The V Word … July 2nd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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THE

Image result for gif of letter v

WORD


She hurts.

He hurts.

You hurt.

I hurt.

They hurt.

We hurt.

It is a story told without resolution—a profile in defeat—a chair of comfort, set to the side.

It is a pain minus healing.

It is the word that should never be written or uttered again:

VICTIM

Being identified by your tragedy, characterized by your weakness or remembered for your sadness.

It is nearly drowning yet remaining in the water.

It is being battered and beaten and commanded to continue to wear your bandages.

It is the insincere belief that pity can ever be love, or sympathy, true mercy.

Victim

Victimized

Victimization

Don’t make one.

Don’t be one.

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G-Poppers … February 23rd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop looked on with a bit of sadness as social media lit up with posts about evangelist Billy Graham.

Many of them were cruel. Matter of fact, an inordinate number were laced with vindictive language and resentment against the deceased Reverend.

He lived for ninety-nine years, so trying to abridge his life into one space of time is completely impossible. So the last generation only has insights on the occasional press release which came from his home in North Carolina and the actions of his son, Franklin Graham.

G-Pop feels the same way about Billy Graham as he does about Michael Jackson. G-Pop is not sure either one of them would appreciate the comparison, but every person’s life, including Michael and Billy, comes down to two questions.

What did he or she do?

What did he or she miss?

Can it be as simple as the good doings outweighing the bad, which means someone ends up righteous?

Yes. Any other standard would be prejudicial.

What did Billy Graham do? He preached the Gospel to the whole world. Granted, it was a particular gospel–focused mainly on repenting of sin, accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior and being baptized. Therefore he missed the greater glories of the Gospel of Jesus:

  • Abundant life
  • Mercy to others in order to obtain mercy
  • Refusing to judge fellow humans
  • Wise to stay away from politics.

Michael Jackson arguably wrote the most unique blend of R & B and pop music ever penned. The tunes were filled with humanity, generosity, giving, joy and tolerance. We also have to note that he missed the opportunity to learn to love himself or accept who he was, and in the process may have accidentally damaged the lives of some young people because he was abused as a child.

Billy Graham stayed married to the same woman and was never involved in a sexual scandal throughout his entire ministry.

Yet he missed the opportunity to link arms with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and failed to encourage the South to join the North, East and West to accept civil rights in this country.

He missed the moment when the gay community sought equality as citizens, and instead evaluated them by his moral code and traditions, dating back thousands of years.

Michael Jackson was generous, childlike and desperately tried to address world hunger while simultaneously destroying himself through drug abuse.

It would be terrible if Dr. Billy Graham were to be known as “Billy Graham Cracker.”

Just as horrible would be “Michael Jackson, child molester.”

G-Pop thinks both of these men established that they had hearts to do more good than bad. The weakness of each one showed up at poor times in their personal histories, but with confidence, G-Pop will continue to respect their journeys.

So every time G-Pop hears the old hymn, “Just as I am without one plea,” he will think of the love, efforts and mission of Billy Graham of North Carolina.

And when G-Pop hears Beat It, Billy Jean and Man in the Mirror, his eyes will tear up over the memory of one of the greatest talents that ever inhabited the Earth.

If G-Pop expects this same quarter when he dies–to be evaluated by what he’s done, minus what he missed, hoping for a positive total–then he must first extend that grace to others.

We must first extend that grace to others.

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G-Poppers … January 5th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop has a heart to share something with his children.

There is a certain hint of sadness that settles into a life filled with goodness–goodness, in this case, being defined as a willingness to learn and adapt to the ways of Earth instead of ignoring, rejecting or refuting them.

Once we make our peace with the planet of our birth, and cease to turn our backs on its beautiful, natural ways, some goodness makes its home in our hearts. This is not always permanent, but it visits enough that we should always keep the guest room ready.

But finding the goodness of life does introduce brief periods of melancholy.

After all, if you do decide to “love your neighbor as yourself,” you might actually begin to have empathy for people, even though they don’t love you the same way.

If you pursue becoming “the salt of the Earth,” you might shed a tear over a tasteless society.

Discovering ways to be “the light of the world” just punctuates the darkness.

Contentment sweeps through your soul when you cease to judge others, but realize that their paths will contain sadness and struggle, and find joy in living instead of acting like the whole journey is about making heaven, and speculating with too much revelry about who occupies hell.

There is a certain sadness that accompanies goodness; a mourning that follows being blessed, which requires comforting.

It does not leave us inconsolable–we are not without remedy. God will need to dry our tears.

Rather, it is the sense of yearning to continue to find the grace of God by simply complying with the flow of Earth, and feeling pain for those who continue to rebel.

The Twenty-Third Psalm phrases it best:

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…”

Yes, when the sweet blanket of forgiving goodness covers our wounded souls, it is our mandate to feel deep, heartfelt mercy for those who are chilled by reality.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 48 (May 15th, 1969) Mr. Lester’s Work Force… January 3, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

By the time I walked out of school, I was a different person.

Less than a month earlier, my father had passed, and a growling discontentment, which had started in the previous September, had now turned into a barking dog of frustration.

I was tired of school.

I was tired of my little town.

I was tired of being a student.

I was tired of having urges and desires that were ignored by my local church and replaced with a series of childish activities.

I was nearly a man, forced to wear boyish attire.

My mother decided I should get a job. She thought it would keep all of the sadness off my mind.

That year, the local Youth Corps was offering employment to students to assist local businessmen in their pursuits, at $1.10 an hour. I signed up. They placed me in the role of helping out the local groundskeeper at the cemetery.

Not exactly the perfect job for a young man who had just lost his dad.

There was no grave-digging involved. My responsibility was to mow around the tombstones in a fourteen-day pattern. By the time I finished the fourteenth sector of the cemetery, it was time to go back to the first section and start all over again.

I could not imagine anything that personified the futility of my soul like this particular ritual.

I hated it–especially when it came time for sector four–which included my father’s grave. Actually it was just a pile of dirt. It was too soon for grass to have grown. And I felt compelled, by some sense of nostalgia, to stop and pay my respects.

Yet it was odd and obtuse.

As I mowed–especially on the very hot days–there was this strange smell in the air. It reeked of concentrated vitamins, similar to what you experience when you open up a new bottle. It gave me the creeps.

Since my supervisor rarely showed up at the cemetery, I decided to sign the worksheet with my hours and not actually appear. Amazingly, I pulled this off for two weeks before I got caught.

Mr. Lester, my representative, was very disappointed in me. I was fired.

I was mostly relieved, for two reasons: I didn’t have to keep lying, but mostly … I didn’t have to keep working.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… December 31, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn 12 31

I v. You

I want more

Less is available

I am beautiful

Others, insist plain

I can sing

Where’s the audience?

I can love

Find the loveable

I am happy

Keep sadness away

I am lonely

Are you home?

I am valuable

See my worth

I am white

You have color

I am believing

You question me

I am laughing

Stop your mourning

I am crying

Cease the show

I am hungry

Fed, see more

I am earthly

You are heavenly

I am religious

You are irreverent

I am prejudiced

You are sensitive

I am weary

You are well-doing

I am here

You are there

I am absent

You are available

I am tired

You look exhausted

I am ready

How about you?

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Three Ways to Overcome the Blahs … July 10, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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blahThe “blahs” are when the blues collide with the “bah” from your “humbug.”

This occurs if we decide that the present circumstances seem to lack promise, so we are pre-prepared for sadness and defeat.

In my opinion, it is the struggle of the conscience, procrastination and disappointment–our conscience being the part of us that wants to do right; procrastination, the urge to put it off until tomorrow; and disappointment, the bad mood we find ourselves in because of the results so far.

Yes, when these three are conflicted, emotions dull, the spirit goes to sleep, the brain goes on automatic pilot and the body becomes overly demanding and aggressive.

Therefore, we over-react, over-compensate and over-eat.

So what can we do?

Well, it’s a good idea to minister to these three parts of you, since they’re not going to go away.

The best way to convince your conscience that you intend on participating in a righteous path is to:

1. Tell the truth.

Yes, first be honest with yourself. Sometimes simply stating aloud what is troubling you is enough to break the dreariness of the blahs.

In handling procrastination, my best suggestion is:

2. Do something dreamy today.

Yes, instead of ignoring what you’ve always said you wanted to do, find a simple representation of your goals and aspirations and put it into practice immediately.

If you’re a fisherman and you can’t go out fishing, simply go to the store and purchase a new lure for your tackle box.

If you’re a person who wants to be a seamstress and you don’t have time to sew right now, buy a beautiful bolt of cloth as a reminder.

Yes, bring to remembrance why you do what you do, for procrastination is not a terminal disease that infects us, but rather, a blemish on our skin that needs treatment and will go away if we don’t insist that it’s here to stay.

You have a dream. Find a piece of it and enact it.

And finally, when disappointment threatens to close down all motivation:

3. Go out and give something away that you’re not using.

It seems a little contradictory that the best way to handle feeling cheated is to become generous, but actually, since receiving must always begin with giving, you will be astonished at how quickly your disappointment leaves when you bring joy to another person over something you’re not putting to use anyway.

  • Tell the truth.
  • Do something dreamy.
  • And give something away.

You’ll be astonished at how your “humbug” will no longer feel any “bah” … and your blues will brighten into a new day.

 

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Arizona morning

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A Certain Amount… January 29, 2012

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From Miami, Florida
It takes a certain amount of doubt to allow faith to achieve its full potential. Without adding the element of searching, our quest for belief will often stagnate in repetition, making our attempts at worship pure vanity.
 
There must be a portion of sadness in order to achieve joy–for until we drain ourselves of tears in the nighttime hours, allowing ourselves the needful luxury of lamentation, we will speckle all of our efforts with flecks of unintentional intimidation, removing the possibility for liberating abundance.
 
We even need hate to bring love to fruition. Without teaching ourselves to despise the fear that holds us back from our true power, we will compromise with less affection, meager commitment and tepid embraces.
 
Dare I say, though, a certain amount of fear is necessary to usher in true bravery. Knowing when to stand and when to move–when to express your sentiments and on what occasions to remain silent–is the true wisdom of courage. For after all, ignoring “Goliaths” is usually the better life choice for “Davids.”
 
You will discover that “taking” is also the initiator of a lifestyle of “giving.” Because wishing that you had more does not provide the sustenance for those in need. There certainly is a season in our lives when we need to acquire so that we can truly express greater heights of generosity.
 
There is a certain amount of asking that leads to receiving, a certain amount of seeking rewarded by finding and a certain amount of persistent knocking that finally causes the doors to be opened.
 
For, my dear friends, every emotion is like a vitamin. Each vitamin can serve as a medication. But a medication, if improperly prescribed and ingested, can become a poison. How can we know what to do? What gives us the wisdom to determine the dosage?
 
Ah, you see?  It takes a certain amount of spirit . . . to create life.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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