Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Man: I’ve been really looking forward to talking to you about all this craziness in the political scene.

 

Woman: It’s really wacky, isn’t it?

 

Man: Yes, but I get tired of evaluating other people’s actions. The whole discussion got me thinking about my own conversations, interactions and dialogue with women. Am I saying the right things?

 

Woman: Do you think there are right things to say?

 

Man: Yes, I do. Matter of fact, I would like you to explain how some of the common phrases exchanged between men and women–well, how do they sound to you?

 

Woman: Well, I wouldn’t exactly know because we’re not in the moment.

 

Man: I get that. But can we try to discuss it?

 

Woman: Sure. Give me an example.

 

Man: Let’s say I just met you for the first time, and I walked up and said, “You’re so beautiful.” What would you think of that?

 

Woman: I think I would giggle inside. I wouldn’t be offended. But I also would know that you were coming from a school of thought which taught you that women need compliments in order to be opened up.

 

Man: You see–that’s great! Thank you. How about this? “I find you attractive.”

 

Woman: Actually, what you’re saying is that you see me as attractive, but you have no idea if my whole being is attractive to you or not.

 

Man: A third one. “Do you find me interesting?”

 

Woman: You’re asking me if you pass the “eyeball test.” In other words, is your face, body and physical being acceptable enough to catch my attention?

 

Man: How about, “Can I buy you a drink?”

 

Woman: Kind of weird.

 

Man: “Are you alone?”

 

Woman: Kind of stalker-creepy.

 

Man: “Do you think we could get together?”

 

Woman: Sounds like you suffer from over-confidence and have spent too much time speed-dating.

 

Man: I’ve heard that women like a more direct approach. Like this; “I think we should have an affair.”

 

Woman: Maybe when women are sitting around a table having consumed some alcohol, they pretend to be brave enough to field such an inquiry, but if a guy actually did that, we probably would desperately need to laugh out loud.

 

Man: And I would assume that laughing at a man is not a good sign, right?

 

Woman: Not unless he’s telling a joke.

 

Man: So what if it was a thoughtful question, like, “Are you experienced?”

 

Woman: Are you trying to hire a plumber, or a prostitute?

 

Man: You see, this is a great discussion. And maybe you don’t have the answer to this, but what do you think would be good, as a way to opening the door of possibility to another person?

 

Woman: Forgive me, but I think corny works. And by corny, I mean just awkward enough to know that the line hasn’t been rehearsed a thousand times in the mirror. I would be interested in any person–male or female–who would simply ask me, “Would you like to talk?”

 

Man: I like that. Will women respond well to that?

 

Woman: Probably not. Because we females have become so jaded by the Neanderthal approach toward sexuality. I think it would be nice if a man would just say, “I’ve been observing your interactions with people of all ages and I find your approach interesting.”

 

Man: Doesn’t that sound a little bit like a stalker, too?

 

Woman: Maybe, but not stalking to kill. Just watching to learn.

 

Man: So as a woman, what do you want to receive in the initial encounter?

 

Woman: Equity. Equal footing. The realization that I have a life that is real and functioning, and that I’m not waiting for a man to come along and complete me. So I’ll tell you a great question. I would be really impressed if a man would ask me, “What is your calling?”

 

Man: That sounds too old-fashioned.

 

Woman: Good. Old-fashioned isn’t bad just because it comes from a different era. Old-fashioned is still around because it’s worked.

 

Man: What I got out of our conversation is that any inclination toward physicality, sex, romance or even hooking up needs to be removed from the tone of the words, or it’s too shallow to wade into.

 

Woman: Very good. And keep in mind, romance is the by-product of a mutual understanding.

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G-Poppers… December 12, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2441)

G-Popper

One of his granddaughters asked G-Pop about music. She was curious, thinking he might be old-fashioned in some of his views.

“What is your favorite song?”

G-Pop: The next song which is performed with so much passion that I can feel the meaning through the talent and heart of the performer.

“Well, G-Pop, do you like today’s music?”

G-Pop: I like good music, and since good music is timeless, there is no today or yesterday in it. Just the living emotion of the moment.

Amadeus, Frank, Paul and Beyonce bigger

“Do you like playing piano?”

G-Pop: It’s great fun as long as I realize I am out-numbered, 88 keys to 10 fingers. Obviously, I’m going to lose some of those battles.

“Okay, G-Pop. What do you think God thinks about music?”

G-Pop: God is a groupie, hanging around backstage, hoping the crowd is moved by the hits…and waiting to spend some personal time with the artist. 

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New-fashioned … August 7, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1968)

bicycleGood always wins.

It takes time.

By saying it takes time, I don’t mean there are intervals in history when it appears like evil will actually EVER take the day. There are always inklings of hope–and evidence of faith–which can bolster our love of truth–unless we begin to allow ourselves to be pushed down the broad path of stupidity towards the cliff of insanity.

Of course, you do risk being called “old-fashioned.”

If you cling to that which is praise-worthy, valuable, human-friendly and tender, there are those who will insist you’re out of step with social progress–thus completely devoid of cultural savvy.

Even though life is somewhat like a book, most people forget the plot of the previous chapter as they read the present offering. So to them, it doesn’t seem to be an ongoing tale, but rather, a series of text messages distributed from the mob mentality.

Why can’t good things be considered new-fashioned instead of old-fashioned? What is the difference between good and evil?

Evil kills, steals and destroys.

Good stubbornly refuses to participate.

  • I will not join into the meanness of my society, even though it is considered hip and cool to be vengeful.
  • I will not agree that abortion is an inevitable choice, simply because for this passage of time, we extol personal freedom over personal responsibility.
  • I will not be agreeable toward the nagging battle between men and women simply because some comedian wants to “make hay” off of barnyard jokes.
  • I don’t follow or support war in any of its forms because as Benjamin Franklin said, “there’s no such thing as a good war or a bad peace.”
  • I can’t go along with capital punishment because God did not kill Cain, who was the first murderer, but instead, sent him away for rehabilitation.
  • I will not be party to bigotry, even when it’s portrayed as “cultural preference” or “discovering of our heritage.”

There are so many things in our world that kill, steal and destroy which are being touted as foregone conclusions–just part of the course of the human race.

Good is NOT old-fashioned. It demands that we use restraint.

It requires a person who is straight to understand why someone else might find other people preferable. But it also demands that the gay community realize that 95% of the population cannot possibly fathom their preference.

Good is not when we scream our desire, hoping to gain the podium. Good is when we look at the history of mankind and choose the principles that propel us forward instead of dragging us back to the cave.

I guess to some people, I’m old-fashioned. And if by old-fashioned you mean that I’m clinging to the premise of goodness instead of allowing myself to surrender to a nation which now accepts pornography as some sort of “rite of passage,” then yes. For after all, pornography is not a choice. It’s the denial of a choice for others. It is raping a woman of her privilege to freely love without being intimidated to do so.

So if you must call me old-fashioned, feel free. Actually, I feel I’m on the cutting edge of new-fashioned, when the human race will once again move towards the sanity of life and love instead of death and destruction.

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Faithful Seeds … July 31, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1960)

BurpeeSeeds of Faith. The name of the church I was at last night.

Since we no longer live in an agrarian society, where everybody is well-associated with planting and harvesting, sometimes we forget the power, magnitude and mission of seeds.

It reminds me of my Burpee encounter. When I was a kid I suddenly became enthused over the notion of ordering a bunch of seed packets from the Burpee catalogue. I think it was because they looked cool, in their little containers with the pictures on the front. Whatever the reason, in about two-and-a-half weeks, I received an envelope filled with seeds for corn, peas, and I think, pumpkin. They were cool. I took them out of their envelopes and shook them like maracas.

But you know what I DIDN’T do? I didn’t plant ’em. I just put them on the shelf, looked at them occasionally, and once I went the back yard, dug some holes—but I forgot to bring the seeds with me. My idea was to return later to plant them. But when I did return a week or so later, the holes were gone—filled up—and I didn’t have the energy for re-digging.

So even though I ordered seeds, owned seeds and carried them around, I never made corn, peas or pumpkins.

I think the name Seeds of Faith is really cool, but it’s really not the seeds that make the difference. It’s putting them to their faithful mission. It’s scary.

It’s kind of weird to take something and plant it in the earth and trust that it will do something old-fashioned and natural, like grow. Seeds in little, tiny envelopes with pictures on them are so much prettier. Keeping our spirituality locked up in a book, having assigned seating in our pews at church or proclaiming the beauty of our favorite hymn is so much easier and more pleasant than actually taking the words of the songs and the ideas of the gospel and planting them into real-life situations, where we risk rejection.

Eventually, by the way, I lost my seeds. I don’t know what happened to them. I think they got shuffled in with some old papers and my mother threw them away during one of her frequent binges of cleaning.

It was weird. I felt sad. Because those seeds fell into my hands—an inept non-farmer—they never got to fulfill their purpose.

It’s time for us in the religious system to actually become the church.

It’s time for us to realize that seeds have been entrusted into our hands for planting, so that we might find reasons to place them in good situations, where they can grow.

Yet the same group of people who can spend hours talking about the plot of the movie, Titanic, can barely get two sentences out about what happened during a spiritual experience in church on Sunday. Why is this? It’s because we worship the seeds and don’t yearn for the harvest.

Here’s what I want to tell them at Seeds of Faith tonight:  “Take your seeds and…”

  1. Find good earth. We keep planting the gospel into dusty, old individuals who couldn’t grow a wart if they handled a toad. Find some good earth. Find people rich with possibility. Find people in need, so salvation means they were salvaged.
  2. Bury yourself. Become passionately involved with your spirituality, just as you are with your family, your movies, your food choices, your fishing and your grilling.
  3. Crack your hull. Understand, a seed doesn’t grow until it’s broken open. It splits open and a stem protrudes, going both up and down, so that the experience is obvious to the earth and to those above.
  4. And finally, suck it up. Suck up all the goodness and nutrients you can, in the earth where you are planted. Don’t miss a chance to discover something worthy of praise. Don’t avoid discussing goodness because the people in the room want to focus on Breaking Bad. Be the counter-punch to the sucker-punch of life. Suck it up—enjoy, relate and rejoice in the Lord. And again I say, rejoice.

Faithful seeds are seeds that find good earth, bury themselves, crack their hulls and then suck up all the nutrients around them, to grow.

Burpeemaybe I ordered them because I thought it was a funny name.

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Last Night … June 7, 2013

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Arriving back at my motel room after an exciting evening with the dear souls of Primrose United Methodist Church, along with the visitors who gathered for the occasion, I received a phone call from a friend. She asked me what I had done that evening, and I told her I was finishing up a two-night revival at a church.

She giggled a bit and said, “Boy, that sounds old-fashioned

It got me thinking. For after all, to produce the pucker of the kiss of death on ANY idea, all you have to proclaim is that it’s “old-fashioned.”

So it made me wonder if the two nights I spent in Little Rock, Arkansas, really WERE old fashioned.

  • Is it old-fashioned to gather with people you don’t know, with the aspiration of coming out of the experience a little better?
  • Is it old-fashioned to tap your foot to music and release a tear when a lyric to a song lands with truth on your heart?
  • Is it old-fashioned to share a piece of pizza with a new-found friend, content with the simplicity and never wishing it was lobster in drawn butter?
  • Is it old-fashioned to laugh out loud, without fear of being considered boisterous?
  • Is it old-fashioned to clap your hands in appreciation, and also in praise to a God who has decided to be your Father?
  • Is it old-fashioned to contend and come to agreement that “NoOne is better than anyone else?”
  •  Is it old-fashioned to listen to music you’ve never heard before, and instead of rejecting it because it isn’t in the normal rotation of your tunes, you listen and receive a blessing?
  • Is it old-fashioned to welcome strangers in and work real hard to make sure that when they depart they know how much they are loved and welcomed back?
  • Is it old-fashioned to offer a tank of gas to a traveling group of troubadours so they can make their way up to Illinois?
  • Is it old-fashioned that even though you are the pastor of a church, to get out of your car to wash the windshield of their van, as a symbol of your appreciation?
  • Is it old-fashioned to come to the front of a church and sit in a chair to receive prayer because you’re not quite sure that there ISN’T room for improvement?
  • Is it old-fashioned to believe–and experience–more people coming out the second night of a meeting than were there the first?

You see? You can feel free to call me weird, and you can try to keep up with each trend that comes and goes in our society, but whenever I run across anything that claims to be “new and improved” I ask myself two important questions:

  1. Does it help people?
  2. Does it make us better?

I don’t believe there ARE things that are old-fashioned and others that are up to date. I just believe there are things that bless–and the more you pursue them, the fresher they become … every day.

P.S.: Thank you, Primrose United Methodist Church.

P.S.S. Happy thirty-seventh birthday to my son, Jerrod.

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