Jesonian… June 10th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sex, money and family.

These are the three topics that encompass the majority of conversation for the average American.

Sex, discussed in the context of portraying ourselves as studly and virile while simultaneously pointing out the sinfulness in others.

Money, a perpetual complaint because we all feel we should have much more than we do.

And family because somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that our particular brood of offspring has a special place in the universe because we spawned them.

Matter of fact, I can pretty well guarantee you that if you wade into the horde of humanity, you’d better be prepared to talk about one of these subjects–probably all three.

I offer this preface because Jesus avoided these three subjects like a religion.

When they tried to get him to gossip about a woman caught in the act of adultery, he turned away, stooped down and fiddled in the dirt like he didn’t even hear them.

He certainly made the point to a bunch of pious Pharisees that because prostitutes were coming into knowledge of the Kingdom of God, they were going to enter heaven much sooner than the religious leaders. (This wasn’t very popular.)

When it came to money, he was confronted by a gentleman who wanted Jesus to be an arbiter in an inheritance squabble with a brother. Jesus curtly replies that “no one has made me a judge over such matters” and then proceeds to tell a parable about the dangers of greed. Probably not what the young fellow was looking for when he advanced his question.

And as pertains to family, Jesus made it totally clear to those around him that when his kin came to see him with the intent of returning him to Nazareth because they thought he was crazy, Jesus explained that his family was “anyone who did the will of my Father.”

So if you remove the subject of sex–which is often judgmental condemnations about the preferences of others; and money–which seems to be a perpetual lamentation over not having enough; and family–the extolling of our particular procreation due to sexual prowess–you really don’t have much to talk about, even in the lobby of a church.

Jesus had other topics that interested him:

Mercy.

Justice.

Compassion.

Faith that was ready to move mountains and those individuals who broke out of the pattern of the “sex, money and family fixation” to find a way to get along with everybody on the planet.

If you’re going to progress as a Jesonian individual–someone who pursues the heart of Jesus and not just his sacrifice–you need to realize that Jesus is not worried about your sex organs, your financial status nor how cute you think your grand-baby is.

This would probably cause him to receive some very critical glances from the Mens Fellowship and the Ladies Auxiliary. He did not care.

If you can’t get your mind out of the gutter, your brain free of feeling financially cheated, and your heart devoted to something other than those living under your own roof, you probably will back your way into a tragedy.

At that point you will have a choice.

Will you take responsibility for it due to your short-sightedness, or will you wonder why God didn’t do something to stop it?

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 17th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Do you want to have children?

 

Dear Man: No, but I’d like to have a family.

 

Dear Woman: What’s the difference?

 

Dear Man: Huge! A family is a group of people sitting around the living room, all of which have been potty trained and know the working end of a Kleenex, enjoying pizza night and watching Disney movies.

 

Dear Woman: And children would be…?

 

Dear Man: Creatures who suddenly appear, squalling and pooping everywhere, trying to control the environment.

 

Dear Woman: That’s pretty negative.

 

Dear Man: I’ve always found it better in life to work backwards from negative to find positive things, instead of leaping in with happy-go-lucky, to later retract your statements because of the abundance of weirdness.

 

Dear Woman: I would like us to have a baby.

 

Dear Man: You see, that’s the problem. Vestiges of male chauvinism and female oppression lie dead-center in the middle of this process of procreation. It’s further accentuated by the new domineering attitude–especially in black and Latino communities, which portray women as “Baby Mamas,” and these conquering studs spreading their seed across several different mothering units.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. That’s harsh. Maybe even racist.

 

Dear Man: Sexist is worse than racist. I don’t care if you’re black, brown, or whatever color you are–if you’re treating the mother of your children like she is a nanny, then you’re wrong.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I wanted to have children together.

 

Dear Man: But what does that mean? In our society, we have single moms, but single dads are kind of a joke. In other words, if a man stays home and decides to take care of his children we think he’s a lazy bum, but if a woman does it, she’s a responsible female who has made a positive choice for her youngsters.

 

Dear Woman: I can see that. But how would you rectify it? I mean, what would you do to even the playing field so men and women can be perceived as partners in this project of birthing and raising a child?

 

Dear Man: Get rid of sentimentality. Mother’s love is not stronger than father’s love–not in our species. A woman getting tears in her eyes because she’s thinking about her children does not mean she loves them more. You love them more if you work with your partner to turn them into decent human beings instead of rapists, serial killers, televangelists and politicians. And not necessarily in that order.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand what you’re trying to say. You want me to be as invested emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you are forced to be physically.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. The same amount of effort it takes to transform my body into a birthing machine is the same kind of commitment I want both of us to have, to change ourselves into parenting units.

 

Dear Woman: So what would you change?

 

Dear Man: As I said, get rid of the sentimentality about mother’s love being superior to father’s love. Then involve the man in the process of the conception, birthing and raising of the child as an equal participant, not merely a bread-winner. And stop putting special significance on one sex over another when it comes to the care, maintenance and maturing of the child.

 

Dear Woman: I agree with all of that.

 

Dear Man: Maybe you do. But that will mean that most nights you’re not going to be able to go off with your buddies and watch the game, but instead, stay home with your child and me, watching the game on TV, laughing and doing puzzles.

 

Dear Woman: I can do that. Matter of fact, when you explain it this way, it seems like the way it should be. But because we want to maintain the superiority of the man over the woman, we manufacture this false sense of “ultimate motherhood.”

 

Dear Man: Absolutely. I don’t mind having children with you if we can change diapers, change attitudes and change directions as parents together.

 

Dear Woman: Most people will think that’s weird.

 

Dear Man: That’s why most people have children that are out of control instead of offspring they can be proud of.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

(He takes the television remote, punches pause, sighs and leans back in his chair)

Dear Man: What’s wrong? I thought you wanted to watch a movie.

 

Dear Woman: I did.
Dear Man: So what’s going on? Why the pause?

 

Dear Woman: I just get tired of these flicks portraying men and women at odds, always fussing with each other–acting like “pretend fighting” is funny, and even flirtatious.

 

Dear Man: Oh, I just don’t take it seriously. It’s just entertainment.

 

Dear Woman: But isn’t entertainment supposed to entertain you instead of annoy you? And by the way, without being mean-spirited here, it does affect you.

 

Dear Man: In what way?

 

Dear Woman: Sometimes–I’m not saying all the time–both you and I play the little game we see in the movies of poking at each other, thinking it’s funny.

 

Dear Man: Oh, you’re thinking too much.

 

Dear Woman: That’s probably the first time you’ve ever said that to me. But truthfully, what comes through our eyes and ears does penetrate us. Aren’t movies supposed to do that?

 

Dear Man: I never thought of it that way. So what is it that troubles you the most?

 

Dear Woman: It’s the bickering. The “pretend fighting.” The ongoing idea that men and women can’t peacefully co-exist until they decide to get along by having make-up sex.

 

Dear Man: Wow. Is it that serious?

 

Dear Woman: Yes. I think it’s worse than that. I think there is a sensation that if men and women don’t fume, romance can’t bloom.

 

Dear Man: So how do you think it should be? Are there conflicts?

 

Dear Woman: Let’s look at it this way. Both of us eat. Both of us sleep. Both of us pee. Both of us crap. Both of us think. Both of us laugh. Both of us cry. I could go on and on. The similarities we possess are enormous, but we decide to focus on a tiny list of differences.

 

Dear Man: Such as…?

 

Dear Woman: Well, I can’t have a baby. And you probably can’t lift a hundred and fifty pounds. I can’t nurse my child. Yet you don’t have the seed to make an offspring. Those should be enhancements.

 

Dear Man: I still believe you’re over-thinking it.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But I have to tell you, the white people in America came out to minstrel shows and laughed their heads off over actors in black face who were fussing, arguing, doing dumb things and generating what was considered comedic pratfalls. As long as the black race was the butt of a joke, there was no chance for equality.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t humor a release?

 

Dear Woman: Maybe. But it’s also a weapon, to keep real feelings at bay so we can insert prejudices.

 

Dear Man: So what do you suggest?

 

Dear Woman: A really simple solution. If it’s important enough to feel, it’s important enough to say, instead of hiding behind some frustration by using a lame joke.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: I caught myself just in the nick of time.

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: I was just about to speak some words from my lips that were going to sound like an old man.

 

Dear Man: What were the words?

 

Dear Woman: It always begins the same. “Don’t you think you should?…” Here’s the truth. Things evolve. I suppose we can levy a moral tax on folks if they don’t measure up to what people used to do, but when it comes to human relationships, we’re just trying to figure out how to make it work.

 

Dear Man: Give me an example.

 

Dear Woman: When I was a kid you were supposed to meet someone, date for a while, get engaged, get married, have kids and live happily ever after or at least, live.

 

Dear Man: Same for me. Except it was my understanding that I was supposed to be pretty pure–but the guy I married could have experience, though I was never sure where he got that experience, considering the fact that all the girls were supposed to be pure.

 

Dear Woman: So you see, we now have a generation of people who are fully grown, but have memories of being raised in households without two parents. They were the children of divorces.

 

Dear Man: So naturally, they are frightened to death of marriage–because even though we accept divorce as a possibility, or maybe even a probability, the stigma of failure still stings.

 

Dear Woman: So people are trying to figure out how to couple and keep the coupling civil.

 

Dear Man: I think the key is understanding that there’s a difference between attraction and relationship.

 

Dear Woman: And a huge difference between relationship and commitment.

 

Dear Man: God knows, we’re attracted to many people. It’s what gives us confidence. It provides a fantasy life where, for a split second, we imagine what a romantic link-up would be with somebody, only to slap our face, shake it off and move on.

 

Dear Woman: You can’t base much on attraction. Sometimes you’re just attracted. It doesn’t mean any more than that, and the true stupidity is thinking that every attraction is meant to lead to a hookup.

 

Dear Man: Relationship–to relate. Honestly, I don’t want to relate with everybody on an intimate level. I don’t want everybody to know my bathroom habits. A relationship is a decision to take an attraction and see if you can take it out of the physical into the emotional.

 

Dear Woman: I like that. Because when something stays in the physical and we try to force emotion into it, we generate the tension that causes hard feelings and can even degrade to abuse.

 

Dear Man: Likewise, every relationship is not meant to turn into a commitment. A commitment is where we commit. No matter what happens we will stay together because we’re convinced there’s nothing out there that will be better than what we’ve got.

 

Dear Woman: In the Victorian era, when people were either betrothed to each other or married at an early age, there was a chance that an attraction could be birthed which could lead to relationship to feed the commitment. But since we don’t do it that way anymore, the younger people in our country need a way to wade through the confusion of attraction, leading to relationship with the possibility of commitment.

 

Dear Man: Yes. I think we have to be careful not to criticize people for living together, for instance, just because they’re not married. Unless they introduce children into the equation.

 

Dear Woman: I agree. That’s a deal breaker. Children should not show up until there’s a commitment to see the relationship through. The trouble is, people are having offspring from just attractions.

 

Dear Man: So let me see if I can get this straight. Attractions mean we are attracted. We don’t have to follow up on it. It just makes us feel warm and fuzzy.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. And relationships are where we decide if our attraction is strong enough that we might relate to one another, spending more time together.

 

Dear Man: And once we discover that we relate so well that we don’t need to look for someone else to relate to, then we can move to commitment, where we cement our feelings. In other words, we would choose therapy over divorce.

 

Dear Woman: It’s a great process, and each generation needs to figure out how to sort through all the details.

 

Dear Man: Attraction–to be attracted. Relationship–to find out if we can relate. And commitment–to commit ourselves to be one.

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Populie: We’re Only Human… November 26, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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animal man

A mite of monkey

A little lion

A bit of bird

A teaspoon of turtle

A cup of camel

A dab of dog

A pinch of perch

And a dash of dinosaur.

Human beings. That’s who we are.

We are the storage warehouse–the culmination of all evolution–and the art museum for the Creator’s masterpieces.

Yet “we’re human” is used as an excuse instead of a motivation.

Politics loves the populie, “we’re only human,” because it provides an adequate excuse for the latest scandal.

Entertainment extols the virtue of our limitations so as to look on the darker side of our appetites, providing for a more venial outlook on our progress as a species.

And of course, religion feels the need to make us look as weak as possible in an attempt to maintain the strength of the Almighty.

We get sucked up in it.

We begin to believe that we are just part of the animal kingdom, even though Jesus jokingly, tongue in cheek, told the disciples they were worth “many sparrows.”

If we do gain a moment’s breath of spirituality, we’re encouraged to seek false humility in our attempt to worship God instead of seeking the “Christ in us,” which is the hope of glorious things happening.

Here are three things about human beings. I would ask you to place them deep in your memory banks and make sure, the next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, that you recall these ample axioms:

1. We are created in God’s image.

If you’re an atheist, you are still aware that going into business with what you perceive to be your nearest relative, the chimpanzee, would certainly make for a failed project. We are unique by creation. If you do not believe in such a thing, we at least are unique by design.

2. We can feel, pray, think and do our way into or out of any difficulty.

There is no other species which has ever lived on earth with that quartet of possibilities.

3. We can choose to love.

Other animals mate, have bonds, maintain connections through offspring, but never really get the choice of loving.

These three things, combined, grant us an inner aura of divine nature, which can either be tapped or drained. The choice is yours.

But do not allow yourself to become part of a culture which, in an attempt to do away with God and personal responsibility, degrades the human being down to the level of porpoise instead of uplifting us to purpose. 

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*****

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Iffing Way: (Part 5) Rhea’s Decision… November 17, 2014

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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If bigger

What if a voice of sanity had risen up at various stages in the story of human history, to offer a challenging view when craziness was about to win the day?

If …

Rhea had a problem.

She made a promise to follow a path of abstinence and now found herself quite pregnant.

Initially, she did pretty well with her chastity until she met Herc, from the mountains. He was a hunk of a man, and his brawn turned her head and made her soon forget a pledge made to grumpy adults.

Rhea and Herc had fun.

At the end of their little fling, Rhea discovered she was pregnant. When Herc found out, he boogied out of the scene back to his mountain home.

She was left alone. There obviously had been no birth control. Plan B was not available, nor was a women’s right to choose a matter of course.

She was frightened to admit her condition, since she felt that one particular adult presence might try to harm the offspring. So she slipped away, gave birth and found out that “it” was twins.

She affectionately referred to them as Rommy and Reemy. But after they came into her life, she began to doubt again. How would she be able to take care of them? What would people think? Where would the money come from?

Being just a young lass, she even had notions of taking them down next to the river and dropping them off, whimsically believing that perhaps wolves would come and suckle them and woodpeckers would feed them, until such time as they would maybe be found by…well, some farmer couple, who would raise them to adulthood.

Even though her thoughts were immature and crazy, she planned to pack them up to take them to the river to implement her vision.

But as she was coddling them in blankets, she looked down into their little faces and realized that she would never be able to let them go.

It was never easy. She was never able to reconnect with the adults who would have certainly been critical, if not dangerous, to her offspring.

But she loved them. She taught them to appreciate nature and to value their relationship as brothers, and to never give up on one another.

There would be no wolves in their lives. She made sure of that.

No need for woodpeckers to bring food. Somehow or another she mustered the funds to survive.

And that other couple never needed to be surrogate parents, because she was enough.

She raised two strong, sensitive, yet powerful young men, who were inseparable.

They gathered a following, never jealous of one another, and even when people did try to infringe on their relationship, they dispelled their critics.

Romulus and Remus founded a city and they called it Rome. The goal of their Empire was two-fold: to spread throughout the world the doctrine that nothing is impossible and that if mankind pursued knowledge and wisdom, we could all get along.

Some countries were conquered and some came on board the Empire joyously.

But Rome became a symbol of the relationship of two brothers, linking all mankind into a common “human-hood.”

 

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“Ifing” Way: Part 3… November 3, 2014

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If bigger

What if a voice of sanity had risen up at various stages in the story of human history, to offer a challenging view when craziness was about to win the day?

If …

He called a family meeting.

Such gatherings are essential–otherwise misunderstandings will turn into squabbles which eventually spill out into the community as a whole. The dilemmas we now consider to be international were once mere unresolved conflicts between brothers and sisters.

Sitting before him was his wife and the surrogate mother of his other son. He had two boys.

For when his wife decided that she was too old to bear children, she offered her servant as a stand-in for the opportunity of procuring a lineage for her beloved husband. The young man was born, and everything seemed fine for about thirteen years–until the Mama of the house got pregnant.

After she birthed her son, she felt threatened by the presence of another male offspring, and also by the female who deemed herself important because she had contributed in such a personal way.

The two women fought.

At first it was what you would call “quibbling”–a nasty glance followed by exiting the room in a huff.

But eventually the wife made it an issue with her husband, that the other woman and her child must go. He was tempted. In a moment of weakness, he considered sending the surrogate away with a bit of cash and a heartfelt apology.

Then he stopped to think–one of the more powerful things that human beings do.

He made a decision–one he was about to share with the two dear ladies.

“We are having a problem,” he stated clearly. The two women looked at each other, feigning a bit of surprise. It was so phony he had to giggle.

“Oh, don’t try that with me. You both know what I’m talking about, and frankly, I am in no mood to discuss the specifics of your feelings or misgivings. Let me explain my position. I have two sons. I love them both. I also am deeply appreciative of the two women who bore these sons. I don’t care if anyone understands our relationship. And I am certainly not going to try to please one of you to destroy the other. Here’s what I know: if my two sons cannot grow up together and be at peace because their mothers are being silly, then what would make us believe that their children will get along with each other any better?

He paused, gazing into their eyes.

“In no time at all, a couple of generations pass, and the story of your little tiff with each other is completely blown out of proportion, and rather than being a family foible, it becomes a national offense, leading to war. For my dear ladies, all wars begin in the kitchen. They spread to the dining room, and are further inflamed in the bedroom before they head out the door and hurt the innocent.”

“So it would be unfair of me to call this a discussion. I am telling you that my name is Abraham, and for me and my house, we will have two sons, and we will serve the Lord together.”

Sarah and Hagar looked at each other, knowing the resolute will of the man before them. He would certainly follow through on his words.

They were not happy … but they knew they needed to learn how to be so.

 

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

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

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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

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