G-Poppers … November 27th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2765)

Jon close up

 

Though a little bizarre, G-Pop decided that Thanksgiving was fine because the grandchildren outnumbered the dogs by one.

Yes–five to four.

A little too close for the sake of sanity but still within the margin of error.

As all the family busied themselves preparing the delicacies they hoped would be the winner of the day, G-Pop just sat in his chair and thought for a moment about how absolutely amazing Thanksgiving and the season leading up to Christmas truly is.

In a way it’s about Santa Claus.

Very few personalities are as much maligned and revered as the Jolly Old Elf. But he does have a special formula for approaching humanity which is a workable format, and seems to gain traction every year.

It’s never out of style. It’s never rebuked so much by the religionists that it ends up being cast aside in favor of Biblical themes, and his presence is not so bound to the manger that those who have no reverence can still acknowledge the relevance.

It’s really a very simple plan of action:

1. Get prepared.

Think about the children and get the grownups to become more childlike.

2. Climb a little higher up on the roof.

You can see better. Ground level often leaves us grim.

3. Once you see better, slide down into people’s living rooms.

For after all, there’s no way to get folks to come to the North Pole–it’s too cold. At least, that’s the rumor. Also, human beings are not interested in becoming elves. So instead, you go to them, you go into their living rooms where they fellowship and nurture one another.

4. Next, bring gifts.

We’re all suckers for a gift. As long as we don’t have to sign on a dotted line, ending up with hidden payments, a free gift opens up the human heart.

We will never be able to intimidate the world into a submission of peace.

We will never evangelize the world into accepting a common Christ.

But we can come into their homes with a great package:

A. God loves.

B. God listens.

C. God learns.

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Populie: Children Are a Blessing … October 8, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2374)

baby and mama bear

For every person who loves a baby and refers to the child as a bundle of joy, you will soon find that same individual talking about “the terrible twos,” lamenting “angry adolescence,” and producing an off-spring into the world of “grumbling grown-ups.”

Religion loves the populie of “children are a blessing.” Matter of fact, it’s the easiest way to get people to clap their hands in church–announce the birth of a baby.

Entertainment loves to tell stories of people who had trouble finding children, acquiring children or birthing children and have, through some miracle, been able to have one of their own or adopt one, which brought consolation to their household.

Of course, politics jumps in with its approval because being “pro-family” is a great way to get elected.

  • But children are not born for our pleasure.
  • Children are not jewelry created to adorn the costume of our lives.
  • Children are not proof that our love is intact or that we’re virile.

Children are the means by which the natural order populates the Earth, to eventually get rid of you and me and make room for “he and she.”

To refer to children as “a blessing” and then merely sit them down in front of a television set to be indoctrinated makes us poor stewards of the opportunity.

There’s nothing special about having a kid. The whole process is very primeval. We have decided it’s beautiful because our arrogance will not allow us to admit that cows, bears and whales do it.

But after the cigars are passed around, we need to transform this pink, pudgy creature into a human being before he or she ends up acting like a gorilla.

These are the steps involved in turning the birth of a baby into the blessing of a human:

1. Nurture them.

At first, all they need are hugs and milk. Oh, yes, you may want to change their diapers, too.

2. Encourage their curiosity.

The best way to make disobedient children is to ignore their questions.

3. Channel them towards empathy and gratitude.

You cannot raise a human being if you do not teach him to feel for others and be grateful for what comes his way.

4. Force them to communicate.

Yes, I use the word “force.” A reluctance to talk will inevitably set in. When you add a computer, a phone, an I-pod and Netflix, you have pretty much eliminated their will to converse. You must intervene or you will put them at the mercy society.

5. Let them find and experience a faith which is real to them, not borrowed from others.

6. Don’t be afraid of sexuality. They won’t.

7. Have a defining moment when you have the confidence to allow your child to stop being a deduction and become your adult friend.

Children are not a blessing simply because they arrive. Actually, they are destined to become selfish, cheaters and liars … unless they are guided onto a path of human understanding. 

 

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G-4: Stay or Go? … December 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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clayI did it.

I made something.

Like every endeavor known to man, I felt greatly fulfilled upon completion, and a little disappointed with the inadequacy of the final product.

You see, in my mind, it should have been much better. But when I was finished, there were flaws. To my comprehension, glaring.

It was time for a decision–a very important one, may I add.  Do I stay or do I go?

Do I step up to what I have produced, proudly taking ownership, and begin to work with it until it becomes better, or do I distance myself from the project, expressing my displeasure and pretending that it wasn’t my fault?

Being creative does not guarantee perfection. Matter of fact, it usually presents you with the opposite: imperfection that yearns for your abiding, loving touch.

There is nothing I have ever done which possessed the qualities of my vision when I finished the first prototype.

That’s just life.

Where we develop a sense of purpose, devotion, loyalty and perseverance is in the extent to which we take responsibility for our labors, and nurture our creations to better forms.

  • No family is perfect.
  • No song is perfect.
  • No nail in a board is perfect.

Everything in life requires a second visitation, demanding that we take personal responsibility.

Is there a time to go? Is there a time to walk away from what hatched from your egg and emerged as a big disappointment? Here’s a guideline:

  1.  If it resembles what you want, but merely needs some work, stay.
  2. If its existence is proven to be a hurtful thing to those around you and yourself, go.
  3. If it is full of promise but ugly, stay.
  4. If it’s ugly, lacking promise, go.

The most valuable concept to possess in the human brain is the knowledge that nothing we touch is birthed in perfection. You have to come around, take a look, find out what needs to be fixed … and produce the good humor that makes correction process tolerable.

 

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Fallback Position… July 8, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Lot's wifeNow abide faith, hope and love…”

Really?

Where do they abide? Do they have a home somewhere that we can visit? Or are they polite virtues, waiting to be invited into our houses?

Even though these three have great power to turn our race into a meaningful creation, there are forces at work in the human family which would love to limit their effect. And you know what the problem is? It’s all done under the guise of acquiring knowledge.”

Faith suffers because there are folks who promote the “regality of reality,” where faith is concluded to be ignorant, silly and unrealistic. I will concur with them that faith in the presence of stark reality does appear to be somewhat child-like. As I hear some talk show host decry the story of Noah and the Ark as being “foolish fable,” I have to ask myself, then why is this he still talking about it–after five thousand years? Faith has the luxury of longevity, whereas reality has about a twenty-four-hour lifespan.

Likewise, hope suffers from the same slings and arrows. Whereas faith is often attacked by a darkened reality, hope is buffeted by cynicism. The three mantras of the cynic are:

  • “We already tried that”
  • “People can’t pull that off;” and
  • “How do we know that the goal is suitable for everybody?”

Cynicism is the enemy of hope, who desires no enemy.

And then there’s love. Love is drained of its influence and passion by fear.

  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of strangers.
  • Fear of anyone outside our little circle.
  • Fear of being abandoned.
  • Fear of not being given our due.

So even though faith, hope and love try to abide, reality, cynicism and fear do their very best to evict them.

This would be fine if the battle lines were drawn clearly between two camps dubbed “Good” and “Evil.” But it isn’t that way. Even those who have a sustaining trust in God have relinquished their faith, hope and love–adapting to a society which touts a temporary reality, a growing cynicism and a penchant for fear.

Is it possible to have faith and still be so absorbed in this world that you remove the mustard seed from the ground so nothing grows?

How about claiming to have a hope, but still privately nurturing a cynicism about humanity, and therefore the Creator who spawned the idea?

You might even insist that you’re a loving individual, but so overtaken by your own worries and trepidations that you fail to step out of your circle and expand your vision.

I’m afraid the church has taken a fallback position, trying to be relevant to our society instead of being the great welcome wagon to faith, hope and love.

I reject all reality if it ignores the importance of faith.

I’m going to walk away from my cynicism because it taints my hope.

And I will allow the Holy Spirit to dispel my fears so that my love can be pure.

I am not ready to surrender.

I don’t need … a fallback position.

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