Sit Down Comedy … August 31st, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Stupid Is as Stupid Is

One of my favorite movies of all time is Forrest Gump, featuring inspired acting by Tom Hanks, who portrays a mentally challenged man from Alabama, who ends up taking his limited abilities and travels the world, reaching thousands of people.

Famous line: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Although I find that to be insightful, I have to tell you that stupid is as stupid is.

Because every once in a while we all do stupid things but it doesn’t make us stupid.

One of the nastiest outgrowths of the social meanness that now occupies our country is the notion that some people are “just stupid.”

Once you convince those around you that some other group is full of “stupid people,” it’s not only simple to ignore them, but becomes much easier to mistreat them.

We have to learn the difference between stupid things and stupid people.

Well, let me use the video below to help make my point.

With hat in hand and my purse in possession, I launch out into my day, not becoming a stupid person because I did some stupid things, but instead, grateful that grace often covers a multitude of errors, if we keep our hearts humble.

There are two things that are not true about anyone in the human race:

No one is truly a genius, and no one is actually stupid.

 

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G-Poppers … February 2nd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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President Trump is not a moron. He is also not a genius.

Although there are proponents who would suggest that he falls into one or the other of these categories, the truth of the matter is that Donald Trump is President of the United States. He achieved this by campaigning and receiving the lion’s share of the electoral votes.

G-Pop wants to make this clear.

G-Pop is the veteran of many presidents and can tell you that most of them were accused of moral indiscretion, the majority considered crazy, and all of them touted to be dictators who over-extended their power.

It is important to understand the nature, the function and the mission of the job.

Most of the time the President of the United States is not negotiating with foreign powers nor plotting global wars.

He is the closest thing to a daddy that 320 million immigrants have.

As our daddy, it is his job to provide a sense of security and a voice of kindness. That’s it.

G-Pop’s not even sure if it’s a political position. Approaching it from that angle only seems to render the job mean-spirited, stalling action and legislation.

He is our father, who art in Washington–and maybe someday, our mother who art at the White House.

Questioning the morality, sanity, motives, hidden meetings or deceptions of our President is just political maneuvering to gain control of our country.

What the position really requires is kindness.

No one understood that better than Abraham Lincoln. Although President Lincoln had good reason to be furious over the attitudes of the Southern states, his second inaugural speech characterized his tenderness toward his children in Dixie by saying, “With malice toward none, with charity for all…”

Yet every President G-Pop knows has selected to be vindictive against his enemies, contending that if you don’t punch back, they’ll just punch harder. But Abraham Lincoln, in four short years, saved the Union, freed the slaves and was able to end a horrible conflict.

Did he do it by being mean?

Did he do it by being angry and sending out nasty notes to his enemies?

Did he do it by sleeping with his interns?

Did he do it by torturing the prisoners of the Confederate Army?

No, he did it as kindly as a man can do when waging a war against insanity.

Kindness is when we look in the mirror and practice the words we’re going to say to another to get a sense of how it might feel.

You don’t have to be a moron or a genius to be President.

But G-Pop wants you to know that it’s the mission of our President to allow kindness to flow to the north, south and east…from the West Wing.

 

 

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Good News and Better News… January 9th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-fix-it

It is reported that animals can smell fear.

I do not know if this particular “sniffology” is passed along in the human family, but I am fully aware as I travel and interact with my brothers and sisters, that there’s a strong apprehension in the air.

It’s not so much an odor as it is a loss of confidence and a disconcerting sense that doom looms too close to the home fires.

So in a season when the church should be rallying from its stagnancy because of the yearning of the human spirit to relieve tension, our ranks still seem to be filing out the back door.

There are those in theology who conclude that it’s due to a lack of serious religious reflection, and others who believe that we’ve not yet struck the right chord with the younger generation concerning traditions and the teaching offered for their children.

If you will allow me, I will tell you:

  • We have too much God and not enough Father.
  • Too much Christ and not enough Jesus.

It’s similar to a chemistry teacher who constantly gives tests on formulas while never having the students do lab work.

Church is boring because the idea of God is stifling.

Church seems insipid because a Christ who offers eternal salvation doesn’t give us a Jesus who offers us Earth solutions.

We are stymied.

For fear of losing our “worship credentials,” we have sacrificed our human appeal.

The heavenly Father is a Creator, not a manufacturer. Not everything can be taught in a six-week series from the pulpit as we expound upon every reference in the Bible about love, and hope that folks will draw a pious conclusion.

Jesus was our brother–tempted as we are in every way and touched by our infirmities long before he became salvation through the cross. Thirty-three years of life can not be ignored because of three hours at Golgotha.

Until we have more of the Father and an abundance of Jesus, our churches will be full of dead men’s bones and promises that seem to have been “rain checked” until after death.

The good news is that God is our Father, Jesus is our brother and the Holy Spirit is not a ghost.

The better news is that the Holy Spirit has come to remind us about the goodness of our Father and the genius of Jesus.

 

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Good News and Better News … September 7th, 2015

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Sugar river

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding. I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

Verona, Wisconsin has a small church called Sugar River. I had the pleasure of being the guest artist for that congregation yesterday morning.

There is much good news to proclaim about Sugar River. First of all, they have the unique distinction of meeting in a former bowling alley, which honestly, unleashed the “demon” of pun and wordplay I felt had been dormant in my soul, culminating with me referring to the gathered as “a bunch of Holy Rollers.”

What was good about Sugar River?

1. They seemed glad to be there.

That in itself is a bit unusual in this day and age, when many people arrive at church with the passion level of a fresh recruit assigned to guard duty.

2. They kind of liked each other.

I know that may seem to be a silly statement, but merely attending the same worship facility does not necessarily stimulate friendship any more than arriving at a political debate causes all the candidates to hug.

3. They are weary of “old church.”

I’m not so sure that “old church” was ever a church. The real old church we often refer to was filled with compassion, energy and social awareness, but the old church that exists today is the back-slidden version of that former gregarious gang. Either way, Sugar River is tired of the back-slidden body of Christ.

4. But they all seemed a little afraid of the change they know must come.

Matter of fact, it’s causing many churches to cement their spirits and become advocates of certain doctrines, so as to protect themselves from the perceived anarchy that just might happen if the religious system was exposed for being a charlatan.

So I was happy to bring them better news. Matter of fact, Jesus often began his discourses with “be not afraid.”

No, Sugar River, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

The church that will emerge from the existing malaise now exists will only require that you bring your heart.

  • Not your soul, so you can pore through the scriptures to find obscure interpretations.
  • Not merely your mind, so you can draw psychological parallels between theology and the latest Hollywood movie.
  • And not just your body, to plop down and go through the formalities of surviving an order of service.

You will be required to be emotionally involved with your heavenly Father and with those humans around you.

You also will be unleashed to “be of good cheer.”

The only true enemy of spirituality is the notion that we seriously can figure out God. Discovering that we can’t and having a good laugh about it is the abundant joy that Jesus promised us in following His path.

The world has tribulation.

Heaven is beyond our grasp.

So be of good cheer.

Relax in your skin, love your life, and don’t get too solemn.

And finally, the last piece of better news for Sugar River is: be prepared to simplify.

Everything is complicated. Matter of fact, we are almost prideful in the pursuit of complicating things further.

In a world of unsolved problems, the genius in the room is the person who walks away from the problems and finds a place to be productive.

Simplify.

Get your faith down to two or three solid ideas, and then chase them down with all your heart.

I enjoyed my time at Sugar River.

And I’m so glad that I went to the former bowling alley with my spare time…and made a strike.

 

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Three Ways to Be Yourself in a World of Them…May 7th, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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us them street sign

Even though I would agree that “us against them” can be a very unhealthy mindset, I also think it’s important to separate oneself from the herd–or you will end up spending all your time marching around in the surrounding crap.

There are three very distinct attitudes that have snuck into the common consciousness of our society, which even 20 years ago, would have been looked on with a bit of disapproval.

  1. Get your own.
  2. It’s no big deal.
  3. You deserve better.

These slogans conjure up selfishness, procrastination and complaining, which are gradually becoming acceptable human behavior, and can even evoke tremendous applause on a talk show if uttered with enough defiance.

The basic problem is that every philosophy has a door in and a door out. The door in is where you apply it, and the door out is when everybody else applies it against you.

So even though I may want to “get my own,” think “it’s no big deal,” and insist “I deserve better,” if other folks start popping these ideas back my way, I will be perpetually aggravated.

Thus, the philosophy doesn’t work.

So how can you live in a world of “them”–who think these ideas are popcorn, to be buttered up and consumed rapidly–and still have the integrity of having a way to believe that is acceptable if it’s projected back in your direction.

Let me offer you my three concepts:

1. Share what you can.

No one is asking anyone to live a sacrificial life. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your own needs, but there is something wrong with making up additional needs and forbidding blessing to others less fortunate.

2. Pursue what works.

We often procrastinate because we’re not convinced that our efforts amount to much. But if you have newfound vitality in knowing that something is going to work, it’s much easier to chase it down with gusto.

3. Let everyone know that you can work with what you’ve got.

I don’t know if I deserve better–because I’m too busy trying to better what I apparently deserve.

  • A genius is not someone who is given much and returns much.
  • A true genius is someone who’s given little and finds a way to make it more.

Be careful running towards the cheers of a generation that is completely befuddled by the inconsistencies of its own preaching.

There will never be any law against sharing, pursuing and working. Even those who don’t do it will eventually express their admiration.

Your job is to find yourself in a world of “them.”

You might be surprised how many “thems” see your path … and decide to pursue who they really are.

 

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Three Ways to Avoid a Squandered Life… August 14, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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kleenexI sat very still in my chair, staring at the scrap of paper in front of me, bewildered, if not a trifle bewitched.

It was a note from an aging friend which appeared to be spilled ink on paper, dabbled with a human finger in an attempt to form words.

“Pray for me. Hitting my head. Brain disease.”

I thought about the many hundreds of letters I had written to this individual and the hours I had spent loving, reasoning and perhaps even arguing with him about the ebb and flow of life. And now I was looking at this ripped sheet of paper, wondering what had brought him to this conclusion.

For I will tell you, it is too easy to blame people for their own path, and also much too simple to portray them as victims of clinical diseases which take the power of choice away from them. There are occasions in life which threaten to steer our carnal vessels in directions which prove to be disastrous.

Are there warning signs? Are there ways to avoid a squandered life?

1. Don’t allow yourself to feel entitled.

The minute we expect, we stop being able to accept. Lack of acceptance leaves us vulnerable to disappointment, which lends itself to despair.

2. Don’t give up on good work because of critics.

I wish I could tell you that every brilliant concept is embraced by even a single convert. It is not so. Often the greater the gift, the less it is received.

You must learn to be content with your own belief and purpose.

3. Don’t lose your faith in people.

If people don’t understand what you’re saying or doing, then don’t attack them for their ignorance. Use your creative genius to make what you do and feel more understandable.

Squandered: Wasted in a reckless or foolish manner.

I will pray for my friend. But prayer by itself is not what he needs.

What he requires is to be baptized in a fount of good cheer and faithful pursuit.

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G-21: Blame or Bloom… April 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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holding hands… and then a remarkable occurrence …

Man and woman, expelled from the Garden by choosing the knowledge of evil and good over life, were thrust back out into the jungle for survival.

They were ill-suited.

Being monkey-angels, they had limited capacity for the grit of everyday sweat and pain involved in scrounging on their own. This introduced many scenarios–most of them dire.

But the remarkable part of the story is that rather than becoming extinct in an environment contrary to their natures–instead of sitting around blaming one another for misdeeds and weak character–they took the one enduring ingredient of the Garden which was formerly their home and carried it into the next part of their experience.

Love.

Man and woman loved each other.

Escaping the foolishness of finger-pointing and accusing arguments, they returned to the essence of why they came together in the first place. Realizing they knew too much and that this burst of information only made them feel despondent and worthless, they turned to one another to discover purpose.

  • They didn’t blame.
  • Instead, they sought to bloom.

Like “grandparents” of the entire human race, they acted out a living lesson of what makes our species valuable:

1. Who are we?

Not “who do we want to be?” Nor “who do we think we should be?” But instead, “who have we become?” minus shame over our nakedness.

2. What do we know?

Lacking pomposity and false bravado–just a simple inventory of the knowledge we possess that enlightens us instead of diminishing our capacity.

3. Where do we start?

First with each other. We aren’t going to make it out here in the jungle, to someday be worthy of the Garden, if we are constantly alienating ourselves from one another.

Man loved woman. He called her “the mother of all living.”

Woman loved man.

They trusted each other to be strong and were fully cognizant of each other’s weaknesses. They undergirded one another’s efforts.

And even though their bizarre selection of choosing to include evil in their thinking set the human race on a precarious journey into unnecessary failure, their love sustained us, pointing in the direction of life.

I know it is popular to glorify the Creator for His genius and generosity. Certainly He is worthy of all praise.

But let us not forget that our salvation story did require human beings to survive and prosper until such a time that the restoration of all things could be offered back to us … from another tree on a hill far away.

 

 

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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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