Salient … April 30th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Kim Jong-un is the dictator from North Korea. He is thirty-three years old–at least, we think so. (Birthdays are not nearly as important in the little country, since there’s a shortage on cakes and balloons.)

I suppose we could spend some time discussing his erratic behavior, threats, totalitarian attitude and despotism. That seems to be the favored profile of most commentators and politicians in the United States.

But while our government was slinging threats at this young man as he feverishly plotted to blow the world up with his missiles, there was another plan in the hatching.

Kim took the Olympics to offer an olive branch to his South Korean brethren. He sent a family member down to represent him, and all sorts of athletes and cheerleaders to add a festive coloration to the proceedings. Most recently, he sat down for talks in China, and also with his nemesis, the President of South Korea.

He has made it clear that he’s willing to consider doing away with nuclear proliferation, and is willing to discuss it in a pow-wow with President Trump.

As we posture on being “the greatest nation on Earth,” this young dictator has outfoxed us. If he hasn’t done it on purpose, he has certainly performed a supreme job of lining up a series of accidental brilliant moves:

He has the United States appearing heavy-handed.

He has the full attention of the whole world, simply by appearing to have changed his mind.

And yes–he’s doing his best impression of sanity.

We can claim it’s not real, but he continues to baffle the critics with his compliance. Those who choose to vilify him are beginning to look ridiculous.

It is all part of a very simple axiom, which needs to be learned by every grade-school student in America, and perhaps throughout the face of the Earth:

The first one to stop acting stupid is proclaimed smart.

It works every time.

Two bullies standing nose-to-nose win no friends. Why? Because they’re both bullies. But if one bully decides to back away and cease the brawl, then the entire playground sides with him or her, leaving the other bully the villain.

Will our country be intelligent enough to take even the higher ground than Kim Jong-un?

I don’t know.

But here’s your salient moment:

Strong only projects strength. Weakness always looks stronger–if it has a smarter plan.

 

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Good News and Better News … March 5th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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A Jesus mask: Putting the face of Jesus on things we have decided are nice, easy, positive or comfortable.

In doing this, we attempt to transform the Gospel into a social message which is palatable for our chosen lifestyle, never really asking ourselves if it has a universal flavor.

Honestly, I almost didn’t write about this today–there are so many examples that I didn’t know how to isolate them off to the number of paragraphs you would be willing to read–but I trust that you might be willing to do some investigation on your own. So let’s look at three of the masks:

1. If you work real hard, you can get whatever you want.

You hear this on every talk show. During the Olympics it became a mantra. The variations, like “dream big, get big” pepper the common dialogue of the average day.

We put Jesus’ face on it. We decide it sounds like Jesus. But Jesus spoke a startling phrase: “To those who have, more shall be given, and to those who have not, even the little they have will be taken away from them.”

2. Giving to the poor is the highest form of charity.

It makes for a great nightly news story–some individual or organization passing sandwiches out to the homeless, complete with a hygiene kit of toothbrush, toothpaste and a small washcloth.

We’re moved to tears. We put a Jesus mask on it.

But Jesus said “the poor you have with you always.” They’re not going to go away. “Do for them what you can” but don’t make it an all-encompassing mission.

Poverty is more than a lack of things. It is often a lack of understanding.

3. God has a wonderful plan for your life.

Now we’re really crying, because even though we’re going through these huge problems, in the long run God will pluck us out of our pain and place us on higher ground. Unfortunately, although we put the Jesus mask onto this concept, his message was quite different.

Jesus said, “Except ye repent, you will perish.” In other words, ladies and gentlemen, you are in the middle of an evolving situation and an evolving planet, so you’d better evolve or you will dissolve.

Jesus is not against positive thinking. Jesus just wants us to understand that thinking good thoughts and clinging to them by faith is not the same as “letting your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.”

The good news is that the Gospel is meant for humans.

The better news is, the Gospel makes us better, not things better.

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Cracked 5 … February 20th, 2018


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Reasons Why the U.S. is Having Some Difficulty Winning Medals

 

A. Turns out the Norwegians are quite good

 

B. We bought our skis in China

 

C. It’s really, really, really, really cold

 

D. Other nations didn’t get the memo that “America is exceptional”

 

E.  Hypnotized into losing by rogue North Korean spies

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Cracked 5 … August 9th, 2016

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Events That Did Not Make the Rio Olympics

A. Pretzeling

Untangling pretzels, ending up with the fewest pieces possible

 

B. Beefing

An arduous quest to uncover actual beef in a Taco Bell burrito

 

C. Swine Slinging

Distance, style and sticking the landing

 

D. Beefing 2

Best team at complaining to the judges

 

E. Olympic Freestyle Drownings

(Medals Awarded Posthumously)

Cracked 5 pig throw

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Ask Jonathots … May 19th, 2016

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I heard an Olympic official on a national television news show say, “People will always cheat. It’s human nature.” Do you think this is true?

“To err is human and to forgive is divine.”

This is the classic axiom.

Unfortunately, the proverb has a missing piece. Actually, it should state: “To err is human, but to repent is human also.”

There are two little devils that chase the human heart, trying to turn us into scoundrels.

Ignorance and arrogance.

We only become hapless when we try to combine these two and justify one with the other.

For instance, I may say something stupid, which is completely forgivable unless I try to convince you that it wasn’t stupid at all–you either misunderstood me or you’re not hip to my particular perception of life.

Ignorance is forgivable.

But when it links up with arrogance, not even divinity can salvage such a stubborn creature.

So my problem with the statement provided in your question is that as long as we view cheating as a normal side road taken by humans which needs to be avoided and confessed, we are fine. But when we begin to believe it’s part of our character–an arrogant segment of us that cannot be removed–we not only lose our redemption, but we lose any portion of us to redeem.

So what is the correct profile?

  • Ignorance happens.
  • Ignorance is exposed.
  • Ignorance is confessed.
  • Forgiveness is granted.
  • Knowledge expands.

This is the process that makes a solid human being.

But if we express ignorance, have it exposed and we defend it with our arrogance or insist that what we have done is “no worse than anyone else,” then forgiveness is impossible and knowledge is stalled.

Repentance is not a noble action, but rather, a necessary position that all humans take to make sure that we progress in wisdom and understanding instead of finding ourselves falling back on the failing positions of former times.

So in conclusion, I would say that ignorance happens, and as long as arrogance doesn’t show up, repentance can open the door to forgiveness, which allows knowledge to rule the day.

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G-Poppers … January 1st, 2016

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Over the Christmas celebration, one of the family members asked G-Pop if he had any predictions for the coming year.

Actually, speculation on the future is not as difficult as it might seem. After all, the entire Earth works on the “sow-reap” concept.

Unfortunately, right now our country is in a fighting mood. Everything is a political fight, a social struggle, a spiritual confusion and an emotional upheaval.

  • We honk our horns in traffic more often.
  • There’s more impatience in the air.
  • And to some degree, we feel the answer to every question is violence.

So making predictions about the future is a little gloomy. Therefore, let’s avoid it. G-Pop would rather focus on the ingredients to put together a consciousness which welcomes the idea of change while honoring powerful, proven tradition.

It really settles around three rules. Tipping out hat to the Olympics, let us refer to them as the Golden Rule, the Silver Rule and the Bronze Rule.

The Golden Rule is easy:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Yes, until we are certain of the direction we want for our own lives, we cannot grant others the courtesy of similar liberty, but instead will stand at a distance and criticize them because they dare to pursue their dreams.

How about the Silver Rule?

To he who is given much, much is expected.

We need to take responsibility. In other words, if you have ten of something, you shouldn’t be waiting for someone who has five to give. Although we want to be successful, we fail to invest ourselves in the procedure. Step up with what you’ve got instead of insisting it’s not enough.

And then there’s the Bronze Rule.

To get mercy, you must be willing to give it.

God knows we all require some measure of mercy. But if we have no track record of being merciful to others, we will find that our bank accounts are vacant of deposits, and when we need mercy the most, we will be absent forgiveness.

So rather than being dark with predictions based upon a fussy populace, G-Pop would rather encourage us to go for the Gold, celebrate the Silver and rejoice over the Bronze.

Be a neighbor, find a friend.

Be fruitful, eat fruit.

Give mercy, get mercy.

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Cracked 5… November 10th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Nearly Famous People or Events Whose Names Just Happen to Rhyme with Benghazi

 

A. Sven Losney, a young Norwegian skier who failed to make the Olympics because he broke his left fjord.

 

B. Manny Cosfulli, an aspiring pizza maker from suburban Chicago, who wanted to start his own pizzeria, but didn’t have the dough.

 

C. 10 Rospy: The number of Rospys it takes to qualify for the Creole Big Gumbo lottery.

 

D. Ken Nosey, a television producer who was assigned to locate the gentleman to be the next “Bachelor.” (He chose Pope Francis.)

 

E. Clem Bogly, a high school running back who was critically injured flirting with his razorback.

 

Cracked 5 razorback

 

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