G-Poppers … August 17th, 2018

Today G-Pop wants to talk to his children about slippage.

In olden times they referred to it as “backsliding”–allowing oneself to retreat from principles once held dear–because the temptation of the times changes the atmosphere and weakens the faith.

In the past ten years, because we’ve allowed a streak of meanness to become acceptable behavior, there has been a slippage in the attitudes of the populace toward one another and in the passion for life.

It’s really quite simple.

Those who were once merciful have slipped into being merely open-minded, leaving mercy practically abandoned.

The open-minded people have slipped to being generous–and that normally only to people they know well or who are related to them.

The generous folks have backslidden to kind–hoping that flashing a smile and expressing a willingness to be helpful will be enough without having to commit to action.

And kind people, who used to think up ways to be contributors, have slipped to nice. If at all possible they will offer a pleasant countenance to the world around them–that is, unless something odd happens. At that point, nice people become careful. They will swear that the reason they become careful is because the world is screwed up and “you can’t trust anybody.”

And of course, careful people drop down a degree into suspicious. This is where you start to hear about folks loving their dogs more than people.

And those who were naturally suspicious before degrade to downright grouchy. They don’t even pretend to lead with a sweetness of spirit. It’s too risky.

Of course, there were people who were grouchy to begin with. They have become edgy–ready for a fight, and the edgy people usually find that fight, and end up being bullies.

Bullies have become fighters; fighters are more violent. Much of the violence has led to murder, and now murder has deteriorated to mass killing.

The political parties will blame each other for the problem, but long before there was a President Donald Trump, there was a President Obama, with all of the fussing, arguing and struggling that occurred during his two terms of administration.

G-Pop realizes that you may consider it a “conservative” problem, or perhaps an outgrowth of the liberal media. Since you can’t do anything to change either one of those organizations, G-Pop thinks it might be a good idea for his children to just work on themselves.

Where have you slipped to?

Where have you fallen?

If even 10% of the population would raise their human effort up one notch, to the position they occupied before 2008, there would be such an improvement in the climate of this country that the other 90% would have to take note.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that it’s time to stop backsliding.

There are no signs that the leadership in government, business, education or the church is going to lead a resurgence in civil behavior.

No–it’ll be up to us.

It’ll be up to G-Pop…and all his children.

 

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G-Poppers … November 13th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Thoughtful is not the opposite of thoughtless.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that.

There is an in-between world. It is lodged somewhere between being absent thought and being filled to the brim. Shall we refer to it as thought-parts?

It’s the quicksand human beings often find themselves in when deliberating the best way to be generous without really giving up anything. It revolves around two questions:

1. Why don’t they…?

2. And why isn’t it…?

For some reason, we get stymied by the fact that life is not working out exactly the way we envisioned it. Even when we pretend to be flexible and resilient, there is a hidden animosity lurking within us, causing us to be grouchy or overly careful.

On our way to thoughtful, to escape thoughtless, we get bogged down in thought-parts.

Because we certainly want to avoid thoughtless, characterized by staring down at the phone with buds in the ears and a grimace on the face, as a pair of texts arrive, ruining the day by reporting that the tickets desired for the concert were not available and the favorite department store no longer sells skinny-leg jeans.

People don’t want to be thoughtless, where they throw up a wall of insecurity and frustration which basically makes them believe that life sucks and they deserve better.

They attempt to avoid pessimism, but still find themselves unwilling reach the status of “thoughtful,” sliding down into thought-parts.

They don’t want to make decisions, therefore they become a target of every pesky hassle that comes along.

So how do you get from thought-parts to thoughtful? Thoughtful is pretty simple–or shall we say, simply stated?

Thoughtful is two realizations:

They don’t have to.

And I can use it.

This pair brings about the holy realization that no human owes us anything, and rather than complaining about what we have, we find a trail in the direction of success.

Since one of the more common questions in life is, “What do you think?” we probably should develop an astute answer.

  • Thoughtless is always cynical.
  • Thoughtful is always prepared.
  • And thought-parts wants to do something positive, but finds it hard to get over being offended.

 

 

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When Living Stops and Breathing Continues … November 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2064)

Aerosol oxygen mask on patient“I just don’t know what to do!”

Be careful.

This statement is not a question. When you hear people speak it aloud, do not assume they are looking for counsel.

Rather, it is a proclamation–a surrender.

Too many individuals have given up on the idea of happiness as being childish and immature, and have settled in to try to achieve contented breathing. They have become so involved with forgiving others, their calling or being overwhelmed with responsibility that they have ceased to pursue the idea of being happy.

Matter of fact, in our art and literature we often decry such an emotion. We like to take people who act happy and portray them as inexperienced and unaware.

But I’m curious–if happiness is not the goal of our earth journey, then why do we think we would be comfortable with it in the afterlife? Wouldn’t we find it unusual? Perhaps redundant? Or would we continue, in eternity, to consider happiness to be “unrealistic” and keep waiting for the sky to fall on us?

If you don’t start believing in happiness now, you will never be allowed to have happiness forever.

So what can you do when the process of forgiving other people and yourself, or pursuing your job and calling with its responsibilities, has sapped all the maple out of your syrup?

Every day of your life, make sure of three things:

1. I am involved in my own choices.

Never sacrifice your ability to decide to either God or man. We gain power, intelligence and creativity when we allow ourselves the privilege of stopping, considering, concluding and moving out on an idea born of our own spirit.

2. I feel joy, which brings strength.

I will take a moment every single day to make sure that I allow joy to be a part of my experience. What is joy? It’s the knowledge that God has everything under control. And what is that control? Nothing can separate us from His love–therefore there is nothing which is truly terminal.

3. I am moving toward what is proving itself to be fruitful.

When I lived in Tennessee we had a tree in our front yard that was proclaimed by the former owners to be a pear tree. Here’s the problem: it never produced pears. I caught myself one day telling a visitor that it was a pear tree. Then I paused, took a deep breath, and said, “Honestly, I don’t know WHAT kind of tree it is. But one thing for certain–it’s NOT a pear tree.”

If your tree isn’t making pears, don’t think that next year will be any better. Pursue what is fruitful, even if it is not immediately to your preference. In the long run you will enjoy success much more than tradition.

  • We must continue to forgive.
  • We should pursue our calling.
  • And taking responsibility for our life is essential for maturity.

But when these three things rob us of joy, turning us into mere “breathing organisms,” we need to restore our choices, regain our strength and pursue our fruit.

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Mountain to Mahomet … June 19, 2013

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A B C

I am the mountain.

I am the obstacle in my own way.

I am the big, fat pile of dirt, poking up, protruding on my own path, forbidding passage.

I am the mole-hill which has become so overblown that my tiny mustard seed of faith needs to move it every single day.

We do a disservice to everything true and holy when we believe that our problems lie outside ourselves. Government is not my problem. Religion is not my dilemma. Family is not my stumbling block. My problem is me and I am my own mountain.

So as I head off to Mahomet, Illinois, tonight,  bringing my mountain, I am going to take three things into consideration. I refer to them as the basic ABC’s of human decency:

1. Act right. In other words, DON’T “be yourself.” When we bring our moods, we muddy the situation instead of finding a mode to mold our possibilities toward success. We all know how to act right–we just get bratty and refuse to participate. If you’ve forgotten how to act right, let me give you some quick suggestions:
A. Be nice. It won’t kill you.
B. Listen more than you talk.
C. Be prepared to be wrong
D. Go slow–speed kills.
There you go. And if you don’t feel it–then pretend you do. No one cares if you’re faking it, as long as you’re making it easier. Believe me–everyone prefers your better nature.

2. Be honest. Honesty is not only the best policy, but really, the only “insurance” of being taken seriously. Once you’re caught in a lie, people assume you’re a liar. It could take years to change that perception. I will be in Mahomet, Illinois, for about four hours. As you can see, I don’t have years. Tell the truth and then you don’t have to struggle to remember your fabrication. It is not a gift to the human race, it is a demand.

3. Caresome. It should be a word–caresome. Since we have “careful,” which is annoying, and “careless,” which is lazy, there SHOULD be a term to represent the value of human interaction. Caresome. You don’t have to be phony, pretending that everything is special, but you don’t want to doze through people’s conversations, waiting for the opportunity to share YOUR story. Care some. Stay involved. Listen for a question before you give an answer–and when you have finally exhausted your interest level, do people a favor. Excuse yourself and walk away.

I guarantee you fine pilgrims that if you pursue this A, B, C philosophy you will find yourself more relaxed, more valuable and more productive than if you try to “be yourself,” ultimately finding out that “yourself” does not apply.
     Act right.
     Be honest.
     Caresome.

It is the mustard seed of faith which moves the massive mountain of our huge ego.

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Be-Leave… January 9, 2013

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BE LEAVELife is moving fast. Often we must decide in a single breath of time whether to remain where we are and “be” or depart, to serve elsewhere–“leave”:

1. People are challenged to think. BE

2. Thinking is challenged by people.  LEAVE

3. God is loving and willing to receive.  BE

4. God has an unchanging will that leaves some people out.  LEAVE

5. Creativity is honored.  BE

6. Repetition is worshipped and revered.  LEAVE

7. Some people are better than others. LEAVE

8. NoOne is better than anyone else.  BE

9.  Feelings are expressed.  BE

10. Feelings are repressed. LEAVE

11. Political parties are promoted.  LEAVE

12. Women and men are different and at odds.  LEAVE

13. In God’s eyes there is neither male or female. BE

14. The devil and God are engaged in a great battle. LEAVE

15. There is no battle because God is in control.  BE

16. People are evil.  LEAVE

17. People are created in God’s image.  BE

18. Careful! Life is dangerous.  LEAVE

19. Stay involved without fear. Life is what we have.  BE

20. The end is near.  LEAVE

21. Let’s end the fear.  BE

22. Judge according to the word of God.  LEAVE

23. Just don’t judge.  BE

24. Be in prayer at all times. LEAVE

25. Be of good cheer. BE

Whatever welcomes people to love each other and find the simplicity of a Fathering God, BE. Whatever suspects humans of continual evil in an attempt to please a God who is obviously paranoid, LEAVE.

BE.

LEAVE.

Decide where you want to BE when change comes to our world.

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