3 Things… April 12th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Are Powerful to Learn Before You Draw Your Next Breath

1. Nature always invites a portion of chaos

 

2. You can survive if you can adapt

 

3. Evolution is more successful when undertaken with good cheer

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Published in: on April 12, 2018 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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G-Poppers … January 22nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

 

G-Pop tried to explain it to a family friend.

Basically, the elements of successful human interaction do not change, but the order of importance we place them in alters, thus affecting the results.

There are five pillars involved in getting along with other people:

  • Creativity
  • Intelligence
  • Quality
  • Talent
  • Honesty

Sometimes we decide to bring focus to one of the elements, thus mutating the conclusions. But if the list is shaken up, turned upside down or even perverted, then we end up with a disrespect for one another, even contempt.

For instance, the power of intelligence does procure some turf–but there is a danger that you will be perceived as acting superior and come across as a pseudo-intellectual.

How about talent? If talent takes the lead position, it has a tendency to demand attention and undo honor.

Where do we start?

A businessman might tell you to lead off with quality. But then you create the danger of trying to control all circumstances in order to maintain reputation.

G-Pop thinks this is the order of our present culture:

  1. Talent
  2. Intelligence
  3. Creativity
  4. Quality
  5. Honesty

This order produces human travelers who are convinced of their abilities, inflexible to change, and who place quality and honesty in a retreated profile.

It makes for bratty people.

Bratty people are offensive and offended people become more bratty in an attempt to justify themselves.

What is your order? asks G-Pop.

Let him know.

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Tame the Shame… November 7, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I come to you today as a reluctant writer.

I rarely have apprehension about expressing my feelings, but there are two nagging pieces of silliness that have garnered great acceptance within the American public which I feel compelled to address. As always, I would like to do so by pointing the spotlight at my own inadequacies instead of others.

One of the reasons I hate to be referred to as a “blogger” is that the reputation of such a creature is that of an attack dog rather than a contented puppy. While recently reading an article on the Internet by an individual decrying the action of “shame,” I became conscious that our society is trying to expel all introspection in deference to self-acceptance, which unfortunately, neither helps us find self nor is accepted. Let me explain:

Last night I was trying to make a point. Thinking that my intentions were being repelled by those in the room, I kicked into a gear of vehemence. I felt justified. After all, what I was saying was grounded in truth and relatively important. But my words were crude, my attack vicious and the result was an acquiescence by those who heard me–due to fear of my temperament rather than understanding of the principles.

So when I laid my head down last night to go to sleep, I felt shame.

If I followed the psychology of today, I would reject that sensation as counter-productive to my self-confidence. I would have rationalized my deeds as being correct because they brought about the proclamation of candor. But I would be wrong.

I felt shame. And instead of rejecting that shame, I tamed it–embraced it, if you will.

For I will tell you, my dear friends, there is a difference between shame and ashamed.

  • Shame is thrust upon me because of my conceited, unbowed head, which forbids any notion of lacking on my part.
  • But ashamed is when I take the time to evaluate my own actions and realize that I was “weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

If I have to become angry to relate the beauty of love and truth, I am a bastard in the human family. The end does not justify the means. Hell, the present doesn’t even justify the means.

Without allowing ourselves to be ashamed, we fail to recognize the repentance which is necessary to create the change that we insist is the goal of a progressive society.

So how do I know if I’m experiencing the brunt of shame, or if a necessary amount of “being ashamed” is graciously applied to my life? If I am ashamed:

  1. It’s my idea because I have taken truly holy time to look at my actions instead of justifying them.
  2. If I’m ashamed and it’s to my benefit, it brings about the amazing mixture of good cheer and tears.
  3. I want to do it better next time. If I’m ashamed and it is born of a spiritual instinct, my desire will be to have another opportunity to show more excellent results.
  4. And finally, if I’m ashamed, I won’t be afraid to speak it out and admit it to others–because it was MY idea, and necessary to expel from my body.

Shame is when somebody else forces conclusions on you. In that case, pop culture is right–the scenario is useless.

But ashamed is opening the door to a repentance that allows us to become a person that we don’t mind lying down with and going to sleep.

So that’s Number One–shame.

Tomorrow we will take on bullying.

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Many are Culled but Pew are Dozin’… May 19, 2013

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Here I am again. Another Sunday sitting in my pew. I am not alone, but not everyone is here, not even everyone I love or those of my own family. They have given up on the idea. I do not hate them because they have deserted the cause. I understand.

Even though I believe in God, I comprehend doubt. Why? Because I have doubts of my own. Sometimes the stories of the Bible sound like stories–you know what I mean? There are moments when Jonah and the Whale resembles Jack and the Beanstalk, which makes me contemplate whether I am dumb for believing or the world is dumb for denying.

Hymns don’t always make sense. Bible readings come crashing to my ears like colliding syllables jumbled together without ever forming words. Where do my prayers go? Are they heard, answered or just therapeutic–to make me and all beseechers feel better for a minute or two?

Now, I don’t feel this way all the time. Sometimes my heart is full of spirit and my mind soaks up a gentle truth. But on other occasions, I feel silly in one moment and then ashamed of my doubt in the next.

What is real? I certainly know that we can’t go on living in a world where we hate each other. Politics doesn’t help. Psychology is a band-aid. Entertainment adds to the confusion. Also, goodness is essential, but not natural. Selfishness is our normal profile. So I guess if I can turn myself into someone who cuts slack to my brothers and sisters, I become valuable.

And then there’s this “after death” stuff. Even if heaven doesn’t end up being  heavenly, earth needs heaven to keep from becoming hell. Yes, I require a Father and a Creator or I stop chasing dreams and settle in for defeat. So I am here, perched in my pew–assigned seating for the heavenly bus.

I don’t know everything. I’m not always sure. I am not ready to argue the Bible with anyone. It’s just that life without a pew?

Well, it really stinks.

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******

Jonathon’s thinking–every day–in a sentence or two …

 Jonathots, Jr.!

Click below

https://jonathots.wordpress.com/jonathots-jr/

******

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Touched and Tempted: Feel … January 23, 2013

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feelI am touched by life’s infirmities.

I am tempted like everybody else.

It is what makes me human.

The more I allow myself to be touched and to acknowledge my temptations, the purer my heart and the more I see God. The more I see God, the greater the chance that I will view Him in the circumstances and the people around me, rather than alienating myself from anything that appears to be foreign and scampering away like a frightened deer.

This is where the paths of psychology and true spirituality cross. In both cases, sharing your feelings, knowing your heart and keeping yourself clean from clogs due to fear and anxiety are key to maintaining a balanced life. So what’s the problem?

The problem occurs when both religion and our cultural approach to the roles of men and women encourage people to hide their temptations and cease to feel compassion, excitement, turmoil and joy. When the medical community prescribes Prozac and the religious system offers grace as a means of neutralizing any of the questioning in our emotions, which might lead to deeper understanding of ourselves, the problems are not alleviated–just masked by medication or meditation.

You will never succeed in living a good human life if you do not feel the freedom to be touched and tempted–without disguising your condition. There is  a place where psychology and spirituality intersect. Both of these worlds understand that we are heart creatures–if we don’t deal with our feelings, we close the door to the possibility of spiritual growth, mental acuity and physical improvement.

So what should you and I do today to make sure that we are “touched with infirmities and tempted like everyone else?”

  1. Ask yourself how you really feel.
  2. Don’t be afraid of the answer.
  3. Speak how you feel to someone else–or at least in the mirror.
  4. Take a moment to cleanse yourself of any worry that comes to mind because you don’t sense that you’re  in the flow.
  5. Realize that this process you’ve just experienced makes you a human being. Perfection is reserved for God (and after all, that, too, is only a theory).
  6. Find a place to start–make sure it’s where you actually are instead of where you wish to be.
  7. Don’t be embarrassed to feel.

Telling people that God’s grace covers everything is not only a lie, but is something they know, deep in their hearts, does not work towards their well-being. Taking the edge off via medication only suppresses the avalanche of emotions instead of teaching us to shovel our snow.

This is where we begin: we feel.

We feel by being touched by the infirmities of the world around us, including our own, and tempted like everybody else, and not being afraid to admit our weakness. Without this, we set in motion the climate for lying.

And lying is what keeps us from the truth that makes us free.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Crossing Paths … January 22, 2013

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Jon SigningI often stand back in bewilderment as I gaze at the world before me and notice the perplexing battle between those who hold to religion and those who pursue the wonders of the natural world.

For those who insist on pursuing supernatural or eternal causes often feel compelled to reject discoveries and insights from psychology, science and business. It is their way of pleasing that which they consider to be present, but unseen.

Likewise, those who have harnessed themselves to the track of psychology, science and business feel an intellectual superiority over believers in fairy tales and magical books.

I say that I am bewildered–because I don’t find myself to be an extraordinarily intelligent fellow, yet even with my small teacup of understanding, I realize that truth lies at the crossroads of religion and knowledge.

In other words, God is not opposed to the natural order that He, Himself, created. He is not a schizophrenic spirit, dwelling in the realm of ghosts and goblins during the night hours, only to rise in the morning to shake off His previous superstitious nature and become the Great Mathematician and Scientist. No–He is the ultimate merger. And if I want to be successful, I need to learn to do the same thing myself.

Over the past two years I have become concerned that religion is being inhabited only by the fearful and disregarded by the creative. Simultaneously, I am equally as appalled to comprehend that the world of educational pursuit is in the hands of those who have absolutely no reverence for anything beyond the “tube of their testing.”

I would like to take a few days to clear the air. For I will tell you this: neither belief nor science, in and of themselves, provide solutions for the problems of humankind. It is in the great merger of the two–crossing paths–that we will find our peace of mind.

So if you don’t mind, tomorrow I will take on where the paths cross between religion and psychology. In the process, we will find true faith–because true faith is the acknowledgment that God is in nature and nature is of God.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Dr. Foul–November 2, 2011

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Telling people that life is easy is misleading them into believing that nothing they are or that they possess will need to change.

Utterly ridiculous. 

Informing people that life is hard makes them reticent, a bit reclusive and frightened that change will be thrust upon them and they will be insufficient to the task. 

Equally harmful.

And telling people that you have the answers and that if they would just listen to your counsel they would be better is not only turning yourself into a false Messiah, but making them subservient to such a fictitious character.

Damnable.

There is a gentleman on TV who postures as a renowned psychologist and pops off advice in a homespun way, having very little understanding of the history of the people he’s talking to, while sharing some personal anecdotes about how he has overcome the same problem with a “tell it like it is” attitude, leaving people helpless to disagree with him, and therefore cowering in the corner, just waiting for the onslaught of his opinion to stop. They call him Dr. Phil. But to me, he’s Dr. Foul.

I know what you’re thinking. “Jonathan, you don’t usually come out with such blatant statements about individuals.” This is true–and I apologize for my lapse in procedure, but I’ve grown weary of television gurus who feather the nest of their reputation by using wounded human beings who are caught in a web of difficulty and deception to make themselves look like they are smarter than the average person and that they can fly high over the masses. Here’s the problem with Dr. Foul:

1.Change is a necessity and relationship is necessary to human beings, so the need for change within a relationship has to be worked out by the individuals who are involved in that covenant and cannot be simply handled in two quick stories and three platitudes. Dr. Foul likes to find the person who appears to be victimized and portray him or her as someone who needs self-esteem and is being torn down by the mean aggressor. It isn’t always that easy. There are people in this life who have declared war on the concept of change. Their “changeless” attitudes causes conflict, financial difficulties, problems and even illness. To tell them that they are “fine the way they are” is to lock them in a box of their own insufficiency and throw away the key.

2. He believes that conventional wisdom always works. It doesn’t. It’s why the Bible says that we “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” It is why the Bible also teaches that we “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” Bluntly, that premise contends that if we need space for our pointy corners, then we must grant that same opportunity to our fellow humans. Knocking off the corners on people’s lives does not make them fit better into Godly containers. It just bruises them.

3. Not everything is a story about you. I realize that Dr. Foul is an entertainer who has neither the patience nor the time anymore to actually involve himself in   human contact with those in need. But presenting how YOU did something so well is not a motivation to make others do the same. It just makes them feel more helpless.

4. He doesn’t allow for an argument. It doesn’t matter how smart you get–people still on occasion are smarter than you. If you cannot listen to what they’re saying and give in to common sense, but rather, feel that you must maintain a position, then you have become useless to them. Dr. Foul is never wrong and becomes quite heatedly angry if you suggest otherwise.

5.  And finally, mixing philosophies together to form a hodge-podge of psychological babble is not conducive to establishing a good pattern for life. In the process of one show, Dr. Foul will bounce between Zen Buddhism, pop psychology, fundamentalist Christianity, Cracker Box chatter, hipster lingo and just man-on-woman chauvinistic superiority. Make up your mind.

For instance, when I run across fundamentalist Christians who only believes in the King James version of the Bible and they are ardent in their belief, I can have a conversation with them because I understand their hearts.  This is why I admire people who are against abortion, but also against capital punishment and war. It’s consistent. On the other hand, if you were to actually follow the advice of Dr. Foul, you would find yourself so uncommitted to any particular path of righteousness that your wishy-washy approach would render you insipid to the point of being comical.

Case in point: it is impossible to instruct people that women are the weaker sex or that women are the emotional arm of the species and that men are sexually driven, dominant and more powerful and think that you are going to establish any kind of relationship based on equality. Yet Dr. Foul persists in offering an Old Testament version of relationships between men and women while at the same time insisting that he is the modern Renaissance man who views both sexes as equals.

I do not share this with you today because I want to be mean-spirited to this gentleman. I just want to make it clear that you should not listen to anything anyone says, including this writer, without trying and testing it through your spirit, your experience and your willingness–your spirit because God speaks to you if you’re willing to listen; your experience because that which you’ve seen and heard is what you should declare to others; and your willingness–just because something NEEDS to be done does not mean that after you have counted the cost, you are going to be able to undertake it.

Dr. Foul does not allow enough time for these people to do this wonderful three-step process.  He tells them what their problem is, makes them accept it and sends them off somewhere for therapy as he closes the show with a smirk, to the roar of applause. When you are truly helping people it is no laughing matter and there rarely is ever a standing ovation.

As I said, feel free to disregard this humble author’s insights in this matter. But also please examine the counsel of anyone–no matter how many degrees they may possess–and ask God to show you what part of it has meat and what part of it is just dry bones.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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