Keep … April 10, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2200)

Delta pic 1Many years ago, packing up and getting ready to leave a small Upper Room venue, where a couple dozen bare-footed and jean-clad souls had gathered to listen to music while sipping tea and eating day-old doughnuts graciously provided by the local baker, I received warm hugs and two abiding sentiments: keep truckin’ and keep the faith.

Tears filled the eyes of the exhorter, only partially clouding the great emotion of hope, belief and abiding knowledge that God isn’t done with any of us yet.

Alas, a new wave of pessimism, cynicism and agnosticism is sweeping our country and is even permeating the pores of the righteous, and makes such declarations–“keep truckin'” and “keep the faith”–seem misplaced, nostalgic and even absurd.

I have no desire to return to former times that were plagued with their own viral stupidities, but there is a thread of gentleness that has to be passed from one generation to another. Otherwise, this experiment of humanity comes unraveled.

So with humility in my heart and an abundance of confidence in my soul, I share with you the five phases necessary to change the world. Please take them on one at a time, and when you feel the nudge and permission from your spirit, move on and allow yourself the joy of embracing the next possibility.

Delta pic 2

PHASE ONE

Change my heart

Awake my soul

Renew my mind

Give me strength

PHASE TWO

(As Boldness Allows)

Anoint my touch

Expand my reach

Let me stand

Enliven my moves

PHASE THREE

(After Spiritual Muscle Has Grown)

Bless my walk

Guide my steps

Give me people

Let me be gentle

Share, don’t preach

Feel, don’t teach

 

PHASE FOUR

(Enlivened, Moving On)

Learn instead of know

Watch myself grow

Establish trust

Relate good news

Avoid the darkness

Light a candle

Do good works

PHASE FIVE

(Glorified, I Continue)

Reject my fear

Welcome new love

Point joyously to progress

Call progress God.

 

Keep truckin’. Keep the faith.

delta pic 3

(pictures of journey from Gallup, New Mexico to Paonia, Colorado)

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Quatrain of Literature … September 17, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2009)

girl reading

 

Tell the story

Select the words

Add some heart

Trust the reader

 

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 the Farmer… August 20, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1981)

farmer

 Just plant the seed

Hoe down some weeds

Trust Father and Mother

Harvest timely … and rejoice.

 

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

Published in: on August 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Step Into It … November 25, 2012

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He was five foot ten inches tall and weighed two hundred and twenty pounds. He was on my team–a good friend, and his name was Scott.

I used to love practice with him. He was so much fun to tackle. It was like chasing a bowling ball down the alley and trying to wrestle it into the gutter before it knocked down the pins.

One day during scrimmage, he was having great success against our defense. On one play, while running through the line, I caught him at just the right angle and solidly knocked him to the ground. I was so proud. Rising to my feet, I realized that my coach was standing over me. He grabbed me by the arm, took me back to the original line, pointed to a place on the ground and said, “That’s where you SHOULD have gotten him. You should have stepped into it two yards earlier and kept him from making any progress at all.”

Being just a punky kid, I was aggravated with the criticism, especially considering the fact I had made such a magnificent tackle. It got in my craw.

So at the end of the practice, the coach gathered us all together and did his daily wrap-up of our efforts. At the end of his pep talk, he pointed at me and told all the fellows on the team, “You guys see Cring, there?  Cring is so good–he can be better.” Then he looked at everybody’s face. Some people smiled; some crinkled their brows in bewilderment. One or two laughed and about four clapped their hands.

Realizing that nobody understood what he meant, he explained. “When you haven’t got much, it isn’t worth the time to try to make more. But if you’ve got something to start with, then your greatest joy is knowing that you can make it even bigger.”

Of course, we were just a bunch of bratty kids and didn’t understand. But I still remember that day. Matter of fact, it came to my mind on Tuesday when I was trying to get out of my van and my knees hurt really bad. I was about ready to hatch a fresh batch of complaining. It crossed my mind that this whole business with my legs was a little unfair, considering that all I want to do with my life is share my little dab of talent and help out where I can. And then … I heard the words again.

“Cring, you are so good that you can be better.”

I realized that the only way God can say He loves me is to give me greater challenges so I have a chance to produce lasting possibilities. I was humbled. I recognized that even though we think our accomplishments are sufficient, each and every one of us CAN “step into it.”

And the greatest compliment God can give us is to trust that we won’t give up just because it gets a little harder.

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

Light a Candle, Set a Fire… November 10, 2012

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I thought I was in a good mood.

Matter of fact, I was pretty certain I was Mr. Mellow Yellow. Sitting in the parking lot of a Kroger

grocery store in Dayton, Ohio, I had even taken the time to jot down some lyrics for a new song and a couple of thoughts for upcoming essays for jonathots. The sun was shining, I had just enough money in my pocket to keep me from poverty, and life seemed to be heading in a direction away from the fiscal cliff.

Jan returned and informed me that the red raspberries that had been on sale were marked up and too expensive to buy. I thought I was fine with that. She had substituted strawberries, which were certainly to my liking. So I started up my van and headed out, when suddenly, to my right, a car came barreling through, moving very fast and forcing me to slam on my brakes. I honked my horn and said aloud, “What an idiot!”

It surprised me. I was alarmed by my own outburst, assuming that such a little misfortune should be taken in stride and handled with more grace. Was I more upset about the raspberries than I thought? Was my level of contentment peppered with a bit of arrogant pride? Did I feel good simply because everything was going well, and the minute an intrusion came on my path I reverted to a more carnal reaction? I don’t know. It got me thinking.

I asked myself a question: When should I light a candle and at what point is it appropriate to set a fire?

That’s pretty important.  If you don’t ever think about it, then reactions can come upon you which might seem foreign–but you feel like you have to support them, like unwanted, illegitimate children–because lighting a candle is a decision to trust your faith; setting a fire is the opportunity for you to” kick into doing.” Quite different.

I feel one of the reasons our nation is experiencing so much anger, frustration and accusation is because we have a waning of faith in the populace. When you don’t have faith in anything, it’s hard to trust–and when you don’t trust, you feel you must always defend yourself because no one else is on your side. When you get into that mindset, you protect your hunk of meat like a wild lion.

So even if there wasn’t a God, we certainly would need one in order for us to have faith in something other than circumstances, and trust in life to occasionally work out–instead of setting every situation on fire.

Yes, sometimes you need only to light a candle, so that on those other occasions, you can set a fire. It is necessary to choose moments to trust your faith so that you will know when it is time to “kick into doing.”

A car nearly hits me in a Kroger parking lot. Should I light a candle? Or set a fire? Should I shake my head and quietly say, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do?” Or should I honk my horn and chase them to the next stop sign? Should I turn to my friend and traveling companion and curse them for their stupidity?

Children are bored in church. Should I light a candle and say a prayer that things get better? Or should I set a fire and question why religion has become so irrelevant to the youth?

I can’t eat bologna and pizza and lose weight. Should I trust my faith and light a candle? Or set a fire of injustice in my soul that lends itself to further gluttony?

  • My legs hurt when I walk.
  • Syrians are dying in the street.
  • Someone took my parking space.

What do you think? Light a candle? Set a fire? Should I trust my faith? Or kick into doing? Should I be an observer of what God is about to do? Or a doer, and watch my heavenly Father observe?

  • I’m too fat, too bald, too old.
  • Atheism is on the rise.
  • I often lack money.
  • I cut myself shaving.
  • I need to drop pounds.
  • I want to use my talent.
  • I feel lonely.
  • I feel cheated.

They mount up, you know. Maybe hundreds in a day–moments when we have to decide what to do with our flame–that bit of passion within us that determines our light in the human family. If you have no faith, it’s hard to trust. If you feel without strength, it’s difficult to move.

That’s why some people burn on the inside–the fires of hell in their bellies.

What should I do? Light a candle? Set a fire?

My mate is losing interest in me. Should I reach for the candle? Or set a fire to change the direction?

I am losing my faith. If I lose it, my trust goes out the window. If my trust is gone, I have to lean to my own understanding. And if I’m devoid of understanding, I am constantly on the verge of being angry.

America has problems. I am part of America. Do I light a candle and trust my faith? Or set a fire and “kick into doing?”

This is probably the most important question you will ever ask yourself. If you ignore it, you might just discover that you’re infuriated over an indiscretion by a poor driver in a Kroger parking lot, and because you couldn’t get them, you give life the raspberries.

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

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