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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Cracked 5 … May 31st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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The First Word or Phrase a Baby Might Say If He or She Were Not Coerced by Parents to Speak “Ma-ma” or “Da-da”

A. Oh, crap

 

B. What’s wrong with my legs?

 

C. Breasts!!

 

D. Food with taste, please?

 

E. Donald Trump?!??!

Cracked 5 baby

 

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Ask Jonathots … November 12th, 2015

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I’m a fourteen-year-old girl and I’ve been playing soccer since I was six. I have a really good kick, and I want to try out for kicker on the high school football team next spring. Everyone has an opinion about it. My parents are afraid I’ll get hurt, and also that I won’t get asked out on dates by boys. My soccer girlfriends are upset because the schedule means I can’t play soccer. I’m a little scared myself, but more about my physicality–I’m really good, but will I get better, like a boy would? Any advice–both about the physical part and the social part?

There is only one great gift we can give to ourselves: tell the truth.

Honestly, if you don’t tell anybody else the truth, you can still find peace of mind if you know that you’re being completely honest. What destroys us is when we create a lie and spend a lot of time convincing ourselves it’s the truth.

I tell you that because the most important question facing you is: why do you want to kick for the high school football team?

The question is not whether you should or whether boys will want to date you–the greatest attraction boys and girls have for each other is success. In other words, if you’re a successful high school kicker, boys will be drawn to you.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying you are lying.  As long as your reason for wanting to kick on the high school football team is because you’re good enough to kick on the high school football team, and  you’re sure it’s the next step in your progress as an athlete, then by all means, go ahead.

So how do you know if your own heart is truthful, and that your reasons for doing this are based on your own desire?

1. If it weren’t unusual, would you still want to do it?

In other words, if you were a boy, would you still want to kick on the football team? If the answer is yes, then what’s the difference in being a girl? The goal is to make the kick–not whether it’s done by a girl or a boy.

2. Can you do this with belief in your heart, realizing that criticism will come, but it won’t change your mind?

You will have to have some determination. If it’s worth it, then determination will come.

3. And finally, if it doesn’t go well, will you still be glad you did it?

Simply put, is this valuable enough to you that if you fail at it, you will still be glad you tried because it’s what you needed to do?

This is all about you.

It’s not about what other people think and it certainly is not about avoiding trying to do it because you’re afraid of what people will feel.

I believe in you.

I wouldn’t care if you were a girl or a boy.

I would just want to know that it’s your dream…and you’re going to do it well. 

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Three Ways of Becoming What You Want to Become by Realizing What You Became… September 25, 2014

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yelling

Three huge bombs land on each and every one of us, exploding across our consciousness, leaving the fallout hanging in the air as we try to piece together the substance of what we call our “adult life.”

Peers, parents and puberty.

Long before we have the intensity, intelligence and ingenuity to separate right from wrong, smart from dumb, spiritual from ridiculous and cool from uncool, we are inundated and pressured by these three weapons, to submit to the “common norm.”

With our peers, our emotions are tangled, frustrated and jumbled by insecure fellow-travelers, who are groping for superiority, often by trying to make us feel less. In the process we develop deep-rooted insecurities, which bring bag and baggage to travel a lifetime.

Then there’s our parents. Although they do their best, their best is contingent on what has been done to them. Obviously, that falls into various degrees of miscommunication. Yet when these people hold the keys to your clothing, your housing, your food and your self-confidence, you tend to listen to them very intently.

And to top it off, here comes puberty. For a wonderful eleven years of life, men and women exist as equals–playing, laughing and working side-by-side–when suddenly they are grabbed by the pimp of nature, thrown to the ground and given an overdose estrogen or testosterone, placing them in a stupor with one another, often creating volatile conclusions.

The greatest thing you can do for yourself is admit you are being held hostage by this trio of conspirators.

So what is your next step?

1. I am prejudiced.

If you cannot admit this, you will never be able to understand that none of us possess a world view until we pursue it on our own. It is not taught in the classroom, it is not passed along in Sunday school and it certainly isn’t required in the locker room.

Learn the difference among these three words: prejudice, bigotry, racism.

  • Prejudice: “I was taught that people are different.”
  • Bigotry: “I believe people are different.”
  • Racism: “I am so confident that people are different that I will teach others.”

If we focus on the difference in people, we quietly assume our own superiority. Once that is propagated, war is inevitable.

2. You are prejudiced.

Yes, I need to cut you some slack. You had a blitzkrieg of the same bombings that hit me. I need to give you a chance to discover your prejudice even if it happens to be against me.

The definition of mercy is the realization that the person standing before me is just as confused as I am, and should be given as much time for growth as I would request.

3. Let’s do a rewrite on the script.

Yes, your life has been scripted. From the time you were a tiny tot, people were telling you what you should be, how you should do it and when you should do it. Being able to reject all of these “voices in the wilderness” is virtually impossible.

Rewrite the script.

And the only way to do that is to purposefully turn away from the crowd, tune your ears from the shouting and listen to your own heart and the Spirit of God.

You cannot become anything until you discover what you already became.

This is the true essence of maturity: putting away peers, parents, puberty … and all the other childish things.

 

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Groomers… October 11, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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HendrixGraying baby boomers.

Groomers.

I am, of course, talking about those individuals born between 1946 and 1960, who broke the sound barrier by exploding like an atomic bomb, witnessing the end of segregation and the voting in of the first Catholic President.

They left a footprint on history. Maybe better phrased, they stomped their boots into our consciousness. Even though many people criticize the destination of this generation, it is difficult to challenge the authenticity of their origin. Now their ages range from fifty-three to sixty-seven–just beyond being parents, and still a little young to be the grandparents of adolescents.

Many of them have left the church and politics and are looking for other distractions to fulfill the aching memories of their youthful escapades.

But we need these graying boomers to come back to the church, the political arena, the social maneuvering and the emerging etiquette of our country–to bring the passion of the 1960s into our present age.

There are three things that baby boomers believed which have vanished from our present social climate, leaving us overly concerned about our personal needs and too short-sighted in our world vision. These are the three things the graying boomers, which I call groomers, should reinstate in their children and their budding grandchildren:

1. To question is to care.

I know my parents were annoyed because I would not “leave well enough alone,” as they phrased it, always challenging the ideas around me. Why was I able to do so? Because I was not alone in doing it. I wasn’t a renegade–I was in the flow of a generation which believed that many things were questionable, so therefore, go ahead and do it–question.

2. We can change the world.

Call it idealism or dub it presumption–but the baby boomers, for a season, believed they could affect the temperature of our country and clear out the dark clouds. There was no sitting or “waiting on the world to change.”

3. We’re all brothers and sisters.

The music, the movies, the books and the romance of the time were riddled with the notion of brotherhood and a greater understanding that “it was so groovy, now, that people are finally gettin’ together.”

This trio of ideas is in the genetic makeup of the baby boomers, although it seems to have been lost through years of cynical half-hearted participation. It is ironic that a generation which criticized possessions ended up selling out to them.

But there’s still that seed.

Nowadays someone who questions is viewed as being “a troublemaker.”

We need the groomers to come along and teach the younger folks that it’s all right to peer into the soul of our society and demand better angels.

Likewise, nobody in our age believes we can change the world. So what’s the purpose of personal improvement if your voice is going to be drowned out by the din of repetition?

Groomers need to remind the younger ones of protest, creativity and the power of cooperation. And instead of shrinking our love down to our personal families, it would not hurt for the groomers to remind the world once again that we are the family of man.

Our generation needs to be groomed by those who remember when music was not just downloaded, but taken into the heart.

We could begin this in the church, since we have so many gray-hairs there already. We might as well put ’em to work.

Who knows? It might make them feel young again.

Who knows? They could be the spark of a new revolution.

 

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Iowa Lot… July 24, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Iowa cornIowa lot to fruits and vegetables. They have prevented me from killing myself with fats and carbs.

Iowa lot to my parents. They could have fought instead of having sex.

Iowa lot to my third grade teacher. She got me interested in history, and the rest is … well, my life.

Iowa lot to my enemies. Trying to destroy me, they accidentally alerted me to dangerous flaws.

Iowa lot to good tires. They make my engine usable.

Iowa lot to mistakes. They are the potholes that teach me how to be road-worthy.

Iowa lot to my family. Learning my virtues while ignoring my vices, they continue to make me look good.

Iowa lot to Gloria, who came down from her highest and accepted our kin and has gone to her hallelujah moment.

Iowa lot to my voice. It keeps working, sometimes without the assistance of my brain.

Iowa lot to faith, hope and love – these three. But the greatest is remembering to use them.

Iowa lot to God. He gives me free will and then bravely rides shotgun on the bumpy ride.

Iowa lot to my fat body. Without it, I just might have leaped on anyone wearing perfume.

Iowa lot to Iowa. She has welcomed me to share my talent and heart.

I owe a lot.

I am debtor to all.

I will spend the rest of my life attempting to repay the loan…with interest.

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I Have My Own Doubt… October 16, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

“No, thank you. I have my own doubt. I appreciate you thinking of me and offering me a fresh dose of disbelief and uncertainty, but I am a human being so I already come with a lifetime supply.”

One of the most difficult things to learn is that if you run across any child of God, that encounter has been entrusted to you in order to edify him or her, and if you, for some reason, find yourself unable to accomplish that task, please leave that human alone. If the only thing you have to offer people are Bible verses, the law of God or doctrinal positions on social issues, then you might want to spend more time at home, in personal consecration and self-improvement programs.

Human beings require encouragement. Even though we’re convinced that it may be our mission to discipline others to our particular brand of Spartan programming, God will snip the bud of your little flower of evangelism the minute it stops making people reach out and grow.

It’s hard to learn. Maybe it’s because we all go through the phase in life of being parents, attempting to instruct young earthlings in how to subsist and survive on this planet. Maybe it’s because most of us go to jobs where a supervisor is looking over our shoulders, scrutinizing our efforts. It could be the residue of an educational system which gives us grades on everything we do. Or maybe it’s just because we’re all a little obnoxious due to our own insecurities and feel the need to lord it over someone else. I don’t know.

But whatever it is, the more you abandon your self-righteous, pious, schoolmarm persona, the better off you will be–the more friends you will procure and the more God’s grace can be extended in your direction.

As I am in the midst of a personal pursuit for a little piece of God’s heaven to be brought into my earthly situation, I realized yesterday, as I drove from Fremont, Ohio, to Indianapolis, that there are only three things necessary to make life work. Let me not mislead you–it does take all three. But they hang out as buddies as a unit, so it’s difficult to imagine having one without seeing the other two. What I’m saying is, you probably have all three of these or you have none. Shall we take a look at them?

A good human life consists of faith, work and humor.

Faith: “God can.”

Do not be deceived. The majority of the agnostics in this country are not professors at Ivy League schools. They are pew-sitters in the local church congregations in small towns all across the nation. They are people who have a form of godliness, but privately deny there is actually any power for their personal lives through that system.

What is faith? Faith is God can. It doesn’t mean God will, which uses presumption and rhetoric. It is not God did, referencing Old Testament stories and trying to make them relevent three thousand years later. It is not God should, which is some sort of aggravating lament because life doesn’t work the way we want it to.

God can. That’s where my faith is right now. God can give me the ability to stand upright and walk about. I am not telling you that He must. I’, also not saying it’s a deal-breaker for our relationship. My faith is that God can.

To be around people who do not hold to that conviction may be totally inevitable, but at this particular phase in my journey, should be infrequent.

Then comes work. In other words, it’s my turn.

And work is very simple:  I will.

Once again, it’s not I plan. Nor I sure would like to. It’s not if I get the money together. It’s not if I can acquire some help.

Take your faith–the belief that God can–and find one or two little things you can do without anyone else’s help, and attempt them. Today I will leave my motel room on my own in my van and four times I will try to walk a few steps to regain my strength. Why? Because I need the work–and I have found something that I will do.

And finally, every human being needs humor. And what is humor? Humor is the profile we take when it temporarily appears that God has gone on vacation and our efforts fall short–more comical than profitable. Humor, to me, is the wonderful, laughing proclamation to the world of: Whoops! Next time. In other words, “My faith is still growing, my work fell short, and rather than denying my weakness, I shall be the first one to giggle over it.”

When you combine these three things together, you get the seed for human achievement. Yes, the seed. Do you remember Jesus challenged his disciples to pursue a small piece of excellence? Their response to him was, “Increase our faith.”

He just smiled at them and said, “Folks, all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed.”

And what is my mustard seed? The same as yours.

It’s just faith. In other words, God can.

It’s work, which translates into: I will.

And when I need it, it’s humor, which is the jocular admission: Whoops! Next time.

I don’t need your doubt–I have plenty of my own.

But if you’d like to bring your faith and your work and your humor … together, we might just change the world.

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