Jonathots … November 13th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jonathan's Handbook of Hands

We are sensual.

Though many proponents insist on portraying us cerebral or spiritual, when it comes time for follow-through, we are infrequently sensible and rarely angelic.

We strive for it. Sometimes we overwork our brains to the point of worry, or we contort our spirits in all forms of prayer and worship until we become obnoxious–even to ourselves.

WE ARE SENSUAL

There are five of them:

  • seeing
  • hearing
  • smelling
  • tasting

All of these four senses are located in our own heads–and that is candidly where we live most of the time. We focus on what we’ve seen, heard, the aromas we enjoy and the tastes that tickle our palates.

The only thing that even hints that we are not merely part of the animal kingdom is the fifth sense–touch.

We experience this when we leave our own thoughts, extend our arms and decide to use our hands.

It’s when the cerebral and spiritual are invited into our sensual control center to contribute something more expansive–inclusive.

THE POWER OF TOUCH

Therefore, if we don’t know how to use our hands–if our touch is either absent or brutal–then the four senses that dwell within the cranium will make us self-centered and certainly encourage isolation.

We were supposed to learn all of this when we were kids. Mom, Dad, relatives, older siblings, Grandpa, Grandma, aunts, uncles and even schoolteachers were there to instruct us on how to “handle” other human beings.

But what if we didn’t learn? What if the instruction was vague? What if we were encouraged by others–or by our own inclinations–to trust our other four senses, and leave touch to chance, or lust?

Is there any hope for the human race if we live our entire lives inside our minds, and fail to learn the power of touch?

What am I supposed to do with my hands?

When should I be “hands on?”

How about “hands off?”

What is the correct time to join hands?

Should we fold our hands in prayer?

Should we give a “hand up” to others?

These are all great questions.

Over the next multiple weeks, I would like to invite you to the Handbook on Hands–an opportunity to study our sensual selves, and find the cerebral and spiritual reasons to use our touch elegantly.


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Confessing … September 5th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XVIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

She was married and so was I–but not to each other.

She loved my mind.

I, hers.

We were connected in heart and soul.

From the first day, she sat and listened to my compositions, and I told her I wanted to record them and put them out, while starting my own music group to travel the country, sharing.

She was there.

She signed up.

For eight years, she stayed devoted to the dream as we crossed the nation, appeared on the PTL Club, the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, recorded at Johnny Cash’s studio, and even, in some cities, hit the gospel music charts.

We were close.

She was happy.

I wanted more.

I misinterpreted her consecration and faith in me for romance. I pushed. She pulled back, so I pushed some more.

She didn’t want to lose our friendship and mission, so she would occasionally give in to some awkward situations. Yes, she pretended to be interested.

She wasn’t.

I knew it.

This sometimes made me fussy and mean. We argued.

I turned something spiritual into a carnal nightmare. We never did anything. Honestly, if she had opened up to the boy-girl thing, I probably would have run like a frightened school child. She tried to reason with me.

Then her husband had an affair. She was broken and anguished. They divorced.

But rather than being a friend to her, I was just another source of conflict. She thought about dating, and because we were such good friends she asked me about it, but I discouraged her because of my raging jealousy.

She was so unhappy.But she still stayed as long as she could because she loved the music.

I drove her away–and when she left, she felt like we couldn’t be friends anymore without errupting the volcano of dissatisfaction.

We should have great memories.

We should be contacting each other frequently with updates on our lives.

But you see, I wasn’t happy with mere happiness. I wanted a “more” that I couldn’t explain but still tried to pursue.

I was young, foolish and self-centered.

I am sorry.

I had her full love, deep respect and tremendous honor–and lost it in pursuit of her flesh.

Love isn’t crazy.

I am crazy to have lost a living love … for the prospect of a temporary connection.

 

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Populie: Stand Up for Yourself … June 18, 2014

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 fightingTo gain any understanding of human relationships, we must learn the difference between bullying and physical abuse.

There is no doubt that if a we are physically attacked, a certain amount of defense is necessary to protect ourselves. Yet to channel that aggression into our everyday lives simply because we are dealing with critics, bullies and self-centered opponents is to open the door to cynicism and allow ourselves to become defensive and jaded.

There is a popular belief that we are required to defend ourselves against personal assault. The populie is that we should stand up for ourselves in all circumstances and never allow anyone to put us down.

Religion loves this simply because it allows them to drain creaky energy from the Old Testament, which permits a much more vindictive attitude towards those who are their enemies. (Allow me to warn you–every time you use the Old Testament to support your spiritual and emotional choices, you are denying the purpose for the lifestyle of Jesus.)

Politics loves “stand up for yourself” because it opens the door to deniability. In other words, even though you’ve done stupid or careless things, as long as you can deny them and act offended by the assertion, you can outlast your critics. This is the way politics works.

And of course, entertainment wants to put the hero in the corner with his or her back against the wall, and then have them fight their way to acceptance or freedom, to the applause and cheers of those who bought a ticket and a bucket of popcorn.

But if everybody in the world retaliates when challenged, then we will spend all of our time putting out brush fires of arguments instead of discovering the truth about ourselves and better ways to live.

Candidly, I almost didn’t write this essay because I knew my approach on this issue would be unpopular and even considered unnatural. But the greatest thing you can do when accused, verbally attacked, questioned or placed in a corner is to refuse to participate in the exercise because it only leads to a back-and-forth, meaningless futility. I attack you, you attack me, we attack each other, and then everyone around us is forced to take sides.

Writing a daily column on the Internet constantly puts me at risk of being questioned or even ambushed by people who choose to be critical of the work of others instead of venturing an effort of their own. I have developed a three-step process for everything I do in my life:

1. I said it.

In other words, as long as you’re quoting me correctly, I don’t have any problem with your disagreement and I refuse to question how you approach your comment. You are entitled to be upset with my words, my life and my choices. The power I have is in standing behind my words, my lifestyle and my choices.

I am not sure I know the value of an apology that begins with, “If I offended you … ”

When I offend you, I will apologize dearly, but if my mere beliefs and presence is a source of annoyance to you, I will continue my life and pray that you get over it.

2. I did it.

I am hungry and thirsty to see and hear human beings admit what they’ve done without clarification, excuse or defensiveness. I will tell you right now, if Richard Nixon had admitted what he knew about the Watergate break-in, been honest about his involvement and shared it immediately, he would never have been forced to resign.

I don’t know when we started thinking that diversion, lying, cheating and misrepresentation can ever win the day. Not only will the truth make you free, but if you reject the freedom, your sins will find you out.

3. This is who I am.

It doesn’t mean I’m not working on getting better; it doesn’t mean I’m always right. Certainly there are things I could learn from you. Yet I got over the need to pretend when I stopped being a child.

This is who I am.

I know there is such a thing as bullying, but if our children had more confidence about what they say, do and who they are, the silence they offer to the aggressive individuals around them would soon rob the varmints of the pleasure of riling them up.

Yes, we empower our enemies when we take their insults seriously.

So when we turn the other cheek, we are not being noble; rather, it is a sophisticated form of stubbornness … refusing to be curtailed by the whim and wishes of others.

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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

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Strife As Life… November 6, 2013

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arguing housewivesI remain optimistic.

Perhaps it would be better to say that I remain. “Optimistic” because I think it is a much more pleasant profile.

But there are times when I look at the entertainment in our society and I become bedraggled in my spirit. You see, there is a strong misconception that the inspiration of our lives comes either from our philosophy OR our theology. Since both of these entities are passed along to us through a combination of our upbringing and our experiences, they are a little too etched in stone to be inspiring in the moment.

Factually, most of our inspiration is derived from our entertainment.

So when that which is meant to entertain us begins to eat away at the foundation of our positive sensations about life, we are tempted to crumble or become cynical. I am a little nervous about how life is being presented as an ongoing struggle in strife on television and in the movies.

I am surprised that the way people used to speak to each other in anger, and then felt the need to repent and make up with each other, is now considered normal, merely “standing up for yourself,” to “keep from being walked on.”

The reality shows are a glimpse into the underbelly of human existence, dividing humanity into two categories: people and person.

Unfortunately, we believe that we are the only “person” and everybody else is just “people.”  We do not grant personhood to anyone else. So if anyone crosses us, disagrees with us, challenges us or questions us, we give ourselves permission to treat that individual as a creature outside the human species.

  • So in our music, women can become “sluts” and “bitches” simply because they don’t do the will of a man, and men are portrayed as dogs and whores because they “treat their women bad.”
  • On reality shows, the more selfish, introspective, sullen and fierce a competitor is, the better chance he or she has for gaining an audience, fame and boosting ratings.

Now, I know I will be accused of being an old fogey, but it is difficult for me to believe that this kind of aberrant behavior has anything to do with what age you are.

For instance, I know when I’m acting like a jerk. Here are three tell-tale signs:

  1. I stop listening and start talking over the top of other people.
  2. I’m sure I’m right.
  3. I dredge up things from the past and use them as ammunition as I try to “slay” the spirit of the person with whom I am fighting.

There you go.

As long as we believe that strife is the energy of life, we will accept a kind of interaction which sniffs of the jungle of struggle instead of the Eden of creativity.

My voice is small, my readership diverse–but tiny. There are millions who applaud strife. I want my family, my friends and everyone from my generation to know that I am one who does not believe that strife is reality.

Rather, it is actually when we forget how beautifully and wonderfully we are made.

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