G-Poppers … January 13th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3186)

Jon close up

During the bar fight which was advertised to be a Presidential election, G-Pop became very concerned that intangibles necessary to the human family were being ignored, if not attacked.

The funny thing about intangibles is, they should become tangible. In other words, they must gain some reality or we start to fade in the heat of the day. The three most famous are faith, hope and love.

So G-Pop contacted his children and grand-children and asked them to give him definitions of the three words.

The twelve-year-old went right to the dictionary and came up with very astute, well-rounded wordings.

Faith: believing in something not seen.

Hope: pursuing a dream.

Love: a committed affection.

The teenager and budding young woman had very clever answers.

Faith: trusting the map when it’s foggy

Hope: car won’t start–try again

Love: sharing the last of your favorite food.

And that delightful daughter-in-law wrote to G-Pop, telling him that she would suggest:

Faith: believing without proof

Hope: hanging in there

Love: placing someone above your own needs.

And at the last moment a son popped in, sharing:

Faith: believing what you cannot see

Hope: believing in what can be

Love: believing in the capacity of another.

Such great insights. G-Pop sat back for a moment, encouraged. After all, it is a grave injustice to allow faith, hope and love to sit on the shelf in the bookstore of life, waiting to be read.

They are active. For instance:

Faith is churning.

It is the sensation that we’re going to bust if we don’t get an opportunity to take what we think and treasure, and put it into practice.

Hope is a yearning.

It is catching a glimpse of something magnificent and rather than placing it in a book of memories, trying to transfer it onto every “things to do today list.”

And love is a burning.

It is fire deep in our souls which warms us with the notion that the more we treat others with respect and understanding, the greater the chance for us to receive the same.

The family members who responded to G-Pop were basically in the age group which is loosely referred to as “millennials.”

But they get it.

They comprehend how to translate selfish motivations to higher intangibles of universal mercy and acceptance.

The bar fight ended like all bar fights–each thug claiming victory in some way.

Now it is up to those who broke up the fight and separated the hooligans … to bring us back to an understanding of the churning of faith, the yearning of hope and the burning of love.

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Good News and Better News… January 9th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3181)

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.

 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 33) Another Tank of Gas… December 11th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3152)

Reverend Meningsbee

Nebraska suddenly seemed cold–frigid.

The meeting with Hector put a chill down Meningsbee’s spine, causing him to yearn for some warmth. He thought about sharing his dilemma with some folks he trusted in the congregation, but realized that there’s an assumption made in the human family–that even when a soul confesses, somehow or another he or she is withholding a portion of the story.

He felt trapped–squeezed into an ice box.

So he went to his house, grabbed a bunch of blankets, quickly packed a suitcase, stuck a variety of canned meats and beef jerky in his glove compartment, got into his car and headed out.

His choice for this particular retreat was south. He just wanted to drive until he could feel warm.

He journeyed for three days.

One night he stayed at a cheap motel in a town in Texas called Bullywok. Another night he used the blankets and slept in the back seat of his car at a rest area. And on a third evening, trying to pursue some personal discovery in his life, he checked into a YMCA to interact with other human beings and see what the experience might be like. (He found the Y rather pleasant except for being greatly unnerved by sharing a shower with other men.)

He drove and he drove until he landed somewhere in South Texas. The sun rose, and by ten o’clock in the morning, the air was warm enough for him to emerge from his car and walk around a local park in short sleeves.

He was so damn far away from Garsonville. But maybe he always had been. Maybe the idea of inserting himself into that small community was not only intrusive, but implausible.

Disheartened.

It’s when your heart stands on the outside of your body and makes fun of you for believing you could make a difference.

During his journey, the fifth episode of “Gar-SIN-ville” aired. He watched it in a diner outside of El Paso.

He was surprised at how those enjoying their “blue plate specials” basically ignored the program as he listened carefully for the revelation of his hidden sin.

It was never mentioned.

He felt deeply foolish to have run away from his home town and his congregation simply because a scary man said “boo.”

He called back to the church and asked one of the deacons to handle Sunday service as he settled into Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, at a small motel that offered everything in miniature. Tiny towels, tiny bed, tiny service.

He didn’t care.

He just laid down on the small, uncomfortable single bed and stared at the ceiling.

Who in the hell was he…and why was he running?

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity


Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

The Alphabet of Us: D is for Despair… December 29, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2458)

Building Block D bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

DESolate. “I got nothing.”

PARalyzed. “I can’t move.”

Despair is when these two come together and we are convinced that our situation is unchangeable.

It is also a miscalculation–allowing the emotions and the brain to wage war with one another instead of consulting the wisdom of the soul and using the body to do something to improve our surroundings.

I believe it occurs in the human family because we get three things out of whack:

  • God scares us
  • Mother Nature confuses us
  • And people piss us off

When this occurs, the only reaction that seems logical to us is to relive our defeats.

So first, let’s get these three things straight:

  • God is our Father. In other words, He’s stuck with us. Nothing can separate us from His love.
  • Mother Nature is a system that can be learned. Yet she has no favorites.
  • And people are inconsistent and must be handled with a good sense of humor.

Without this, we quickly lose sight of any goal motivation and resolutely determine to lick our wounds in some corner of our mind or cave of our emotions.

Here are two very important precepts that just happen to be true–at least from the perspective of my journey:

1. Nothing is personal.

The rain that falls from the sky wasn’t sent from some dark place in hell to taint your picnic. If you had checked the weather forecast two days earlier, or even the sky, you might have had an inkling of what was coming down.

2. When it is personal, it is nothing.

You should rejoice. Why? Because anyone who takes out a vendetta against you will soon lose interest. The only way to keep anyone intrigued in bullying you is to give them focus by being angry or upset. With the 24-hour news cycle, the attention span of our country has gone down to about twenty-four hours.

So as long as you understand that nothing is personal, and on those rare occasions that it is personal, it is nothing, you can allow your soul to give you patience and wisdom to survive some disappointment–which gives your brain the chance to come up with a plan on what to do next.

Despair is not merely self-pity–it is a self-pity cemented by a lack of understanding of how life really works. 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

click above for information on 567!

click above for information on 567!

 

Three Ways to Gain Respect Without Bragging … August 7, 2014

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2315)

Aretha

“R-e-s-p-e-c-t

Find out what it means to me…”

Aretha Franklin vibrantly and tunefully punctuated the Otis Redding lyric.

Almost every human being desires to gain respect, and therefore, placement in the pecking order of the human family.

Yet for some reason or another, we’ve begun to believe that this can be achieved by boasting, bragging or screeching our requests to the world around us, bolstering our demand with the threat of bad attitude or vengeance.

It’s just not the way things work.

Although we tolerate people making claims without backing them up, we eventually require that they prove their point or we will find a way to set them aside.

So I’d like to tell you three ways to gain respect without bragging:

1. Show up on time.

Let us make it clear once and for all: there is no such thing as “fashionably late.” People who arrive late communicate that they think they’re more important than everybody else in the room. It is only excusable if humility is at the heart of an apology, and then only if it’s done once or twice.

If you want to establish a reputation for being powerful, show up on time and make sure everyone knows it is part of your conviction.

2. Show up with your mood.

Honestly, it doesn’t have to be a good mood. But people who fluctuate, constantly bouncing among emotional profiles, are considered to be unstable, gossip-worthy and basically negated by their friends and family.

Being positive is good–if you’re always positive. Being neutral is fine as long as you bring that at all times. Even being in a sour disposition has its charm as long as you don’t occasionally build up hopes that you’ve made some sort of transformation to positive thinking.

Consistent moods are powerful. We may act like we will put up with people gyrating from one mood to another, but secretly we don’t.

3. Show up with the work done.

Here’s the problem with procrastinating and failing to achieve your quota: you have to explain why, which lends itself to excuses, too much story-telling and an over-abundance of drama.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself and everyone else is to make sure that today’s calendar is free from yesterday’s “things to do” list. If it isn’t, just say so, without explanation.

So these are three things that will gain you respect without you having to plant your foot, put your hand on your hip and posture for it.

After a while, if people know you’re going to show up on time, that you have a consistent mood and you get the work done … you become the champion you desire to be.

 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

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

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Populie: Be Yourself… March 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2174)

The VoiceIt happens all the time on shows like The Voice or American Idol: a contestant is voted off by the audience and awaits the final words of encouragement from the judges.

Inevitably, one of the mentors will pipe up with, “Be yourself.”

You can see the look of confusion on the contestant’s face as he or she thinks, “Isn’t that what I just did? I was myself–and I lost.”

It is popular. “Be yourself” has become the mantra of a generation which thinks the cure for mediocrity is pumping people up.

It is popular, but it is a lie.

POPULIE.

The problem with the concept of “be yourself” is that individuality loses its power when compatibility isn’t achieved. In other words, if we can’t find a way to peacefully co-exist with each other, merely standing firm, establishing our presence, won’t achieve much except further separation in thinking and segregation between people based upon their quirks.

I will be honest with you–if you’re able to find one other person in your life that you can actually be yourself around, without them running away in horror, you have just discovered a miracle.

Truth–fine tune who you are according to what you need to do and where you want to go.

The Good Book offers us three other “be’s” to consider “beneath our bonnet:”

1. Be not afraid.

You guarantee failure if you are frightened and choke when opportunity comes your way. If you have a reasonable amount of ability and learn how to use it well, you will find a reasonable amount of success.

2. Be of good cheer.

The greatest buzz-kill in life is to take things too seriously. A light heart lends itself to a willing spirit, which invites an open mind, giving you a chance to survive when things begin to evolve in front of you.

3. Be perfect.

Maybe that should be “perfect your be.” In other words, find something you do well and continue to practice it until it’s at market quality, and then make sure you keep it up to spec-ready to go.

If you decide to pursue a lifestyle to “be yourself,” you will have a narrow vision for what is acceptable, and you will have a smaller and smaller handful of folks who are willing to put up with your alleged uniqueness.

  • It is a populie. 
  • It is marijuana to the masses.
  • It is the notion that we can remain the same and still get our portion.

What we need to be is whatever is necessary to allow ourselves to be part of the human family…successful without hurting anyone else in the process. 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Graceful Effort … May 1, 2013

(1,868)

birdsI love believing. It’s so much more fulfilling than being cynical, doubting the power of virtue and the possibilities that lie within the human family.

On the other hand, I don’t always LIKE being a believer. What I mean is, the stigma placed upon spirituality by relegating it to the status of mere “religion” often annoys me to the point of pulling out my hair (thus explaining my baldness).

What is the difference between believing and being the common believer who follows the rhetoric of religion? I think it lies somewhere in discovering the balance between grace and works.

If you’re on of those believers who thinks that God has a wonderful plan for your life,” or that everything is written in the stars, or that the future is pre-determined and you’re just finding your place in the great scheme of destiny, you usually find yourself in a bit of despair, inept and impatient with your lot.

If you happen to be one of those individuals who is minus a spiritual direction and believe that you forge your own path with no help from a divine friend, you can also become disheartened and angry at the complexity of what you hoped would be simple.

I think it would do us good to become bird brains. For some reason or another in our pursuit of human superiority, we have deemed the bird to be stupid, when the Bible actually tells us that the birds have it figured out better than us. For instance, I woke up this morning to the sounds of chattering, singing, flying feathered folks right outside my window. I didn’t pick up any aggravation in their song; no disgruntled soul complaining about the early hour or off-key brothers and sisters. They just seemed to get it.

“We’re birds. We sing. It’s morning. Sing loudly. Sun came up. Go get worms. Bring them back to the nest. And fly around … until something kills you.”

But in our pursuit of some deep hidden meaning to life, we refuse to accept the fact that even though Jesus said we are worth “many sparrow,” he DID compare us to sparrows. You may want to believe that you, personally, are of more value than all the sparrows in the world, but in heaven your actual rate of exchange is merely MANY sparrows.

So what is the perfect balance between grace and works?

Graceful effort: pursuing what life has set in front of you, working on the excellence of your humanity, perfecting your craft, keeping a good sense of humor, while all the time understanding that this humility permits God to extend His grace to you.

God does not give grace to the prideful–and it is certainly prideful to proclaim our sanctity and purity without producing any evidence of works and effort.

So what creates humility?

  1. “Like the sparrow, I will sing my song.”
  2. “Like the sparrow, I will hunt my worms, knowing that they feed me.”
  3. “Like the sparrow, I will build a nest and find my peace within it.”
  4. “Like the sparrow, I will know that life is brief and my time, limited.”
  5. “Like the sparrow, I will leave the rest to God’s grace.”

No sparrow ever dies in its nest of natural causes. Sparrows don’t get Alzheimer’s. They live their life full-throttle until their lives are no more. Often it’s a tragic end–but quick. Knowing this, they never miss a morning to sing.

Graceful effort: when I realize that life has conditions, direction and purpose, and rather than fighting it, I eagerly join in with my portion. In doing so, I humbly offer my melody to my Creator

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

*****

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

%d bloggers like this: