3 Things… January 11th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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To Keep in Mind When Offering Your Opinion

1. Be clear and concise. Begin your statement with, “My personal discovery is …”

 

2. Be brief. If any information you give exceeds thirty seconds, you better be paying your listeners.

 

3. Be prepared for challenge by ending your speech suggesting a possible point of disagreement to your idea. It comes across humble and also might allow you to steer the direction of the conversation.

 

 

 

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G-Poppers … December 1st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Many years ago, G-Pop suggested to his children that they celebrate December 1st as “Life With Style New Year”–not that there was anything particularly wrong with a January 1st startup on the calendar.

But because Christmas is such a special season, it just seemed natural to G-Pop that the year should commence with Yuletide sentiments.

It is a simple celebration–a time to welcome the Prince of Peace to a world that’s not very peaceful; to smile on a baby born in a manger to a planet that has somewhat forgotten the total safety of children; and to acknowledge once again that we are heart, soul, mind and body people, and each part of us needs to hum at a sweet vibration in order for our entire beings to be satisfied.

The heart needs joy.

The soul needs humility.

The mind needs creativity.

And the body needs temperance.

Even though sadness will come into our emotions, we become mature when we understand that our weeping needs to cease, allowing a new morning of joy to dawn.

Although we may feel greatly spiritually blessed by God’s love, we all must humbly remember how it is grace that covers our multitude of sins.

And merely using the mind to recollect instead of expanding ourselves with new ideas is a waste of good brain power.

And of course, the body should have license for nourishment and pleasure–as long as we don’t do too much.

December 1st is a day to rejoice in the birth of possibilities, the nurturing of peace and the joy that we humbly and creatively practice in temperance.

So from G-Pop and his family: Happy Life With Style New Year.

May the Christmas Season bring you all the wonderment it was intended to give.

 

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G-Poppers … July 21st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

 

 

G-Pop is taking a brief pause to chat with his children.

American people have forgotten how to repent.

We have been so busy bolstering self-esteem and justifying lying that we have failed to realize that the greatest gift we have is to recognize error–and change.

Yesterday, G-Pop watched a man of seventy years rationalize behavior which placed him in legal jeopardy and eventually in prison. He sat and made excuses. We were supposed to see events through the prism of his understanding rather than the logical conclusions of a jury of his peers.

He forgot how to repent.

Matter of fact, it’s become a common practice to pretend that everything is just “a simple misunderstanding.”

A great man once said that without repentance, people, culture and quality begin to perish.

So just in case you are one of those souls who has forgotten how to repent, it works like this:

1. I know what I did wrong.

Yes, it is always better to discover it for yourself instead of being indicted for it.

2. I know what caused it.

Finding the source of the ego, ignorance or selfishness which brought on the dim-witted selection is very important.

3. I have ideas I can implement to keep it from happening again.

I have come to myself. I have taken away the fear of being unrighteous, and in so doing, I have tapped some truly noble notions.

4. I have selected a practical humility.

Realizing that my pride is always present just before my fall, I accept that I am susceptible to error. The humility keeps me sharp.

This is how you repent.

This is how you produce the change that makes life plausible instead of destructive.

Our country needs to learn how to repent again. If we don’t, we will continue to tout our self-worth–with less and less evidence that there’s actually any value.

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Good News and Better News… July 17th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Church attendance is dropping.

The statement is so widely accepted that no one is objecting, nor considering the ramifications.

We are absolutely terrified if the ocelot become an endangered species, but barely flick an eyebrow over losing an intricate part of our society–the church.

Those who hate the church smile in a bit of wistful glee, and those who still attend look around at the empty room, shrug their shoulders and quietly head to the altar for communion.

If the American church dissipates to nothing, what are we losing?

We are forfeiting a place where once a week we can come and admit that we’re sinners. The humility does us good.

Also, it’s a location where we can rejoice over being forgiven.

Where else in America do you sit in a room and sing with other people?

How about the message? A lesson on the power of good.

It gives us the chance to be quiet. Everything roars around us–and we have a tendency to roar back.

When I was growing up, I was suddenly around kids from other school districts, who became my “church friends.”

It gives me a chance to think about possibilities other than myself.

While I’m trying to stay awake, I have the realization that I’m part of something.

I have to look for a shirt that matches my socks.

I find myself giving.

I also am put in the position to receive.

I’m actually leaving my home for something other than shopping, games, movies and dinner.

I am in a room full of people who will pray for me.

When church is done right, I can question. I can doubt. I can shout.

I can see, hear, feel and touch the gospel.

We certainly should be concerned about baby seals–they are a part of creation.

But if we allow the church to go the way of the dodo bird, we should stop wondering why things are not flying high and straight.

The good news is, there is still a church out there.

The better news is, that church is waiting for our unique input.

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Good News and Better News… May 8th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Breeders and needers

I am speaking from a spiritual sense.

Breeders are people who find personal satisfaction in joy, mission and composure, and are prepared to deal with those who come their way who may not have the correct balance of what we call normal human behavior.

They are merciful because they know the need to obtain mercy.

They are meek because they’ve already gotten their down payment on the inheritance of the Earth.

They don’t need encouragement to be gentle–the gentleness of God’s spirit has already convinced them of the wisdom of such behavior.

Needers, on the other hand, are folks who come to church with vice, variance and viciousness intact, and try to use God’s grace to cover their insufficiency rather than becoming the “light of the world and the salt of the Earth.”

It’s really simple:

Needers scare people away.

Breeders make an emotional and spiritual connection with their fellow-humans and birth fellowship.

As long as we insist that God doesn’t really care how good or bad we are, just that we have signed a salvation card and our names are written in the Book of Life, we will continue to frighten those who might find comfort in the Gospel, affronting them with members who have the maturity of a pen of pigs.

It’s time to talk realistically about Christianity.

We are on the verge of falling victim to the stereotypes that other religions have procured for themselves.

“All Jews are cheap.”

“All Muslims are terrorists.”

“All Hindus have a spot on the middle of their forehead.”

“All Buddhists eat humus.”

The Gospel of Jesus has a chance to speak a unified message to a diverse world. It is so desperately needed that writers like myself will risk being attacked by the needers in an attempt to lift up the breeders.

What are the characteristics of breeders?

They are salt. Tasteful. Sensitive.

They are light–illuminating instead of shocking the world around them.

Good works. It’s impossible to be humble without them. If you try to use humility without having good works, you just come across honestly inept.

Here’s the good news: Jesus is prepared to give instruction, permission and shortcuts to those who want to live dynamic, joyful and abundant lives.

And the better news is that needers can become breeders if they will develop the desire to connect with others instead of remaining frightened and insecure

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Good News and Better News… March 13th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Pictured is the trash can in my weekend motel, which has absolutely no significance except for the fact that I got so involved enjoying the folks at the Roseland United Methodist Church that I failed to take a snapshot of my surroundings to commemorate the event. There’s no hidden message or reference to trash or garbage. Matter of fact, the folks were absolutely delightful, led by an old friend from South Miami, Pastor Cathy.

She is a delightful mingling of the spirit of Mary Poppins with the compassion and tenderness to human beings of Mother Teresa. Simultaneously, she carries a humility that would cause her to rebuke me for comparisons to a jovial Disney character and a Catholic saint.

But what made the people of Roseland so powerful is that they’re still maintaining their humanity. Religion often wishes to drain us of all semblance of ambition and desire in a pious maneuver to transform us into submissive half-angels.

I’ve never been quite sure why we take one of the more endearing parts of the human being–that being the energy to succeed–and baptize it in false humility and solemnity.

Why do we all have to be so bad before God calls us good? Because here’s the truth:

Every human being needs to feel that he or she is important.

If that’s a sin, then may we all be damned. Trying to make God the only important creature in the universe, while insisting that we selflessly give to others while rejecting our own personal desires, is not only fruitless, but anti-Jesus.

Jesus told us “we are the salt of the Earth. We are the light of the world.”

It is our works that people will see, and then glorify God. He said if we’re given much, much is expected of us. He even told us we were his friends because he shared his life with us.

One day, he jokingly explained that we were worth “many sparrows,” and that we would do greater things because he went to the Father, to cheer us on.

The mistake we make in the church is trying to convince everybody how unimportant they are in an attempt to get them to focus on God.

A Jesonian church nurtures such a vision, but in the process, teaches people what really is important:

  • I become more important when I include others.
  • I become more important when I tolerate and appreciate the lives of others.
  • I become more important when I’m not afraid to give.
  • I become more important when I take my talent and multiply it instead of sitting on it.
  • I become more important when I lead with good cheer.
  • I become more important when I realize that I’m allowed to be important, but so is everybody else.

The good news is, once we discover our sinful nature and repent of it, salvation comes into our hearts.

The better news is, Jesus rejoices when we take the message of salvation, go out and become important by doing important things.

 

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G-Poppers … July 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop has to be careful.

There are things he wants to share, but he desperately wants to avoid the possibility of thinking that his ideas are sparkling diamonds, when the younger generation views them as cubic zirconia.

Sometimes though, things are too important to avoid uttering.

After watching the conventions by both American political parties, one abiding realization came to the forefront:

  • Hypocrisy is never attractive.
  • Hypocrisy is never viable.
  • And hypocrisy is eventually exposed and tormented for its stupidity.

If we’re going to move forward as a nation, we have to understand, there is one enduring truth that runs like a golden strain throughout the human experience:

Don’t do what you don’t like.

If you’ve discovered that something is distasteful, don’t think that adopting the same indiscretion into your own actions suddenly purifies it. Even though the Golden Rule is powerful, this “Platinum Rule”–don’t do what you don’t like–procures a needful humility and allows your voice to be heard above the crowd.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans stumble in double-talk. They criticize one another for variations on the same things they, themselves, do.

G-Pop wants his children to know that mistakes are forgivable, but hypocrisy is unpardonable.

So G-Pop says:

1. Always be prepared to fail and change.

Failure is inevitable. Change, on the other hand, is the only thing that you personally control. You can’t stop failure, but you can initiate change, making yourself look ingenious.

2. Have compassion for all people.

The lack of consideration for one group of people immediately opens the door for you to be rejected by those who deem themselves superior.

3. Have a sense of humor about yourself.

Laughing at yourself a lot before you laugh with others a little.

4. Listen to people, especially if they’re smarter than you.

Of course, you would have to admit there are people who are smarter. But before you humiliate yourself and insist that you alone possess all wisdom, be prepared to notice those who’ve accumulated information which you require to do better.

Even though all four of these fall into the realm of common sense, until you make them common practice, you will not be able to achieve the common good.

 

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