G-Poppers … March 3rd 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wants to share a pair of principles with his children. Even though they are very simple, he wants to take a minute to review them, along with some of the attacks that have risen.

1. Do good work.

Seems rather logical, doesn’t it? But we’ve replaced this sentiment with other thoughts we think are the same:

  • “He has talent.”
  • “He’s on a learning curve.”
  • “She had a bad day.”
  • “He was overwhelmed.”
  • “She misunderstood the assignment.”

Do you see? Good work consists of:

A. “This is what needs to be done. ”

B. “This is how I’m going to do it.”

C. “This is the finished product, just as promised.”

America is sacrificing quality in the pursuit of making everybody feel good about themselves. It is important that sometimes we feel bad about ourselves, so some ultimate improvement can come of it.

2. Make your work look easy.

We pride ourselves in expressing exasperation, anger and exhaustion over our jobs. Work plus complaining is not only ineffective labor, but it’s unacceptable because it taints the environment.

Just think how productivity in America could jump simply by declaring war on too many opinions and too much bitching.

It all revolves around the fact that we think we’re too important. So when we fail, we want everybody to agree that given the circumstances, they wouldn’t have done any better.

So G-Pop thinks we should return to this pair of principles:

Do your work well

Make it look easy.

If a plumber is charging me $40 an hour, I do not want him to return in three hours with sweat on his brow, explaining what a difficult job it was. I will never hire him again.

He needs to return in forty minutes–with a smile on his face, listening to my gratitude and saying, “No big deal. It’s my job.”

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Mount Vernon … September 21, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2013)

Mount VernonI suppose, to the average person, the mention of Mount Vernon might conjure a hazy memory of an American history class, where the name was mentioned as the location of the home of General George Washington. Even though I, too, have that realization, to me, it was a community twenty-three miles north of my boyhood home town.

As I rolled in to Mount Vernon today, I was astounded at how much living, doing and feeling I had birthed in that space:

When I was twelve years old, we had a Bible League contest in the town, with teams from all over the Central Ohio area gathered to push buttons and light up bulbs, answering questions about Holy Scripture. We had studied every jot and tittle, and split the information apart like atoms to compete with one another for points, prizes or just the privilege of partaking of some overly sweet church punch and dried-out cake. All in all, it was a great way to consider the musings of ancient patriarchs without dozing off in the process.

Mount Vernon was also one of the first places that I promoted my own gospel sing, consisting of my group along with some others, in the Memorial Auditorium. I actually saw people arrive in cars, park them and gather to hear us all squawk and wail.

Just outside of town, in the early seventies, I got the chance to perform for the first time with a fellow named Andre Crouch, who had a group called the Disciples at the Bible College, in front of a good-sized crowd of local folks who certainly didn’t come out to see us, but tolerated what was supposed to be our fifteen-minute fronting of the main event. As I discovered that night, and also from working with Andre Crouch in the future, he was never on time, so our mini-concert turned into a forty-five-minute show, which was certainly a problem, especially considering that fact that we only knew six songs.

Mount Vernon was also the location where in my early years, when I was destitute financially, some of the local quartets gave me a dribble of money to arrange music for them, to try to make them sound a little better in front of the small congregations they were able to schedule to hear their efforts.

And last but not least, my third son, Jerrod Micah, was born in Mount Vernon–about two minutes after I walked in the door of the hospital, rushing to get there to see his arrival. (My wife never seemed to have much trouble with labor. I guess some women would insist she never went through it–more like calisthenics.)

I was nearly in awe of all the memories that just splashed in my face as I drove down the main street of the metropolis. And to think, blessed man that I am, now in my sixth decade, I get to go to Mulberry Street United Methodist Church and make another memory, tomorrow morning and night, adding a new page to my dusty catalogue of memorabilia.

Life is wonderful if you don’t get fussy.

And if you do get fussy, life is still willing to be wonderful … if you just don’t give up on a good idea.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

A Moving Experience… August 30, 2012

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I didn’t expect to stay this long.

When I arrived in Michigan twenty-four days ago, I had a full calendar of events taking me all over the central and eastern parts of the state. I devised a plan. I was going to move to a new headquarters every Monday, nearer to my business and engagements. But when I arrived in Lansing I found lodging so well-suited to our needs that I took a closer look at my plan and realized that I was already centrally located, and could just drive out to fulfill my obligations. So I settled into this one place for the past twenty-four days, which gave me my requirements, and I jettisoned myself around the Wolverine State via my van.

But today is moving day. It is time to move closer to Detroit where I can finish up my tour of this delightful location with these blessed people.

Moving day used to be a problem. You can imagine–if you had to lift your life out of your home every seven days, put it in a van and travel down the road to a new abode to set up camp, it could be a maneuver filled with indecision, frustration, labor and strife. Let’s look at those four things: indecision, frustration, labor and strife. Anyone over the age of ten will quickly inform you that all of those things are unpleasant, if not useless. But still we pursue them. Doggone it, sometimes we even feel grown-up, mature and sacrificial because we suffer through them.

I don’t agree. I sat down one day and looked at the things that made moving difficult, and rather than accepting them as my lot, I changed them. It really all boiled down to having just too many things to carry. So I made two important steps: I got rid of what I did not need and I incorporated the rest into fewer containers.

For instance, we were carrying around five clothes bags for our stage outfits. Clothes bags are not suitable for long-term travel. They are difficult to get into and they don’t exactly keep your clothing wrinkle-free. We got rid of the bags and substituted a lovely clothes trunk with wheels. We fold them up nicely, and when it is time to use them, we remove them and iron them as required. We also had our food and utensils spread through too many bags. I simplified that by moving into one case on wheels, also. So eventually, what used to take three or four hours to pack up can now be achieved in about forty minutes.

It removes the dread from my head. And when you take the dread from your head and instead, move towards solutions, you clean up mental pollution. You stop being afraid. It’s powerful.

So I woke up this morning looking forward to a move. Of course, something will come up that I am not expecting, but as long as it’s not mingled with my own inefficient disorganization, it probably won’t take me down.

I bring this up today not because I think you are horribly interested in my packing patterns. It is because I would like to introduce you to a simple four-step process for anything you will ever do in your life.

1. Have fun. If you think that such advice is cute and trivial, then you don’t understand anything about what makes our journey on Planet Earth successful. If you don’t find a way to make things fun, you will remove the joy from your existence–and the Bible makes it clear that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” (No wonder most people look like they’re exhausted and it’s only eight-thirty in the morning…)

2. Make a plan. It doesn’t mean you’ll get to use it. It just relieves your brain of the tension of believing that everything is hanging out in the air without any resolution. Jesus said you should “count the cost.” Sit down and figure out what you can do, what you can’t do, what might come up, what has come up in the past–and blend it all together into a concise idea that you can pursue … while having fun.

3. Keep it easy. The minute you begin to complicate your life, you are mingling your arrogance about your talent with the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Jesus said that his yoke, which is basically his way of doing things, is easy–and his burden is light. The contortions that religionists put their congregations through in the pursuit of divine favor may truly be the only thing worthy of hell. Keep it easy. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking that you can handle it if it becomes hard. You can’t.

4. And finally, don’t worry. I was trying to think of a mental process or reaction that was more worthless than worry. I decided that a tie for first place might be wishing. But I still think worry would beat it out. Worry is the fussiness of simultaneously believing that life “should be easier” while trying to make it harder. Talk about double-minded! Jesus said,“Take no thought for tomorrow.” Don’t worry. And don’t come back with some cute little phrase like, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have my problems.” I not only have had your problems, I’ve had mine. The Bible tells us there is no temptation that is not common to all men. Worry is what we decide to do when we really don’t want to do anything about something that demands effort.

So there you go. As I move out of my Lansing location and travel to Detroit today, I am fully implementing this quartet of possibilities.

  • I will have fun.
  • Because I have made a plan.
  • And even though that plan may change, I am still going to keep it easy.
  • And I refuse to complicate the myriad of twists and turns of life by worrying.

This applies to everything. It would even apply to solving the economic problems in this country–that is, if we had Republicans and Democrats who could have fun with each other, make a plan, keep it easy and not worry.

A moving experience–it happens every time I go from Point A to Point B without becoming frightened about Point Z, looming in the distance.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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