it was Jesus’ custom to be at the synagogue on the Sabbath. When there, we have several accounts of his deeds, predilections, preferences and even aggravations.

He had definite ideas.

1. Welcoming.

Any church that is Jesonian needs to be welcoming. We often forget that along with the teachings, the miracles and the plan of salvation, Jesus is the only leader in history who was able to take Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Phoenicians and Egyptians and bring them under one banner through his story. We must remember that the church is an organism, not an organization, so no application is necessary to fill out for membership.

2. Equality.

A Jesonian church would be one filled with children and women–given a place of equality. Much to the chagrin of his disciples, Jesus was surrounded by children, and in an extremely male-dominated society, welcomed females freely.

3. Stories.

Not preaching. Parables of everyday life, relating what had been considered to be the mystery of godliness to common topics such as farming, fishing, parenting and even sweeping one’s own house.

4. Spontaneity.

I chuckle sometimes when I hear ministers tell me they have their services planned six months in advance. Without being judgmental, let me tell you–spirituality does not work that way. A Jesonian church would permit itself to have some ideas or jot down some possibilities for the service, but would always be ready to minister to the daily need and the primary concern at hand.

We often see Jesus healing on the Sabbath–not merely to object to the rigidity of Mosaic Law, but because someone present was in need of immediate attention.

5. Breaking tradition.

It is incorrect to portray Jesus as a renegade, but certainly, including his reformation spirit and his renaissance creativity is essential if you’re going to have a Jesonian church. Jesus had only one qualification for any religious practice: can it come from the heart?

In other words, can we be emotionally involved in it, or is it just vain repetition?

6. Repentance.

To be a Jesonain church, repentance and transformation are necessary. Repentance does not follow a sermon of condemnation. Repentance happens when we are overwhelmed with the goodness of God and realize we are living beneath our privilege, often in the pig pen.

The church needs a revival.

This will not be achieved by either revering it or by reviling it.

It will be accomplished as we awaken the parts of us that are more spirit than the letter of the law.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Coupling … February 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2163)

cells divideOver the Christmas holidays a friend asked me to go to a movie. I joked with him that two guys in a theater together might be perceived as “gay.”

In the midst of what we consider to be a great transformation of cultural awareness in the United States of America, we are also simultaneously becoming more cautious, provincial and suspicious. At times I wonder if I could take my fifteen-year-old granddaughter out to dinner without people musing whether it’s an episode of Law and Order: SVU.

And then there’s the issue that for eighteen years I have been traveling with a vibrant woman who is talented, plays music and is a great business partner, but I still have people asking if we’re married. How many married people do you know who make music together? There’s a difference between two turtle doves in a nest and a pair of eagles, soaring high.

This led me to think about the dilemma faced by Jesus in the Good Book, when he decided to send his friends and disciples out two by two. How controversial that must have been.

  • Could he send two guys together without everybody thinking they were Greek homosexuals?
  • How about a man and woman, without everybody speculating on their copulating?
  • Check this one out–could two women go out in that male-dominated society and make an impact for his Kingdom Movement?
  • One black, one white?
  • How about  Jew and  Gentile?
  • And what would happen if you mixed a Samaritan in there, whom, it seemed, everybody hated?

Yes, the decision to send people out two by two–coupling them–was probably one of the more radical propositions Jesus ever initiated.

Because even though we proclaim that our world needs more good news, human beings are actually drawn to bad news, even as they insist how ugly it is, and then whisper the gossip to every living soul they meet.

So this I know:

  1. Do what works.
  2. Don’t expect it to be accepted.
  3. Get the chip off your shoulder and refuse to be defensive.
  4. Keep doing it … and bear fruit.

America will be a much better country when we get out of our national funk of abiding arrogance …  and crippling fear.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Jesonian: Making Better Humans… February 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2159)

drawing of jesusWhat would it be like to spend one day with Jesus?

Would there be a lot of prayer involved? Or would it end up that he was being honest when he said he did most of his praying in a closet by himself?

Would you get lunch, or would he be in the midst of fasting? Actually, the religious leaders criticized him for not fasting, and called him a wine-bibber and a glutton.

Would there be a lot of preaching and studying of Old Testament scrolls? Word has it that when he was around folks he just told stories, inviting them to interpret and therefore involve themselves in their own spirituality.

Would he be critical of the weaker members who surrounded him? I’ve read stories in which he was willing to forgive even adultery, if there was a heart for transformation.

Was he a good Jew? Jews sure didn’t think so. Matter of fact, it was against their law to kill one of their own, but they had no trouble putting a hit out on the Nazarene.

Was he a theologian? A deist? A philosopher? A manic healer? Or a humanist?

This is what we know for sure–he marveled at two things: people who had great faith and people who had no faith.

He believed his mission was to make better humans, not to make people dependent on either their faults or some vision of God.

He was delighted when he saw those who broke through their own insecurities and frustrations, to believe there was more. And he was equally as surprised with those who decided to ignore the evidence of blessing in their lives and take the road of doubt.

This I know–Jesus wanted to make better people.

It’s why the religious people didn’t like him. They wanted a quick work of salvation that got them off the hook through the shedding of blood through sacrificial lambs.

He asked them to be involved in their lives and take responsibility for their actions. They left him hanging, on the bad side of town.

If you’re not grounded in a place where Jesus is being taught to you, with the aspiration that you will continue to grow in your love, appreciation and creativity, then you’re just at the mercy of a gaggle of religious fanatics.

And all religious fanatics have one thing in common–when they run out of enemies on the outside, they start killing off each other.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Rebirth Certificate… December 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2096)

birthdayJonI was born.

Although present, I retain no memory. Apparently there were people who were excited about the idea, who later became overwhelmed with the duties and responsibility and eventually settled into a nearly comical profile, blending pride and disappointment. Funny thing about family–it is often touted as our greatest benefactor. But truthfully, it’s more like investors grumbling over the return.

They gave me a certificate at my birth to confirm that the appearance actually happened–that I was not an alien and therefore was qualified, or at least permitted, to be President of the United States if I reached such an arrogant and ridiculous conclusion.

As wonderful as it is to be born of the wife of my father, I have found this year that to be born of Mother Nature and honoring my Father in heaven to be an even greater transformation.

Yes, this year I feel like I have received a “Rebirth Certificate.” It was really quite simple to procure. After all my years of earth travel, I have finally surrendered to a pair of principles that make everything work together to the good:

  1. Don’t expect too much.
  2. Don’t get offended.

That’s it.

If you can remind yourself of these two ideas every day, you can finish out with the setting of the sun having a joyous resignation to reality.

Of course, the society I live in denies these two precepts and replaces them with “dream big and don’t take crap off of anyone.” Matter of fact, you can get a cheer in almost any gathering by proclaiming your uniqueness, individuality and determination that you will not be overcome.

Not me.

Today is my birthday, so I’m going to tell you what I’m celebrating:

  • I have taken this year to lessen my need and increase my gift.
  • I have used these 365 days to find a way to accept my surroundings as the available climate for my next endeavor.
  • I have reached inside myself to find the Kingdom of God instead of demanding that others adhere to my theology or moral code.
  • I have challenged the only person I am able to affect: the one who stares back at me in the mirror.
  • I have realized that the treatment I receive from strangers has nothing to do with me, but rather, their ongoing struggle with understanding their own birth.
  • And those people who are determined to hurt me waste valuable time that they could be using to pursue their own personal excellence.

It is a “Rebirth Certificate.” I don’t expect too much and I try real hard not to get offended.

Since I have no recollection of my initial forthcoming from my mother’s womb, if you don’t mind, I will celebrate this new experience.

Born again.

Yes, I think I finally get it.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Poor Coverage … August 9, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1970)

For two-and-a-half years I shared and ministered with the poor, disenfranchised and homeless folks in Shreveport, Louisiana.

I would not trade that experience for any amount of gold or prestige. Yet I have to tell you that even though it was peppered with great blessing, it was also salted with revelation and discovery.

I learned first-hand what Jesus meant when he said that “the poor you have with you always.”

It never stops. A bag of groceries does not alleviate aching hunger. Paying an electric bill fattens the purse of the local utility, but frustrates the recipients, who realize that next month they will find themselves in the same predicament.

There is a misrepresentation about spirituality–that those who pursue deeper understanding of the heart of God are meant to be propagators of generosity to the destitute. Why the misconception? Because it sounds good.

I observed it last night during my visit to a church in Michigan. These wonderful congregants had put together a system of providing paper goods and needful supplies to members of their community suffering under the rigors of financial depression. I watched as the people came in to receive their bag of goodies and observed as they departed. There was no joy, no sense of appreciation, no discovery of a deep truth etching its way across their features. They were resigned. Or maybe they HAD resigned. I don’t know which one.

But even though they possessed goods which they did not previously count in their storehouses, the realization that it was a “temporary fix” burdened their souls.

Discussing poverty is probably one of the most difficult subjects to broach. You will find yourself becoming either encompassed with the festering futility of the ongoing epidemic, or trying to distance yourself–coming across as a calloused, uncaring goofball.

What SHOULD be our position?

Jesus said they’re not going to go away, so you should “do what you can.”

I think that’s what the generous folks WERE accomplishing at last night’s church. But simultaneously, I must alert them that Jesus fed the five thousand … until he discovered they were following him JUST for the food.

  • Jesus healed the lepers but never visited a leper colony. He instead required that these diseased souls track him down and bring their faith.
  • And Jesus, when confronted by Judas about being uncaring toward the poor by wasting ointment on his head and feet, replied that Judas was out of the flow and didn’t realize that there are more important things than a temporary band-aid on a gaping wound.

What DID Jesus do?

1.  He energized the working class and the rich to appreciate what they had and realize that more of them was required.

2.  He kept his ears open to those who broke out of the pack of self-pity and made their way to his side for transformation.

3. He taught people how to be industrious instead of dependent on luck or divine intervention for their provision, telling them that they were “the salt of the earth” and that  “the Kingdom of God was within them.”

4. And in more than one parable, he told them that seed needed to be sown even when it seemed like there was no possibility for it to take root.

I learned during my two-and-a-half years that caring for the poor is something that has to be done in stride rather than being an actual walk in and of itself. And ultimately, the best way to solve poverty is to take the ten per cent who are ready to pursue personal and financial excellence and ask them to look out for the needs … of nine of their neighbors.

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

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