Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 10) Resilience … February 7th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Your personal resilience is truly a great gift you can impart to yourself, and even a greater blessing to bestow upon others.

Walking through life believing that you’re going to overcome all difficulty through perseverance or prayer is a cruel and unusual punishment.

Life never intended to please you. This is reasonable. Life actually offers a blank canvas which occasionally arrives already marred.

There are five tribulations which are common in the human experience. Failure to realize this causes us to develop a childish mentality. It begins this way:

I plan something.

Reaction 1:  Inconvenience. In other words, something came up.

I’m sure you know people who become exasperated over inconvenience, when it is actually the least pernicious of the five tribulations. If I am going to be a reasonable human being, possessing resilience, I must be prepared to evolve.

Because often, after inconvenience comes obstacle. Something is in the way.

I’ve never had a plan that didn’t require some adjustment. It is inevitable.

And obstacles often lead to resistance. Someone is disagreeing.

Truthfully, I can’t think of any statement you could make without having someone disagree with it. This is why each and every one of us must make sure that we actually believe in what we’re doing and we’re ready to reason with our adversaries instead of attacking them.

And I’m sure you are fully aware that resistance can lead to criticism. That’s when those who disagree with you decide to take a stand against you.

Butting one’s head against the wall is what produces headaches. When I run across people who are against what I’m doing and reasoning has failed to reach them, I know it is time to relocate. A plan that fails to work in Location 1 might work better in Location 2, where you don’t have to struggle with your enemies.

And finally, you can run across downright refusal. Progress is blocked.

This is when you must count the cost and have a Plan B ready, which honors Plan A, but separates itself enough from the original idea that those who have blocked your “A game” plan are ill-prepared to prohibit the new idea.

For instance, I’m not so sure that Jesus was supposed to die on a cross, but when human beings became hypocritical and religious, God had a Plan B to grant us salvation.

Resilience is knowing that inconvenience, obstacles, resistance, criticism and even refusal loom on the horizon.

Those who are reasonable in the Spirit have prepared for such eventualities by evolving, adjusting, reasoning, relocating or if necessary, even implementing Plan B.

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Populie: Always Be Positive … April 2, 2014

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black eye smiley faceTo review: a POPULIE is an idea which is popular but is laced with a lie.

It is something we agree to when we’re around large groups of people, but privately either question or dismiss as irrelevant when applying it to our own lives.

One of these is the contention that it is important in all of our dealings to “always be positive.”

Politics loves it because promises get votes. Reality often scares people away.

Entertainment favors this particular populie of “always be positive” because it gives them an ending to a movie that the audience members can predict, making them feel smart and preferably, happy.

And religion touts this precept because we have this imbalanced notion that faith is about believing that good things will always happen because God is in control. (Of course, on the flip side, spiritually it makes us believe that when bad things happen, we’re being punished.)

I think the most important question we can ask is what kind of people does this create and what kind of society does it evolve?

If you’re going to live a life where you’re always trying to be positive, you will view trials, tribulations and hassles as deterrents to your cause instead of little friends–pesky as they are–who come along to warn you of fallacies in your plans.

So if you’ll allow me to offer an alternative to this populie:

THE CORE OF FOUR

Yes, let me introduce you to the Core of Four.

We need to determine what our outlook should be in any given situation. To get this information, simply ask four quick questions:

1. What do I see?

Faith is not about poking your eyes out until you become blind. Faith is about accepting what you see, but then also being able to see beyond it, to further possibilities. You will never be successful if you’re not able to deal with reality. Matter of fact, one of the signs of mental illness is the insistence that reality should “go away.”

2. What do I believe?

Sometimes the things you want to accomplish are not yet seen, but the need for them is still in existence. Belief is a wonderful combination of what we see, what we desire and what we’re willing to endure.

3. What will I do?

A positive attitude is quickly killed off by an unwillingness to participate. I won’t tell people I think a plan will work if I cannot commit to them how I will be involved. For after all, nice words and encouraging prayers are not very helpful in the heat of the struggle.

4. And finally, what are the prospects?

As I take a look at what I see, what I believe and what I’m willing to do, it pretty quickly becomes obvious what the logical prospects are for the adventure.

After this evaluation, I can choose my profile.

  • Often I can be passionately positive, because my “see, believe, do and conclusions” are very encouraging.
  • On other occasions, it’s important to be realistic. That which I see, believe, and am willing to do show my prospects to be within the realm of possibility–but maybe not quite as fruitful as I once thought.
  • And finally, there are times when it is required for us to be needfully negative. What we see, believe, and are willing to do has brought forth prospects which show that this particular endeavor is doomed.

A fruitful process. It is the absence of the populie which tells us that we should walk around with a smirk on our face, saying that everything will be fine, when secretly we’re dying inside.

Don’t forget your Core of Four. This will help you to choose the right attitude to approach each and every opportunity.

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

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

G-11: Mad, Sad, Glad … February 14, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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  • We feel safe.Titanic
  • We made it.
  • The thunder rolled, the winds blew by and the rain ceased.

We’re standing on dry land, having escaped another near-disaster, feeling no repercussions whatsoever from the disruption–just grateful to be alive.

Little do we know that this is the most dangerous juncture in life. It is when we accidentally carry the anxiety of the previous encounter into the future, without realizing that the residue is hanging from us.

Yes, we are still mad: “It ain’t right.”

Or maybe sad: “It ain’t fair.”

But the once-confident spirit that propelled us into deeper and deeper adventures of faith is now making us cautious. We accept this new profile under the guise of being “well-seasoned,” But actually, we are not the same.

We have lost a bit of the joy that makes us the people we are, and when we realize it, we become defensive, insisting that nothing has changed.

What is the countenance of the average person you see on the street, when they don’t realize they’re being observed? A mad frown? A sad droop? Or maybe a blending of the two?

If maturity depresses us, then what is the purpose of growing older?

How can we overcome the extra destruction done by the storms of life which inflict unseen damage to our foundation? We gotta be honest: just because we’re standing on dry land does not mean we have escaped being drenched in worry.

We want to reach glad. We want to escape the sensation of “it ain’t right” and “it ain’t fair,” to arrive at a jubilant feeling of good cheer: “It ain’t gonna kill me.”

Sometimes we think projecting a brave front is a sign of our willingness to avoid doubt. But actually, acknowledging that the trials and tribulations that came our way did impact us but were unable to destroy us is the best way to escape the madness and the sadness.

For after all, mad people are cocked and ready to strike out at others, who unwittingly trigger aggravating memories.

And sad people are ill-prepared to enter into new relationships which certainly will require a bit of adjustment and forgiveness.

It isn’t just about surviving–it’s about surviving and candidly admitting how amazing and miraculous it was to be rescued. And then, to have the sense of humor to progress, keeping an eye on our motives, and healing our wounds instead of hiding them.

I am glad. This does not mean that everything is all right. It does not mean that I was saved from all the ravages of my temptations without any casualties. It means I lived. And in living, I am open to the dual process of inner healing and outer expressions of creativity.

Beware–being placed in the lifeboat is miraculous.

But it does not mean you will avoid horrible memories of the sinking vessel and fleeting trepidations to sail again.

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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

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The Cheat Sheet… November 4, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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big WyethI thought it would be handy to have the conclusions of the past three days of jonathots placed in one essay for you to access quickly when you find yourself dealing with ProbOne, ProbTwo or ProbThree.

So what happens in a moment of weakness when you find yourself grumbling, “It’s not fair!”?

Just ask yourself:

  1. Who am I working with?
  2. What needs to be done?
  3. Where will we need to work?
  4. When is the deadline?
  5. Why is it being done?

How about when ProbTwo raises its ugly head and screams in frustration, “It’s not enough!”

Just go back to kindergarten:

  1. Cut.  Are there things we can do without, and still feel that we have enough?
  2. Paste. Sometimes it’s a good idea to delay one thing in order to take care of another.
  3. Color. Make yourself more attractive and viable by thinking, working and discussing instead of complaining.
  4. Play. Get around other folks and collaborate. The Good Book never says that God will take care of your financial needs. It says that MEN will give to you.

That’s how you handle ProbTwo.

And finally, ProbThree: “It’s not my fault!”

Look at your fingers. Where are you pointing?

  1. Are you pointing up? That means you expect God to do everything, putting Him under the gun when you’ve messed things up. It makes you feel inferior.
  2. Are you pointing down? Do you really believe the devil is to blame for all of your difficulties–or even some of them? Do you actually plan on doing battle with the fallen creature? This promotes superstition, which is never a good thing to have around when you require knowledge.
  3. Are you pointing out? Blaming other people for your situation? Remember, the best way to handle your life is to point inward, letting yourself know the magic formula for responsibility:  I have ability; I have problems. And responsibility allows me to point to myself without feeling the need for guilt. How?

I use my ability to help my problems and I use my problems to enhance my abilities.

You may want to believe that your tribulations are unique, but really, pretty much all of them fall into these three categories.

I thought you might like to have them on one reference page.

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

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The problem is not the problem … February 7, 2012

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Once you give it a name, you start the game.

That’s right. At least 80% of our success is determined by our perception of what is set before us. So if you decide to name your child “Hitler,” you have pre-conditioned the public to receive your offspring as something that he may not be, but is stuck with because of the name. And if you call every situation that comes your way a problem, you have warned yourself, others, God and the universe that you are anticipating a struggle instead of prepared for a solution.

Some people might be offended by this concept or even think it’s a little silly. After all, what is the actual difference between using one word over another in any given circumstance? Well, it’s the difference between your loved one receiving a “thank you” from you and only getting a grunt. Jesus was right–by our words we are justified and by our words we are condemned. Until we grow up enough to cease and desist from viewing every cumbersome obstacle in our lives as a problem instead of just our daily bread of crustiness, we will send out a beacon of desperation and frustration which not only lends itself to wasting time instead of working on solutions, but also is one of the most unattractive vibes you can communicate to your fellow-humans.

Of the great turn-ons in life, exasperation lies somewhere near the bottom. Yet for some reason or another, we languish in the luxury of worry, we fester in our own fussiness and we question whether there is going to be enough of something-or-another to get us through to the next way-station of possibility.

The problem is not the problem. The problem with society is me–and dare I include you? We are spoiled rotten by the notion that fun is to be free of entanglements. We are overly cared for by a God who perhaps has provided TOO much for our comfort and not enough for our ongoing discovery. It makes us brats. So we come out of daily events calling them problems, wringing our hands, sighing and communicating our desperation.

I think somewhere deep in our hearts, we believe we can scare trials and tribulations into avoiding us by displaying enough bad attitude. Unfortunately, these vices are tricksters; they LOVE to attack people who are grouchy. You can imagine if you were a trial, how frustrating it would be to come up with a really big package of aggravation, and then to have your hopes for turning someone into a grump doused by their sense of good cheer. It would be enough to make you want to go down the road and bother someone else.

Exactly.

Am I saying that people who complain actually end up having more problems than people who don’t? Absolutely. And how does that happen, you may ask? It’s really quite simple. When the next set of opportunities comes on the scene, the complainer is still fretting over the last batch of bullies. So not only is there a new dilemma, but also an old dilemma that has not been adequately dealt with. Double-trouble.

So why ARE there situations which some people call problems? Because God in His mercy would love to see our planet running smoothly by the use of intelligence and effort instead of bad attitudes and laziness. To bring this to the forefront demands that each one of us join in a common lottery of activities which we either view as our daily situation or as our overwhelming problem.

This is the quandary in our country. We seem to think we will scare away our economic trials with bad attitude and lazy, over-done solutions. Meanwhile, the recession just sits there and laughs at us. It will take intelligence and effort for us to come out of this situation. Until we push forward some intelligent people and actually get behind those bright bulbs with some energy of our own, we will continue to linger in bad attitudes and laziness.

What is intelligence? It has two parts: (1) “I will not freak out.” (2) “God has never deserted me–why should now be different?”

What is effort? (1)  “What do I have?” (2) “How can I get more with what I have?”

Therein lies the secret, my friends. This twenty-four-hour period will afford you many situations. If you refuse to freak out, and believe that God has been faithful in the past and has not changed His occupation, while taking an inventory of what you have and finding a way to use that to get more– honestly, you’re ten feet tall and bullet-proof. But if you have a bad attitude (“why do things have to be so difficult?”) and you’re lazy (“I’m still tired from yesterday’s stuff!”) you will compile a series of box-cars of unresolved conflict, which will link up to become an insurmountable train, furiously careening its way down the tracks towards you.

The problem is not the problem. Life consists of situations which, if addressed with intelligence and effort, more or less just vanish in the wind. But if I choose to have a bad attitude and sprout laziness, those “problems” are given over to the care of my worry and frustration.  Is it possible to relearn this? It is not only possible, it is the only way to truly be passable.

So what is today’s situation? Stop calling it a problem and bring some intelligence and effort–and then see if the stain of adversity isn’t wiped clean.

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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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