G-Poppers … May 4th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wants to warn his children to avoid loud folks or strong and silent types if you really want to try to get something done. The loud are always too proud, and the quiet rarely get the courage to try it.

It has become very fashionable to brag about what we think we’re going to accomplish, calling it self-worth. But the truth is, self-worth needs the “worth” first, for the “self” to confirm. Otherwise you end up with a lot of “self” and not much “worth.”

And just because somebody doesn’t talk much, this does not mean they’re withholding information. Often they’re just withholding ignorance.

What you want to look for are curious people who ask questions. This means they’ve learned the power of mulling–considering the subject matter before leaping in with both feet or tip-toeing away in fear.

There was such a man in 1860. He was surrounded by loud people, yelling at each other over the issue of slavery. And then there was the majority of folks in the country, who did not own slaves, but was scared to death and hid in their houses, praying there would be no war.

Brother Abraham just asked questions–because he was curious. His questions made people nervous. His curiosity exposed the cattiness of the politicians of his day. And because of his questioning, he was able foster out one of the most powerful pieces of human liberation in the history of mankind.

Just because it’s popular to heat up our self-esteem or think that “silence is golden,” the true sign of wisdom is curiosity, which leads to legitimate questions.

  • Curiosity without questions is just being nosy.
  • Questions without curiosity is rebellion.

So G-Pop wants his children to know that the best profile for taking on the household of Mother Earth is to remain curious, and come up with righteous questions.

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Good News and Better News… June 26th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is a tale of two Mounts.

One is called Mount Calvary, where the Prince of Peace was crucified at the bequest of angry religionists and indecisive politicians who were bound and determined to maintain the status quo.

The other mount was a place where Jesus came face-to-face with the human race and made his case.

He talked about personal responsibility–how we are responsible for our own lives, responsible to study Mother Nature, responsible to take care of one another, responsible to curb our anger and lust and responsible to be the “light of the world” and the “salt of the Earth.”

Yet the American church is totally obsessed with Mount Calvary, spending countless hours teaching all congregants about the atoning gift of the blood of Christ and even sharing a meal of remembrance.

The other Mount–the Mount of Message, the Mount of Human Transformation–is parsed and referenced, but rarely presented as the necessary philosophy for human beings to get along.

Although we should never forget the courageous sacrifice of Jesus on Mount Calvary, we must realize that what sets Jesus apart from Buddha, Moses, Mohammed and any other religions icon, is that he taught us to use our talents, love one another and remain in good cheer instead of blaming other religions, cutting off the lifeline of our emotions, or spending countless hours pleading with the heavens.

The answer to this dilemma is easily understood by paraphrasing a comment from Jesus. He once said, you shouldn’t leave this one undone, but you should pursue the “weightier matters” of life.

Amen.

Once I understand that Jesus was so enthralled with the propagation of his message that he was willing to die for it, I can go back into those simple, practical axioms and find the way, the truth and the life.

For you see, the good news is that Jesus died for our sins.

The better news is, before he died, he taught us how to live.

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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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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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G-Poppers … May 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wonders if his children comprehend the origin of evil.

After escaping the notion that we are plagued by demons from hell or caught up in a Luciferian revenge plot, we are left with the reality that evil is simply human beings gone amuck.

But is it all the lust of the flesh? The lust of the eyes? The truth is, most carnal sins do little to hurt anyone but the offending party.

G-Pop is curious if his children can recall an old-fashioned word which seems to have fallen out of favor: cunning.

Yes, it is a cunning spirit inside a conniving human heart which plans the offense, and even death, of other souls.

G-Pop’s not quite sure where it started–maybe it was thousands of years ago, when the human race lived in tribes and one tiny village thought it was clever to withhold the location of a good hunting ground from another nearby clump of people, so as to gain superiority.

In doing so, the selfish clan established a wicked premise: “We are better than you.”

Once that idea is invited into the minds of people, they will always be looking for ways to express their dominance, to the detriment of others.

For after all, in the 1950’s, in the southern part of our nation, no white family would discourage black people from singing Negro spirituals, clapping their hands, eating neck bones with collard greens or acting quiet and humble. Matter of fact, any Caucasian person would insist it was “just the black culture.”

They felt magnanimous by being aware of the preferences of their darker-shaded neighbors, allowing them to practice their desires.

It was cunning–a way of saying, “You’re not as good as me because you don’t do the same things I do. I pretend to bid you well, but reject your choices.”

This is why, in our present environment, politicians are able to convince us that Mexicans are rapists, all Muslims are potential terrorists, and billionaires are out to strangle the poor so they can fill their coffers.

We once believed that America was “the great melting pot.” It’s been replaced by the insistence that “we are the great grocery cart.”

We lay inside this country–separate, culturally bound, no longer searching for commonality, but instead, faking a reverence for each other’s cultural inclinations, while privately looking down on each other for having them.

It is a cunning spirit that gradually welcomes segregation and eventually invites violence.

Will G-Pop’s children become aware of this, or buy into the ridiculous notion that we’re actually involved in culture conflicts, which can be alleviated by more education and understanding of our differences?

Going back those many thousands of years, if the selfish tribe which found the excellent source of food had simply said to themselves, “This other tribe is also hungry and there’s plenty for everyone,” then how many wars, executions and genocides could have been avoided?

The source of evil is the cunning notion that if I can convince you that you’re not quite as good as me, I can relegate you to a position where I can move you anywhere I want.

Until we become the great melting pot again, we will struggle in alienation which ironically seems to be feeding tolerance, but actually is just a cunning way to starve people of equality.

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Good News and Better News … April 4th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News and Better News Woodmont

It’s 9:53 A. M. and time for me to go into the sanctuary at Woodmont United Methodist Church in Reidsville, North Carolina, and share the little bit I know. (Fortunately, it’s only an hour, or I would quickly run out of smart stuff.)

There’s nothing terribly impressive about me, so as I get out of my wheelchair to hobble and creak my way over to the piano bench, the gathered host of God probably feel more pity than enthusiasm.

It doesn’t matter.

They have spent the whole week being overwhelmed by politicians, pundits and individuals of all shapes and forms who believe in establishing their prowess through dominance.

So as I look out at my soon-to-be friends, I feel compassion–because they’re man-handled.

They are continually manipulated, coerced and even criticized into believing that “might makes right,” and “the loudest always gets to be the proudest.”

They are peppered with the message that it is an “I” against an “I”–and teeth are made for biting.

Yet with all the promotion of this philosophy, the world still falters–with terrorists now telling us that God thinks we should be blown up, or at least shot multiple times with bullets.

So in that sacred moment, I realize that the House of Jesus needs to be a safe haven from the stupidity of prideful demolition.

Man-handling. What is it?

1. “You gotta fight. Stand up for yourself! Speak your mind. It’s a free country. If you don’t defend yourself, people will walk on you.”

But even in a room filled with just a hundred voices, if everybody speaks up for him or herself, nobody gets heard.

So my message?

Stop fighting and wait for an ingenious idea from the Holy Spirit, to handle the next situation.

Also, the man-handlers want you to know:

2. “Life is complicated.”

If they don’t convince you of that, how can they sell you the improved product, the new book, the fresh idea or the present political candidate?

So I decided to tell the folks at Woodmont to simplify.

After all, I never saw anybody get anything done in a better way because they complicated it. Even if I were an ant, my job would be to find the shortest distance to get the crumbs to my nest.

And finally, all the man-handlers want to make it clear that:

3. “We’re all different.”

Since nowadays it’s basically considered to be ignorant to be a bigot, we hide behind the disguise of “cultural choices” to promote our prejudice.

In other words, since “blacks like things done a certain way,” that’s why they hang out together, and “Chinese people prefer chopsticks instead of forks.” But rather than this teaching tolerance, we’re just promoting isolation.

My answer to the man-handlers is to find commonality among us all.

The forefathers said there is such a thing as the common good.

Here, here.

So as I got ready to strike my first note and begin the service, what crossed my mind was that these people really need to be “God-handled.”

Since I possess no divine qualities whatsoever, I chose to imitate the heavenly Father’s personality profile.

I brought mercy. Mercy-handling.

That’s the good news.

And the better news is that being merciful gets much easier when you realize that you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing.

Therefore you have a desire … to be generous to others.

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G-Poppers … February 12th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

 G-Pop remembers when he bought a dog for his youngest son.

A trip to the rescue shelter, a scanning of canine candidates, and a selection of the family mutt–an animal with so many donors that breed identification was laughable.

The whole process, counting food and bowl, was $45. For that sum, a family friend was acquired, absent any pedigree.

Yet buried in the genetics of this pup was a little bit of hound.

The young son discovered this one night when he imitated a dog howling, and the mixed-up barker launched a woeful moaning into the air.

The dog resisted his inclination. He tried to refrain from being “nothin’ but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time.”

But eventually, the sound of hound came forth.

He was embarrassed.

Matter of fact, after the outburst, he drug himself from the room to reflect on his folly.

Just for the record, we are all mutts, too.

All us Americans.

We have so many breeds within that it would be impossible to find purity in any of us. And we’ve certainly got some hound.

Yes–there is much that hounds us:

  • We are hounded by our selfishness.
  • We are hounded by our fears.
  • Certainly hounded by our sense of entitlement.
  • And also, by our prejudices.

So politicians, ministers and corporations try to get us to release our disconsolate, mournful bay.

They tempt us to be mean and grouchy.

They lure us to our worst place, where we wallow in dissatisfaction, “the hound of hell.”

So then we whine. I do think we’re embarrassed by it–we want to run and hide because of our weaker nature taking over.

But shame on those who draw out the parts that hound us.

Our dog was noble, loyal and loving.

But sometimes, to establish our pleasure–and dominance–we made him howl like a hound.

G-Pop thinks it’s time for us to stop barking at the moon.

Matter of fact, maybe it’s time for all of us to find our better pooch.

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G-Poppers … January 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop had a rare moment.

He asked his grandson, “What do you think about your classmates at school?”

“Most of them don’t like me,” said the young man, dipping his head in disappointment.

“How many kids are there?” asked G-Pop.

“About twenty-five,” said the grandson.

G-Pop continued. “So is it thirteen? Sixteen? Or all twenty-five who don’t like you?”

The young boy squinted at G-Pop. “I don’t know how many,” he replied, a little aggravated.

“So how do you know it’s most?” G-Pop posed.

In a country that runs its programs by polls, the word “most” becomes overly important and eliminates the discovery of truth.

  • Most women are…
  • Most blacks do…
  • Most Mexicans come to our country for…
  • Most men think…
  • Most Christians believe…
  • Most Muslims pursue…
  • Most Wall Street executives are…
  • Most politicians…
  • Most girls…
  • Most boys…
  • Most countries…
  • Most vegetables…
  • Most meat…

Most of the most.

The word “most” is used as a safe way of being prejudiced, while falling back on data which is often tampered with by bigots who want to prove their point.

“Most” is probably the most dangerous word that has come into our society, even though calling it the most dangerous might be part of the problem.

Here is a fact:

Human beings don’t do anything predictable. They are basically content to leave well enough alone, even if they find that status to be unsatisfying.

Yes, stagnancy is always preferable to both goodness and evil.

So the reason we introduce the word “most” into our dialogue is to convince the crowd around us that we are part of the plurality, not tied into a minority, which is obviously wrong as seen by their weak numbers.

G-Pop points out that this presidential election is more concerned with polls than ever before. And the polls never agree because the polls never ask the right question of the right people at the right time.

If we are going to be people of vision, faith and creativity, we have to eliminate the word “most” from our daily conversation, or we will terminate the flexibility of races, religions and personal effort.

Most gay people aren’t anything.

Most Christians are not locked up in a box.

And most Muslims don’t blow up buildings, as most Mexicans don’t rape.

But if you can convince people that “most” of the subject at hand is a threat, then you can also mob them together to attack all.

G-Pop waited for his grandson to produce the number of kids in his class who did not like the little fella. He could never come up with an actual count, because it was just easier to assume that most of them were against him.

The only way to live as a human being and be successful is to admit to yourself that the next encounter and the next experience is mercurial–because it’s controlled by human beings, who are “mostly” individuals.

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