G-Poppers … April 14th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus.

What does the name evoke?

G-Pop remembers a time when the mention of Jesus would flood one’s mind with images of mercy, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance and most certainly, love.

But the years have pressed on, and the insanity of religious fanaticism has begun to lump Jesus in with all his errant practitioners and sour-faced sheep.

It may be the greatest tragedy of Good Friday. Not only was he crucified by ignorant rabble, who had memorized scripture but had no Word in their hearts, but he is now re-wounded by those who fail to comprehend that they are imitating the primer of his murderers instead of the mindset of the Master.

G-Pop recalls a phrase Jesus once used: “Except your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Exceed.

Exceed what?

Prayer? No–it can’t be that. Jesus warned his disciples not to advertise their prayer life, but instead, find a closet, shut the door and create intimacy.

Study? Highly unlikely. Jesus accused the Pharisees of parsing every jot and tittle as they “strained at the gnat and swallowed the camel” forgetting the “weightier matters” of God’s message–that being justice and mercy.

Fasting? Once again, both he and his disciples were accused of never fasting, and Jesus told them that if they did, to make sure they literally put on a happy face.

So how did he want his disciples to exceed the religious people around them?

In the humanities.

  • Training themselves to give a damn instead of insisting that they just couldn’t muster the energy.
  • Refusing to judge other people, even though it temporarily makes us feel ooey and goooey with superiority.
  • Realizing that the folks who are considered the least on Earth have the heavenly Father’s eyeball–to see who will come and gently tend to them.

G-Pop points out that as we consider the crucifixion of Christ, we have to ask ourselves, why such a drastic measure? Why kill him?

And the answer is simple. There was a danger that if Jesus lived, or his disciples were still filled with his power and spunk, that religion would not be able to manipulate people into enough guilt to trap them in ceremony–as it robbed their pockets.

“This Jesus, this Jesus, this Jesus must die.”

G-Pop thinks the best tribute we can give to Jesus on this dark day in history is to exceed the Pharisees that walk the Earth today–by using the humor, kindness, gentleness, cleverness and mercy that he taught us to possess.

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Good News and Better News … September 19th, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is utterly amazing how many potholes on the highway of progress can be gloriously filled in with the marvelous cement of enthusiasm and repentance.

Although many people tout the power of thinking and prayer, our thoughts are often stuck in the past, and our prayers can be pious.

When I arrived in Marlette, Michigan, to meet up with Pastor Dave and the human beings who inhabit that region, I was looking for enthusiasm and repentance. Nothing of any significance is going to happen without this pair of miracle-workers.

Enthusiasm has a simple message: “I want to be happy.”

And repentance comes along cleansing the process by offering, “And I realize I may have to change to get it.”

Without enthusiasm. we eventually regress to complaining. And absent repentance, we always become “makers of great excuse.”

I was so pleased to encounter one friend after another in this gathered array of Michiganders, who expressed enthusiasm, and with tears in their eyes, realized the necessity of repentance.

Throughout my journey I have discovered that politics does not work because it’s so afraid of failure that it lies.

Education is limited because without the spunk of perseverance, it may not survive.

And religion is nearly comical because it pursues salvation without revering personal responsibility.

But the magic of enthusiasm followed by the anointing of repentance turns the human race into a livable sort, making folks able to co-exist with one another without gossip and murder.

I think this begins with how we answer the question, “How are you?”

We can decide to hide our feelings and say “fine” with varying degrees of apathy, or we can launch into a series of woes about our present condition, hoping for sympathy.

But I have found the perfect answer to “how are you?Here it is: “At first, a little overwhelmed, but by nightfall, kind of surprised at how well things turned out.”

I shall always remember the folks in Marlette with Pastor Dave and his evolving outreach. They brought to the sanctuary enough enthusiasm to welcome repentance.

That’s the good news.

The better news?

It turns out that enthusiasm and repentance are much easier to work with than defeat and stubbornness.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Three Ways to Make a Difference … September 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Three-Little-Pigs_-Pinnochio-Little-Red-Riding-Hood-Wolf1

Making a difference often requires that you differ from the contemporary rhetoric that passes itself off as conventional wisdom.

This takes cleverness, humor and spunk.

It takes one eye on history, another eye on yourself and if you have a third one, an eye for cracks in the door, to shine in some light.

Can I offer three concepts that might aid you in your task of making that difference?

1. Avoid big ideas.

If the mantra of our generation is “think big,” have the insight to know the error of that way.

For after all, the world is not becoming a better place because large ideas are being chased down. Truthfully, avoid anything that touts itself as “big” and instead, pursue small adventures with lovely borders, time limits and the immediate satisfaction that comes with achievement.

2. Welcome mistakes–they are your best friend.

Mistakes help you avoid two nasty deterrents to accomplishment: (a) being locked into a dead-end project, and (b) making excuses for why you’re still pursuing it.

Mistakes happen because there is a flaw in the original floor plan. Make quick changes, laugh about it and never hide your errors. Then when you have righted the course, you will receive double praise: honor for being cool-headed in the midst of difficulty, and also great regard from others for making an evolution toward excellence.

3. Know when things are done.

Don’t beat a dead horse. It’s cruel, if not stupid. Sometimes things have a season and then they’re over.

It’s important to acknowledge when the work that you have pursued has come to completion. Put out a press release, stick a fork in it and move on.

You can make a difference, but it will require that you have the gumption and passion … to differ.

 

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

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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

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

Perfectly Imperfect … November 30, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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AnisaShe was born on October 1st, 1987.

She has graciously selected to refer to me as her “godfather,” minus the Marlon Brando impersonation, mob hits and Academy Awards.

She was an only child, but surrounded by a gang of boys who teased her, bordering on the verge of torment, which some people in our modern day would consider to be bullying, but ended up working out sufficiently (as far as we know).

For after all, we live in an imperfect world, which is perfectly designed for our penchant for imperfection.

Today she is getting married.

She has asked me to officiate at the ceremony. Honored, I am preparing to do my best.

She is romantically joining together with another human being at a time when such relationships are considered to be expendable, if not ridiculous. She is attempting to launch the ship of their future in a harbor infested with the pirates of indecision, infidelity and inadequacy.

I don’t wish to offer her any advice–mainly due to its imperfection–but I would counsel her to pay heed to herself and be true.

  1. Have a heart that’s pure. You should never go to sleep with feelings because they always wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
  2. Have a soul that’s satisfied–not in yourself, but in the awareness that God has simplified His position, authority and personage into the next human being you run across. Yes, people are God, and every time you forget it, you become an atheist.
  3. Renew your mind. Purposefully find one opinion each and every day that has proven to be wrong and set out to change it by challenging its location within your skull.
  4. And maintain a healthy body–at least as long as you can. Death is chasing us from the time we’re born. True joy is the combination of ignoring it and punching it in the nose.

They named her Anisa, this god-daughter of mine. She was given this name because it was one of the characters in one of my novels. In this book, the girl named Anisa is a princess, filled with spunk, beauty and intelligence.

How apropos.

Happy wedding day, my dear. Keep an eye on your heart, soul, mind and body, and rejoice that the world created for you … is perfectly imperfect.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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