G-Poppers … July 7th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Is it natural? G-Pop is particularly curious.

Are people naturally mean, or typically kind?

Is it normal to be self-involved, or is there a part of our inner being that yearns to escape selfishness?

Are folks naturally bigoted? In other words, is there an inclination somewhere in our DNA to cling to those who resemble us?

Are we talented?

Is the human race spiritual, or much too burdened by its carnal appetites?

Is intelligence a part of our makeup, or is a certain amount of vague, blank misunderstanding intertwined in our beings?

What is natural?

Are we naturally generous?

Is it common to be vengeful?

Forgive, or unforgiving?

What are the drastic differences between the genders that cause us to believe there’s a chasm that cannot be crossed?

What is natural?

G-Pop offers this warning: over the past ten years we’ve promoted a sarcastic, cynical and bitter interpretation of our species. It’s become easier to accept lying, cheating, immorality, greed, and hubris as natural parts of the human intellect instead of temptations that are given too much time and turf.

So the statement, “I’m only human” covers a multitude of sins–from being late to a dinner party to accidentally shooting a suspect or a police officer.

What is natural? G-Pop wants you to know one simple fact:

Babies are born beings. We teach them to be human.

Being human is simple–it is an intelligent awareness of our animal instinct, while simultaneously reaching inside ourselves to find the breath of God.

Even though we’re not spiritual, we also are not carnal. Not one of us would last fifteen minutes in a jungle with other creatures. And though our first instinct may not be gentleness, we are fully aware that the backlash which comes from sporting antagonism leaves us offensive, if not mortally wounded.

Beware–there is a movement in our society to make every human vice seem natural. It is not.

We are not animals. We are the part of the animal kingdom which has emerged through the intelligence of the Creator, to be able to think, reason, feel, empathize and invent.

This is natural.

So we may find ourselves needing to challenge our motives a bit more often.

But in the long run, we will find that we live more peaceably with other folks when we go to sleep knowing that we did more loving than gnawing.

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Jesonian: Baby Talk… December 21, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby talk bigger gif

Goo-goo.

Da-da.

Ma-ma.

La-la.

Baby talk.

Jesus was a baby.

He didn’t come out of Mary’s womb espousing great parables with immaculate diction. Being human and very tiny in his understanding, he pointed to things and tried to express his inner feelings.

So “goo-goo” was goodness.

“Da-da” was Father God.

“Ma-ma” was Mother Earth.

And “la-la” was love your neighbor.

The magic of the Christmas season is that Jesus was a baby, pooping his pants, urping up mother’s milk and using baby talk.

I am one believer who feels we would be better off if the entire gospel of life was expressed in baby talk, so that we all could become children and therefore inherit the Kingdom of God.

So on this day, I say to you: “Goo-goo,” which means that goodness is achieved when we confront the mediocre before it slides into the pits of evil.

I mouth to you: “Da-da.” God is my Father, and in that position, He is not my Creator, but rather, my parent.

With a bit of drool around the corners of my mouth, I say: “Ma-ma.” Learn Mother Earth. Discern the signs of your times. The Earth is the Lord’s so respect it. Don’t be ignorant of what is current.

And finally, “La-la.” We should love our neighbor as ourselves. Without this, we become dangerously self-involved, precariously at the mercy of others who possess too much self-love and ignore us in our time of need.

Baby talk.

For after all, out of the mouth of a Babe we received great words of wisdom. 

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Populie: You Can’t Trust Anybody … August 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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ColbertI’m not so sure when it became so popular to be cynical. Under the guise of being streetwise or intellectual, we seem to have become so jaded to one another that relationships are difficult to begin.

Matter of fact, if you go to an average church service, somebody will tell a story about how bad things are and how evil people can be.

It’s difficult to go to a movie or watch television without being pummeled with a revelation of the depravity of humankind.

And politicians are always asking for trust from the public while treating us like ignoramuses.

The general population seems to agree on only three things:

  1. People are no good.
  2. Protect yourself.
  3. Matter of fact, strike first.

So the popular belief that there are dangers in the world becomes the populie that “you can’t trust anybody.”

I refuse to live that way.

To make sure that I’m not devastated by unruly individuals, here are three precepts I use in dealing with the world around me:

1. People are self-involved.

It doesn’t make them bad. It just means that if you can’t establish how your project is to their personal advantage, they will either ignore you or lose interest very quickly.

2. It’s up to me to know my stuff.

For instance, I’m going to purchase an amp today. I did my homework. I read up on it, I found out what it should cost and I have a fairly complete comprehension of what I’m willing to do. Remember–it’s not that people cheat us, but rather, we set ourselves up to be cheated by being ignorant of our material.

3.  And finally, go the second mile.

You will be astounded at how good you feel if you do your part, but also bring along a little extra in case others fail.

It’s not that you can’t trust anybody. but rather, that trust is based on the knowledge that we’ve done all we know to do, and we’re not expecting anyone else to do our part.

I do not know how we can live in a world that talks about unconditional love while simultaneously sprouting horrible attitudes toward one another.

You can choose to indulge in the nagging negativity of our society, which targets our fellow-men as losers if you wish.

I just believe it’s impossible to ask God for His grace and mercy…if all you give to your brothers and sisters is a nasty, bratty shove-off. 

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Lame Excuses… October 25, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Woosies, wimps and weenies.

Truthfully, we all probably take our turn donning one of these unfortunate personas. As human beings, we aspire to be sympathetic toward the weaknesses of others, but privately, we really desire that people suffer quietly and find their own means of overcoming. When they don’t, at first we muster a reserve portion of compassion that we save for such an occasion, and then, after an hour or so, we want to either excuse ourselves before we blow our brains out with a gun out of boredom, or accidentally say something mean.

You may not feel as strongly about this as I just stated, but overall, most of us do admire bravery and kind of shrink back from cowardice.

This is why, when I have pulled up lame recently, I have been careful to share–both on jonathots and in my personal life–a sense of well-being along with my candor about my exploits. So I went into my performance last night feeling quite brave and filled with a shield of valor over mixing the joy of honesty with the power of faith.

But you see, somewhere in the cosmos there is a little creature. I envision this booger to be about two feet tall, with fuzzy blond hair sticking straight up, a turned-up nose, a silly grin and big feet, similar in appearance to those of a rabbit. This being seems to have one function–to run into our lives in the midst of what we consider to be an outstanding presentation of balanced living and intelligent choices, and to hop up and down on everything around us, destroying all of our plans while giggling hilariously at his own antics.

I have even given this creature a name. He is a jeeber. His job is to take human beings who have become self-righteous, self-involved, self-piteous or self-aggrandizing about their own efforts, and expose the woosie, wimp and weenie lying beneath. He is so annoying that some people have actually referred to him as the devil, but in reality he possesses no Satanic attributes whatsoever–just a naughty predilection for disruption. Let me give you an example based upon last night.

I was feeling very self-assured that I was handling my current situation with my legs with fortitude. Now, I did have a set-back earlier in the week, when I got my emotional cart before my physical horse and tried to do too much, and ended up falling down in the parking lot of my motel, wallowing for a few moments in the left-over grease of a 1996 Ford Escort. But I was able to recover from that little piece of embarrassment, make better choices and literally regain my footing.

So as I headed off to the church last night to do my show, Janet revealed to me that this particular building had no ramps, so I would be required to roll in and then climb up five or six steps on my ailing limbs. This would also have to be accomplished in front of a few strangers, so I sucked it up, thinking that I was being extraordinarily broad-minded in expressing supernatural willingness.

The the jeeber showed up. The jeeber had all sorts of things planned for me last night in an attempt to expose all of my woosie, weenie and wimp. The steps were not easy, and then, arriving at the top and preparing to do our sound check, I discovered that the power amp for our public address system was not working. Reaching over to try to pick up the amp to do some repair, I jammed my thumb into the piano and began to bleed. No Kleenex could be found to help staunch my bloodiness, so I took a piece of paper to cover up my leakage.

We took the amp back into a room, where I planned to rewire the plug, and the knife I was working with to achieve this purpose slipped from my grasp and I cut the thumb on my left hand. Now I was bleeding in two places. It wasn’t a great loss of blood, just a continual reminder.

I could hear the jeeber laughing.

So I worked on this power amp for about fifteen minutes, realizing the true depth of my intelligence and the full extent of my ignorance. In other words, I couldn’t fix it. So I had to humbly ask our sponsor if we could use one microphone from their system, and Janet procured an amplifier from our car to play her wind machine and we quickly glanced over our program to see which songs would sound just short of horrible without our own security blanket of sound system.

Meanwhile, people were arriving and I was trying to hide my blood flow from the masses, which I think is always an act of extreme courtesy. It was obvious that we were not going to be able to make any kind of normal entrance onto the stage, as most performers are permitted to do, but instead, we remained in the front of the auditorium, trying to piece together a program, resembling janitors cleaning up confetti after a political convention.

While I was trying to figure out how to sop up some of the excess blood from my thumbs, I looked up and suddenly there was a woman standing in front of me, greeting me with the frightening statement: “Do you remember me?”

I could hear the jeeber laughing.

I don’t know how I did it, but I was able to retrieve her name. She was one of my comrades forty years ago in high school. She looked absolutely lovely, and was filled with great spirit, and I looked beleaguered, and perhaps in need, at this point, of a blood transfusion.

I had no idea what was going to happen.

“Woosie Jonathan” wanted to show up and make excuses. He is very good at that, especially when there is so much material available to justify the reasoning. I resisted him.

“Wimpy Jonathan” suggested that we make some sort of joke about the cuts on the hands to gain both sympathy and possibly make an adequate diversion from the lacking of equipment and sound. I dodged him.

Meanwhile, I could hear the giggling of my jeeber from the corner of the room.

Then “Weenie Jonathan” made an appearance. He’s the one that always makes the point that things “aren’t fair.” He wonders why God has allowed additional hassle to arrive when there seemed to be a sufficient arsenal of the weaponry of pain already stockpiled. After all, I was battling my legs, I climbed the stairs … My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

It was a bit of a struggle, but I finally defeated Weenie Jonathan. For here’s the truth. Here is why jeebers exist. They are life’s way of reminding us that we are not as weak as we think we are. If everything actually went according to our aspiring notions, we would never experience any scenario that puts our abilities and talents to a complete test.

The evening was beautiful. The people were luscious. And woosie, wimp and weenie were shuttled off–exit, stage right. I think, around nine o’clock, I saw jeeber stomp out the front door with his big feet flopping, disappointed that he had not gotten more ha-ha’s out of my flaw-flaws.

Anybody can make an excuse, especially when you’re lame. Thus the name: lame excuses. But even though we think we have a case for being a woosie, a wimp and a weenie, there are no feelings of accomplishment when we give into the jeebers. All we feel is typical.

So jeebers, creepers–where’d you get those … well, I’m not sure. But I know this. Because we’re never tempted beyond what we can bear, when it seems that extra hassle arrives, it is one of those rare opportunities to find out if our talent has enough water … to get us through the desert.

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The Running List… October 18, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Eleven days ago, when I awakened with the startling notification that my legs had decided to become non-supportive of my endeavors, my first instinct was to become discouraged. (I personally relish discouragement. It is comforting. Discouragement is the emotion we select when we really don’t want to look much deeper into the situation, but instead, would prefer to believe that we are the offended party.) It does have its dark side, however. It only has one door. Yes, it has an entrance but provides no exit, while simultaneously dimming all the light around you. So I immediately rejected discouragement and instead leaped to my running list.

My running list has five items: God, Mother Nature, people, friends and me.

Those are the elements, really, that interact with me every day of my life, since I rarely have to have a personal interchange with a goat or an elephant.

God. Who is He? God is a spirit. What do we know about spirits? Absolutely nothing–except they’re not physical. So it’s understandable that when God thinks about me, He’s thinking about my heart and spirit instead of about how I need to shed some pounds, start an exercise program and avoid pasta and salt. He is a spirit who became creative. Even to this day, we can tell something is truly spiritual if it was birthed from a creative place. And finally, being a spirit that’s creative, He has afforded us the opportunity to receive Him as a Father if we so desire, by faith.

So what did God think about my legs? Not much.

I moved on to Mother Nature. She is the enforcer, the practicality, the earthly intelligence and the evolver of planet life. She tries to create an even playing field, which requires some rules, followed by surprises. After all, if people only learned the rules, then we would just be a bunch of obedient robots, but if life were just full of surprises, we would be ducking for the cave every time we heard thunder. It’s balanced. Mother Nature has no relationship with me at all. She sees me as she sees everyone else, and because of that she is of great value in my life. What does Mother Nature feel about my legs? Mother Nature does not like sixty-year-old fat men who occasionally splurge on their eating like they’re eighteen and carry out the schedule of a twenty-five-year-old troubadour. She has an ax to grind with me.

So let’s review. God loves me; Mother Nature thinks I’m a prick. Okay. Let’s move on to people.

I love people because they have one moving part: they think about themselves. If you’re offended by that, you will probably not find yourself to be much of a people person. If you expect high-sounding virtue and great generosity of spirit, you probably will come to the conclusion that Homo sapiens should be wiped from the face of the earth. But once you understand that people are self-involved, then you can find a way to become involved with their self. So what do people think about my legs? Once again, not very much. They might consider me weakened if they saw me in a wheelchair, until I could demonstrate that I still bring value to the tribe and therefore, blessing to their teepee.

How about friends? Remember, friends are just people who decide to make you one of the things of their self-involvement. In other words, you are ONE of the ingredients (so don’t get puffed up). What do my friends feel about my legs? Being friends, and often related to me, they want to make sure they say something intelligent and meaningful. Also, just in case I fall over dead, they want to make it clear to everyone around them that they warned me. Their involvement is most valuable, with precious junctures of tenderness and prayers that go up to my Father, who would love to see my heart and spirit live on.

So let’s catch up and keep score. God does not really focus on my bad legs, but rather, is concerned about my heart, spirit and maintaining a personal relationship with me. Mother Nature couldn’t care less about a personal relationship, but instead, wants me to follow the rules better, and then she will consider whether I get to hang around. People are busy with themselves and only consider my legs a weakness if I do, or if I refuse to be of benefit to their pursuits. Family loves me, and as they think about themselves, they include me because I have become part of them and they want to make sure they have done everything reasonable to assist me without becoming overly zealous.

Then there’s me. I, being human, am also self-involved. So I am afforded two choices when it comes to dealing with affliction: Self-awareness or self-pity. Let me not be too noble here–I occasionally indulge in self-pity when I find I have too much time on my hands and get in some sort of bleak place, where I only see the lesser possibilities for my soul.

But self-awareness is a delicious combination of hope, humor and honesty. Hope in the sense that we know that as long as there’s life, there’s always a chance for something to change. Humor because we know that change will be slow and often comical. And honesty because nothing happens until we’re dealing with real, hard-core facts instead of wishes and dreams.

I decided that it was useless for me to pray for a miracle unless I had already started one. So for eleven days I have been on a fabulous food regimen, using exercise prudently, resting, drinking lots of water, and just enjoying myself to the hilt in the process.And then I have employed the following philosophy: the best way for me to honor God is by respecting Mother Nature while simultaneously attempting to turn all the people I meet into my friends.

There’s the key.

You can’t come to God and pray for a miracle if you’re ignoring the principles, the guidelines and the system of His creation established through Mother Nature. I do not know if I’m going to get better, but I do know that the process to getting better is to honor God by following Mother Nature and turning all the people I meet into my friends.

It makes the “me” part of my running list less cranky, less self-piteous and less boring. That’s where I am right now.

Have you checked your running list lately? God is waiting, Mother Nature will teach you if you listen, people are available if you’re interested in them, and friends are valuable if you give them direction on where your heart wants to go. After all, it’s not that complicated. What complicates life is when we believe too much in God but ignore His nature, or we don’t believe in God … and are stuck with ourselves.

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