G-Poppers … February 23rd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop looked on with a bit of sadness as social media lit up with posts about evangelist Billy Graham.

Many of them were cruel. Matter of fact, an inordinate number were laced with vindictive language and resentment against the deceased Reverend.

He lived for ninety-nine years, so trying to abridge his life into one space of time is completely impossible. So the last generation only has insights on the occasional press release which came from his home in North Carolina and the actions of his son, Franklin Graham.

G-Pop feels the same way about Billy Graham as he does about Michael Jackson. G-Pop is not sure either one of them would appreciate the comparison, but every person’s life, including Michael and Billy, comes down to two questions.

What did he or she do?

What did he or she miss?

Can it be as simple as the good doings outweighing the bad, which means someone ends up righteous?

Yes. Any other standard would be prejudicial.

What did Billy Graham do? He preached the Gospel to the whole world. Granted, it was a particular gospel–focused mainly on repenting of sin, accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior and being baptized. Therefore he missed the greater glories of the Gospel of Jesus:

  • Abundant life
  • Mercy to others in order to obtain mercy
  • Refusing to judge fellow humans
  • Wise to stay away from politics.

Michael Jackson arguably wrote the most unique blend of R & B and pop music ever penned. The tunes were filled with humanity, generosity, giving, joy and tolerance. We also have to note that he missed the opportunity to learn to love himself or accept who he was, and in the process may have accidentally damaged the lives of some young people because he was abused as a child.

Billy Graham stayed married to the same woman and was never involved in a sexual scandal throughout his entire ministry.

Yet he missed the opportunity to link arms with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and failed to encourage the South to join the North, East and West to accept civil rights in this country.

He missed the moment when the gay community sought equality as citizens, and instead evaluated them by his moral code and traditions, dating back thousands of years.

Michael Jackson was generous, childlike and desperately tried to address world hunger while simultaneously destroying himself through drug abuse.

It would be terrible if Dr. Billy Graham were to be known as “Billy Graham Cracker.”

Just as horrible would be “Michael Jackson, child molester.”

G-Pop thinks both of these men established that they had hearts to do more good than bad. The weakness of each one showed up at poor times in their personal histories, but with confidence, G-Pop will continue to respect their journeys.

So every time G-Pop hears the old hymn, “Just as I am without one plea,” he will think of the love, efforts and mission of Billy Graham of North Carolina.

And when G-Pop hears Beat It, Billy Jean and Man in the Mirror, his eyes will tear up over the memory of one of the greatest talents that ever inhabited the Earth.

If G-Pop expects this same quarter when he dies–to be evaluated by what he’s done, minus what he missed, hoping for a positive total–then he must first extend that grace to others.

We must first extend that grace to others.

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Three Ways to Find Yourself… November 13, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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bigger man in the mirror gif

Even though there are individuals who contend that we’re better off losing ourselves to either religion or a noble cause, what you end up with is an army of souls possessing no map. So even if you fortify them with self-confidence and knowledge, they still have no internal compass as to where to go or determination to press on.

All of us must find ourselves.

If we don’t, we become too disappointed over the success of others or too jubilant over minor improvements which don’t have lasting quality.

If you’re going to find yourself:

1. Set aside all expectations placed upon you by others.

From the time you were a small child, you were informed, instructed and even invigorated to pursue certain activities because some relative, teacher or minister believed that you were “born to be some profession.”

These voices haunt us.

They especially spook us during times that we feel we have failed at our present exploits and may have missed our destiny.

There is one voice you should listen to, and it is the still, small one inside your own soul, speaking the wisdom set aside for you and you, alone.

2. Start doing what can be done in the moment, using good cheer.

You don’t save the good china for special occasions. There’s no guarantee that any of us will ever reach the pinnacles we envision. So we might as well enjoy the plateaus by giving our very best and making sure That we’re overjoyed to still be in the hunt.

I’m not so sure there is anything such as “a big break.” But if one does afford itself our way, it will certainly be a surprise, catching us off-guard and we’d better be doing our top-dollar work when it intrudes our direction.

3. Start looking for movement, not approval.

We would all be astounded at how many times people’s praise will take us in the wrong direction, simply because they’re trying to gently nudge us into doing their will.

If you are dependent on people’s appreciation and vote of confidence in order to function in your journey toward excellence, you will certainly stall in some quagmire of mediocrity.

There will be movement.

If you’re heading in the right direction, doing what you want to do and keeping a good sense of humor along the way, a glimmer of light will twinkle in the foreground and inspire you onward.

You and I can only ultimately please others and God by finding ourselves.

Denying yourself is not ignoring your heart’s desire–it’s refusing to believe that what others desire for you has come from your heart.

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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