G-Poppers … April 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop’s grandson was a bit spooked by the notion of evil coming from the hearts of humans, so G-Pop continued his discussion with a little more sensitivity toward a little boy’s tender consciousness.

“Let’s put it this way,” said G-Pop. “If evil is out of our control, then who’s to say that goodness is available for us to choose?

The power in life is in having power in your life.

If the devil can defeat you and the angels have to rescue you, you kind of become the classic damsel, constantly in distress. So here’s where evil comes in:

  • Our appetites. We’re just too hungry.

We keep looking for adventure. And the more advertised forms usually involve risk or deceit.

Our true adventure is life. And when we screw it up the first time, fortunately for us, we usually have another chance to revisit the location with a better travel plan.

Our appetites drive us to do stupid things. It’s good to be hungry, but just as we adjust our physical diet to include nourishing portions, we should do the same with our emotional, spiritual and mental buffet.

  • Our second problem is ego. It’s when we are too selfish.

There is certainly nothing wrong with loving yourself if you make sure to leave enough time to grant your neighbor the same courtesy. But if you believe you must destroy, out-flank, cheat or curse your brothers and sisters to get your portion, you will eventually hatch some form of evil.

  • And finally, there’s delusion.I’m too important.’

Finding our true worth is our greatest achievement. Otherwise we start thinking we’re more valuable than we really are, making us pompous, or less valuable, which causes us to become defensive over our deteriorating worth.

This allows delusion to come to the forefront. We convince ourselves that we have a greater capacity than we can prove, and become quite infuriated when anyone challenges our assessment.

When our appetites make us too hungry and our egos cause us to become selfish, then our delusion makes us insist that we are primarily important.

There you have the formula for evil.

Goodness is when we let our appetites lure us to righteousness, our egos make us generous to the needs of others and our delusion is eliminated because we know exactly who we are and who we aren’t.”

G-Pop finished explaining this to his grandson. Amazingly, the little fella appeared to understand.

He turned and said, “I think I’ve got it, G-Pop. Don’t eat too much of anything.”

G-Pop smiled.

A pretty good analysis.

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Ask Jonathots … January 28th, 2016

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One of my friends believes that sexual repression is the reason for almost all problems, from behavioral to criminal. How important is sexuality? Is there such a thing as a religious calling, or, as my friend says, is that the sole reason for the sexual scandal in the Catholic Church?

Sex is an appetite.

It’s very important to realize this.

It is neither holy, nor is it hedonistic.

If monkeys can do it, it’s probably not super-spiritual, and if the end process of the procedure is procreation–the birthing of other human beings–it’s probably not evil.

You have to find the balance. What is the balance?

For instance, another bodily function is a bowel movement. Constipation makes us sick. But diarrhea is also a sign that we’re ill. What we want are healthy bowel movements.

And what we also want is a healthy sex life.

Since sex is not terribly difficult to do, it’s probably unrealistic to think that people are going to avoid it until they get married at age twenty-six.

Yet because it has so many physical ramifications, disease possibilities, and the potential of pregnancy, it should probably not be open season beginning at the age of twelve.

There are three reasons that people say they have sex:

  • They love each other
  • They want each other
  • They desire a child

Of course, there are variations on those–and different intensity levels. But as you can see, those three do not naturally connect.

In other words, love for someone can be manufactured because we are physically stimulated.

Wanting someone can be extremely temporary, until the orgasm is achieved.

And having a baby is an eighteen-minute production for an eighteen-year problem.

So the church tends to teach that the best practice is to refrain from sex until marriage, even though there are no people sitting in the pew who feel that is actually possible–or followed the practice themselves.

The world, on the other hand, or the secular community, thinks that free sexual expression is essential as a choice of adulthood, but offers no comfort for those who are heartbroken or stricken by disease because of promiscuity, or left with horrible choices due to unwanted pregnancy.

We are in the process of finding a balance.

To me, the best way to achieve this is to make it clear to young people–and older folks, for that matter–what sex is.

1. Sex is pleasure.

The fact that a creative God also uses it as a means of procreating our species is just smart due to the fact that if making babies took great effort, we would soon be extinct.

Trying to make sex anything other than pleasure is putting a golden crown on a pig.

2. As pleasure, it is a lesson in discovering how to mutually respect the person we are sharing the experience with at all times.

The idea that women are growing up believing that sex is for men and that they are not necessarily supposed to have an orgasm is one of the greatest abuses to the female.

3. Sex is emotional.

Here’s the trick and here’s the problem: as human beings, we seem to be incapable of separating the physical act of pleasure from the emotional tie of friendship or love. This introduces jealousy. This promotes some revenge. It causes sex to become a tool of pain rather than the promoter of pleasure.

4. Sex is attached to our passion.

Just because you said you loved someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you want to crawl in bed with them and have a crazy night of love-making. If the emotional, mental and spiritual energy does not continue, then the horniness quickly wears off. So we develop silly words like “soul mate” to describe the latest person who excites us.

Human sexuality is tainted both by repression and too much expression.

It is a physical act with emotional overtones, stimulated by mental commitment and spiritual energy.

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Ask Jonathots… June 25th, 2015

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My best girlfriend and I meet for lunch once a week. She is overweight and is on a diet–and she does seem to be losing some weight. But every time we eat out she orders huge meals and extravagant desserts. Every week. I don’t want to judge her. Should I say anything?

Your question is fascinating.

First, let’s start with some facts.

Every one of us has three different parts: the person we are born with, the person we are trained to be, and the person we decide to be.

You must understand, your girlfriend’s birth and circumstances are not the same as yours. And more than likely, her training does not duplicate the training you received.

I found some contradictions in your explanation. The truth of the matter is, your girlfriend is not on a diet if she’s ordering huge meals and extravagant desserts.

So I guess your question to me is, what do I do with a person who thinks she’s dieting, but who’s really acting out the elements of her birth and training?

The answer is really simple. You can do nothing.

Because until she decides to kick in the third part–her contribution–what she decides she wants to be–then all of your prodding, which you may deem to be encouragement, will only come across as criticism.

So you really need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. If my girlfriend has a metabolism which is going to keep her pretty plump, am I all right with that?
  2. If I’m not all right with that, am I prepared to walk away from the relationship to keep from harming her soul by my continual disapproval?
  3. And finally, if I decide to walk away, am I going to be able to find the attributes that drew me to this young lady with someone else in a thinner package?

Here are some of the stark realities regarding weight loss:

95% of the people who lose weight put it back on, usually with some additional. This should tell you that we do not have it figured out. When you take into account metabolism, digestion, training, appetite, and the human brain’s tendency to occasionally push things too far, we are probably a full generation away from a solution to obesity.

Will power only works for Will.

So what should you do in the moment?

Easy. Get a quiet space of time when you know her heart is open, and let her tell you what she feels about her weight instead of you telling her how much better she would be if she were smaller.

Once you hear her explanation, make a decision to stay with her if you can help, and leave her if you can’t.

Got a question for Jonathots? Send it to jacquelinebarnett76@gmail.com.

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Jesonian: Show Me the Father … June 15, 2014

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Jesus talking to a discipleAnd Phillip said to Jesus, “Show us the Father and it will be enough for us.”

Jesus said, “Phillip, don’t you realize after all these years of traveling together, that my goal has been to not only show you the Father but to be a good Father.”

Because a good father gives his children permission to be happy. He gives them a path to happiness. And he walks them to the door.

Even when they feel poor in spirit, he tells them that they can survive the tough times.

Don’t be afraid to cry, says a good father. I’ll be there to comfort you.

And by the way, be meek. You don’t have to be mean to get what you want.

But it’s very important to get an appetite for life, because if you’re hungry and thirsty, you will be filled.

A good father shows mercy because he knows it’s the only way to get mercy.

“Son, don’t be macho. And my daughter, please don’t use your feminine wiles. Have a pure heart. Be prepared to feel.”

Make peace. Ignore trouble makers. It may sound simple, but where you find peace, you find God.

You will be beaten, but you don’t have to lose. You will be attacked but defeat is unnecessary.

You will be humiliated and mocked. Do yourself a favor–let it go.

For my son and my daughter, I am your father. What you’ve seen me do, make it your own. And in the end, we can rejoice and be exceedingly glad … together.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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

 

 

Enough to Live, but … January 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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buffet Chinese …not enough to enjoy.

I’ve gone through a serious transition over the past month, discovering that a rudimentary concept in my mind has been faulty since I was a child.

The realization crept into my consciousness about three months ago when I was eating at a Chinese buffet and I looked around the room and saw that all the patrons, just like me, were egg-shaped–and I don’t mean Foo Yung.

It was a location where people had come to eat–to have fun. For after all, isn’t that the message? “All you can eat.” In other words, tap the greatest desire for your appetite for food, envision how much that might be, and then go for it.

I also discovered an interesting thing about myself at this  feeding trough. I started off by going to the buffet bar on my own, until I got so stuffed that I was too gorged to get up from my chair. So then I sent someone else to acquire additional “fun” to eat–all the while convinced that I was having the time of my life. Until, that is, I had to get up from my chair and waddle to my car, nearly breathless from the excursion, having ravaged my digestive system with over-abundance.

At this point I did not incriminate myself. I realized it was quite simple. Food, which was meant to be fuel, I had turned into fun. Just for the record, food is not supposed to be fun. It is intended to be fuel. And then, once we understand that it is offered to us as “enough to live but not enough to enjoy,” we can find our good cheer in the planning instead of through overeating.

Food was never meant to be spontaneous–and if we make it a split-second decision we will get busy and start looking for fast food.

So as I realized that food is not meant to be fun, but instead, fuel, I found that planning my food, making really neat choices when I go to the store, is the true fun.

Yes, I am allowed to have fun at the store so that when I sit down to eat my portion, I am partaking of fuel.

We wonder why America is becoming obese. Let’s consider this: sex, which was meant for enjoyment, is now viewed as life. And food, which was meant to be life, is our source of entertainment. Yes, many people would rather eat than have romance.

The same thing is true with spirituality and education. We’ve flipped it. Spirituality is meant to be a rejoicing in our soul, permeating our entire being, while education is the knowledge that allows us to function better.

We’ve done a switcheroo. Spirituality has become austere, a learning process, while we are trying to make education more fun for the kids and ourselves.

I am not saying that what was meant to keep us alive cannot become a source of contentment. But this state is derived by gaining control through selection, purpose and discovery.

And I’m not saying that which is fun in our lives does not have intrinsic value. But this is tapped when we understand that feeling energized does not need to eliminate the possibility of learning.

Today is my twenty-eighth day of my food regimen. It revolves around the realization that eating is intended to be enough to live–not enough to enjoy.

My radical pleasure in the experience comes from planning, considering nutrition and from amazing myself with the types of food that are available to satisfy me without killing me.

So the next time you start a project, ask yourself, “Is this to live, or enjoy?”

If it’s meant to be enjoyed, suck the experience dry and then take the passion from that endeavor into your next venture.

If it’s meant to give life, then allow it to do so, and find your good cheer from pursuing the angles, choices and revelation that make you feel really smart and powerful.

Will I succeed in my latest adventure?

As long as I can keep life and enjoyment in perspective, I’ve got a fighting chance.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

What I NEED for Christmas Is … December 12, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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guitar jass and johann

1. To see the appetite for life reborn in my brothers and sisters of our country.

2. Humility becoming the hip choice.

3. To be a Democrat in my heart and soul and a Republican in my mind and body.

4. Forty-eight people in charge of moving and shaking who still believe we can make a difference.

5. An angry divorce between spirituality and religion, with Jesus being awarded custody of the children.

6. Fifty pounds from my body melted into the cosmos.

7. Telling the truth becoming an accepted, popular fad

8. Americans sharing America with the world.

9. Amazing energy granted to me so I can act out my dreams.

10. NoOne is better than anyone else.

Make room with the “Inn” crowd

I can see the Star

I don’t need a Santa Claus

Let me slide in … and bring my own sack of toys

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

A Way That Seems Right… October 4, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Simply put, I liked it–speckled with pickles and pimento, with a sweet-tasting lunch-meat flavor.I was twelve years old and madly in love with pickle-pimento loaf.

We did not purchase it very often, for two reasons. My mother thought it was a little too expensive at 79 cents a pound, when bologna was 58 cents a pound. The second reason it was rarely purchased in our household was that I was fully capable of eating a pound of it in one sitting without blinking an eye (even though I am not sure what eye-blinking has to do with consumption…)

But you see, there is one little sidebar to my story. My mother and father also liked pickle pimento loaf, so from time to time they bought it and hid it–never fully aware of my skills of investigation.

Yes, I always found it.

I knew they didn’t want me to have it; I knew it had been set aside for adults only. So I carefully stole a couple of pieces from the package and then supplanted some Saran wrap underneath the remaining lunch-meat to make it appear to still be a full unit. I thought I was extraordinarily inventive–that is, until my appetite caused me to go back for more and more of the delicious treat–until eventually my saran wrap facade was unable to disguise the depleting pile.

I always got caught.

I didn’t care. I was twelve years old and working under a singular philosophy: I want what I want. It was a way that seemed right to me.

Time presses on–and fortunately for my moral character, my fervor for this particular outlook matured and evolved. If it hadn’t, I probably would have become a drug dealer, a criminal, or worse yet… a politician.

Move ahead in time to when I was twenty-one years old. I started a music group. We were desperately trying to do three things at the same time, which as you know, is the definition of juggling. We wanted to be great entertainers. We wanted to make enough money so that we could continue to travel around and share our talents. And we also needed to make enough moolah to pay bills in our stationary life, so we would not be regarded as dead-beats. It’s an awful lot of pressure when you’re twenty-one.

So when I arrived at a motel one night in Smyrna, Georgia, I told the innkeeper that I wanted a room for one person when actually there were four of us. The difference between purchasing a room for one person and four was seven dollars. I wanted the seven dollars and didn’t see any reason why the innkeeper should have my money–when whether I had one person or four in the room, the room was still occupied. It made sense to me. It was a way that seemed right. After all, I was only trying to save money.

I was living under a new precept, having tempered my original “I want what I want.” I now honored “I need what I need.”

Unfortunately, one of the members of our troupe was not a very good sleuth, so we got caught with four people in the room and were asked to leave the premises because of our lie. Amazingly, I was infuriated at the proprietor and spent the next twenty minutes driving down the road, cursing him for being a greedy and selfish loser.

It would be many years before I realized that I was the culprit of mediocrity that evening. Yes, it would be some time before I abandoned the idea of I need what I need, and gained a functioning mindset for a mature adult. I did, however, eventually vacate the useless idea. If not, I would have become a small-minded, provincial individual, trapped in a little world of my own, with no perspective on the needs and feelings of those around me.

When I was twenty-five years old, a new spiritual rave was sweeping the nation. It was the belief that as long as “God was on our side, He would pay all the bills.” Yes–we didn’t need to worry about stepping out in faith and spending money, as long as our mission was ordained by the Most High. I read in a book that a famous evangelist wrote a check on a Friday afternoon with no money in the bank, trusting God to provide the funds by the following Monday, when the check would arrive for cashing. In the story, God not only provided, but gave abundance above the original written amount.

I was so impressed. I was so overtaken by the concept that I wrote my own check with no funds to back it up. All the giddiness mentioned in the story–stepping out and believing–flooded my soul. After all, I was doing what was considered to be spiritual work. I was saying to the world around me, “I believe what I believe.”

When Monday morning rolled around, unlike the testimony shared in the book, I did not receive financial manna from heaven. I had to scamper around to figure out how to cover the check and in the process, ended up setting in motion a series of very bad choices, which ultimately ended up with me deeply in debt to an individual who had trusted me, and now was stuck holding the bag of my foolishness.

I was devastated. I didn’t understand why God forsook me. After all, “I believed what I believed.” There was not a smidgen of doubt inside me. Truthfully, it would be many years before I realized that the promise for daily bread is actually a promise for daily bread. It’s not even a promise for weekend bread. I would have to shed the fantasy that believing something was like building a concrete wall and recognize that the Word of God is actually more like water–yes, the water of the word–moving along towards actual solutions instead of insisting on its own way.

When I was twelve years old I lived under the concept of “I want what I want.” It was a way that seemed right to me. The problem? It forced me to steal, lie and deceive.

When I was twenty-one, I pursued a path that proclaimed, “I need what I need.” It caused me to be self-righteous and arrogantly angry at people who insisted I follow the rules.

When I was twenty-five, I jumped on a bandwagon in a false parade of Godliness, and decided I would force the hand of my heavenly Father by writing a check in His name. I thought that if “I believed what I believed,” then God was bound by his Word, and His love for me, to perform tasks.

It has been a journey. Now I only have one moving part to my faith, philosophy and interaction with others. I pursue what is true. And you know something? It changes on me every day. It requires that I revise my thinking and shed stubborn little pieces of “I want what I want,” “I need what I need,” and “I believe what I believe,” which still try to cling to the inner lining of my soul.

  • It leaves me saying “I’m sorry” more often than ever shouting “I’m right.”
  • It makes me vulnerable, but valuable.
  • It causes me to pause instead of leap.
  • It thrusts me forward towards revelation instead of merely talking about consecration.
  • It permits me to listen to people I never thought I would agree with, and discover that they hold a piece to my puzzle.
  • It allows me to go to bed at night with a bit of uncertainty over the quality of my efforts, but rejoicing in that precious insecurity.

If I had stopped at twelve years of age and made it my lifestyle to want what I want, I could never have expanded beyond my limited appetites.

If I had insisted that I need what I need, I would have justified decisions that would have kept me from meeting the quality folks who have assisted me in discovering a better path.

And if I had locked myself into I believe what I believe, I would be defending my religion instead of living it out in joy.

I now pursue what is true. I often fail, but the failure is merely confirmation of the veracity of the mission.

“There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end of it is destruction.” That’s what Solomon said in the Book of Proverbs.

I wonder how he knew that. Do you suppose they had pickle pimento loaf back then?

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