Salient … April 9th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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A couple of months ago I began a weekly podcast and decided to name it “Good News and Better News.” Of course, I was already using that title for my Monday segment of the Jonathots Daily Blog, but I knew it was time to find a different emphasis for my Monday endeavor–and therefore, a new name.

So the podcast remains goodnewsandbetternews.com, and today I am introducing my fresh Monday format, entitled “Salient.”

Please don’t feel I’m shooting over your heads with an unusual word. I didn’t know what it meant myself. For you see, this weekend, as I slept, having flashes of dreams and insights in my nighttime hours, this word–“salient”–popped up in one of those visions.

So I got up from my bed, pulled out my I-pad and looked it up. I discovered that “salient” is defined as “something notable and important.”

Then a simple bolt of wisdom from the heavens cracked across my brain. I realized that this is the problem in our country.

So much unimportant, non-valuable, meaningless, uncaring, vicious and selfish data is thrown at us daily that we begin to believe that things that don’t matter actually have some significance because they are over-touted.

We have forgotten what it important.

We have grown fearful of the practical because the arrogant have told us that pursuing such goals is the essence of ignorance.

Our survival is at risk. I don’t mean that we’re teetering on Armageddon–rather, I’m declaring that what makes our human survival special is often left at the curb as we dash into the street dodging traffic.

Therefore I would like to take each Monday and garner the experience of my weekend, explaining in gentle, common-sense terms a single piece of great humanity which has been sacrificed for the blare of over-production.

Perhaps in doing this, you and I can consider “salient.” We can once again become people who are energized by the goodness of the journey, the twists and turns of discovery and the overwhelming blessing of time and chance that happens to us all.

Salient: to pursue what is notable and important.

Please join me each and every week.

And be at peace, knowing that “Good News and Better News” has not gone away–just found a new, green pasture.

 

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G-Poppers … January 12th, 2018


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As a boy, G-Pop recalls how beautiful and powerful six inches of snow was in Ohio. It usually meant that school was canceled for the day and the winter wonderland was available for walking and playing.

Yet with all the potential, it was G-Pop’s profile to go outside for a few minutes, but then to come back in, pull out the Monopoly game and play, by himself, using three different pieces, so he was only competing against himself.

It was so much fun. No yelling, no arguing, no fussing and lots of surprises.

Outside it was cold, crowded and competitive. The air was frigid and the surroundings were full of children looking for a way to create mischief with the snow–and the hillsides for sliding were soon lined up with people waiting their turn to get the best “slick trip.”

G-Pop just didn’t like to take most of his glorious day and spend it waiting, freezing and sometimes arguing

G-Pop wants his children to understand that we now have the same situation in our country. People have defined the thrills and chills of our era–so everyone bundles up and goes out into the cold, where it’s crowded and competitive. Of course, it can become so cutthroat that people start getting hurt.

G-Pop recommends to his children that they slip back into the house and play a better game. It’s named “Kindness”–and it is so unusual, so ignored and so set to the side that they will find themselves succeeding by surprising everyone with the choice.

It has three parts to it:

1. Return to “courtly.”

Reinstitute phrases like, “if you don’t mind.” Or, “if you would be so kind.” And of course, “it was so nice of you to do that.”

It doesn’t matter if other people are saying the same words. It gives a sense of well-being, purpose and gentleness.

2. Lead with a smile.

The usual grimace just doesn’t cut it anymore. If everybody’s frowning at one another, the possibility for negotiation or business is nearly eliminated.

Is there a danger in leading with a smile? G-Pop supposes so–there are always con men and women who will try to play off weakness, but if you can see them coming, you can keep a nice grin, welcoming people in.

3. Set aside a blessing.

Yes, every week, put a little extra money to the rear. A little extra time. A few things no longer used, to give to somebody who would benefit from them.

We are so interested in giving to charity, but often we don’t know where that money goes. If you set aside some of your charitable funds, and place them strategically where you desire, it is so much more fulfilling.

The world is cold, crowded and competitive.

Come inside the love of God and discover your warmth.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 20th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Tabletop

Sitting quietly at the table

Surrounded by those I love

I hear what they think of me

I listen to the story they speak

What do I mean to these pilgrims

Who journey with me, yet separate

How do they view my soul

As it sweetly creeps into their space?

Am I a blessing

An insertion of purpose

Or an intrusion of clumsy repetition?

Arriving, I stumble into each human place

Endangering the human race

Did I speak into their silence

Or bring solitude from their terror

Am I humor for the sadness

Clarity in the madness

Goodness through the badness

What do they think?

Converse to me of being free

And the wishes of each heart

I will listen patiently

And pray to learn what’s smart

Whisper your desires before I scream

Shout and I will be still

I am yours as you are mine

From vacant to full may we truly refine

The secret words that unleash the power

The minutes that truly grant the hour

Your hour, my hour,

Joined magnificently

In power

 

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G-Poppers … August 11th, 2017


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Jon close up

G-Pop spends more time thinking than he does talking. Long before he offers a chat to his children, he tosses the ball of confusion around in his brain to see if he can get it to bounce right.

Such is the case between caring and involved.

Normally we think that if we care, we will become involved–but the danger of becoming involved is, with our assistance, we bring our opinion.

This year G-Pop has learned this lesson with great clarity. He aspired to be helpful and involved. Why? Because he cared.

But he did not believe that caring was enough–caring being that action of expressing concern and standing ready with prayer or even some financial support, to help those around him achieve what they set out to do.

  • “Caring” comes without interference.
  • “Involved” often brings a bit of nosiness and mouth along with the tender touch.

For instance, does God care for us or is God involved? And if He is involved, where does that place free will?

In other words, can you be involved in other people’s lives and still completely honor their choices, without displaying a disgruntled expression?

G-Pop believes the answer is no.

Here’s a truth: it’s better when people work out their own problems. We need things to be our idea. If possible, we need the idea to be born of our will.

Following advice does make you a follower.

G-Pop now realizes that he needs to care, but not get so involved. Caring will always be received well but involvement can be interfering.

So G-Pop says to his children, be careful not to intrude and then become offended because people treat you like you’re an intruder.

“All I was trying to do was help.”

What we should try to do is care–and encourage people as they find their path. Because if we stand afar and care more instead of involving ourselves, the number of people we can bless increases.

Because here’s the fact: involvement is downright exhausting.Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 14th, 2016


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-jans-hands

Invoking

It’s time for a blessing for this place

A smile bursting across each face

We’ve stayed too long in the grip of fear

The spirit is willing–please draw near

To resurrect our amazing grace

 

The young don’t know about the power

That love can bring to this hour

The older saints who still remain

Conjure the memory of the great refrain

Let the joy begin to shower

 

Jesus is more than Christ, you see

Our elder brother who came to be

Come and learn about his ways

Fill your life with hopeful days

Then say, “Free, yes me–I’m free.”

 

I am just a pilgrim voice

Escape the wrath, make a choice

The moment has come to be made whole

Heart, mind, body and soul

Children make a joyful noise 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 10) Resilience … February 7th, 2016


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Your personal resilience is truly a great gift you can impart to yourself, and even a greater blessing to bestow upon others.

Walking through life believing that you’re going to overcome all difficulty through perseverance or prayer is a cruel and unusual punishment.

Life never intended to please you. This is reasonable. Life actually offers a blank canvas which occasionally arrives already marred.

There are five tribulations which are common in the human experience. Failure to realize this causes us to develop a childish mentality. It begins this way:

I plan something.

Reaction 1:  Inconvenience. In other words, something came up.

I’m sure you know people who become exasperated over inconvenience, when it is actually the least pernicious of the five tribulations. If I am going to be a reasonable human being, possessing resilience, I must be prepared to evolve.

Because often, after inconvenience comes obstacle. Something is in the way.

I’ve never had a plan that didn’t require some adjustment. It is inevitable.

And obstacles often lead to resistance. Someone is disagreeing.

Truthfully, I can’t think of any statement you could make without having someone disagree with it. This is why each and every one of us must make sure that we actually believe in what we’re doing and we’re ready to reason with our adversaries instead of attacking them.

And I’m sure you are fully aware that resistance can lead to criticism. That’s when those who disagree with you decide to take a stand against you.

Butting one’s head against the wall is what produces headaches. When I run across people who are against what I’m doing and reasoning has failed to reach them, I know it is time to relocate. A plan that fails to work in Location 1 might work better in Location 2, where you don’t have to struggle with your enemies.

And finally, you can run across downright refusal. Progress is blocked.

This is when you must count the cost and have a Plan B ready, which honors Plan A, but separates itself enough from the original idea that those who have blocked your “A game” plan are ill-prepared to prohibit the new idea.

For instance, I’m not so sure that Jesus was supposed to die on a cross, but when human beings became hypocritical and religious, God had a Plan B to grant us salvation.

Resilience is knowing that inconvenience, obstacles, resistance, criticism and even refusal loom on the horizon.

Those who are reasonable in the Spirit have prepared for such eventualities by evolving, adjusting, reasoning, relocating or if necessary, even implementing Plan B.

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Good News and Better News … January 18th. 2016


Jonathots Daily Blog

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broken door

It is impossible to avoid difficulty.

Blessing is when difficulty arrives at a manageable moment.

Now to my story:

We had a date cancel. That’s a fussy situation. Two days later, another engagement dropped out. Two Sundays in a row without having the opportunity to share.

Let me explain. When you are on the road without gigs, it’s like being on a budget vacation minus the means to enjoy it or even explain it.

Stay open.

Therefore, we decided to attempt to fill in these two missing bookings with only two weeks notice. To accomplish this, we developed a philosophy to coincide with our escapade.

1. Find a location to pursue.

After all, you have to go somewhere to get something.

2. Have passion.

If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, don’t expect the world to be set on fire.

3. Don’t get your hopes up.

A desperate attempt shouldn’t leave you feeling desperation if it fails.

4. Use your sense of humor.

If it’s ridiculous, always be prepared to laugh.

5. Take what you can get.

People with too many standards often end up without a chance to make their point.

Yes, too much emphasis is placed on the quality of opportunity.

And then there was Graceville, Florida.

A fellow named Sean said yes.

He was open.

Facts are, he needed someone to fill his position on this past Sunday so he could go away on a trip with his son.

So we did the Graceville church yesterday.

We stayed open.

So did the delightful, intriguing, smiling souls in Graceville.

An Amazing Grace-ville.

Footnote:

Did I mention that our van’s back door handle broke on Friday? We thought we got it fixed. But on Sunday after the presentation–with an open congregation and an open approach from us–suddenly our door wouldn’t open again.

So rather than fuss, fume or fret, we just decided to come back for our equipment later on.

It was a difficulty.

But it arrived at a manageable moment.

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