Quatrain of the Messenger … September 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2360)

 Baptist in water

Prepare ye the way

Make the paths straight

Cry in the wilderness

Stay away from politics

 

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Published in: on September 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Turning Kids Into Humans–Part 6: (9-12) Family Treasure … September 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2359)

Humanating

 

Born again.

It is an enlightening concept which has been greatly damaged by cotton candy theology and judgmental junkies. But in its original context, it was an encouragement for realizing that in order for each of us to possess our lives, we must create some distance from the upbringing–and even the genetics–which brought us through our childish years.

I think the system is divinely inspired.

Parenting is a great winnowing process in which we not only impart to our children the values which have proven to be universal, but also prune away the things we were taught that are erroneous or flat-out wrong.

Do you see what I mean?

This gives the human race a chance to get better, just simply by recognizing what has failed to be effective.

The trouble comes when we’re not willing to be born again, and don’t allow ourselves to transform our training through adult discovery. When that happens, we rob ourselves of the maturity which could be acquired from training a kid who’s learning to become a human.

This especially shows up between the ages of nine to twelve. It is at this point that your little bundle of joy stops thinking of you as Super Man or Wonder Woman and begins to look for tattered places in your magical cape.

Most parents get defensive.

Some parents dismiss their children as being bratty or incorrigible simply because they are trying to reconcile what they are being taught with what they see.

This is why I suggest you construct a box and put it in the middle of the house, where everyone can access it. When you see your child do something good, immediately write it down on a piece of paper and place it in the box. When you see something and you’re not quite sure of your child’s intentions, also write that down in the form of a question, inquiring as to what the motivation was, and place that note in the box, too.

Once a week after dinner, sit down as a family, open up the box and read the notes.

Now, here’s the part you may not like: the child must be afforded the same opportunity.

But remember, the notes of praise should be statements and the inquiries must be formed as questions.

For example:

“I saw Brian fold the clothes in the laundry room without being asked. Thank you very much.”

Or, if it’s an inquiry:

“There were clothes to be folded in the laundry room, and I wanted to ask Brian why he grabbed his shirt and didn’t fold the other clothing?”

The dual purpose of this exercise is to make it clear that the entire house is being reborn into better ways to handle human relationships. It also teaches your child (and maybe yourself) how to handle a little bit of critique without pouting.

Even though your child is headed toward adolescence, he or she makes a brief stop-off between years of nine and twelve, when questioning begins. If this season is honored with answers and encouragement, then the lines of communication have a much better chance of staying open during the teenage years.

It is a family treasure box, where memories of good deeds are retained for celebration, and questions are discussed for everyone in the house to find an intelligent way to be born again.

 

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Jesonian: Mastering Service … September 21, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2358)

john marcus

John Marcus was a “householder.”

It was the title granted to the colored slave to afford just enough dignity with a King James flavor, without bestowing elaborate honor for his needful subservient status.

Yes, John Marcus did it all. Cook, clean, repair, blacksmith, minister, caretaker and physician.

And because he took the jobs on–often that no one else wanted, including the white family which became very accustomed to being served–he was granted more and more liberty to work solo in order to achieve his ever-expanding, sophisticated results.

Today he was given a new job. He was to be mentor, and even punisher if necessary, to a belligerent sixteen-year-old runaway named Zachary. The little tyrant was placed in his care to train and also temper into achieving his place as a worker on the plantation.

So John Marcus decided to give the angry lad the job of cleaning the pots and pans. It was done alone in the back room of the kitchen and could be achieved even by a fitful worker without destroying too much private property.

When Zachary got John Marcus alone, far from prying ears, he shouted, “Why do you walk around with a smile on your face playing good house nigger?”

John Marcus smiled and gave no response, wiping the bottom of a dirty pot as any good instructor just might do.

After a good season of pan-scrubbing, Zachary challenged again. “Are you deaf? Why do you give in to the Massa?”

John Marcus paused, ceasing to scrape at the blackened pans. He stepped about five paces away and gently and tenderly stirred a cauldron of delicious stew he was nurturing for the evening’s consumption.

Zachary shook his head.

Suddenly John Marcus spoke. “There’s one Massa. His name is Jesus. He told me that the only way to gain mastery in life is to serve.”

“Weak words,” spit Zachary.

John Marcus chuckled. “And where have your strong words gotten you, boy? Lassoed? Drug through the dirt? Rejected? Listenin’ to some old man chaw at’cha while you’re scrubbin’ pans? And you know what else? You’ll be here scrubbin’ these same pans, cursin’ these same whites two years from now, nary feelin’ any better or makin’ any progress.”

Zachary shook his head again. “I’d rather be an angry man than a happy nigger.”

John Marcus took him by the shoulders and looked him square in the eye. “That’s because you don’t know what happy is because you’re too busy bein’ angry. I don’t like what’s happenin’ around me, but I know one thing. It’s not gonna change tomorrow. It’s gonna be the same next week. Probably even by Christmastime, I’m still gonna have the same color they have decided is less than ‘dem. But I know this–if I believe they’re wrong, then there’s a God in heaven who knows it, too. And He told me there ain’t nothin’ a man sows that he doesn’t eventually have to pull up out of the ground and reap, and eat. So I’m workin’ on what I sow. I’m quietly learnin’ more than they want me to, and there are things around this ‘ole fifty-three acres that nobody knows how to do but me. Because when it came time for doin’ it, I learned it. And they were completely happy with me bein’ the pack mule.”

Zachary interrupted. “So what? So you’re a smart nigger without ever being able to be called smart, and being able to take the smart and use it for yourself.”

“Maybe so. But every time I master something of service and I serve it well, I gain the attention of the master who controls this household and I make myself of great value. Just the other day, young boy, several of the farm hands who own the plantation just south of here had to come to me to find out how to fix their plowshare and what to do for an ailing mule. Did they appreciate it? See, it doesn’t make any difference. In that minute, they had to admit they needed me. Maybe they choked on it; maybe they refused to completely give in. But they needed me. My Master is Jesus, and he told me that the more I serve, the more territory I gain.”

Zachary just shook his head, but he returned to his labor with a bit more respect.

In March of 1861, John Marcus passed away. He was the only slave allowed to be buried in the far corner of the white cemetery. Many of the townsfolk turned out to see the old servant put to rest. He had made more friends than enemies and to the surprise of a young worker who had finally adopted his philosophy…

Yes.

Zachary was set free.

It was the last request made by a servant to a plantation owner … but granted because of the teachings of a greater Master. 

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Untotaled: Stepping 32 (January 14th, 1967) Mr. Bayonne … September 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2357)

(Transcript)

Two or three days of snow, then a brief warming period, followed by a frigid arctic blast, leaving the countryside glistening with ice, rendering everything precarious.

This was the winter of 1967.

It left all of us in grouchy moods, even though we insisted we were hearty “Ohioans,” accustomed to such frosty conditions. We basically just muddled through it, quietly complaining about “the winter of our discontent.”

Arriving back in my classroom after the Christmas holidays, I discovered that our female math teacher was gone. The initial explanation was that she was battling a severe bout of the flu.

But it took little time for the sour grapevine of the gossip mill to unearth the details. She had actually left town due to a pregnancy out-of-wedlock, making her the subject of great local scandal. My coach joked that considering she was a math teacher, she certainly didn’t do a very good job “counting her days.”

The whole locker room laughed, and I joined in–even though I didn’t get it.

Replacing her was a tall, lanky, clumsy olive-skinned fellow with thin brown greasy hair and a beak for a nose which would have been more suitable for the Family Ostrich. He was a tentative sort. Honestly, it appeared this was his first excursion as an educator.

Yes, he was an oddity. An Ichabod who resembled a crane. And in our community of conformity, he became a necessary target and needful diversion for our present boredom.

Especially when we found out that he was inept at discipline. We tormented him with our ridicule and teasing.

He wore the same brown suit every day with a white shirt and a brown tie with a gold design which could just as easily have been a speck of dried-on scrambled egg.

He had a hilarious tendency to point at the blackboard using his middle finger (which by the way, appeared to have three knuckles) and we always burst into laughter. He would whirl around and screech in a scratchy voice, “Silence!” We laughed harder.

One day a cheerleader inched her way to his desk, supposedly to ask him a question. He was so delighted for the kind attention that he failed to notice that she was taking blackboard erasers from their perch behind his back and softly laying them against his coat with her hand, creating an amazing chalk-dust design. After she returned to her seat and he turned around, we all once again erupted in great guffaws. He had no idea. Matter of fact, the same marks of chalk were on his suit four days later.

He persisted. So did we.

Matter of fact, it became more nasty when one student thought it would be funny to place an anonymous note in the suggestion box in the principal’s office, complaining about Mr. Bayonne’s teaching style.

Long story short, when we returned after our Easter vacation of resurrecting our Lord and chomping on Easter bunny candy, he was gone. We had successfully driven a stranger away–simply because we deemed him strange.

I often think about Mr. Bayonne. He may not have been suited to instruct the rabble of high school hoodlums, but he certainly deserved better treatment. But in our tiny world of thinking, this math teacher just didn’t add up.

  • Because he was different, he was wrong.
  • Because he was clumsy, he was mocked.
  • Because he wasn’t Nordic, Germanic or Scandinavian, he stirred our prejudice.

I have spent much of my life trying to make sure that I never “Bayonned” anyone again, and in so doing I have discovered a magnificent reality:

It takes different people to make me different. And if I don’t become different, I’m stuck … going no further than where I am.

 

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G-42: Preserved … September 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2356)

Mary after resurrection

The trouble with touting a resurrection is that some folks just don’t believe you’re alive again, another group insists you never died, and a cynical brood sneers and contends you never lived.

So for my great “coming out party,” I chose to make my first human contact with Mary of Magdala. Having been possessed by seven demons, she had absolutely no reason to doubt that I had raised from the dead.

Then I inched my way forward by communing with two guys on the Road to Emmaus.

The third encounter was cooking some fish on the beach with a few disappointed anglers.

Well, anyway, by the end of forty days, a total of five hundred witnesses had eyeballed my reoccurrence.

So now it is time for the Creator to return to the Universe, to creating, and the human race to return to “humaning.”

Go into the world.

Tell them good news.

Let them know I made them.

Let them know I loved the results.

I am with you always.

So I left, entrusting Eden to them once again.

But this time, no forbidden fruit.

No fear of the serpent.

Just a common Holy Spirit to unite us as a family. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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

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Three Ways in Three Days to Escape the Maze… September 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2355)

maze

Feeling trapped.

It brings out the worst in us.

Once we have the sensation of being a mouse caught in an endless series of twists and turns, we very quickly turn into a rat, clawing at our surroundings.

Perhaps it is a flaw of human character, but we have a tendency to blame others for our limited circumstances in an attempt to avoid the inclination for self-destruction.

It usually falls into three categories:

  1. I don’t like what I’m doing.
  2. I don’t like who I’m doing it with.
  3. I don’t like doing it here.

If you think about it for a moment, these three statements can become the descending path that plummets us into inactivity, depositing us at the bottom, grouchy and unproductive.

So what can we do?

Take three days of your life and try to generate a GPS to escape your maze.

DAY ONE

Set in motion a culture of candor. You will be astonished how much freedom and peace of mind you can achieve simply by stating the facts or trying to live up to your press release.

In a twenty-four hour period, if you will be completely honest about your desires, as long as you’re not attacking people, they will appreciate the revelation.

A culture of candor relieves at least half the burden.

DAY TWO

Show what you mean. Don’t explain what you want, demonstrate it. Create a prototype for your heart’s desire. Even if it’s crude and not exactly to spec, let people know what you want to do.

Let me say, working in the music industry over the years, I have run across two types of individuals who dub themselves “artists.” There are those who believe they are camera-ready and studio suited and they’re just waiting for the big break. And there are those who are tired of waiting for the big break and have found a way to use their talents every single day, to demonstrate their ability, while improving.

If you’re not going to show what you mean, don’t expect people to understand your explanation. We all need a visual.

DAY THREE

And finally, move towards the movement. If you’ve had a day of candor and a day of showing what you mean, a bit of movement will come your way. It may not mirror your final preference, but if you always move toward the movement, something is always moving.

When you feel trapped in your maze, trying to reconnoiter your environment is exhausting because you never know if you’re going in the right direction.

But if you’ll take three days to create a culture of candor, show what you mean and move towards the movement, in no time at all you will begin to understand that there is a way to escape the mundane. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

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.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Populie: We Support the Troops… September 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2354)

we support our troops

The greatest courtesy I can offer to any of my readers is to attempt to provide a non-prejudiced format of information which is vacant of opinion. (Of course, this is basically impossible to do since I am a mortal, and love to hear the sound of my own voice.) But let me attempt to be more faithful with today’s populie.

In the first one hundred years of our existence as a nation–1776 to 1876–our young, fledgling experiment was involved in nineteen years of war. In other words, 19% of the time we were sending young men off to die in some sort of escapade “for freedom.”

In the next one hundred years–from 1876 to 1976–we were involved in seventeen years of war. 17%. A drop.

From 1976 to 2001, a span of twenty-five years, we took three of those to be involved in war, placing us in a descending 12%.

But from 2001 to present–thirteen years–we have been involved in eleven years of war. An astounding 86% spike.

This increase in blood, guts, aggression and interference has caused us to develop several national policies, quietly, to sustain this burdensome effort. Among them is the popular notion that the military is honorable and should be given special consideration, and the hypocritical populie of “we support the troops.”

Entertainment loves it because even though they tout themselves to be liberals who want to preserve the turtle doves in some park, they have never met a movie that does not require a gun.

Religion favors this populie because it gives us something to pray for, allowing us to feel we’re transforming the world one bullet at a time.

And of course, politicians not only rattle their sabers, but occasionally brandish them to warn infidels and heathen of the power of our nation, while stirring the blood of the voters in their favor.

Do you really want to support the troops? Then get real instead of putting on a phony patriotism and a theatrical appreciation for our men and women who serve. Here’s how you can support the troops:

1. Stop starting wars that have nothing to do with us.

If we really believe we’re a Christian nation, we should only attack if we’re attacked. Period. I will guarantee you that soldiers would be satisfied to be “at readiness” instead of in peril.

2. If you find yourself in the position of starting a war which is considered to be necessary, then institute the draft.

Don’t go to your volunteer army or your reserves and ask them to take on innumerable tours of duty because you don’t want to bother the elite young people of our country. I will tell you, if George W. Bush had instituted the draft in 2003, the Iraq War would not have lasted more than four years, and if it had, there would have been protesters in the street, just as there were in 1970 regarding Vietnam.

3. Take care of the obvious needs of our veterans, granting them the dignity of acclimating back into society without being impoverished second-class citizens.

Don’t tell me you support the troops and then fail to notice that we are not taking care of their medical needs or helping them get off the street–homeless ex-soldiers.

I do not like a charade. Since we have come across the same situation we had in the Civil War, in which our weaponry has outgrown our medical ability to take care of the human body, we might want to slow up the carnage so we don’t have so many combatants trying to move around without limbs and hampered by severe brain injuries.

The United States has decided it’s the Roman Empire, and just as the Romans did, we are beginning to over-extend ourselves under the guise of being the “muscle men of the world”–to eventually be taken down by our version of Vandals from Germany, whom I am sure the Romans also considered to be terrorists.

I support the troops with all my heart–so much so that I work for peace, I challenge avarice and I question my government when it tries to excite the populace by waving the flag over the next conflict.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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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.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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