Sit Down Comedy … April 26th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is completely unlikely that anyone over the age of seventy in the United States of America has not heard, spoken or nervously laughed at a joke containing the “N word.” As painful as this may be, we were a country that was comfortable with bigotry.

Likewise, is there any chance that there’s a human being over the age of fifty who hasn’t stated, repeated or stood silent when the word “fag” was offered in an adult conversation? For years, this was the way we described anyone we deemed incapable of the tenacity, strength and energy to succeed.

And dare I say, there is probably no one over the age of twenty-five who has not referred or heard a reference to the female of our species as “bitch.”

It’s just the nature of our journey. We are born without the ability to walk, talk or use a spoon. We graduate from high school and enter grown-up land unable to solve problems, and therefore often opt for selfishness, in order to protect the little we have. As the old song says:

I wish I knew then what I know now.

But do you?

Do you really want to be the first white person in Montgomery, Alabama, who comes to the conclusion that Jim Crow laws are evil and must be overturned?

Do you desire to be the straight person, who during the AIDS pandemic of the mid-1980’s, decides to defend the gay community instead of insisting they brought a plague down on mankind?

And even more recently, do you want to believe the stories of women who were subjugated by domineering men, when it seems more popular, or at least politically acceptable, to come to the side of the accused, dominant, masculine figure?

There are no rewards for those who think ahead of their time.

Society has a history of putting to death those who finally clarify their message, especially when that proclamation is contrary to cultural standards and mores.

You can be popular—or you can be right.

You can’t be both.

It wasn’t even popular in 1863 to free the slaves, even though supposedly we were fighting a war to do so.

It wasn’t popular to take those same slaves—after the war was already over—and give them human and states’ rights.

It took us until 1919 to allow women a chance to vote—and even after that “lightbulb decision” was enacted, there were many places in our country where females were not allowed to serve on juries.

Being spiritually insightful, emotionally empathetic, mentally progressive and physically fit never places you in the forefront of anything.

BEING A LEADER MEANS…

If you decide to be a leader instead of a follower, you will lead alone—since the followers have already pledged their allegiance. Yet we, as a people, count on certain souls to walk a lonely path, pursue through resistance and overcome public opinion to bring us the solutions which lead us into a spirited life instead of rendering us dispirited.

As we judge candidates, senators, congressmen, President and judges, let us keep in mind that they gain their positions by either being voted in or approved. In order to get a vote or be approved, you have to get the blessing of those who walk in the present—not those who have the presence of mind to know where history is walking.

If I knew then what I know now, I would either have to forget it so I could still be fairly popular, or else decide to take the path untraveled—alone.


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Sit Down Comedy … April 19th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4020)


It happened two weeks ago.

I yelled at somebody when I should have chatted. I judged instead of questioned him. I attacked instead of approached.

I Could Spin It

I can tell you a thousand reasons why I did. I could even spin it so you would be on my side. Yet at the end of that exertion, you would be deceived, and I would still be wrong. I was overwrought.

I didn’t need a hammer when a toothpick would have been just as effective. It wasn’t necessary to scorch the Earth when no fire was required.

I did it because I could.

I was offended and I wanted to make sure the person who offended me felt as small and insignificant as possible.

Following this indiscretion, I was briefly tempted to be self-righteous. But there is a seed inside me which has grown into a full, blooming Tree of Life, which will not allow me to hide my motivations or make excuses for my iniquity.

Understand, there’s nothing special about me.

I’m an average person—not particularly a great guy. Just a dude.

Yet I found it intolerable to live with my bratty behavior. It bugged the hell out of me and the heaven into me. I had to make it right.

I didn’t want to.

My position, my prowess and my pride screamed that this one little breach of propriety was nothing, and I had a large enough resume that I should be forgiven no matter what.

This is the bullshit that shows up right after the bull does its dance—and the dancing bull always believes he’s right because he’s powerful. So he figures that where he shits shouldn’t matter. Everybody knows he’s a bull anyway.

Where is the Bonfire of Sanity?

I don’t want to live that way. I’ve never wanted to live that way. And since I’m just a “God-loves-me-anyway-piece-of-shit,” it tears at my soul that we live in a nation in which we can’t find two decent people to rub together to ignite the bonfire of sanity.

Our Attorney General has been thrust into an impossible situation—but still squeaks like a mouse.

The Democratic Party seems to be disappointed that there isn’t more filth to parade in front of the American people.

And our President is proud that his lame-brain ideas were not enacted by his staff and is taking a bow for being protected from his pending bloopers.

Is there anyone who could be just as contrite, torn-apart and upset as I am? I, who am the “me”—who am not much of anything?

On a normal day I would say that I am the chief of sinners, but I keep getting voted out of the position as the Tribal Council brings worse candidates forward for consideration.

Is there anyone who will join me in saying that there will be no justice until we finally confess the injustice in all of us?

Is the search for power so intoxicating that our consciences are rendered powerless?

I am tired of watching people who should be more intelligent, more forward-thinking, and more qualified than me act worse than I do. How could anybody find a lower position of character than I often portray?

Yet they do.

America Needs to be Cleansed from All Unrighteousness

But according to tradition, God is only faithful and just to do that once we’re willing to confess our sins.

 


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Jesonian … January 20th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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A growling grouchiness tends to fester my soul every time I sit down in front of some sort of clerk who wants to ask me questions so that he or she can “punch me into their system.”

I have a natural inclination to turn and run full speed out of the room, thus “unplugging.”

Systems don’t work.

Now, I know over-generalized conclusions such as this one are frowned on by people who want to remain congenial and open to all parties, but once any organization or movement acquires a mortgage, as far as humanity is concerned, they usually become no damn good.

Rules are established, guidelines are formulated, temperaments are discussed and limitations established.

I don’t care if the system is taking care of the poor, preaching the Gospel or electing candidates to office–just the presence of the instinct to follow an “inner office memo” filled with stipulations stifles creativity and smother passion.

Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night-Step 1 of any system.

Play it safe.

Nicodemus did not know whether his friends would approve of him interacting with the rogue Galilean, so he “came by night.” I’m sure he thought he was smart. I’m sure he believed he was more open-minded than his buddies, who wouldn’t come at all, even if it was pitch black.

He begins his dialogue with Jesus by trying to coerce a mutual sense of equality from the Nazarene–Step 2 of a system. “We know you’re a teacher sent by God.”

(Just like us…)

Every system wants to make everything the same for everybody, because if it isn’t, it’s just not fair–and if you acquiesce to one person, then everyone wants the same consideration.

I am not a conceited man, but my mission is not the same as the pastor of some United Methodist church in Wisconsin. I am not better than him–but I have been given more. And the scriptures tell me that because I’ve been given more, more is expected of me.

Jesus doesn’t mince any words with Nicodemus. He doesn’t give in to the equality theory, but tells Nicodemus that he “must be born again.” The cleverness of the statement–the parallel of spiritual rebirth to original birth are ignored by this scripture peruser.

He does what people always do to someone who apparently wants to rock the boat–he mocks the simplicity. He makes fun of Jesus suggesting that an old man could go back into his mother’s womb. He might even have chuckled at his own reference. He is convinced that in a world of black and white, it is necessary to strictly honor the available colorations.

Jesus explains to him that it’s an uncomplicated concept and challenges Nicodemus to walk more in his intelligence instead of marching in beat with the purists. Jesus says, “If I tell you of Earthly things and you don’t understand, how could I ever tell you of heavenly things?”

Then, as always, the system is offended, and begins to denigrate the concepts which lead to the conclusion of personal responsibility.

It is so much easier to be religious if you believe God is in control, has a plan for your life, is moving angels and demons back and forth and has already won the battle. It becomes a bit more intricate when you realize the Kingdom of God is within you.

Nicodemus departs, unimpressed. Matter of fact, later on the scriptures refer to “some of the Jewish leaders” who privately had sympathy for Jesus and his Kingdom movement, but were afraid to speak up.

Nicodemus found himself trapped. When the Council decided to have a meeting to put Jesus on trial, and Nicodemus objects to them indicting the Master without hearing him, they dismiss Nicodemus. They ask if “he, too, is a Galilean.”

He says nothing more. He is silenced.

You will never make strides in your spiritual life or truly understand the humanity of Jesus and the mission he had to save souls as long as you hide behind vespers and prayers.

Jesonian is a lifestyle.

And Jesus spent his life being the champion of the human race. To do so, he had to dodge many systems and ignore those who were locked up in the mindset of the moment instead of grasping the born-again heart of those who were fully aware that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”

 

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G-Poppers … November 4th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop is insulted.

After six months of playground buffoonery passing itself off as a Presidential election, he finds himself feeling violated by the very same people who would solicit his support.

One of the candidates insults G-Pop’s intelligence and the other one insults his faith.

As Secretary Clinton touts her qualifications for the job of being the leader of the free world, listing numerous occupations which have prepared her for the position, she simultaneously pulls up lame, pretending that the technology of an email server is beyond her grasp.

She also has a litany of profiles to explain how four Americans in Libya–a very hostile environment–were lost on her watch.

On top of that, she continues to make excuses for a husband who certainly did his best to denigrate the gravitas of the job as Commander-in-Chief.

It seems that Hillary is incapable of comprehending that credentials need to be backed up with actions.

On the other hand, G-Pop’s faith is insulted by the lifestyle and urges of Donald J. Trump. Donald has taken one of the primary concepts of the Declaration of Independence–“all men are created equal”–and has whittled away, redefining the meaning of these words by placing special significance of one group over another.

He simultaneously has taken the respect, honor and equality that Jesus saw for women, attempting to turn our country back into a 1950’s philosophy, where it is assumed that men will step in to cover the inadequacies of the “ditzy female.”

But worst of all, Mr.Trump pretends to take on the mantle of faith in Jesus Christ, when three of the greatest principles in the teachings of the Nazarene are repentance, tolerance and forgiveness. By his own admission, he does not apologize, he does not view all humans as equals, and he would much rather attack those who cross his path and challenge him.

These two people are insulting.

If you have intelligence and a measure of faith, you will find their applications disheartening.

So what should we do?

Is it worse to have someone who insults your intelligence, or an individual who insults your faith?

Or is it more important for us to realize that as expected, no true transformation, revival or inspiration will ever come out of Washington, D. C.?

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G-Poppers … May 6th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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The situation is that our solution has actually become our problem.

G-Pop is trying to explain this to his son.

Even though there is a strong contingency of the American public which contends we are a “Christian nation,” when it comes to dealing with others, our prejudices and our policies, we completely abandon the teachings of Jesus in favor of the message of Mesopotamia.

Therefore we tout “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” and “our country, right or wrong.”

So we end up with two candidates for President who both have unfavorable ratings and seem baffled by their unpopularity. But it’s really quite simple. Even though there may be a rag-tag group of citizens who cheer arrogance and self-reliance, all of us know in our hearts what is necessary to be a human being:

  1. “From what I know…”
  2.  “I was wrong.”

Any time those two statements are ignored or even pushed to the rear in favor of barnstorming stubbornness, you have a credibility problem.

Since none of us are sure of anything, taking the precaution of being candid about our knowledge is only wise.

In like manner, keeping in our back pocket the ability to be wrong without feeling that we’re diminishing our career is equally as valuable, so that people can trust us.

So it is ironic that we campaign for our two candidates while simultaneously voicing that we don’t trust them.

Of course we don’t.

  • Both of them plot instead of letting the truth play out.
  • They both maneuver instead of managing the circumstances provided.

And they defend themselves instead of allowing the new revelation to push them to the forefront as leaders.

You have to make up your mind. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC may love a fight among the candidates. They say it makes good news. Actually, it makes bad news, which they spin into good revenue through advertising.

But if you’re going to edify people, you will have to be forthcoming about what you presently know and also be prepared to be wrong.

G-Pop realizes there are those reading this who would say, “Politics doesn’t work that way.”

But he would retort, “Therefore, politics doesn’t work.”

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Good News and Better News … March 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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St. James Composite 2

Saint James Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Realizing that you may never include this sanctuary as a stop off in your pilgrimage of American churches, I will attempt to relate my experience of enjoying the fine folk I met there.

The pastor is John Locke, who has the noble name of a great English philosopher, the inspiration to such American forefathers as James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. (Thomas, by the way, used much of Locke’s language in penning the Declaration of Independence.)

That said, I will tell you that I enjoyed the present incarnation of John Locke of Fayetteville equally.

The congregation was inspiring, and therefore capable of being inspired. Although there were certainly individuals who were curious about my pedigree and what my theological background was, most of them just relaxed and allowed me the chance to share my talents and my heart.

They arrived having survived a week of bitter political struggles and angry candidates, generating a climate threatening mayhem. Let’s be honest–most of us feel rather insignificant when we are viewing the 24-hour news cycle and realize how meager our simple efforts may seem.

But that’s the purpose of the church. It is supposed to be a safe zone–a place where you come to escape social pressure, politics and even religion, and spend an hour or so finding reasons to still believe.

It is a sanctuary where we can proclaim:

1. We’re human.

And then we can ask God, “Is that what you expected?”

We’re not perfect, because in striving for such a position, we would look both prideful and foolish.

2. We’re more “child” than “angel.”

So heavenly Father, enchant us.

Any God we serve who expects us to become more than we are is a charlatan. We are God’s children, and therefore definitely require a certain amount of entertainment with our enlightenment.

3. We need a safe place to come.

The world is full of tribulation, and even though we understand that Jesus has overcome the world, we require a reason to be of good cheer.

It is up to the good folks at Saint James–from leadership all the way through nursery–to provide such an atmosphere.

If they do, they will become viable and powerful in the community, offering an option to the raging storms of those who follow the present wind-blowing.

If they insist on being religious and trap themselves in the drapings of their faith, they will not only be an anachronism to a former time, but will find themselves gnawing on each other out of frustration.

So there’s the good news.

We’re human, we are more like children and we need a safe zone.

But here is the better news: on top of all that, we have this quality–just a bit of sweet, creative divinity placed within us by the breath of God, hinting that we also can surprise you.

We are capable of being gentle and powerful.

So watch us.

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G-Poppers … February 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wonders if the current crop of ears listening to the corny dialogue from the field of candidates is totally aware of the dangers.

Would they even consider the insights of a young preacher from 2000 years ago, who warned that his generation was like a bunch of “children sitting in the marketplace”–the message being that since they’re children, they aren’t ready for the marketplace, but instead, better suited for the playground?

So the danger in politics and religion is that we end up with a clump of childish scoundrels. It’s difficult to look at them as criminals because they are so inexperienced, but impossible to consider them viable, since they are so bratty.

The definition of childish is anyone who thinks their feelings are more important than the truth.

So when you look at Marco, Hillary, Ted, Ben, Jeb, Bernie, Donald and John, you realize that each one has some endearing qualities which are certainly tainted by a fussy need to come across superior.

We must understand that superior is only achieved when inferior is confronted and corrected.

So what should be the profile of those who desire to rule over us and reign in the “land of the free and the home of the brave?”

A simple phrase:

“I am capable.”

  • I am capable of good things, which my campaign manager will now recite to you in detail.
  • I am capable of bad things, which my opponents will soon find, so to free them from that exhausting task, I will confess myself.
  • And I am capable of learning by listening to the wisdom of others and their counsel, and adjusting myself to the reality of the present predicament.

These candidates want to express their readiness–yet no one is ready to be President of the United States. The job description changes daily, with the focus landing squarely on varied skills at a moment’s notice. You cannot prepare for such a mission. What you need to do is learn to submit to each situation as it arises.

I am capable.

“I am capable of good things, bad things and learning better things.”

G-Pop does not have any desire to endorse a candidate, but he’s happy to tell you that the wisdom expressed by that itinerant teacher 2000 years ago still holds true.

Children in the marketplace will turn childish when confronted by difficulty.

Escaping childishness requires that we humble ourselves by celebrating the good, acknowledging the bad … and arriving, every day, with a willing attitude.

 

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