G-Poppers … March 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2871)

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G-Pop sat quietly, listening to two family members talk about politics. Even though they are loving companions in every way, the political scene does divide them–right down the middle of their concerns.

Their conversation was interesting, but filled with assumptions which have cropped up in this present field of candidates.

Assumption 1: Politics is a different game and doesn’t have to follow the same rules. In other words, we expect them to lie.

Assumption 2: We’re in the process of choosing the best from the worst instead of merely attempting to extract the worst from the best.

Assumption 3: It’s not going to get any better.

G-Pop thought to himself that the true mistake lies in thinking that we are picking a leader instead of allowing the definition of leadership to do the selection for us.

Leadership has four components which end up with a determination.

1. Kindness: “I don’t want to start the fight.”

Anyone who thinks that politics and leadership is about fighting is promoting survival of the meanest.

2. Honesty: “I don’t want to initiate the lie. If lying is going to go on, I would rather watch it happening instead of being the founder of the deceit.”

3. Respect: “I don’t grow with your failure. I don’t need to honor iniquity, but I do need to ensure that the mistakes of others are corrected by nature instead of my rage.”

4. Resolve: “I don’t want to be the first to give up. I also don’t want to be the last to give up once it becomes obvious that change is necessary. I would like to give the plans available a chance to survive a bump or two instead of assuming that we’re heading off a cliff.”

When a good leader puts kindness, honesty, respect and resolve together, he or she ends up in strength, which is: “I don’t want to abandon goodness.”

For as G-Pop listened to his family members discuss politics, he realized there is no difference between being angry at the rich or angry at the poor. You’re still too damn angry.

Somewhere along the line, we have to put our faith into goodness winning the day, and not retreat from that purity … simply because evil does a lot of growling.

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The Cracked Pot … August 15, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1976)

What should you do about a friend that has been with you for four years, who you find out is officially dying?

That is my dilemma this morning, as I rise to begin my day–realizing that my automatic coffee pot, which has been  traveling with me for the past forty-eight months, is beginning to leak.

coffee potHe, she or it, depending on your sensibility, has been warning of demise for several days–a little puddle of H2O blood here–another over there. When am I going to be willing to take my Old Faithful and quietly entomb it in the local trash receptacle, go out and purchase another?

Ideas float to my mind: maybe I could FIND the leak. Maybe there’s still hope. Maybe the “laying on of hands” by faith would bring about a technological miracle. Maybe I could just get used to the leak. Perhaps I could fill it in the mornings and make coffee, hoping to avoid major water dispersal.

You see, this is what happens to all of us.

Whether we like it or not, we become emotionally involved with everything in our lives. And if we insist we are “detached,” we foolishly deceive ourselves, because we are forever creatures of habit, who want to cling to those parts most familiar.

So I ask myself three clarifying questions:

1. Is it broken? Yes. Coffee pots are supposed to make coffee, not leak out other opinions. There is no doubt. The telltale signs of failure have to be sopped up every morning. It’s broken. Now, we can use a different synonym–we can call it damaged, dented, dinged, or “in disrepair.” But since it only has a couple of movable parts, it is safe to assume that the cost of fixing it would be much more than the price of replacing it. Which leads to:

2. Can it be fixed? No. Some things are too important to leave to chance. Having a morning cup of coffee that’s nice, hot and ready to go is too valuable to the common good to be left in the gears of a hampered implement. If we continue to work with things that are broken, we will either frustrate ourselves or become cynical. It’s really just that simple. Since I can’t fix it, I don’t know anybody who can fix it, and anybody who would try to fix it would charge more than acquiring a new product, the situation demands that I declare a time of death. Which leads to the final question:

3. Am I ready? Am I ready to establish a new relationship with a pot that’s NOT cracked? Am I ready to get to know its ways? Am I ready to accept the conditions of its warranty? Am I ready to learn how to plug it in, and patiently read the instructions (even though I’m sure I am a veteran at its ways)? And of course,  answer is always “no.” I am not ready for anything that isn’t already established.

But sometimes, to acquire what we need means that we have to purchase and learn to use the right tools.

There you go.

I am in possession of a cracked pot. (And I’m not just speaking of my two traveling companions.) In this case I am specifically referring to my coffee maker. It is broken. It cannot be fixed. So I am ready to find a new one.

I guess as I write these ideas down, this would apply to other things in my life as well. Perhaps it’s something I can point out to the good folks of Carlisle tonight.

Our faith has been good to us, but now it’s breaking down with the burden of too much tradition. It cannot be fixed, but needs to be renovated and rejuvenated by the original passion of the Nazarene who left behind the hope. The only question remaining: are we ready to percolate?

Yes–are we ready for a new cup of life?

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