G-Poppers … April 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2919)

Jon close up

G-Pop has a healthy and energetic disagreement with those who say they’re “sick and tired.”

Matter of fact, this phrase has become one of the favorite patters of the pundits.

“America is angry…”

Of course they’re angry. They live in a democracy where most of the time they won’t get their way. It’s the law of averages.

How often will your particular preference be in the majority? And if it isn’t, you are culturally and politically pushed to the side in favor of the plurality.

As I said, it’s called democracy–and democracy is like broccoli. No one particularly favors it, but everyone knows it’s good for them.

For example, if you want guns, be prepared to accept gays.

If you want to choose how you worship, make sure you understand that you must give every woman the right to choose what she does with her own body.

And if you love to celebrate the heritage of your genealogy, be fully aware there are those who are trying to come into our country who would also love to begin their own experience of generations.

If you are intent on pursuing your path and agenda exclusively, you will have to find a leader–a king, a queen, a shah, a dictator, an ayatollah–who agrees with your ideas, and place this person in power, being aware that eventually this absolute ruler will come along and take away something you really enjoy.

Otherwise, you should stay with a system called America, which is horribly flawed, but equally punishing to all of its citizens. And what is this punishment?

  • You’re not going to get what you want.
  • You will be part of an experiment of discovering the common good.

So for those who think America is angry, let me say: Get over it.

You are free.

But so is he.

And so is she.

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Good News and Better News… November 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2761)

Lawrence composite

There is a church in Lawrence.

I know this to be true because I was there just yesterday.

It is filled with beautifully flawed people–the kind God really loves. For after all, when we insist we’re beautiful, but without flaw, we become obnoxious to everyone we encounter. And when we spend too much time bowing our heads, feeling we are flawed without beauty, we make our Creator look like a failure.

Yes, coming to the end of another year of traveling across the country, I will tell you: humanity is a holy mess.

We are butterflies, still trying to tote our cocoons. It keeps us from flying high in the sky where our colors can be seen.

The people of Lawrence, like all the folks I’ve met this year, are absolutely outstanding, industrious, faithful and willing–but still unfortunately held in check by the burden and the beast of religion. They are so close to being free. Really, they’re just two steps away.

I spent the morning trying to convince them that those two steps were well worth the effort. It’s the same message Jesus had for religious people in his day, who were frightened of the terrorism of the zealots and angry with the Roman government.

Jesus told the people they were the “salt of the earth” and not to worry so much about the world around them, but instead, to focus on the emerging talent and ability within them. Most of them were unable to make the transition.

Yes, may I say to my dear friends in Lawrence: you are merely two steps away from the message of Jesus, to cut the cord of your cocoon so you can soar like butterflies.

All you have to do is get rid of superstition and bondage to the Old Testament.

For superstition makes us believe that God is angry with mankind, when Jesus told us he loves the world; and the Old Testament is filled with the same type of Sharia Law that insists women are inferior and that stealing and adultery are mistakes punishable by death.

The reason Jesus is powerful is because he does not expect human beings to become righteous. He challenges us to respect one another, and therefore become human beings.

Lawrence, I tell you that I love you dearly, as I adore all of the congregations I encountered this year across America.

But butterflies were meant to stream across the sky, not to stay earthbound …  fearful of climbing.

 

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Flawed and Blessed… September 25, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2017)

doctorA rather new phenomenon. At least, I think so.

I can’t remember a time in my four-decade career when people have led so persistently with their diagnoses.

Perhaps that’s a bit unclear. Here’s what I mean: when I meet new human beings, within a very short time they tell me what ails them, the name of their condition, their treatment, and sometimes even the conclusion.

Now, this is not limited to older people. Younger folks do the same thing, although sometimes it will be proffered from their parents standing nearby.

To a certain degree I think our society has become the victim of “diagnosis-hocus-pocus.” Rather than coming to the conclusion that we’re just human beings, and therefore an amazing collage of “flawed” and “blessed,” we are beginning to establish our distinction based upon the uniqueness of conditions.

I, too, received a diagnosis–actually, several of them–about eighteen years ago. I don’t share these. Why? Because pity in no way resembles respect, and sympathy is a horrible substitute for love. But if pity and sympathy are what you want, then having a nearly unpronounceable illness might be valuable.

I know this could be misinterpreted as an attack against the medical field, or some sort of assertion on my part that “we should not be so concerned about our health.” I do believe in modern medicine and am quite aware that ailments exist, even to the point of tormenting my brothers and sisters.

But I just think that how we feel cannot be the impetus for what we are.

We are all flawed–and if we develop a sense of joy about being alive, we can persevere and achieve blessing.

I, like all my fellow-travelers, could describe my aches and pains and keep you busy for a good hour and a half. But there’s a wonderful statement in the Good Book that says, “Let everything be done to the edification of all.”

I just don’t think anyone is edified by hearing me complain. I don’t think humanity grows by realizing my weaknesses.

Somewhere along the line, each one of us has to walk away from a diagnosis and move toward a prognosis of living on with a little hurt.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take treatment–but I am saying that when treatment overtakes your desire to excel, multiply your talents and love life and the folks around you, you’ve already put one foot in the grave.

  • Not every child who is hyperactive needs medication.
  • Not ever skin rash is a sign that we are allergic to forty-four different chemicals.
  • Not every headache is a brain tumor.
  • And not every sore knee means that you should be wheeled into surgery and turned into an android.

All of us are graciously flawed and blessed–flawed in order to truly appreciate the value of our blessing; and blessed so that we don’t spend so much time thinking about our flaws.

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