G-Poppers … April 13th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Your story will be told. The only question is, who will convey the tale of your life?

Will it be your enemies who will struggle to find hidden iniquity to justify their hatred of you?

Will it be your lover, who will focus on the more romantic and personal side, to establish why he or she made a good choice in uniting with you?

Will it be your children? After all, what can they say? I suppose it’s possible for them to rail against you, but basically, most of them will end up proclaiming, “He was a pretty good dad” or “She was a darned good mom.”

Then there are your critics. Their entire focus will be on the weaknesses that prevented you from achieving your goals.

Friends and acquaintances will pass around a paintbrush and a can of emotional whitewash, conveying that they all believed you did your very best with what you had to work with.

Strangers always stand at a distance and cautiously conclude, “He or she seemed to be a good enough person–always paid the bills, never gave me any trouble…”

If you become satisfied with any of these reports, you rob yourself of the true joy of finding the complexion of your own soul and tinkering with it. It is not necessary to be self-incriminating in order to become self-aware.

The truth is, if you tell your own story, it will be suspect. Even if you decide to leave out pompous details, folks around you will still assume you’re over-promoting.

It is the fruit we bear in our lives and the peace we leave behind when we walk away from a situation that actually determine the paragraphing, the chapters and the conclusion of the book entitled, “Me.”

You can affect these things.

  • First, find joy and peace in placing things in a rightful order.
  • Secondly, always lead with humility.

After all, God is not finished with any of us, for we still live on Earth and Mother Nature is fine-tuning our surroundings, waiting to see if we adjust or object.

Your story will be told. But G-Pop wants to ask you, who will tell it?

All we know is that those who truly humble themselves will be exalted.

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Ask Jonathots … January 5th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

How important is self-esteem?

Damaged people.

They are everywhere.

It would be foolish not to include ourselves.

But as important as it is to acknowledge the damage, it is even more essential to prescribe the correct repair.

Self-esteem is like going out and buying a large picture to hang over the hole in your wall. It is not a solution, but rather, a temporary fix.

Self-esteem functions under three very dangerous premises:

1. Because you were born, you matter.

2. There’s no one quite like you.

3. Therefore, you are special.

This particular “candy-bar philosophy” has no grounding in reality.

There are concepts, however, which have proven to have longevity. For instance, the Bible says:

  • All have sinned.
  • There’s none righteous.
  • Whosoever will may come.
  • God is no respecter of persons.

A completely different approach.

In self-esteem, we are encouraged to ignore our problems and deny our commonality. Unfortunately, if everybody is special, then nobody’s special. If everybody matters, then it’s difficult to get personal attention.

So what should we be trying to achieve? Self awareness.

I have some good.

I have some bad.

I have some lazy.

I have some worry.

I have some fret.

I have some genetic predispositions.

I have family.

I have responsibilities.

I have real pressure.

I have phony pressure.

I also have my present talent so I can launch my solutions.

If we cannot be self-aware about our status, we will lean on “puffy” principles, which make us appear more grounded than we actually are.

When we remove the pressure to be right and eliminate the need to be the center of attention, we can begin to understand that the Earth works when we allow place for each other.

Thus, sometimes we’re the head and on other occasions, the tail.

Ironically, self-esteem robs us of the worth we could possess by taking on simple tasks using our ability–and basking in the joy of completion.

Here is the essence of self-awareness:

We are saved by grace.

But we are distinguished by service.

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Populie: The Longer You Live, the Better… November 19, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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nursing home

Everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody’s in a hurry to get there. Even the more bitter and pessimistic souls around us are not anxious to exchange “streets of crime” for “streets of gold.”

It is an open contradiction.

So what do we desire? A superficial form of immortality called longevity.

People work the first forty years of their lives to save up money, so they don’t have to work the last thirty-plus. Very few people ask the big question: how important is the quality of life?

So we create the populie. We applaud people who reach their ninety-fifth birthday without ever asking what is propping them up and whether they are dreading the daily pains of life.

Entertainment works both spectrums on this issue–sometimes portraying that “old is mold” and other times insisting that “old is gold.”

Religion extols the promise of long life because therein lies their piggy banks. Yes, it’s true–young people don’t give as much to the church as old folks.

Politics tries to garner a huge block of graying voters by playing to the fear of these souls, while reflecting back on the nostalgia of what they consider to be “better times.”

But if we’re looking for good life and all we get is time spent, then there’s the danger of ending up in a prison of disappointment.

For instance, if I drove over to a retirement home today at lunch hour, would I hear laughter, conversation, gaiety and feel energy in the room? Or would I encounter disgruntled human beings, who thought they were going to enjoy their “golden years,” and now find the whole experience sullied by too much concern, too much worry and too much pain.

There is a very simple three-part mission given to human beings, which, as long as we are actively and joyously pursuing, makes any age in life feel like twenty-two. You don’t have to go much further than the beginning of the Good Book to find it:

“Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the Earth.”

Can we all agree that when we stop being fruitful, what we feel is rotten?

The lack of multiplying subtracts purpose, and doesn’t add up in our thinking.

I, too, am getting older. So every single morning I get up and ask myself a question: am I still fruitful?

In other words, can I do what I’ve always done to some degree, and still do it well? Maybe there will be a drop-off due to age, but I still should be peddling towards the second mile.

Secondly, am I multiplying? Am I taking the energy I have for living, and helping others do what they do well?

One of the things you will discover as you get older is that your greatest value is not self-obsession, but rather, self-awareness in blessing those around you.

And finally, am I replenishing? This one is simple. Am I still giving more than I’m taking?

Each one of us has seasons of vulnerability, where we must draw from our account instead of making deposits. But if that season continues, the will to live slowly dies in our being.

It’s not about living long. It’s about living well.

Candidly, if I were told tomorrow that the next fifteen years of my life would be spent breathing, but my talents, joy, good attitude and spirituality would be dimmed in the process, I would choose to go.

I might be reluctant, but I would be fully aware that to be truly human requires fruitfulness, multiplication and replenishing the earth.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Turning Kids Into Humans (Part 5) 6-9: Humble Intelligence… September 15, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Humanating

Probably the most terrifying interlude in the journey of parenting is needing to release your young offspring into the general care of the educational system. This is not to cast shadows of doubt on knowledge nor the teachers who impart it.

But in the pursuit of teaching empathy and gratitude to change kids into humans, you may discover that others do not share the importance of such values. Unfortunately, the goal in our social order is to pass on knowledge and leave it to the hearer to determine application.

As I said, a bit frightening.

So knowing that for the first time in your child’s existence, he or she will be away from you for nearly forty hours a week, under the tutelage of a structure which is not necessarily completely in the flow of what you have set in motion, you need to have special times, when you take the intelligence being passed along to your little one and translate it into a practical humility.

It is humble intelligence.

For we well know that humility without intelligence is basically useless in the human family, and intelligence without humility is often belligerent and abusive.

So it is during this 6 to 9-year-old period that three things need to be established in the life of your son or daughter:

1. With knowledge comes responsibility.

Believe it or not, the goal of knowing stuff is not to make other people feel ignorant or to be able to answer Jeopardy! questions. Knowledge is afforded us so we can better our lives and the lives of other.

2. With prosperity comes the need for generosity.

It may sound a little bit ridiculous, but there are those folks who do not understand the concept that to alleviate poverty will take the assistance of those who are not impoverished. Merely telling people to “get a job” will not guarantee their financial stability. With the acquisition of finance and possessions comes the joy of giving to others.

3. With victory comes the awareness of defeat.

Yes, I will say it aloud: I find it ridiculous to analyze failure because all it does is add guilt and fear into future projects. The time to be analytical is when you’ve had a success and you can fine-tune it without feeling despair.

So let’s put these ideas into “working man’s clothes.” How can you take your 6 to 9-year-old and teach him or her to be responsible for knowledge?

Motivate them to tutor another kid in the class who’s not doing as well. I don’t know why it escapes so many people in our society, but children learn much more easily from their peers than from adults. It’s amazing that we do not have tutoring programs among the students, allowing the accomplished learner to further learn by imparting the data to someone who needs assistance.

Secondly to teach the generosity which should come through prosperity, you must be willing to give your children a weekly allowance and then teach them how to budget it–with charity being included in the process. If you’re going to pay the way of your child, but not instruct him or her about how to pay for themselves, they will have some severe problems when they get into their twenties.

And finally, to make them aware of the need to improve, celebrate their glorious moments of achievement, but help them to realize how they can do it better the next time. Self-awareness is the best way to teach your child how to avoid being criticized.

So even though they’re no longer solely the product of your teaching, you can still establish these necessary guidelines, which will allow for the process of making a kid into a human being continue without interruption.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Quatrain of Self-Awareness … June 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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climber

I have my life

You have one, too

You have an opinion

I keep moving on

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Populie: America Is Exceptional … April 9, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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American flag colorsTricky business.

How can you maintain a conviction without attacking or denigrating others if they disagree?

It is a huge problem, personified, I believe, in the popular belief that “America’s great,” intermingled with the lie, “we are better than others.”

It generates the populie, “America is exceptional.”

And by the way–good luck objecting to that in a room full of people.

  • For after all, politics loves it because the cheers come easily.
  • Religion observes it to welcome a patriotic element in the congregation, willing to attend.
  • Entertainment is always aware that butts in seats are more easily placed if asses are kissed.

But what is the truth? Let’s look at it using the element of common sense. Exceptional is a status. Case in point: if someone said you were an exceptional parent, you would suddenly feel the responsibility of the title, and need to continue your status through effort, fully aware that greater scrutiny will certainly be coming your way.

So therefore if we declare our nation to be exceptional, the proclamation comes with responsibilities. We must:

1. Lead the world in freedom and human rights.

2. Challenge mediocrity and reward the pursuit of excellence.

3. Reject self-satisfaction in favor of true self-awareness.

4. Follow through on all men and women being created equal.

5. Constantly be on the cutting edge of science and technology.

6. Speak out against injustice.

7. Take care of our own people and teach them to have a heart for others.

8. Lead by example.

Which leads me to an interesting conclusion–if we did the eight things listed above, there would be no need to claim the title of exceptional.

For after all, the world would know us by our fruits.

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

True Trinity … December 6, 2012

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Jon Signing

The final performance of 2012.

It happened last night at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida, in front of a handful of lovely folk who were unaware of the significance but still managed to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

We did it again. We traveled from coast to coast this year sharing a simple message of “NoOne is better than anyone else” to tens of thousands of people. In the process, I discovered the true trinity. Even though I have no intention of replacing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there IS another triangle of possibilities that work together to our good.

First, you have to love yourself. That’s tricky business. Sometimes when you say it out loud it comes across as pompous and arrogant. But loving yourself is really the intentional blend of self-awareness and hope. In other words: “This is where I presently am and with God’s help, here’s where I’d like to be.” When you mix it that way, it creates an intoxicating brew called humility.

Then, once you’re humble, you’re ready to love people–the second part of our trinity. I must tell you that loving people is not a theory. It is always giving the person right in front of you adequate attention while maintaining your faith in humanity as a whole. That kind of thinking will certainly be challenged by everyday events, which will create in you–patience. In our patience we possess our souls–but also the capacity to love. As you know, without a little bit of long-suffering, love has about a fifteen-minute shelf life.

So you learn to love yourself by using self-awareness and hope, which generates humility. You take that humility out to your fellow human beings and love them, giving them the attention they deserve, use a little bit of faith and it produces patience.

Then you’re finally ready to love God. And those who love God need to do it in spirit and truth, and we know that God loves people who are humble and patient. Too many folks try to love God before they love themselves or others–or they get that self-righteous mixture of loving themselves and God and being prejudiced against others. Or they try to love people and themselves and leave God out of the equation and become frustrated and angry.

No, the true trinity is to love yourself by blending self-awareness and hope to create humility. Then go out and love people, giving them the attention they deserve and a little boost of faith through patience. And then you’re ready to love God in spirit and truth, bringing your humility and patience to the heavenly party.

What I often saw this year was misplaced affection–called love–which didn’t work together, but instead pulled people apart in dissension.

  • Love yourself.
  • Love people.
  • Love God.

It’s a great trinity–well worth our time, energy and worship.

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