G-Poppers … February 16th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There’s no upside to horror.

After seventeen bodies lay in a schoolyard, riddled with bullets, any attempt to assign valor, purpose or mission to such a scene of mayhem is sacrilegious.

G-Pop insists that three things should never be stated:

A. “They’re in a better place.”

No mortal can say such a thing for certain. Since we have not navigated the oceans of eternity, we should be careful touting our knowledge from our port of bewilderment.

B. “There were heroes.”

There are no heroes in a murder spree. There are people who die, people who intelligently run and people who feel compelled in the moment to step in and try to stop the craziness. All of them are victims.

C. “No one saw it coming.”

Liars.

Rather than getting worked up into a froth over gun control, sit down and understand the process of what causes someone to reach a point where they unleash bullets into the bodies of their brothers and sisters.

There is a fourteen-step process. Yes, at any point in the fourteen steps, these killers can be stopped.

1. “I’m disturbed.”

You know the crazies in your family. Take care of them.

2. “I’m disturbing others.”

Disturbed people are not satisfied with a solitude of pain. They want notice, attention and to inflict heartache on others.

3. “I insist on being the victim.”

Disturbed people who are disturbing others will accuse them of bullying and mistreatment.

4. “I threaten.”

This is the first sign that the soul of the human in front of you is beginning to disintegrate.

5. “I am drenched in self-pity.”

Look for lack of hygiene, wearing dark clothes, smelling bad on purpose, grimacing and hiding away.

6. “I plot.”

Not the final plot–just ways to communicate that everyone is crazy and he is misunderstood.

7. “I intimidate.”

Sometimes it’s animals. Sometimes a next-door little boy, but they always go through this phase of domination.

8. “I write warnings.”

Read their Facebook. See the journal they scribble in. It will be filled with rancor and hate.

9. “I purchase a weapon.”

10. “I practice.”

11. “I am arrogant and brag about my gun.”

12. “I wait for the right moment, which will seem logical to me for committing my insane action.”

13. “I warn.”

There’s always someone who’s told.

14. “I kill.”

Pursuing gun control is a piece of liberal propaganda to pass the responsibility for the poor mental health of many of our young people on to the National Rifle Association.

You can’t tell grown-ups in America what they can’t have or do.

But you realize that disturbed people go through a definitive process before they kill. The children in Parkland knew who the shooter was long before anyone told them. Why weren’t the grown-ups listening?

Every young person in America, along with his or her SAT scores, should have to pass a basic mental health exam before going to high school and then college. Maybe before high school.

It is not an intrusion–it is an inclusion which will protect them and those around them from the screaming demons that want to release hell.

 

 

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Good News and Better News… December 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Somewhere along the line, we have convinced ourselves that church is supposed to be a service–a program put together with songs, testimonies and a sermon, where those in attendance can worship God.

There is no Biblical basis for this kind of thrown-together event. It is a by-product of Catholicism, which borrowed many of its ideas from the Roman hierarchy or the other religions of ancient times, which were ceremonially based.

In pursuing this piety, we have removed two of the basic powerful principles that provide the righteous realization for coming together: including and using.

Yes–church is supposed to include me and you, and find ways for us to discover our usefulness. When you remove a sense of inclusion and the possibility of a person being useful, the motivation for merely gathering in order to revere is not enough to keep the pews filled.

It was the heart of the Master to include people and then make them useful–or maybe not make them useful–just find out where they were useful.

Whether a prostitute or demon-possessed man, Jesus surrounded them with a sense of inclusion and then put in place a purpose and use for their presence.

So a woman at the well became his advertising agent for a revival.

A man who had been possessed by a thousand demons became his public spokesman for a whole region.

And Mary of Magdala, who herself was possessed by seven demons, became one of his right-hand people.

We have lost the power of inclusion. Matter of fact, the church is notorious for disincluding certain groups of the community because of their wickedness or weakness.

So when you walk in the door, you’re handed a program–or not, for those churches which think they are free-wheeling and fancy-free–and you listen to an eight- or nine-piece praise band, which has over-practiced facial expressions while under performing musically, and stare at a screen to sing songs of repetition, waiting for the hour to creep by.

“Not my church!” you say.

But the reality is, just because you have grown accustomed to your surroundings and are accepted within the cave of understanding does not mean a stranger could come in and access the same gentleness.

Here is our new truth:

How big is your congregation? Eight billion and growing, because we include the whole world. But every week we have about two hundred people who attend who are so useful we couldn’t do without them.

Now, that’s church.

Until we abandon a fear of God which has us stuck at the beginning of wisdom, unable to progress, we will gradually see people trickle away because they don’t feel included, and they certainly do not sense they are useful.

The good news is, “whosoever will may come.”

The better news is, we sure hope you show up, because we could sure use you.

 

 

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Jesonian: Simeon Says… December 28, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby from roots no words bigger

People often walk up and tell me they have a “word from the Lord” for me. Sometimes they refer to it as a prophesy, sometimes a word of knowledge or wisdom, and on occasion, they will even describe the coloration of my aura. Most of the time they’re just trying to connect and be nice.

I listen to them intently and thank them.

Yet every once in a while, these fine individuals will tell me something that has true spiritual significance or is a revelation they could not possibly have ascertained on their own.

It is a joyous, chilling encounter.

I bring this up because we are told in the Gospel of Luke, that Mary and Joseph, being good Jews, make a trip to the local temple to offer a sacrifice of gratitude for the birth of their son, Jesus.

They immediately come across an aged gentleman who seems partly senile and partly crazed, who has one of these “words of prophesy” for them.

Being an old man and probably well-set in his ways by his traditional upbringing, his message is contrary to his training.

His name was Simeon. Here’s what he told them about their baby, Jesus:

1. Jesus will be a light “to lighten the Gentiles.”

It is highly unlikely that Simeon would share such a notion, since he believed from his youth that those who were not Jews were basically dogs. He would not select to be so broad-thinking unless inspired by a divine source.

The first thing to remember about the gospel brought by Jesus is that his main goal was to get God out of Jerusalem and take the love of the Father on the road. For hundreds of years, belief in Jehovah had been stuck in Mesopotamia. It was time for the rest of the world to be included.

2. Find the glory of Israel.

  • What is the glory of Israel?
  • Patriarchs?
  • Dusty scrolls?
  • Stories of heroes who conquered giants?

No–the glory of Israel is that one man or woman can hear a message from God and launch out by faith. Honestly, the traditions only hinder that process.

3. The message of Jesus will be “a falling and rising to many.”

Some people just like to be prejudiced. They want to believe in a God who “hates somebody so He can love us more.” The message of Jesus eliminates that vengeful creature, replacing Him with a creative Father.

Some people rose with that authorization. Others fell in with the crowd who cried, “Crucify.”

4. Mankind’s heart shall be revealed.

The Jesonian is not a thinking man’s religion. It’s not a spiritualist carnival. It does not extol physical appearance above all else. Jesonian is the willingness to have our hearts exposed without fear, knowing that in so doing, the “truth will make us free.”

Religion studies God so that we don’t have to study ourselves. That is why the Jesonian is not a religion–it’s a lifestyle.

That day an old man in the temple broke through all of his pre-conceived ideas to share a message from on high.

It was a message of inclusion.

It was a message of challenge.

And it was a message that told us that as long as we’re willing to be real, the reality that comes our way can bless us.

 

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The Ashford Reality… April 1, 2013

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AshfordOnce again, I cheated my alarm clock out of the privilege of awakening me. Ever since I was in my early twenties, I have always been able to think about the time I wanted to arise right before dozing off, and literally like clockwork, wake up  near the exact hour. I doubt this gift, so I always set an alarm clock, which usually ends up going off when I’m in the bathroom, unable to reach it.

Thus I began my day early.

I am taking a road trip today back over to Houston, Texas, to share tonight in Ashford. After all these years–nearly forty–I am still an excited little boy at the prospect of journeying somewhere to share my talents to fine human souls. Over the years, pieces of my ego have been trimmed and discarded, and lessons have been learned about better approaches to achieve more satisfying results–but the enthusiasm remains.

I guess I’m kind of an odd bird. I have never been comfortable being a miserable anything. When I hear my fellow-believers talk about the pain and suffering of Christianity, I am bewildered. My understanding of the message is one of abundant life, in which our joy is full and we are given the responsibility of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, as God’s grace affords us the opportunity of being a city placed on a hill.

So it was in that spirit that I set my goals for my journey to Ashford.

First of all, I just want to tell those delightful friends, “I love you.” It’s not that I want to be mushy or silly–rather, life is about finding a reason to love others. If we don’t, we start acting like we are abandoned on a desert island called earth, and our entire mission is to hoard coconuts, because there is no chance of ever being saved. I refuse to feel that way. Saying “I love you” is just as much or more for me than it is for the hearer. The absence of love is always the introduction of ignorance.

The second thing I want to impart to the fine folks of Ashford is, “You are loved.” Not just by me, but also by the last group of folks I just left, who have opened up their hearts and sent along a sensation of inclusion.  I also want them to know that God loves them. Even though we have made the mistake of attempting to turn God into a person, and therefore cursing Him with virtues ranging from cranky and cantankerous to being a hippie and free love advocate, God is actually a spirit. He is a spirit of light and He is a spirit of love, and whenever you find those two at work, He is there in the midst.

I guess in constructing my Ashford reality for today, I will tell the folks that love is needed for change. Change without love is like a car trying to run without oil, as the gears grind, heat up and smoke, destroying the engine. Love is the oil of change. If it doesn’t motivate the change, then we resort to things like intimidation, anger, frustration and guilt. Nasty stuff. Love gives us a reason to change because we know that even if we falter in the process of revising ourselves, love persists.

And finally, tonight in Ashford I will tell them that change is coming. We can no longer preach a God who is disgusted with human beings. We can no longer have two political parties which are locked in a Hatfield-and-McCoy feud. We can no longer feel superior to one another and think that we can achieve equality and justice. We can no longer have men and women fighting each other in situation comedies and think that one of the genders can solve the problems of earth without the other. We can no longer insist that who we are is sufficient without a little bit of repentance and a whole lot of God’s bolstering.

So there you go. You can see why I’m excited. I get to go on a road trip to bring a blessing to people I do not yet know. I get to say:

  • I love you
  • You are loved
  • love is needed for change
  • and change is coming.

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Finding Freedom… March 28, 2013

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freedom sign“The truth will make you free.”

No one believes that.

To most of us, in our more candid moments, we will admit that the truth is a frightening proposal which seems to lead to a path where we will no longer feel special and might be in danger of losing acceptance. All you have to do to destroy human beings is convince them that if they open their hearts and reveal who they truly are, they would be rejected. From that lack of candor comes all lies, deceits, cheating, unfaithfulness, larceny and even murder.

Why does the truth make us free? Because for the first time in our lives we can stop juggling–bouncing back and forth between the life we want to portray to others and the life we actually live.

How do we find freedom? It is such a cheap word, thrown around in our world as a philosophy of government rather than the liberation of the human soul. How can we avoid the ridiculous notion of thinking, “I am special, I am unique and I deserve to be accepted?”

It starts with true humility. May I give you a new definition?

Humility is when we stop being ashamed of who we really are.

There you go. Humility is not acting as if we’re nothing and it is not pretending we are something we aren’t, which will make us more blendable. Here are the three steps to freedom:

1. I am not special, but …

2. I am part of a special creation and…

3. My Creator loves me as much as I love others.

That little trio of ideas enacted in our everyday lives grants us the energy to pursue our talents to excellence without pretending we are already talented enough. It gives us license to appreciate others because we don’t feel that we’re competing with them all the time. And it lets us know that our foolish interpretation of “unconditional love” needs to include an awareness that sometimes love makes a stand, requiring that we respect ourselves and others.

I am not special. There is no power in me proclaiming my superiority if all my efforts are inferior. It just makes me look like an arrogant jerk.

I am part of a special creation. No, I do not believe that the lions in the jungle or the sparrows flying in the air are equivalent to the mastery that was chiseled into the human experiment.

And because I believe my Creator loves everyone equally, I honor His premise by loving others more and more every day.

Walking around believing you’re special puts you at odds with everyone else, who believe they are special too when we discover that we’re vying for positions. Insisting that you’re unique, like a snowflake, is denying the obvious fact that you are snow. And believing that God loves you even when you act like an absolute uncaring human being may be the most egregious example of stupidity known to man.

Find your freedom–and in the process, gain inclusion and a wonderful embrace of self-worth.

I am not special, but I am part of a special creation and my Creator loves me as much as I love others.

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