G-Poppers … November 13th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2751)

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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Three Ways to Be Thankful… November 27, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Thanks bigger

The ice has already been placed in glasses and is beginning to melt. Very soon the meticulous preparation–hours and hours of harvested treats–will be consumed in mere minutes.

They have asked me to lead in a moment of grace, thankfulness and prayer. I agreed.

I must be brief. Concise but precise.

I must be able to articulate, in a few seconds, the sentiment of gratitude for an entire year. Though a formidable task, a most necessary one.

So let me begin by saying:

“Dear God, I didn’t want to come this year.”

Nothing can be achieved in life without first being honest. I was feeling sorry for myself. The family I spawned, nurtured and raised from my passion is now spread out and far away. Worse than feeling disconnected from them, I have begun to feel useless.

I was once the “King Bee”–the center of attention and the source of the buzzing in a bustling nest. But now, due to the necessity of time and purpose, they have moved on to have their own families, dreams and aspirations.

I didn’t want to come because I was feeling vacant of value. For after all, a pity party is not only poorly attended, but also never gets much return business.

But here’s what I’m grateful for:

I didn’t miss it.

I’m here with as many bells as I could fasten on with short notice.

I’m here to play my role.

I’m here to be the aging patriarch who refuses to crawl into the mountains to die.

I didn’t miss it.

Thank you, God.

My second gratitude is that I won’t abandon principle.

Although the world around me persists in pursuing courses which have historically proven to be foolhardy, I will hold fast to a few pearls of great price and sell all I have to possess them.

This I know: the difference between an opinion and a principle is that an opinion only benefits me, and a principle provides for you.

So I will not kill, I will not steal and I will not destroy.

Although the world around me is feverishly involved in these practices, I won’t.

Thank you, God.

And finally (as I peek over to make sure the ice has not melted into water) I say, “I can’t.”

I can’t stop.

It’s important for me to accept the progress of these loved ones, as they continue at their own pace and rate of understanding. But because I want my grandchildren to live in a world that still honors truth, values justice without being cynical about it and has a desire to pursue excellence, I will continue to be a voice crying in the wilderness, saying, ‘Prepare ye the way’… well, prepare the way for You.

  • I didn’t miss it.
  • I won’t abandon principle.
  • I can’t stop.

So therefore, for the hands that have prepared the meal, much thanks.

For those who have gathered, how generous of them to provide their energy and time.

And for me–I am here for those I love until they finally carry me away.

Thanksgiving.

Thanks for giving.

We appreciate it.

Amen.

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G-42: Preserved … September 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2356)

Mary after resurrection

The trouble with touting a resurrection is that some folks just don’t believe you’re alive again, another group insists you never died, and a cynical brood sneers and contends you never lived.

So for my great “coming out party,” I chose to make my first human contact with Mary of Magdala. Having been possessed by seven demons, she had absolutely no reason to doubt that I had raised from the dead.

Then I inched my way forward by communing with two guys on the Road to Emmaus.

The third encounter was cooking some fish on the beach with a few disappointed anglers.

Well, anyway, by the end of forty days, a total of five hundred witnesses had eyeballed my reoccurrence.

So now it is time for the Creator to return to the Universe, to creating, and the human race to return to “humaning.”

Go into the world.

Tell them good news.

Let them know I made them.

Let them know I loved the results.

I am with you always.

So I left, entrusting Eden to them once again.

But this time, no forbidden fruit.

No fear of the serpent.

Just a common Holy Spirit to unite us as a family. 

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Populie: You Can’t Trust Anybody … August 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2334)

ColbertI’m not so sure when it became so popular to be cynical. Under the guise of being streetwise or intellectual, we seem to have become so jaded to one another that relationships are difficult to begin.

Matter of fact, if you go to an average church service, somebody will tell a story about how bad things are and how evil people can be.

It’s difficult to go to a movie or watch television without being pummeled with a revelation of the depravity of humankind.

And politicians are always asking for trust from the public while treating us like ignoramuses.

The general population seems to agree on only three things:

  1. People are no good.
  2. Protect yourself.
  3. Matter of fact, strike first.

So the popular belief that there are dangers in the world becomes the populie that “you can’t trust anybody.”

I refuse to live that way.

To make sure that I’m not devastated by unruly individuals, here are three precepts I use in dealing with the world around me:

1. People are self-involved.

It doesn’t make them bad. It just means that if you can’t establish how your project is to their personal advantage, they will either ignore you or lose interest very quickly.

2. It’s up to me to know my stuff.

For instance, I’m going to purchase an amp today. I did my homework. I read up on it, I found out what it should cost and I have a fairly complete comprehension of what I’m willing to do. Remember–it’s not that people cheat us, but rather, we set ourselves up to be cheated by being ignorant of our material.

3.  And finally, go the second mile.

You will be astounded at how good you feel if you do your part, but also bring along a little extra in case others fail.

It’s not that you can’t trust anybody. but rather, that trust is based on the knowledge that we’ve done all we know to do, and we’re not expecting anyone else to do our part.

I do not know how we can live in a world that talks about unconditional love while simultaneously sprouting horrible attitudes toward one another.

You can choose to indulge in the nagging negativity of our society, which targets our fellow-men as losers if you wish.

I just believe it’s impossible to ask God for His grace and mercy…if all you give to your brothers and sisters is a nasty, bratty shove-off. 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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

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Populie: You’ve Got to Play the Game … August 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2328)

 

monoplyThere is a popular assertion by the masses that “life is a game.” It is usually accompanied by the rallying cry–which is also a lie–that “you’ve got to play the game.”

Thus a populie.

Now, religion, politics and entertainment don’t always have to agree on a premise for it to gain popularity. Sometimes they disagree, which generates great tension, and therefore, press coverage.

So religion loves to believe that the world is kind of a bad place and the poor sheep must be careful not to be consumed by the evil lurking in every direction, thus giving their congregations the benefit of both being morally superior while also potentially victims.

Entertainment loves to bounce between promoting the game and criticizing the game of life, placing itself into the position of being the arbiter.

And of course, politicians love to portray their opponents as gamesmen, and themselves as “the straight arrows of truth.”

Oh, forgive me. I failed to mention what the game is. Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Get mine
  2. Get it fast
  3. Get going.

We are convinced that life is much more exciting when we acquire what we need–perhaps to the detriment of others. It turns us into a vicious, nasty, grouchy, backbiting lot, always paranoid about the intentions of the folks around us, and never quite satisfied when we do achieve our goals because we’re afraid they’ll be stolen from us by those who want to “get theirs, get it fast and get going.”

So once you believe in this game you never have a moment of rest, because you are either involved in the pursuit or else cladding yourself in armor, to protect your valuables.

You can imagine–I disagree.

I will refrain from calling my idea a game. Rather, it is a lifestyle. It is as follows:

  1. Get mine.
  2. Get yours
  3. Get moving

There’s nothing wrong with me pursuing mine first, as long as I am willing to give the same passion, doorway and opportunity to you, to acquire yours. As a result, I make an ally instead of an enemy. I’m acquiring a comrade instead of competition.

So perhaps when we go on our next adventure we can do it together. We can get it for both of us, and get moving much more effectively.

The cynical American would insist that I’m opening my life up, to be decimated by the greedy. But I would point out that the greedy individuals in life don’t need me to open up in order to eliminate me.

I would rather make the choice.

As long as you believe that the game is about garnering your portion and being gleeful that someone else failed, you are just waiting for a bigger bus to come along and strike you down.

I don’t believe in the game.

I will not play the game.

I will get mine, and through that process have the confidence to help you get yours, so we can get moving … together.

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

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.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Make Me … July 7, 2014

 

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2284)

Viewing violence makes me grouchy

Religious ritual makes me fussy

Politics makes me intolerant

Laziness makes me fat and cynical

Reading books makes me book-smart

Laughing, believe it or not, makes me sleep

Sleeping makes me pleasant

Pleasant makes me friendly

Friendly makes me friends

Friends make me confident

Confident makes me hopeful

Hopeful makes me creative

Creative makes …

Creativity

At the end of my sharing yesterday in Janesville, Wisconsin, a young fellow came to my table and gave me a picture he had drawn. His name was Garrhett.

He told me that he had created the image during my show, and his mother said he should give it to me.

I told him I would use it in one of my jonathots. He looked at me with great disbelief, as if to say, “Sure you will.”

So here you go, Garrhett. Here’s your picture, as promised.

And by the way, you made me do it.

drawing

 

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Arizona morning

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G-5: Night or Light… January 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2110)

brighter lightIn the Good Book, it states, “Work while it’s day, for the night comes when no man works.”

One might have a tendency to become cynical since that statement was written in a time where the world ran on “candle power.” Since then, we’ve become more advanced in the ability to light up the night incandescent. But the idea is not solely based on whether the night hours can be illuminated by bulbs. There is a night that has nothing to do with a light show.

I once told my children that nothing good happens after 10:00 P.M. They gave me the obligatory stare of disapproval, since all of them deeply enjoyed staying up late, attempting to be grown-up and independent.

There is a power to light.

There is an energy infused into our beings when the daily sunshine offers encouragement for the possibility of our scheme.

The absence of that particular brightness robs us of the chemicals to our brain which induce true creativity and welcome transparency.

I believe that.

During a very brief stint, I ran sound at a Blues Bar. Everything was dark–only partially revealed through colored lights, smoke hanging in the room. Eight o’clock at night at the Blues Bar was festive, exciting and filled with celebration. By ten o’clock, a new element was in the room, which brought less jubilation and more confrontation. By the time the bar closed, a darkness, misery and dismal cloud hung over the room, festering the occupants and making people irritable and fussy.

We need light.

We have convinced ourselves that the study of darkness is the evidence of our maturity and the scope of our receptivity. Hogwash.

Dark is dark and light is light, and when all is said and done, you will be remembered by how much light you brought into the world and how much darkness you dispelled.

Here are three things I know–a trio of ideas that I incorporate into my daily life and message which comfort me in knowing that I am becoming “the light of the world” instead of encouraging bleakness. I tell people:

  1. We can be honest. Yes, darkness requires deceit in order to function.
  2. We can do better. When we begin to accept the mediocre, what we actually achieve is destitution.
  3. We are not alone. To preach the absence of God, love or even a cosmic karma which returns our actions back to us is to turn the light off in the human soul, making us all blind.

There is a night that falls on our society, and it’s best to be tucked away in your home, safe and sound.

For truly, any New Yorker will tell you that Central Park is a beautiful place … until the sun goes down. 

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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