Catchy (Sitting 26) Amaze On … December 10th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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She struggled to regain consciousness as the sweat poured off of her forehead into her lids, burning her eyes. She closed them tightly, trying to think, which was virtually impossible because her head was throbbing.

Where was she? Who was she, for that matter? What was going on?

Her whole body stung with a variety of wounds. Gradually she opened her eyes, blinking away the perspiration, to stare down at herself. She was lying flat on her back, wearing a bra and what appeared to be cargo shorts, pinned to the ground by a very heavy snake.

Horrified, she resisted the inclination to stand up screaming. As the snake crawled across her belly, she felt the undulations of its skin against hers, propelling itself forward.

She nearly went crazy. Instead, she forced herself to wait. She waited until the snake had stilled itself, and then, in one swift motion, she grabbed it with her hands, leaped to her feet and threw it into the air. She hadn’t realized how heavy the snake was, so it didn’t go very far. She scurried quickly away to what she hoped was a safe place.

Looking around frantically, she realized she was in a jungle. She had never been in a jungle before, but from everything she had heard or read, this appeared to be a rain forest. The heat was suffocating and the humidity so high that water was dripping from the leaves. The ground beneath her was teeming with life, giving an eerie sense of continual movement.

As she looked down, she saw that her legs were covered with little black bugs, which she tried to remove and as she did, tiny red welts remained as residue. But she patiently pursued the task.

On her left, she noticed a small pile of supplies. She rummaged through a knapsack and found two large canteens, which she opened and discovered held water. There were also power bars, a flashlight, matches and a map. On the map was a note, scrawled in magic marker, which read: “Compass in front pocket of knapsack. Walk north. You will find civilization.”

Stunned, terrified, abandoned, Jo-Jay burst into tears. How did she get here? She thought back to the last thing she remembered. She had gone to a Thai restaurant to meet up with an informant, who was supposed to give her a contact on the CLO and a fellow named Joshua.

Arriving at the restaurant, she was greeted by a lovely woman of Eastern extract, who motioned Jo-Jay to follow her down a narrow hallway, through a door and some hanging beads. Jo-Jay recalled pulling back the beads.

And then… well, now waking up with a snake on her chest.

As she stood, convinced she was doomed to die, she conjured the words of her Grandma, who explained that the only truly priceless gift in life was in all circumstances finding a reason to be grateful. This gave Jo-Jay a blessed laugh, considering how little there was to be grateful for out in this wilderness.

But she did have water. And apparently her abductor possessed some sort of conscience, to spare her life and give her a fighting chance to become suburban again.

It then occurred to her that the longer she stood there, the more the communication in the animal kingdom would view her as a target instead of a participant. So she grabbed the compass and knapsack, located north and started walking.

Three hours. Five hours. Was it seven hours? It seemed like even more. She trudged through the jungle.

At first she was totally horrified by the tiny stings on her legs and swatting at the creatures that tried to suck the moisture from her eyeballs. But she finally calmed her spirit and energized her body. She stopped every hour or so to eat a bite and drink a little.

When it occurred to her that evening was coming, she realized she could not survive a night in the jungle.

Suddenly she had an instinct to stop and listen. Over the sounds of chirps, squeaks, hisses and howls, there was another vibration–actually kind of a mumble.

She thought it resembled human voices.

She quickly turned in the direction of what she hoped was life. As she stumbled forward, she emerged and found herself in a clearing. Fifty yards across the expanse stood a man, woman and two children.

Jo-Jay screamed, “My God, my God! I need help!”

The man turned and ran toward her as the woman followed and the children trailed. When they arrived, she related her story–as much as she knew.

They listened intently, and then explained they were the Paulsons from Winterset, Iowa, missionaries to the local tribe, and were clearing off this section of jungle to build a church.

Jo-Jay tried to explain her situation and her own mission, which seemed to confuse the provincial Paulsons. She calmed down and then simplified. “I need to get back to America as quickly as possible.”

Reverend Paulson explained that four times a year, he drove their big truck three hundred miles into Brasilia, the capital, to get supplies, but that he had just completed the journey last week and there was no fuel for the truck.

Jo-Jay asked about other transportation. None.

Airplane. None.

Boat. No water that would take her anywhere she wanted to go.

She felt hopeless. She couldn’t stay with these missionaries until the next supply run. She needed to get back.

Something was very wrong–some danger in the air, which she needed to relate to her friends.

Questions cluttered her mind and suffocated her thinking. Why did they spare her? Why did they abduct her? Why did they feel it necessary to take such drastic measures for such a silly little thing as a bunch of Jesus rallies in the United States?

Then one of the children spoke up. “Papa, we do have fuel.”

Jo-Jay pursued. “Do you? Do you have fuel?”

The reverend nodded his head. “Yes, but it’s for us to survive for the next three months.”

Jo-Jay giggled, baffling the family. “Tell you what,” she said. “If you will drive me to Brasilia, I will guarantee you all the fuel you want, and as a donation, will pay for you to make another run of special supplies for your congregation.”

Reverend Paulson stared at the woman before him, adorned only in a bra and cargo shorts, with a doubtful, furrowed brow.

Jo-Jay looked down at herself and laughed. “Listen–I usually dress better than this. I have the money, if you can give me the time.”

Right in the middle of the clearing, the Paulsons knelt in prayer, as a family, as Jo-Jay, slow to join in, caught the idea and knelt down herself.

Papa prayed. “There are no accidents, God the Father. We know this. So meeting our friend today has to have some meaning. You told me that I cannot take that which was given for your work and give it away for others. So I come to You and ask which is more important–this woman’s request, or taking care of those you have commissioned to us.”

He kept his eyes closed and remained silent. The family joined in the profile. As Jo-Jay listened, she assumed he was going to take care of his own. It was only logical. After all, some crazy woman comes out of the jungle, you don’t follow her like she’s a freakin’ Pied Piper.

After a few moments, the reverend opened his eyes. The family peeked out to see if it was time to stop. Reverend Paulson looked at his wife and children, and said not a word. One by one, a smile appeared on each face and they nodded. He, the last of the four, smiled and nodded also.

He turned to Jo-Jay and said, “God wants us to go to Brasilia.”

They wasted no time. They hiked three miles to their camp, climbed into an old truck and drove through the jungle, making their own road as they went.

Jo-Jay became quiet, thinking to herself.

For heaven’s sake, what the hell is going on? 

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G-Poppers … June 16th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop welcomes all his children to the jungle called “today.”

It is possible to negotiate the experience as long as you avoid over-optimism or a nasty streak of pessimism.

First and foremost, G-Pop wants his children to know that coming into the jungle anticipating “good, better and best” is a futile, if not cruel, perspective. Human being s are not geared for such an agenda. Your friends will crumple if you place this regimen upon them.

What you have in the jungle is 1) the reluctant 2) the mediocre and 3) the available. Just realize this. It is the key to survival, which allows for success.

Reluctant people have one message: “leave me alone.” To pursue any further with a reluctant person will ignite their inner rage instead of awakening their potential. They will need to see much before they do anything.

On the other hand, the mediocre communicate clearly, “Why should I change?” They can explain why others need to alter their course and repent, but they feel deeply that they have done as much as they possibly can without sucking on their last straw of sanity.

Then you’ll come upon a clearing and meet the available. Those are the human beings who realize, “We need something.”It doesn’t mean they’re highly motivated to be productive, but they will admit that something needs to happen, or the same mediocre reluctance will render all of us vulnerable to the creatures of prey who devour the weak.

So what is your job? Are you called to turn a reluctant person into an eager one? God forbid. When you run across someone who’s reluctant, just encourage them to keep rummaging. If you see anything of quality, praise it.

Likewise, when you interface with the mediocre, G-Pop wants his children to leave them with something to think about–that good, old-fashioned food for thought with a lot of relish and mustard. Just tell them what you’re considering, and admit that you don’t have the answers, but you’re curious. Mediocre sometimes gets stirred, and in the process, can turn into a bubbling stew.

And of course, when you stumble upon those who are available, urge them to wonder. For instance:

  • How much could a little change accomplish?
  • How about if we just painted the fence?
  • What if we just purchased a welcome mat for the front door of the house?
  • What power does a little creativity bring, which might stimulate the passion to do more?

G-Pop must warn his children that the search for good, better and best is only suited for when we walk among the angels.

Enter the jungle called “today” knowing how to deal with the reluctant, the mediocre and the available.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 16) Purify … March 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Jesus was not Jewish.

This doesn’t mean he hated Jews. He was like you and me. That’s what the Bible says.

Being like you and me, he was one-half jungle and one-half Garden. So he was Jewish on his mother’s side and Holy Spirit on his Father’s side.

It’s an important point.

Jesus did not come to Earth to confirm Judaism, nor was he a forerunner for Mohammed.

Yes, we must understand that Jesus did not establish his message in order to create a third generation for Abraham. He said quite clearly that “before Abraham was, he existed.”

He pre-dated the Patriarch of Judaism and the Muslim faith.

Why is that important?

Because Christianity is here to bring peace to the Earth, not pick a side in the fight.

Until we purify the Christian message, we will miss the essence of the struggle in the early church, when Paul told the leadership that they needed to stop acting so damned Jewish. The message needed to survive Jerusalem so that it would be well-understood in Hoboken and Siberia.

So if we’re going to be like Jesus, we must purify the mission in the following seven ways:

1. I am not political.

Whoever is the next President will be my President and I will honor him or her with my prayers.

2. I am not religious.

The simple truth is, God loves me and there’s no act of contrition or worship that will make that any better.

3. I am not a skin color.

God has vision for only one thing: He sees my passion because He looks on my heart.

4. I am not a culture.

The whole Earth is the Lord’s–therefore I am part of His greater vision, not His local flavor.

5. I am not confined to my nuclear family.

Even though I love my offspring, my real family is anyone who is interested in pursuing the Kingdom of God.

6. I am not afraid.

Fear weakens my love, so I choose good cheer as my refuge.

7. I am not better than anyone else.

There are no chosen people, just people who choose well.

Until the message of Jesus is purified as the “repairer of the breach” for mankind’s misunderstanding, we will be tempted to pick sides and will wage a political conflict…instead of welcoming a human unity.

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G-Poppers … October 30th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wants his children to be aware:

“Don’t be overwhelmed with the underwhelming.”

There’s so much in our society that is loud and proud that sometimes it’s difficult to discern the portions of behavior that are valuable, and the truths that are worthy of being upheld.

There are two great dangers in this journey we call human life:

  1. Being convinced that what you’re hearing the most is real.
  2. Being jaded because what you’re hearing the most is insane.

In both cases you put yourself out of the game, becoming either a pawn of the craziness or too cynical to believe in better things.

So what’s the answer?

G-Pop suggests to his children that they stop listening to the noise, and instead, listen for the harmony.

There are ideas that have lasted for thousands of years and have endured the ridiculous to bring the sublime.

G-Pop has a simple test he places on every notion that tries to crowd into his mind:

A. Does it make us laugh?

It’s possible to have laughter that’s based on prejudice and sarcasm, but eventually when we laugh we do learn to chuckle at ourselves and our own inconsistencies. People change more quickly through a giggle than they ever do through a sermon.

B. Does it make us feel?

For you see, the danger is not being inundated with information and painful reports which cause us to close off our hearts so as not to feel the pain anymore, but rather, to limit what comes inside and make sure that we can feel for those around us.

Don’t listen to a report on CNN telling you that 328 people died in an earthquake in Afghanistan. Put yourself under the rubble and you’ll feel the impact.

C. Does it make us better?

Simply watching a movie about depravity is not the pathway to understanding reality. Reality is useless if it doesn’t challenge us to go the second mile and supersede our jungle instinct to find our Garden of Eden.

If you’re listening for the noise, you can’t hear the harmony–and that harmony is a three-part anthem:

  • History sings its truth
  • Present life adds its part
  • And our story chimes in to create a chorus of joy.

 

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Ask Jonathots… September 17th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Let’s cut to the truth. Why aren’t women considered equals in the workplace? My company has one female division chair out of twelve divisions. Upper management is less than 10% female. What is the future for equality for women?

Fortunately, the future for women can be improved by their involvement. For the power in life is finding your weakness, acknowledging it, ceasing to be defensive about it and therefore, turning it into your strength.

Up to the age of eleven, girls and boys are practically the same. At that point, Mother Nature, the Creator or Evolution–depending on your beliefs–strikes women with the whammy of estrogen.

Because it’s a chemical and therefore a drug, it places females under the influence of its power. It leaves them a little bit weaker physically, and therefore, in the world of the jungle, dependent.

So what should we do?

We should teach our young girls that merely being commissioned with carrying the procreation responsibilities of our species does not render them ineffective for also toting leadership possibilities. Instead, we now tell our young ladies that they don’t amount to much of anything if they’re not loved by a boy.

Likewise, we should tell our young men that even though they may possess greater muscle mass through testosterone, that the management and proliferation of our human race is almost solely contingent on the female. After a man commits his semen donation to the cause, women carry the ball.

Any man who has ever watched the birth of his child can attest to this. There are few times that a man feels any more helpless than when he’s observing his mate bring a child into the world.

Until we cease to fund and support a cultural war between the sexes, the female of our species will suffer inequality, injustice and unfortunately, often abuse.

So where should we begin? May I suggest four steps which would aid us in developing mutual respect?

1. Stop insisting that the way “Grandma did it and believed it” needs to be passed along to the next generation or we will all fall into a godless hell.

2. At the crucial time of puberty, find sports, activities and projects that young people can do together instead of separating them off due to muscling.

3. Stop portraying emotional response as a negative and realize that the entire human race is steered by the heart.

4. Find reasons for commonality–physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

Women are doomed to carry the cross of burden and the angst of disrespect until we realize that this characterization is based solely upon the introduction of estrogen into their bodies.

Once we understand this and honor one another for our contributions instead of limiting each other, we will not only start generating more equality but will also reignite the passion that men and women have for each other.

 

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G-Poppers… July 3rd, 2015

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It’s both.

Reality is realizing that human beings are capable of both good and bad.

G-Pop wants to communicate this to all of his children and grandchildren.

Those who envision a world where the only excitement is going to church and bingeing on episodes of “Little House on the Prairie” are imbalanced to the point of insanity.

Likewise, those more jaded individuals who have decided to transform the human race into vicious animals barely out of the jungle, possessing the brain power to destroy the earth, are equally as deluded.

Reality is admitting that human beings possess the knowledge of good and evil. We ate it up in the Garden, which thrust us into the jungle, where we must plot to get back to the Garden.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that he’s never actually been acquainted with a serial killer, although television and the movies would insist that every community probably has one. Likewise, much to the surprise of the movie industry, most folks don’t cuss and swear nearly as much as the average script demands.

G-Pop also wants his children to know that the forefathers of our country were neither saints nor sinners, but men who were trying to figure out a way to create a democracy lasting for more than a hundred years.

Men and women skirmish, it is true–but it is not actually an all-out war.

And there are millions of people in the world who believe without hating anybody.

Reality is a beautiful thing when it’s presented realistically.

For instance, terrorists are like everyone else. They are often too lazy or too broke to make terror.

G-Pop wants all of his family to know that even though there are many diseases floating about the cosmos, the human body possesses an amazing immune system to protect us.

How about this? Guns are not going to go away, so we should spend our time working on the people who own them, reminding them to refrain from killing each other.

Children are in more danger of being abducted by too much television than by crazy strangers.

It’s all about finding the reality–and any reality that is absent hope is evil, and any reality that fails to recognize evil destroys our hope.

Consider this: politicians are more inept than corrupt. But we’re stuck with them unless we decide we want to crown a king.

And even though many people enjoy escaping into fantasy, we don’t need too much magic. We need more mercy.

So looking at the world around him, G-Pop has come to the conclusion that to find good we must recognize the evil that attempts to block the path.

And in portraying evil, we must always truthfully admit that it is overcome by good.

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Turning Kids into Humans (Part 4) 3-6–Garden … September 8, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Humanating

Let’s settle one major misconception–children are not born desiring video games, I-phones, Sesame Street, toys, candy and the latest fad or trend. They are coerced through advertising and peer pressure to pursue these products and attitudes by big-budget corporations which use their advertising dollars as efficiently as possible.

Don’t be paranoid but by the same token, be careful what media outlets you allow your children to watch or otherwise, you will suffer the backlash of cultural greed.

Now that you have a child who has gained speech, feet and knows where to poop, it’s a good idea to approach this young creature as a garden.

You’ve got to plant some corn and carrots.

I call it corn because most people in our time consider it to be “corny” to feel for others. Yet without this introspection, we are worse than animals gnawing on each other in the jungle, because we actually do have a brain with the capacity for empathy.

So rather than assuming that every child born in America is destined to want to play computer games, intervene and create a garden, where you plant corniness and generosity, allowing for healthier attitudes.

A suggestion: teach your children to share the sad and the happy. Put them in environments so they can understand that someone is sad and they should feel something about it. Likewise, when they run a race and lose, encourage them to do better next time, while you also insist that they rejoice with the winner.

They are not going to want to do this.

That is irrelevant. You made this person, and you have the keys to their soul until you turn them over at age eighteen and they become responsible for their own destiny.

Perhaps it is corny, but teach your children to cry for something other than the fact that they didn’t get a candy bar in the checkout line at Wal-Mart.

Alert them to the importance of being happy for others. There is no way to continually be happy if you only celebrate your own victories.

And finally, you should plant some carrots. Yes–teach them to “care about it.” Shall we put it under the banner of “share the wealth?”

Since it’s virtually impossible to bounce two balls at the same time, gently nudge or purposefully demand that your child share one with a friend, even if he or she does not immediately produce joy in their heart over the experience.

We’re planting a garden. From age 3-6 the soil is very fertile–and therefore also susceptible to weeds. And in our society, a weed is any belief that we must grab and run instead of nurture and share.

  • Share the happy.
  • Share the sad.
  • Share the wealth.

Remember–they’re kids, not humans. You are in charge of their journey to discovering Eden by planting a garden within them.

 

 

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