Ask Jonathots … November 5th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I have a close friend who has decided to have a baby. She’ll raise the child herself–a single mom. I don’t disapprove, but I do wonder if the child will be somewhat disadvantaged. What do you think? Is there an innate power in the nuclear family–mom, dad and children?

No. There is no natural power in having a nuclear family in raising a child.

Children respond to two stimuli: love and discipline–hopefully dished out in equal portions.

Is there a positive aspect to a child having a male and female role model within the same household? No, but the mother, in your case, needs to be fully aware that since we are a world of men and women, that the child will need to have positive, joyous and untainted visions of the male of the species.

There would be a temptation, as a single mother, to pass along some bitterness, which would not only be useless to the child, but also could create an offspring that is overly sensitive to one gender in favor of the other.

Here’s the truth: we create too much drama around raising children.

People have been doing it for millions of years. Good people have raised bad children and excellent human beings have risen from the ashes of abusive situations. None of us are quite sure what makes the perfect climate for a young human to grow–except we do know that love and discipline go hand in hand to forming a better possibility.

You and I and the next guy standing near us need to realize that we carry prejudices into our relationships, even though we don’t intend to. It could be anything from a distaste over what is referred to as an “unwed mother,” or even a sense that we privately consider ourselves to be “Superparent,” and no one could raise children quite as well as we do.

This is where we can perform the function of encouragement and exhortation.

I will tell you–critique is absolutely worthless. Telling people what they are doing wrong is like spurring them on to do it more. But when you see your single mom friend performing brilliantly, step in and pat her on the back. Buy her a package of disposable diapers. And when you see her questioning what she’s doing, exhort her to pursue her better choices.

The human race will not improve because we are constantly correcting mistakes. Because we are emotional creatures, the human race only improves as we focus on what we are doing which is positive … and only gradually discards the useless ways.

 

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G-34: Punishing Absence… July 25, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Four hundred years.

A “non-prophet” business.

The messengers sent did their very best, many of them giving their lives for the cause, only to be killed by those who heard.

Everything fell into a malaise of three reactions:

  • Deny: “There is no Creator.”
  • Ignore: “What has the Creator done for me lately?”
  • Fear: “I am frightened of the Creator.”

A very dissatisfying conclusion for One looking for intimacy. It was time to review.

Billions of years of evolution had culminated in the creation of human beings. They were placed in a Garden of ideal circumstances for fellowship and pleasure. It failed.

Once separated from their Creator, the creations over-simplified their lives and over-complicated their emotions. All the indecision led to violence, and the Creator, in a foolhardy moment, destroyed His own work.

He regretted it.

So He tried to become a Father, even though He was guilty of abuse.

A provider.

Then a protector.

And culminating by sending prophets to be the mouthpiece of the deep affection of the Creative spirit.

Nothing worked.

When failure is the conclusion of your efforts, you have a choice of either becoming defensive or admitting the inadequacy and allowing for healing.

Four hundred years to think about it.

Something needed to be done. If human beings could not comprehend the tenderness of their Creator through Eden, provision, protection and prophets, then a much more personal solution would be required.

During the four hundred years, kingdom rose against kingdom, nation against nation, until finally one empire nearly encompassed the entire earth: Rome.

It was time to do something. It was time to be something.

It was time, once and for all, to show the creation … the Father.

 

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A Barn Yarn… August 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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barnMany years ago a music group of which I was a member in fair standing was invited to a rustic resort in Western Minnesota to put on a concert. The brochure provided to explain the services of this facility were very enticing.

  • Gorgeous cabins.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Hiking for those inclined.
  • And buffet lines, stacked with freshly grilled hamburgers, and sweet corn— steaming, salted and buttered.

Needless to say, this music group of which I was a part was very excited to go to the facility, which was offered to believers who had grown tired of worldly toil, and who wanted to escape the rigors of a demented society and spend three days listening to Christian music, with public speakers brought in from all over the country to fill them with spirit.

The joint was aptly named Christian Retreat.

unfortunately, upon arrival we discovered that the cabins had been booked up and all they had available was one small compartment, which would not be acceptable for three–especially since I was a male intruder. So the girls skipped off to their living quarters and I was escorted … to a barn.

Now, when they told me I would be staying in a barn, I assumed it was a euphemism for a rustic facility, but one still worthy of human habitation. Climbing the crest of a hill, what I beheld was actually a barn–an Amish cathedral–complete with hay, stalls, John Deere tractors and cattle with their south ends pointed to my north.

I did not complain. I found an area they had set aside for human occupation which included straw beds and a shower they had rigged with a spigot protruding from a pipe and a wooden frame to stand upon and a hole dug to drain the excess watery parts from people like me.

I was sitting on a bale of hay when I was interrupted by the arrival of another gent. He started talking. I point this out because from the point that he commenced speech, he never stopped. He explained that he was a farm hand. He told me how difficult his day had been. Within three minutes, I had the full description of his mother’s nasty divorce from her abusive husband which left him with a single mom, working very hard, but still on food stamps.

All during the discourse he was disrobing in front of me, preparing to take his nightly shower, with no embarrassment whatsoever, and was eventually standing buck naked from the curly top of his head and simultaneously beneath.

I am not comfortable around naked people. Matter of fact, I prefer “lights off romance.” If I were a nudist, I would constantly be apologizing, making excuses and informing everyone that I planned on starting a weight loss regimen next week.

Not this fellow. He turned on the spigot, climbed up on the boards and proceeded to suds himself repeatedly.

I did not know where to look, so I stared down at my shoes. When he asked me what I was doing, I explained that I was an amateur cobbler and that I was considering taking the steps to repair my own footwear.

At this point he climbed down from the boards, fully foamy, and walked over to eyeball my shoes, to see if he might be able to assist in the cobbling

I made eye contact–not because someone in a seminar told me to, but more or less for emotional survival. He made some suggestions which I cannot remember, turned the other cheek, climbed back up on the boards and resumed his bubbly process.

I finally had enough and excused myself, explaining that I needed to go set up for the concert–and I instinctively grabbed my gym bag on the way out, knowing that unlike Douglas MacArthur, I had no intention of returning.

After the program that evening, I headed towards our beat-up van, climbed into the back, put together a make-shift pillow and stretched out to go to sleep. My partners in music were concerned, and asked me why I wasn’t going back to my accommodations.

I thought about telling them about my encounter with the farmer’s son,” but instead replied, “I discovered I really DO have hay fever and don’t get along well with barn animals–especially when they talk.”

 

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