Commission

Commission: (n) a duty given to a person or group of people.

It is pretty universally known as the “Great Commission”–the words Jesus imparted to his disciples before ascending to heaven. (You can stop reading at any point where you no longer believe.)

He said to them, “Go unto all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature.”

Truth is, you’d be hard-pressed to find any corner of the globe (an oxymoron) where an awareness of Jesus and his deeds is not known to at least some extent.

So when you consider projects, the Great Commission has been a relatively successful one, though it has taken two thousand years.

But what weakens the Great Commission of going “into the world and preaching” is that the simpler commissions that precede it are often ignored.

The Initial Commission:

“I am not hot shit. I need to humble myself and realize that I become stronger by recognizing my weaknesses.”

You see, that Initial Commission is not nearly as popular. Why? Because you don’t get to preach at people. Yet if you try to share the Great Commission while thinking you’re better than everybody else, it will be rejected by the hearer.

Then there is the Expanding Commission:

“If I am the salt of the Earth and the light of the world, I should probably bear some fruit to prove the point.”

It always astounds me that God collects some of the laziest, broken-down, ignorant and bitter people to follow Him and attempt to convey His message of love through their hatefulness.

So you see, I don’t think the Great Commission works very well–getting a platform to preach the Gospel to the whole world–if the Initial Commission–finding out you’re a sinner–and the Expanding Commission–“well, since I’m a sinner, I might want to de-sin before I preach to others”–is not in full bloom for the world to see and smell.

I am very proud of my ancestors for sharing the message of Jesus throughout the whole world.

Now, since we’ve got a good start on it, why don’t we reinforce it by embodying his message?

 

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Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Commemorate

Commemorate: (v) to recall and show respect for someone or something

Mediocre is always so busy dragging down excellence that it doesn’t have the time to lift up inferior.

Because of this, mediocre keeps sinking deeper and deeper into the sag of inferiority, desperately trying to change the rules of operation and the requirements for the rewards provided.

We have a system of entertainment and information that streams in our country, which feels the need to commemorate events by finding the heroes, the standouts and those who fared well, interview them, extol them and then, within short weeks, dig up dirt on them to prove there was really nothing exceptional about them in the first place.

Why? Because without this kind of reporting, Ma and Pa Kettle, sitting at home, start getting depressed–thinking less of themselves because they don’t measure up.

After all, the problem of going to a nude beach is that you’re fully aware that everyone is stuck with an eyeful of you.

How do we commemorate the attributes, the virtues, the kindness and the intelligence that sets the human race on fire with an explosion of knowledge and unveiling of great cures and advances?

Well, we certainly can’t do it if we spend all of our time mocking initiative and making it seem that those who portray a classy morality are really just stuck in the past.

These are the three great things we should commemorate if we expect to shine:

  1. Empathy

Any time someone feels for someone else, it is miraculous.

  1. Research

Stop settling for the status quo, and find a better way to accomplish things.

  1. Humility

The only way to achieve the first two is to be humble enough to know when you’ve made a mistake so you can change it quickly and improve your cause.

May we step out of our doldrums of self-satisfaction and begin to commemorate–and therefore imitate–those who are actually doing matters better than us?

 

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Cognitive

Cognitive: (adj) knowing and perceiving

Thinking works best when thinking has not occurred before we decide to think.

It’s the only way to keep it fresh.

If you show up to a meeting, a counseling session, a conversation or even a family gathering having “thought out” what you’re going to say, the possibility for the event being a productive one is hampered.

To be cognitive is to be willing to arrive at a meeting with a blank slate and no pre-determined conclusion.

There’s nothing wrong with studying or having your facts in place. But if it becomes obvious that you’ve been trumped by your adversary with more thorough coverage of the subject matter, the cognitive brain relinquishes turf instead of protecting it.

There are three signs that a person has a cognitive brain:

  1. Cognitive leaves the door open for the possibility that a stone was left unturned in your investigation.
  2. Cognitive opens up two ears when others are talking, just in case there’s something to be learned.
  3. And cognitive is prepared to make the adjustments to the reality of the situation instead of merely standing by a press release which was printed long before the debate began.

Without this kind of cognitive reasoning, we always end up in war instead of the humility of admitting that we have much to learn from each other.

 

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Clout

Clout: (n) influence or power

Liars talk too much.

It’s one of the sure ways to pick ’em out. Rather than just stating the facts or presenting the situation, they feel the need to emphasize some
aspect of their story to further impress you with its validity.

That’s always been my problem with the word “clout.”

How much more reinforcement is necessary for a good idea?

How many times do we need to recite our accomplishments before we understand that nobody cares?

How often will we find ourselves stumbling over words because we are not yet convinced that the room has been swayed by our argument?

Does a nation have clout because it has a big army? (Candidly, the nations which have had big armies throughout history are no longer around.)

Do a people have credence because of their faith in God or their morality? If that were the case, the Puritans would still be very popular instead of deemed assholes for killing little girls as witches.

Does a woman gain clout by convincing everybody that she’s just as good as a man, when being a man may not be good enough?

How many characters do we need to introduce to develop the plot?

How many promises should be secured before we decide to move out and attempt a noble deed?

When I was in my thirties, a very prosperous music producer told me that I had no future because I didn’t carry enough clout. I looked him in the eyes and said, “I decided a long time ago not to carry anything I didn’t need.”

We don’t need clout. Actually, it warns of insecurity, pomposity and arrogance.

If I believe I am the best at anything, I need to leave my house more often.

If I think that God favors me because of my numerous religious inclinations, it may be necessary for me to encounter those human beings who scrape together fifty cents, knowing they need sixty cents to survive.

If you want to legitimize the word “clout,” then here is a better definition:

Clout is when I have the humility to realize I don’t really matter, so if I want to keep from being invisible, I should open up my heart and do what I can for the human race.

 

 

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Class

Class: (adj) showing stylish excellence.

I have selected the class of my identification.

It isn’t being white. I’m too blotchy for that.

It isn’t being young. I’ve eaten too much birthday cake.

It isn’t being old. My brain and spirit refuse to make that concession.

I’m not in a class with the intelligentsia. Matter of fact, I feel silly writing the word “intelligentsia.”

I’m not in the class of the ignorant. I try to avoid ignoring things.

I simply want to possess “who I am” as simply as possible and show class. What is class?

I suppose people would give many examples of class, but my definition is: the ability to expose arrogance without hurting anyone.

Life is filled with arrogant people who think they are a class above everyone else. Being able to welcome them back into the family of humanity without infuriating them or making them defensive is called classy.

Arrogance kills the human spirit because it forbids humility. Humility is the only thing that makes us tolerable to one another.

Join me in hoping for more class in our world.

And the best way to guarantee an answer to that wish is to sport a little bit more of the stuff yourself.

 

 

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Citadel

Citadel: (n) a fortress on high ground

How can you take the high ground without instinctively looking down on those beneath you?

It became an issue in the recent presidential campaign. Both candidates insisted they were taking the high ground, while simultaneously
using the concept to proclaim themselves superior.

Unfortunately, any insistence on superiority renders us weakened by the kryptonite of pride.

I need a citadel.

I need a place where I can climb a little higher in my consciousness–not to peer down at the infidel, but to have the chance to see things the way they are, and not the way they appear at ground zero.

My life requires a sweetness of morality, a gentleness of empathy and an awareness of my talent.

In order to mingle these factors, I must don the cloak of humility. For humility is not the absence of ability, but rather, the evidence of it without needing to overpower all comers.

Yes–America should be a citadel.

Our faith should be a citadel.

My life should be a citadel: a piece of higher ground that does not insist on being worshipped because of its elevation, but instead, uses the bird’s eye to consider all the sparrows.

 

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