G-Poppers … January 26th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop has grown extremely weary of hearing the human race demeaned, disgraced, denigrated and caged in with the animal kingdom in attempts to explain away some of the more nasty aspects of our carnal ways.

He wants his children to know that humans are neither good nor evil, but as the story goes from the Garden of Eden, they are inundated with the knowledge of both.

Yes, they have the perception of good and the deception of evil.

The battle that wages inside every son and daughter of Adam and Eve is whether we deem it more fruitful to be good or more successful to be evil.

It’s a decision we make every single day.

Case in point: G-Pop went to the grocery store today. He was sitting in his wheelchair. (He uses this perch for such occasions because he is not so fleet of foot in getting around.) As he was waiting outside the store, a woman drove up in a car, and even though Janet Clazzy was standing nearby, attending, the dear lady rolled down her window and asked, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

It was transcendent. It is for such moments that G-Pop continues his desire to habitate the Earth. And even though he was probably over-appreciative in his thankfulness to her, she knew when he said that he was fine that it was true–but that she had made an overture.

After all, without an overture, there is never going to be a symphony.

She possessed the singular attribute that makes human beings God’s favorite creation.

She was aware.

G-Pop is sure she had many things on her mind, but it suddenly became more important for her to be of use to another.

Aware. And after being aware, she made an offer.

G-Pop doesn’t know what she thought she was going to do. But she made the offer, knowing that the offer comes with a parenthetical thought: (“You understand there are only certain things I am capable of…”)

She was a forward-thinking person simply because she was aware and made the offer.

Honestly, most of the time when you make the offer people will turn you down because they’ve already made plans. And on those rare occasions where immediate help is needed, you have a story you can tell for all time, which both promotes the glory of charity and professes that you are a true believer.

As she drove away, G-Pop said, “God bless you.”

G-Pop honestly didn’t need to say that, because anyone who is created by God in His image, is a human being with the knowledge of good and evil, who is aware of the predicament of another and offers to become a conduit for help, is already saturated in blessing.

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Cracked 5 … March 28th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Ways You Can Tell a Watermelon is Ripe

A.  Thump it three times on its yellow underbelly, listen for a hollow response…and then take it home and cut it open.

 

B.  Get very close to the melon at four different locations on its circumference and sniff it, breathing in deeply…(and then take it home and cut it open).

 

C.  Pray over it, laying hands on the surface with a fervent and effectual method…and then, of course, take it home and cut it open.

 

D.  Look carefully for a dark green shade covering the sphere of the entire melon and match it up to others to make sure you’ve achieved the correct hue…and then quickly take it home and cut it open.

 

E.  Take a few weeks to develop a friendly relationship with the produce man at your grocery store and then ask the gent if he would kindly help you pick one of the watermelons he is pretty sure is ready to go…and then TAKE IT HOME AND CUT IT OPEN!!

 

 

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Cracked 5 … September 6th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Things I Encountered On My Drive From Adrian to Howell, Michigan

A.  A convenience store advertising “Fresh Milk” (was fresh necessary??)

 

B.  A sign: “Watch Out For Buggies” (obviously a state-specific sport)

 

C.  Ypsilanti (I think the founder probably meant “Oopsilanti”)

 

D.  A township (which was neither a village nor a boat)

 

E.  A wolverine racing a spartan to get a buckeye

 Cracked 5 Wolverine

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Cracked 5 … August 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Things That Are Easy to Forget to Pick Up at the Grocery Store

A. Tooth cream (the paste makes you gag)

 

B. Eucalyptus leaves soaked in Jakarta Vinegar, for the mustard poultice used on your gout

 

C. Organically nurtured snails

 

D. Gluten fortified Sugar Smacks with extra preservatives and double Yellow Dye 8

 

E. That “do-it-yourself tooth-filling kit” with raspberry-coated Novocaine pellets

Cracked 5 Jakarta

 

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G-Poppers … June 12th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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The cereal aisle at the local grocery store.

G-Pop found himself perusing at least 100 boxes of the stuff, each one promising delicious diversity. So he decided to glance at a dozen of the packages, reading the labels to see what was so special about each one.

It was an amazing test.

After careful inspection, it became clear that the only difference among the various brands was that some were sweeter and some had more fiber.

That was it.

Even though, with all the colors, designs and advertising, he was led to believe that each one of the treats was birthed in a factory to be its own entity, they were all basically the same, with minor exceptions in flavor and color. How amazing.

Likewise, even though we tout ourselves a tolerant society, G-Pop would assert that we’ve allowed a sophisticated prejudice to enter our thinking by believing that there are actually African-Americans, Asian-Americans, women, men, Hispanics, LGBT and even religious differentiation.

We just keep shrinking groups down smaller and smaller, insisting that the subtle attributes that might make one group unique are actually insurmountable barriers.

It’s insane.

Just as the boxes of cereal are only set apart by their packaging, not by their cereal, we as human beings have much in common.

  • Some of us are a little sweeter.
  • And maybe some of us have a little more fiber in our disposition.

What will it take? How can we get a whole generation of younger folks to stop this insanity of purposeful division, and instead, remove titles and insert appreciation?

After all, even the distinction of “American” causes us to pursue the notion of exceptionalism instead of joining forces with the other souls on this small planet, to create harmony.

Cereal is cereal.

You can box it up differently, but once you open it and pour it out in a bowl, it looks like a dozen more equally delicious options.

The same is true with people.

G-Pop left the grocery store still deep in thought. He realized he needed to talk to his grandson about this.

Even though the boy is very young, it is never too early to set an intelligent young fellow on a mission for unity.

 

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A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

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G-Poppers… December 19, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

The grand-kids returned from Christmas shopping grumpy and tired. They were fussing with each other, poking and fidgeting. G-Pop just laughed at them.

So one of the young humans piped up and said, “G-Pop, do you like Christmas shopping?”

G-Pop: You should shop just long enough that when you’re done for the day, you wish you could still do thirty minutes more. For after all, leaving happy is always better than exhausted.

“What makes a good gift, G-Pop?”

G-Pop: Something the person knows they want, but wouldn’t buy it because they always forget until the next time they see it. By the way, if they are under fifteen years of age, make sure it doesn’t matter if it breaks pretty quickly.

One of the granddaughters chimed in, “What do you want for Christmas?”

G-Pop: Something I use every day, am grateful I have and makes me think happy thoughts about the giver. Underwear and aftershave always work.

“Is Christmas too commercial, G-Pop?”

G-Pop: The grocery store sells food and makes a profit. It doesn’t keep me from enjoying my meals. Christmas is what I decide it to be. Remember, in the original story, the innkeeper wanted to make money. It didn’t stop the angels from singing.

 

 

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Click here for information on "567"--the Sermon on the Mount retold in story, song and music

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Just Talk… March 9, 2013

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allAt 9:15 A.M. yesterday, I found myself tooling through the grocery store in search of those final ingredients that escaped my initial purchasing from earlier in the week. One of the things I was looking for was an inexpensive package of shrimp which I could add to a can of New England Clam Chowder, transforming it from a poor bowl of soup to go along with a tuna sandwich, into a meal fit for a Gloucester fisherman.

So I eyeballed the frozen foods and headed in that direction, discovering an older woman unpacking boxes nearby. She seemed a bit bedraggled by her task.

This is where I am probably weird. Maybe it’s that I’m arrogant–but I just don’t believe there’s any power in seeing someone under the weather or depressed and leaving them alone, hoping they’ll work it out by having an inspiring evening of prime time television. So I ventured a bit of conversation.

“How are you?” I asked

“Fine,” she replied, making her one-syllable answer sound even shorter.

You see, that in itself was a noble effort. But I didn’t leave it alone. “Are you sure you’re fine?” I chuckled.

She looked up from her mountain of boxes and gave me a small smile. She launched. Yes–she started to talk. In the two-and-a-half-minute conversation, I learned her entire financial situation, her frustrations with Medicare, her worries over the President and Congress, and the fact that her husband’s pension doesn’t cover much of anything.

Now, I will admit to you that there IS difficulty in finding a way to extricate yourself from the flood of words that proceed from people once the “dammit” is broken. But it’s worth it.

Because when I came around about five minutes, I paused to take a look her way.  Her pace had quickened and she was humming a bit to herself.

You see, it’s not that I am such a good Joe for talking with people. The point I’m trying to make is that we have become a nation instructed to listen and watch as OTHER people talk, giving us no outlet for our feelings, frustrations and especially, our ideas.

So when you see folks trudging along, there are three dark clouds that encircle them:

  1. “Nothing matters”
  2. “No one cares”
  3. “Never mind”

You may think this is no big deal, and often it isn’t–until you accidentally cross one of these storm clouds with all of this negative energy bottled up inside.

When we are not allowed to talk, we become creatures of silent defeat–and depending on the mental health status of the defeated one, it can lead to anything from reclusion to stepping into the marketplace with a semiautomatic rifle and opening up fire.

Just talk.

It has to be more than a tweet. Our new social media forces us to be brief and clever, instead of forthcoming and honest. Matter of fact, I would suggest that the church become a forerunner fo this great idea. Instead of projecting images on the wall that people sing and recite, cueing them on when to stand and clap, let’s have an hour sometime during the week when human beings can talk and share their hearts.

As the old verse says, we certainly ARE “saved by the word of our testimony.”

My words may encourage you, but it is your own words that motivate you.

The Bible may offer a great sense of comfort, but it is your interpretation and re-speaking of truth that makes it a reality.

There may be nothing greater that we can do for each other than overcoming the silent defeat that settles into the human soul because we don’t get the chance to talk about our feelings, and we begin to insist that nothing matters, no one cares and never mind.

I left a woman singing a song. That’s pretty good for this fat boy. And until we realize that watching and listening is no any replacement for feeling and sharing, we will have a country that is saturated with a sense of desperation–exhausted before it even begins to work.

Just talk. Just share. And make sure that any sensations of sadness have a chance to escape before you become convinced that we were meant to be lonely.

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