G-Poppers … July 6th, 2018

G-Pop just spent a week with family members–some coming in all the way from China.

It put him in both a joyous and a reflective mood–joyous to see all the cubs from the Bear Clan returning to their cave, but reflective because he did some deep wondering about what this whole process of living is all about.

It comes down to two words: influence or affluence.

In other words, are we on a journey to influence the planet and people around us in a positive way, or is it all about accumulating wealth, houses, status and family members, thus showcasing our affluence?

You certainly can be affluent without having influence on anything, and as we well know, you can express your influence and not have two quarters to rub together.

Influence: doing stuff.

Affluence: getting stuff.

Amazingly, there is no award for our children when they are spiritual, but we give them money if they make us look like amazing parents by scoring that goal, thus passing on the impression that the best way to gain affluence is to minimize influencing, but just “learn the rules and win.”

As G-Pop sat and stared at his children, he wondered how many were out to influence the world and how many had already decided that the journey is about becoming affluent.

Of course, you must have enough goods and money that you don’t appear to be a deadbeat and a burden on others. But can that be a stopping point? When you finally discover how to cover your budget, eat well and have some extra cash to help others, can you stay ashore and not launch out into the sea with all the cutthroat pirates?

G-Pop decided a long time ago that he wanted to influence the Earth instead of merely being affluent. It’s amazing how good a plate of beans tastes, and how little buttered lobster is required in that moment.

It just depends how hungry you are when you show up.

 

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G-Poppers … June 29th, 2018

When G-Pop was growing up, the mayor of his small town had a young daughter named Jeannie.

Jeannie was smart.

Nobody liked Jeannie. The reason the students did not like Jeannie was that their parents did not like the mayor. So over supper conversation, it was made clear to the children that Jeannie was a problem.

Not much could be done by us young’uns during school session, but at recess, everyone got together and ridiculed, attacked, criticized and ostracized Jeannie. Matter of fact, one day it got so bad that our whole class had her cornered, trying to push her off the playground.

We didn’t plan on hurting her. We just wanted to make it clear that because of her father and the politics that made our parents angry, we were going to get her out of there. Three teachers came running up, and when they understood what was being attempted, the whole class was punished and we were not allowed to have recess for two weeks.

Jeannie was permitted to go home and be comforted by her parents. They were so shocked they put her in a private school and we never saw her again.

This came to G-Pop’s mind when the Little Red Hen–just as in the old tale–became fussy again. People took a thirty-five-year-old woman who was on “recess,” simply trying to enjoy dinner, and asked her to leave a restaurant simply because they did not agree with her politics, and did not appreciate her being the press secretary for President Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, the end result of this tale, unlike the story of Jeannie, is that Sarah Sanders was punished, and the “students” were made to believe they were merely exercising their First Amendment rights by getting rid of something unpleasant.

G-Pop has a question: If it’s wrong on the playground, why isn’t it wrong in the restaurant?

If we expect our children to be tolerant enough to share a space of land and get into their games, why is it ridiculous to think that grown people can’t sit at the table and enjoy a meal with someone in the room who doesn’t meet their favor?

Kicking Sarah out was not a symbol of the resistance.

It’s not a stand against tyranny.

It is an attack on a young woman who’s trying to do her job. What G-Pop thinks about her job can be penned in an editorial to the newspaper–not with a snarling contempt, demanding she be removed because her presence is intolerable.

She left.

She did not stand and fight. And when she left, all the liberals got together and decided it was a good thing to remove her from the restaurant. Matter of fact, one black Congresswoman suggested it should be done more.

Because G-Pop loves his country, he is choosing to believe this was a temporary lapse of judgment.

Just as the kids in his small town had no right to push Jeannie off the playground, no one has the authority to ask Sarah to leave the restaurant.

G-Pop will not return to an America where signs are posted everywhere that say: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

We all knew what that meant. We all knew who was not going to get served.

Let us not return to such insanity.

 

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G-Poppers … June 22nd, 2018

One of G-Pop’s children came to him with great concern.

She was troubled about two gentlemen she knew who were in the midst of a contentious and vicious argument over politics. They were both good men, good fathers and they were both Christian.

But the climate of division had overcome both of them, and they began to take it out on each other, leveling nasty insults in the direction of the other person, once a dear friend.

One man was a Republican and one man was a Democrat. But they both were Christian–shall we say Jesonian?–followers of the heart of Jesus.

Like many people in the lifetime of Jesus, they were looking for political solutions rather than personal revivals in their own hearts.

These two gentlemen had taken their eyes off the personal prize of discovery and placed their faith into the knowledge and politics of the day.

They were arguing about President Trump.

The Republican brother found himself in the defensive profile, trying to explain what was happening in our country the best he could, while the Democrat brother was using insults, derogatory statements and anger to attack the leader of our country.

It is affecting their friendship.

It is taking what was meant to be unified and breaking it apart.

Each one of them is convinced that the other couldn’t be a Christian and maintain the feelings he has about President Trump. They fail to understand that there are three principles set forth by Jesus of Nazareth.

If the Republicans ignore any of the three, then for a season we must walk away from the Republicans. Likewise, if the Democrats set any one of the three to the side, that party has to be negated in favor of greater words.

The three principles are:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

2. Judge not or you’ll be judged.

3. Love your neighbor as yourself.

These can’t be compromised just because we want to promote a candidate, and they certainly can’t be ignored to maintain affiliation with a political party.

Two good men are fighting because both of them are sacrificing their Jesonian beliefs to support an earthly power structure.

So G-Pop says to his children, don’t speak evil of the President of the United States. Keep your hand on the plow and follow the three principles listed above. And where you see problems come in, don’t resort to cheap insult and vulgar retort. Hang on.

The words of Jesus have lasted much longer than any ideas from any politician, and they certainly will be around long past the next election.

 

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G-Poppers … June 15th, 2018

Colin Kaepernick.

Here’s a young fellow who chose to protest alleged use of irrational violence by the police department against young black men. His method of objection was very simple:

He was a football player, so when the National Anthem was performed, he refused to stand, but at first sat, and eventually, along with many others, took a knee during the Francis Scott Key.

It was harmless.

Unfortunately, it became quite a row when capitalism and democracy were unleashed from their cages to wrestle with one another.

G-Pop wants you to understand that the two don’t get along. Democracy contends that individual citizens have the freedom to express themselves without inhibition.

Capitalism places the entire significance of its purpose in its name–capital. Money is the reason, money is the means, money is the passion and money is the bottom line.

So G-Pop found himself in an interesting situation two nights ago while having dinner with friends. Having not given adequate thought on this battle between capitalism and democracy, G-Pop stated that he felt the decision to forbid the protest of these excellent athletes was a sham and would eventually be perceived as a national shame.

G-Pop spoke too soon.

As long as we continue to have a democracy that is acted out through capitalism, those who work for the corporation will need to honor the tenets, principles and concepts of the company–even if they feel it deters from their freedoms.

Every day, each one of us sacrifices a little choice so we can be part of a bigger unit.

We do so because of money.

We do so fearing that launching too much on our own, without financial prospects, will leave us broke and busted instead of a fine bloke who’s trusted.

It’s really quite simple.

As long as Mr. Kaepernick was “Colinizing” an idea with his friends, to project their disagreement, and the National Football League was NOT insisting they follow any particular code, it was beautiful, totally sane and within the bounds of reason.

But when President Trump challenged the owners of the NFL to make the “knee salute” a profile against the policy of the National Football League, capitalism won over freedom.

Pardon the pun, but Colin and his buddies had no leg to stand on.

It was nasty.

It was plotted.

And it turned what could have been a dynamic discussion into a wicked slap on the wrist in the principal’s office.

G-Pop was wrong.

Capitalism–the pursuit of capital–will always trim back democracy, the insistence on freedom.

So Colin and his “Colinizers” will have to find a different way to protest. G-Pop is completely confident they will.

But until they do, let us not make it an issue of patriotism, but rather, conclude correctly that it is merely patronizing the bottom line.

 

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G-Poppers … June 8th, 2018

G-Pop wants his children to know that if you’re going to follow what is right and do what is consistent with sanity, you will sometimes find yourself looking not cool, and even being considered not very smart.

It is the whole instability of a fad.

A fad is a decision to depart from the norm, if for no other reason than to escape what is perceived to be a restrictive situation.

Because fads have no future, they don’t really consider all of the ramifications of their practices. You can follow such trends, but when they fall apart–and they do–you will be counted among those who got duped.

There’s no need to be picky in life and try to be a stick in the mud, but certainly there are truths that cannot be altered, and should not be set aside simply because we want to experiment with a novel approach.

Here’s a simple way to view it:

1. Is it something that needs to be done?

2. Is it something that Abraham Lincoln had to do?

3. Is it something you want to teach your children to do?

Then do it.

It might sound a little silly–and I used Abraham Lincoln because he stood against some very strong, convincing fads, but stayed on the game plan that “all men are created equal.” It was not so popular to believe that. He was the kind of fellow who didn’t care. (You notice I did not say to use Richard Nixon as an example.) Abraham Lincoln did unpopular things because they were lasting and true.

So there’s your three-part process. If you really know what needs to be done, and you know Abraham Lincoln did it, and you know that as a parent you would teach your children the right way, then do it.

Don’t get tempted to follow a fad that fades.

For…they always do.

 

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G-Poppers … June 1st, 2018

G-Pop wants his children to know that 155 years is just too long.

This is the amount of time that has passed since Abraham Lincoln offered the Executive Order of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves.

But the slaves aren’t free.

With the mixture of lingering bigotry, cultural confusion, social fears and entitlement entanglements, the American black man or woman will never be free–until we stop the foolishness of color-coding our choices.

Of course, the most ridiculous notion is the recent declaration that these individuals are “African American.”

It is insulting. They have lived here longer than many white people and this is their country–not the unfortunate prison which they’ve never been able to escape.

If we had made the same progress in the medical field over 155 years, we would still be amputating limbs because a bone is broken.

In the transportation system, the Wright Brothers might have recently discovered the possibility of flight.

In the business world we would still be clinging to twelve-hour days, with no restriction on child labor laws and women relegated to nothing more than secretarial duties.

I don’t know–if you parallel the educational system to the progress we’ve made on racial relations, we might have evolved to the four-room schoolhouse.

It is no longer a mar on the American image–it has become our image.

Our musicians and artists rallied against South Africa and boycotted the country to get rid of Apartheid. I wonder what would happen if they refused to work cities in America due to the mistreatment of people of color?

Three things must happen:

1. We must disband the different approaches to culture, and really take up the banner of being a melting-pot–a single culture called America.

2. The black community should be given the question of the doubt in its conflict with the police department. We’ve done this with women who accuse men of sexual harassment–the men are basically considered guilty because of the accusation. Why is this not true with the police? If police are here to protect and serve, and someone does not feel protected and served, then they must place the onus of responsibility on their officers.

3. We need to get rid of anything that is spoken before the word “American.” African, Irish, European, Mexican, Hispanic, Asian, Indian–whatever the prefix. It does not extol these individuals–it targets them.

155 years is too long to solve a problem that should have been rooted out through the educational system within two generations.

We have just decided not to do it.

It is time to change this pernicious piece of history, and in so doing, show the rest of the world that we are a “shining city on a hill,” and we are prepared to lead the way in human rights, including the equality of race.

 

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G-Poppers … May 25th, 2018

G-Pop would like to take today to talk to his children about anger and lust. No human being can live without ​them. Some folks may try to quell their desires, but this stifling often leads to repression. Therefore it would seem that every ​soul​ needs anger and lust.​ ​In our country we have become obsessed with tracking down lust, and not nearly as concerned with channeling anger.

There is a very wise adage which states, “The imaginations of a man’s heart are evil continually from his youth.”

With that in mind, it may be completely ridiculous, if not mean-spirited, to think that any one of us is ever going to be free of rage or minus indiscretion. Yet we ​choose to ​isolate off harassment, chauvinism and improper sexual behavior as if these are worse than the nastiness and evil spewed from the mouths of people to support their ca​se​ in the name of ​their cause.

​Consider this: are we actually going to be able to find a man living on Planet Earth who has not had a slip of the tongue and ​stumbled into a bone-headed moment? Is it​ realistic to believe that, in search of romance, flirtation ​might become abusive and hurtful?

Granted, we need to teach our young men and women, from an early age, how to conduct themselves ​in addressing their sexuality, and ultimately pursuing the time​-​old tradition of mating.

But G-Pop believes it must start with anger, for sexual harassment and rape ​are​ merely lust which has traveled from ​unwanted ​interest to ​violence​.​ ​And much of the anger that ​evolves into mayhem and murder is uncontrolled lust for the possessions, life and goods of another person.

Our churches, our schools and especially our homes need to be training grounds, to turn anger into questioning and a desire to find answers, and channel our lusts toward respectfully a​pproaching the space, person and dignity of th​e​ individual we might be considering for a relationship.

What all of the accused men have in common is that they have blurred the lines between anger and lust.​ ​They don’t know how to flirt without being intimidating and they don’t know how to confront​ ​a​bsent a​ condescending attitude.

There is nothing wrong with the “Me, Too” movement. It is enlightening and it is opening up a conversation which is well overdue. But simultaneously, there needs to be an “All of Us” movement–which confesses that when our anger and lust are not balanced and in check, we can become dangerous to anyone who crosses our path.

G-Pop wants his children to know that anger and lust are the motivators that God has given us​ to achieve our wishes. Yet with this, as with all freedoms, comes the responsibility to balance ​matters with kindness, gentleness, equality and mercy.​

 

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