Cracked 5 … March 20th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Typical Excuses Given for NOT Being Nice

A. Don’t want to finish last

 

B. Assaulted as a toddler by a “nice” nanny with strained asparagus

 

C. Smiling aggravates your migraines

 

D. Bit by a radioactive spider, making you “Snider Man”

 

E. Genetically predisposed: the “mean gene”

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Good News and Better News … February 5th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus challenged his followers to “seek first the Kingdom of God (and His righteousness.)” For a long time this has been misinterpreted by professional religionists who feel the need to promote practice and ritual over personal responsibility.

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”

  • It is not in Jerusalem.
  • It is not in the Bible.
  • It is not in church services.

So I would like to introduce you to a phrase:

“Take care of your 80.”

About 80% of your life is in your control–not subject to destiny, luck or even divine intervention. It is yours and yours alone. Not only is the devil unable to make you do anything, but God, Himself, doesn’t tempt anyone.

The Earth is the Earth. You habitate the Earth. So the more you learn about the Earth and yourself, the better off you are.

After traveling for nearly four decades, I can tell you that the organism of belief–the church–has borrowed entirely too much from mysticism, astrology, mythology and even the Druids. The church now promotes a theology which is personally irresponsible, allowing all sorts of angels and devils to manhandle the helm of the Good Ship Human.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

80% of who I am, what I do, how I feel, how much I eat, how much I exercise, whom I love and the way I carry myself is totally in my own control.

Nothing of quality happens in your life until you understand this.

The other 20% is time, chance and genetics. There’s not much you can do about these three, but if your 80% is solid, you are quite prepared to weather the storms. And Jesus gives the reassurance that if you take care of your 80, the other 20 will be “added unto you.”

What a promise.

What is missing in our religious system is the authority Jesus placed in each of us, to motivate our lives toward excellence.

It is a journey that acknowledges the necessity of the first mile by introducing a second one.

It is a belief that we will acquire enemies, and the best way to deter them is to love them.

If you take care of your 80, Jesus said he would take care of your 20.

If we do not teach people to take care of their 80, we cripple them in false promises and biblical witchcraft.

The good news is that 80% of your life is in your control.

The better news is, when you do what you are supposed to do in a righteous pursuit of understanding yourself, all the “uncontrollables” are handled for you.

 

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G-Poppers … November 17th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It certainly seemed to be a concerted effort.

At the close of the twentieth century, the social malaise gelled into a common theme. Whether it was the educational system, the government, the corporate world, the entertainment industry or the religious community, for one prolonged season they converged on a universal axiom: “Everybody’s different.”

Matter of fact, you could pretty well guarantee applause in front of any audience by saying, “I’m different, you’re different, we’re all different–but it’s okay.”

G-Pop calls it “the snowflake philosophy.” You know what he means. “There are no two snowflakes exactly alike–and that’s the way people are, too.”

And it seems that nobody had the temerity to come along and say, “How do you know that no two snowflakes are alike?”

The sentiment sounded sweet, kind and cuddly, so it was embraced as a truth. Matter of fact, if anyone had come along to suggest that the human race is pretty much the same group of people, just in different locales, it would have been considered out of step, and even, to a certain degree, bigoted–in the sense that if for some reason you could not accept eight billion different cultures colliding with each other on the same landscape, then you were downright intolerant.

After about fifty years of this propaganda, the common patter has begun to bear the fruit of its contention. In other words, “since we’re all so different, how is it possible to procure common ground?” And therefore, we only feel comfortable around those who share our genetic markers, are part of our own household–and we’re mistrustful of anyone sporting “different genes.”

Where has this philosophy gotten us? Where is it going to take us?

G-Pop wants his children to understand that establishing uniqueness is not based upon genetics or proclamations, but rather, the use of our consecration and talent.

The first step is understanding that human beings are at least 95% the same–similar bodies, similar faces, and even similar attitudes.

God had the wisdom to explain our interwoven relationship with the simple statement, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

G-Pop says that perhaps we may view our sin as “special” or not nearly as nasty as the ones around us, but the ultimate Judge has clumped them all together.

It is time for sane people with quality minds to set out on a new vision.

We have much in common, we’re more alike than different, and what we refer to as culture is merely personal preference.

There are things that work with everyone in every land:

  • A smile
  • Offering a kindness
  • Working hard instead of complaining
  • Tidying up your space
  • And refraining from complaining

In every culture, these are exchanged as gold.

G-Pop believes it is time for his children, once and for all, to tear down the myth of uniqueness.

It is time to enjoy the idea of being common. 

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G-Poppers … February 12th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

 G-Pop remembers when he bought a dog for his youngest son.

A trip to the rescue shelter, a scanning of canine candidates, and a selection of the family mutt–an animal with so many donors that breed identification was laughable.

The whole process, counting food and bowl, was $45. For that sum, a family friend was acquired, absent any pedigree.

Yet buried in the genetics of this pup was a little bit of hound.

The young son discovered this one night when he imitated a dog howling, and the mixed-up barker launched a woeful moaning into the air.

The dog resisted his inclination. He tried to refrain from being “nothin’ but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time.”

But eventually, the sound of hound came forth.

He was embarrassed.

Matter of fact, after the outburst, he drug himself from the room to reflect on his folly.

Just for the record, we are all mutts, too.

All us Americans.

We have so many breeds within that it would be impossible to find purity in any of us. And we’ve certainly got some hound.

Yes–there is much that hounds us:

  • We are hounded by our selfishness.
  • We are hounded by our fears.
  • Certainly hounded by our sense of entitlement.
  • And also, by our prejudices.

So politicians, ministers and corporations try to get us to release our disconsolate, mournful bay.

They tempt us to be mean and grouchy.

They lure us to our worst place, where we wallow in dissatisfaction, “the hound of hell.”

So then we whine. I do think we’re embarrassed by it–we want to run and hide because of our weaker nature taking over.

But shame on those who draw out the parts that hound us.

Our dog was noble, loyal and loving.

But sometimes, to establish our pleasure–and dominance–we made him howl like a hound.

G-Pop thinks it’s time for us to stop barking at the moon.

Matter of fact, maybe it’s time for all of us to find our better pooch.

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Turning Kids Into Humans–Part 6: (9-12) Family Treasure … September 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Humanating

 

Born again.

It is an enlightening concept which has been greatly damaged by cotton candy theology and judgmental junkies. But in its original context, it was an encouragement for realizing that in order for each of us to possess our lives, we must create some distance from the upbringing–and even the genetics–which brought us through our childish years.

I think the system is divinely inspired.

Parenting is a great winnowing process in which we not only impart to our children the values which have proven to be universal, but also prune away the things we were taught that are erroneous or flat-out wrong.

Do you see what I mean?

This gives the human race a chance to get better, just simply by recognizing what has failed to be effective.

The trouble comes when we’re not willing to be born again, and don’t allow ourselves to transform our training through adult discovery. When that happens, we rob ourselves of the maturity which could be acquired from training a kid who’s learning to become a human.

This especially shows up between the ages of nine to twelve. It is at this point that your little bundle of joy stops thinking of you as Super Man or Wonder Woman and begins to look for tattered places in your magical cape.

Most parents get defensive.

Some parents dismiss their children as being bratty or incorrigible simply because they are trying to reconcile what they are being taught with what they see.

This is why I suggest you construct a box and put it in the middle of the house, where everyone can access it. When you see your child do something good, immediately write it down on a piece of paper and place it in the box. When you see something and you’re not quite sure of your child’s intentions, also write that down in the form of a question, inquiring as to what the motivation was, and place that note in the box, too.

Once a week after dinner, sit down as a family, open up the box and read the notes.

Now, here’s the part you may not like: the child must be afforded the same opportunity.

But remember, the notes of praise should be statements and the inquiries must be formed as questions.

For example:

“I saw Brian fold the clothes in the laundry room without being asked. Thank you very much.”

Or, if it’s an inquiry:

“There were clothes to be folded in the laundry room, and I wanted to ask Brian why he grabbed his shirt and didn’t fold the other clothing?”

The dual purpose of this exercise is to make it clear that the entire house is being reborn into better ways to handle human relationships. It also teaches your child (and maybe yourself) how to handle a little bit of critique without pouting.

Even though your child is headed toward adolescence, he or she makes a brief stop-off between years of nine and twelve, when questioning begins. If this season is honored with answers and encouragement, then the lines of communication have a much better chance of staying open during the teenage years.

It is a family treasure box, where memories of good deeds are retained for celebration, and questions are discussed for everyone in the house to find an intelligent way to be born again.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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

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Destiny’s Childish… July 21, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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destiny signThose who are not religious by nature call it “destiny.” The more religious among us refer to it as Calvinism.

It is the contention that there is some sort of “master plan” for every human being–that we find our purpose, value and joy in discovering this mystical path and following it fervently.

It is one of those strange areas where those who believe in God and those who don’t converge in a common mission of discovering an individual odyssey that was pre-determined for each and every soul.

There are many problems with the belief in destiny:

  • Often it removes the motivation to excel in our pursuits or experiment with new ideas.
  • It can make us bitter when misfortune strikes our journey and we are dumbfounded because our Benefactor has taken us down a darkened thoroughfare.
  • It can cause people to walk away from legitimately good relationships under the guise of pursuing the perfect soul mate.
  • And it can render us completely incapacitated as we wait for guidance that just never seems to come.

There are really three choices:

1. God has a wonderful plan for our lives, which we must follow if we want to be pleasing to Him and truly happy.

2.  God has a plan for our lives but we can take detours and even change it up a little bit, as long as we still get to the point He wills us to be.

3. We have free will choice and a Father who stays with us and will never leave nor forsake us.

Now I’m sure there are derivations, blendings and even differentiations but generally speaking, anything you would come up with probably falls within the scope of one of these three ideas.

My problem with #1 is that Jesus compares God to an earthly father. There is NO earthly father who would ever think about controlling the lives of his children–even if he felt it was to their betterment. In doing so he would weaken their wills and perhaps make them resentful of his interference.

When it comes to Choice #2, I become confused because random acts and accidental discoveries are frequently at the root of the progression of the human cause. People were searching for different cures when magnificent elixirs were stumbled upon. The Bible makes it clear that time and chance happens to all–and if we’re under some belief that God’s will is a straight line or even an arc, heading for a specific apex in the future, then we rule out the glorious possibility that our lives can be enriched and changed for the better. And even generational curses, which seem placed on some families by genetics and environment, can be breached and overcome.

The only sensible understanding of humans on earth is free will. That means there is a past, by the grace of God there is a present, but the future is undeclared. Why?

Because the future is in our hands.

Perhaps you would feel more comfortable to think that God was controlling everything, but in doing so He would be taking away any significance of worship–because we would not be selecting to follow Him, but instead, toeing the line out of fear.

I love God because He gives me free will. I love free will because I can choose God.

There you go.

I can choose God in my dealings with human beings, I can choose my Father in heaven through the tenderness I express through my art–and I can even choose a divine sense of earthly understanding when I consider my calories and food intake.

I believe that the devotion to the notion of destiny has stymied our creativity, expansion, love and spirit of adventure.

It makes us childish–childish in the sense that we are afraid to displease an angry parent, while insisting that we love him dearly.

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It Took a While … June 10, 2012

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Realizing that Father’s Day is a full week away–NEXT Sunday–I wanted to take a moment with this particular jonathots to “warm up the oven,” as it were, on the subject.

I have the distinct honor of knowing six human beings who call me “Father,” “Dad” or “Pop.” Three of those individuals I had the pleasure of conceiving and three I had the great honor of enjoying. Along with those six young men, presently come four daughters-in-law, who graciously allow me to be included in the spectrum and vision of their desires for a father. Ten in all.

I think I was well into the process of being a father before I realized anything about the substance, value and importance of the process. First and foremost, above all else, if fatherhood is done correctly, it is not that much different from motherhood. I know this may upset some religious people (or folks who are trying to make a buck off of separate greeting cards) but once you understand what it means to be a parent, the vision for pursuing the project is not that dissimilar, whether you be male or female.

But what I never comprehended was that the logical linkage between human birthing of children and God‘s innovative creation of humans is identical. It’s why Jesus told us that the best way to understand God is to understand fatherhood. I go to churches and frequently see a banner displaying all the names for the Divine from the Old Testament–but honestly, folks, they’re irrelevant. God is a Father, and the minute you leave that perspective, you depart from understanding His true nature. So as I learn to understand my function as a parent, I really grow to comprehend the heart of the Almighty.

Fatherhood comes in three portions–like a three-act play, if you will. First is to conceive. It amazes me that something so pleasurable as sex can lead to the unearthing of another human being. The conception part of fatherhood is boisterous, exciting, boastful and intoxicating. I have one of my sons right now who is in the midst of this emotional inebriation. His chest has grown about six inches with pride, and he can basically think of nothing else but the fact that he and his dear wife have conceived a child and they are about to birth the little one. This spirit should never be dampened, quelled or even challenged. I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled that God is passing around cigars somewhere because He created me. It may be pure human vanity, but I do not think that I want to consider a Heavenly Father who is not a proud Papa. Yes, as fathers, first we conceive.

And then the second step is equally as pleasant as long as you do not argue with the results. A good father receives. With the factors of the genetics of two separate families colliding together, environment, climate, attitudes and training, gradually a human being emerges from the birthing ooze to become a voice. It is a voice that often has an opinion contrary to yours. Sometimes it’s purposefully antagonistic. But a very important part of fatherhood is to receive. Can I be candid with you? If God has created a natural order, and he honors His own system, He is often just as surprised with the results of His creation, as far as its make-up, preferences and pursuits, as they are. There is no power in preaching about an all-knowing God who is all-possessing and therefore, all-controlling. Good fathers don’t control. And God is the supreme example of a good father.

I have to receive all six of my sons as they are. Honestly, it was not easy. I wanted to reshape them and at times, wished that I had the power of do-overs. But that’s not what fatherhood is about. It’s about receiving what you’ve conceived, and doing your very best to instruct without manipulating, and to love without taking away free will. It IS the difficult part of parenting–which makes us grateful for the experience and honestly, jubilant when it’s finally over. God does not force Himself on His children. Why? Because He’s a good Father.

Which leads me to the third step in discovering the essence of fatherhood. Believe. The notion that “God has a wonderful plan for my life” is similar to me insisting that my six sons pursue a path of my liking. If I actually did that, people would condemn me, attack me, and insist that I receive counseling for being such a tyrant. So why would we attribute to the greatest Father in the Universe the attribute of being an interfering ninny?

No, the truth of the matter is that somewhere along the line, your children grow up and you have to believe in them. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t have to stand back and endorse all of their choices. But you have to allow them the privilege of making them without your ever-present sense of disapproval or stoppage.

It is a step that is missing from parenting today. I think it came along with the baby-boomers. For some reason, my generation just seems incapable of letting go of their children and allowing them to be people. It is this notorious notion which is spoken aloud and now has become part of the brain process of our nation–“they will always be your kids.”

Not so, my friend. Somewhere along the line, they become their own people with their own dreams and their own children. You have to believe in what you’ve done, stand behind it and let them live. This is where religion fails to deliver the true promise of God. God is no respecter of persons–therefore what He conceives He receives, and then allows to live–with Him believing in them.

It’s perfect.

With six sons and four daughters-in-law, I have ten ongoing lifestyles bouncing around me all the time. I have to have faith that what I’ve conceived and received, I can now with confidence believe in. Without this, I create an atmosphere of tension and apprehension that makes me appear to be a dictator and them frightened to be themselves. It doesn’t mean that I do not continue to insert my opinions, and even desires. But they are just that–mine, and therefore, subject to dismissal by my offspring.

Conceive. Receive. Believe.

It took me a while, but I finally understood the make-up of a good father–actually, a good parent. But it is also the true nature of God. Our Father conceives, He receives and He believes.

That’s fatherhood to me. It demands that I be involved, but like John the Baptist, it also requires that I learn that “I must decrease and they must increase.”

   

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