G-Poppers… July 17th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2636)

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“After all–we’re all different.”

The words were spoken and the crowd gradually joined in with applause. G-Pop sat and listened carefully.

Something didn’t ring true.

The way to overcome intolerance is not to accentuate our differences. To think that human beings are capable of acknowledging differences among us without secretly holding prejudice against the person who dares to be different is absolutely ridiculous.

We are not divine. We are human. As humans, we are looking for reasons to find commonality.

This holds true in every relationship:

  • If two people are dating and discover they have nothing in common, they don’t continue dating, hoping to build up toleration for one another
  • If two kids are on the playground and one likes to play baseball and the other likes to climb the monkey bars, they quietly separate from one another, seeking out individuals whose taste in play is similar to theirs.

The path to peaceful coexistence is commonality.

How much do I have in common with you in comparison to our differences? Candidly, the word “difference” begins with “differ.”

If we do differ from one another, the process is simple: if we’re civilized, we walk away to avoid an argument. If we aren’t quite so civilized, we stand there and argue.

I do not know when the definition of “toleration” became biting one’s lip and pretending to accept things that don’t make sense. Toleration is finding places of common ground and celebrating them.

The “pendulum do swing.”

In a short period of time, we’ve gone from being a nation that was abusive to the gay community to a nation which now has a plurality which is willing to include gay marriage. But we will never have true openness with one another until we find the linking parts. We can’t fake receptivity.

For I have no intention of taking the social standing of old religion, ISIS and Vladimir Putin and joining with them against the homosexual community. But I came to this conclusion not because I looked at my brothers and sisters as obtuse and unusual, but because they use words that are common to me: freedom, brotherhood, love, relationship and tenderness.

We are not going to become better people by pretending we are tolerant. We become better people when we find common ways that we share in common, accentuating our common values.

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Jesonian: Front Loading…February 15, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2504)

Sermon on  the Mount big

I am traveling this year all across the United States, putting on a program with a musical and spoken rendition of the Sermon on the Mount, complete with stories and humor.

It has stimulated great interest, mainly because hundreds, perhaps thousands, of musicals and spoken-word pieces have been done on the last twenty-four hours of Jesus’ life, but very few have been written and shared on his body of work.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that we have two dangerous misconceptions about the ideas of Jesus. We think:

  1. The teachings of Jesus are hard–too idealistic and don’t work well in the real world.
  2. Jesus bided his time teaching while he was waiting for his true mission to be fulfilled–to be the human sacrifice for the sins of the world.

I am convinced that these two theological missteps are causing the message of Jesus to be misconstrued, which forbids the world to tap the obvious logic contained in his philosophy.

For after all, there is no other idea that works among people other than “love your neighbor as yourself.” The absence of applying this thought places the world in chaos. It is only when that principle is applied–even if it’s only partially done–that we have the foundation for financial prosperity and peace.

So when we portray the teachings of Jesus to be impractical “in the real world,” and to more or less be the fodder for a future heavenly existence rather than an earthly one, we rob our generation of the tools necessary to communicate.

Here are the three things that Jesus was against:

  • Hypocrisy
  • Selfishness
  • Intolerance

If you were listing three of the greatest problems in our world, these would certainly be included.

Jesus’ response to hypocrisy was, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” We could go a long way with that simple concept.

His response to selfishness was, “If you’re given much, much is expected of you.” This certainly would encourage initiative, but also would foster generosity.

And Jesus told us not to judge other people–that even he would not do so. This would eliminate our opinions from seeping through, insisting they are “God’s will.”

Secondly, for those who believe that Jesus was merely God’s pin cushion to extract a blood atonement for the foulness of mankind, we must admit that this is contrary to what the Nazarene said:

  • He wanted people to believe him for his words.
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane, before his crucifixion, he claimed that his work was completed.
  • And in Nazareth he quoted from Isaiah, saying that his mission was to “preach the good news to the poor.”

The greatest theological insult of our time is the notion that God, who hated the sacrifice of turtle doves and bullocks, would suddenly change His mind and favor the human sacrifice of His son.

What makes the death of Jesus not only an atonement–a salvation for our sins–is how he was willing, while still a human being, to take on the rejection of his peers bravely–and give his life for what he taught.

I am Jesonian.

Jesonian people are front-loading Christians. That means we give more significance to the life, teachings, inspiration snd spirit of Jesus during the thirty-three years of his ministry than we do for the back-loading of his three hours on the cross.

I believe with all of my heart that if we honored his words more often, while celebrating his death as a brave act of mercy, we would reach more people–and a message free of hypocrisy, selfishness and intolerance could find its simple place toward solution in our time.

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Arrest Obama … December 5, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2085)

arrest ObamaAs I drove off last night to Auburn, Georgia, to meet some delightful human folk, I was about to get on I-75 going south when I noticed a young man dressed in camouflage, running up and down the sidewalk, carrying a sign that read, “Arrest Obama.” He was screaming so loud that even though my windows were rolled up, I could hear his complaints with every rant and rave.

It gave me pause.

What causes us to believe that the inclusion or removal of certain factors from our lives will make things better, when we know, deep in our hearts, that we’ll still be stuck with ourselves?

Even if you gave this young man his wish and had the President of the United States arrested for whatever crimes the protestor deemed necessary, he would still have to go home, look in the mirror and deal with his bungles.

America has become victimized by the notion that changing our surroundings actually changes things.

Candidly, I don’t quite see the difference between the presidency of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They both found themselves overwhelmed by a position they underestimated, surrounded by vicious critics, and locked out of means of leadership because of political parties grappling for power.

By the same token, you can go to your local church and hear messages of how sin and immorality is destroying our country, or on the other hand, how intolerance is debilitating us and we should do better.

We just don’t get it.

  • President Obama is not my problem.
  • The Republican Party is not my obstacle.
  • Sin, degradation and all the flaws that are often flaunted in our culture are not what is holding me back.

Here is a simple two-step process which will give you the truth of the matter and therefore make you free:

  1. I am my worst problem.
  2. I am my best possibility.

I have just given you a paraphrase of what Jesus said when he explained to his followers that “the kingdom of God is within you.”

Whenever we look for a scapegoat or a reason for the destruction of society outside of our own efforts, we not only miss the boat, we sink the Titanic.

I don’t agree with things done by either political party. I have great differences with the religious system that exists in our country.

Here’s the truth: I don’t care. They don’t control my life. Honest to God, they rarely impact my life. What does bounce off of me everyday are my unresolved conflicts and trying to motivate myself to be creative and use my talents instead of allowing despair to render me immobile.

If we believe in God, we must understand that He breathed His life into us. Trying to find God in church, nature, other people, sermons or even the Bible will be impersonal, second-hand information. Finding God in your own heart by recognizing your own problems and tapping your abilities is the definition of true spirituality.

I felt great sadness for my brother screaming and yelling on the sidewalk yesterday. Not because of his politics, but because he is a victim of a fad philosophy which wants to blame the world for our own lives.

I am my worst problem. In like manner, I am my best possibility.

Once I come to terms with this, I can begin to be valuable to myself and others instead of a nit-picking old lady … fussing over the placement of the doilies.

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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.

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click to hear music from Spirited 2014

A System, Not a Plan… October 10, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2031)

fourGod has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I’m sorry. Just not so.

After a billion years of pursuing human free will and “raining on the just and the unjust,” God has no intention of revising His perfect system by forfeiting His authority to a small group of contemporary theologians, filmmakers, greeting card producers and novelists.

It is impossible for God to be “no respecter of persons” and then turn around and delegate mission, talent, ability and position to specific human beings. What He came up with is brilliant.

It’s a system. A climate. An energy in which we all live, to rise and fall on the merit of our abilities and attitudes.

“As long as you shall live, there shall be seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

I refer to this conglomeration as The Natural Order.

It’s what we all share in common–and because we do, we can share in common. OR we can try to express our supremacy over one another by insisting that the Universal Creator has singled us out above all others for some unique posture which sets us apart from the rest of humanity via our traveling orders.

Ridiculous.

1. Seed time and harvest.

In other words, we have the same soil, so it’s important that we get the right seed. For instance, this is not a great time in the history of mankind to stubbornly pursue intolerance. It is also fairly foolish to follow the bandwagon as it marches down the road repeating old tunes, old ideas and old arrangements instead of creating new music. Get the right seed. That’s how you gain your personal advantage in this life.

2. Cold and heat.

Set the temperature. Sometimes it’s important to be hot and passionate. On other occasions, wisdom tells you to cool your heels–relax and trust what you’ve already planted to grow, instead of becoming impatient. Setting the temperature for your endeavors grants you the insight of surviving the wait without feeling the weight.

3. Summer and winter.

Learn the seasons. As Ecclesiastes says, “to everything there is a season.” What does that mean? It means you should not be harvesting when you haven’t planted and you shouldn’t insist on pursuing ideas which have proven to be ineffective simply because they favor your party line. Study the world. Study the faces of the people around you. See what is conducive to change. See what change is conducive to the people.

4. Day and night.

One of the ways we know that young humans have actually grown up is that they stop feeling the need to stay up all night in order to prove their independence. The human experience requires compartments of time. I believe there are two things you should do every day to create faithfulness, two things you should do every day to generate adventure, and two things you should do every day to remind you to be merciful. Work the clock.

This Natural Order is the four-part system given to every human being, and NoOne is better than anyone else. Learn it, use it, expand with it and honor it. You will succeed.

  • Get the right seed
  • Set the temperature
  • Learn the seasons
  • And work the clock

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

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