Ask Jonathots… June 23rd, 2016

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In this political season, I find myself thinking about the issue of lying. We point fingers–but at the same time, accept the notion that “all politicians lie.” And I must admit, I’ve told my share of whoppers. So what is the truth about lying? Is it possible to live life without doing it?

Telling the truth is not a virtue.

It’s not like giving to the poor, sacrificing one’s life for your country or even rescuing baby seals from the Canadians.

Telling the truth is an issue of survival. It is essential to accomplishing our goals.

So is the truth built into the natural order?

Yes. Because when the truth is not told, there is no way to adequately proceed with our lives–the premise we’re basing everything on is sand instead of rock.

In other words, someone might turn to me and say, “Do you think you can drive to Albuquerque by next Thursday?”

If my immediate response is yes, without checking the mileage, then I easily make myself a liar when Thursday rolls around and I have not arrived in Albuquerque.

It may sound noble to ask people to tell the truth. But every human being wants to look like he or she is at the top of their game–always putting their best foot forward. This nurtures lying.

The best way to escape lying is to learn the majesty of three responses:

1. I don’t know.

You can avoid about 50% of your lying by being willing to admit that you don’t know. With the availability of the Internet, “I don’t know” does not mean you will remain ignorant. It just means you are not going to lie.

2. I’ve never done it before.

A good portion of our lying is in the arena of the false promotion of our efforts and background. If you’ve never done it before, that does not mean you don’t get to do it now–it just means that those who are asking you to participate should be aware that they are dealing with a novice.

3. I’m not so sure this is something I like.

Politeness contributes to a huge portion of the lying that goes on. If something doesn’t ring your bell, you need to let people know before your bell is “ringless.” This kind of candor will free you of many ridiculous commitments, which you will end up pursuing begrudgingly.

So the first fruits of the truth is to acquire these three intelligent answers.

In doing so, you buy yourself time to learn, consider and be motivated toward enthusiasm.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 22nd, 2016

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PoHymn Orlando

To He Who Robbed Our Pulse

(Dedicated to the Souls in Orlando)

How easy it is to kill

To end the dreams of Jack and Jill

Who went to fetch some fun

‘Til confronted by your gun

Removing all their will

 

You claim faith in God

But then prove you’re a fraud

By destroying His greatest desire

You make the message a liar

Placing the young in a tomb.

 

Did anyone see your hate?

Could they stop the fate?

That crushed the hopes of so many

And produced the graves aplenty

Making the children helpless

 

It is time for a simple path

To expunge the bloody math

And let us look for a friend

Instead of promoting the end

Of God’s great human embrace

 

So as we contemplate the morrow

Let us rise from festering sorrow

And push to find something brighter

Lifting burdens, making things lighter

Listening instead of yelling

Laughing instead of cursing

And talking instead of shooting.

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Cracked 5 … June 21st, 2016

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Some Clumsy and Tense Exchanges Between Massa and Slave the Morning After the Civil War Ended

A. Massa: “Well, uh…if you ever need a recommendation…”

 

B. Slave: “Every time you asked for lemon in your tea, I peed in the glass.”

 

C. Massa: “Hey, listen–no hard feelings about your wife and all, right?”

 

D. Slave: “I wuz wonderin’ if you might just let me and Toby here have a crack at your whip. We wuz always curious to try it.”

 

E. Slave: “No hard feelings about your daughter Missy Sue, right?”

Cracked 5 He's Free

 

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Good News and Better News … June 20th, 2016

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Good News Walkersville

I have spent the last week in Maryland, “habitating” on Mason Dixon Road.

If you’re unacquainted with the significance of “Mason Dixon,” simply explained, it is the contrived boundary line which was drawn to distinguish the North from the South, and therefore, the free states from the slave states. It was another one of those man-made solutions that seemed brilliant at the time because it appeased an acceptable insanity.

As I thought about it this week, I realized that every time we try to divide one from another–be it by race, gender, culture, sexual preference, or denomination–we take a big slather of glue and try to repair a major crack in the rock.

It never works. It never holds. And eventually, the action of trying to achieve a temporary solution seems ludicrous.

If we would simply start with the principle that there are no divisions unless we’re trying to be superior, then we would be on our way to understanding human life as it was meant to be on Planet Earth.

Enjoying the fine souls at Walkersville United Methodist Church, I realized that there was no greater message to share with them than the removal of all the “Mason Dixon Lines” that keep us apart.

I don’t care if it’s some politician portraying that the one percent is battling the ninety-nine percent, or another chap who insists on constructing a wall to keep the immigrants from the “permanents”–we are merely pretending to address a situation which can only be achieved by submitting to the wisdom of four immutable axioms.

Whenever there are two people gathered, each must realize:

1. We’re both wrong.

If life were as limited as our understanding, then it could never include everyone alive. So in some way, we’re both wrong.

2. We’re both right.

Yes, there is something good at the core of almost every philosophy or religion which can be included in the ultimate solution.

3. The Spirit knows the difference.

As long as we are in our flesh or living in our minds, we will never be able to surrender to the ultimate wisdom that keeps us from constructing barriers between one another.

  • We need the spirit of history
  • We need the spirit of science
  • We need the spirit of wisdom
  • We need the spirit of creativity.

And this is all encapsulated in our Father in Heaven.

4. Stay in the Spirit.

Since it is the Spirit that will lead us to deeper acceptance, the more we laugh at our prejudices as we chase them out the door, the greater the chance that we will achieve comprehension.

So that’s the good news. Because we’re both wrong and we’re both right, and the Spirit knows the difference, we should stay in the Spirit.

And here’s the better news:

It’s fun being wrong, as long as you believe in your heart that it is possible.

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 8) Fruity Labors … June 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

Meningsbee sat in his car panting, with sweat dribbling down his face.

What just happened?

His mind raced to retrieve some sanity.

He had gone to the grocery store to pick up some fruit, and was standing in the produce section, trying to decide between blueberries or blackberries, when he was tapped on the shoulder. He turned around to discover that he was surrounded by three irate women in their seventies.

There was no escape.

Woman One piped up. “What gives you the right to come to our town, break apart families and remove our sense of community?”

Without affording Meningsbee a chance to respond, Woman Two inserted her piece. “What was so wrong with our little Garsonville church? I think we were a loving sort until you showed up.”

Likewise, Woman Three intoned her complaint. “We dedicated that organ in the church to my grandmother, and now I’m not even able to go.”

Meningsbee tried to figure out a way to respond without becoming defensive, but the women continued to bombard him with their frustrations, refusing to allow him to leave. It caused such a commotion that the store manager called the local police, who uncharacteristically arrived within three minutes.

The constable felt it was his job to get to the bottom of the story, so he listened patiently as the women outlined their grievances.

When Meningsbee was asked to describe his take on the situation, he chose to remain silent, realizing that he was not only outnumbered, but also that his rendition might seem anemic compared to their enraged profile.

Unfortunately, a local reporter for the newspaper was in the store at the time, and she felt it was her responsibility to interview the participants, with Meningsbee politely declining.

He just quickly grabbed some fruit, went through the checkout and exited the store. Now he sat alone, bruised and a bit infuriated at being ambushed.

Yet the situation did not go away.

Two days later when the newspaper came out, there was an article about the incident and a background about the ongoing struggle between the Garsonville Church and the new Garsonville Christian Church, meeting at the Holiday Inn Express.

The closing line of the piece was provided by one of the women, who shared, “If the people who are still at the Garsonville Church really love us and respect us as neighbors, they will at least come out to our new gathering and give it a chance.”

Even as Reverend Meningsbee was in the midst of reading the article, the phone rang. It was the first of thirty-five or forty calls he received from parishioners, saying that they were torn and conflicted, and felt it would maybe be good for them to show their respect by going to the Garsonville Christian Church this week.

Meningsbee didn’t know what to say. Honestly, he wanted to cry. He never intended to split up families nor bring conflict–just share Jesus.

Upon arriving at the church on Sunday morning, Meningsbee discovered there were only twelve in attendance–and eight of them were the visitors who had come over the past several weeks.

Because he didn’t want to deal with unresolved hurt, he shared his heart with those who were present, and explained what he believed to be his mission and desire.

He dismissed the service and headed for his car. All the other attendees left the parking lot and he sat alone. He couldn’t help but feel cheated–and maybe even, in a strange sense, jealous.

After all, his congregation was somewhere else, listening to someone else–being torn between their new discovery of faith and their loyalty to tradition.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … June 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Are you looking for equality?

 

Dear Man: Absolutely not.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I think I know you well enough that you’re not going to settle for inferiority–or pursue superiority.

 

Dear Man: That’s right.

 

Dear Woman: So isn’t the whole thing about equality? Even hearkening back to the Equal Rights Amendment?

 

Dear Man: That would have been a mistake. You see, the word “equality” is a trick. Thomas Jefferson used the word “equal” in the Declaration of Independence–while still owning slaves. For many years in the South, there was a proclamation of “separate but equal,” which was supposed to make everything right. But of course, it didn’t.

 

Dear Woman: So what you’re saying is, to a certain degree we are pursuing “separate but equal” between the sexes.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. We have created a Jim Crow situation between men and women with all the books, jokes and rules that are enforced in our society.

 

Dear Woman: I get it. Things like “man cave–chick flick.”

 

Dear Man: They connote that there’s equality–a place where each gender has dominion, but keeping us totally separate from each other.

 

Dear Woman: So is it possible to be separate and equal?

 

Dear Man: Not unless the power is equal. In other words, if men are in charge of almost everything, then the stream of equality that trickles down to women will be subject to their whim.

 

Dear Woman: Just like it was in the South during the Jim Crow era. They claimed equality, but because they were separate, and the white population had domination, the black folks had to rely on the white interpretation of equality.

 

Dear Man: You got it. It sounds a little complicated but it really isn’t. Separate but equal was the way the white community in the South tried to control things while making it look like they were creating equality.

 

Dear Woman: In other words, when we say women do this and men do that, we’re separating them off, while insisting that in the separation there is still equality.

 

Dear Man: That’s why I don’t want to be equal. I want to be equivalent.

 

Dear Woman: Interesting word. So where do you see the difference?

 

Dear Man: It’s a situation in which men and women head for the common ground–human. Attributes, emotions, preferences, desires and skills are not viewed by gender but instead, solely on talent and choice. We’re working on this in racial relationships–the black community is not trying to be equal. They’re trying to establish the fact that we’re all equivalent.

 

Dear Woman: This makes complete sense to me. Because even though I’m trying to be forward thinking on this issue, unfortunately, I still contend that there are things that women do better than men and vice versa.

 

Dear Man: Me, too. We were trained that way. So when it comes to the gender wars, we promote “separate but equal,” which has historically proven to be nearly worthless.

 

Dear Woman: So how do you think I can confirm to you that I believe you and I are equivalent?

 

Dear Man: That’s easy. Stop assuming. Stop assuming that I won’t like a football game. Stop assuming that I’d rather go shopping than help you fix a cabinet in the kitchen. And I’ll stop assuming that you won’t like a movie because someone declared it “for women.” And I won’t assume that you’re completely uninterested in an outfit I’m buying.

 

Dear Woman: Is it really that simple? Do you really think that will bring some resolution?

 

Dear Man: What it will bring is clarity–that we’re not looking for an equality that still allows for separation, but instead, an equivalency that gives us the right to enjoy what we want to enjoy without having to distinguish it “pink” or “blue.”

 

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G-Poppers… June 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop received an email from one of his children.

“Dear G-Pop: Why is there so much killing going on?”

He sat for a moment, thinking. Then he sent back this note:

We are in a struggle with anti-matter.

There are human beings who have decided that nothing matters. Once they come to that conclusion, they believe life is insignificant.

You can walk around the fringe of the problem by trying to remove guns, increase background checks and ask law enforcement to be more enforcing. But until you address the heart of the “matter,” these frustrated killers will slip through the safety net.

It is up to each one of us to take care of the “crazies” who surround us and make sure we do our part to prevent the next massacre.

Learn what to listen for.

1. “I don’t matter.”

Whenever you hear anyone state these words, stop what you’re doing and get involved. Listen to them. Take them someplace positive. Give them a reason to exist. Work with them shoulder to shoulder and see if it doesn’t improve the outlook.

2. “You don’t matter.”

Yes, there are folks who will decide for you exactly what your value is and limit the scope of your power. When you run across these people, take them into your home. Let them walk through some of your journey with you. Show them how your faith has feet.

3. “God doesn’t matter.”

Even though many of these murderers use the name of God to justify their mission, they obviously have given up on a Divine Being because they contend He’s given up on all of us. For example, it’s impossible to kill a deer if you think it has a soul or if it has the capacity to talk to you. To turn into a creature of mayhem, you have to believe that human beings are just ants.

And since Jesus told us that each human life is worth “many sparrows,” those who come to the conclusion that God doesn’t matter become dangerous.

At this point, you should invite two friends in. Don’t lay this on yourself. You’re dealing with a serious issue. You have to counsel with other people about the deteriorating scenario with this troubled soul.

The three of you should gently go and share with this person, to reason with him. Perhaps you can get him or her to once again believe in a loving Father and Creator or seek professional help.

4. “Nothing matters.”

When you hear a friend, relative, acquaintance or co-worker state that nothing matters, it’s time to contact the authorities.

You will certainly be afraid that you’re jumping the gun, but in this case that may very well be true. You may be jumping ahead to avoid the destruction of a gun.

When people begin to believe that nothing matters, they are susceptible to dark and evil suggestions which can lead to lasting tragedy.

With every single vicious, gun-slinging event that happens in this country, there are always at least four people who are fully aware of the pending calamity and decide not to interfere.

  • Law enforcement will not be able to solve this problem.
  • Making guns more difficult to acquire will only have limited effectiveness.

We need human beings who are attentive to the situations that come their way–when “anti-matter” tries to turn friends into demons.

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