Strife As Life… November 6, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog


arguing housewivesI remain optimistic.

Perhaps it would be better to say that I remain. “Optimistic” because I think it is a much more pleasant profile.

But there are times when I look at the entertainment in our society and I become bedraggled in my spirit. You see, there is a strong misconception that the inspiration of our lives comes either from our philosophy OR our theology. Since both of these entities are passed along to us through a combination of our upbringing and our experiences, they are a little too etched in stone to be inspiring in the moment.

Factually, most of our inspiration is derived from our entertainment.

So when that which is meant to entertain us begins to eat away at the foundation of our positive sensations about life, we are tempted to crumble or become cynical. I am a little nervous about how life is being presented as an ongoing struggle in strife on television and in the movies.

I am surprised that the way people used to speak to each other in anger, and then felt the need to repent and make up with each other, is now considered normal, merely “standing up for yourself,” to “keep from being walked on.”

The reality shows are a glimpse into the underbelly of human existence, dividing humanity into two categories: people and person.

Unfortunately, we believe that we are the only “person” and everybody else is just “people.”  We do not grant personhood to anyone else. So if anyone crosses us, disagrees with us, challenges us or questions us, we give ourselves permission to treat that individual as a creature outside the human species.

  • So in our music, women can become “sluts” and “bitches” simply because they don’t do the will of a man, and men are portrayed as dogs and whores because they “treat their women bad.”
  • On reality shows, the more selfish, introspective, sullen and fierce a competitor is, the better chance he or she has for gaining an audience, fame and boosting ratings.

Now, I know I will be accused of being an old fogey, but it is difficult for me to believe that this kind of aberrant behavior has anything to do with what age you are.

For instance, I know when I’m acting like a jerk. Here are three tell-tale signs:

  1. I stop listening and start talking over the top of other people.
  2. I’m sure I’m right.
  3. I dredge up things from the past and use them as ammunition as I try to “slay” the spirit of the person with whom I am fighting.

There you go.

As long as we believe that strife is the energy of life, we will accept a kind of interaction which sniffs of the jungle of struggle instead of the Eden of creativity.

My voice is small, my readership diverse–but tiny. There are millions who applaud strife. I want my family, my friends and everyone from my generation to know that I am one who does not believe that strife is reality.

Rather, it is actually when we forget how beautifully and wonderfully we are made.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Scrambled Eggheads … February 12, 2013


Jon Signing“It could be this or it could be that, and of course, there’s a chance that it just might be…”

These are words you certainly don’t ever want to hear from either your mechanic or your doctor. Honestly, they’re not particularly helpful to hear from anyone. In this season in our country, when we are most in need of a defining message, what we have is a cacophony of voices screaming at us–usually offering a book for sale at the end of their proclamation of doom and gloom.

It just doesn’t help. Watching television news is like peering at a bunch of eggheads, who scramble around trying to argue their point with nobody able to make a good omelet. Let me boil down the scrambled messages being offered:

1. “You are important so find your talent.” Can I edit this? You are just as important as you allow yourself to believe that other people are important, and you may feel free to USE your talent–as long as you are humbly aware there is always somebody more accomplished than you.

2. “God doesn’t make mistakes, so be happy.” Well, it is my recollection that God was so disappointed with His creation at one time that He destroyed the world, and then later felt really bad about doing it. I do not need a God who is mistake-free. I would just like to have a God who catches His own boo-boos before He drowns the world. I don’t need God to be perfect in order for me to enjoy the process of watching the world move forward, perfecting.

3. “It’s a tough world, so cover your backside.” If you’re always looking around to see your backside, you’re never looking forward. In my experience, the minute you take your eyes off the road, you greatly increase your chances of ending up in a ditch. Here is a simple way of looking at it: take a few minutes to study the past, celebrate your present, and while you’re at it, get some idea and vision for what you want for yourself in the future, because it is all up to you.

Just with these three “screamers” from the eggheads spilling out, you can be overwhelmed with too much information, receiving mixed signals which only produce frustration instead of clarity.

Is there a message that is universal to human beings? Probably not–but I do know a first step that usually takes us in the right direction: share your fears. They’re not doing you any good. They hide inside of you and only to show up when your greatest opportunity for success is available, nagging you about the pitfalls of trying anything new.

A spoken fear is not only an unmasked enemy, but also establishes your humanity with the world around you and takes you out of the role of being a competitor and into the possibility of becoming a brother or sister.

Let me be the guinea pig:

  • I’m fat. At my age, I’m finding it very difficult to shed pounds. I’m wondering if my physical weakness is going to overtake my emotional and spiritual zeal and put me down.
  • My knees aren’t getting any better. I persist in walking, but can tell that it really isn’t helping me–just establishing my perseverance.
  • I wonder if I’m doing enough. When I think about doing more, I hit a wall as to know what to do, and dangerously reach a point of being unappreciative for my present accomplishments.
  • I’m afraid my children will not use faith to their advantage, but instead, will be absorbed by the worldly silliness around them, becoming flippant instead of fruitful.

Honestly, my dear friends, I could go on all day. And every time I speak one of my fears out loud, it shrivels–even as it wiggles out of my mouth.

The less fear you have, the more room there is for love. And if you build a space for love, all of the family can move in: understanding, compassion, humor, tenderness, awareness and intelligence. And if you have that family living inside you, you will use your talents. You’ll find a way to be happy and you won’t worry about your enemies because you’ll be too busy coming up with ways to creatively intimidate them … by loving them.

So you can continue to listen to the scrambled eggheads as they fry the truth and poach each other’s messages. For me, I am going to share my fears, and in the process, resurrect my love.

Because honestly, if love is not enough, maybe the world should end.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Old Dogs … January 17, 2013


polkaThe old dog scampered, skittered and slid her way to the door to greet me, depositing a dribble of pee on the ground as a symbol of her devotion. Then she stood at my feet, blocking my entrance, until I was able to shuffle away with her trailing behind, wheezing, panting, trying to keep up with her favorite person–the one who’s the filler of the bowl, the patter of the head and the distributor of treats.

She perched herself in front of me for review and also for affirmation of stroking and petting. Honestly, she offers little in the way of reciprocal affection, other than the unfailing stare of adoration.

Suddenly, as if on cue, the old dog turned and ran towards the glass door, seeing her reflection and being haunted by a mythical competitor. As dinner is served, she made her way to my side, offering me her undivided attention as I consumed my evening repast while she begged for morsels from my portion.

She remained totally involved until the last dish was cleared and conversation ensued. As I began to share my findings of the day, stories of my experiences and little anecdotes of blessing and hassle with the room, the old dog found her way to my feet and lay down in a great big heap, expressing her indifference for the glories of conversational interchange.

In no time at all, she was asleep–but her presence was still made known through snores, which rattled the room, farts, which aired her incessant fragrance, and snorts, exhibiting the effects of an ongoing, contentious struggle with a rival dream-beagle.

She is an old dog–not terribly interested in most of the life going on around her, but she still finds a way to wiggle in to acquire her needs and establish her worth. She is an interesting combination of companion and aggravation, depending on the situation, and even proximity.

Old dogs are everywhere. Old dogs have already established the maturity of their turf and only occasionally will gnaw on your shoe in flashbacks to puppyhood.

You see, it’s not so much that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. It’s just that old dogs are so challenged by their old tricks that they still think they’re new.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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