Getting in Character… August 24th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2672)

diane lane unfaithful

From Act II, Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage and all the men and women, merely players.”

To thine own self be true. More words from Bill the Bard.

Without being emotionally truthful to ourselves, we set in motion the seeds of infidelity.

Unfaithful. Promising and then failing to deliver.

And the truth of the matter is, if we’re unfaithful to ourselves, we are certainly determined to be equally as unfair to others.

Even though we criticize this kind of cheating as reckless and uncaring, it seems to permeate the human race like a fungus–or maybe better described as a mold that grows voraciously in a damp environment.

If we’re going to be good actors on the stage of life we have to be able to isolate what makes us unfaithful. The lust to be untrue is not born in our flesh, but in our heart. People who feel cheated, cheat:

  1. I am better than what I have.
  2. I am being ignored
  3. I will force my next opportunity.

When you put these three statements together, or isolate even one of them into a great pool of self-pity, the end result is a disregard for promises and leads to the pursuit of whatever is available on the premises.

Once unfaithful, each one of us is deemed a risk.

As a risk, we tolerate a certain amount of scrutiny but then rebel against the incrimination. This only creates more heart sadness, which leads to greater unfaithfulness.

How can we human beings, who are drawn away by our own lusts, ever learn to gain the predictability that makes us trustworthy to others?

A. Do well.

By the way, that’s your well-doing, not something someone else dug for you. In your present status, what is your “well?”

B. Get better.

You have to be willing to admit that there’s always need for improvement, and such adjustments are made much easier if they happen to be your idea.

C. Stay aware.

Aware of what?

  • Aware of being disgruntled.
  • Aware of being disappointed.
  • Aware of feeling left out.

These are the beginnings of the sorrows of infidelity.

If I am true to myself, I have a chance to be true to you.

But to be true to myself, I have to remove all of the ego props that tell me I should be receiving much more attention.

 

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Jesonian: Easy Does It … August 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2671)

corn in hand

Into a world filled with self-righteousness, power struggles and idiotic inclinations, Jesus of Nazareth walked on the scene with a simple message.

Easy does it and lighten up.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Leadership hated him for it.

Making truth accessible to the masses and suggesting that it is not that difficult to attain does not endear you to those who make a living out of turning every situation into a quandary.

No mortal receives benefit when we demand divine effort.

Interestingly enough, right after he shared these thoughts of “easy does it” and “lighten up,” he was confronted by a situation which embodied the whole dilemma.

You see, his disciples were walking through a field of corn and they were hungry. Common sense said not to stand around and bitch, but rather, to pick some of the nourishment.

Logical enough, right?

But posted nearby were those religious leaders who made a living from “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.” They criticized the disciples and Jesus for the action, citing that the Law of God demanded that the Sabbath be honored by declining to take care of human needs.

Jesus’ answer is a spiritual classic.

He explained that throughout history, whenever noble men and women of mission found themselves without provision, rather than standing on ceremony, they used what was available instead of complaining to the heavens about their lack.

He said that King David even ate the holy bread from the Temple and gave it to his soldiers when there was a gnawing at their innards.

But Jesus didn’t leave it there. He told the Pharisees that everything revolves around one principle: God will have mercy, not sacrifice.

Because if you find yourself feeling sacrificial, restricted, bound and intimidated by religious fervor, very soon … you will end up condemning the guiltless folks who walk amongst you.

 

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Confessing … August 22nd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2670)

XVI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Pastor Perry was kind to me.

Having my music group, where I had placed nine years of effort, fold up and die after trial, error and a certain bit of notoriety, I found myself emotionally devastated. I didn’t want to do anything.

But my wife and I had three children who were unaware and uncaring of my trauma.

So I decided to call Pastor Perry and ask him if he needed an assistant minister at his church and if he would consider hiring me for the position for simple wages, room and board.

He said yes.

I don’t know why he said yes. I was not exactly qualified–being a journeyman musician does not prepare you for assisting in shepherding a flock.

But I went.

I quickly discovered that Pastor Perry was a flawed man. I was too young to overlook his obvious inconsistencies, and I was certainly too immature to set them aside and give him respect.

So when people in the church started preferring me and my teaching style to his, I ate it up with a spoon, while simultaneously mentally turning a knife on the man who was so generous in giving me an opportunity.

It was childish. And because Pastor Perry had his own issues, he decided to undermine my efforts–as I turned to degrade his.

It was all glossed over with a veneer of friendship and phoniness that still sickens me.

So great was our ego struggle that one night I forgot I was a dad, abandoned my responsibilities, and in an attempt to usurp my authority over Perry, let one of my little sons slip into the darkness, where he was struck by a car.

I did a lot of growing up over the next two or three months. My son survived but never regained cognitive abilities. I was such a fool.

I learned a valuable lesson. Even though God forgave me for my ridiculous choices, Pastor Perry was kicked out of the church and I was granted grace, I realized once and for all that the tally and sum of our sins is not lessened … by subtracting the iniquity of others.

 

Confessing Joshua

 

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G-Poppers … August 21st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2669)

Jon close up

 

His name was Richard Milhouse Nixon. He was the 37th President of the United States.

In 1972, he pulled off a landslide victory for a second term, even though it was reported that some of his cohorts had broken into the headquarters of the Democratic Party at the Watergate Apartments.

He was so popular that he could have told the truth. But he made two mistakes–missteps that our politicians and celebrities continue to do today.

When the press found out about the break-in at the headquarters, questions arose. Nixon believed two things:

  1. They’re out to get me.
  2. Deny and let it die.

Because he felt that there were those individuals who were determined to destroy him, and that if he just denied the rumors that the confrontation would eventually go away, he set in motion the destruction of a President–similar to the demise of Frankenstein.

We created him, therefore we had to kill him.

As G-Pop sat down to think about those times in the early seventies, when lies were passed on as explanations, he realized that he needed to talk to his granddaughters about a human being who just happens to be a woman who is running for President.

She is making the same two mistakes.

Her name is Hillary Clinton. And even though she saw her husband err, deny and ultimately experience humiliation because of it, she is traipsing down the same path because she believes that politics has a different set of rules than real life.

Perhaps it will just go away.

But for every Watergate break-in which could be quickly handled in two news cycles through veracity, there is always a Woodward and Bernstein who will get to the bottom of the story and expose the coverup.

I do not know what possesses fully grown, allegedly mature human beings–to think that they can escape the scrutiny of a society that gets its kicks off of scrutinizing.

G-Pop wants his granddaughters to know there’s only one way to handle an error–especially if it is a mistake that was committed in ignorance or innocence.

A. This is what I knew.

Yes, at the time the flaw was perpetrated, this is what I knew about the situation, this is what I believed and this is what I thought.

B. This is what I know.

Now that time has passed, I see what was incorrect or insufficient.

C. So what now?

Since you are involved and I have told you the truth of the matter, how shall we proceed?

It is the natural inclination of human beings to forgive–unless they’ve been deceived. If we are deceived, all bets are off.

It’s really that simple. It doesn’t mean that all human beings will grant you pardon, but the ones who don’t look foolish and small.

Most Americans would have easily given grace to Richard Nixon if he had just been forthcoming about his involvement–or lack of involvement–in the Watergate break-in. For after all, they voted for him. They wanted to feel like they made the right choice. He turned a pimple into a cancer.

Hillary Clinton is doing exactly the same thing.

G-Pop just wants his granddaughters to know that this is not the way to act to be a solid citizen, or even to survive adversity.

He wants them to know that Hillary Clinton is first and foremost a member of the human race … not the only woman we could ever find to run for President. 

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Ask Jonathots … August 20th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2668)

ask jonathots bigger

I know the Bible says not to worry, but I worry about money all the time. I really don’t have enough to pay everything. Every month I juggle something out of rotation, and then wait through all the notices. I hardly have any debt–I have one credit card, so that’s not the issue. I’m talking about rent, utilities, cable, phones, car, insurance and childcare (two of them, ages six and eight). I just don’t make enough money to get by. Suggestions?

Brain space.

Long before you solve a problem, you have to make room in your brain for creative consideration.

Jesus told us not to worry. He didn’t say this because he was some sort of air-head who believed we should live off our faith in God, with no consideration for being responsible for our needs. He was just enlightening us that worry, fear, apprehension and too much budgeting take up humongous amounts of space in our minds, closing the door on inspiration.

Someone asked me the other day what I thought about welfare. Here’s what I think: if someone is unable to work, finds it difficult to live on the money they make from working when daycare is included, then, they should be given assistance–as long as they realize that this blessing requires a lifestyle of using what they have instead of what they want.

In my lifetime I’ve had much money and literally no money. When I had no money, my main problem was feeling cheated out of the things I wanted, and therefore I was unable to creatively address what I needed.

The first thing I would suggest that you do is figure out how much real money you have coming in each and every month. Get a number.

Then take a look at your responsibilities, and subtract them. If you end up in the red, go back again, trim things up, and see if you can get yourself within striking distance of your own budget.

I understand that with children there are always surprises, but you won’t know what to look for, ask for and seek out until you understand how you must live within your means.

I know it’s not popular to say this, but you just don’t get to eat Hamburger Helper if your budget only allows for hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. And you certainly don’t get to eat chicken and steak if your intake only allows for Hamburger Helper.

The best way to get assistance from agencies–or even friends–is to ask for a specific portion of your living expense that you’re having trouble with, instead of coming in general desperation.

To do this, you must free up your brain space.

To free up your brain space, you have to transfer your fear of money (or the lack thereof) and change it into numbers.

As long as money is about feelings instead of numbers, you will fail.

  • Money is a number thing.
  • Your feelings should be reserved for creative solutions.

So keep in mind that Jesus was not trying to get you to spend hours in prayer, waiting for the miracle of a big check. Jesus was asking you to take the brain space you’re using for worry and fear, change your need into numbers, and use your ideas to find solutions.

If it doesn’t work out on paper, don’t start worrying.

Instead, get it out of your head and onto paper … so you are freed up to seek out solutions.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2668)

 PoHymn August 19

Puzzling Our Way

A comedy of errors

A circus of terrors

A frown of concern

A chance to return

To believe in my bluff

Needs to be enough

Then propel this human team

And launch a blessed scheme

For to deny the gift at hand

Is to build upon the sand

Scaling the holy rock

Surviving foolish talk

I move to the light

With a sense of right

Refusing the be denied

Delighted with what I’ve tried

Knowing I am weak

Grants the power of the meek

To inherit Mother Earth

Through the sweetness of rebirth

I embrace the transformed me

Learning what he can be

Then repair the ragged seam

Sewing and reaping the dream

We are not alone, dear soul

Cursed to half instead of whole

But rather, discovering the latest piece

Yes, puzzling our way shall never cease.

 

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Cracked 5… August 18th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2667)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Treats Offered at the Iowa State Fair ALREADY Named and Geared for the Presidential Candidates

 

A. Corny Dogs

 

B. Deep Fried Twinkies

 

C. Flip-Flop Burgers

 

D. Turkey Legs

 

E. Soft-Serve(r)

 

Mike Huckabee

 

 

 

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