Good News and Better News … January 1st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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“When life gives you lemons…”

Hold out for some nice oranges. See if you can’t pick up some fresh strawberries. Even some marked-down bananas would be better. Lemons need too much sugar to be drinkable–and often still end up tart.

It was my deep, abiding pleasure and joy to begin our 2018 tour across this great nation by sharing my heart at Saint Andrews United Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

It is ably and gently pastored by an open-faced and friendly brother named Brad. He sent along Jim, Chris and David to help us set up on Saturday, and they all treated us like kings instead of the vagabonds we be.

As I sat behind my keyboard before the service began and watched the congregation gathering, my heart was ablaze with the blessing of contentment. Even though I have lived for a decent season on Earth, I am still jubilant and optimistic over the possibilities of seeing humanity achieve its better potential by negating the available lemons and shopping for more fruitful possibilities.

And the lemons are available.

So my message to all I will encounter this year will be very simple:

  • Stop believing that lying is acceptable.
  • Mean is not and never will be good.
  • And prejudice is not common–just prevalent.

Once we accept these lemons, attempting to sweeten them, we can find ourselves frustrated and stuck with a drink that is still sour. Why? Because it’s got lemons in it.

So stop accepting the social lemons that make us believe we are trapped in our humanity instead of blessed by God to revel in it.

The command for this year is monumental: We will be kind to those of our own kind.

Of course, I’m talking about people. You may feel free to enjoy your pets, you can admire the wonders of nature, you can insist that you have the loveliest home in town, but we will be evaluated on how kind we are to our own kind.

The good news is, Saint Andrews has got the message.

The better news is, they don’t have to make lemonade.

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G-Poppers … December 15th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3522)

  • G-Pop mused the statement.

    “A moral victory.”

    The phrase was uttered by a news commentator who was characterizing the nature of the defeat of Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senatorial race.

    “A moral victory” is what Judge Moore normally would have applauded, touting it as a shout of glory for the conservative Christian movement. But in this case he found himself in the middle of Pharisees who were bound and determined to stone the sinner.

    G-Pop wants to make something very clear. If all men aged 32 were to be considered pedophiles by ogling a teenage girl, we would have to turn the state of Alaska into a prison farm. Sins of the flesh are something we humans certainly understand, though we cannot condone.

    What is difficult to comprehend are sins of the heart–those iniquities that come off our tongues as we try to defend ourselves instead of facing the music.

    Yes, Judge Roy Moore followed what a myriad of politicians have done, going all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt: When confronted about the nature of your business, deny.

    Of course, Judge Moore would have to admit this is not a Christian concept–rather, a secular one that seems to work because people become exhausted with all the tawdry details. Eventually the public walks away in disgust.

    Judge Moore is a great advocate for the Ten Commandments. But like a lot of us, he may have forgotten that Jesus broke the ten down to two:

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

    Jesus prefaced the second commandment by saying it was “like unto the first.” In other words, it’s impossible to love God without loving people, or to love people without tipping your hat to the Creator.

    When dealing with the stories coming from his accusers, Judge Moore became vehement, claimed he did not remember and insisted they were lying.

    Now, G-Pop is not about to say he knows what Judge Moore should have done in this situation. G-Pop is just explaining that what Judge Moore did had nothing to do with being a Christian. He became a cornered animal, growling at his surroundings, hoping to scare the intruders away.

    Nobody got scared.

    But what happened to our dear friend in Alabama can happen to us also if we allow our ignorance to mingle with our arrogance in an attempt to create dominance.

    Every sinner saved by grace needs to remember the grace–or they soon forget they were ever sinners.

    That’s what G-Pop thinks happened in this particular case.

    G-Pop’s suggestion for Judge Roy Moore? Wisdom would declare that we have less of “Moore,” and that he refrain in totality from “judging.”

    Maybe just work on being Roy.

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G-Poppers … December 8th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop is a bit alarmed that his children have become obsessed with reality:

Reality TV

Reality supposedly showcased in movies.

Reality in politics.

And reality even in relationships among human beings

These darkened perceptions, focusing on the more base and sinister aspects of humanity, have allowed for a quiet cynicism to emerge, coaxing us to resign ourselves to a bit of doom mingled with gloom.

It revolves around a false premise: what is, is.

Once we become thoroughly convinced that the present climate is the norm, we cease to pursue standards which historically have proven themselves essential to the human race.

There was certainly a point in antebellum American when slavery seemed to be entrenched in the culture, never able to be removed. Realism would perhaps have been to accept a North and South United States–one slave and one free.

For those living in Germany in the 1930’s, it absolutely appeared that Nazism was the trend of the future, since they were touting that the dynasty would be around for a thousand years. It would have been easy to say a quiet “Heil Hitler” because you’d given up on the notion of something better.

Yet reality is actually what sane people decide it’s going to be.

When the insane members of our society are promoting virulent and extreme lifestyles as “cutting-edge trends” of natural social evolution, we bog down in apathy and eventually are overtaken by our foolish appetites.

Quite bluntly, I think it’s fine if the Kardashians want to have a television show, as long as they don’t lead people to believe it’s reality.

If you want to watch a bunch of Netflix programs that paint the condition of your fellow humans with blacks, dark grays and navy blues, feel free–as long as you don’t insist it’s “trending.”

We presently are in danger of sacrificing three essential pieces of truth, which hold our species together. Under the “what is, is” philosophy, we now contend:

1. Lying is inevitable

2. Prejudice is a part of our make-up

3. And “mean” is the best way to protect ourselves from being overtaken.

Matter of fact, if you were to talk to anyone under the age of thirty in this country, they would say it is pure idealism to seek truth, overcome prejudice or make a lifestyle of kindness. Any character in a drama who chose such a path would be executed by the writer in the first act.

G-Pop wants his children to know that evil is temporary. It always has been. It blows through town, creates a storm, and when it’s unable to sustain growth, love and talent, it is exposed for the fallacious piece of shit it is.

Read a history book. You’ll find out this is true.

It’s time for G-Pop’s children to rise up and say, “What is, isn’t.

  • It isn’t alright to lie.
  • It isn’t natural to be prejudiced.
  • And it isn’t of any benefit whatsoever to be mean.

Reality is when we take what’s good–and find a way to make it popular.

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G-Poppers … October 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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He was tall, lean, with tight jeans, leather skin, cowboy hat and a big cigarette puffing out of his head.

He was The Marlboro Man.

G-Pop grew up believing that this cowboy was the symbol of masculinity.

Unfortunately, G-Pop was so-so tall, portly, marshmallow skin, baseball hat, with no “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Needless to say, his appearance was not deemed macho.

The vision persisted until other images of emaciated victims of cigarette smoking splashed on the scene–the consequence of years of tobacco, tar and nicotine.

So nowadays we don’t really know what makes up a man or what constitutes a woman, though we are certain that the two sexes are better when they intertwine instead of interact.

What makes a man?

What constitutes a woman?

It does sound like the beginning of a very long essay, or a series done by a writer attempting to generate readership through a dribble of controversy. G-Pop shall save you the time.

  • A man is a person who tells the truth, beginning with himself.
  • Likewise a woman tells the truth, beginning with herself.

The absence of truth places every human being right back in the center of the animal kingdom, willing to do anything to survive.

And as Pontius Pilate sardonically phrased, “What is truth?”

Truth is what we understand to be factual, while waiting for more information to enlighten us.

There’s nothing sexier than telling the truth.

Nothing more romantic than making it clear that you can be trusted.

There’s nothing more valuable to another soul than being able to relax with the account that’s been stated, and have some measure of confidence that it’s true.

Matter of fact, the truth sounds terribly alluring until you realize that occasionally it demands confession, apologies and repentance.

There is a contingency of our society that has begun to believe that the best way to avoid difficulty is to always deny any responsibility. It is pukey, sickening and devoid of any of the clarity which makes it simpler to live life.

Somebody lied to The Marlboro Man about cigarettes, so he ended up lying to us. Somebody’s lying today, and we are being tempted to buy into the lies and offer them up as explanations.

God help us all.

G-Pop would love to encourage his children to tell the truth, beginning with themselves.

It’s not always pretty, but it is always beautiful.

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G-Poppers … August 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

During a recent appearance on a talk show, the host asked G-Pop, “If you had one minute of air time to speak to the whole world, what would you say?”

G-Pop took a deep breath and replied:

“Take responsibility for your life. There is no shame in making mistakes. There is great disgrace in lying.

Repent to live. Then you are free to be trusted.

Be a giver, not a receiver. Some receiving is necessary to have something to give. Don’t get used to it. Share what comes your way.

Feel strong because you breathe.

Feel wealthy because you eat.

Don’t judge anyone at any time. Stop listening to gossip.

Find a place to create–then create.

Don’t answer a question that wasn’t asked.

Never give an opinion, even when it’s requested.

Your life is your voice.

In other words, love your neighbor as yourself.”Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 18th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-reasoning

Reasoning With Me

I am not always right

I am not usually right

I am not always wrong

I am not usually…

Wait a second!

What should I say?

I am not usually wrong?

What is usually?

More than half?

Am I wrong more than half the time?

Am I right more than half the time?

What dare I claim?

What is the truth about me?

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m right or wrong

Why am I so perplexed?

Because I’ve invested myself in me

I need things to pay off

Otherwise people will think I’m risky business

So should I lie about being wrong

To improve my right percentage?

But what if I get caught in a lie?

Is it worse to be wrong or to lie?

Which is forgivable?

And can I fool people?

For how long?

I would certainly have to believe they’re stupid

Why do I want stupid friends?

Why would they want a lying, dumb acquaintance who’s wrong over half the time?

Could I lie sometimes and tell the truth on other occasions?

What if I get it mixed up?

Is my status more important than the truth?

If so, why do I need the truth in the first place?

I can just construct a good story and then sell it

But then, who would I be able to believe?

Who could I trust?

And who is outsmarting me?

Maybe the truth does make you free

Free from bumbling, crumbling, tumbling and stumbling lying.

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Good News and Better News … October 31st, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3111) 

coldwater-back-wall-1From everything I hear in the news media, our country is “angry.”

People are mad.

I’m not really sure what they are so upset about, but I guess that’s why pundits get to dress up and over-explain.

Yesterday when I arrived at the Coldwater United Methodist Church, I met people who are trying really hard to be kind and gentle in an atmosphere of crudeness and despair. Even the pastor of the church is beginning a new phase of her life, expanding the horizons of her ministry–completely and totally by faith.coldwater-set-2

Even though we accept the veracity of the reports about the frustration in our country, the constant repetition of complaint does nothing to alleviate the pain.

But it really revolves around a three-step process:

1. Stop being mad at me.

Yes, I need to stop being mad at myself. Most of the antagonism I feel toward other people is centered in my own dissatisfaction with my choices–especially when it comes to lying. For after all, once we start deceiving ourselves and others, we’re grouchy and fussy because we fear there’s the chance we’ll be challenged or get caught. So the best way for me to stop being mad at myself is to set in motion no lying–and that goes for exaggeration, too.

2. Stop being mad at others.

No grudges.

The grudge is always a piece of pride we fester because we’re not willing to discuss our feelings, fearing that we just might have to compromise. When we no longer insist that other people are “just so stupid that we couldn’t possibly reason with them,” we begin to address the animosity we have with mankind as a whole.

3. Stop being mad at God.

Most Christians would insist they feel nothing but love for their heavenly Father. But since He is our Dad and we are His children, there’s a good chance that occasionally we’ll be pissed off over the household rules–especially since religion comes along and puts the doctrines in stone. You can’t have a relationship with God through religion.

So–no religion.

Religion will not make you closer to God. It makes people prejudiced, self-righteous and nasty.

So I contend that a good portion of what I am called to do is remove the arrogance of anger so that the congregation can manage to forgive themselves, others and God.

That’s the good news.

The better news is: when you have no lying, no grudges and no religion, you find it much easier to relax and enjoy your relationships.

coldwater-jesus-note-3

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