Salient…July 16th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

“I’m just human.”

This statement has been used to excuse murderous behavior. It also has been the opening refrain of a testimony offered in appreciation of God’s grace.

But if being human is a weakness, then what are eight billion people supposed to do with their lives? Are they to walk the Earth as emotional zombies, never able to connect with a good idea two days in a row?

Or must they give in to the dark human trinity?

  1. Complaining about circumstances
  2. Lessening expectations
  3. Lying if necessary

Is this really what God intended? Did He create an inferior race as worship slaves to His glory? Or, as the story goes, did He breathe into them the breath of life, give them His image and declare them living souls?

It’s time for us to decide:

Are we created in God’s image, tempted by evil?

Or are we born in sin, struggling to do even a little good?

I don’t think I’m alone in needing a reason to get up in the morning other than, “I’m going to go to heaven when I die.”

So let us turn to Jesus to see what he said about this situation. He summed it up in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

What did he mean by perfect?

He’s talking about a perfect human life. And a perfect human life is defined thusly:

“I will continue to try to do better until it’s unnecessary anymore for me to try.”

Even though we may be captivated by sin, we still have free will. How many victories can we chalk up before we fail? How much fun can we have learning how to improve?

  • We are human.
  • We are honored to be human.
  • We have the breath of life.
  • We are created in God’s image.
  • We are living souls, which means we do have the ability to walk between two kingdoms–Earth and Heaven.

The power we possess is in choosing. The gift we’ve been given is the breath of life. And we have a personal kinship with God.

So here is your salient moment:

Start acting more like your Father or be prepared to be a monkey’s uncle.

 

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With All Your Getting … February 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2156)

For God so loved the worldI am often puzzled over the hype and gravitas given to what is traditionally deemed to be the top three virtues of human endeavor: faith, hope and love.

I certainly agree that they do abide. They are present.

But honestly, faith and hope must have had pretty good agents to get them on this list. Because as valuable as it may be to hold faith in some creed, doctrine or philosophy, that faith has also been known to be misplaced, bringing about the death and destruction of human life. I dare say that misguided faith has killed many more people than vampires, let alone zombies.

Likewise, hope can be drenched in selfishness, while candy-coated with a thin shell of devotion, but end up being a mere wish list for selfish people. Or worse, a way for a politician or preacher to manipulate vulnerable human beings to enact his or her will.

Yes–faith: “I have something I believe.”

Good for you. But just because you believe it does not make it true, viable or enriching to others.

Hope: “I have something I want.”

When I look back at my personal history, I realize that if all my hopes had been granted, I would at least be a renegade, if not dead.

So love is the salvation of these two ambiguous fellow-travelers. Love: “I have something to give.”

Matter of fact, this may be what getting older is all about–sorting through our faith and throwing out the parts that are useless to humanity or God, and clearing out our closet of hopes and realizing that many of our wants are foolish, if not dangerous. So we gradually come to the maturity that allows us to focus on what we have to give.

God, Himself, made the journey. For after all, the Old Testament is full of faith and hope, as the Almighty stood back and asked people to believe in Ten Commandments, voices coming out of burning bushes and jaunts through the wilderness. Somewhere along the line, our Father which art in heaven decided to become a daddy.  He realized that the only purpose for faith and hope is to congeal them into love.

So by the time He got to the New Testament He had a different mantra: “For God so loved the world that He gave …”

There you go–love gives. Therefore I only maintain enough faith to make my love last longer. I pursue hope if it allows my love to continue to abide and interact with human beings. But my main focus is on love. What can I do this very morning to give, never feeling the loss, but knowing that this affection will return to me many-fold?

When we are young we pursue faith–we ardently believe in our own principles. We get a little older, we start hoping. After all, our faith did not deliver its full package of goods, so we need to release a new batch of wishes into the world.

But if we’re going to truly become spiritual and human, we will eventually understand that it’s all about love.

  • I am here to give something.
  • I am here to release.
  • I am here to impart.

And in the process, suddenly the faith and hope that we proclaimed is resurrected from its death and comes to life again, bringing us glorious options.

Donate Button

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

With All Your Getting … February 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2156)

I am often puzzled over the hype and gravitas given to what is traditionally deemed to be the top three virtues of human endeavor: faith, hope and love.

I certainly agree that they do abide. They are present.

But honestly, faith and hope must have had pretty good agents to get them on this list. Because as valuable as it may be to hold faith in some creed, doctrine or philosophy, that faith has also been known to be misplaced, bringing about the death and destruction of human life. I dare say that misguided faith has killed many more people than vampires, let alone zombies.

Likewise, hope can be drenched in selfishness, while candy-coated with a thin shell of devotion, but end up being a mere wish list for selfish people. Or worse, a way for a politician or preacher to manipulate vulnerable human beings to enact his or her will.

Yes–faith: “I have something I believe.”

Good for you. But just because you believe it does not make it true, viable or enriching to others.

Hope: “I have something I want.”

When I look back at my personal history, I realize that if all my hopes had been granted, I would at least be a renegade, if not dead.

So love is the salvation of these two ambiguous fellow-travelers. Love: “I have something to give.”

Matter of fact, this may be what getting older is all about–sorting through our faith and throwing out the parts that are useless to humanity or God, and clearing out our closet of hopes and realizing that many of our wants are foolish, if not dangerous. So we gradually come to the maturity that allows us to focus on what we have to give.

God, Himself, made the journey. For after all, the Old Testament is full of faith and hope, as the Almighty stood back and asked people to believe in Ten Commandments, voices coming out of burning bushes and jaunts through the wilderness. Somewhere along the line, our Father which art in heaven decided to become a daddy.  He realized that the only purpose for faith and hope is to congeal them into love.

So by the time He got to the New Testament He had a different mantra: “For God so loved the world that He gave …”

There you go–love gives. Therefore I only maintain enough faith to make my love last longer. I pursue hope if it allows my love to continue to abide and interact with human beings. But my main focus is on love. What can I do this very morning to give, never feeling the loss, but knowing that this affection will return to me many-fold?

When we are young we pursue faith–we ardently believe in our own principles. We get a little older, we start hoping. After all, our faith did not deliver its full package of goods, so we need to release a new batch of wishes into the world.

But if we’re going to truly become spiritual and human, we will eventually understand that it’s all about love.

  • I am here to give something.
  • I am here to release.
  • I am here to impart.

And in the process, suddenly the faith and hope that we proclaimed is resurrected from its death and comes to life again, bringing us glorious options.

Donate Button

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

The Proverbial Fork… December 26, 2011

(1,373) 

Jonathan in Miami

Yes, stick a fork in it. It’s done.

It is normally a proclamation delivered with a bit of dismay and resignation. But this day after Christmas, I present it to you as an affirmation of accomplishment. Well … we may want to change a few details but sometimes the best thing to do is realize that the fat lady has sung, the opera is over and we’ve completed our portion.

I spent the week with my family and friends in Miami, Florida, for Christmas. My son and daughter-in-law have a home down there and are very successful, having acclimated themselves and nearly doing an adequate impersonation of native Floridians. We decided to land there for the holiday, with people coming from all over the US to enjoy fellowship, present-giving and a jittery jaunt down memory lane.

Now understand, I was there when this little entourage was first conceived. Many of the people in the room with me this week learned through my tutelage to speak and even acquaint themselves with the greater glories of bathroom usage. But they are no longer my children. They are grown, mature people with goals and lives of their own, who still, in their magnanimous generosity, decide to include me in their earth passage.

Somewhere along the line you have to stick a fork in it, folks. If I were to spend ten minutes trying to figure out if I agree with everything my friends and family do, or if I feel that their accomplishments are worthy of my retelling to those souls I meet as I journey, as confirmation of my excellent parenting, or if I even think that my opinion carries the weight of importance instead of the burden of intrusion, I am just basically a tottering, old fool, taking too long on my detour to the graveyard.

I made two things clear to my gathered host: I have a life … and they do, too.

Their emotional lives do not completely parallel mine. Each one of them has come into the storehouse of my personality to pick and choose little treasures that they particularly relish, like careful shoppers working their way down a bargain table at Goodwill. Spiritually, they are all in transitions of revelation, no different from billions of human beings who preceded them and, I assume, will follow them. Mentally, they have selected to progress at whatever level they deem necessary, ranging from a deep interest in animals, politics and artistry to movies, books, zombies and vampires.

They are normal.

I did not raise a supernatural lineage, infilled with the anointing of a batch of Holy Spirit parlor tricks. They are people. I only ask one thing from them–do they like people and do they cut people the same slack they give themselves? (Well, I guess that’s two things…) If they do, I will leave them to their journey. After all, I will not stand at the Judgment Day and answer for any one of them, nor they for me.

I enjoyed it thoroughly. As I travel across this country, though, I find aging parents who are trying to still wean their grown children, feeling some sense of worry and responsibility for these fully aged individuals, whom they are still trying to tutor to success. How ridiculous.

They started leaving one-by-one last night and more will leave today, others later on in the week. They will peel off into their lives, probably becoming just as reflective about the experience. For me, I want them to remember three things about spending time in my presence:

1. I love them dearly but no more or less than I love all my brothers and sisters on planet earth.

2. I’m going to give the greatest gift at Christmas that I can–I will stay out of their personal business.

3. If their personal business gets nasty, they can call me any time, night or day, without fear of condemnation or critique.

Merry Christmas, family. And I’m happy that I can stick a fork in it … because it looks like it’s ready to be served.

*************

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

Published in: on December 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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