G-Poppers … January 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Every now and then, one of the older sons asks G-Pop what he thinks about the present political fray.

G-Pop smiles to himself, wondering if Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Madison are giggling somewhere in their heavenly mansions (even though the quartet may not have actually believed in such a lofty destination.)

The truth is, our forefathers devised a system grounded in idealism and absent needful guidelines on implementation.

“All men are created equal.” A great idea–until you try to dole out the equality.

“A government of the people, by the people and for the people.” A moving notion–except for the fact that many of our founding patriarchs thought the electorate were ignorant and incapable of ruling themselves.

And of course, the precept of “liberty and justice for all.” How can you give liberty to everyone and still manifest justice? And isn’t the application of justice often the tempering of liberty?

Let’s look at some simple facts:

  • Freedom without common sense is anarchy.
  • Common sense minus freedom is tyranny.

It is only with the blending of freedom and common sense that “liberty and justice for all” is achieved.

So how do we balance it?

We don’t.

We have to go no further than the mind of God to see that freedom preempts justice.

For instance, the will of the Jewish San Hedrin–to crucify Jesus–supplanted the prevention of such a heinous act.

How about Abraham Lincoln? He decided to participate in a war with the South, because granting freedom to the slaves was cosmically essential.

So in choosing leaders, we must select those who honor freedom, and then gently and tenderly temper it with the common sense that brings justice.

Without this, we hamper the process of a democracy by introducing laws, restrictions and even morals that don’t necessarily fit all the participants.

Even in the case of raising children, inhibiting their freedom is a dangerous thing to do because it invites rebellion. Yet granting freedom with no respect for the history of humankind is an invitation to disaster.

So G-Pop feels that the best place for us to begin to grant freedom is to remove adjectives from in front of the word “people.”

There are not “black people, gay people or disabled people.” Just people.

There are not even women and men. Just people.

When we even the playing field to “people,” then we can address the common sense of what we all need.

We, the people. That’s what makes our system work.

Whenever we change it, segmenting ourselves into little groups, we start restricting freedom and destroy the process.

So G-Pop says to his son: “Vote for candidates who believe we’re all people on a journey together … to find common sense.”

 

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The Benjamin Franklin Moment… January 19, 2012

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In Philadelphia

 
If memory serves me correctly, it was January 19th, 2006. I was shopping at the Rivergate Mall in Madison, Tennessee, when I walked to my car–and lying on the ground near my front bumper was a hundred-dollar bill.
 
Yes–Benjamin Franklin, giving me his classic lascivious leer. It took a moment for my brain to register that money was lying at my feet, even though it is the continual, persistent dream of every human traveler. There was no wind blowing, so it was quietly remaining, without stirring. I picked it up, realized it was real, and then looked around in all directions to see if somebody was frantically searching their wallet or purse for the lost revenue. There was no one in sight.
 
The spot where I retrieved the bill was also far from any store, so I didn’t know exactly where to go to locate a potential searcher. I stood for a moment, continuing to peer circumspectly but no one came into view. I thought about taking out want ad in the newspaper, telling of the discovered treasure, but I considered how ridiculous that would be–no one is capable of being that honest, considering the financial benefit.
 
I realized that I had received a blessing.  It was MY blessing–yes, my gift–to do with whatever I wanted.
 
I climbed in my car and sat for a moment and made a Biblical decision. I call these Biblical decisions because they are conferences I hold with my spirit, my conscience, my emotions, my will, and everything I’ve learned that truly is important that actually ends up working out when applied. Many things I have tried to put into practice–especially from the Old Testament–have proven to be less than adequate in everyday human interaction. Moses and Nehemiah are not my best contact points in the hour of need. No–it is up to me in my lifespan, to make Biblical decisions based upon a council of myself with the Spirit of God, using as a reference those principles I have found to be irrefutable. Here’s how I decide things:
 
1. If it’s a spiritual matter, I find a way to apply it practically. I do not believe in “abstract” spirituality. I think it’s the duty of every believer to take heavenly things and bring them into earthly use–or else, please just be quiet about it. This is why I do not take part in discussions about the Apocalypse, heaven, hell or even a conversation about who’s going to make it to the pearly gates or not. These are spiritual thoughts that don’t seem to have a landing gear to arrive at the airport of our human reality. Everything spiritual needs to have a practical application–otherwise, hush up.
2. Likewise, everything practical in my life needs to have a spiritual implication. I do not believe it’s an accident when I run across a person in need in the street. I do not think that stopping at a red light is without a measure of spiritual leading by God’s integrity. I look for my practical life to have spiritual meaning and eternal quality. The reason most people cannot grasp the concept of “Christ in me, the hope of glory”  is that they believe their lives are DIVIDED between the earthly and the heavenly. Such a division is not only unnecessary, but may prove to be the definition of careless ungodliness. Everything practical becomes spiritual.
 
 So that is why when I had the one hundred dollars in my possession, I said a quick prayer, tapped the Kingdom of God within me and came up with what I thought was a delicious plan. I decided to keep fifty dollars for my own enjoyment and pleasure–because deprivation does not make me better, just grouchy. Then I went to the bank and took the last fifty dollars and changed it into five ten-dollar bills, and spent the next hour just dropping one ten-dollar bill at five locations, so that someone else could enjoy the miracle of finding unexpected finance.
 
Because, after all, the most spiritual thing you can do in your life is to enjoy the gifts God sends your way, and then find a way to share that sensation with others. I thoroughly enjoyed the notion that someone was finding a ten-dollar bill and they were also being given a chance to turn something spiritual into something practical, and then taking that practical and transforming it back into something spiritual.  It is the essence of what we do as people which sets up apart from not only the apes, but from one another.
 
It was my Benjamin Franklin moment. Fifty dollars for me and five ten-dollar blessings for those who were alert enough to notice. 
 
Yes–alert enough to notice. It may be the true definition of righteousness.
 
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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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http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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