Three Ways to Deal With Terrorism…February 12, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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terrified baby big

Another “them against us” scenario.

Our leaders in Washington, D.C. have us all convinced that “them”– extremists in the Middle East–are out to get “us”–peace-loving Americans.

Even though we should have learned through our history books that the “them against us” mindset only leads to stress and the promotion of bigotry, we perpetuate it because we do not want to be terrorized.

I am convinced that the only way to avoid any evil in life is to make sure that you have not embraced it. The best way for us to fight terrorism in the Middle East is to remove the terror from our own lives and use success and prosperity as our best revenge.

How can you deal with terrorism?

1. Find terror in your own heart and disarm it.

The most obvious plague that terrorizes us as human beings is complaining. Once we allow griping to come into our lives, we are unsettled, unprepared and basically unaware of how we can resolve our situations. After all, why make a plan if you can simply complain about the circumstances that warrant it?

Why do these extremists in the Middle East murder and create mayhem? Because they follow a religious approach that allows them to complain about their lives, leaving them unwilling to accept the diversity of others.

2. Find terror in your family and address it.

Once you’ve taken the time to get rid of complaining, then you should turn to your own household and find out where terror is lurking. I am convinced this is mediocrity. Once we start settling for second-best, or even third-runner-up, we build up a series of unresolved problems which eventually slap us in the head.

If your son’s job is to take out the garbage, stop begging and complaining about it. Shut off all food and media–and pretty soon the garbage will be taken out. Mediocre breeds more mediocre, which eventually births disaster.

3. Find terror in your community and question it.

I’ll tell you what’s terrorizing American society today: gossip.

Our preoccupation for judging other people’s lives has led to bullying, crime, judgment and alienation. If you have an opinion on somebody else and you’re not willing to share it with him or her, it’s gossip. Even if you say you’re only sharing it because you want to ask for prayer, it’s gossip–and gossip is a greater terrorist threat to this country than any Middle Eastern suicide bomber.

If you will deal with the terrorism that exists in your own surroundings, you will send this message to those twisted souls who are determined to hurt other people:

  • We are not going to complain
  • We are not going to settle for the mediocre
  • And by the grace of God, we refuse to batter one another with gossip.

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Published in: on February 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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G-Poppers… November 28, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

Finishing up a fine meal, friends and family gather and decide to probe the mind of G-Pop.

“Speaking of eating, G-Pop, what do you think of the meal?”

G-Pop: I don’t need a reason to overeat, but thank you for giving me one anyway.

“How about the turkey, G-Pop?”

G-Pop: When our country was founded and the folks were choosing a national bird, it came down between the turkey and the eagle. The eagle won. Now you see how we treat the runner-up.

“Be gentle, G-Pop, and tell us what you think about family.”

G-Pop: Family is where we practice to make sure that what we preach is worthy to be heard.

“Well, since it’s Thanksgiving, G-Pop, what do you think about thankfulness?”

G-Pop: That’s easy. Gratitude is what intelligent people speak out loud when their hearts want to complain.

 

 

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G-22: Complain or Comply… May 2, 2014

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baby and parentsWhen a man loves a woman and she returns in kind, often the by-product of such an encounter is a kid.

It is procreation. It is the little surprise offered to us which pops up nine months later at the end of a seven-second orgasm.

First, let’s establish some ground rules: No human being is born to be a parent. We were born to be children who hopefully learn to function in an adult world.

Much to the chagrin of those around me, I must state that the notion of a maternal or a paternal instinct is at least elusive, if not mythical. Matter of fact, those who tout that they can offer seminars on parenting are perhaps some of the more dangerous individuals in our society.

Here are two basic principles about the process of bringing human beings into a world based on our own desires:

1. Ideas and actions transfer well from parent to child.

In other words, kids are more likely to pick up on your prejudices and your vices than anything else.

2. On the other hand, feelings and beliefs are often lost in the translation of growing up.

So even though you may insist that you taught your children to feel a certain way and believe in God, they will either deny such training or rebel against it. This is why ideas get overblown from one generation to another and actions are exaggerated.

For instance, a father who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will probably end up with a son who smokes two. A mother who is prejudiced against a certain race will raise a child who is much more demonstrative in his or her hatred.

So all feelings and faith have to be born again in each and every human. There is no transfusion of God from one individual to another. Yet at the same time, hate passes freely and bad deeds, fluidly.

So what can a parent do?

This was the problem for man and woman when they ended up with two sons. Even though both children came through the same birth canal, the tide and flow of their lives was quite different. One ended up being a complainer and the other, a complier.

I cannot truthfully tell you that one of these choices is better than the other. It seems more righteous, certainly, to comply–but at the same time, on some occasions it is essential to question.

And even though complaining is normally a whiny vice, it does afford time for reflection instead of just blind faith.

But in actual time–in other words, real life experience–complaining has a tendency to close down the door to learning, while complying at least puts us on the field of play for possible growth.

Two brothers, raised in the same household, with different philosophies, who are destined to collide.

What can mom and dad do? When could they have done it? And how effective would it have been?

This is the trio of questions all parents end up asking themselves–especially after some contentious, or even disastrous, results.

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Jesonian: EARTH 101 … April 13, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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The search for a world without problems is a decision to stumble down a back alley of disaster.image

Yes. Trying to avoid difficulty is the best way to obtain more.

Life has problems.

These trying situations keep life lively. Living must be lively or we end up bored and cease to grow.

So let us understand: God does not have a will–not in the sense of a pre-determined plan of action which He adheres to without revision.

Free will eradicates heavenly “big plans.”

God has a way: a way of working, breathing, loving, sharing and expanding. It is expressed clearly in the actions of Nature.

Learn the style  of God’s earth, and your problems begin to submit to the ways of the Creator.

EARTH 101

1. What needs to be done?

Don’t be afraid. Don’t over think. Look at it honestly: what is needed?

2. What can I do?

Don’t exaggerate. Don’t promote. Don’t explain. Don’t complain. Just produce a practical list of your abilities.

3. Is it enough?

Sometimes your ability is enough. Sometimes it’s doggone close. Sometimes other folks see you trying and offer help. Sometimes time changes the circumstances.

4. Can I work with less?

Is there a way to be creative? Can I share the responsibility with others? Does it all have to happen now? Can I make a start of it by handling a portion of the problem?

After you have finished this EARTH 101, the struggle that remains following this analysis is your true need. Your lack. The starting line of your faith.

And very simply, my dear friend, the Good Book says that this need is what God promises to supply.

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G-18: Fellowship or Companionship … April 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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Adam it's not enough

It’s not enough

I don’t know how to tell you

You have given me so much

I value your love

I treasure our relationship

I feel you inside me

I am thrilled with my work

I am enthralled by my home

I adore the creatures around me

If perfect is possible, then here it is

At my fingertips

In my pulse

Yet sadly, my friend, it is not enough

I simultaneously feel a vacancy and a sense of shame over the lack

I really tried to make a go of it

I felt as if work, fellowship and purpose should be sufficient to my need

I was wrong

I do not want to lie to you

I do not want to sneak away in a corner and pretend

I yearn for companionship

What is that?

Someone to hold in my arms

To confirm my presence

Someone to share blessing and blame

Someone for me to pleasure, and in turn, draw my pleasure from

Someone who disagrees, but remains

Someone who is like me but in a different sort of way

Someone who is sometimes stronger

Sometimes weaker

Honestly, someone who isn’t you

Someone who is, well … me

I don’t want to complain

But it is not enough

 

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Populie: Life is Dark … February 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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  • It is popular to complain.better true detective
  • And an ongoing lie is the assertion that “everything is getting worse.”
  • Put them together and you have the Populie, “Life is dark.”

Matter of fact, one way to receive ridicule and to present yourself as a novice is to say things are not as bad as they are made out to be. Be prepared to be called sentimental, maudlin or schmaltzy. If you find something to be praiseworthy, you risk losing the audience that is prepared to bitch.

  • Politicians revels in this climate because they can rail against the party in control, portraying that these renegades in power are hauling us “to hell in a handbasket.”
  • Religion picks up the banner and carries it proudly because it loves the idea that mankind is depraved and is desperately in need of an always-forgiving God.
  • And of course, entertainment is delighted with the notion, promoting projects like Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Dexter and True Detective as examples of “real life” projected onto the screen, knowing the market that exists thinks blood is cool–as long as we aren’t the ones bleeding.

So sometimes it becomes difficult to step out of this shadowy kingdom of “populie” reasoning and offer alternatives that are not nearly as debilitating.

1. Life continues through birth.

What do I mean by that? We stop believing in the power of living when we’re always trying to kill things off. There has to be a sense of regeneration, reclamation, salvation and solution or human beings despair. If you’re not going to birth something in hope, you will add to the darkness by dousing your light.

2. Caring for others is the only way to secure your own space.

Yes, we are selfish. We are concerned about our own needs. But if you’re going to stomp on the face of the person just below you, be prepared to get a foot in your own face from the one who has ascended higher than yourself.

I love other people because I need love–and the only way I could ever hope that this love will be there when I need it is to make sure I continue to put love seedlings in the soil.

3. Promoting “bad” advertises mediocrity and discourages the pursuit of excellence.

Honestly, if all I have to do in life is be better than the characters on television, I really am just fine. We aren’t given real heroes; we don’t have those who have struggled and overcome, and we are absent enough examples of people who stand up against the system to prove their point.

Everywhere I go now, even in the religious system, there is an abiding sensation that “life is dark.” I plead with my own family and children to stop peppering their minds with incessant violence, perversion and bleak dreariness that’s offered in our present politics, religion and entertainment.

I plead with you.

Because remember: the loss of empathy is the death of humanity.

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My Little Improv… January 5, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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masksSome rules are good.

They help people understand better ways to do things to welcome success and happiness.

On the other hand, some rules are bad. They’re put in place–sometimes in stone–to control folks, eliminating the creative passion that allows us mere mortals to touch the face of God.

I’ve tried to figure out which one is which for most of my life.

When I was a kid, they had a rule in our church that young students in junior high school couldn’t be on the Bible League competition team until they got into the ninth grade. I suppose somebody who originally came up with the idea imagined it was a good thing–to make being on the team a reward, and also that probably most youngsters in seventh and eighth grade were not mature enough for such an endeavor.

It was a bad rule. I objected, complained, lobbied, got it changed and was the first thirteen-year-old on the team.

It doesn’t matter where you go. There are people who enjoy their work so they try to make it more accessible to themselves and others, and then there are those who are a bit miserable, who feel it is their duty to pass on the sullen attitude.

Music, religion, politics, corporations, clubs, schools–all of them have their share of “grumpy grumpers” who really hate their lives and want to make sure that everybody hates equally.

So when I sat down to plan what I wanted to do in my sharing this year–and also how I wanted to expand–I came up with three very important criteria:

  1. I need more time at every stop-off to spend with the audience, to make a greater connection.
  2. I need to work on defining the message instead of allowing the confusion of present philosophy and theology to leave people devoid of feeling.
  3. I need to purposefully break some bad rules.

So yesterday, as I thought about what I’m going to be doing Sunday night–a drama entitled Front Porch U.S.A.–I realized that I was truly blessed with a piece of great improv.

I call it a “three-active play.” By that term I mean that each and every time I perform it, the message, the pursuit and even much of the plot will remain the same. But the words, stories, conflict and resolution will be different each and every time.

There is no script.

I’m going to allow myself to be led of the Spirit, to share what’s on my heart in the moment, as will my fellow-thespian, Janet.

It’s breaking the rules. In theater, you’re not supposed to be too improvisational. You’re not supposed to interact with the audience too much. Blocking, staging and scenery are to remain the same.

I plan on breaking all these rules. Why?

Because I think the three greatest things we possess as human beings are often buried under form and tradition.

  • We have a story.
  • We have a spirit.
  • And we have an imagination.

So every Sunday night, I’m going to trust my journey, my faith and my heart to give an audience, at the conclusion of my weekend, a fresh piece of myself that no other gathered congregation has ever heard.

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it.

In conclusion, don’t be afraid to follow good rules that help people discover their humanity and the breath of God inside them. But don’t be timid in using your improv, and challenge rules that were put in place to stifle and foster “fussy fussers.”

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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