3 Things … May 23rd, 2019

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You Want People to Say Behind Your Back

1. “He’s (she’s) too nice

 

2. “I wish I had his (her) talent”

 

3. “I trust him (her)” 

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G-Poppers … August 17th, 2018

Today G-Pop wants to talk to his children about slippage.

In olden times they referred to it as “backsliding”–allowing oneself to retreat from principles once held dear–because the temptation of the times changes the atmosphere and weakens the faith.

In the past ten years, because we’ve allowed a streak of meanness to become acceptable behavior, there has been a slippage in the attitudes of the populace toward one another and in the passion for life.

It’s really quite simple.

Those who were once merciful have slipped into being merely open-minded, leaving mercy practically abandoned.

The open-minded people have slipped to being generous–and that normally only to people they know well or who are related to them.

The generous folks have backslidden to kind–hoping that flashing a smile and expressing a willingness to be helpful will be enough without having to commit to action.

And kind people, who used to think up ways to be contributors, have slipped to nice. If at all possible they will offer a pleasant countenance to the world around them–that is, unless something odd happens. At that point, nice people become careful. They will swear that the reason they become careful is because the world is screwed up and “you can’t trust anybody.”

And of course, careful people drop down a degree into suspicious. This is where you start to hear about folks loving their dogs more than people.

And those who were naturally suspicious before degrade to downright grouchy. They don’t even pretend to lead with a sweetness of spirit. It’s too risky.

Of course, there were people who were grouchy to begin with. They have become edgy–ready for a fight, and the edgy people usually find that fight, and end up being bullies.

Bullies have become fighters; fighters are more violent. Much of the violence has led to murder, and now murder has deteriorated to mass killing.

The political parties will blame each other for the problem, but long before there was a President Donald Trump, there was a President Obama, with all of the fussing, arguing and struggling that occurred during his two terms of administration.

G-Pop realizes that you may consider it a “conservative” problem, or perhaps an outgrowth of the liberal media. Since you can’t do anything to change either one of those organizations, G-Pop thinks it might be a good idea for his children to just work on themselves.

Where have you slipped to?

Where have you fallen?

If even 10% of the population would raise their human effort up one notch, to the position they occupied before 2008, there would be such an improvement in the climate of this country that the other 90% would have to take note.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that it’s time to stop backsliding.

There are no signs that the leadership in government, business, education or the church is going to lead a resurgence in civil behavior.

No–it’ll be up to us.

It’ll be up to G-Pop…and all his children.

 

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Cracked 5 … March 20th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Typical Excuses Given for NOT Being Nice

A. Don’t want to finish last

 

B. Assaulted as a toddler by a “nice” nanny with strained asparagus

 

C. Smiling aggravates your migraines

 

D. Bit by a radioactive spider, making you “Snider Man”

 

E. Genetically predisposed: the “mean gene”

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Line Up

They All Line Up

Say something nice

Was her kind advice

For she likes things sweet

Orderly, proper and neat

This will better suffice

 

Spit dialogue mean

Gross, malicious, obscene

Is what he asked of me

Demanded, can’t you see?

Avoid the common clean

 

Pray for the sick

Just anyone you pick

Pronounced the holy preacher

For every living creature

Adding mortar to crumbling brick

 

Invest your money well

Promoting what will sell

Proclaimed Banker Thomas

Guaranteeing his latest promise

And adding a “do” for his tell

 

They all line up, sure they know

How I should run my daily show

Thou shalt this and thou shalt not

Plant your seed or cast your lot

Easy, breezy, let it blow

 

But I, for one, don’t buy it

But sit very still and quiet

And listen to my soul

As my half becomes a whole

And then by faith… I try it

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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TJ, JT, VL, Gurgle, Gurgle, Gobble, Gobble, Z-Z-Z … November 23, 2011

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In Washington, D.C.

I had the audacity to presumptuously plan to take four days off for a Thanksgiving vacation to spend with my family in the Nashville, Tennessee, area, renting a home so that we might all gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.

I don’t know what I was thinking.

I learned a long time ago that days planned off or vacation possibilities are one of Mother Nature’s favorite targets.  She seems to have a personal giggle-fest over our notions of rest and relaxation or any form of escapism and saves us little pieces of tedium to interrupt our purported bliss. Maybe it’s because I still plan to do things while taking the time off that causes the difficulty.

I had to get a piece of our equipment fixed, so I placed an ad on Craig’s list, and promptly received a phone call from TJ. He seemed like a really nice fellow, knew his stuff, and was in need enough of the employment that I felt good about engaging him, if you know what I mean. So I handed my very important instrument over to him for repair.

He brought it back to me yesterday. Broken.

Understand, he had worked on it but had failed to achieve the task–making it even worse than it was before. Some form of remuneration was in order–just to be polite and to cover his expenses. So I ended up paying sixty dollars for someone to break my equipment. (I think I could have given it to a three-year-old with a candy cane and come out on the better end.)

Then an old friend of mine came over–JT–a veteran of a thirty-year acquaintance, and we had a delightful time talking about family, dreams, the past and hopes for the future.  He is a wonderful soul with a lot of talent, whose works may never be heard by the masses because America is not really in search of talent, but rather, in admiring and uplifting the greatest yield on ego. So as he left, I was invigorated but also a bit saddened that some of the things he may desire to do will lie in the planning stages on a table in a corner room.

Back to my piece of equipment that needed to be repaired (which is called a VL70-m box). Once we discovered that it had been sabotaged by the minions of inefficiency, Jan immediately got on the phone to track down other possibilities, revealing a myriad of potential, none of which were particularly attractive to either my vacation plans OR my wallet.

Thinking I had acquired enough activity for one day, the house we had rented for the four days suddenly sprouted a demonic presence in the form of a gurgling toilet.  Now normally, I don’t like my appliances to have personality–call it my quirk–and when I place toilet tissue into a receptacle, I do not expect it to be gurgled back up to me. This toilet seems to be offended by the mere suggestion of doing its job–so anything deposited within its porcelain sanctuary may eventually come back to you later on. For the time being, I have decided to leave it alone in its solitude, shutting the door to the bathroom, gagging the gurgle.

On a brighter note, I did begin cooking my turkeys for the Thanksgiving festivities.  If I must say so myself, I do a pretty good job preparing my bird. Most people over-cook their turkeys or cook them much too hot in an attempt to get that famous browned-skin look on the outside, which means the innards has surrendered and dried up.

Here’s what I do: I thaw the bird to a point that I can remove all the inner workings and leftover parts that are basically unidentifiable by even a poultry forensics expert. Then I take a couple of apples, a couple of oranges, a couple of onions and a few stalks of celery and stuff them inside. I take one bottle of zesty fat-free Italian dressing and pour it over the top of the bird and I cover the creature with aluminum foil and put it into the oven at 250 degrees for about eight hours. In the last hour I remove the aluminum foil from the top and turn the oven up to 300 degrees, basting every twenty minutes. This is for about a twenty-pound fowl package. If it’s smaller, of course, you can cook less. I then take it from the oven–and I choose to de-bone it for ease of serving. I cover it with some of its juices and put it in the refrigerator, and upon re-heating the next day, it is moist, tender and sweet beyond words. The turkey was the last event of my day–and a successful one it was, to counteract the attack of the repair man, the visit from a friend with unrequited talent and the grumblings of a spotty potty.

I was tired. Z-Z-Z.

I realized I had two more days of this alleged vacation–and honest to God, I began to think about how anxious I was to get back to work so I could really rest up. I admire all of you who pursue a life of domestication. It has never been particularly kind to me because houses always need repair, families always need counsel (or money), friends are looking for hope when what is available is reality and repairmen … well, they often don’t.

So believe you me, I will enjoy the rest of my time with my kind kin. But when the hour of departure does come, I will provide adequate tears for the appearance of separation, but inwardly I will smile, knowing that I’m escaping the gurgle-gurgle … and even the gobble-gobble.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

It’s the Whole List Thing … November 22, 2011

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In Washington, D.C.

Nearing Christmas again, here come the songs–and some composer decided to write a lyric about Santa having a list which he checks twice to find out who’s naughty and nice.   What’s with all these lists? Here’s a list over here that says you can’t borrow money. Here’s a list that says you’re not qualified to join some club. Still another list we make — of things to do today —  ends up frustrating us because the one thing we forget to add mars the whole experience. Politics has come down to composing lists of candidates who fall into the category of acceptability. And I guess it began with that list of the Ten Commandments. 

First of all, may I state that most of the things on that particular compilation are pretty obvious?  “Thou shall not kill.”  Gotcha.  But I just wonder if that counts the number of times I wished somebody was dead, though I didn’t have the energy to perform the murder myself…
 
“Thou shall not steal.”  Stuff is stuff.  Mine over here, yours over there.  Got it.
 
And of course, the list begins with the one that always baffles me.  “There is only one God.” But it turns out, He’s jealous.  So if He knows there’s only one God, who’s He jealous of?  I don’t get it.  Or is it that He’s trying to promote the idea that He’s the only God, and privately He fears competition?
 
“Honor your father and mother.” I understand that. Must have been exhausting for them to conceive me. But this is a tough one for many folks out there who have been abandoned by mothers and molested by fathers.  Exactly how are they supposed to honor these creatures of intrusion?
 
“Thou shall not commit adultery.” A big plus for this particular step of moral excellence is being granted the grace of unattractiveness. Does that mean that ugly people are more spiritual because they find it easier to put a cork in it?
 
“Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Wow. Forbidding lying and gossip? Could you field a choir in a church? Or have a congregation gathered to hear them, let alone a preacher to lead the singing?
 
Seems like every religion has a list. Most religions even believe there’s a final list–some sort of Book of Life where our name has to be written or we end up with what would resemble a forty-five minute wait at Red Lobster, or discover that the heavenly destination has been closed down by the health department. At least for us.
 
What is it with lists? Do I really feel closer to God, knowing that other people are going to be unceremoniously thrown out the back door? Do I really sense the presence of an eternal love by waving Ten Commandments in front of the faces of bewildered fellow-travelers? If serving God and being moral is really such a good thing, why don’t we enjoy it so much that we don’t have to talk about lists that exclude other members?
 
I’m having so much fun in my life that I’d like to go around and invite people to the party instead of thinking up reasons why they shouldn’t come because they’re boring, smelly or lack the intelligence to carry on decent dinner conversation. What’s the reason for all these lists? And where does Santa get off–deciding who’s naughty and nice? Listen, North Pole Boy, from what I hear, gluttony is a sin and wearing red with fur on it … well, talk about gender abiguity… So get off your high horse–or is it reindeer? 
 
 Here’s what I think. If you’ve found something that makes you happy, be happy and don’t make other people miserable because they don’t share your happiness.  If you’re not happy and feel the need to make other people miserable because they don’t share in your complication, you might want to go out and find something to make you happy so you don’t end up being the grumpiest guy on the block.
 
You go ahead and make your lists. You go ahead and exclude people because they don’t qualify and you go ahead and believe that God is going to boil everything down to some tight-knit group of compliant and bored adherents.  Not me. I’m looking for reasons to include you in my life and hope that you do the same.
 
What’s with all the lists? What’s with all the restrictions on membership? Does it really make any difference how we’re baptized, or is baptism really about coming to the conclusion that it might be nice to symbolically wash away the past? Do these things really matter? And if they do to you, I hope you will enjoy compiling your list, following your list and checking off those who do not give homage to your list. As for me, I think I will just take it as it comes, laugh about what I don’t understand, weep a bit about what I can’t change, and enjoy all the rest. 
 
What is it with all these lists? Maybe it’s because we think there’s limited parking in heaven–so it’s a good idea to discourage shoppers.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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