G-Poppers … March 23rd, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop admits that it is possible to actually see in dim light. Unfortunately, it makes it more difficult for one to be enlightened. Reading is diminished, and enjoying the surroundings, greatly inhibited.

And so it is with the lack of light in our culture. We insist on getting used to viewing one another, making our decisions and functioning in the dim light of misunderstanding and prejudice.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that life is not about good and bad, or right and wrong. It really boils down to what works and what destroys.

A great man of faith once said there are only three things that truly abide on Earth. G-Pop thinks that by “abide” he meant having the energy to create growth and prosperity.

Faith, hope and love.

Faith: the realization, deep in one’s heart, that there is something bigger than any of us.

Hope: when we decide to discover and pursue our portion.

And the simple definition of love remains “no one is better than anyone else.”

Living in faithless, hopeless and loveless times makes us believe that these “abiding forces” are part of mythology–or worse, that they are dangerous because they give us a false sense of security.

Yet mean people don’t last. The arc of their success is brief and then disappears.

Dictators never actually get to see what they dictated.

And bigots eventually are exposed for their ignorance and stumble upon their own social landmines, and are blown up.

G-Pop wants his children to know that faith, hope and love aren’t going anywhere.

They’re merely waiting for the champions who want to carry the truth on their shoulders to the next triumph.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 20th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Even Longer

Come, behold the fractured frame

A union of regal holy name

Souls bound in a love so true

One found one, translated two

Two became a mysterious single

As will and purpose gently mingle

But pain exposed the dangerous lie

While pardon, forgiveness and patience try

To have her perfect work

Faithfully pursue, never shirk

Yet trust is a stingy master

Running yon with each disaster

Abandoning the glory of former days

Demanding repentance, a changing of ways

To mesh as one the broken seal

Make the hearts regain the feel

Mending the rip in the fragile skin

Brought about by careless sin

And welcome the chance–be born again

Dissect the critics and welcome your twin

So the twain can emerge as one flesh

Baptized in their tears suddenly afresh

Ma’am to sir, he lied to her

Sir to ma’am, he gives a damn

For the new love will be stronger

Conceived to last even longer.

Dedicated to JA at OK

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G-Poppers … March 31st, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop realizes that it could be considered irrational, ill-founded or even un-American to speak against the common phrase, “Be careful.”

The statement has become a staple of our society.

It is synonymous with “I’ll pray for you” or “you’re in my thoughts.”

It’s a tribal exchange of an acceptable spirit of worry between human beings, as we admit that life is dangerous and often out to harm us.

The difficulty with the sentiment is that if everyone on Earth is careful, then we stop having a free flow of interaction, which deteriorates to suspicion. Suspicion is a monster with a huge appetite. It feeds on prejudice–and once prejudice is in place, we find ourselves at war with each other without exactly remembering how it all began.

G-Pop wants his children to be safe. He just believes that the best way to achieve that is to be kind instead of being careful. Careful is misinterpreted. It’s misunderstood. It’s often received as bigotry.

And once people believe that you do not trust them, like them or consider them your equal, you actually increase the possibility of being harangued.

Certainly kindness is threatened by a world of knives and intimidation. This is true. But a kind thought, a kind countenance and a kind word removes any concept of superiority. Most people hurt one another because they feel they are forced to be inferior.

“Be careful” may be something a mother says to her son or daughter as they launch off to college–but college is not a station for being careful. It’s a place to learn, experience, try new things and uncover the talent that may end up providing wage and purpose.

“Be careful” is going to push us to the brink of global alienation.

So as frightening as it may seem, or as unsure as it appears, being kind is the best way to create the neutrality that will lead to either friendship or a quick discovery of who our foes truly may be.

 

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“Ifing” Way: Part 2… October 27, 2014


 Jonathots Daily Blog

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If bigger

What if a voice of sanity had risen up at various stages in the story of human history, to offer a challenging view when craziness was about to win the day?

If …

Dad arrived just in time.

His youngest son was already primed and ready to run out the door to go see his older brother to try to reconcile hurt feelings. The siblings had never really been close, yet the bond of family had always meshed them with a sense of loyalty. But recent events had exacerbated the tenuous feelings, generating a volatile situation. A simple misunderstanding had turned into a sense of rejection, culminating in a looming burst of rage.

When the incident happened, Dad stepped between them to prevent violence, but the younger son, having a more optimistic nature, believed all that was needed was a good conversation. So he had privately decided to go off on his own, without any counsel, to see his brother at the work site so they could “rummage through their feelings” and arrive at resolution.

Fortunately, Dad came on the scene–just in time.

“Where are you going?” Dad asked.

The young man paused for a second, wondering if he could possibly deceive his father and achieve his own purposes, but then realized that was contrary to his heart.

“You know where I’m going. I’m going to make peace with my brother.”

The father smiled. “I know that seems like a good idea to you, and far be it from me to be against peace, but your brother is a complicated man and his emotions and thoughts are not privy to you, and therefore not available.”

The young man frowned.

Sensing his son’s disagreement, the father continued. “We could talk about this all day and we wouldn’t agree. What I would like you to do is trust me. If I end up being wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it. But I would like you to leave your brother alone for a while, until you and I agree on a better time. Because if you go and see him now, all you’re going to do is remind him of the pain of the conflict, and perhaps incense him over the idea that you appear to be the better brother because you’re trying to make things right. I want you to promise me–based upon our friendship and bond–that you will stay away from him until things are better.”

The young man objected. “But how can things get better if we don’t make them better?”

The father patted him on the shoulder and said, “Son, sometimes things don’t get better. But if we interfere, we can make them worse.”

He gave his younger son a hug. The boy agreed to stay away from his older brother until such time as was deemed appropriate.

As it turned out, the conversation never actually happened. The two brothers, who had never been particularly close, maintained a distance throughout their lives. They learned how to be appropriate during family gatherings, and gave each other proper respect and space.

Cain and Abel never became close friends.

But because Adam took his position as a father and intervened in a dangerous situation … no one had to die.

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

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Tulip Tip-Toeing… January 6, 2014


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Adam tulipsGod, sex, food and money: the four subjects which intersect every human life nearly every day.

Since they are so prevalent, it might be a good idea to determine our approach instead of trying to tip-toe around the issues so as not to bruise the “flowery statements.”

The reason I mention this is that most people try to apply some form of worship to this quartet of adventures. They, of course, feel it is necessary to worship God, who they believe tells them to revere sex and offer great gratitude for bounty over food, and they believe that all finance is divinely distributed.

The trouble is, if you worship these four hallmarks of tradition, you never grasp their value or acquire the skill to maneuver your way among the many possibilities and drawbacks.

It’s why, in the Good Book, Jesus said that all worship should be “in spirit and truth”–spirit in the sense that “I believe there is something greater than me,” and truth in that it is my responsibility to find a practical way to apply what I discover in my daily life.

So worship is looking skyward and walking earthly.

  • So the worship of God is that I honor my Creator by recognizing the systems, ideas and goals He has presented, to make this whole process work.
  • When it comes to sex, I find spirit by understanding how amazing and magnificent it is, but then, instead of boasting or pretending, I find where this gift fits into my life in the most positive sense.
  • Likewise with food–I don’t understand how wheat grows, but it is my job to ascertain if I need to be “gluten-free.”
  • And money, one of the more elusive aspects of most people’s lives, is available to the souls who cease lusting for it, but instead find a way to romance it their way.

We’re doing too much tulip tip-toeing because we’re afraid of messing up the garden.

As a result, God has become religious, sex has become dirty, food has become dangerous and money has become greed.

We can do better than this.

Start today:

  1. I worship God by believing He’s my Creator, but finding a way to be creative myself.
  2. I worship sex by realizing how truly amazing it is and finding someone I love to share it with in the greatest format of intimacy.
  3. I worship food by finding those nutrients that make my body feel outstanding.
  4. And I worship money by determining that it is a by-product of effort and good budgeting, and by having respect for the power of giving.

I, for one, would like to stop tip-toeing through the tulips, but instead, like Adam and Eve, walk boldly through the Garden … knowing that I am meant to be there.

 

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

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Sowing Discord … October 10, 2012


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Live from October 1st filming

It makes me a little uncomfortable. No, actually it makes me VERY uncomfortable.

Talking about seven things that God hates is not exactly my favorite topic. I don’t know if it’s because I lean towards appreciating the more loving aspects of the Almighty, or if some of the things he finds distasteful come a little too close to my own “skin-life.”

I’m not sure, but I will be honest with you–over these past seven weeks, as I have shared these warnings with you I have learned a lot. So when I came to the seventh one today, which states that “God hates those who sow discord amongst the brethren,” I was emotionally, spiritually and mentally lit up like a light bulb. I realized that this seventh little piece of nastiness is a culmination, or a cementing, if you will, of the previous six and that it generates a doctrine to justify the entire package.

This is how it works. We find brethren who agree with us, who tolerate our inconsistencies. We come into fellowship with them, and then because of a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, wicked imaginations, feet swift to mischief and a false witness, we are suspicious of this new alliance and begin to pick, fuss and gossip with those who are supposed to be part of our own camp. It is hateful. It is a desperate move by insecure human beings, isolating off problems instead of solving them.

The classic definition of “sowing discord among brethren” would be to tell tales, create lies or capture people in their errors and focus on the punishment instead of the redemption. But I don’t think that’s what this is talking about. I think because we know there are many faults within us that have been covered up by excuses and other forms of escapism, we become so suspicious of the world around us that we feel it is necessary to protect ourselves by destroying the competition. Yes, we think that everything is going to boil down to one winner, so we are ready to poison all those in the race.

It shows up with seven sound-byte-type ideas that creep into organizations, religion, politics and even our educational system. When we pursue these particular aggravations, we always end up critical of others and worried about where the next attack will be. Let me give you the seven bad seeds that are sown in discord:

1. “Things are bad.” It’s the only thing you can get a hearty “amen” on in any gathering. Life is tough. Life is full of problems.

2. “Evil is everywhere.” After all, how can we establish that we’re good unless we don’t point a finger at some obvious evil? When those iniquities are not quite so prevalent, we have to make up reasons for attacking a particular cause.

3. “God WILL win.”  Yes, it’s an emphasis on the end times and the ultimate victory over evil, while succumbing to the notion that in the meantime, the devil seems to be taking the day.

4. “People are dangerous.” You may think it’s important to point out that there are terrorists in the world, but dwelling on that particular concept causes us to trickle down our suspicion to everyone around us.

5. “Be careful.” It is one of those phrases that seems very innocent–a statement of wisdom–until you realize that the human life we live is filled with pitfalls and merely trying to look for the puddles of quicksand does not mean you will be less likely to get swallowed up.

6. “Cling to your own.” After all, who could object to developing an inner circle of loved ones to make more important than the other humans who live within your sphere? That’s just natural, right?

7. “Dig in.” Two words that can mean almost anything you want them to mean, but generally conclude that who we are and what we are is fine, and all the enemies of our lives are outside our little fortress of protection.

When you begin to accept any one of these seven ideas as common knowledge or common sense, you set in motion an emotional juice in the human being that causes us to reject new ideas, new people, new possibilities and even new life.

All of these show up in every facet of our interaction with each other. You can hear these seven little pieces of false counsel in churches. You certainly hear these sound-bytes television, where fussy over-anxious women chat about them on talk shows.  Nervous-Nelly men do special reports for their political parties on the pending doom. And not only are these seeds of discord producing a sense of immobility in the populace, but they also cause us to believe that the enemy of life is right outside our window–instead of staring back at us from our mirror.

It makes people self-righteous and afraid. You can see why God hates it. Is there anything worse than a self-righteous, fearful person?

So am I saying that  things AREN’T bad? No, I’m saying in everything give thanks, because none of us are intelligent enough to determine where our particular directional change is going to end up and often benefit us.

Am I denying that evil is everywhere? Yes. I’m telling you that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” and anyone who tries to break that code of behavior will be punished by Mother Nature.

Am I suggesting that God will NOT win? No, I’m saying that God has already won. Jesus said that even though the world is filled with tribulation, that our good cheer buys wonderful time for him to prove that he’s already overcome the world.

Don’t I agree that people are dangerous? I think some people are weak. And weak things try to pretend they’re strong. Jesus refers to these people as “the least of these my brethren.” He says that basically there is no door into them through conflict, but only through accepting your own power by assisting them and setting them on a new path.

“Come on, Jonathan. Don’t you think there ARE times to be careful?” I, myself, am in the middle of a trial at this moment. Can I be honest with you? The more I think about it, the less I am able to think. It is the power of Jesus telling us to “take no thought” over the bumps in our lives. It’s not that we should whistle a happy tune and skip down the road. Rather, it’s because the brain becomes overloaded when too many difficulties are presented, absent of solution.

Do I love my family and treasure them above all else? One of the scriptures you will never hear spoken–or at least not very often–are the words of Jesus: “When you love those that love you, you’re no better than the heathen.” If I can’t step out of my circle, I will never be able to enlarge it, and eventually I will feel cramped within its circumference and start attacking my own.

And do I think it’s important to “dig in” and hold fast to what we believe? No. Forty-eight hours ago I would have told you that I had a solid philosophy which was not particularly in need of additional inclusions. I would not have said this to be pious. I would have shared it with you in contentment. But hours have passed and I now realize that merely “digging in” to what I believe is not going to be enough. I need to expand.

This is why the first thing Jesus told the disciples to do is “go into all the world.” What a contrary thought that is to the normal religious experience! After all, don’t Jews stay with Jews? Arabs with Arabs? Hindu with Hindu? But Jesus said the most positive thing you can do to keep growing and expanding is to “go into all the world” and see how your ideas work in the earth’s marketplace.

God hates those precepts which sow discord amongst the brethren because they teach us to be afraid, and once we’re afraid, we are capable of all sorts of atrocities–be it burning young women at the stake as witches, or insisting that the black race needs to drink from a different fountain.

Watch out for those seven pieces of conventional propaganda that draw us away from the kind of expansive spirit that includes others instead of locking the door to keep all the bad things outside.

Seven things that God hates.

I’ll tell you what. Next Wednesday we’ll tie them all up and finish this little series. I hope you have enjoyed it. I hope it didn’t spook you too much, like it did me for a time.

And I hope you will stop grabbing the seed of anxiety from our generation and casting it into the field of your life.

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