1 Thing You Can Do to Maintain the Power of Your Own Reasoning


Don’t Hold Town Meetings

I don’t know how the practice got started.

I suppose someone thought it was really civic minded for a candidate to sit in front of a bunch of townsfolk and take questions about his or her choices made while governing.

But here is the break-down of what happens when you try to appeal to the masses.

It is a three-step process:

1. Masses

2. Misses

3. Messes

There you go. That’s the way it works.

When you talk to the masses in America, you are not speaking to individual people who formulated their own thinking on a particular subject. You end up addressing the multi-media machines—the ones with the most money—which target those Masses to try to implant the ideas of their Misses, which they want to push forward—creating Messes.

If I were to sum up our present climate, I would call it A. I. U.

Yes, America is A. I. U.—which stands for An Internet Understanding.

On innumerable subjects, Americans can give you their take, which they have derived by being peppered, through the Internet, with Tweets, posts and memes. There’s not enough time to participate in reading or viewing these opinions and also finding out if they’re correct. Therefore, what you think about America is solely based upon what Internet cites you choose for gathering your information.

Now, if you slam all those people together in a Town Meeting, what they will shout at you is what they are positive is the truth—because they read it on the Internet.

In A. I. U. environments, it is absolutely impossible, if not dangerous, to open up the room to questions.

Likewise, nowadays, I’m even careful about asking people’s opinion on the latest shirt I bought. Because what I often get back is A. I. U.

Or, “What do you think I should do about selling my house?” More A. I. U.

My son is thinking about going to college. A. I. U. begins to speak.

Once you get in a Town Meeting, you can’t stop listening or run out the door in horror.

If you planned a Town Meeting, you can’t cancel it without looking like you have something to hide.

So our 1 Thing for today is simple:

Don’t you dare hold a Town Meeting. 


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G-44: Blogging… October 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog


Paul writing

Paul was a blogger.

Although it’s commonly accepted that he authored books, what he really penned were entries which he posted to various individuals and congregations, expressing his mood in the moment.

So sometimes we have:

  • happy Paul
  • sad Paul
  • angry Paul
  • theological Paul
  • philosophical Paul
  • bruised Paul
  • attacking Paul
  • judgmental Paul
  • merciful Paul
  • Pharisee Paul
  • and Gentile Paul

Nothing much is achieved in reading the New Testament without understanding this concept. For if you isolate off one of Paul’s posts and attempt to characterize his entire message by its content, you will soon be frustrated by another entry, which seems to be contradictory.

Before you become critical of this grab-bag styling, you might want to consider the audience Paul was trying to reach. First, he worked around the erroneous premise of trying to be “all things to all men so that he might save some.” Here’s the problem with the idea: the Jews seek for a sign, the Greeks want wisdom, the Romans crave power and the Barbarians yearn for an identity. It’s difficult to believe that any singular paragraph, clump of verses or accumulation of chapters could appease all of these sensitivities.

So by the time the first century came to an end, and all of the original folks who ate and lived with Jesus were dying off, the message was suffering from a “clarification crisis.”

Some people favored Paul, some Peter, some Apollos, and others, some no-name who didn’t make the Biblical cut.

Simultaneously, the Romans were gradually getting tired of killing Christians and because of the failings of their Empire, were looking for a fresh motivation. So as time marched on, the Romans embraced this “Mesopotamia Message” as their own, and of course, in the process, swallowed it up with their bureaucracy.

The Romans, being authoritarians, felt that the weakness of the Pauline preaching was that it allowed too much freedom for the individual, without the structure of a governing body filled with superiors.

So this new Roman church was structured exactly the same as Rome itself–with an Emperor, a Senate, tribunals and even, to a certain degree, legions of soldiers.

The ironic result was that a God who came to study man was ignored in favor of men who decided to study God.

Meanwhile, the Barbarians discovered a potent identity. They could defeat Rome and rule the world, such as it was.

So a message which was intended to place the Kingdom of God within the heart of each believer was now placed within the whim of a potentate.

Alas, my friends … leave it to human beings to make things worse when they organize. 

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Gas or Pictures… January 15, 2012


I was asked again yesterday.  “Why aren’t you on Facebook?”

I think it’s a nice thing–I think, for some people, it seems to be a means of communication. It’s just not for me. To me, it comes down to a choice of gas or pictures. Since I’m never coming back from a vacation, nor completing a task or touting the needs of my children when they’re completely able to do so themselves, I spend most of my time gassing up my vehicle and moving on down the road.

I think life is more visceral than visual. For instance, I really don’t know how to explain to someone what it’s like to sit in front of an audience of strangers and share until a common humanity overtakes us in a sweep of spirit. It’s difficult to capture in a single post on Facebook, the sensation of writing a song, or seeing someone’s luggage left outside of their car as they drive away and you chase them down the street to tell them they’ve left it behind as they look at you like you’re crazy; but still, to play it safe, they turn around and are so happy to find their stuff.

I like gas, not pictures. I like to do things and then when the things are done, rather than mounting a display to remember them, I like to go on to the next one. I don’t begrudge those who participate in memorializing their lives. Life just seems so short to me–to be encapsulating everything as I go, when there will be plenty of time when I’m gone for people to remember and to immortalize if they so desire.

I don’t have to worry about taking pictures.  Someone always is. I don’t have to wonder about little bits and pieces of myself being downloaded–we have such folk readily available everywhere. And I do participate in the sense that I keep up with some people via Facebook, so perhaps my hypocrisy is not only evident but in full bloom.

It’s just that I’ve got my foot on the gas instead my finger on the shutter. And there are three things that worry me about this whole process of choosing pictures over the gas:

1. We’re making our children too important. Even as I write that, I realize how unpopular the concept will be. The notion of family is shrinking us, though, instead of expanding us as brothers and sisters across the world. I love my children. I love them so much that I desire them to have lives and not to maintain the childish existences they once shared with me. Facebook keeps us too fanciful about fostering family. Having children was not my purpose in life–so I could settle into a chair and either worry about them or vicariously live through them. I have no inclination that God will ask me anything about my children at the Judgment Day. It will all be about me.

2. Too many events, not enough spontaneity. We have become a nation obsessed with planning and starting things, with very little passion for sustaining and little to no endurance for finishing. Spontaneity is the breath of God. It is the way His Spirit moves–and those who must have two weeks’ notice will miss out on half the excitement that was originally prepared for them. I am just like you–spontaneity sometimes angers me, frustrates me or makes me grumpy. But when I give in to its energy, I discover the breathtaking nature of human travel.

3. Too many awards, not enough art. In the absence of true excellence, we produce decals, medals, certificates and statues to affirm our progress. Yes, it is one of my problems with Facebook. People want to tack up what they’re doing on their walls and let other folks tell them how important it is. Here’s a suggestion–do important things and the fruit of your labors will be so beneficial that you won’t need anyone to tell you the value of your deeds. It’s just a thought. But because most people have succumbed to the notion that being creative is limited to a few genius souls or a sporadic strike of lightning, or worse, just the “whim of God,” we spend most of our time nostalgically remembering “greater folks” who did “greater feats,” or applauding ourselves for remakes, remixes and repetition. Once again, not for me.

I will always choose gas over pictures. It is possible I will reach the end of my life and there will be a dearth of images about my journey. It is a risk I will take. I would much rather welcome someone to sit by my side and “come see” instead of viewing my posts. Old fashioned? I disagree. I think it’s old-fashioned to sit around and thumb through family albums of photographs and reminisce … even if you’re doing it at 4G speed.


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