Disaster With Flirting–November 8, 2011


“I did not have sex with that woman.”

The now well-known words of former President Bill Clinton, describing his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Of course, as it turns out, he did have sex with her–even by his own standards. 

We are all nuts on the issue of human sexuality (and I do not mean that as a pun). It is the ultimate fig leaf from the Garden of Eden which we try to disguise by using antiseptic language to cover inevitable temptation, or even chicanery. Here’s what I know about myself: I am a sexual being; I like sex. It is pleasant. I pursue pleasant things because I like them and they make me feel good. Yet, like most of the things that God has placed into our universe that are pleasant, it is also loaded with innumerable consequences and pitfalls.

Everybody flirts. Even candidates for the Presidential position in our country have–and do–flirt.  It’s because we get around attractive people and we want to feel attractive. This is probably the greatest weakness in the human species. We feel that we create our greatest attractiveness by people being attracted to us. It makes us vulnerable to the weakness of desiring the pleasantness of sexual experience.

I am tired of grown men and women pretending that they have not participated in errant flirting, which can only be described in our society as sexual harassment. For instance, if you’re in a gymnasium and you throw a pass to someone with a ball and they’re not looking for it and it hits them in the head, they’re going to be angry at you. Likewise, if you misread the signals sent off by another human being and you begin to flirt with them and they are offended by your overtures, you will be accused of being forceful and harassing. That’s just the facts.

I remember back in 1998, when I heard President Clinton make the statement about his intern, Monica, I knew immediately that he was guilty. Why? No one refers to a twenty-one-year-old girl who works on your staff as “that woman.” The amount of distance he was trying to create was unnatural, and therefore, dishonest.

The church doesn’t help much here. We are so afraid to talk about sexuality that we begin to pretend that salvation has relieved us of the impulse. We even propose that our fifteen- and sixteen-year-old children, who have super-charged batteries located inside of them, are supposed to refrain from all contact with the opposite sex and remain celibate until they’re twenty-nine years of age and have started a good IRA.

We’re just nuts.  And because of this, politicians, preachers and even the poll-takers themselves feel the necessity to lie about their tendencies to flirt, thereby creating disasters.

I will tell you this straight up. I am not a very handsome man, so I have not had as many opportunities as someone who looks more attractive. But I have flirted, been out of line, crossed the barrier and probably even intimidated a female or two in my lifetime because I wanted to prove my prowess. I’ve also been flirted WITH by women who wanted to be attractive to someone they felt was talented and had ability. I did not welcome their advances and had they pushed it forward, it would have been harassment.

It doesn’t do any good to pretend that you are not part of the human race. Here’s what I think we need to come to in this society, or end up proficiently devastating one another through our lack of social and sexual candor:

1. We are all human and therefore sexual–no exceptions. Even Jesus and Gandhi.

2. Everyone has “one”–and that “one” gets excited very easily and must be dealt with instead of ignored.

3. Having “one” can quickly become “two,” which multiplies your problems. The minute flirting and sex begins, you are involving at least one other person, not to mention all of her girlfriends, family and even the potential of a pregnancy.

4. Affirming this, what we need to do is resist the need to be attractive–in other words, forcing a climate where we feel that EVERYONE is attracted to us. This has made all the difference in the world to me. I don’t have to be attractive to every woman I meet–I don’t have to believe she is secretly pining to climb into bed with me. I don’t have to assess my sexuality by whether everyone wants to have sex with me. Just relieving myself of the burden of needing to be attractive to everyone allows me to be attractive to whom I want to be attractive to and seals the faithfulness of that relationship.

Of course, you must realize, when you don’t want to be attractive to people this can be a very attractive thing. So the second thing I do is never put myself in the position of being alone with a woman in a room unless I plan to be alone with a woman in a room, if you know what I mean. And finally, I would never think about flirting with any woman that I would be unable to carry on a lengthy conversation with under normal conditions.  (Honestly, that eliminates almost everyone.)

Here’s what I know. Bill Clinton, Herman Cain, your local pastor, your mom and dad–all of them–are human and sometimes made weak by the need to be attractive. The smart ones learn to acknowledge the weakness instead of denying it and therefore eliminate the need to be confirmed through sexual prowess, but rather, allow their life and efforts to speak for them.

So do yourself a favor:

  • Stop being afraid of human sexuality.
  • Stop needing to be attractive to everyone.
  • And give your partner in life a great gift–the confidence that you are more interested in blessing the earth than having some temporary fling give you a fleeting blessing.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

This Time Last Week–November 7, 2011


This time last week I had not situated myself in Columbia, South Carolina, since I was there nearly thirty years ago, with a broken-down airport limousine which desperately needed repair, and I was befriended by the good graces of a couple of fine souls whom I came in contact with through the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. Quite a story. Another time.

This time last week I had not yet met Rebecca—one of my sponsors—a delightful lady who brought out similar patronage to a concert in the Columbia community, where we all relished one another’s company.

This time last week I had not yet enjoyed the indoor swimming pool at my motel, which was warm enough to the touch but sat inside a room that was chilly enough that you were anxious to get down to business.

This time last week I had not yet met Sweet Sue from Summerville, who was so sincerely super.

This time last week I had not yet conversed with Big B, who had taken a severe hit in a football game, which created a bleed on his brain, which not only has temporarily benched him, but nearly took him off the planet in entirety. He told me the greatest thing he learned through the experience was the power of knowing that people love you—and making sure you tell them the same as often as possible.

Yes, this time last week, I had not yet met Lowry, from Prosperity—even though the town was once called Frog’s Level until the city council decided that the Chamber of Commerce might be having a little difficulty advertising the concept. 

And yes, this time last week, Chuck was still alive.

This time last week I had not yet edited and reviewed my script for my musical, Mountain, which, if you’ll allow me a bit of pride, was quite a delight to do.

This time last week I had not yet completed my stay in South Carolina, which consisted of three intensely fascinating weeks of meeting salt-of-the-earth people who are very anxious to spice up the dish.

This time last week I did not have the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Diane, who has been diagnosed with cancer and has made a wise decision to prepare for a healing instead of a demise. I hope you don’t mind—I told her that for the next week that all of us would get together and pray for her better parts to win out.

This time last week I was twelve ounces heavier.  Sure pays to take off your underwear and socks before you get on the scale.

This time last week my son, Jerrod, finished writing a script for his church’s Christmas production, which was summarily panned by spiritual Bolsheviks, but to his credit, rather than becoming bitter, he just passed it along to less disgruntled disciples.

This time last week I was not yet blessed to meet a man who sat in a chair as we agreed in prayer that he would listen to the better voices in his spirit, to make sweeter choices for his destiny.

And this time last week I was not yet the beneficiary of an enriching phone conversation with a woman from Georgia who was struggling with some powers that be, in an attempt to be as powerful as God intended her from her inception.  Sweet time.

This time last week I had not yet encountered a delightful woman who was retired from school teaching, where she instructed middle school students in music and all sorts of knowledgeable arts—students at the brink of either hatching great lives or marring their journeys. She was young and vibrant and still full of the energy to use her talents and love the people around her.

This time last week I didn’t realize I was going to get to eat a daily breakfast at my motel that included sausage, eggs and gravy. Although I was temperate, it may explain why I was only able to shed the twelve ounces.

This time last week, we had a great notion to put together a Christmas show that we will perform from November 27th to December 23rd, sharing with good folks of Georgia and Florida. Now I am happy to tell you that it is not only a conception but a fully birthed project.  So Jingle Bells to you.

This time last week my son had just found out that his drum line which he directs won an award for being the best in the state finals. He was thrilled with his accomplishment and proud of his students. Don’t you know, dear souls, it is so much easier to be humble when you know God has blessed you and you’ve done your very best?

This time last week some of the trees were still green but now they’ve decided to add their color to the world. Of course, changing color means they eventually will turn brown and fall to the earth.  As will we.

This time last week I was looking for a place to spend Thanksgiving with my family so we could all crash in together from all over the globe and find a place to blend gluttony with gratitude. I’m pleased to announce that I have made the acquaintance of a poetess from Hermitage,Tennessee, who has graciously rented me her home for the occasion.

This time last week I was seven days younger but not a bit prettier.

This time last week …

There’s a whole lot of living, folks, that goes on if you just stop fighting it and allow it to occur-0-and  when you actually see the band wagon coming through town, jump on it instead of out of the way. They tell me that some day I may get to go to heaven.  But if you don’t mind me saying so, I think God’s going to have to do a lot of magnificent planning to outdo what He’s already created here.

Because this time last week I was a happy fellow…and seven days with my Creator has only served to reinforce my position.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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