G-Poppers … March 23rd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop admits that it is possible to actually see in dim light. Unfortunately, it makes it more difficult for one to be enlightened. Reading is diminished, and enjoying the surroundings, greatly inhibited.

And so it is with the lack of light in our culture. We insist on getting used to viewing one another, making our decisions and functioning in the dim light of misunderstanding and prejudice.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that life is not about good and bad, or right and wrong. It really boils down to what works and what destroys.

A great man of faith once said there are only three things that truly abide on Earth. G-Pop thinks that by “abide” he meant having the energy to create growth and prosperity.

Faith, hope and love.

Faith: the realization, deep in one’s heart, that there is something bigger than any of us.

Hope: when we decide to discover and pursue our portion.

And the simple definition of love remains “no one is better than anyone else.”

Living in faithless, hopeless and loveless times makes us believe that these “abiding forces” are part of mythology–or worse, that they are dangerous because they give us a false sense of security.

Yet mean people don’t last. The arc of their success is brief and then disappears.

Dictators never actually get to see what they dictated.

And bigots eventually are exposed for their ignorance and stumble upon their own social landmines, and are blown up.

G-Pop wants his children to know that faith, hope and love aren’t going anywhere.

They’re merely waiting for the champions who want to carry the truth on their shoulders to the next triumph.

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Catchy (Sitting 37) Wishes… February 25th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Turns out the Iowa State Fair is held in Iowa–Des Moines, to be exact.

Matthew was anxious to connect with Soos and find out what was going on with all of the articles sprouting up about movements and changes in the church.

He discovered the team was heading to Iowa, and decided to fly out and catch up with her. She suggested they make a day of it and walk around the Iowa State Fair, enjoying the visual treats and “all the yummy eats.”

Soos said she would meet Matthew at the food truck that advertised red, white and blue cotton candy. This made him grumpy–it wasn’t exactly GPS.

But upon arrival he quickly recognized that this particular truck was right in the middle of everything and very easy to spot. He looked around for a moment and then saw her, walking toward him with a huge funnel of something-or-other.

Like a twelve-year-old girl, she ran up, hugged him and handed over the concoction.

“It’s called a cheesy-fried-enchilada funnel cake,” she explained. She thrust it into his face, and Matthew found himself eyeballing instant cullinary death, but bit into it anyway.  As with most foods geared to kill the human race, it was absolutely scrumptious.

Soos had found a picnic table nearby where they could sit and talk–a stone’s throw from the hog pens. They sat down, and by the twelfth bite of the funnel cake, Matthew felt a bit queasy at the mixture of Mexicali and pig stink.

Begging off the rest of the treat, he said, “I traced all of these reports and stories about the churches back to you.”

She looked up, a little surprised but with a twinkle in her eye.

He continued. “I just had to come here and find out what’s going on.”

Soos stuck a huge bite of red, white and blue cotton candy in her mouth, and told her story.

It turned out that right after Morgan’s death, Jubal decided it was time to step out–be bold and not just repetitive. He explained that “good things stop being good if they don’t get better.” So one day after a rally, the team, which had now grown to eighteen travelers, was asked a question. “What do you think a Jesus wish list would be?”

Soos continued to explain that this stimulated a five-hour discussion. About halfway through, somebody started typing up the ideas, and the gathered accumulated twenty possibilities. After much discussion, they honed it down to a holy seven, which they called “The Seven Wishes.”

  1. Jesus would wish to bless children.
  2. Equality for women.
  3. Expose what’s fake.
  4. Heal the sick.
  5. Bring good news.
  6. Reward the truth.
  7. No one is better than anyone else.

Matthew sat and listened quietly as Soos shared her story.

“After they finished the list,” Soos explained, “Jubal said that if we want to address this effort, we need a little army, not just their soul patrol. I thought it was time for me to speak up, so I suggested that ‘good news stories’ should be planted on the Internet and other publications, discussing eye-opening, ground-breaking ideas that reinforce these seven wishes.

“Here was my thought. If people believed the churches were thinking about Jesus’ wishes, maybe the masses would be more likely to consider the churches.”

Matthew interrupted. “Well, how many did you do?”

“Let me see,” said Soos. “A story was released that the Catholic Church, along with considering women for the priesthood, would announce all the names of the priests who were pedophiles, promising to remove them from the ministry, and set in motion a deep healing for the victims.”

She went on. “Another story was that the Mormons, who for years quietly maintained a doctrine of the inferiority of the black race, were now developing a new slogan for the Latter Day Saints: ‘no one is better than anyone else.'”

Soos clapped her hands. “Here was one of my favorites. The Southern Baptist Church of America was offering an apology to the descendants of the slaves.”

“And,” she added, “the Unitarians, who historically did not believe in miracles, were commencing a new program for laying hands on the sick, to see them healed.”

Unfreakingbelievable,” said Matthew, shaking his head.

Soos continued. “Each story was carefully worded, cushioned with an opening statement such as, ‘rumor has it…’ or ‘sources say…’ or ‘notables within the denomination report…’ while never actually claiming that the information was solidly grounded in fact. The stories were so filled with goodness…”

Matthew jumped in. “You can’t tell me that Jubal went for this.”

Soos shook her head. “No, he didn’t like it at first. Matter of fact, he was standing strongly against it. Then I explained that as long as we were presenting the purity of what these churches say they believe, challenging them to follow their own doctrines, we were merely beckoning them to their own spirit.”

Matthew roared. “What bullshit double-talk.”

Soos was offended. “I don’t need your cynicism. I would like you to consider what’s happened. These churches found themselves in a position to deny the reports, but if they did, they were forced to explain why they were against the concepts. Or they had to make a claim that such movements were under advisement–and in so doing, open the door for their congregants to discuss freely.”

She reached over and touched his hand. “Do you get it, Matthew? People are discussing. People are questioning now because they care. Nobody cared before. Now it’s actually a topic–able to be discussed instead of the forbidden religion which should never be brought up during table talk.”

Matthew listened, unconvinced. What was the possibility of law suits? What if the plan were exposed, called them out for being the charlatans they supposedly were fighting?

Then all at once, Soos changed the subject. “I want you to try something before you leave the fair. It’s just around the corner, over next to the pig barn.”

Matthew was a little taken aback with the transition but played along. “Okay. What’s this special thing next to the oinkers?”

“It’s a huge roast pig leg on a stick,” said Soos.

Matthew winced. “Let me get this straight. So while I’m sitting, staring at living pigs, you want me to munch on a roast pig leg that’s been cooked?”

“Barbecued,” corrected Soos.

“Oh–barbecued,” said Matthew. “That’s different. I’m just curious, Soos. Would you be comfortable sitting in front of a daycare filled with children, chewing on a barbecued leg from a little girl?”

“How good does it taste?” she said, smirking.

Even though Matthew never partook of the pig leg, they talked on for another couple of hours, just catching up.

Soos had changed. She had probably hoped Matthew had changed also.

He hadn’t. The whole project was just a gig to him. He wasn’t ashamed. Somebody had to keep his feet on the ground while the others floated to heaven. That was his job–to be the grownup in La-La Land.

But there was something contagious about Soos’ spirit. As she told stories of city after city, where human beings joined together to escape the dusty sameness, she grew more and more excited.

It was nearly erotic. Of course, Matthew viewed everything through the sunglasses of sexuality.

He realized how much he had missed her. He had never found her especially romantically attractive, but on this day, the gleam of her skin, the sweet smell of her sweat, and the mustiness of her breath left him curious.

After the lengthy conversation, filled with laughs and thoughtfulness, Soos excused herself to leave. Matthew was waiting. He knew that if there was a connection with her–if she was interested in him, or if there was a possibility for a sweet fling–she would inquire as to when she would see him again.

It’s just what women do. At least, that’s what Matthew assumed.

Soos hugged him, kissed him on the cheek, whispered a verse of scripture in his ear, grabbed the rest of her huge Slurpee and jogged down the Midway, in a hurry to get back to what was her real love.

He watched her run away as the growing distance between them fostered a deep sense of loneliness. He had never considered Soos to be beautiful, but all at once, he could easily envision himself ravaging her in bed.

There was no doubt about it–she was going to make some man a wonderful companion, and one hell of a lover.

 

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Jesonian … October 21st, 2017

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Even though I am an admirer, believer and follower of Jesus, there are things that bother me.

Yes, some attributes of Jesus give me the creeps.

Let’s start with the fact that he claimed to be “one with God.” Normally when folks make such an assertion, we give them a free trip to a mental hospital instead of building churches in their name. “I am God”–the classic statement made by megalomaniacs throughout history.

Secondly, he seemed to have a strong death wish. About halfway through his work, he became obsessed with his own execution. Needless to say, this is repeated throughout history by leaders who ended up being nefarious.

Can I give you a third one? How about this–he invited his disciples to drink his blood. That’s creepy. Although you can point out that it was a symbolic act, I don’t like to think about even symbolically taking in hemoglobin.

And there is the fact that he is traditionally reported to have stayed away from sex. Although surrounded by women and a plethora of men, it is alleged that he was as pure as the driven snow. We can certainly attest to the fact that those who pursue that lifestyle often end up being perverted, using their abstinence to injure the lives of others.

I’m sorry, these are some creepy things.

If I walked into your house and said, “Hey, did you hear about that guy down in Texas who thinks he’s God, hangs around with a bunch of women but says he abstains from sex, prophesies that the government is going to come and kill him, and it is reported that he makes his followers drink his blood…”

Come on. This is going to freak you out.

So why, since I know all these creepy things, do I still follow Jesus? It’s because of what he taught and how he followed up with it in his own life.

His teachings were non-violent. Most people who claim to be God want to kill you to prove the point.

Jesus didn’t care if you didn’t believe. He just went to another village.

His teachings were forgiving. Even though his disciples were a bunch of hotheads who wanted to kill their enemies, he rebuked them, told them to put their swords away and taught them that no one is better than anyone else.

His teachings were inclusive. Even though the average Jew of his day had a hit list of cultures which needed to be destroyed, Jesus walked freely with the Romans, the Greeks, the Samaritans, the Jews and the Afrikaans. He gave the same respect to everyone, whether a Pharisee or a man possessed with a thousand demons.

He also loved human beings. Even those who hated him.

He refused to take his claims of supremacy and force other people to submit to them. His philosophy was, “Whosoever will may come.”

So here’s an amazing fact: Jesus’ claims become viable because of his actions. It’s not that his actions are worth studying because of his claims.

I can accept some oddities in his choices, phrasing and mannerisms because his life was drenched in love.

Love is not creepy.

 

 

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G-Poppers … October 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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“A storm,” says G-Pop.

  • Certainly everybody gets wet.
  • Some souls are frightened by the lightning.
  • Others are chilled by the thunder.
  • The wind blows a portion away.
  • And many suffer under the devastation–loss of heart and home.

When the storm ceases, the healing needs to begin.

In what should have been a celebration of our democracy, our unity and our abiding purpose, the 2016 Presidential campaign has been a storm which has swept across our land, terrifying the citizens. Even those who prided themselves on being resilient, or were accustomed to boarding up their feelings to protect themselves from the onslaught, have been shocked by the fury of the blast.

It is certain that November 9th will still usher in a season of great conflict which will require sane people of hope and faith to step in and restore healing.

What will the healing be? The removal of complexity, providing a path to simplicity.

We will have to stop being Republicans, Democrats, old, young, people of color, white, poor or rich, and instead, nurture ourselves on the beliefs that have eternal power and everlasting worth.

G-Pop has decided to be a contributor to the common good. It doesn’t make him special–but it does make his mission purposeful.

Three treatments will be necessary to set in motion the remission from stupidity and the beginning of restoration:

1. Love your neighbor as yourself.

There’s no replacement for it. “No one is better than anyone else” is not a slogan, but rather, a constant reminder that attempting to find differences stymies commonality.

2. Take responsibility for your own life.

Stop blaming the government, abortion, the gay community or Wall Street. Count your pennies, and find things you can buy for a penny. Count your talents and multiply them. And count your blessings and be thankful.

3. Be of good cheer.

Good cheer is not happiness, but rather, a road map to get to it. It is a decision to maintain peace and stillness in the midst of the storm. For I will tell you–the storms are not gone. There are more coming.

So we must heal, but also prepare.

G-Pop offers this definition for our strength:

Nothing happens until we show up; nothing is over until we give up.

 

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Ask Jonathots… September 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I have some very intelligent conservative friends, but they seem like they will give up all logic concerning this election. Why will they give up their logic just to see their candidate prevail?

During a very brief period of deprivation, I ended up living on a farm with a fine gentleman who generously afforded me a chance to regain my feet.

I was grateful for the mercy. I wanted to help.

One day I asked him if there was anything I could do, and he led me over to some firewood. He requested that I stack it up against the side of the house. I agreed.

I had never done this before. So when I came to the side of the house, I saw two wooden planks on the ground, and thinking they were castaways, I removed them so I could place the wood in neat piles. Try as I might, I could never get the wood to stack correctly, and every time I thought I had figured out the right angles, it would slide down and fall to the side. I worked on it for three hours but made little progress.

When my benefactor returned, he asked me where the boards were that were supposed to be lying on the ground near the house. I explained I had removed them because I thought they were unnecessary. He laughed.

He said, “You need the two boards down on the ground. Otherwise the wood won’t stack right. The ground is too uncertain to keep things straight.”

Such is the case in this election year.

In an attempt to stack up ideas, goals, agendas and proposals, we have removed the planks that make everything work.

Very good people have ignored their basic truths in an attempt to elect their candidate. But you see, when you remove the boards–the principles and abiding notions of humanity–the ideas just don’t stack up.

I do not know what your planks of principle may be. I only have two:

  • No one is better than anyone else.
  • Don’t judge.

When I lay those down as the foundation for my thinking, my ideas and opportunities begin to stack up better. If I remove them, I find myself becoming too partisan, selfish, self-righteous and unfortunately ignorant.

Your conservative friends, just like your liberal ones, have decided to ignore the fallacies of both candidates. Why? Because they foolishly believe that the end justifies the means.

In an attempt to appoint Supreme Court justices, secure the borders or even promote the overuse of entitlement, they have abandoned the planks.

So my best advice in handling these last days leading up to the election is for each and every one of us to find our planks of purpose again, and then stack up these candidates in relationship to them.

For me, I would have to ask which candidate is the least offensive to “no one is better than anyone else” and “don’t judge.”

Based upon that decision, I would make my selection.

So when you talk to your friends–be they conservative or liberal–start the discussion by asking them what are the two greatest planks of their principles.

Then stack the wood accordingly.

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G-Poppers … September 9th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sometimes G-Pop forgets.

He is suddenly overwhelmed by the nasty, cantankerous, mostly-cloudy conclusions, and then drenched in the negativity.

Weathering the storm.

What G-Pop forgets is that there are two worlds: the world around him and the world of his undertaking.

It is so easy to get trapped into believing that significant change can be accomplished by arguing, fussing, preaching or evaluating the lives and actions of eight billion other people.

But we’re all human. We want everything, everywhere, to be just fine. And by “just fine,” we mean “to our liking.”

There is only one world. It is the world where we live and have some sense of contribution.

But to keep on that straight and narrow of wisdom, G-Pop realizes that certain ideas need to be honored on a daily basis:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

Even if you have information to the contrary or discover evidence which contradicts such a noble notion, be intelligent enough to ignore it.

2. Don’t judge anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Even if you feel you have the backing of eternity or a stack of holy books, laugh at your inclination to be superior.

3. Stop thinking big.

It sets your mind to enormous expectation which causes the smaller opportunities to escape your vision. Life is not about a magic wand which causes dreams to appear, but rather, a pile of bricks, which we put in place one at a time.

4. Laugh.

It’s better than crying, and even if weeping comes for a season, be prepared for it to turn into giggling. Taking things seriously only puts you in serious trouble.

5. Don’t stop believing, but don’t rely on it.

Believing has an unrighteous tendency to wait too long before determining to do something. If you want God to know that you believe, start working with what you already have.

You see, sometimes G-Pop forgets these things. The bickering causes him to become cynical, or worse, proud.

When G-Pop lives in his own world, change actually seems possible.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Message

A Message

A message to religion:

Only friendly gods are welcome

A message to women and men:

How about just be human?

A message to politicians:

You don’t build my confidence by tearing down others

A message to business:

Make a good product

A message to Hollywood:

Every once in a while, give us what we need

A message to teachers:

Hone your ideas, trust your skill

A message to lovers:

Linger

A message to bigots:

History is cruel

A message to terrorists:

You can’t kill enough to win

A message to arrogance:

There is always someone more accomplished

A message to the suicidal:

Death may not take away the pain

A message to parents:

Your kids aren’t human until you make them human

A message to kids:

Learn how to repent quickly

A message to animals:

Thank you

A message to Earth:

We will treat you like we want to get our deposit back

A message for all time:

No one is better than anyone else

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