G-Poppers … December 15th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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  • G-Pop mused the statement.

    “A moral victory.”

    The phrase was uttered by a news commentator who was characterizing the nature of the defeat of Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senatorial race.

    “A moral victory” is what Judge Moore normally would have applauded, touting it as a shout of glory for the conservative Christian movement. But in this case he found himself in the middle of Pharisees who were bound and determined to stone the sinner.

    G-Pop wants to make something very clear. If all men aged 32 were to be considered pedophiles by ogling a teenage girl, we would have to turn the state of Alaska into a prison farm. Sins of the flesh are something we humans certainly understand, though we cannot condone.

    What is difficult to comprehend are sins of the heart–those iniquities that come off our tongues as we try to defend ourselves instead of facing the music.

    Yes, Judge Roy Moore followed what a myriad of politicians have done, going all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt: When confronted about the nature of your business, deny.

    Of course, Judge Moore would have to admit this is not a Christian concept–rather, a secular one that seems to work because people become exhausted with all the tawdry details. Eventually the public walks away in disgust.

    Judge Moore is a great advocate for the Ten Commandments. But like a lot of us, he may have forgotten that Jesus broke the ten down to two:

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

    Jesus prefaced the second commandment by saying it was “like unto the first.” In other words, it’s impossible to love God without loving people, or to love people without tipping your hat to the Creator.

    When dealing with the stories coming from his accusers, Judge Moore became vehement, claimed he did not remember and insisted they were lying.

    Now, G-Pop is not about to say he knows what Judge Moore should have done in this situation. G-Pop is just explaining that what Judge Moore did had nothing to do with being a Christian. He became a cornered animal, growling at his surroundings, hoping to scare the intruders away.

    Nobody got scared.

    But what happened to our dear friend in Alabama can happen to us also if we allow our ignorance to mingle with our arrogance in an attempt to create dominance.

    Every sinner saved by grace needs to remember the grace–or they soon forget they were ever sinners.

    That’s what G-Pop thinks happened in this particular case.

    G-Pop’s suggestion for Judge Roy Moore? Wisdom would declare that we have less of “Moore,” and that he refrain in totality from “judging.”

    Maybe just work on being Roy.

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Three Ways to Change Your Mind… February 5, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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double minded boy bigger

 

  • Most improved
  • Most valuable
  • Most aware
  • Most needed
  • Most consistent
  • Most involved

These are the awards that await any intelligent human being who is prepared to make the important choice of changing his or her mind.

Although many people favor the stubborn attitude of refusing to consider anything outside the borders of present reasoning, our history tells us that the souls who are willing to discontinue a belligerent pursuit and allow themselves to be mentally “born again” have the capacity for entering a new realm of understanding.

I am not afraid to change my mind.

I am required to change my mind.

I am blessed to change my mind.

To achieve this enlightened status, I merely have to follow a simple three-step process:

1. Stop.

Stop talking. Stop preaching. Stop campaigning. Stop drawing lines in the sand. Stop witnessing your opinion to everyone you see.

Instead, create a beautiful cone of silence around yourself which allows for varying views, other possibilities and spiritual revelation to permeate your bubble. But you have to stop.

2. Look.

Yes, just peer around the world and see what is beginning to bloom which has the favor of both God and man. After all, that’s what the Good Book says Jesus had. He found favor with God and man. If your opinion only finds favor with God and isn’t sensitive to the natural order or the needs of humanity, you need to look a little further.

Likewise, if what you believe only appeases human whim and is blind to the history of our growth as a species and our respect for Nature and God, then your movement will be very temporary. Look.

3. Listen.

Give an ear. “For he that has an ear, let him hear.”

Listen for key words. Listen for words that include human beings and faith instead of shutting the door to one or the other.

Listen for ideas that believe in life instead of questioning whether some people should be granted the privilege. Listen.

And after you’ve gone through this three-step process–stop, look and listen–move towards life. Publically, joyfully, openly, willingly and maybe even humorously–let everyone know you’ve changed your mind.

Because even though the media leads us to believe that switching positions is an unpopular move, I have never seen anyone who has changed his or her mind to improve the situation around them who has not been touted a hero.

Keep in mind that Abraham Lincoln did not begin anti-slave, nor did Franklin Roosevelt start our with the thinking of anti-Nazi. They grew. They changed their minds.

And because they did, freedom had a chance.

You can be a hero. Heroes change their minds when the knowledge provided proves to be divinely inspired.

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Abe-bull … August 2, 2012

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Of the forty-four men who have held the position of the highest office in our land, Abraham Lincoln may be one of the few who actually understood the job.

Being President of the United States demands that you comprehend the magnitude of the mission while having a mind for the messiness. You must deal with the threat of your time, keep the nation at peace in its heart, while finding a way to disregard the many voices in Congress which would steer the ship toward the rocks. Of course, being the best at something does mean you’re going to be the most criticized. For after all, everybody has an opinion on everything, which they will gladly share with everyone, and it always ends up being a little wrong every time.

Abraham Lincoln, Republican candidate for the ...

Abraham Lincoln, Republican candidate for the presidency, 1860 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So if the name of Abraham Lincoln is brought up, you just might hear:

  • a tyrant (for after all, he did suspend many personal rights in the pursuit of keeping the country together)
  • a racist (the point being that he never really wanted to free the slaves, just scare away the English and French from assisting the South)
  • a hick (certainly reaching for his napkin instead of using his sleeve was not Abe’s first instinct)
  • a lousy husband (there are those who felt the problems with Mary Todd were due to Lincoln’s insensitivity)
  • an abused husband (in contrast, some felt that Mary Todd’s insanity held Lincoln back from even greater conclusions)
  • a Yankee (anyone south of the Mason Dixon line certainly had no problem voicing this thought)
  • stubborn (well, if you consider that he stood against almost everybody at some time or another)
  • honest (that was his campaign slogan, you know–Honest Abe)
  • a lawyer (he was licensed to do so, though didn’t spend a tremendous amount of time in that pursuit)
  • had a girl’s voice (he was known for his whiney tone and high pitch)
  • a failure (by the way, if you’re keeping score, he actually lost that Lincoln-Douglas debate)
  • awkward (what’s the old saying? He was too tall for his feet)
  • an abolitionist (the average plantation owner didn’t see any reason for sticking up for black people unless they were trying to woo one late at night in the slave quarters)
  • a gay man (yes, there is some sort of report that he shared his bed on cold nights with a male traveling companion) and most recently…
  • a vampire hunter (no idea on that one)

There you go. Obviously, all of these things can’t be true and what is true is probably lost in antiquity. So most of the opinions of people nowadays would just be what I call Abe-bull.

Here’s what we do know–of the two most important questions posed to Abraham Lincoln, he answered them in such a way that it brought dignity to his memory. And those two questions are simple: what is the best of my understanding of the present situation? So therefore, looking at myself and my abilities, what can I do?

There were many people who lived in Abraham Lincoln’s day who had a grasp of the problem but were frightened of the solution. To Lincoln, it was easy. His understanding of the situation was that the United States was a union of people who believed that all men are created equal. So therefore, he decided to maintain the integrity of that union at all cost, and in the process, set in motion a mission to make us equal.

Now, Richard Nixon came along at a time when the country was embroiled in a never-ending war, social upheaval and confusion, with our sons being returned in body bags every single day. His response to that was to elongate the war, increase the bombing and lie to the American people about his actions, culminating in a cover-up that nearly emotionally destroyed this country.

Judas Iscariot lived in a day when his nation was being occupied by the Roman Empire, and he believed there was a need for a leader to come along and save them, allowing them the freedom to be themselves in worship. But when he met a man who had a message of love for the entire world, he opted to reject him and betray him because the solution was not totally on point with his own thinking.

Franklin Roosevelt came along at a time when the country was in a depression and eventually involved in a war, and rather than following previously policy or even reasonable thinking, he created jobs (often made up) and generated a pathway which eventually led us out of the financial ruin, mainly due to our involvement in a war to destroy fascism.

Jesus of Nazareth came to the earth when some of the worst domination and violence that ever existed was in full swing, and instead of feeding the frenzy of revenge, he asked men to seek out their own talents to make the world a better place. And because they decided to remain vicious, he was willing to become their savior instead of just their teacher.

Can I tell you folks, I have been called fat, generous, stubborn, liberal, conservative, a heretic, a preacher, a singer, a squawker, a musician, a hack, a husband, a meanie, a saint, a sinner, a lover, a fumbler, a Yankee, a Rebel, and most recently, a gypsy troubadour (I assume similar to being a vampire hunter).

I ignore all of these assertions. I follow the philosophy of Abraham Lincoln, so I take a look at the world around me and I come up with this: to the best of my understanding, God loves people and wants them to expand and succeed. So therefore, I think I should let them know of this great opportunity in as many ways as possible.

There are two ways to live in this world. You can listen to all the news reports or you can go out and make some good news.

It’s up to you.

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Thorny…. June 29, 2012

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It was really a sweet, precious thing to do.

Last year, a lady who attended one of my presentations went home, grabbed her calculator and figured out from the facts I had provided in the evening’s dialogue that after my forty years of travel, based upon the normal amount of mileage to achieve that odyssey, that sometime in the middle of September, 2011, I would have journeyed my one millionth mile.

That’s a lot of scenery, folks.

When I started out, I did it with more brawn than brain. I possessed much more determination than the ability to determine what was always right and wrong. I was convinced that lifting all my own burdens was much more practical than soliciting fellow-lifters. Time marches on.

Now I find myself in the position of the Apostle Paul, who candidly told his readers that he possessed a thorn in his flesh. Although I have to admit I find his phraseology a bit too elusive and eloquent for my taste, I can appreciate the sentiment and share in the need.

I have always had a thorn in my flesh. Even when I thought I was superman, leaping tall buildings with a single bound as I traveled across the country, there was the obvious visual of being an obese man, lugging my hot, sweaty body through ordeals as I panted my way to completion.

I was never ashamed of it. I continued to play tennis, exercise and take on physical feats beyond the scope of my size until about ten years ago, when my body asked for a renegotiation of the contract and a deeper discussion of terms. Somehow or another, I needed to use my brain more than my brawn, my spirit more than my muscle and my inspiration to replace my perspiration.

Now I arrive at engagements with a full heart to share, but requiring other noble souls to help me get my equipment in the doors, set up and back out into my van afterwards. Once again–I am not ashamed.

I wouldn’t have it any other way–because I will tell you of a certainty, the most devastating concept propagated in the common drivel of everyday human philosophy is the doctrine of self-sufficiency. It is contrary to everything we know. It is counter-productive to relationship. It is without meaning or merit. Yet people will still insist that they don’t need help; they don’t need assistance; they don’t need ANYBODY to achieve their goals.

Matter of fact, we think that if we just had one more apple’s worth of knowledge we wouldn’t even need God.

It makes us unattractive. It makes us childish and oblivious to reality. I will be frank with you–I am a talented man with great humor, a soul for my fellow-humans and the God who made them. I am also completely incapable of achieving my own aspirations without the aid of others.

Paul said this was a “thorn in his flesh.”  But if it is a thorn, then like Jesus, I will wear it as a crown. If it is a weakness, then I blatantly display it as evidence of the value I have found in interspersing my efforts with those of others. If it is a sign of incompletion, then may I post the notification that when you enter the highway of my life, beware of road construction.

Here is the formula that makes us powerful in our lives on this planet called earth:

1. I have an idea. Please do not show up to the party without at least a bag of chips. Have an idea; don’t view yourself as worthless. Be prepared for your idea to change, grow or even diminish, but have an idea. The greatest turnoff to the human ear is “I don’t know,” closely followed, in second place, by “I don’t care.” When I arrive to see you for the first time, I will come with an idea. We will feast on the energy of possibilities.

2. I have some talent. Humility is not insisting that you are incapable, but rather, being capable and insisting that others bring their package along, too. I have a talent. I would never bore you with these daily writings to merely promote my fantasies or preferences in life. I have a gift and I have a talent. It is not the ONLY marvelous treasure available, but it is a few coins in the fountain. I would not bore you by trying to pretend that I am without means. I would not anger you by arriving at the party without favors. I have a talent.

3. But as you can see, I need your help. I do not have the ability to show up and dazzle you with every facet of my entity. I require your involvement. I show up absent of totality. I need your help. For me, I arrive with my spirit intact, my mind electrified, my heart engorged–and my joints creaky. Thank you for helping me. I send thanks to all of those souls who have taken an extra moment to literally lift my burden and allow me to share a thought or two that might have lifted theirs.

If you want to become annoying to the human species, continue to preach your message of self-sufficiency. No one is. Self-sufficient, that is. The best we can hope is to have an idea, bring some talent and be honest about the “thorn in our flesh”–and admit we need reinforcements.

I guess it’s what the Apostle Paul meant by the “thorn in his flesh,” although he insisted that God’s grace was sufficient. I would have to disagree. Sometimes God steps back and allows human beings to take over the divine space. It is very classy of Him. It is extraordinarily intuitive of Him on our behalf–to understand that we need to be a part of what’s going on. Because attempting to be the whole makes us weary in well-doing. I am not weary because I understand my weaknesses and display them with pride.

So let me be the first one to admit that I am a man with an idea and talent who has an obvious need for help. After all, it is a great American tradition. Abraham Lincoln, who suffered with Marfan Syndrome and was probably assassinated only months prior to the condition taking his life, still humbly had the ability to take his country-lawyer ways and stop our nation from severing itself in two.

Franklin Roosevelt, stricken with polio, still lifted himself to a podium to decry the injustice of Pearl Harbor and launch our country on a mission to destroy tyranny.

Weakness is sexy. It is our way of saying that we only become complete when paired.

I have a thorn in my flesh. After a million miles, my body aches. But like the weeble, I may hobble and wobble, but I won’t fall down.

   

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