G-Poppers … June 9th, 2017

 

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G-Pop wants to speak to his children–for it is time for a radical return to reason. Let us say that again: A RADICAL RETURN TO REASON.

The faith placed by innocent souls in government, religion, commerce and education has been devastated because these organizations have ceased to honor their own systems. People are making it up as they go along–even people entrusted with power, position and purpose.

Since there is nothing that is going to come from government or religion, it is the duty of those who still possess a desire for goodness and prosperity to step in and begin a gallant revolution. It will need to be a radical return to reason.

1. Being kind heals the mind.

Each one of us has a natural tendency to lose our way. It is the inkling of the human soul. We change that direction by purposefully expressing kindness to those around us, which gives us the chance to heal from negativity and delusions.

2. Probe for similarities instead of differences.

We are not in the midst of celebrating unique cultures. Rather, we’re eyeing them for their oddities, so we can feel superior. It’s why, after all these years, we’re still talking about black and white, straight and gay, and male and female. We relish being different, which fragments us instead of generating understanding.

3. Truth is the key to sanity.

Once we begin to convince ourselves that lying is more “human” than telling the truth, we set in motion an avalanche of self-gratification, which permits us to cheat–but makes us very angry when we see others do it. Since it is impossible to accept lying in others, we need to realize that it is equally as implausible to nurture it in ourselves.

4. Humility prevents humiliation.

If for some reason you are insecure about some aspect of your being, it is much better to be forthcoming instead of finding yourself coming forth in the arena, to be mocked by all the bystanders.

The truth will come out. It’s just better if it comes from your humble lips instead of the bitter tongue of an accusing stranger.

5. Stop critiquing. Make something.

We become much less critical when actually taking the time to create an idea or product of our own conception. We will need mercy for our efforts, which is more likely to be received if we have given mercy to others.

It is time for vibrantly intelligent and vigorous human beings to consecrate themselves to simple principles.

G-Pop has offered five. He believes that if you take on a little more kindness, find more similarities, begin to honor the truth, humble yourself, and create something, that you will have a richer outlook on life.

Or you can sit back and watch the world dissolve in front of you.

G-Pop challenges his children.

The choice is yours.

He just contends it’s time for a radical return to reason.

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Jesonian… April 1st, 2017

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Unconditional love.

The phrase has been so overused that now it is tossed off as a given.

It is a symbol of tolerance, a byline for acceptance; a teary-eyed sentiment conveying that we are truly embraced by affection.

If by unconditional love you mean verifying and legitimizing everything people do, then absolutely not. But if by unconditional love you mean a decision to stay with people and continue to be supportive, even though they are struggling or having problems, then assuredly.

But the definition is a slippery banana peel which needs to be clarified. It takes seven verses from the Good Book in Matthew the 16th Chapter to do so. These define what unconditional love is from the perspective of Jesus, who came to show us the attitudes and mind of the Father in Heaven.

In the 16th verse of that 16th Chapter in Matthew, Peter has a brilliant moment. When asked by Jesus, “Who do you think I am?” he quickly replies, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”

Jesus steps right into him with praise–and not only praise, but offers the status of a new name, and says that because of his great answer, he will be given more authority.

But just a few verses further, when Jesus is explaining to the disciples where the Jerusalem experience might lead, and that he will be killed by the Jewish elders and leaders, Peter rebukes him. I don’t know–maybe the disciple was high on his own praise–but he says that Jesus is mistaken–nothing like that could happen.

Under the popular concept of unconditional love, we would expect Jesus to say, “That’s all right, Peter. It is a bit difficult to comprehend. But hang in there–you’ll eventually get the idea.”

Under the umbrella of unconditional love, we would not expect, Jesus to call him Satan simply because he didn’t understand what was going on. But that’s exactly what Jesus does.

Because even though it says that “God so loved the world because he gave his only begotten son,” everlasting life is contingent upon us accepting that gift.

We are told that we are saved, but we are also warned that we will have to endure to the end to receive the realization.

The definition of unconditional love from the aspect of the Jesonian is as follows:

“I will love you enough to tell you the truth, because the truth will make you free–and only when you’re free do you really learn to love.”

When you remove the truth from love, what you have is flattery. It may feel the same, but it lacks the veracity to sustain us through the hard times, where our weaknesses will obviously be exposed.

To love someone is to tell him or her the truth. The truth grants the individual the ability to be free of the humiliation of being exposed. And once absent fear, a freedom to love is unleashed.

I am afraid that people who accept unconditional love as a guarantee that they will never be challenged will never truly learn to love.

  • Jesus loved Peter enough to praise him–when it was the truth.
  • He loved him enough to call him Satan when that also was the truth.
  • And even though Peter denied Jesus, Jesus never denied Peter.

Get your definition of unconditional love correct and then you can implement it:

“I love you enough to tell you the truth, so you can be free to learn to love.”

 

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Ask Jonathots… September 22nd, 2016

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Am I the only person who is disgusted by the 50 Shades of Grey franchise? Take away the “rich” aspect and it becomes an episode of Criminal Minds. Why are we teaching our girls and women that this type of controlling and manipulative behavior is all right?

It’s risky.

Any time you try to present common sense, you will run across a contingency who do not view themselves as “common,” and also think “sense” doesn’t seem as much fun.

You will be accused of being provincial, puritanical, Victorian or even bigoted.

Yet…

Sado-masochism is anti-woman. If projected against a male, it is also anti-man.

Even if the participants are willing, they are functioning from a wounded place–perhaps previous abuse–which now spurs their lust.

It is grounded in violence.

It is a reenactment. or at least a shadow, of rape and torture.

It is the removal of the tenderness of intimacy.

There is no excuse for it; there is no place for it.

We don’t condone a young girl who takes a knife and cuts her arm, as merely expressing her personal preference in pleasure. We realize that this self-mutilation is warning us of an inner turmoil.

In human sexuality there is no room for violence, pain, intimidation, control or domination. Human sexuality is actually the opposite. It is a humble and gentle opening of oneself to another human being, looking for confirmation instead of denigration.

In the pursuit of giving rights to all races, all religions and all sexual orientations, we must be careful not to include a general freedom for human behavior which is destructive.

Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker are antiquated attempts by manipulative individuals to take the cause of human equality back centuries, when women were considered seductive because they were thrown down on the bed, averting their eyes in humiliation.

As I said, there is no excuse for it; there is no place for it.

There is no reasonable way to give it respect in our social order and still maintain the progress that men and women are pursuing to become human.

Simply stated, dehumanizing people destroys the human race.

The worst part of this treachery is that young girls are being taught, in a medieval way, that they are the “pleasuring holes” for domineering men, and that the painful process might just include increased pleasure.

It is foolish, it is selfish and it is damning.

I will say without any hesitation that anyone who laughs at a woman putting on a pair of handcuffs as a symbol of foreplay is encouraging this fallacy, taking one-half of our race and stripping them of their God-given power.

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Getting in Character … June 8th, 2015

 

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Exhausted runner

From Act II: Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage,” and all the men and women, “merely players.”

With that in mind, may we revel in the opportunity and responsibility of getting in character.

  • I am bad.
  • I am good.

These seem to be the two profiles offered to us in the pursuit of life’s mystery and goals.

One school of thought is that human beings are basically flawed, and therefore our actions are suspect.

The other offering is that we’re all good, and the more confidence and self-esteem we can acquire determines our level of prosperity.

Yet even as I write this down in this essay, I realize that most of us are fully cognizant that we are not predominately bad, nor are we over-run by goodness.

But as long as these two philosophies are propagated, we will fail to pursue the avenues which would lead us to a deeper sense of self-understanding and the pursuit of personal excellence.

The truth of the matter is, I am not good, nor am I bad. To find my true character and develop it in this great, life-long stage play, I need to arrive at a different position:

I am aware.

  1. I am aware of what constitutes a good performance.
  2. I am aware of what keeps me from measuring up to that standard.
  3. I am aware that honesty is the only way to save me both time and humiliation.
  4. I am aware that the only way I can improve my status is by dealing with my “can’ts” and gradually, through trial and error, turning them into “cans.”

As long as I believe I’m bad, or insist that I’m good, I will remove the potential to be aware.

It is my responsibility to understand that I will not be evaluated or critiqued on my goodness or my badness, but rather, my awareness.

 

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Jesonian: Roads… November 16, 2014

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Salvation: being salvaged from the junk heap mere moments before toted away.

There are roads.

There’s the road to Emmaus, where a stranger is encountered who warms the heart with conversation and fellowship, ending up being the personification of what is truly believed.

A road that heads for Damascus, where headstrong intentions are interrupted abruptly by the realization of error and wrong-doing, eliminating blind ambition, having scales fall from the eyes.

That road to Jericho is one where the thieves of life come and strike their will, leaving a victim lying desperately in need of human kindness, which will allow for a season of restoration.

Of course, the road to Golgotha climbs upward through ridicule and humiliation, nailing the afflicted to a cross so that through the death of foolishness can come the resurrection of hope.

And finally, the road to Bethlehem, where a starry-eyed hope illuminates the night sky with the notion that there’s something more, something better, something righteous.

There are many roads that achieve a similar destination.

We must realize it is not where we travel nearly so much as with whom we travel.

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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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Populie: Doesn’t nearly everyone watch porn? … March 19, 2014

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bigger mona lisaEleven years old and stuck on a Saturday afternoon at my aunt and uncle’s house, so bored that my brain was itching.

I made my way upstairs to their bedroom and began to look through their drawers–when suddenly I heard a scream from behind me. It was my mother in her fully enraged mode, scurrying in my direction, waving her finger.

“Stop looking in their drawers!”

I was so frustrated and angry about being put in this situation that I fired back, “What’s wrong with it? They won’t care!”

She paused for a moment, and then, in a more even tone, said, “I care. You’d better care. And they should care.”

I will never forget those words.

As I have sat quietly by for the past twenty years and watched America redefine the issue of pornography, entitling it “adult entertainment” and now donning it with the cute nomenclature of “porn,” I am not only appalled, but feel a sense of helplessness.

For after all, to some degree, in order to object I should have some intelligence on the issue, which means I should do a little investigation.

I have not.

I won’t.

It will probably leave you in disbelief when I say this, but I have never indulged in pornography. Only once–I sat at a friend’s house and rummaged through Playboy magazines for about three hours. Those images are still available in my mind, should I check them out from my upstairs library. After that, it just didn’t have any appeal.

The issue is difficult. If you find yourself opposed to porn, people will call you a prude, a moralist or ask you if you have any personal experience.

I’m not a prude. Anyone who spends five minutes with me will tell you that I am certainly relaxed on the issue of human sexuality.

And I’m not a moralist. I’m not judging those who participate or perform in such actions.

I’m not willing to go on an extensive study to try to prove my point.

But I will tell you–I think it is one of the more egregious POPULIE propagated in our society. Here’s what I believe about romance:

  • There should be no pain, no humiliation, no domination and no rape.
  • It should be filled with pleasure, appreciation, communication and agreement.

I see none of those positive elements in the pictures which are occasionally sent to me over the Internet by young women and men on Tumblr, which I quickly delete.

The fact that they are willing to do this to make money does not change the situation. We certainly would not have allowed slavery to continue in this country because Uncle Tom was comfortable at the Big House.

And we should likewise discourage men and women–but predominately females–from being subjugated just because they temporarily become comfortable with the oppression.

I know it’s not popular because the populie has permeated every facet of our society. I will tell you that over half of the ministers in this country–who probably have too much time on their hands–have fallen victim to pornography.

But I think the advice my mother gave me when I was such a snoop so many years ago still holds:

“Stop looking in people’s drawers.” 

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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.

Hurt, Heal, Praise … June 29, 2013

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dancersThe most difficult road to take to achieve humility is the highway of humiliation. Yet for some reason, it’s the most popular.

Many years ago, I wrote a musical called Mountain. Humbly I offer to you that the composition was really quite good. I had some friends in Columbus, Ohio, who let me use their studio very reasonably and we put together the music for the production. In the process of doing so, we stirred up a lot of interest in the community. So when it was announced that a two night premiere would be held,  tickets sold quickly and we realized we were going to have a hit.

Our job? To come up with a cast who could perform the piece and portray the material adequately. We selected our individual members but failed to consider that most of the young folk we had placed in the roles had grown up believing that dancing was “of the devil,” and the rest of them were just hellish dancers.

The musical required some choreography. Even though the music itself came off very well, and the acting was sufficient, the instructors we selected to teach our entourage how to do live stage movement were far too advanced and left our fledgling foot-flyers completely confounded.

So on opening night, the portion of the show that required choreography was an absolute disaster, leading one observer to refer to it as “collisionography.”

Unfortunately, the theater was nearly packed. I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. I was young, impetuous and unfortunately, too quick to want to give up.

But from somewhere down deep in the bottom of my socks, I found the faith to get up the next morning, realize we had another premiere to do, and instead of being angry or frustrated, took the cast and worked on simplifying the dance portion of the show.

We were all hurt.

Life is not a journey of avoiding hurt, but rather, a continual odyssey to be healed.

The only way my cast was going to be healed was by believing they could actually find something to do onstage that was within their grasp, and that they could have another opportunity to prove their ability.

The second night was fantastic–night and day difference. Unfortunately, the crowd had shrunk due to the bad reports about the faltering footwork. We didn’t care. We had been hurt the night before and it was time to heal. And heal we did.

Our confidence soared and we went out on a tour to twenty-five cities, getting better and better each night–because our healing turned into praise.

I will never forget that experience. It is a constant reminder that being hurt has absolutely zilch nobility or value unless you immediately set a process in motion to be healed. All healing is then confirmed by the presence of praise.

We have to learn this in our society:

  • Hurt people are determined to hurt. They don’t mean to–they just duplicate what’s inside themselves out to others.
  • Healed people seek healing.
  • And people of praise are always looking for reasons to praise.

So the next time you get in a  mood and think there’s nothing that’s any good anymore, take a moment and trace back in your life to find that unhealed hurt. You will be surprised at how much brighter the world looks when you have shed some light … on your own pain.

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