3 Things … March 21st, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3991)

3 things to improve your life

That Will Try to Rob Your Potential

 

  1. Needing too much praise too soon and too often

  1. Locking your brain in on one idea

  1. Expecting other people to be as passionate as you are

   

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Sit Down Comedy … January 18th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3929)

Sometime back, but still in my retainable memory, I was invited to speak at a youth convention.

It started out slow, as those kinds of gigs often do until the audience realizes you are acceptable and hearable. It ended beautifully, with enthusiasm, passion and even a few tears. I was feeling so inspired that I turned to the gathered and said, “God, you guys look great.”

Afterward, I was greeted by the sponsor of the event, who seemed to lack my joy. He shared that he was greatly uplifted by the message I imparted to the students, but found the use of the word “God” in my closing to be a classic case of using the Lord’s name in vain.

OMG.

Move ahead a little while and it is such a common phrase that we have an Internet abbreviation for it.

I ran across the same problem over the years when I appeared in front of pristine-thinking audiences, using the word “crap.” Once again, move ahead, and I’ve even heard “crap” used in prayers: “Lord, save us from all this crap.”

We get nowhere with language by thinking that certain words are perverse, others are acceptable and a chosen few are supreme.

Let me give you an example:

I have a bottom. I don’t call it a bottom very often, because the occasion to use that word doesn’t arise, and I don’t feel the need to ever be that formal. So instead, I may say, “I’m going to sit on my backside.”

That’s about as vanilla as I can get. I refuse to use the word “tush.” Sometimes when I’m trying to motivate myself, I will say, “I got off my butt and finished dinner.” (“Butt” in this case is required to express to the hearer that a process was necessary to change my stationary position to an active one.)

I would never say, “I got off my derriere and finished dinner.”

Moving along, if I were referring to a woman’s attractive backside today, I might call it a “booty,” only to be playful. But I don’t think I would get the same reaction from her or anyone else by saying, “She certainly has an attractive gluteus maximus.”

Words justify us—meaning they make us come across clearly—or they condemn us—causing us to sound foul or overly cautious.

I have to be honest with you—if I were discussing the government of the United States in its present stand-off, I would certainly put forth this sentence: “The government should get off its ass and fix some things.”

I wouldn’t use “bottom” and I wouldn’t use “butt.” In this case, the word “ass” has a double meaning. It refers both to their languishing position as well as their attitudes, which prevent them from being proactive.

Do you see what I mean?

We need to stop this foolish, politically correct mindset regarding the American language. If a word communicates, it communicates.

For instance, I never say, “I’m going to have a bowel movement,” but I might say, “The baby did a poop.”

If I run across something that’s plain bull, I will call it crap.

If someone is being mistreated and bigotry is being fostered, I might spout, “What the shit is going on?”

If you feel that I should say, “What the potty is going on?” I think you’re either being insincere or you should find a time machine and join us here in the twenty-first century.

Stop looking for whether words are perverse, righteous, foul or sacred. Start noticing how they fit into sentences or questions that communicate the depth of our passion.


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Jesonian … August 4th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3754)

“No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other.”

The word “master” is such a nasty, archaic term. But basically, the message is that there is something that compels us. We fancy ourselves to be the compellers, but we actually spend most of our lives compelled. And when you take the word “compel” and look at the synonyms–constrain, enforce, urge, bulldoze, coerce and squeeze–you come up with a vision in your mind which gives you a sense of claustrophobia concerning being manipulated.

Perhaps that’s why people have trouble coming to terms with human life. They continue to pursue the fallacy that they call all their own shots and that everything is perfect if it is at their beckon command.

Unfortunately, Jesus was correct. From the time of our birth to the time of our death, we are obsessed with some compulsion. It is that compulsion that dictates our moods, our actions, our frustrations, our bigotry and to a large degree, our finance.

The reason I bring up finance is that the rest of the verse is a cold, hard statement from the Nazarene, telling us, “You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

Like master, Mammon is one of those words which is barely comprehensible to most of the population. Mammon is just a total obsession with things. Once we are obsessed with things, we are compelled to get them. Whatever stands in our way becomes the enemy.

I sat down before I wrote this essay and asked myself, “What is it that compels me?”

Much to the chagrin of my lineage, who may be waiting for an inheritance, profit and gain has never intrigued me in the least. I’ve had lots of money and I’ve had no money, and have found the two experiences to have little impact on my soul satisfaction.

So I would like to simplify this phrase down to one that may be easier to understand: You will be compelled, and the choice you are given is whether you are going to serve good, or goods.

Pause.

Your immediate instinct may be to say, “I’m not materialistic. I don’t want more than I need.” But there are three questions you can ask that will tell you if you’re being mastered by the good, or by goods:

1. Do you worry about money?

Since you know worrying about money doesn’t achieve anything, what is the purpose of worrying about it unless you’re compelled to do so?

2. Do you feel you would be happier and better off if you had more money?

Candidly, even though we don’t think money can buy happiness, we’re pretty sure it can rent it.

3. Do you have a wish list of things you hope to attain financially before the end of your life?

A large portion of the world will go to bed hungry tonight. In such an environment, having dinner makes you a rich person.

When you look at these three questions, you can ascertain whether you are being mastered by good or by goods.

What was the master of Abraham Lincoln? Saving the Union. To do so he realized he had to abolish with slavery. A double blessing.

What was the master of Napoleon? Conquering the world and proving that the French were superior. In attempting to do this, he ended up dying alone on an island.

What is the master of former President Jimmy Carter? This man just seems to enjoy helping other folks. He is well into his nineties and still keeps picking up a hammer.

You will be compelled, constrained, urged and coerced to do something from some thing which has gained the full attention of your passion.

Just keep in mind, it is impossible to serve the pursuit of good and the quest for goods.

*****

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Salient…June 18th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

I have never been quite certain what the purpose is for a disclaimer. If you’re going to disavow a claim, why make it in the first place? Yet since I have the tendency to pursue hypocrisy, I shall make the following disclaimer:

I am fully aware that the toys I am about to mention are archaic, old-fashioned and certainly not in the lexicon of anyone under the age of thirty-five. Yet attempting to substitute modern toys would remove much of the charm, and still make me irrelevant within five years.

So let me say that when Eddie came to my house for a play date, I was fully expecting him to show up with marbles.

(Marbles are little circular glass toys of all sorts of colors. You pinched them with your fingers, rolling them across the floor and striking your friend’s marble, and in so doing, you won control of his prize. It was very popular back when you were able to play outside because the dinosaurs had gone to their watering hole.)

But when Eddie arrived, he did not have his marble sack. Instead he was carrying four brand new cans of Play-Doh. For those unacquainted with Play-Doh, it is best explained as a molding clay in various colors with which you could use to form objects and declare yourself artistic.

Eddie’s parents had just purchased the Play-Doh and he was obsessed with the stuff. I was offended because he had not warned me, and I was prepared to play marbles.

We struck a bargain: he would work with his Play-Doh and I would pursue marbles. This lasted half an hour.

We were miserable.

I kept looking over at his Play-Doh and he kept peering at my marbles, each of us insisting that we were happy–while secretly aggravated because we weren’t playing with each other.

Finally I interrupted the process and suggested we take the Play-Doh, roll it into tiny circles resembling marbles and mingle the games, instituting a new format called “Play-Doh Marbles.”

It seemed ingenious, but the Play-Doh would not roll, so we tried throwing the little clay circles at the actual marbles, and it came off as stupid.

It was a play day from hell–so frustrating that we cut it short, growled at each other a bit and separated to our households of security.

Now, as I rose and listened to the news this morning, I realized that we have much the same situation in our world.

Everybody is showing up with their favorite toys. Because we insist that nothing matches, nothing is the same, nothing is culturally equivalent, we are playing side-by-side with our own rendition of fun, privately pissed off.

No one seems to have the sense to look for common toys, mutual ground or general excitement. We have become convinced that “marble people” are better than “Play-Doh people,” and because of that “Play-Dough people” should not be allowed near “marble people.” We even make up rumors about “Play-Doh people” and diminish their character. Sometimes we even say that “Play-Doh people” smell. Or is it the “marble people?”

Earth does not work unless we agree on the toys. I can think of three right away:

  1.  Kindness.
  2.  Respect
  3.  Passion

Without this trio, the Trinity look like three bums who came into town to hold a revival and nobody showed up.

It is time for your salient moment:

If you can play with your dough, you won’t mind losing your marbles.

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Jesonian … May 12th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3670)

It’s all about the day. Today, to be exact.

If you lead human beings to the “browner” pastures of musing over the week, the month, the year, or God forbid, the lifetime, they dispel portions of purpose and chunks of energy.

Actually, this is commonly understood. Perhaps it’s not stated enough, but one reason that religion is so anti-Christ is that it forces the adherents to ponder holidays, ceremonies, rituals, yearly timetables and of course, eternal life.

It removes the congregant from the opportunity to participate in his or her own life on a daily basis and to watch the meticulous changes that occur through just placing one’s attention span in the right timeframe.

Jesus hated the religious system.

Do you understand this? If not, you are wasting your time in a religion called Christianity instead of faith–Jesonian.

Jesus articulates this when he tells the Pharisees that they grow so tired of their own people–so bored with the individuals who come to synagogue–that they traverse land and sea to win one convert, and then transform this individual into “twice the son of hell” as they are themselves.

What makes the newbie twice the son of hell?

He is robbed of the experience of daily life, and thrust into the swirl of meaningless liturgy, peering at his human journey in multiple leaps, culminating with death and heaven.

Humans are horrible when we don’t have a vision for the 24-hour period set before us.

The difference between Jesonian and the religious system is personal acquisition. This begins with:

1. Be aware.

In other words, you have a life. Nothing will happen with it just because you live or because you pray. You must ask, seek and knock.

2. Find passion.

Living demands energy. Living requires your presence instead of your observation. You are the salt of the Earth–therefore without you, there’s no flavor. You are the light of the world. When you are absent, darkness rules.

3. Take responsibility.

The only way to guarantee failure is to look for others to blame. Even if you can prove it’s their fault, you can’t control their repentance.

Find where you are responsible in every situation. Celebrate that you’ve been given the authority to change circumstances for the better.

Religion, politics, business, family and even entertainment–all of them force us to look into the distance instead of peering down at our plate of “daily bread.”

It renders us insipid.

It forces us, by default, to become “sons of hell.”

*****

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*******

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G-Poppers … April 27th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is totally unrealistic to believe that we can tout our strengths without having our weaknesses show up sometime in the heat of the struggle.

There is a healthiness to being positive about our gifts and talents. Yet without understanding the darker side of our character, we can mislead ourselves into thinking that matters are much better than they truly are.

It’s the difference between “scoring” and “scouring.”

G-Pop knows when to score; in other words, those moments when some self-promotion and blowing one’s own horn comes in handy so people recognize possibilities instead of being in the dark about his potential.

But likewise, there is the need to scour–to scrub the emotions, motivations, and buff up honesty in order to create a clean heart. Unfortunately, most friends, family and even strangers become somewhat miffed if G-Pop becomes too self-aware, or in their opinion, self-critical.

They ask him if he’s “going through a bad time.” They want to know if he’s been offended. They think his moments of scouring are useless, and could be better applied to more scoring:

  • Of course, scoring himself high so people will know about his achievements
  • Quietly scoring others a little lower to make his own efforts seem plumper
  • And scoring the difficulty of life in such a way that the progress being achieved appears monumental

America is full of those who score and rarely scour. What is scouring?

  • Scouring motivations to make sure they are clear, although they may never be pure.
  • Scouring to make sure that G-Pop is not out to hurt anyone else–just to improve himself.
  • And scouring the passion to realize that life is not difficult–just waiting for those who are open to finding creative ways to make it easier.

Today G-Pop recognizes that he needs some scouring. There are some trailing lies, misconceptions, fears and aggravations that cling to the corners of great plans, preventing them from gaining flight.

Without this scouring, scoring starts to be a memory of the past and a false projection of what might be.

 

 

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Jesonian … January 20th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3558)

A growling grouchiness tends to fester my soul every time I sit down in front of some sort of clerk who wants to ask me questions so that he or she can “punch me into their system.”

I have a natural inclination to turn and run full speed out of the room, thus “unplugging.”

Systems don’t work.

Now, I know over-generalized conclusions such as this one are frowned on by people who want to remain congenial and open to all parties, but once any organization or movement acquires a mortgage, as far as humanity is concerned, they usually become no damn good.

Rules are established, guidelines are formulated, temperaments are discussed and limitations established.

I don’t care if the system is taking care of the poor, preaching the Gospel or electing candidates to office–just the presence of the instinct to follow an “inner office memo” filled with stipulations stifles creativity and smother passion.

Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night-Step 1 of any system.

Play it safe.

Nicodemus did not know whether his friends would approve of him interacting with the rogue Galilean, so he “came by night.” I’m sure he thought he was smart. I’m sure he believed he was more open-minded than his buddies, who wouldn’t come at all, even if it was pitch black.

He begins his dialogue with Jesus by trying to coerce a mutual sense of equality from the Nazarene–Step 2 of a system. “We know you’re a teacher sent by God.”

(Just like us…)

Every system wants to make everything the same for everybody, because if it isn’t, it’s just not fair–and if you acquiesce to one person, then everyone wants the same consideration.

I am not a conceited man, but my mission is not the same as the pastor of some United Methodist church in Wisconsin. I am not better than him–but I have been given more. And the scriptures tell me that because I’ve been given more, more is expected of me.

Jesus doesn’t mince any words with Nicodemus. He doesn’t give in to the equality theory, but tells Nicodemus that he “must be born again.” The cleverness of the statement–the parallel of spiritual rebirth to original birth are ignored by this scripture peruser.

He does what people always do to someone who apparently wants to rock the boat–he mocks the simplicity. He makes fun of Jesus suggesting that an old man could go back into his mother’s womb. He might even have chuckled at his own reference. He is convinced that in a world of black and white, it is necessary to strictly honor the available colorations.

Jesus explains to him that it’s an uncomplicated concept and challenges Nicodemus to walk more in his intelligence instead of marching in beat with the purists. Jesus says, “If I tell you of Earthly things and you don’t understand, how could I ever tell you of heavenly things?”

Then, as always, the system is offended, and begins to denigrate the concepts which lead to the conclusion of personal responsibility.

It is so much easier to be religious if you believe God is in control, has a plan for your life, is moving angels and demons back and forth and has already won the battle. It becomes a bit more intricate when you realize the Kingdom of God is within you.

Nicodemus departs, unimpressed. Matter of fact, later on the scriptures refer to “some of the Jewish leaders” who privately had sympathy for Jesus and his Kingdom movement, but were afraid to speak up.

Nicodemus found himself trapped. When the Council decided to have a meeting to put Jesus on trial, and Nicodemus objects to them indicting the Master without hearing him, they dismiss Nicodemus. They ask if “he, too, is a Galilean.”

He says nothing more. He is silenced.

You will never make strides in your spiritual life or truly understand the humanity of Jesus and the mission he had to save souls as long as you hide behind vespers and prayers.

Jesonian is a lifestyle.

And Jesus spent his life being the champion of the human race. To do so, he had to dodge many systems and ignore those who were locked up in the mindset of the moment instead of grasping the born-again heart of those who were fully aware that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”

 

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