G-Poppers … August 3rd, 2018

One of G-Pop’s children suggested that it be referred to as a “Pop-cast” since it was G-Pop doing it. Although terribly cute, endearing concepts like that often do not fare very well in the present marketplace.

But let us say that G-Pop’s children were thrilled when he started a podcast to share his humor and ideas all over the Internet.

Now, here’s the problem: The first question that comes out of anyone’s mouth when they discover you have a podcast–whether they’re interested or just polite–is, “What’s it about?”

Well, G-Pop’s podcast is on the most interesting subject on the entire planet.

People.

When dealing with people you have two choices. You can tell them what they want to hear, which opens the door to some popularity, or you can tell them what they need to hear, which has been known to empty many a room.

So when G-Pop started his podcast, “Good News and Better News,” he decided the key was to talk about the most practical things possible in the simplest, and hopefully, most humorous way, and perhaps, in so doing, Mary Poppins may be proven true–that a “spoonful of sugar” does “help the medicine go down.”

Because no human being ever begins their journey until he or she learns that there is the person you are, and there’s the person you want to be. If for some reason you decide to skip to the person you want to be, you have to lie an awful lot about the person you are.

And everyone knows what the problem is with lying: you get caught.

The minute any of us decides that we are not ashamed of the person we are, and do not walk away from the reality of our present situation, then we find ourselves in the position to negotiate–to seek and find ways to gradually become the person we want to be.

Because bluntly, you can’t save your soul until you find your soul.

So “Good News and Better News,” which is broadcast on Tuesday every week and available on all the major outlets, helps you to find your soul so you won’t be so frightened about the person you are and can keep a good sense of humor on the journey to the person you want to be.

Subscribe to Jonathan’s New Podcast

 

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Jesonian … January 13th, 2018

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Every single week.

As I journey across the country and stop off to do my presentation, I am always greeted by people who want to know my political persuasion. When I reply, “Apolitical,” they smile and begin to probe me so they might unearth my hidden beliefs, and thereby categorize me with either a big “R” or a big “D”–Republican or Democrat. How disappointed they usually end up being when I do not attack President Trump or swear my allegiance in that direction.

Many years ago, I discovered four verses from the Good Book which are so full of common sense and understanding of the human condition that I have embedded them into my own thinking, declaring this passage to be my touchstone.

When Jesus was explaining the Pharisees to the disciples, he said, “They hold Moses’ seat.”

In my lifetime, twelve men have held the position of President of the United States. Jesus’ approach on the matter? Honor the men because they’re in the position–and he goes on to say that we need to be careful to do what they say.

You see, this is where it gets tricky.

Many of my friends who are Democrats feel it’s necessary to resist President Trump, and likewise, my Republican friends demand some blind acceptance.

Jesus’ take? “Be careful.”

For instance, every time I step into my van to drive, I realize I am losing my freedom, suddenly at the mercy of the policemen in the local village who might have a speed trap. If picked up, I lose my ability to be autonomous.

“Be careful.”

Jesus says to “be careful to do what they say,” but then he adds, “But don’t do what they do.”

Not one of the twelve Presidents I’ve encountered in my lifetime would I choose to imitate in personal profile. Fortunately, since we don’t live in a dictatorship, I don’t have to do that. As long as I maintain a respectful cooperation with present laws, America gives me the right to pursue my single-minded goals while following my own philosophy.

With that in mind, I will also tell you that every week I meet a new pastor. He or she has a job. They also have a calling. What they discover is that the job often interferes with the calling, and the calling certainly complicates the job.

So they often end up pastoring a church instead of the church. They learn the mannerisms of their congregations–the quirks, limitations, aggravations and the preferences–and then try to build an institution saluting the lifestyle of Jesus inclusive of these guidelines. It often leaves them exhausted, and sometimes faithless–because believe it or not, people don’t always agree with Jesus, even while they’re praising him. People don’t always concur because they’re too busy being Republicans or Democrats.

So unfortunately, the job of the local pastor becomes that of an arbiter instead of a proclaimer.

They can even forget to give respect to the congregation, but don’t follow their ways. It is the mission of the pastor to shepherd the people to greener pastures. That begins by removing the “R’s” and the “D’s” and the denominational allegiance, and finding the simplicity of the message of Jesus, and keeping it as healthy and pure as possible.

It will take such men and women to bring about a revival.

But in Matthew 23:1-4, Jesus pronounces that it is completely plausible to respect the position of someone without following the leadership.

I do it every week. It doesn’t make me anemic. It doesn’t make me hypocritical. It simply means there are temporary solutions which are offered and can be implemented as long as the greater good is held in supremacy.

To be Jesonian is to follow the heart of Jesus. Part of the heart of Jesus is respecting those who have “gained a seat” in our society.

But most of the heart of Jesus is clinging to your autonomy so that the choices you make in your life are yours and yours alone.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … May 18th, 2016

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PoHymn Wee Bit

Wee Bit More

Sometimes the journey takes a wiggle

Which gives our child a chance to giggle

For serious we are, to a fault

Vacant of laughter, much too adult

So the Great Comic who created us all

Allows us to smile when a prat takes a fall

It lightens the load of a troubled mind

Making it easier to seek and to find

Colors displayed in a splash of rain

Joyfully provided by the sun on the lane

Reminds us life moves too fast

Stalling the race can make it last

By peering at a leaping frog

And chortling over a snorting hog

We gain the mercy to truly contend

No longer a foe, but mankind’s friend

To keep the joy of being alive

Learning to rejoice instead of strive

So when the night finally closes our day

With a chuckling spirit, we can truly say

I was honest a wee bit more than lied

And laughed out loud more than I cried.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 6th, 2016

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PoHymn January 6

Unboxing

Here’s the box I built for me

So I control what you can see

Fortifying the cardboard walls

Checking my phone to see who calls

Deciding what may enter.

Cramped I am within the space

Nervous about exposing my face

Careful to show only my choice

Selecting the words to form my voice

Suspicious while trying to smile.

I am not an evil soul

Or a frowning, grumpy, cranky troll

I just want to reach my goal

Therefore you might be a problem.

I believe in the Golden Rule

Infused during Sunday School

But does it ever make me a fool

To pursue being so trusting?

The battle rages within my heart

When to cease or commence to start

Can I be smart while pure of heart?

Maturity is so confusing.

So I will seek to be the one

Who tries to make the journey fun

Rejoicing as the work is done

Unboxing myself, freely.

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Good News and Better News… November 9th, 2015

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Good News Osceola 2

I did not sit there and count, but I do believe it was about seven of the good brothers and sisters from Osceola, Indiana, who came up to me and in varying ways, exhorted me to “keep doing what I’m doing” and “please don’t stop.”

These lovely folks are pastored by a fine fellow named Bob. Yes, there’s something truly endearing about being associated with a “Pastor Bob.”

He was a kind, considerate fellow, and along with his wife, (who, by the way, has an infectious laugh) has taken on the responsibility of bringing joy and inspiration to dear folk living in Northern Indiana.

I was so greatly encouraged by all the individuals I met at this church.

Some were aspiring ministers.

Others were hard-working Hoosiers looking for a little piece of hope to both lift up their souls and challenge them to excellence.

There was even one young dude who had a heavy metal band.

It was a mixture of American humanity.

And out of that stirred-up bowl rose a voice challenging me to continue what I am doing, and never stop.

So I asked myself, “What is it these people want me to truck on, sharing across the United States?”

Well, first, I guess they want me to continue to speak to the weakness of power.

Yes, we have leaders who are in control in this country who often pull up lame because their goals are inhuman. In the secular community, it’s the notion that “the meaner you are the more powerful you become.” And in the religious community it’s the proclamation that “we need to get people to come to God.”

The truth of the matter is that it takes more guts to find a way to get along with people instead of fighting, and God never intended people to come to Him. That’s why He sent Jesus–to go to them.

A second reason folks might want me to keep on doing my little work is that I believe it’s important to bring true possibilities to humans instead of insisting that our race consists of either animals or angels.

We aren’t. We are human.

And unlike the animals, we require inspiration; and quite different from the angels, we desperately need to be entertained while receiving it.

When you arrive at that blending, you become a friend to the human race instead of putting them in the monkey cage, or thinking we can ascend to the heavens.

And even though I’m theorizing, I would assume that the Osceolians might want me to continue to broker a deal between “works” and “grace.”

I don’t know why we feel we always have to choose between these two. I, for one, am so blessed by the grace of God that I would like to go out and share some good works. It’s not that I think good works replace the grace of God. But I also do not believe that grace has provided me free admission to anything without tapping my involvement.

The marriage of works and grace is the definition of the life of Jesus: God graced him with being a son, and he returned the favor by making many become sons of God.

Osceola, I enjoyed myself so much, and send my love your way. You have the good news.

And in closing, I offer you one beautiful piece of better news:

There is the life we are given, and there is the life we return. Our only job on this journey is to make sure the life we return … is a bit better.

 

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G-Poppers … March 27, 2015

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G-Popper

G-Pop was always pretty sure when his granddaughter had something to say or ask, but found that it was lodged in the back of her throat, nearly choking her.

There were tell-tale signs.

For instance, she would come into the room, sit down and fidget for a while, and leave–only to return several times, repeating the process.

So finally, on the fourth such visit, G-Pop decided to address the situation.

G-Pop: Something on your mind?

Granddaughter: No. Why do you ask?

G-Pop: Well, I ask because you’ve been in here four times in the past ten minutes for no particular reason, saying nothing–but kicking your feet against the coffee table.

Granddaughter: Are you mad because I’m kicking the coffee table?

G-Pop: (laughing) No. I just wonder what you have on your mind that you want to share.

Granddaughter: Not share. Ask.

G-Pop: Ask away.

(Granddaughter paused again. Apparently there was a big glob of something that was having a whole lot of trouble getting to the surface. G-Pop sat patiently, waiting for her.)

Granddaughter: (at length) You know I love you, G-Pop.

(G-Pop interrupted with a laugh.)

Granddaughter: What are you laughing at?

G-Pop: You always know you’re in trouble when somebody begins a conversation with “you know I love you…”

Granddaughter: You’re not in trouble. I just love you.

G-Pop: Thank you.

Granddaughter: What I’m trying to say is, I don’t understand why you aren’t rich and famous.

G-Pop: Which would you prefer? Rich or famous?

Granddaughter: Aren’t they the same?

G-Pop: Oh, no. One is fame and one is money. You can get money without being famous, and you certainly can be famous without getting any money.

Granddaughter: Really?

G-Pop: So which one? Do you think I should be rich? Or be famous?

Granddaughter: I want you to be both!

G-Pop: So let’s say I was. How would that help you?

(Granddaughter sat, thinking. So G-Pop offered an idea.)

G-Pop: If I had money, maybe I could buy you more things. And if I was famous, your friends might think you were really cool because your G-Pop was well-known.

Granddaughter: I suppose. Gee, that makes me sound really dumb.

G-Pop: No, it makes you sound human. It’s just that human sometimes sounds dumb.

Granddaughter: Why aren’t you on television? Or in the movies? Or on the news?

G-Pop: You ever go on a long trip?

Granddaughter: Sure.

G-Pop: Well, you’re young enough that you probably don’t understand that to drive the first mile of a long trip means you have to get your car ready, pack your bags, check the fluids on your engine, get some money, plan the trip, pick up some snacks…

Granddaughter: That’s a lot of stuff!

G-Pop: It is. And even though you might be heading for somewhere far away, your destination doesn’t make any difference, because what’s important right now is how well you plan and how much you enjoy it.

Granddaughter: What’s this got to do with being rich and famous?

G-Pop: Rich and famous is a dot on the map–maybe far away. Some people sit around wondering how they could take a rocket ship there, or be dropped in by helicopter. But since those possibilities are very limited, they usually end up going nowhere. But if you take the keys you’ve got and use the vehicle you own, and drive as far as you can, enjoying every mile of the way, you might just someday get to that dot. But if you don’t, you can sure help a lot of people on the highway enjoy a lot of scenery, and find a way to make everywhere you travel resemble that dot.

Granddaughter: I don’t quite understand.

G-Pop: I wouldn’t expect you to. But just remember this–it’s never about the destination. It’s about the journey. And as long as you’re having fun with what you’re doing, helping out folks along the way, and learning the precious value of planning, you will always be happy–which is actually the best impersonation of rich and famous.

 

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Published in: on March 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… March 11, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn March 11

Imagined

A parcel of land

Unknown to me

Yet strangely familiar

Overgrown with nature

Unfriendly to my eyes

I walk twenty paces

Through grass yellowed

By the treading of trodders

A stifling heat

A burst of sweat

Exhilarating exhaustion

A bend to the left

A field of clover

Cooling, morning dew

I linger. longingly

“Push on, pilgrim!”

A clearing in the distance

Legs I do not possess

Moving where I need go

The cliff appears

A halting of progress

What lies beyond?

What dangers beneath?

Climbing down the rocks

Slip, gain footing

Sliding again

A plateau provided

A resting place

Can’t stay long

Too small for permanence

Too much more to see

Reaching, pulling, breathless

Up, down, look around

No particular direction

Pausing to gain air

Peering for beauty

Wondering where I am

Curious who I am

Oblivious to why

A pool of water

Still, running deep?

Motionless, poisonous?

What do I really know?

My mind stores without understanding.

I am a collage of misinformation

No real possession of thought

Is this really happening?

Has it been done before?

So present, yet vacant of memory

Is it the whim of my wishes

Or the wish of all whims?

I grow weary of movement

Journey with no compass

Turn and head back!

Which way?

I forget

So do I travel in oblivion?

Or stop and settle bearings?

Suddenly, a deer by my side

He accepts me as friend

He is so confident

My deer, I do not belong

The deer does not care

I am alone, placed by myself

No comfort in my choice

So I follow the deer

After many steps

Back at the clover

He likes it

So do I

But I am not a deer

Born to languish in clover

I stumble away

This is neither my parcel

Nor my portion

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