G-Poppers … April 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop has a healthy and energetic disagreement with those who say they’re “sick and tired.”

Matter of fact, this phrase has become one of the favorite patters of the pundits.

“America is angry…”

Of course they’re angry. They live in a democracy where most of the time they won’t get their way. It’s the law of averages.

How often will your particular preference be in the majority? And if it isn’t, you are culturally and politically pushed to the side in favor of the plurality.

As I said, it’s called democracy–and democracy is like broccoli. No one particularly favors it, but everyone knows it’s good for them.

For example, if you want guns, be prepared to accept gays.

If you want to choose how you worship, make sure you understand that you must give every woman the right to choose what she does with her own body.

And if you love to celebrate the heritage of your genealogy, be fully aware there are those who are trying to come into our country who would also love to begin their own experience of generations.

If you are intent on pursuing your path and agenda exclusively, you will have to find a leader–a king, a queen, a shah, a dictator, an ayatollah–who agrees with your ideas, and place this person in power, being aware that eventually this absolute ruler will come along and take away something you really enjoy.

Otherwise, you should stay with a system called America, which is horribly flawed, but equally punishing to all of its citizens. And what is this punishment?

  • You’re not going to get what you want.
  • You will be part of an experiment of discovering the common good.

So for those who think America is angry, let me say: Get over it.

You are free.

But so is he.

And so is she.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 16) Purify … March 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Jesus was not Jewish.

This doesn’t mean he hated Jews. He was like you and me. That’s what the Bible says.

Being like you and me, he was one-half jungle and one-half Garden. So he was Jewish on his mother’s side and Holy Spirit on his Father’s side.

It’s an important point.

Jesus did not come to Earth to confirm Judaism, nor was he a forerunner for Mohammed.

Yes, we must understand that Jesus did not establish his message in order to create a third generation for Abraham. He said quite clearly that “before Abraham was, he existed.”

He pre-dated the Patriarch of Judaism and the Muslim faith.

Why is that important?

Because Christianity is here to bring peace to the Earth, not pick a side in the fight.

Until we purify the Christian message, we will miss the essence of the struggle in the early church, when Paul told the leadership that they needed to stop acting so damned Jewish. The message needed to survive Jerusalem so that it would be well-understood in Hoboken and Siberia.

So if we’re going to be like Jesus, we must purify the mission in the following seven ways:

1. I am not political.

Whoever is the next President will be my President and I will honor him or her with my prayers.

2. I am not religious.

The simple truth is, God loves me and there’s no act of contrition or worship that will make that any better.

3. I am not a skin color.

God has vision for only one thing: He sees my passion because He looks on my heart.

4. I am not a culture.

The whole Earth is the Lord’s–therefore I am part of His greater vision, not His local flavor.

5. I am not confined to my nuclear family.

Even though I love my offspring, my real family is anyone who is interested in pursuing the Kingdom of God.

6. I am not afraid.

Fear weakens my love, so I choose good cheer as my refuge.

7. I am not better than anyone else.

There are no chosen people, just people who choose well.

Until the message of Jesus is purified as the “repairer of the breach” for mankind’s misunderstanding, we will be tempted to pick sides and will wage a political conflict…instead of welcoming a human unity.

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G-Poppers … December 18th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop was born years ago on a day like this one, repeated annually.

Born, G-Pop decided to seize the opportunity to live, dwelling in a small village until limited talent afforded broader possibilities.

Trying to blend aspiration, inspiration and procreation, he birthed songs and sons, four boys in all, three surviving the process of growing, and yet a trio of others who arrived desiring a homestead, and seemingly have moved on, no worse the wear from his tutelage.

He traveled the country, interfacing with those who crossed his path and turned in his direction.

Pain and pleasure merged to form potential.

Success and failure united to construct a character.

Being neither political or bound by business constraints, G-Pop chased the whim of his heart and the vision he insisted was inspired by Spirit.

  • A man.
  • A human.
  • A salvaged sinner.
  • A saint, requiring props.

He had a belief in a God who believed in people–belief in people who allow room for an expansive God.

G-Pop lives on.

There are those who think he should settle into his place. Yet finding a place is an address, not a way to address our generation’s quandary.

G-Pop does not seek acceptance, just a reasonable doorway.

Mary had a baby and named him…

He became an angel to some, shepherded the souls sent his way, and works on becoming a wiser man … who can follow the stars in the sky.

 

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Jesonian: Picky and Goofy … March 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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camel“It’s important.”

I hear it all the time.

People have gone off into their own soul, deciding for themselves what they have determined to be of value in life.

Sometimes it’s religious, other times political and often it’s business.

My job? Listen, learn, observe–or face their wrath.

Here’s my problem with the “important” crowd: it’s not open for discussion.

Matter of fact, they become very picky. They not only want you to know it’s important, they take you to step two, which is: we need to do it.

Now it’s not only important, but we need to do it–and the we demands me.

Step 3: “If we don’t do it, we’ll be in trouble.”

At this point, any objection I might lodge would be anti-God, anti-American, anti-human and anti-reasonable. And of course, unfortunately, this lends itself to a fourth conclusion: “Don’t listen to anything else.”

Thus, 350 different Christian denominations in America.

Everybody has gotten picky, decided that we all need to do it, and if we don’t we’ll be in trouble–and by the way, if you’re smart, don’t listen to anybody else.

So here’s my assertion–I believe that “picky” leads to “goofy.”

Once you choose a lifestyle of being certain about everything, you start getting goofy about enforcement.  For instance:

How much flax is my your cereal?

Ridiculous discussions in church board meetings about whether communion wine could be white, or must be red?

Committee meetings in Washington, D.C. arguing over a point of parliamentary procedure (after fighting a war rebelling against Parliament…)

Picky leads to goofy.

Once folks get picky over little things, they often become goofy over the big things that are really important.

Offering a solution–may I call it a Jesonian one?

  1. It could be important–I’m not sure, but let’s chat.
  2. Let’s ask ourselves–what happens if we apply this? Do we learn, grow or go backwards?
  3. And what will is the progress? Are we afraid of evolution? Is it against our religion–literally?
  4. And finally, what is the next revelation? Because if we just discovered one important thing, what makes us think it’s the last one? There’s another one coming. Are you ready? Do you have some room in your brain? Can you open up your soul for it?

Picky people eventually become goofy and then they become more annoying than valuable.

So stop straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.

It makes you look like you’re trying to be God instead of on a quest to find Him.

 

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Darkened … October 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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dark room oneAs much as I enjoy traveling across the United States, meeting the fabulous collage of human beings afforded to me, one of the more difficult aspects of the journey is finding a way to end the year’s activities and partake of Thanksgiving and Christmas without depleting my coffers in the process.

And you must add onto that the fact that most of the venues which normally open their arms are particularly busy themselves, at the close of the season, with projects pre-determined.

This year we ran head-on into this dilemma. Like every other American, it appeared we were going to end up with more things in our “required” pile than we had in our “possess” pile. It was a problem. Or shall I say, it IS a problem?

It made me realize there are really three ways to handle the everyday blow-ups that happen to our well-conceived plans. The first way is what we shall refer to as “darkened.”

We fall back on our upbringing, whether conservative OR liberal, and believe that by becoming either constrictive or free-wheeling, that we will overcome our circumstance. This philosophy is prevalent in our society, characterized by conservatives who allow too little and liberals, who allow too much. They both insist they are making their stands on the basis of protecting liberty, but merely shutting the door does not keep the cold out and opening the door and turning up the heat does not seem to make it any more toasty either.

It is darkened–a pursuit of resolution with an inclination toward cynicism. It is traditionalism honored over common sense. And since the conservatives allow too little and the liberals allow too much, they are immediately at war with each other, resorting to insult and defamation of character instead of rhyme and reason.

We must be careful that when we’re talking about the realm of the emotions and spirit that we don’t emulate the political scene in our country, which has driven us into a gridlock of name-calling and stonewalling.

  • I am not conservative. Sometimes the answer to a problem is to open up possibilities beyond what we have accepted as normal in the past.
  • I am not a liberal. Just because people desire or campaign for some particular right, that it should be granted to them if it’s contrary to the common good.

But because this stalemate persists, the conscience of our country has become darkened, and cynicism has replaced the willingness to try new ideas and to evolve old ideas to fresher conclusions. How do you know that cynicism has entered your life?

1. You have an idea of how things are going to play out before you even try them.

This isn’t the fruit of experience. This is a careless disregard for the possibility of the grace of God and human effort to bring about miracles.

2. You think that restricting people or giving abstract freedom is the way to control natural events.

Free will IS intact–that’s why the dialogue on what is best for everyone needs to be in place.

3. You have gradually bought into the mantra that people are “no damn good.”

You certainly cannot preach a message that “God so loved the world” and also be a little pissed off all the time.

Our society has become darkened by a cynicism that promotes either a conservative or a liberal agenda instead of what is nurturing for human beings. We can’t allow too little and we can’t allow too much.

So what is viable?

See you tomorrow.

 

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New Names… April 8, 2013

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Not that anyone will particularly care, nor will the 24-hour news cycle lift an eyebrow in my direction, but I have decided to rename the political parties in this country based upon their impervious natures and status of performance. So in my world, henceforth now and forever, the Republicans will be known as the REDOlicans and the Democrats shall be refered to as the DUNNOcrats.
Perhaps an explanation is in order. I shall be brief.
Since the Republicans seem to pine for a time in the past when things were better, and they yearn to restore a former way of living, I have selected to acknowledge them as the party of REDO. I’m not certain whether they want Eisenhower back in office, or Ronald Reagan, but most of them certainly would not favor Richard Nixon.  In their minds, they have captured from their childhoods memories of a previous era when things were simpler, the government was less complicated, taxes were lower and men were men and women made really delicious noodle dishes. They are Redolicans. They are convinced that a journey back in time will actually thrust us forward in the holy pursuit of our morality.
On the other hand, the Democrats, who always want to espouse high-sounding ideals and concerns for the less fortunate, when given the opportunity to come up with an idea or manifest a program which might lend itself to some practical assistance for the causes they trumpet, seem to always end up with, “Dunno. I don’t know what to do.” It is much easier for them to blame those ignorant, backwoods Redolicans for insisting on nostalgia instead of dealing with the signs of our times and the nature of our culture.
So when you get a Redolican and a Dunnocrat in the same room, discussing the future of the American people, you have a climate of piety over self-righteous causes mingled with a sense of intellectual superiority, with no real ideas on how to balance the pursuit of the common good and happiness.
No wonder our country is in a stalemate and the American people constantly feel violated by leaders with fumbling hands and lustful desires.
So you can feel free to tout either of these political parties as better than the other, but I must remind you that being better requires a fruitful conclusion. Yes, “by their fruits you will know them.”

For the Redolicans, it often is the inclusion of a certain magical percentage of the population to the ignoring of  others, and for the Dunnocrats, it’s a theory of inclusion with absolutely no absorption.

On the other hand, for me–I met some real people yesterday. There were so many wonderful folks at Friedens with delightful stories that it would take many jonathots to tote their tales.

Let me sum it up by describing the woman in her eighties, who went on a missionary trip to Honduras on her own, to seek some adventure and help people.

And then there was the twenty-four-year young gent who was so concerned about his generation becoming cynical and unfeeling that he shared his heart with me openly, with a budding faith still in his spirit that things could become better.

Neither one of them were Redolicans or Dunnocrats. Instead, they just looked at what they had in their hands and tried to do something with it.

That is what I call being a patriot.

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Withered … May 27, 2012

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He was sick.

Disabled.

Well, not really without ability. His particular affliction had been with him for so long that nobody gave it a second thought.

Nobody except him. (Personal plagues are always personally present.) But as for friends, unless some new family came for worship at the church and one of their little ones was fascinated with the dwarfed hand and stared too long–well, other than that, it was pretty well absorbed.

He had a deformed hand. On initial viewing, it was grotesque. Determined eyeball-to-eyeball contact was required to avoid a misplaced glance at the tiny appendage. It was a very polite and political policy of practice.

He had such a great attitude about his limitation, even occasionally joking with others about his situation, citing that he would, “give them a hand, but he didn’t have one to spare!”

It had become acceptable–an acceptable lacking. An absence, adjusted to quite well. People had moved on. Life had reassembled into an understanding of the necessity for normalcy. There were no mentions of cure. There were no discussions of remedy. There were no longer any prayers for a miracle. Everyone was satisfied with a very unsatisfying situation. Everyone … except Jesus.

He came to worship. He sat to pray. He listened to scriptures. But then he rose to meet the need.

He interrupted.

Now, you must understand that interruptions are generally considered to be anti-human contradictions to the flow of our relaxed consciousness. Even when they’re pleasant possibilities, we resist at first because they are not in the spectrum of the programming. For after all, there’s no reason to hold a worship service if you haven’t already planned it. Songs were selected; special music was practiced. Even a presentation for the children was strategically placed within the framework of a cramped agenda. There was really no time for interruptions

Propriety is the schoolmaster of the classroom of decency and order. So when Jesus stood to his feet and interrupted the proceedings, there was a sense of both surprise and certainly, annoyance. Who did he think he was? What did he think he was doing? What arrogance did he possess that caused him to believe that any contribution he could make would be worthy of consideration? He simply posed the question.

“Is it good to do good on the Sabbath?”

There was silence. For after all, that was the response to most things that happened within the confines of the sanctuary. Silence was a way of showing reverence, of being reflective and pious. But silence in this case only confirmed indifference and cowardice.

Jesus was angry. He asked the man with the withered hand to stand to his feet and stretch it forth. As he did, the hand, which had become common in its disfigurement appeared for the first time–beautifully whole.

There was no applause. There were no hallelujahs. Just an uncomfortable fidgeting, punctuated by a cough or two.

Jesus turned on his heel and walked out of the building, followed by a freshly healed, reborn and rejuvenated new brother.

After the pair left, there was a stillness in the room for a few moments, while everyone tried to mentally reconnoiter what to do next. Then the minister rose to his feet and began to read scriptures and everyone found their place in the order of service and continued faithfully.

Having survived the disruption of a miracle, the church was able to return to its liturgy. But Jesus was gone from their midst. Also gone was the confirmation in flesh of why they truly should gather–a transformed human being who had been touched by the grace of God.

Withered–it’s what occurs to any living thing right before death closes the deal. It is the lingering pain which has become acceptable because of its frequency. People adjust to it. People work around it.

Not Jesus. Jesus was off and away, to seek and save that which was lost.

Withered. It begs the question. “Is it good to do good on the Sabbath?”

The question echoes in our silence.

 

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