Salient … April 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog


A couple of months ago I began a weekly podcast and decided to name it “Good News and Better News.” Of course, I was already using that title for my Monday segment of the Jonathots Daily Blog, but I knew it was time to find a different emphasis for my Monday endeavor–and therefore, a new name.

So the podcast remains, and today I am introducing my fresh Monday format, entitled “Salient.”

Please don’t feel I’m shooting over your heads with an unusual word. I didn’t know what it meant myself. For you see, this weekend, as I slept, having flashes of dreams and insights in my nighttime hours, this word–“salient”–popped up in one of those visions.

So I got up from my bed, pulled out my I-pad and looked it up. I discovered that “salient” is defined as “something notable and important.”

Then a simple bolt of wisdom from the heavens cracked across my brain. I realized that this is the problem in our country.

So much unimportant, non-valuable, meaningless, uncaring, vicious and selfish data is thrown at us daily that we begin to believe that things that don’t matter actually have some significance because they are over-touted.

We have forgotten what it important.

We have grown fearful of the practical because the arrogant have told us that pursuing such goals is the essence of ignorance.

Our survival is at risk. I don’t mean that we’re teetering on Armageddon–rather, I’m declaring that what makes our human survival special is often left at the curb as we dash into the street dodging traffic.

Therefore I would like to take each Monday and garner the experience of my weekend, explaining in gentle, common-sense terms a single piece of great humanity which has been sacrificed for the blare of over-production.

Perhaps in doing this, you and I can consider “salient.” We can once again become people who are energized by the goodness of the journey, the twists and turns of discovery and the overwhelming blessing of time and chance that happens to us all.

Salient: to pursue what is notable and important.

Please join me each and every week.

And be at peace, knowing that “Good News and Better News” has not gone away–just found a new, green pasture.


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Untotaled: Stepping 51 (September 17th, 1969) I’m Already Gone… January 24, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



For nearly a week I had been having nightly dreams, similar if not identical.

The root plot of each one of these mini-movies in my mind was a sense of being displaced.

In these visions, I usually woke up late and realized that school had already started. I found myself rushing around to dress, only to realize that I had no need to do so because I had already graduated from the institution and was merely attending for lack of anything better to do.

It was the strangest sensation, mingling freedom with anger, throwing in a dash of craziness.

I was never a great fan of the schoolyard, nor of the classroom that was inevitably attached. But now I felt like a prisoner.

I didn’t know if it was the death of my father, the incident of being caught lying on my job in the summer or the fact that I was dating a girl, but I found myself completely disinterested and even annoyed with all the little trinkets of childhood they tried to throw my way.

The music group I had started years earlier had evolved into some sort of creature I no longer recognized and was out of my control, so I avoided practices, and had my friends chasing me down to find out where I was.

The church I attended seemed more critical of me and my ways than critical to my spiritual well-being. The singing was flat, the preaching was judgmental and the folks I once respected now looked like they belonged in an old folks home.

I was generally pissed off, but covered it up pretty well with a sardonic attitude which occasionally sprouted sarcasm.

So when the sociology teacher told us we needed to read a book that addressed the transitions of our present time and give a report on it, I was oblivious and completely unmotivated with the project–so much so that when the day arrived to give the report in front of the class, I had neither a verbal explanation about my book or why I read no book.

So giggling a bit in my innards, I stepped to the front of the classroom and delivered an impassioned commendation of a volume entitled “In Search of the American Soul.”

It was so well-received that at the end, the class and the teacher gave me a huge round of applause. I even fielded a couple of questions from my instructor about the book and answered adeptly before sitting down to the admiration of the entire room.

Of course, the only problem was there was no such book.

And two weeks later, when the written report was due, and it was required to place on the completed paper the Library of Congress number of “In Search of the American Soul,” I had no such available data.

So when the teacher asked me where my written report was, I was forced to explain to him that there was no book and that the oral report I had given was improvisational.

I thought he might give me a few points for originality, but he was so upset about being duped that he flunked me.

This caused the National Honors Society, of which I was supposedly a member in good standing, to contact me and tell me that my grades had fallen below acceptable levels for their revered organization.

I didn’t care.

I was already gone.

Looking back on it, I don’t know what anybody could have done to revive my interest in adolescent concerns.

It’s just that I graduated before graduating day, so I was going to have to hang around and wait for my class to catch up.

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Three Ways to Overcome Laziness … January 22, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



Convinced I was a worthless bum who had no intention of earning money for a living to take care of myself and my family, friends and loved ones agreed to pursue a campaign of “tough love” by alienating me from their affection and refusing to contribute to my well-being.

They had decided years before that I needed to be a preacher, or if I didn’t want to pursue that occupation, I should take the first job I could find and be happy to have it.

I didn’t agree.

My disagreement left me confused and rejected by those who claimed to love me, making me want to do very little except hang out or sleep. I was dubbed an “indigent piece of crap.”

The truth of the matter is, I had not yet discovered a way to do what I wanted to do and make enough money to silence my critics.

  • I was just a kid.
  • I needed guidance, not criticism.
  • I needed to think and not be expected to respond.

Having no counsel, comfort–or friendship, for that matter, I launched into a trial-and-error lifestyle, seeking a way to acquire my heart’s desire without starving to death.

I found that the key to overcoming laziness was to pursue a goal in life that excites you every morning–and then, once you find that treasure, chase after three very important principles:

1. Always start with something simple.

There is a danger in dreaming too big. All of our dreams must be swallowed–digested–to give us energy, and if they’re too large, they’ll choke us.

Find something you can do, do it well and see what happens.

2. Avoid pursuing other people’s agendas.

Remember, you’ve been created once, in God’s image. To allow yourself to be created in somebody else’s image is not only foolishness, but an insult to your original Creator. Other people will try to make you do what works for them, and when it doesn’t work, they will blame you instead of their own bad counsel.

3. Use what you have.

Many people become lazy because they believe they lack the needed resources to begin their task. If you find you need something to stimulate your pursuit, then you should tone down your expectation to dispel your need.

We all can begin.

Sometimes we’re arrogant and don’t want to accept a small start, but if you use what you have, you don’t have to borrow from your detractors.

I suppose there are lazy people. But I choose to believe that most individuals who find themselves stymied and absent work are just unable to access their passion and pursue it by starting simple, avoiding other people’s agendas and quietly using what they have. Donate Button

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PoHymn… January 21, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


pohymn jan 21

Taking What They Gave

I was born in late December

Very young, but don’t remember

I grew up in small town digs

Only twelve for my first gigs

I never knew people of hue

Robbed of a differing view

So I preached a message of their design

Learned the ways and toed the line

‘Til lust led me to love

A divine push giving a shove

To look beyond my village scape

Write, record, share the tape

And find where I belong

Add some heart to my song

Denied by those who gave me birth

Forced to journey across the earth

To ask, hoping to receive

To seek, yearning to relieve

So knocking could open an unseen door

And blessing my way, could aid the poor

Now to be just as I am

Without one plea, a tinkered dam

And laugh my way to newness of life

Surviving the day

With all of its strife

For without the pain

I grow insane

And absent good cheer

Nothing seems clear

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The Alphabet of Us: G is for Generosity… January 19, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


Building block G bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

“If I had two, I’d give you one.”

I believe that means that you require twice of what you need before you become generous.

“I only have one, but we can share.”

Very nice of you, but what happens when you don’t have one?

Generosity is a virtue we attribute to the rich, always insisting that we are poor.

But generosity is not the option to give, but rather, a fuel that keeps us believing that our circumstances are improving and will continue to do so. Without it, we insulate ourselves and convince our inner being that we are always on our last dollar.

Human beings need generosity to confirm to ourselves that we possess resource, we are not alone and we will continue to go forward.

I see it working in three parts:

1. “I never get more until I appreciate what I have.”

Just as we become disgusted with a little kid who receives a present and is dissatisfied with the color, we must realize that the same attitude in us is equally as bratty.

2. “I will never be successful if I don’t believe I can give.”

When I was assisting a young, single mother with some finance, I made only one stipulation–I requested that she reciprocate by finding someone each and every week to donate to, who was less fortunate than herself.

She refused to do so.

I ceased my aid. It was not well-placed.

3. “Give and it shall be given to you.”

If I am going to be working in the mission of Mother Nature, it is important for me to understand that people will be generous to me because they see my generosity.

At that point, they confirm in their souls that I am a good investment. They have decided that I will not squander their generosity solely on myself, but instead, find great avenues for distributing the blessing.

Generosity is not something we do when we suddenly discover ourselves with excess. Generosity is part of our “daily bread activity,” as we work and love our way into solvency.



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Jesonian: Don’t Call Me a Dog… January 18, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


doggy under table bigger

It is rather doubtful that Jesus was able to grow up in a small village, surrounded by Jewish tradition, without absorbing a little of the local prejudice.

I didn’t.

I was born in Central Ohio and spent my youth there at a time when civil rights was being argued in the country. So as an adult, when I went out and tried to become open-minded to ethnic groups, I found it very awkward, my attempts riddled with clumsiness.

I made mistakes.

My heart was right, but the verbiage and training in my mind were tainted by false concepts.

So … when a Greek woman–a Gentile–asked Jesus to heal her daughter, the young Nazarene tried to ignore her. “Maybe she’ll just go away.”

She didn’t.

So then Jesus tried to explain to those around him, his faithful, why he was ignoring her–because her kind of people were beyond his scope of outreach.

She persisted.

So finally he told her directly, “I can’t help you because you’re a dog. A Gentile dog. And it wouldn’t be right for me to assist you and take my energies, which are reserved for my people, to help you.”

This is what we call an impasse. We have many of them in our society today. They happen when prejudice comes face-to-face with insecurity and defensive attitudes, generating volatile situations.

But in our story, this woman is not insecure. She doesn’t scream, “Don’t call me a dog! How dare you, you Jew bigot!”

Or even, “You’d better damn well respect me!”

For you see, screaming an objection at bad training is wasting words on the deaf.

Instead, she reasons:

“Okay. You think I’m a dog. But don’t the puppies get to eat the crumbs that fall underneath the table from the children’s plates?”

An amazing answer.

A metered response.

And even though she caught Jesus on a bad day, when a little too much of his childhood prejudice was creeping through, she also happened to be talking to someone who was moved by faith.

The Good Book says Jesus told this woman that because of her answer, the daughter would be healed. Insight: Jesus made a mistake but didn’t get stubborn about defending it.

Let us never forget that it also says:

  • Jesus grew in wisdom.
  • That’s right. He wasn’t born with all of it.
  • He learned obedience. Just like us, it didn’t come naturally.
  • He was moved with compassion. It wasn’t infused into him by his divine mission.
  • And he was touched with our infirmities.

He realized that such an intelligent, well-meaning, creative and enduring lady deserved to be respected and blessed.

May I share this? Nothing good happens in the church from insisting that Jesus was perfect. We all hate perfect people.

Jesus made mistakes but caught them before they cemented into horrible habits and sin. That’s pretty perfect. At least, as perfect as human beings get.

And even though, in a moment of weakness he proclaimed this woman to be a dog … she was still able to bark out the right answer.

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Untotaled: Stepping 50 (August 19th, 1969) Moon Rock… January 17, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog



Twenty-six days.

Yes, in the progression of twenty-six days–less than a month–a man landed on the moon and five hundred thousand gathered in a cow field in New York to celebrate music, freedom, excess and rebellion.

Arguably, it may be two of the most significant events of that generation. I certainly wouldn’t want to bump out the deaths of the Kennedy brothers or Martin Luther King, Jr., but if you’re focusing on things that have a positive possibility, the Apollo mission and Woodstock certainly would be near the top of the list.

I didn’t care. I was an absolute dork.

Living in a small town, I found myself somewhat at the mercy of grumpy adult opinions, which I didn’t completely agree with but had no backbone to dispel.

So I took on the attitudes of those older and darker individuals.

  • My mother said the moon landing was probably staged in Hollywood and that “those damn hippies were going to ruin our country.”
  • My preacher said that man was not meant to travel in outer space and that we should be careful, and that “those atheistic hippies were going to ruin our country.”
  • The mayor of the town said the money for the moon landing should have been used to fix the roads up in Center Village and that “those damn hippies were going to ruin our country.”

You can see that they felt the moon landing was loony and were basically prepared to damn all hippies.

On top of my fear of all adults and their inherent prejudices, I also had discovered my own hormones. Having met “Bikini Girl,” I was beginning to consider what romantic adventures I desired to pursue with the next date, which would get me a little further down the road to experience without placing me in trouble with peering eyes of critical townsfolk.

So they landed on the moon and I yawned. They met together at Woodstock to rock and roll, and I slept through it.

It was the curse of the times. There were a few people looking ahead, and the rest of us were looking down.

I still remember it well.

And I still use it as a cautionary tale … for my present looking.

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