Good News and Better News … March 12th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog


“There’s blues in the pews.”

A quiet resignation to what is deemed to be an acceptable despondency: “Just a few more weary days and I’ll fly away.”

Motivated to only share a Gospel that gets us to heaven while maintaining a cultural grouchiness on Earth, the church is not ready to tear down the gates of hell.

Instead, the American church spends too much time tearing down one another. Congregations often act like they’re in the middle of a mine cave-in, where there’s a shortage of oxygen and those around them seem to have too many nostrils.

Abundant life and an existence filled with joy seem to be Biblical promises of a coming kingdom instead of the Kingdom of God, which is declared to be within us.

There’s blues in the pews.

It won’t do any good for us to ignore it. There’s no reclamation by refusing to discuss the problem out of political correctness. After all, there are some subjects we are not supposed to broach. For instance, it’s not proper to complain that a funeral is too long nor that Grandma’s Thanksgiving turkey is too dry. And it’s completely unacceptable to insist that for some reason, this year Santa Claus was too cheap.

But if we are willing to quietly consider the situation, we could come up with three realities which create some of the blues in the pews:

1. This is what we do.

Even though the Bible says “the Lord’s blessings are fresh daily,” we continue to warm up leftovers and pass them off as new recipes.

2. This is who we do it with.

We get to know each other too well. It invites criticism. And because no fresh blood is being infused, we “clot up” in disrespect and confusion.

3. Simultaneously, we are defensive about how it is done.

It may not make us happy, but “God bless America, we’re gonna keep on doing it because we’ve always done it this way.”

There will be blues in the pews until we realize that church is not meant for God–it’s meant for His people. It’s a place intended for fellowship–where folks can mourn, consider and embrace.

The good news is, Jesus left us a beautiful example of what church should be–for those around him said, “We have never seen it in this fashion before.”

The better news is, it stands to reason that if we follow the example of Jesus, we just might start getting “Jesus results.”


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Cracked 5 … August 15th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog


cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Things Billy Joe McCrow Packed for His Weekend Rally with the Klan in Charlottesville, Virginia

A. Stars and Stripes boxers


B. Hair gel for his chest and back


C. Song book: “The Ku Klux White Album”


D. His “I’m part of the Super Race” T-shirt


E. “God Bless America” pasties for his exotic dancer girlfriend, Frieda

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… February 25, 2015


Jonathots Daily Blog


Pohymn Feb 25


Every fall comes from a trip

All my trips happen in the Fall

Laughter is a medicine

I am medically cleared to laugh

Ask and it shall be given

‘Tis a given that I will ask

God bless America, my home

Home is when America is a blessing for God

Cross that bridge when I get to it

Getting to the bridge is often the cross I get

I fell in love

Love fell on me

In the beginning, God created

Creating a beginning is God

Coming to my senses

My coming is sensible

All men are created equal

Equal men are all created

Don’t give up the fight

The fight is, don’t give up

Save myself for the right person

The right person helps me save myself

Terrorism kills people

Real people kill terrorism

For God so loved the world

The world loved … and there was God 


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Populie: God Bless America… July 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog


Kate Smith

God is still pretty popular.

America, too.

Yet there are many people who believe the two are synonymous–practically inseparable.

Thus the populie: “God bless America.”

Politics loves this slogan because it enables them to incorporate just enough religion to get the evangelical vote and just enough patriotism to acquire the libertarians.

Entertainment plays off the idea by producing both tear-jerking war movies and also flicks that question the authenticity and purpose of nationalism.

And of course, religion is partial to this idiom simply due to the fact that if we are convinced that we are favored by God, we might be able to get by with a few more inconsistencies before Daddy calls a time-out.

Yet as we near Independence Day, I am focused in on the power and veracity of the statement, “To he who much is given, much is expected.”

So because I love my country, respect our attempts at democracy and favor our liberty, I would like to deny the populie of “God bless America” and replace it with, “God challenge America.”

I know that God chastises those He loves–to make us sharper and more powerful. Yet we are losing our authority, presence and respectability due to the belief in our exceptionalism.

  • When it comes to women, we should be world leaders in equality, but we trail behind others.
  • We should take it seriously to stop killing. After all, when we discover a few packages of tainted ground beef in a grocery store, every package is recalled. Yet if twenty-two children are killed in a school, we continue to taint our lives with guns.
  • We should expand ourselves in equality by including others we do not agree with, honoring their right to freedom. God respects free will above all else, even purity.
  • We should be a nation that excels in productivity. For instance, I think we’re taking the wrong approach to the minimum wage. To give people more money for what they’re already doing is not only foolish, but actually a slothful business practice. But by the same token, if we can encourage productivity in our work force while passing along the dividends by increasing paychecks retroactively or offering bonuses, then we’re making our workers part of the solution instead of tying them in with the problem.
  • Why aren’t we leaders in morality?
  • How about civility?
  • Instead of arguing about the climate of the Earth, why don’t we at least see if there’s something we could do and then surprise ourselves by doing it?
  • Why don’t we take our young generation and encourage them to be respectful, industrious and creative instead of working to legalize more drugs, to dull their senses?
  • Why do we allow our older citizens to become bitter and calloused instead of demanding they use their journey to become wise and merciful?
  • If we truly do have the best medical care in the world, why aren’t we healthier?

Hiding your talent and refusing to use it is considered to be the definition of a sluggard.

Knowing what to do and not doing it is the best example of sin.

And living beneath your privilege only generates self-pity.

The populie is, “God bless America”–a way to live off the past by pretending that the present is sufficient because a Divine Presence controls our future.

My hope in this season is that we will allow God to challenge America to live up to our ideals, abilities and dreams.

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One Size Frets All … January 20, 2013


Jon SigningThe power is in knowing what is common and what is different.

What is common among us all is our humanity. What is different are the many paths we have taken which have tempted us to deny, hide or obscure our commonality.

Maybe you decided to join religion. Basically you were told that “God is mad but He still wants to save you.” That’s enough to make anybody mad at the whole world.

Maybe you joined the Republican Party. You were indoctrinated into believing you were not supposed to kill babies (unless you do it with a gun).

Is your definition of “difference” being a Democrat? That’s where you’re allowed to kill babies, but still raise money to feed the hungry children in faraway lands.

How about a conservative? “Let’s go back to when things were better”–even though most things were worse.

A liberal–let’s go forward blindly without using the common sense of history.

Maybe you’re picking up your check at the corporation. If so, you’ve been told to buy the product and learn to like it.

Did you jump in your car, go out and seek entertainment? Yes, it is a world where Hollywood tells you that THEY’RE the artists–so shut up.

Maybe you bought into the sanctity of family. With tears in your eyes, you proclaim that your particular collection of human beings is everything–until you realize that the world is much bigger than the boundaries of your property.

Have you found your solace in patriotism? “God bless America”–and good luck to everyone else.

In the process of trying to extol uniqueness, we have created single islands that are only linked by rivers of mistrust. So the “one size” that was intended to coagulate us into a bloodline of believers has just succeeded in covering up a series of bigotries which just fester blood feuds.

What will it take for us to understand that every time we alienate ourselves from the world around us and try to make ourselves better than others, we lessen the chance for our own opportunity at success.

NoOne is better than anyone else.

It is the abiding truth that tells us that when we attempt to separate into “birds of a feather,” we stop being able … to fly.

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