Cracked 5 … June 23rd, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog


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Reasons We Need Even More Presidential Candidates for 2016


A.  Golden Corral Buffet offers a 12% discount for parties of 50 or more.


B. Much more fun if it turns into a food fight.


C. Just like the old saying: “The more the scarier.”


D. Better chance of ending up with a good one.


E. Maybe we can corral them all into a metal building in Kansas, bring in a tornado, and finally solve Washington gridlock.


Joe Dammit


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Just One More… November 17, 2012


Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia.

All of these places have been my home this year. I have established a temporary address in each one in an attempt to achieve some permanent results. It has been Tour 2012–and it finishes off tomorrow morning in New Albany, Indiana. You will probably never visit New Albany, Indiana. You don’t have to go … because I’ll take you with me.

At one of my stop-offs in Grand Junction, Colorado, a man asked me what my favorite scripture was. I thought he was just trying to make conversation, so I turned the tables on him and asked him to tell me his favorite passage. He said it was a toss-up between for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” and “nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

I told him I thought those were excellent choices. He pursued. “But what’s your favorite one?”

“My favorite one is found in the gospels,where it reads, ‘and Jesus went to another village.’

He looked at me, perplexed. I didn’t expect him to totally understand. For you see, the power of the gospel does not lie in the establishment of a church–the organization of religion into practices and rituals. The power of the gospel is that it travels well and is best expressed when it’s moving. It’s why Jesus said, “Foxes have holes but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

My traveling enables me to come into a town and love people, bring some incentives, make a few suggestions and exhort the areas where they are pursuing better paths–and then leave, allowing them, as mature people, to assimilate the message into their lives as they deem powerful. The danger of remaining in one community and believing that you can make a difference is that we all have a tendency to settle…and meddle. We “settle” into a series of repetitive actions determined to be normal, and then, when other people don’t follow our structure, we have a tendency to “meddle” in their affairs, taking away their freedom to be who God has made them to be.

Sometimes we use politics, sometimes we use corporations, but usually we use religious conviction as a club, attempting to hammer people into submission to the will of our local village.

It is most unfortunate.

Traveling as I do, I don’t have to “settle” for anything. I can live my life as I choose and share my discoveries with others without feeling the need for them to either condemn or affirm my purposes. Therefore, I don’t hang around long enough to meddle in their affairs or critique their concerns when those particular selections are not to my favor.

So you might ask me how you can do the same thing–to escape “settling and meddling”–and still maintain the integrity of a local post office box. That’s really easy. God gives every one of us a “tour schedule.” The beauty for most of you is that you don’t ever have to leave your own home. That tour schedule is called Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Yes, all of you can be on a tour–as long as everything that happens on Monday is not carried over to your next stop, on Tuesday. So you have your Monday tour and then you climb into your wonderful tour bus of sleep to journey onto your next gig, which is called Tuesday. Now, if you take along the problems of Monday or celebrate too many of the victories, without being fully aware that the next tour stop will have its own conflicts, then you make a huge mistake. But as long as you live within the day, not worrying about tomorrow, and you don’t fuss over the affairs of the last performance from the day before, you can find yourself in the same position I do–touring.

For after all, we’re all just visiting this place anyway. And those who put down their roots too deeply become very dissatisfied, disillusioned and discontented at the brevity of the visitation.

So I have one more stop tomorrow–but actually, I never stop. Because even as I go on to Nashville, Tennessee, to eat Thanksgiving with my family, and then climb back into my van to tour for ten days with a Christmas presentation, to finally, arrive in Miami to spend the holidays with all my kin, I am always moving on. Sometimes it’s just from Monday to Tuesday; sometimes it’s from New Albany, Indiana to Knoxville, Tennessee. The gospel works best when you don’t try to make your location concrete, but instead, understand that we’re all just passing through–one day at a time.

“And Jesus went to another village…”

A lady recently told Janet that she had come to the conclusion that we were homeless. I guess in some people’s minds it might appear that way. Of course, for fifty years now, I have been a follower of a homeless man who ended up traveling around–and in so doing, changed the whole world. I guess I rather admire his choices, and pattern some of mine after them.

So you will find me, for the rest of my life, going to another village. You may follow suit by keeping your favorite pillow but permitting yourself the blessing of traveling from Monday to Tuesday without feeling the need to worry about the former day or be too concerned about the next one.

Just remember one of the great rules of the road: it’s not polite to steal towels from your last lodging.

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The Salina Solution … June 11, 2012


The early explorers landing on the shores of the New World were often astounded to view the natives entering caves to excavate rock, only to emerge with specimens of fine, gold ore, which they chipped at until they freed the rock from the gold, placing the rocks in a pile for use and casting aside the golden nuggets. When the bewildered Europeans asked why the locals were throwing away such valuable material, they would look at them with perplexed expressions. Pointing at the pile of rocks, they replied, “These build houses.” And then, similarly referring to the golden pile, they noted, “These are too soft. They don’t.”

I tell you that story because sometimes that’s the way I feel when I go to churches. In the pursuit of humility and salvation, we often are guilty of mining rocks and throwing away gold. Is it really important for us to continue to believe in our perpetual inadequacy in order to give true glory to the awesome nature of God? Does He want to see us get better? Or is He happy with our floundering–being the tail instead of the head?

As I interacted with the precious human beings in Salina, Kansas, yesterday, I just wondered if they knew that God’s people should be smart. God’s people should be the most creative. God’s children should be at the top of the list in generosity. God’s followers should be leading the way in understanding, mercy and diversity. God’s favored should understand that they’re only given that status because they continue to pursue belief instead of settling for the common.

Yes, in a church environment, I often feel that we’re mining for rocks and throwing away the gold. I sometimes sense that futility has become the symbol of our faith, rather than our faith dispelling all futility.

So after having a wonderful embrace with my new brothers and sisters in Salina, I was encouraged to teach more to the natives about the true value of gold over merely extolling the rocks.

Here are five questions. How you answer these questions determines whether you view your earth journey into a festival of worship or a drudgery and march in despair towards eternal salvation.

(1) Who am I? (2) What am I? (3) Where am I? (4) When am I? (5) Why am I?

We have to start getting better answers than just “secular” and “religious” ones.

Because if you ask a religious person, “Who am I?” they more than likely will respond, “A sinner–in constant need of salvation.” On the other hand, a secular person might tell you that he is a valuable human being with great potential and no limits. Honestly, both answers are incomplete, if not erroneous.

What am I? Religious response: “Trusting God for my needs and waiting for my heavenly reward.” Secular: “Trying to keep ahead of the game and get a little bit ahead.”

Where am I? “On the earth, filled with trials and tribulations,” replies the religious person. “With my family, trying to do the best we can and have a little fun”–a secular perspective.

When am I? If you are of a religious thought pattern, you are constantly reminding yourself of your past sins and your present inadequacies, believing that the future is in God’s hands. A secular person is more than likely trying to ignore the past, have fun in the present and hope for a better future.

Why am I? Even more ambiguous. I guess the religious answer would be that humans are here to give glory to God. A more “street born” philosophy might be some variation of “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die.”

The religious and secular worlds square off against each other, each one believing the other is absolutely lost and confused. There has to be a better way.

So in honor of my dear, sweet brothers and sisters in Salina, I offer the following proposal, which I shall dub The Salina Solution. It is an attempt to stop mining for rocks and throwing away gold. And what is the difference? How do I know when I’m picking up the rocks and throwing away the gold in life? Anything that makes me cynical is a rock. Anything that stimulates my belief is gold.

So here you go. I will take on the same questions, but give you what I think are more Jesus-based–Jesonian–answers:

1. Who am I? A human being–nothing more, nothing less, no apologies.

2. What am I? Heart, soul, mind and strength–and if I ignore any one of them, they cry out at me like an abandoned baby.

3. Where am I? In this place, needing and giving grace.

4. When am I? Now. I live in the now. I learn from the past, understanding that because of free will, I will determine my own future.

5. Why am I? I have only one mission–to bring heaven to earth and to take as much earth as I can to heaven.

That’s it. It is The Salina Solution–an attempt to cease mining for rocks, casting away the gold. (Otherwise, you find yourself literally “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Religion will break you down in an attempt to make you humble, and the world will lift you up, only to mock you when you tumble from your own lack of ability.)

It is time to dump the rock and save the gold. Are you up to the challenge?

Are you ready to take on The Salina Solution?


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We ARE in Kansas (anymore) … June 5, 2012


Terrain changes, but people don’t.

We are frighteningly alike–alike in the sense that our basic attitudes and needs are really quite run-of-the-mill–not nearly as individualized as we might portray. What am I looking in the state of Kansas? I am looking the same the same thing that I looked for in the states of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and the many other states I have traveled through just this year. I am searching for a people–a people who will be willing to ask themselves four questions:

  1. Am I ready to feel?
  2. Do I follow what I personally believe?
  3. Can I increase my thinking?
  4. Will I do something new if it’s an improvement?

Kansas doesn’t have to look any further to understand the application of these four things than the spirit of their own favorite daughter–Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz. Although just a little girl on a farm, when she was whisked away by the wind into a magnificent, hallucinatory dream, she arrived with a heart was ready to feel. She had empathy for those around her; she was concerned. Although overwhelmed by the new world of Oz, she didn’t stand at a distance and call it odd. She jumped in to experience it.

But even though she was a “stranger in a strange land,” she continued to follow what she believed. She preached her prairie pride to the scarecrow, the lion and the tin man, trying to instill new promise for their lives. (Often the problem is not that people are following what they believe, but rather, that people do not adhere to their own beliefs, having become cynical. Yet they still promote them because they are trapped.)

Even though Dorothy had her own beliefs, when she was challenged by those around her and given new information by the wizard, she listened. She considered. Doggone it, she even mulled over it. There was no gate with a lock on the door to her brain blocking the entrance of fresh ideas. Because of that, she was able to navigate her way through this new world and return home, safe and sound.

And then, upon arriving back from her dream state, she’s a new girl. She has greater appreciation for the people around her. Her little revelation caused her to incorporate something new, because she perceived it was better.

There are really only two attributes in human beings that render us unattractive and sexless: nastiness and stubbornness. As you can see, they feed off of each other. Often people are nasty because they are stubborn, and continuing to be stubborn makes them defensive and nasty. Now, I’m not quite sure what to do when I get in front of a group of people who have decided to be nasty and stubborn. I see that they are bleeding out emotionally–and often all I can do is hand them a couple of aspirin and a cup of water.

But if they are ready to feel, follow what they believe, will consider increasing their thinking and will actually do something new–if it is improved–they are the salt of the earth.

That’s interesting. “Salt.” For I am in Salina, Kansas, and the word “salina” comes from the Latin word for “salt.” So what do I hope? I hope these fine folks will be the salt of the earth–filled with taste and flavor.

It’s all about being like Dorothy. When you find yourself in Oz, sit down for a spell … and hear what the wizard has to offer.


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