G-Poppers … March 3rd 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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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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Ask Jonathots… September 1st, 2016

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I have a friend who is not a believer. He loves people, is kind-hearted and generous. In other words he acts like a believer who follows Jesus. How can I convince him that Jesus is the way? P.S. I have done my best to “shine my light” before him, but he doesn’t seem to budge.

I assume you’re talking about the standard Plan of Salvation:

God sent His son in the body of Jesus of Nazareth to come to Earth to give himself as a human sacrifice for the sin of mankind, so that if anyone accepts him as Savior, they can be redeemed and guaranteed a home in heaven.

I will tell you that if your aspiration is to see your friend follow this step-by-step procedure to attain eternal security, you probably will be greatly disappointed. The amount of anger, disaster or devastation that comes into one’s life before reaching the “end of the rope” that is required to comply with this particular enacting of salvation is not very common–and not something you would actually wish on your worst enemy.

So let me offer you a different insight.

Your friend has the power of knowing where the switch is, to turn on the lights. That’s pretty special. What he doesn’t have is the awareness of how that light works or what to do if the switch is broken.

Once we understand that God is not only our Father, but is the Creator of Earth, and therefore the Initiator of science, technology, atmosphere and logic, we have a much better comprehension of the mission of Jesus.

Jesus basically grants human beings two things they do not have without him:

  1. Don’t worry about life.
  2. Don’t worry about eternity.

He made it clear that we should not sit around “taking thought” about what we shall eat, drink and wear because it is all built into God’s system if we keep our eyes open and pursue opportunities.

And Jesus made it equally understandable that eternity was prepared for us, and that he would be there to meet us.

The rest of the Gospel is merely explaining how the juice gets to the lightbulb–so just in case our light switch stops working, we can ask the “Master Electrician” to join us in reconnecting.

Is there truth to the Plan of Salvation about a human sacrifice?

When mankind was given the freewill choice of accepting the teachings of Jesus, and rejected, murdering him, God chose to use it as a means of forgiving us for our shortcomings.

Pretty powerful.

So what should your profile be? Make sure that your friend is fully aware that the Creator is also the scientist, philosopher, musician, technologist and free thinker that he requires in his everyday life.

Remember, Jesus wanted to be known for his words.

The religious system honors him for his blood.

But the average person is not nearly as intent on finding a sacrificial lamb as in discovering someone who can understand and show compassion.

Case in point:

When Zacchaeus gave his money back to those he had cheated on taxes, Jesus said, “Salvation has come to your house.”

Zacchaeus didn’t confess, he wasn’t baptized and Jesus had not yet died. But salvation was there because Zacchaeus welcomed the wisdom of awareness and mercy for others.

Stop being in a hurry to get your friend to sign on the dotted line, and instead, give him more “lines” of appreciation to his Creator.

 

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G-Poppers … July 15th, 2016

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The Two-Headed Devilish

G-Pop is humbled by words.

He wants his children to know that if words are selected intelligently, they can be used to justify the feelings of the heart. On the other hand, if expelled carelessly, they can condemn, exposing ignorance.

While the nation stumbles about, trying to figure out what has happened in the last few weeks–why we are hurting one another–it is essential that we reflect on the power of words.

For you see, two monsters have been invited into the living room of American life:

  1. Lying is expected.
  2. Meanness is accepted.

Up to now, we have successfully held rancid racism and putrid prejudice at bay, simply by recognizing that lying is wrong and being mean produces nothing but retaliation.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve become convinced that lying only has consequences if one is caught, and that meanness is effective if it achieves domination.

Meanwhile, policemen are afraid of black men, which in turn, causes black men to be terrified of policemen.

Let’s begin here: those who have been nominated for the Presidency of the United States feel it is their privilege to attack one another, lie, cheat and imbue dishonor. Just for the record, Donald Trump is not a “big faker” and Hillary Clinton is not “crooked Hillary.” These verbal barbs are not funny, not interesting, and certainly not newsworthy.

So dare I say, this kind of flippant, childish wording is the culprit–the nexus–for two dead young black men and five noble policemen.

Why? Because we expect lying and we accept meanness, so there’s no one to trust and no one who is guaranteed our respect.

We must deal with this “two-headed devilish” or we will continue to decline as a culture, lying in the meanest ways possible.

So what should we do?

A. Lying is easy, but it’s wrong–yet forgivable.

To gain that forgiveness, we have to embrace the truth, which makes us free of the insecurity causing us to attack others.

B. Meanness hurts.

There is never a good time for it. It is never a preferable position. It is the profile of a soul who has run out of ideas. It opens the door to blame, which is always seeking a new name.

G-Pop wants his children to know that lying is wrong, and meanness is unacceptable.

Until we return to systemic logic–drenched in common sense–we will lie about our prejudices and rationalize our meanness.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 21) Five Months … April 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Five months ago I began this series on “Reasonable.”

I initiated the idea that it is completely useless to follow Jesus–being Jesonian–without offering to our planet a reasonable nature.

Let’s look at our consensus:

1. Free will

Human beings have the right to make their own choices.

2. Liberty

The more we promote freedom, the better off we are in the eyes of God.

3. Unjudging

Take a moment, go back and find the people you’ve criticized and tell them what a jerk you were.

4. Good cheer

We need to begin to believe in the joy of our own testimony and life.

5. Mercy

The only time that grace terminates is when we become ungracious to others.

6. Humility

There is a built-in reward for pursuing our dreams with excellence.

7. Considering

Demanding more is the best way to make sure you will get nothing. Find what you have and delight yourself in it.

8. Priority

Just uncover the best ways to bless other human beings.

9. Leavening

Silently, but persistently, insert good into the mix.

10. Resilience

Survive the critics. Avoid criticizing.

11. Peaceful

Always arrive prepared to listen, and chat up if you must.

12. Repairing

Find reasons for commonality.

13. Logic

Consider science in understanding faith.

14. Living

Don’t be in a hurry to call something dead.

15. Doubt

To question is to care.

16. Purity

Just keep it simple.

17. Quietly

At least half the time, try not to be noticed.

18. Wounded

Use your wounds for healing others, while being proud of your scars.

19. Apolitical

If the government is of the people, then work on the people, not the government.

20. Silence

It seems that wisdom always arrives an hour later than opinion. Wait for it.

The beauty of these twenty axioms is that you could pursue one and change your own life and enhance the lives of those around you.

You could try one each week and literally create a radical revival.

Being reasonable is not a noble task taken on by saintly believers–it actually is the only reason that we are able.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 13) Logic … February 28th, 2016

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Logic is knowing what to use, how much to apply, how long to pursue and who to involve.

Logic is often avoided because people want to revere words like “faith” or “perseverance.”

Unfortunately, because we’re human beings, we often ignore logic–not out of some noble venture of scanning the heavens but rather, due to a stubborn nature or lazy disposition.

There are even those who contend that if they are true believers in a Divine Being, they must reject logic in favor of hope.

But in the Jesonian, we have the balance:  it’s knowing when to apply the right measure of faithful effort.

For sometimes …

1. Let it pay out.

In other words, get your hands on it.

It’s not anybody else’s business but yours. It is in the scope of your ability. It is part of your daily bread. It is the talent that has been given to you, which needs to be multiplied. It is God, sitting back in his easy chair in heaven, waiting for you to take authority.

It is important to know when we are supposed to get our hands on it and mold it into something beautiful.

2. Let it play out.

Get your hands off of it.

Once it has become obvious that our input is counterproductive or useless, the quicker we abandon the present dilemma and move on, the better the chance that the Natural Order can play it out and good things can be born.

We spend too much time arguing at walls about why they are there. We are not called to knock down walls. We are to avoid the walls, and let Mother Nature tear down the barricade.

People ask me what I think about certain issues. Truthfully, I don’t. They are often anti-human, anti-kindness, anti-wisdom and certainly anti-logic.

My job is to let it play out and get my hands off of it.

3. Let it pray out.

Get God’s hands on it.

There is a gap between what we are able to achieve and what needs to be done. It is what the Good Book calls the “need” that God is prepared to supply.

God will always give us wisdom and strength, and sometimes it is His good pleasure to give us the Spirit to intervene on behalf of humanity.

When something is important and your hands cannot touch it, and other hands need to be removed from it, then put it in God’s hands.

This three-part anointing of logic will suit you well in everyday life–just by simply posing the question:

Whose hands are needed here?

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Jesonian: Carpenter Logic… August 31, 2014

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Janice has a five-year goal spectrum which she has laid out, printed and shares with anyone who’s interested and quite a few who truly aren’t. Unfortunately, five minutes after Janice shared her sixty-month roll-out, she discovered that her mother had just passed away from cancer and that her services would be needed to assist her father in finding a new place of residence. Unable to muster the kind of logical profile to continue her dreams, she abandoned them in frustration.

Mark has a business plan and has filed corporation papers to start a company to pursue one of his adventures. In the process of gaining investors, he uncovered some unsavory facts about his helpers and was forced to walk away from the money because he wasn’t sure how to logically handle the adversity.

Even though planning is a terrific way of proving to yourself and others that you are serious about your aspirations, what really determines our success is the path of logic which we pursue when our “best-laid plans of mice and men” go ker-plunk, ker-plop.

It is unfortunate that religious people don’t study the life of Jesus. They would see that he spent thirty years as a carpenter’s son and only three years concentrating on his sonship with God. So the logic of the carpenter permeated his dealings and helped him get through many a tight spot and tribulation.

What was his carpenter’s logic?

1. What’s the job?

A powerful question. Because oftentimes we prepare for a job we have created in our minds rather than dealing with the actual task set before us. When we ask ourselves, “what’s the job?” we have time to get focused on the moment instead of finding ourselves discussing logos to adorn our five-year goal plan.

2. What materials are needed?

Even though we may be familiar with the old street phrase, “don’t show up to a gun fight with a knife,” there is great depth of wisdom hidden beneath that dark thought. Knowing what materials you will need in order to pursue your situation and keeping yourself flexible for changes and revisions proves that you have the kind of logic to get you through tight times.

3. How much?

Yes–count the cost. And then, if you’re smart, ask yourself the question of what happens if the budget doubles.

4. How long?

Since the philosophy of the carpenter was “he that endures to the end shall be saved.” what might be some of the obvious and tell-tale signs of where and when the end might be?

5. Build it to last.

Even though sand is on sale, it’s not a good deal because you have to keep rebuilding. The rock might cost more, but anything that’s built on it will remain.

And when you build things to last, you not only communicate the level of your commitment, but you have an obvious passion for your work which tells people you can be trusted.

Your plans in life only work if you are following a logic which survives pettiness, stupidity, and human frailty.

 

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If You Knew … January 26, 2012

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From Miami, Florida

 

If you knew taking a ten-minute walk every day would lengthen your life by five years, would you do it?

If you knew the person of your greatest affection was truly the very best you ever could have done, would you decide to be more appreciative of their presence?

If you knew that pickled beets, when eaten with Brussel sprouts, promoted longevity, would you adjust your palate accordingly?

If you knew there was basically no difference between men and women except a couple of obvious physical ones, would you reject society’s bigotry, or continue to join in the misguided laughter and fantasy?

If you knew your religion was incorrect and through some miracle, were given the true revelation, which ended up being from another religion’s hearth and home, would you change your affiliation to gain greater insight?

If you knew your car was being made in a foreign country at the expense of people who were suffering under the management of the manufacturer, would you switch to another vehicle to make a stand against tyranny?

If you knew the political party of your choice was actually detrimental at this time to the nation’s better interest, would you abandon your affiliation and change your vote?

If you found out that Santa Claus really did live at the North Pole, and during all these years, there’s been a vast conspiracy to disprove his existence, would you be willing to go back to a childlike heart on Christmas morning?

If you knew there was no difference between the races, would you still insist on keeping them separate?

If you knew money was important to give you the confidence to become a giver, would you work harder to get it, so that you could become more generous?

If you knew there was no God, would you still decide to love your neighbor as yourself?

If you knew that interfering in other people’s lives was the main cause of most of the disruption in our society, could you learn to keep your nose out of other people’s business?

If you knew chocolate chip cookies caused cancer, would you stop eating them, or gamble with the risk?

If you knew that “thank you” were the two most important words in the world, would you swallow your pride and say them more often?

If you knew that hoping for things was unfortunately a convenient way of not doing what you know to do, would you exchange your hopes for action?

If you knew that your mother and father were good people but had human flaws that caused them to teach you faulty logic, could you still love them as people but reject their philosophy?

If you knew more than you know now, would you be glad you knew it, or wish it wasn’t known?

Life is about one major decision. Actually, it’s an answer to a simple question.

Am I looking for answers, or do I want confirmation?

Because the truth of the matter is, if you seek you WILL find. If it’s confirmation of all your feelings, including your prejudices, you will certainly discover enough ammunition to fuel your war.

But if you’re seeking answers, you must be prepared for some of your pre-conceptions to be ravaged so that the landscape can be cleared for beautiful improvement.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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