3 Things… April 12th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Are Powerful to Learn Before You Draw Your Next Breath

1. Nature always invites a portion of chaos

 

2. You can survive if you can adapt

 

3. Evolution is more successful when undertaken with good cheer

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G-Poppers … May 12th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wants to talk to his children about a bit of idealism. A case could be made that it’s fantasy. But in its purist form, it is a story.

It is a tale of a Garden–a secluded, private, precious and holy place, where the very best of Earth was begun and blessed. According to the plot, this Garden contained delicious food and was cared for by a man and woman who existed in total equality, with the encouragement to pleasure one another, enjoy one another and interact with one another.

These two had a mission to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the Earth–in other words, tap their creativity. Take their talents and dreams and expand on them, while making sure they continued to respect the Garden, its contents and its creatures.

G-Pop will refrain from discussing the more common aspects of this yarn–the parts where theologians note that disobedience to the Creator caused the equal pair to be punished and placed into a world laced with chaos.

The same theologians insist that an action of mercy and grace brought humanity back into favor with the Creator through the death and sacrifice of the Son, Jesus. But what they fail to interject is the knowledge that this gift of salvation by Jesus brought us back to the Garden. Although people claim to be saved, they are not salvaged from the post-Eden sentence, imprisoning them with inequality.

Why would we want to be a people who are saved but not salvaged–going to Heaven but still cursed while on Earth?

Why would we want to settle for turmoil between men and women when the possibility of equivalence is readily available?

Why would we use the Earth as toilet tissue instead of valuing our surroundings as God’s gift to us, to maintain with caution and dignity?

Can G-Pop get his children to be idealistic enough to return to the Garden? It takes three simple steps:

  1. Respect all people as your equals.
  2. Take authority over your life by being creative.
  3. Respect Mother Earth.

Implementing these three missions will place you back at the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Entrance is only possible by becoming like a little child.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 8) Priority … January 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

I am often reluctant to quote directly from the Good Book.

It is not due to a lack of respect or devotion to the volume. I would have a similar sensation about reading passages from Moby Dick if historically the Melville work had brought about horrific division and chaos.

But sometimes a particular passage from the Bible needs to be shared in its simplicity–and entirety–to point out how misunderstanding has driven us away from the consensus of what makes things good.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

It is virtually impossible for a theologian to interpret that verse without adding his or her religious convictions, practices and pious overtones.

Yet it’s really quite simple. It’s divided into three sections:

  1. The kingdom of God.
  2. His righteousness.
  3. All these things.

To identify what these mean, you must have an awareness of the overall and abiding principles that are represented.

The kingdom of God is not a church, a belief system or a denominational approach to religion. Jesus made it clear that the kingdom of God is within us.

So the first step to establishing priority in our journey is to find ourselves.

The creation story tells us that God breathed into humans the breath of life and we became living souls. So if we can’t find that breath, we don’t know how to breathe. And all attempts we make to find the kingdom of God outside the confines of our own created space are not only futile, but often lead us in the wrong direction–trying to become sanctified without really being holy.

Here is the kingdom of God: I am happiest when I can be strong enough to help others.

  • We are not happy when we are weak.
  • We are not happy if we have sufficiency and choose selfishness.

The breath of God is the blessing of finding ourselves and then dispensing mercy to others.

We are told to seek this first.

Dare I say that many religious people are so riddled with insecurity and superstition that the only way they know how to express salvation to others is to load them down with guilt, intimidate them over their lifestyle, then stand back and judge their actions. It is a waste of time.

Get happy, be happy, and from that position of joy, find a way to make others happy.

Which brings us to His righteousness.

This is not my righteousness. This is not a general righteousness. This is God’s righteousness.

It doesn’t take too long in perusing the Good Book to discover that God is content when we grow in confidence so we can help others around us whom He would love to touch with His grace.

If you believe that God is stomping around Heaven, angry about the Ten Commandments being broken, you should probably read the Good Book a little more carefully.

“It’s not His will that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.”

Exactly.

Which brings us to the final thought: “all these things.”

While Wall Street and business tycoons try to figure out the secret to accumulating loot, the process is accessible. Satisfied souls who manifest a creative and passionate life become a magnet to material goods.

It’s just the way it works.

Everybody who chases money, fights for money or kills for money always ends up vanquished by those who are stronger. All the things we desire in life will be at our disposal when we find the breath so that we can breathe, become creative and allow our lives to be filled with passion.

So this little journey we have taken in the Gospel of Matthew is summed up best in this way to discover priority:

I will find the breath of God within me, which will enable me to breathe and become strong so I can help others. I do this because God has one great mission statement: help people. And in the process of finding my confidence, being creative and having a passionate life, the opportunity to gain what I need will be readily available.

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G-Poppers … June 5th, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

G-Pop just decided not to do so.

He was considering offering some insights for his children and grandchildren on the “Jenner-gender-bender” situation with Bruce emerging as Caitlyn.

He passed.

Why? Because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

It’s not that G-Pop thinks he’s ignorant, ill-informed or without some degree of wisdom. No–G-Pop contends that none of us know what we’re talking about.

So the question might be raised: why does G-Pop write books and post blogs if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? That’s simple.

Somebody who doesn’t know what he’s talking about needs to remind everybody that we don’t know what we’re talking about.

For truth is a mysterious mixture of understanding history and assessing the present, while including the chaos of the future.

Who could possibly accurately discern such things?

So what we tend to share is what we feel, believe and think.

Of course, the trouble is that what we feel is based on our preferences; what we believe can be contingent on doctrines of people who lived nearly 4,000 years ago, and what we think has an overly exaggerated sense of importance from analyzing some statistics and data.

Here’s the truth of the matter–nobody knows Jenner. He is known by God and his own heart, when he’s open to such revelation, just like the rest of us.

So G-Pop realized that what he feels, believes and thinks is insignificant. What he’s going to do is the only thing that counts.

So what is G-Pop going to do about the “Jenner-gender-bender” situation?

Absolutely nothing.

 

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Populie: Is There a God? … May 7, 2014

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worldIt is very popular to question the existence of God.

It is usually accompanied with the lie that in doing so, we, as humans, become more powerful and intelligent. Thus the POPULIE, delivered with a quizzical, doubtful tone: Is there really a God?

Politics favors this quandary because it promotes the notion of “us against them.” We can talk about culture wars. One party can be on the side of faith and the other on the side of knowledge. We can even present it in a dramatic form as “the saved against the damned.” What a great way to get people to the voting booth.

Entertainment pushes the concept by showing us through movies and television shows, that truly intuitive and mature people are always at least perplexed by the question of the presence of God, and usually in choosing disbelief, are proven to be more intellectual.

Ironically, even religion desires this discussion be thrust to the forefront because it provides the sense of being “persecuted for righteousness sake,” proving our devotion by defending the Almighty against His foes.

Yet the foolishness of the process leaves us stymied as human beings, without the ability to make quality decisions in our lives based on the truth that surrounds us instead of chasing dreams–whether they be in Bible learning or college classrooms.

Let me tell you what I feel. I do not have enough faith to accept the idea of a spontaneously spawned universe. When I watch a show like Cosmos, to follow through on the precepts presented by scientists about how all this began is much more of a fairy tale to me than accepting the potential of a creative force.

Yes, I doubt too much to be ignited by the Big Bang Theory.

There are three factors that scream at me that there is a divine reasoning in the universe:

1. An order in the chaos.

Even though the world is filled with tribulation, upheaval and ongoing evolution, there is always an order, sensibility and common agreement that steps forward to greet the next possibility.

If everything was chaos we would have to believe that luck was in charge, which is no different from believing that God is.

2. A respect for nature.

Since I believe God to be the Creator, He has put a team in charge of the maintenance of His creation. It’s called the natural order. And when you respect the rules of the system which flourishes around you, you set in motion the possibility of prospering. When you deny them, you are at the mercy of an evolutionary chopping block, which is not afraid to bring the hammer down.

3. A faith in progress.

The whole panorama of the law of physics points in the direction and favor of those who step out, try new things and acquire the instinct to go forward.

  • After all, the single cell had faith to become two cells.
  • The first fish emerged from the water to dry land, becoming the grandfather of the amphibians.
  • And dinosaurs, who learned to accept their surroundings, eventually became crocodiles.

There is a faith involved in what we do.

I guess I could be sympathetic to the agnostic or atheist if it weren’t for the fact that there are laws in nature which are immutable. We call it science.

It is just impossible for me to believe that laws can be instituted without a legislator. And to me, that legislator is God.

So even though it may be the populie of our day and age, to try to be cool by questioning the reality of a Creator, I cannot muster enough trust to believe that all of this around me … spontaneously came from the dust of nothing.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Once, but not for all … June 14, 2013

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jon croppedIt is remarkable that in a society which propagates the need for individuality, we actually end up at the end of all discussions desperately in need of some sort of universality. Yes, human beings require a certain amount of decency and order to move forward or we keep stumbling over the liberty that gives us freedom but denies general progress.

What is difficult about the situation is that some people like fairies and princesses with their stories and other people prefer a plain path. So to come up with a concept, direction or philosophy that is “one size fits all” is virtually impossible–even though to possess some elements that would bring us together more than separate us will certainly be essential to our survival.

That said, would you allow me a few moments here to address the three “big questions?”

  • Who is God?
  • Who are you?
  • And who am I?

If I don’t get these answers in some sort of practical sequence, I can end up thinking that I’m God, or that you should be me or that God needs to be me doing something to you, or you need to be God doing something to me. (That might have been a little confusing, but I think you see what I mean.) Let me venture a theory:

God is truth. So whether that truth is found in science, personal experience, nature or in the faith that we adhere to that bears fruit in our lives, God is at the center of all of it. And to be a truth-seeker is to be willing to submit to the agreement found when nature, science, experience and faith sit down at the conference table together.

Who are you? Best defined to me, you are liberty. As I’ve told you in the past, I can’t judge you, I can’t change you and I can’t ignore you. I’ve been given permission to love you and to grant you the liberty to find your life. Liberty is what introduces chaos into the earth experience–and please don’t try to change God’s mind about free will. He is bound and determined to give human beings the right to liberty–and don’t think for a second that He will allow you to deny it, either.

And who am I? In the process of struggling for my own liberty, I have a responsibility to myself and my fellow-humans to become faith. That’s right–I need to find a substantial hope to pursue every day which produces obvious improvement in me and is uplifting to you.

God is truth, you are liberty, I am faith–and if I have faith in my talents and abilities so that I don’t interfere with your liberty while seeking truth in all aspects of available knowledge, I will find God.

That’s what I believe. That’s what gives freedom to others, a mission to myself (to keep me from being too nosy) and allows God to be intelligent instead of the cranky old man who gets upset if the young people have new-fangled ways.

It’s once, but not for all.

There are those who would much rather believe that their destiny is determined in the heavens rather than accepting the anointed adventure … of bringing heaven down to earth.

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 Jonathots, Jr.!

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Decency and Order… December 26, 2012

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jass in recording studio

It was the first thing Jan asked me this morning. What did I think about yesterday’s Christmas celebration? That was easy to answer. Total, marvelous chaos.

Unfortunately, as people get older, they seem to deny the value of such an occurrence. They become like the Apostle Paul in the Book of Corinthians, who said, “Let everything be done in decency and order.”

What a priss. You gotta be kidding me. To achieve decency and order, you’d have to remove every human being from the room and every electronic piece of equipment that plugs into the wall. What you would have left is a bunch of microscopic organisms which you could not see, as they were being indecent and disorderly.

Our Christmas consisted of fifteen people in a room suited for eight, ranging in ages from five months to sixty-one years (and by the way, I was thinking about being cute by translating the sixty-one years into months, but it was too exhausting).

At no time was anything in control. Mingling torn paper with broken boxes, stocking candy everywhere and everyone’s personal preoccupation with their own gifts, decorum was abandoned in favor of basic survival. I wanted to be grumpy–partially because it’s my responsibility, as an aging American, to fill that position–and somewhat because my business sense told me that efficiency was being lost in moments of glee.

But since  Christmas morning has nothing to do with business nor is there any particular necessity to stifle glee, I laughed at myself, sat back and observed the process, occasionally participating in the fiasco with my own contribution of wild abandon.

Last night we had another situation during the evening meal, when one of the little tykes became very dissatisfied with the seating arrangements since he was not going to be able to sit next to his friend. He threw a fit in front of the whole gathering. Naturally, because we are all grown people who wanted to silence the racket as quickly as possible, the instinct was to give him his way, allowing him to sit anywhere he wanted so that the noise would cease and we could resume munching many calories.

But you see, that’s not the way it works. So instead, we made him sit where he didn’t want to sit but needed to sit, which caused him to launch into a rage and fury similar to a man heading for the gallows who knows deep in his heart that he’s innocent. It was very loud–so clamorous, matter of fact, that after a few moments it became funny. But because we decided to continue our lives over the top of the volcano of voice, he eventually calmed down and donned a sweeter disposition–mainly because he felt really stupid.

It was disruptive. It was loud. It was ill-contained, and it certainly would have pissed off the Apostle Paul, who would have insisted it was indecent and disorderly. Let’s be honest–nothing of quality is ever corralled. That’s just good horse sense.

Take our country, for instance. America is ugly. We do everything ugly. We brought slaves into the country ugly. We treated them ugly. We got rid of slavery ugly. We handled the issue of racial equality ugly. Can there be anything uglier than a Presidential election in America? The only “prosper-ers” are the television stations which make billions of dollars from the negative ads.

Evolution is a violent, often non-sensical process which offers no explanation, nor does it apologize for its scream.

I always get tickled when pastors of churches tell me that their congregation is run by committee. If we were going to invent something that would personify disorder, disruption and often meaningless behavior, it would have to be the committee.

No, we must be honest. Even though we get older and want to turn down the volume, it’s going to go up. The process of spirituality, growth, expansion, inclusion, equality, and freedom … is deafening.

And sitting with a room with people opening up Christmas presents who loved each other enough to get to the same locale but now have entered an “every man for himself” mode, is always going to be bizarre. I am determined to refuse to become the old man in the room who asks the children to calm down so his pacemaker won’t malfunction.

Life is chaos. If you agree with Brother Paul, that it should be in decency and order, be prepared to be on the wrong side of history. For after all, when God created the earth, the first review on His work was that the place He created was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

What a mess.

But you see, God’s not like us. He likes messes. Otherwise, how would you get a chance to clean things up?

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