Good News and Better News… September 11th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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For the first time in a ten-year stint of writing this column–every single day–yesterday I missed posting.

It wasn’t because I was lazy (though I’m quite acquainted with lethargy.)

It certainly wasn’t because I ran out of ideas. My mind dances its way to the next folly and adventure.

It was because of Hurricane Irma.

Everyone will have a story about the storm, but I will tell you. this is one atmospheric disturbance that absolutely despised Internet. She was like an old grandma walking into your room, finding out that once again you were checking out naughty websites, and it was her duty to unplug you.

So I gave in.

There’s the thought. At what point do we give in? At what juncture does “inconvenience” become “impossible?”

Is there a station in our lives when we’re just being bratty and don’t want to do anything, or is Mother Nature literally “shuttin’ down the show?”

I know there are people who are critical of our generation. I’m sure it goes back to prehistoric times, when the grandparents of the present cave-dwellers complained that their children no longer liked to scrawl pictures on the walls.

Yet, I don’t think the folks living on Earth right now are bad people. With all the cosmic clowns dancing across the Big Top of the present circus, we still have not found anyone as rotten as Attila the Hun or Adolph Hitler.

It is a time to rejoice–not because everything is good, but rather, because the tragedies and disasters that have made their way into our lives have not crumpled us.

We have not given up.

We bought sandbags, purchased too many supplies and hunkered down–to survive the best punch that nature could give us.

We are pretty amazing, in our awkward and redundant way.

So I stopped being a fussy big-butt yesterday and allowed myself to just be another creature of nature, learning to submit to the climate that the heavenly Father had provided.

After all, there’s no such thing as a pleasant complainer and no one has ever given a reward to the “righteous bitcher.”

So the good news is that with the grace of God, a little help from our friends, and the support of the Great Cloud, I will post this to you today.

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G-Poppers … June 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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All of G-Pop’s children want to be successful.

They like the sound of it.

They like the feel of it.

And certainly, they enjoy the benefits that come from being considered one of the “top dogs.”

Yet even though the willingness of each generation changes, the path to success remains the same. Matter of fact, no success can ever be acquired without understanding three undeniable realities:

1. The effort you are willing to give will always be insufficient.

2. The passion you bring will continually fall short.

3. The plan you have conceived will be found wanting.

It isn’t mean-spirited. It’s just a system that makes sure that the lazy, gluttonous, selfish cheaters don’t soak up all the treasures of the Earth.

So what is necessary to be successful? A two-word philosophy:

One more.

That’s it. It always takes one more. Whenever you think you have sufficiently addressed a situation, take the precaution of doing one more.

If someone asks you for two bottles of water, bring three. When you arrive, there will always be somebody who changed his or her mind and now wants one. You will look like a genius.

If you check your GPS, and it says a trip is going to take three hours and forty-five minutes, allot four hours and thirty minutes, just in case life throws you that normal curve in the road.

You never find success in the first mile.

  • It’s too crowded.
  • It’s too competitive.
  • It’s jammed up with people who think they have some sort of new angle on the present angle.

But along about the first mile mark, the competition lessens as the travelers lose heart or begin to pout because things were not as easy as they anticipated.

Anyone who is willing to go the second mile will find the journey simpler, less congested and a private pathway to their heart’s desire.

It always takes one more.

Sometimes it’s one more prayer.

Oftentimes it’s one additional follow-up instead of walking away and throwing in the towel.

Life is not out to get you–but life is also not out to help you,

G-Pop wants his children to know that the only way you aid your cause is to look at what you can bring–and then find one more to offer.

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Ask Jonathots … February 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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My parents and I got into a fierce argument in which they claimed that the Baby Boomers were the best generation–the most politically aware, socially progressive, and creative. I said they were sell-outs who only protested because they didn’t want to get drafted. What do you think?

And on the other hand, the Baby Boomers were greatly pissed off that their parents believed that winning World War II made them a superior generation.

I think there’s only one criterion for determining the quality of any group of people.

How well did they avoid distractions?

Distraction is what causes us to believe that the temporary situation will become permanent.

Saying that, I will tell you that technology and pseudo-intellectualism has distracted us more and more into believing that we are smart and non-prejudiced.

There has never been a greater amount of bigotry, racism, clamoring for war and intolerance than there is today. Yet the Baby Boomers had an opportunity to free our culture of much of this foolishness, but instead, mimicked their parents’ materialism just as soon as the threat of blood and mayhem in Vietnam had passed.

So the question is, can our generation–the new generation–avoid distraction?

Can we refuse to allow Facebook to be the well of our understanding?

Can we rightly judge within ourselves what still remains of selfishness and superiority?

Because if we can’t, the distractions will take this generation and cause it to sell out just as much as the Baby Boomers and the WWII heroes.

So how do we avoid distraction? Everything in our lives needs to be run through the prism of two ideas. If it is run through this prism and comes out with flying colors, then it is worthy of our consideration. If not, it’s a distraction.

  1. Does this new thing, new idea or new approach cause us to love people more?
  2. Does this possibility make us want to do better with our lives?

If the answer to these two questions is yes, then it is not a distraction. It is a pathway to progress.

If the answer ends up being no, then it is a dangerous detour which will only take us further away from understanding and peaceful coexistence.

  • The WWII generation thought owning a house and having a family was the most powerful thing in the world.
  • The Baby Boomers were convinced that a blending of social consciousness and financial prosperity was the key.

Today’s question is this:

Can we find our hearts, to touch our own souls, to renew our minds to grant us legitimate strength?

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G-Poppers … December 18th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop was born years ago on a day like this one, repeated annually.

Born, G-Pop decided to seize the opportunity to live, dwelling in a small village until limited talent afforded broader possibilities.

Trying to blend aspiration, inspiration and procreation, he birthed songs and sons, four boys in all, three surviving the process of growing, and yet a trio of others who arrived desiring a homestead, and seemingly have moved on, no worse the wear from his tutelage.

He traveled the country, interfacing with those who crossed his path and turned in his direction.

Pain and pleasure merged to form potential.

Success and failure united to construct a character.

Being neither political or bound by business constraints, G-Pop chased the whim of his heart and the vision he insisted was inspired by Spirit.

  • A man.
  • A human.
  • A salvaged sinner.
  • A saint, requiring props.

He had a belief in a God who believed in people–belief in people who allow room for an expansive God.

G-Pop lives on.

There are those who think he should settle into his place. Yet finding a place is an address, not a way to address our generation’s quandary.

G-Pop does not seek acceptance, just a reasonable doorway.

Mary had a baby and named him…

He became an angel to some, shepherded the souls sent his way, and works on becoming a wiser man … who can follow the stars in the sky.

 

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G-Poppers… May 29th, 2015

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G-Popper

He yelled at her.

Yes, G-Pop rebuked his teenage granddaughter because she failed to attend one of his performances when he was passing through the area.

She was offended.

To a certain degree, that made him even more angry, though he understood her predicament. From her perspective, she was young and he was old.

There was a danger that the “old” would link up with “fashioned” to make him completely unacceptable to her lifestyle.

Old-fashioned.

Why would she want to go out and see something old-fashioned or invite her friends to it? He understood.

It is the fear of every generation–that on their journey they would accidentally haul along pieces of their parents, which might classify them as completely out of step with new-fangled conclusions. She did not understand that G-Pop was fully aware of the dangers of being old-fashioned.

The true definition of old-fashioned is clinging to things you used to do even though they have proven to be ineffective, simply because you’ve grown accustomed to a certain way.

But in the world of reality, a prophet is a wise soul who studies history, then carefully predicts when it will repeat itself.

To always be current is to understand and deal with five important questions:

1. Does it take away freedom?

If it does, it won’t last very long.

2. Does it take away life?

Whatever kills eventually assassinates. In other words, if you limit or destroy life, you will be the final victim.

3. Does it take away faith?

As intriguing as it may be to shake your fist at the heavens, events will come your way which produce the need to lift your hands.

4. Does it take away equality?

Yes, it’s cute to talk about how men and women are ill-suited to one another, but since we share a planet, eventually we will have to learn to get along.

5. Does it take away motivation?

Listening to an interview with Howard Stern and the comedian, Louis C. K., both of them pointed out that smoking marijuana leaves people dull and disconnected. So even though there may be a rallying cry to legalize weed, it can never catch on, because the human race is–as advertised–actually a race.

G-Pop wished he could make his granddaughter understand, but popular ideas always show up in new, shiny boxes, failing to reveal … that they are recycled.

 

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Three Ways to Make a Difference … September 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Making a difference often requires that you differ from the contemporary rhetoric that passes itself off as conventional wisdom.

This takes cleverness, humor and spunk.

It takes one eye on history, another eye on yourself and if you have a third one, an eye for cracks in the door, to shine in some light.

Can I offer three concepts that might aid you in your task of making that difference?

1. Avoid big ideas.

If the mantra of our generation is “think big,” have the insight to know the error of that way.

For after all, the world is not becoming a better place because large ideas are being chased down. Truthfully, avoid anything that touts itself as “big” and instead, pursue small adventures with lovely borders, time limits and the immediate satisfaction that comes with achievement.

2. Welcome mistakes–they are your best friend.

Mistakes help you avoid two nasty deterrents to accomplishment: (a) being locked into a dead-end project, and (b) making excuses for why you’re still pursuing it.

Mistakes happen because there is a flaw in the original floor plan. Make quick changes, laugh about it and never hide your errors. Then when you have righted the course, you will receive double praise: honor for being cool-headed in the midst of difficulty, and also great regard from others for making an evolution toward excellence.

3. Know when things are done.

Don’t beat a dead horse. It’s cruel, if not stupid. Sometimes things have a season and then they’re over.

It’s important to acknowledge when the work that you have pursued has come to completion. Put out a press release, stick a fork in it and move on.

You can make a difference, but it will require that you have the gumption and passion … to differ.

 

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G-22: Complain or Comply… May 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby and parentsWhen a man loves a woman and she returns in kind, often the by-product of such an encounter is a kid.

It is procreation. It is the little surprise offered to us which pops up nine months later at the end of a seven-second orgasm.

First, let’s establish some ground rules: No human being is born to be a parent. We were born to be children who hopefully learn to function in an adult world.

Much to the chagrin of those around me, I must state that the notion of a maternal or a paternal instinct is at least elusive, if not mythical. Matter of fact, those who tout that they can offer seminars on parenting are perhaps some of the more dangerous individuals in our society.

Here are two basic principles about the process of bringing human beings into a world based on our own desires:

1. Ideas and actions transfer well from parent to child.

In other words, kids are more likely to pick up on your prejudices and your vices than anything else.

2. On the other hand, feelings and beliefs are often lost in the translation of growing up.

So even though you may insist that you taught your children to feel a certain way and believe in God, they will either deny such training or rebel against it. This is why ideas get overblown from one generation to another and actions are exaggerated.

For instance, a father who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will probably end up with a son who smokes two. A mother who is prejudiced against a certain race will raise a child who is much more demonstrative in his or her hatred.

So all feelings and faith have to be born again in each and every human. There is no transfusion of God from one individual to another. Yet at the same time, hate passes freely and bad deeds, fluidly.

So what can a parent do?

This was the problem for man and woman when they ended up with two sons. Even though both children came through the same birth canal, the tide and flow of their lives was quite different. One ended up being a complainer and the other, a complier.

I cannot truthfully tell you that one of these choices is better than the other. It seems more righteous, certainly, to comply–but at the same time, on some occasions it is essential to question.

And even though complaining is normally a whiny vice, it does afford time for reflection instead of just blind faith.

But in actual time–in other words, real life experience–complaining has a tendency to close down the door to learning, while complying at least puts us on the field of play for possible growth.

Two brothers, raised in the same household, with different philosophies, who are destined to collide.

What can mom and dad do? When could they have done it? And how effective would it have been?

This is the trio of questions all parents end up asking themselves–especially after some contentious, or even disastrous, results.

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

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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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