Salient…July 2nd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3721)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Bring your own joy or bring your own bitching.

It’s really that simple.

There are a chosen few who have discovered the secret to life in knowing that it is essential to show up with your own joy if you expect to have joy for lunch and dinner.

It is not provided.

The American freeway system will not roll out joy for you on your way to work. Your job is not necessarily geared to your happiness. Certainly your children and family have so many pursuits that they don’t have time to plan a special dish of “giddy” for you.

And the entertainment industry in this country…Well, let’s just say they seem to enjoy themselves.

If you don’t bring your own joy you will fall prey to succumbing to the overpowering nastiness of those who bring bitching.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll give you some examples of those who show up bitching. Here are a handful of the statements they make:

1. “I’m not a morning person.”

2. “I didn’t sleep well (again).”

3. “I don’t talk until I’ve had my coffee…”

4. “Those drivers are crazy.”

5. “My kids are good…just presently screwed up.”

6. “What’s with Trump?”

7. “America is getting great again.”

8. “I’m not prejudiced, but…”

9. “I think I have cancer.”

10. “The world is so evil…”

11. “The polar ice caps are melting.”

12. “I love my dog more than people.”

Brace yourself.

This onslaught of negativity will come at you without remedy. There is no cure. These people have already decided that bitching IS their joy. Therefore, they are only comfortable around fellow-bitchers.

They even want you to change the term from “bitching” to “complaining.” (It just sounds a little better. And of course, we all know that life is all about how it sounds. NOT.)

So here is your salient moment:

BYOJ (Bring Your Own Joy) or BYOB (Bring Your Own Bitching)

It is a daily conflict which faces each and every one of us, and determines the quality of our souls and often reflects the healthiness of our bodies.

 

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Reverend Meningsbee (Part 51) Under the Weather… April 23rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

Shortly after the premiere of “Eden,” it was as if the community fell under a spell.

People just started getting sick–lots of flu, colds, injuries. An ever-growing list of those diagnosed with cancer during prayer time. A few of the prominent couples in town filed for divorce. It sent a shock wave through the community.

Meningsbee was fully aware that those who live on the prairie are not without the knowledge of the real world, but the decision to stay there was often an attempt to escape it. Sometimes superstition smothered common sense.

Some of the members started talking about “curses.” There were musings that the sins of the town were taking root and that God had removed His favor from them and that everything they tried was laying an egg.

Meningsbee attempted to encourage folks, but a dark slime of depression settled in.

Meningsbee went to prayer. Normally when it came to prayer, Meningsbee liked to listen. If he was in a group of people, they often deferred to him to lead in prayer, but he frequently requested that someone else do it so he could just enjoy.

But sometimes he knew it was important for him to pray–find a good closet, shut the door and turn down all the noise. Just allow his spirit to be free of fear and open to the possibility of solution.

While he was in prayer, he remembered a question that one of the women from the Ladies Auxiliary had posed. “Pastor Meningsbee, how do you know it’s not a curse? It’s not like evil would let us be aware of its plan.”

He thought long and hard on that. People spend an awful lot of time fighting, cursing or chasing the devil. Yet if there were actually a creature who spawned darkness and evil, it was unlikely that people would be able to deter him from his ways.

So where does that leave us? he thought. Exactly. It leaves… us. What do we know we can do? What do we know we can be? What do we know we can think, that will keep the effects of gloom out of our minds and open the door to good cheer?

From that time in prayer, Meningsbee put together a message, which he shared the following Sunday.

After praying for a grim list of sick folk and listening to a hymn sung with no enthusiasm at half-volume by weary people, he offered a simple thought.

“The only thing I can do, the only thing you can do, is control what comes inside us. Because once it is inside us, it’s going to feed us or it’s going to starve us.”

He stepped out into the middle aisle and pointed out five or six different individuals.

“Do you believe that if you eat better, you might just feel better? But if you’re like me, when you get depressed, you want to eat things you know are bad for you, but they temporarily make you feel good.

“And if your mind is clouded and unclear, should you be watching things on television or at the movies that leave you with more questions than answers? For the Good Book tells us that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

“And if you’re pretty sure that life has temporarily decided to suck, should you be sitting around listening to people who have prime, juicy examples to confirm your conclusion? What should you be hearing?

“Now I know some of you think we’re under a curse. I don’t happen to agree, but let’s say you’re right. How should we break the curse? It’s against the law to sacrifice virgins anymore. I don’t think any of us are up for an exorcism.

“God only asks you and me to take responsibility for what we handle. So I don’t know about you. Maybe it’s just a bad time, or maybe it’s a curse. But here’s what I can do.

“I can eat better. I can stop watching trash on TV. And I can listen to people who have a message of hope instead of those who’ve given up. You know what? I feel better just thinking about feeling better. How about you? How many of you feel better just thinking about feeling better?”

Nearly everyone in the sanctuary raised their hand.

“Now, we can’t expect our brothers and sisters who don’t come to church to set a miracle in motion, but if our town needs a miracle we need miracle workers. And Jesus says that begins with faith.

“So if you dear souls have the faith to say to this curse, ‘Be thou removed’ and you do not doubt in your hearts, it will go away. Especially if we start eating better, looking for light and listening for good reports.

“Now I want you to do something we don’t normally do in this church. If you heard what I shared today and you thought to yourself, ‘that’s a pretty doggone good idea,’ I want you to come up here and stand with me.”

The entire congregation stood to its feet in clumps and intervals and moved to the front altar area.

Reverend Meningsbee made his way to every single soul, squeezing their hands and simply saying, “Let’s be well.”

Now maybe the good news was there all the time, or maybe the community was so depressed it was unable to see anything but bleak possibilities. But starting that very morning, Garsonville got healed.

It was their faith that made them whole.

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G-Poppers … February 23rd, 2017

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Jon close up

G-Pop stumbled upon another one of those YouTubes, in which a renowned atheist was railing against the wickedness of God, contending that the Almighty was heartless and uncaring, allowing pain and suffering–especially among innocent children.

G-Pop watched the whole thing.

He hates name-calling. But people do it.

The Good Book itself has some notorious passages, which are rather vicious in marginalizing the value of anyone who disagrees. Such a verse is found in Psalms 14:1, where we are told that those who do not believe in God are “fools.”

We pridefully quote that little piece of sonnet, fully believing that it is the mindset of the Universal Diety, who is so offended by His detractors that He decides to ridicule them.

G-Pop wants to ask, “Don’t you think that’s highly unlikely? If You really are God, how much more of an ego boost do you need?”

Now I would contend that the gentleman sharing his unbelief on the Internet is very consecrated in his negativity. Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that people who are atheists have a more clear idea about their disbelief than many Christians have regarding their true belief.

But I will also tell you that denying God is foolish. It doesn’t make you a fool; it’s just a foolish assessment of available information.

Because creation–the Universe–is a blending of cosmic and chemistry. And when you assume that the God of the Universe is merely dealing in a cosmic format of emotion, paralleling humans, then you fail to recognize the Great Physicist and Chemist He must truly be.

It’s called an eco-system. We talk about it all the time. Even atheists do.

Atheists don’t seem to object to the fact that the lion eats the antelope and God doesn’t intervene.

They don’t lament the hundreds and thousands of species on Earth that go extinct every day simply because they became unacceptable to the chemical environment.

Atheists don’t seem to note that the power of free will, which they freely use to express their disdain for divinity, also gives everyone else permission to praise or reject anything they want.

Atheists fail to surmise that just because a substance or creature doesn’t appear to have any other value than the one science has presently assessed it, that sometimes, through knowledge, we discover that icky-sicky bread mold can become the miracle drug, penicillin.

The Creator had a huge job. How can you make a world that is chemically challenged, balanced, engaged and even in some cases forbidding–and still insert a cosmic energy which allows for improvement, excellence and discovery and mercy?

His answer to that was to make humans.

Humans, who had a little bit of the jungle, but also a bit of the divine, were to be the caretakers, the explorers and the researchers of life, to make it more pleasant for everything.

But in maintaining free will in these creatures, He also opened the door to the possibility that greater knowledge could generate greater evil.

A balance was struck.

Sometimes a maniac will roam the streets, kill children, and we scratch our heads and wonder why God didn’t stop it, while simultaneously ignoring the corps of policemen who track down the murderer and imprison him.

Nothing can be understood in life if we view it only from a cosmic perspective.

Our journey also is not clear if we consider it only to be chemical. Much of what we used to think was good has proven to be evil. Much of what was once deemed worthless is now studied in laboratories and has become the latest treatment in fighting cancer.

God suffers under the burden of being smarter than those around Him. Because of that, He has to field their grievances, which are often based on misunderstanding or a complete lack of comprehension.

It is foolish to try to deny the existence of a cosmic God who is also a Chemist. He has done His very best to provide protection for the Earth by humans, who were created in His image.

That is, if they will just consider that they were created.

 

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G-Poppers … February 17th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3228)

Jon close up

G-Pop stumbled upon another one of those YouTubes, in which a renowned atheist was railing against the wickedness of God, contending that the Almighty was heartless and uncaring, allowing pain and suffering–especially among innocent children.

G-Pop watched the whole thing.

He hates name-calling. But people do it.

The Good Book itself has some notorious passages, which are rather vicious in marginalizing the value of anyone who disagrees. Such a verse is found in Psalms 14:1, where we are told that those who do not believe in God are “fools.”

We pridefully quote that little piece of sonnet, fully believing that it is the mindset of the Universal Diety, who is so offended by His detractors that He decides to ridicule them.

G-Pop wants to ask, “Don’t you think that’s highly unlikely? If You really are God, how much more of an ego boost do you need?”

Now I would contend that the gentleman sharing his unbelief on the Internet is very consecrated in his negativity. Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say that people who are atheists have a more clear idea about their disbelief than many Christians have regarding their true belief.

But I will also tell you that denying God is foolish. It doesn’t make you a fool; it’s just a foolish assessment of available information.

Because creation–the Universe–is a blending of cosmic and chemistry. And when you assume that the God of the Universe is merely dealing in a cosmic format of emotion, paralleling humans, then you fail to recognize the Great Physicist and Chemist He must truly be.

It’s called an eco-system. We talk about it all the time. Even atheists do.

Atheists don’t seem to object to the fact that the lion eats the antelope and God doesn’t intervene.

They don’t lament the hundreds and thousands of species on Earth that go extinct every day simply because they became unacceptable to the chemical environment.

Atheists don’t seem to note that the power of free will, which they freely use to express their disdain for divinity, also gives everyone else permission to praise or reject anything they want.

Atheists fail to surmise that just because a substance or creature doesn’t appear to have any other value than the one science has presently assessed it, that sometimes, through knowledge, we discover that icky-sicky bread mold can become the miracle drug, penicillin.

The Creator had a huge job. How can you make a world that is chemically challenged, balanced, engaged and even in some cases forbidding–and still insert a cosmic energy which allows for improvement, excellence and discovery and mercy?

His answer to that was to make humans.

Humans, who had a little bit of the jungle, but also a bit of the divine, were to be the caretakers, the explorers and the researchers of life, to make it more pleasant for everything.

But in maintaining free will in these creatures, He also opened the door to the possibility that greater knowledge could generate greater evil.

A balance was struck.

Sometimes a maniac will roam the streets, kill children, and we scratch our heads and wonder why God didn’t stop it, while simultaneously ignoring the corps of policemen who track down the murderer and imprison him.

Nothing can be understood in life if we view it only from a cosmic perspective.

Our journey also is not clear if we consider it only to be chemical. Much of what we used to think was good has proven to be evil. Much of what was once deemed worthless is now studied in laboratories and has become the latest treatment in fighting cancer.

God suffers under the burden of being smarter than those around Him. Because of that, He has to field their grievances, which are often based on misunderstanding or a complete lack of comprehension.

It is foolish to try to deny the existence of a cosmic God who is also a Chemist. He has done His very best to provide protection for the Earth by humans, who were created in His image.

That is, if they will just consider that they were created.

 

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Ask Jonathots … November 26th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

 

Considering the many shootings around the nation and terrorist attacks around the world and the tragedies we hear on the news every single day, exactly what should Americans be thankful for this year? I know this sounds cynical, but how and why are we supposed to be happy in the face of so much grief?

Fear arrives when we forget what we truly can affect.

In other words, if you were diagnosed with cancer, your first question should be, “What can I do?”

But if you decide to say, “How long do I have to live?” you welcome the realm of fear.

The nightly news, in an attempt to keep their stories interesting, embellishes on the facts. In doing so, they make the stories so formidable that no one can get a handle on them or feel that they can make a contribution toward a solution.

Feeling powerless is what produces fear. To remove fear, you have to institute some power in your life.

So what we Americans can do on this Thanksgiving is confirm those things that still have power–to make lives better, to enrich our families, to enjoy a meal, to prepare for Christmas shopping, and to set in motion the kind of direction that frees us from fear, and therefore welcome love.

Specifically, here are three ideas to take into today’s holiday to help you confirm that the world is filled with tribulation, but Jesus has overcome the world:

1. There are no terrorists in your family.

I know it sounds silly, but considering the fact that we all come from diverse places and are pursuing various occupations, your family may have eccentricities, but none of them are ready to strap on a suicide bomb.

2. There are more good people in the world than bad people.

Start counting heads.

After your Thanksgiving meal today, drive by local churches and relief centers where fine human beings are serving meals to those less fortunate, while laughing, eating and fellowshipping with them.

3. Since the terrorists have the goal of creating terror, the best way to foil their efforts is to “be of good cheer.”

How can you be of good cheer?

First, celebrate having gotten this far in your life without being shot. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? And then realize that the chance of being attacked by a terrorist is less likely than being hit by lightning (and most of us know how to avoid being hit by lightning.)

Good cheer is the awareness that we are not cast down on this earth to be under the manipulation of maniacs, but instead, we are given the opportunity to help the disturbed around us–so there will be fewer maniacs.

A diet of news reports is like eating pizza seven days in a row–you don’t have to ask yourself why you feel sluggish and constipated.

 

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Confessing … September 26th, 2015

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XXI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

  • He was 69 years old and I was counting down the days to my 18th birthday.
  • He was slender and I was fat.
  • He was a veteran of World War II and I was trying to figure out how to get out from under the Vietnam draft.
  • He was an agnostic and I was “Little Charlie Church Chum.”
  • He was a psychiatrist and I, on the other hand, was impatient.
  • He loved his daughter and I was having a high school affair with her.

This man and myself shared absolutely nothing in common, which became obvious whenever we were left in a room alone together.

But despite all these differences and the fact that he did have a reputation for being a curmudgeon, he allowed the two of us to take his Corvette convertible to the prom. He gave me about three minutes of instruction, and with that exhaustive training, I went out in the middle of the night on the 3-C Highway to see how fast the car would go. When it hit 105 miles per hour, I chickened out, slowed down and went home.

I think he felt fairly confident in being supportive of his daughter’s present romantic choice because he knew that in a couple of months, he was retiring to Mexico to live by the ocean, taking his little family with him.

What he didn’t know was that his daughter was pregnant.

I wish I had been man enough to sit down with him and own up to the situation, but I was frightened over my actions and also feared that he would send her away to New York to get an abortion.

So instead, we plotted against him. And just a month and a half later, when my girlfriend was supposedly safe at the University of Arizona, learning how to be a freshman, I flew out, grabbed her and we took off to start a life together.

He was furious.

He was so upset that he called the Tucson, Arizona, police department to stop us, but of course, there was nothing they could do.

He disowned her.

Being a young foolish boy, I cast him into the role of the villain, easily fitting him with the required black hat.

I wish I could tell you that things worked out.

They didn’t.

Seven years later, he died of cancer in Mexico, having never reestablished contact with my wife nor having ever seen his three grandchildren.

I suppose I could tell you the reasons for my action or convince you of her father’s more sinister side.

But you see, that’s not what Confessing is about. It is not being apologetic while simultaneously trying to explain away your motivations.

I was young, dumb, careless and unappreciative to a man who could have used the image of a responsible Christian fellow.

I failed him.

Whatever he’s doing, wherever he is, I want him to know today that I’m very sorry that I interrupted his plans.

 

Confessing Leonard

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G-Poppers … August 21st, 2015

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His name was Richard Milhouse Nixon. He was the 37th President of the United States.

In 1972, he pulled off a landslide victory for a second term, even though it was reported that some of his cohorts had broken into the headquarters of the Democratic Party at the Watergate Apartments.

He was so popular that he could have told the truth. But he made two mistakes–missteps that our politicians and celebrities continue to do today.

When the press found out about the break-in at the headquarters, questions arose. Nixon believed two things:

  1. They’re out to get me.
  2. Deny and let it die.

Because he felt that there were those individuals who were determined to destroy him, and that if he just denied the rumors that the confrontation would eventually go away, he set in motion the destruction of a President–similar to the demise of Frankenstein.

We created him, therefore we had to kill him.

As G-Pop sat down to think about those times in the early seventies, when lies were passed on as explanations, he realized that he needed to talk to his granddaughters about a human being who just happens to be a woman who is running for President.

She is making the same two mistakes.

Her name is Hillary Clinton. And even though she saw her husband err, deny and ultimately experience humiliation because of it, she is traipsing down the same path because she believes that politics has a different set of rules than real life.

Perhaps it will just go away.

But for every Watergate break-in which could be quickly handled in two news cycles through veracity, there is always a Woodward and Bernstein who will get to the bottom of the story and expose the coverup.

I do not know what possesses fully grown, allegedly mature human beings–to think that they can escape the scrutiny of a society that gets its kicks off of scrutinizing.

G-Pop wants his granddaughters to know there’s only one way to handle an error–especially if it is a mistake that was committed in ignorance or innocence.

A. This is what I knew.

Yes, at the time the flaw was perpetrated, this is what I knew about the situation, this is what I believed and this is what I thought.

B. This is what I know.

Now that time has passed, I see what was incorrect or insufficient.

C. So what now?

Since you are involved and I have told you the truth of the matter, how shall we proceed?

It is the natural inclination of human beings to forgive–unless they’ve been deceived. If we are deceived, all bets are off.

It’s really that simple. It doesn’t mean that all human beings will grant you pardon, but the ones who don’t look foolish and small.

Most Americans would have easily given grace to Richard Nixon if he had just been forthcoming about his involvement–or lack of involvement–in the Watergate break-in. For after all, they voted for him. They wanted to feel like they made the right choice. He turned a pimple into a cancer.

Hillary Clinton is doing exactly the same thing.

G-Pop just wants his granddaughters to know that this is not the way to act to be a solid citizen, or even to survive adversity.

He wants them to know that Hillary Clinton is first and foremost a member of the human race … not the only woman we could ever find to run for President. 

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