G-Poppers … February 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

On any given Sunday, G-Pop has the honor of sitting and sharing in front of an audience that mingles Republicans and Democrats indiscriminately.

Matter of fact, the Sunday morning church service may be the last location in our great country where conservatives and liberals have to sit side-by-side and crack open a common hymn book and sing harmoniously.

One of G-Pop’s sons suggested that such an environment demands too much compromise to be of use in the “kingdom of truth.”

Not so.

In the realm of reconciliation and the pursuit of being a peacemaker, there are only two enemies, and only one true danger.

Separating these two enemies is the job of every good-thinking man and woman. The two enemies are arrogance and ignorance:

  • Arrogance contends, “I am smarter than you.”
  • And ignorance insists, “I am better than you.

Every tragedy which has befallen our species has occurred when the statesmen and spiritual leaders of our time became too busy with politics and religion, allowing arrogance and ignorance to coalesce.

As long as we keep them separated, we can address the insecurities they possess individually.

Case in point:

Racism is the merging of arrogance and ignorance–people who think they’re smarter than other people, who also have decreed that they’re better.

It happened with the Nazis–the arrogance of Germanic tribes who thought they were smarter led to the conclusion that they were better–a Super Race.

It is what festers in the Middle East.

And it is what causes us–a supposedly enlightened people–to still be struggling over issues of color, sexuality and gender, far beyond the time of reasonability.

G-Pop teaches a simple message.

He tells people clearly, “If I am smarter than you in some areas, you are certainly smarter than me in others.”

And … no one is better than anyone else.

 

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Ask Jonathots … January 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

When is it right to fight–to stand up for yourself? Everyone I know and everywhere I look, people say you have to “fight back” and “defend yourself.” So what does it mean to “turn the other cheek” or even “thou shall not kill?” And how is it we are a “Christian nation” when fighting and killing and wars are constant?

Let’s begin with the concept of a “Christian nation.”

Jesus never envisioned his work as a country. He said his “kingdom is not of this world.” So the Christian message was intended to be an individual experience. Then these converts were challenged to become “the light of the world,” and affect the climate of society.

So to tout ourselves as a Christian nation, we have blended in the concepts of the Old Testament so that we can obtain a nationalistic flavor. And when you include the Old Testament, you get “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and vendettas against enemies.

So I don’t know if it’s possible to approach this as a Christian nation without including ideas which Jesus said had been cast aside in favor of more loving and noble adventures.

If we were a Christian nation, our agenda would be simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In other words, take care of those around us and develop a healthy, prejudice-free environment where people can prosper, and in so doing, gain personal peace of mind and solvency.

Then that “city on a hill” could be a testimony to the world and they could begin to measure their philosophies against our philosophy, and decide where they might want to revise their thinking.

Of course, in the process, we must realize that enemies still come along due to jealousy and revenge, but when this happens, we can stand guard without totally destroying those who attack us.

This is exemplified in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus takes eleven men into this secluded place for a time of prayer, asking them if they had the means to defend themselves, and when they said, “We have two swords,” he replied, “It is enough.”

So if we could put together a military without trying to overwhelm our enemies with our prowess, then we would be in a position to take the rest of our money and use it to improve the lives of our citizens instead of constructing an arsenal of intimidation.

You will be told by most people that this idea is childish and stupid. This is why Jesus never intended to take over countries and rule them.

The Christian message is intended to be placed in existing cultures, and through its charity, affect the climate that surrounds it.

So I don’t think there’s an easy answer to this question. Yet I will tell you that the fighting and killing that goes on in our world cannot be attributed to the message of Jesus of Nazareth, because he never intended to possess turf.

And if you ever have to add Old Testament to New Testament to justify your actions, then you are not living under the total spiritual impact of the Kingdom of God.

So I walk in a simple situation:

  • If the United States is attacked, we should defend ourselves.
  • We should also protect the innocent of the world as much as possible without entering into old grudges that are thousands of years in the making.
  • And we should take most of our financial power to build up the lives of our people so that we can offer a testimony of peace and prosperity to the world around us.

Whatever it would take to do this is what would be sufficient. Because when eleven men told Jesus they had two swords, he said it was enough.

It certainly is not enough to attack, but it did end up being enough to allow them to escape.

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Jesonian: Expressing the Light … December 14, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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flashlight

“This little light of mine

I’m gonna let it shine…”

I do have a little light.

And surprisingly, it’s not as tiny as I think. But how do I let it shine?

A fellow named Paul said that the three greatest forces on earth were faith, hope and love.

My faith is in God, the Father. Not just God, who is like a boss who might fire me at the end of a particularly unfruitful work week. No, He is my Daddy and is joyfully stuck with me.

My hope is with the Kingdom of God within me. If I spend all my time evaluating my efforts, I will become depressed. If I spend too much energy trusting that God’s grace will cover everything, I become lazy. Because of an experience called being “born again,” I have been restored with the benefits and blessings of the original Garden of Eden, if I choose to put my hope in that direction. I don’t look for God to be my crutch. My hope is with the Kingdom of God within me.

And love is for everybody else who have the image of God deeply impressed within their beings. When you give your love just to family, there’s nothing unique or unusual about you. We’re all brothers and sisters. Until we realize this, we will look at our fellow humans as competing enemies.

Possessing a light is a wonderful gift as long as you know where to point it.

I do not put my faith in religion or people. It is in God the Father.

I don’t hope for the best unless I allow myself to be involved in the process, to use the gifts that have been given to me to create fresh opportunities.

And I’m learning to let my love be given freely to all of those, who just like me, were created in the image of God.

This is how I shine.

 

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Quatrain of the Border… July 15, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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children's shoes 

50,000 children

50,000 possibilities

50,000 friends?

50,000 enemies?

 

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Published in: on July 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pockets… March 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2187)

cave

Safe places to hide

Perhaps an escape

Surround yourself with fellow-agreers

Discourage strife through eliminating discussion

A consensus of repetitive ideas

A unity in smallness

A feeling of blocking difference is divinely inspired

A request for hope to depart from your village

A surrender to adequacy

A jarring alarm over being challenged

A corner where enemies can be easily detected

A decision to remain uncertain

A selected night without fear of the bump

A purposeful retreat with no battle in sight

An exclusion of simplicity to extol the glory of complexity

A requirement of a unanimous vote

Squeezing a dollar bill, pleading it will not leap from your grasp

Laughing at transition

Criticizing creativity

Believing that belief has no responsibility to become more believable

Grasping at straws but never drinking

Imitating emotion in favor of true encounter

Praising darkness for fear of the light

Praying to gain silence

Silent to acquire peace

Peaceful to run from questions

Pockets, not resistance

Reservation

Avoiding the exposure to ideas

Which just might revive the dead.

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Jesonian: Making Better Humans… February 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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drawing of jesusWhat would it be like to spend one day with Jesus?

Would there be a lot of prayer involved? Or would it end up that he was being honest when he said he did most of his praying in a closet by himself?

Would you get lunch, or would he be in the midst of fasting? Actually, the religious leaders criticized him for not fasting, and called him a wine-bibber and a glutton.

Would there be a lot of preaching and studying of Old Testament scrolls? Word has it that when he was around folks he just told stories, inviting them to interpret and therefore involve themselves in their own spirituality.

Would he be critical of the weaker members who surrounded him? I’ve read stories in which he was willing to forgive even adultery, if there was a heart for transformation.

Was he a good Jew? Jews sure didn’t think so. Matter of fact, it was against their law to kill one of their own, but they had no trouble putting a hit out on the Nazarene.

Was he a theologian? A deist? A philosopher? A manic healer? Or a humanist?

This is what we know for sure–he marveled at two things: people who had great faith and people who had no faith.

He believed his mission was to make better humans, not to make people dependent on either their faults or some vision of God.

He was delighted when he saw those who broke through their own insecurities and frustrations, to believe there was more. And he was equally as surprised with those who decided to ignore the evidence of blessing in their lives and take the road of doubt.

This I know–Jesus wanted to make better people.

It’s why the religious people didn’t like him. They wanted a quick work of salvation that got them off the hook through the shedding of blood through sacrificial lambs.

He asked them to be involved in their lives and take responsibility for their actions. They left him hanging, on the bad side of town.

If you’re not grounded in a place where Jesus is being taught to you, with the aspiration that you will continue to grow in your love, appreciation and creativity, then you’re just at the mercy of a gaggle of religious fanatics.

And all religious fanatics have one thing in common–when they run out of enemies on the outside, they start killing off each other.

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Iowa Lot… July 24, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1953)

Iowa cornIowa lot to fruits and vegetables. They have prevented me from killing myself with fats and carbs.

Iowa lot to my parents. They could have fought instead of having sex.

Iowa lot to my third grade teacher. She got me interested in history, and the rest is … well, my life.

Iowa lot to my enemies. Trying to destroy me, they accidentally alerted me to dangerous flaws.

Iowa lot to good tires. They make my engine usable.

Iowa lot to mistakes. They are the potholes that teach me how to be road-worthy.

Iowa lot to my family. Learning my virtues while ignoring my vices, they continue to make me look good.

Iowa lot to Gloria, who came down from her highest and accepted our kin and has gone to her hallelujah moment.

Iowa lot to my voice. It keeps working, sometimes without the assistance of my brain.

Iowa lot to faith, hope and love – these three. But the greatest is remembering to use them.

Iowa lot to God. He gives me free will and then bravely rides shotgun on the bumpy ride.

Iowa lot to my fat body. Without it, I just might have leaped on anyone wearing perfume.

Iowa lot to Iowa. She has welcomed me to share my talent and heart.

I owe a lot.

I am debtor to all.

I will spend the rest of my life attempting to repay the loan…with interest.

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