G-Poppers … November 10th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3486)

G-Pop wrestled with today’s topic for the better part of three hours, at which time he concluded it might be smarter just to avoid the subject.

But “smart” is only a safe place until trouble catches up with you, and once it does, you’d better know where you stand because the sheer brunt force can knock you over.

Our news cycle is full of reports of famous people who have been guilty of rape, molestation and sexual harassment. G-Pop wants to make it clear that there’s nothing more distasteful than offending those who are helpless of resisting powerful resolve.

But there is a truth being left out of the equation.

We all were young.

In our history, we all have shameful portions which would be humiliating if they were revealed to the public eye.

Matter of fact, the truth is that the imaginations of a man’s heart is evil continually from his youth.

It is only through the aid of Spirit and respect that we overcome this cloud.

So G-Pop is saying that when men or women commit an egregious act in their teens, twenties or even their thirties, it is often due to the absence of restraint or maturity. Now, if they continue in that lifestyle into their forties, fifties and further, you’re dealing with someone with a reprobate mind. “Reprobate,” in this case, means someone who is fully aware of the nastiness of the deed, but just doesn’t care.

But to use the blunt force of the American press to track down offenders, trying to convict them with Internet juries, is beneath our country’s integrity.

By no means is G-Pop defending the actions of those who have been predators. But he will admit there are things he did in his twenties which he has prayed for forgiveness, and also prays will never be brought to his charge.

There is a process that I think is better than the full, outright exposure of sinister deeds to the American public.

The process was presented by Jesus about two thousand years ago, when he stated that if you’ve been offended by someone who’s done something unacceptable, then go to them personally and confront them with the transgression. He said if they hear you and repent, you’ve gained a brother, and you’ve also removed negativity from a news cycle.

But if they don’t hear you, privately take two or three witnesses who can attest to the validity of the complaint. At that point, if the transgressor desires to change his or her ways, you not only have a confession but two or three witnesses who can help hold the accused to a new path.

Then Jesus says if they don’t hear you at that point, take them to “the entire church.”

Now, what would be the parallel of that with Spacey, Weinstein and the others? Long before they were cast into the public amphitheater for torture, they should have been brought before their peers and given the opportunity to transform. Yes, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey should have been brought before the Screen Actors Guild. Bill Clinton should have been brought before the Democratic Committee, and Louis C. K. should have answered to top comedians in his field.

You must admit, that would be a startling position to find oneself in.

But Jesus, having great wisdom and knowing that some people just won’t repent, said that if they won’t listen to the church or to their organization, they should be treated like outcasts.

The problem, folks, is that because we’ve all sinned and fallen short of anything glorious, none of us could stand to be brought in front of the entire country as an outcast without first having a more private way to recant.

G-Pop does not doubt the validity or the sincerity of the accusers.

G-Pop is not questioning that these gentlemen or ladies have committed heinous acts.

I’m saying the way we go about it is hypocritical, since we know “we are not without sin” … but still find ourselves gathering stones.

 

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G-Poppers … November 3rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3479)

G-Pop has discovered that flipping through the history pages often provides a wind of discovery.

Even though in 1857 the telegraph was available in major towns throughout the United States, no one had a unit in their home–and certainly not in their children’s bedrooms.

Eventually the telephone became quite popular and was not just located in the midst of the community, but each person had one in their house. But rarely was it placed in any area but the living room or the kitchen.

Likewise, when the radio became the craze, there was a big family unit, usually located near the fireplace, where everyone would gather to listen to the shows, indulge in entertainment and giggle or shiver together. No one even thought about buying a radio just for Jimmy or Sally’s room.

The television set–what an advancement. Certainly there was disagreement among family members about what shows to watch, especially with the limited number of networks. Still, the new box remained in the family room, with very few people being able to afford a second unit elsewhere in the house.

We were locked into one another. Some people might even say “confined.” We were dependent–often inter-dependent with other families and communities. We were forced to have meals together because the possibility of having the instant gratification of fast food or warming something in a microwave was decades away.

And then came the cell phone. At first it was a novelty used for emergencies. But as the Internet came floating into the Cloud, a merger was formed in which the cell phone could become a computer and bring the Web into anybody’s possession who held the magic piece in his or her hands.

At this point, for some reason or another, we made a major decision that it was wrong to prevent any family member from having his or her own communication device. We decided we didn’t need to share anymore. We concluded that being privately entertained or informed was adequate. We have now reached the point that children of seven or eight years just assume they should have their own.

We lament that folks seem to be glued to their tiny screens, never making eye contact with one another. We even have television specials which suggest that we’re losing personal contact with our fellow humans.

But most of us never see those shows or hear the reports. We can quickly tune away from them to something much more intriguing.

G-Pop knows that if he were to suggest that we’ve actually hampered our ability to understand one another through our cell phones, he would be considered an old fogey–except that the term “old fogey” is also out-dated.

G-Pop supposes he could become adamant or evangelical to see cell phone use tamed to such an extent that human communication would once again be possible.

But he realizes there’s no need to fuss about it.

Sooner or later we will need each other, and a text, a YouTube, an Instagram, a Pinterest or a Tweet will just not cut it.

 

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G-Poppers … October 27th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3472)

Today G-Pop would like to talk to his children about the Precedence of the United States.

We’re not talking about the President.

No–we’re not referring to any occupant of the Oval Office, past, present or future.

It’s the precedence which has crept into the American consciousness, causing us to be so drunk on our own pride that we’re in danger of teetering the world into an international fiasco.

It is a three-part deception:

1. We are exceptional.

2. We are really never wrong.

3. And our mistakes are more virtuous than most countries’ insights.

It culminates in a little piece of nastiness: when you run across “mean,” just be meaner.

And this is not just in our politics. It is being manifested through ruthless business practices, religious intolerance, and the stirring up of social and cultural bigotry.

We’ve become picky, frustrated, cantankerous and dangerous because of the power we wield. Matter of fact, G-Pop’s children are often tempted to get on board the “eye-for-an-eye-bandwagon” and start poking with their sticks.

Somehow or another we’ve convinced ourselves that the peace treaties, negotiations, prayer, foreign aid and the collaborations we’ve had with other peoples have weakened us instead of defined us as a great nation.

Where could G-Pop’s children begin?

Since his offspring do not hold public office, his children must quietly begin within their own lives–setting the example that sounds the tone which composes the music for the revival.

A. “I am often wrong.”

B. “I will apologize for how this inconveniences you or others.”

C. “I will make obvious strides to do better.”

This is not merely a “christian” attitude, nor a loving and giving sappiness.

It is survival.

For after all, nations–or people–don’t have to be stronger than us to hurt us dearly. It only takes one maniac to devastate the lives of seven hundred people.

It is a good thing to have a heart for repentance which welcomes the possibility for transformation.

We have a precedence in the United States. It is an infatuation with meanness under the guise of “staying tough.” We want our slogans, our politics and the chip on our shoulder to be backed up with a gun in our hand.

G-Pop prays that his children will realize that the Wild West is no longer wild–all the bad guys killed all the good guys until finally someone said “enough.”

Yes, enough.

Enough of the precedence of the United States being meanness. We don’t have to become weak. We need to be aware.

Address foolishness when it is foolish and give assistance when we see need.

 

 

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G-Poppers … October 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3465)

He was tall, lean, with tight jeans, leather skin, cowboy hat and a big cigarette puffing out of his head.

He was The Marlboro Man.

G-Pop grew up believing that this cowboy was the symbol of masculinity.

Unfortunately, G-Pop was so-so tall, portly, marshmallow skin, baseball hat, with no “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Needless to say, his appearance was not deemed macho.

The vision persisted until other images of emaciated victims of cigarette smoking splashed on the scene–the consequence of years of tobacco, tar and nicotine.

So nowadays we don’t really know what makes up a man or what constitutes a woman, though we are certain that the two sexes are better when they intertwine instead of interact.

What makes a man?

What constitutes a woman?

It does sound like the beginning of a very long essay, or a series done by a writer attempting to generate readership through a dribble of controversy. G-Pop shall save you the time.

  • A man is a person who tells the truth, beginning with himself.
  • Likewise a woman tells the truth, beginning with herself.

The absence of truth places every human being right back in the center of the animal kingdom, willing to do anything to survive.

And as Pontius Pilate sardonically phrased, “What is truth?”

Truth is what we understand to be factual, while waiting for more information to enlighten us.

There’s nothing sexier than telling the truth.

Nothing more romantic than making it clear that you can be trusted.

There’s nothing more valuable to another soul than being able to relax with the account that’s been stated, and have some measure of confidence that it’s true.

Matter of fact, the truth sounds terribly alluring until you realize that occasionally it demands confession, apologies and repentance.

There is a contingency of our society that has begun to believe that the best way to avoid difficulty is to always deny any responsibility. It is pukey, sickening and devoid of any of the clarity which makes it simpler to live life.

Somebody lied to The Marlboro Man about cigarettes, so he ended up lying to us. Somebody’s lying today, and we are being tempted to buy into the lies and offer them up as explanations.

God help us all.

G-Pop would love to encourage his children to tell the truth, beginning with themselves.

It’s not always pretty, but it is always beautiful.

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G-Poppers … October 13th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3458)

In the course of human humblings, it becomes the responsibility of sane souls near and far to pose the blessed question: “What is truly important?”

Without pursuing this answer, we are soon bumbling, fumbling and stumbling our way to utter dissatisfaction, leaving us…well, grumbling.

Unfortunately, the answer to “what is truly important?” can not be derived by forming a committee. Committees critically over-analyze, dismiss with no resolution, to sip bitter coffee and crunch day-old Danish.

Some brave individuals seek solution in politics–but anything that has to be voted on can be controlled by either buying off the voter or fooling the electorate.

Pious souls across the globe go to prayer, asking God to bring solutions, believing their praise is sufficient involvement. But as most of us find out, God rarely does a one-man show. He works with an unrehearsed cast on an available stage.

I guess some people believe money is the most important thing in the world because it can buy the things we want, which keeps us from feeling in need. Yes–we are scared to death of being without. But then we encounter those souls who possess it all, who end up feeling they have nothing.

What is really important?

What is the reason for us to still be here in the midst of a common struggle for a common good?

For we do find some things to be self-evident.

Since God created us all, we have a common Father. It is a good place to start.

Since science and Mother Nature are at work in our world, there is much we can learn about ways to get along just by studying the atmosphere around us.

But it is the territory within our three square feet–where we live, breathe, eat, think and wrestle with our own appetites–that determines our true sense of worth.

So what is really important?

  • Find what you can do.
  • Do it well.
  • Let other people do the same.
  • Help out where you can.

Like so many solutions, it may seem simple and inadequate to cover the variety of conflict that threatens us. But when you look it again, you will grasp its scope.

Wisdom begins with knowing what is important:

This is what I can do. I will work on doing it better. I will give you the freedom to do the same. And if something comes up within my ability, I will try to help out.

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G-Poppers … October 6th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3451)

G-Pop wants his children to understand about the sliding scale.

Although the human tribe insists on believing that goals are set and achieved, most of the time, we all fall short of the original aspiration, and end up settling for something a little bit different, if not lesser.

At that point, it is our nature to explain that what we attained is “just as good,” and if we’re smart, turn it into something of value.

So when Jesus told his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount to be merciful because it was the only way to guarantee mercy coming back in their direction, he was pointing out that if we do not set our minds to be merciful, we will never offer kindness.

Yes, kindness is about the best human beings can muster in dealing with one another. But to generate kindness, you’ve got to try for mercy–and mercy is that sense that it’s really none of our business, and we step away without judging whatsoever.

Kindness is the empathy that comes into our souls when we see someone fail and we recall our own sensations in failure.

Yet if you set your goal to be kind, you’ll probably end up with considerate. That means if someone is right in front of you and in need, you more than likely will put yourself out a little bit and lend a helping hand.

There are those who think that mercy and kindness are much too tender. So they try for considerate, and on the sliding scale, end up with tolerance. Yes, they patiently “put up” with foibles and attributes of other human beings while internally they harbor some hidden resentment.

Those who try for toleration eventually end up with indifference. Why? Because as you can imagine, toleration requires quite an effort, and sometimes it’s just better to stand at a distance and not get involved.

There are travelers who live a life of indifference, and suddenly find themselves plagued by complaining. Because even though we distance ourselves from other people, they don’t go away, and because they hang around with notable nagging nonsense, we are left complaining about them to other people.

Dare I say there are even human beings who start their day as complainers, and by the end of their morning and afternoon, as evening settles, they simmer in anger. Since no one really listens to their complaining, and what they complain about has not changed, they feel justified in being completely angry with the situation.

Would you believe there are people who live in anger, and as they look at the world around them, confirming their dark visions, they are suddenly engorged in a spirit of rage. They are the ticking time bombs–too sensitive to touch and ready to go off when least expected. And unfortunately, those souls who awaken in rage, on the sliding scale, eventually find themselves murderous.

There is a sliding scale.

So as we contemplate what causes a brother to fire thousands of bullets into a crowd, we must realize that maybe at one time, he wanted to be considerate, but the scale slid, and as it did, he did nothing to correct his course.

 

 

 

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G-Poppers … September 29th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3444)

G-Pop is encouraged.

While other folks are sorely distressed over the fussy argument about the correct posture to take in honoring the National Anthem, G-Pop feels the discussion is not only warranted, but well overdue.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve defined peace as being a lack of conflict. Actually, peace is the creative resolution of conflict.

Therefore, it is misplaced idealism to contend that human beings will agree, or even follow a code of ethics or morals from a single source. It’s never going to happen–not in the United States, where we tout justice for all.

The reason G-Pop is encouraged is because the balance in patriotism has been askew for many years.

There was a time when those who disagreed with the war in Vietnam were considered traitors. Now they’re regaled as prophets.

In the early part of this century, we were convinced that supporting the troops meant rubber-stamping the campaign in the Middle East, which now lumbers along, tripping over its own red tape.

May I offer a definition for patriotism? Patriotism is loving my country so much that I will disagree with the stupidities that rise up to tempt her.

Candidly, there is much that the black athletes in the NFL can learn from those who take a rigid salute to the Star Spangled Banner. Equally, those who think they have cornered the market on nationalism should certainly stop off and take a look at the neighborhoods that these talented athletes grew up in, and the brothers and sisters who concern their hearts.

It’s a simple process. You can do it for the nation, you can do it for your marriage, and you can do it in your personal life:

1. What are we doing right?

There are many things that are honorable and even eternal about this country. Criticism can take a temporary back seat to celebration. Let’s find what rings all of our bells before we get too specific about our “favorite chime.”

2. What are we doing wrong?

Anyone who insists that a nation is incapable of error simply by its name or birthright needs to read the Good Book and comprehend that God doesn’t call only people to repentance, but also countries and ideologies. There is much wrong with this country. It won’t kill us to know this. It won’t destroy us to admit it. And we do not need to be at each other’s throats in order to generate dynamic plans.

Which leads to:

3. How can we do more right without doing wrong to each other?

I have absolutely no authority to make fun of someone who stands at attention and salutes the flag when Francis Scott Key’s song is played to honor our country. Likewise, I have no purpose for condemning those who sit or take a knee to express that they are not abandoning this nation in despair, but are demanding that certain ailments be treated.

When the flag becomes more important than the freedom and the integrity of people, we are too engrossed in the flag.

When our cause seems more relevant and valuable than respecting those who take a more traditional profile to loving this country, then we are equally as ignorant in our understanding of liberty.

So I honor my country as I tinker with her.

I stand with those who stand, and I kneel with those who kneel–as we pursue improving the true expanse of freedom.

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