G-Poppers … July 27th, 2018

G-Pop is fully aware that upon reaching the thirtieth birthday, an assumption is made by the flourishing young ones that you are no longer viable. You are losing all relevance and heading toward a “grim meeting with the Reaper.”

There are those who try to keep up by pretending they are young, vibrant and athletic–just as fresh as they were before accumulating so many birthday candles. But no matter how much one thinks one might be spry, simply knowing the definition of the word “spry” eliminates one from the present generation’s vernacular.

There is a power in staying current.

There is an extreme blessing in aging gracefully.

And there is also an essential stubbornness that needs to remain with all of us over the age of thirty–simply to remind the younger generation of the filament that holds this old world together. Otherwise, it becomes not only posh, hip or cool to stay current with the numbering of I-Phones, but also makes some people think that all traditional values should be stuffed somewhere deep in Mississippi at a Bible camp.

So today G-Pop offers three ideas that must stay current–passed on by every generation as fresh thinking, fresh action and fresh life:

1. My life is my own responsibility.

2. It’s none of my business.

3. Good comes in all colors.

Because we have not been retaining these pillars of purpose, folks have started blaming other people for everything.

We stick our noses where they don’t belong, and judge the heart, soul and mind of every creature who only has one Judge

And we have begun to believe that culture (which is often just a masking for the color of skin) is so unique that we sometimes just can’t cross the lines to understand one another.

So in closing, be as young as you want. Go ahead and water ski with your grandchildren as long as you’re good friends with Ben Gay, but teach your children these three essentials of life.

Without them, we all become selfish, bratty, inconsiderate assholes.

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G-Poppers … December 29th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop sits quietly in front of his computer, musing over the topic he has selected for today.

What is the best way to discuss it?

It’s a very important subject, but like many matters that carry weight, it can seem too heavy and not that interesting. Yet to pursue activity without understanding how the climate of Earth really works can truly be frustrating.

So let us begin with this–a simple saying: Take a minute to find your hour to make your day.

Somehow or another, the misconception that we can get nine, ten, or fifty things accomplished within a 24-hour period–with the same efficiency for each endeavor–has left us stressed, with the nasty sensation of being overly busy.

Earth functions on scientific biorhythms. What does that mean>? There are things going on other than your plans and G-Pop’s plans and if we can get into the hum and energy of one of those rhythms, our ideas have a greater chance of being accomplished.

It’s nice to have an agenda, so you can look at it and realize what you might wish to accomplish. But some time during each day, there will be a minute when you realize what your best hour is for making your day complete.

Just because you plan it on Wednesday does not mean that Wednesday will tolerate you doing it. You can try to force it or manipulate it, but Wednesday may not want to do what you thought Wednesday should do.

It is at that point that we should take a minute to realize that this is not the hour to pursue.

Although many people are afraid of “cutting too soon”–missing a great opportunity to succeed–the greater danger is pushing too hard and losing the energy of this day over an idea whose time has just not come.

How do you know what is the right minute to find the hour of this day?

1. If a second problem pops its head up to challenge the possibility, then it’s time to regroup.

One problem can be an obstacle, but a second problem is often a warning that other difficulties will follow.

2. Passion is low.

We’re human. Therefore, we run on emotions, and even though we may think we can control them, they actually dictate our energy and our desire. Trying to force people to be passionate is emotional rape. It makes them feel defiled and gives them a sense that their ideas are not honored.

3. Stubbornness is the best way to fail.

A certain amount of evolution is necessary on Planet Earth, since the planet has been birthed by evolving. In other words, the process has not stopped. If you are not ready to evolve, then you will purposely walk into repetition which has proven to produce extinction.

Find the minute for the hour to make the day.

It’s not so much that we work too hard–but much of our work is meaningless, and therefore feels futile, which makes it seem much harder.

Work less.

Listen more.

React to the energy of those around you, the marketplace you are pitching and the Earth where you live.

G-Pop wants his children to know, when you are faithful to the hour, you will rule in the day.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 11th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-come-and-hear

Come and Hear

Louder and louder the voices raise

Full of anger, absent praise

Once a plea for human reason

A desire for peace in its season

Has become a nasty mumble

A growl, grimace, rumble

Truth is lost in fiery debate

Souls are raw, feelings irate

Infected with the need to be right

Well prepared for a lingering fight

Twisting the logic to meet the need

Parsing the words of what we read

Gathering around our common fire

Warming comrades feeding our desire

Lost in defense, unable to repent

Ignoring the prophets mercy has sent

Self-assured in what we know

Stubbornly negating the way to grow

Ignorance is always much too sure

Promoting a promise but tainting the cure

It’s time for souls to sit and learn

Calm the rage, soothe the burn

Come and hear, you have an ear

And stay ’til love casts out all fear.

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Good News and Better News … September 19th, 2016

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good-news-marlette

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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Populie: Stand Up for Yourself … June 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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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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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.

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Somebody Should Do Something…. May 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are two simple ways to immediately improve your life.

First, get rid of all your committees.

Second, start doing some rendition of what resembles your dream and then be prepared to change.

Since our present society is completely unable or unwilling to pursue either of these options, then please settle in for a long winter’s nap of repetitive nonsense. And one of the main pieces of nonsense is the ongoing droning drivel that “somebody should do something.”

Let us understand–somebody already has.

  • We wouldn’t have cures for disease if they hadn’t.
  • Slaves would not be freed without somebody doing something.
  • Salvation for the human soul would never have been accomplished from a “do nothing” Savior.

It isn’t like we have to come up with our own idea or create a world unto itself–unique to our circumstances–to accomplish good deeds. There are many paths set before us, tremendous options and inspiring tales to thrust us forward in the direction of accomplishment.

We are reluctant–both as a species and then, as individuals.

Why?

There are two nasty principles that were ingrained in us at a young age, no matter what culture we came from.

  1. Don’t make a fool of yourself.
  2. Leave well enough alone.

For some reason, as a race, we learned these much more easily than we did long division. Maybe it’s because we’re basically insecure, and both of these concepts feed that timidity, making it easier for us to remain stagnant.

Maybe it’s because indifference burns fewer calories and allows for more naps. I don’t know.

But the end result is a disgruntled multitude, complaining about the absence of leadership while simultaneously resisting any prophetic voice that would advance a new theory.

You have to make up your mind. If you want to extol the status quo, do so, but please never complain about the blandness of your grits. Or … prepare yourself for the shock that if anything is going to be done, to look any further than your own motivation is an exercise in futility.Abe

HitlerBecause there is really only one moving part in the human experience–only one thing that separates an Abraham Lincoln from an Adolph Hitler. Both men were bigoted in their own way. Both men took office believing that a particular sect or race of human beings was inferior. Both individuals had a certain dictatorial style to their rule. (Yes, Abraham Lincoln was called a dictator.)

The difference between Abraham and Adolph is that when information was given to Mr. Lincoln to prove that slavery was wrong, dangerous and god-forbidden–he changed.

On the other hand, when the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States were perched on the outskirts of Berlin and it was obvious to everyone–including Chancellor Hitler, that the war was over, he literally dug into his bunker and permitted the slaughter of an additional quarter of a million people to justify his foolishness.

Therefore, saying that somebody needs to do something is an ugly blending of self-pity and stubbornness.

And self-pity and stubbornness are the main attributes of all the inhabitants of hell.

A footrnote: muich thanks to my dear brother from yesterday morning at Algood, who told me his pet peeve was the phrase, “somebody needs to do something.”

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Arizona morning

heAfter 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

 

 

Losing It … August 17, 2012

  • Loser — Part 4
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“He that would gain his life…”

Behold, my dear, sweet friends. We are a nation of control freaks. Unfortunately, we only recognize the vice in others while failing to acknowledge the behavior in ourselves. When we are accused of being manipulative, we respond by saying that we’re only trying to take control, maintain control and eliminate defeat. It has become a mantra–defending indefensible positions with the idea that he who yells the loudest and curses the most will win the day and therefore, be proven correct.

Here’s an insight: there is an actual truth that often exists outside of our willfulness. With that reality at work, we must understand that when we take control and we are erred, those around us–and we ourselves–are in danger and at the mercy of poor judgment. If we maintain control without allowing in fresh ideas, then we are trapped in the scenario of our own making, which has already been proven to be unsuccessful (just look at the economy). If on top of taking and maintaining control, we insist that the way to eliminate defeat is to prove that we are walking in a victorious life, we will find ourselves needing to deceive, embellish and lie to keep from being discovered as a failure. This philosophy, although popular, is not only fallacious, but dangerous.

” … shall lose it.”

Yes. “He that would gain his life shall lose it.”

When you try to take control and you, yourself, are not really in control, you end up losing out because you’re ill-prepared for the natural hassle that comes along to question your authority. Hassle is the great equalizer that bypasses race, ethnicity, religion and gender–and just makes us all wiggle and squirm under the same uncomfortable conditions.

If you’re trying to maintain your control, you will find yourself in the dastardly position of being unwilling to evolve with the revelation of truth. Isn’t it amazing that we have fought wars to defend concepts that were already against our better interests? Hundreds of thousands of Americans died between 1861 and 1865 over the institution of slavery, which had already been determined by many nations of the world to be immoral and arcane. But the war raged because men and women were unwilling to evolve towards inevitability.

And the final reason that “he that would gain his life shall lose it” is that rather than being challenged and enlivened by difficulty and defeat, we are taught to recoil, pull up lame and be bruised by our setbacks. I don’t know whether we get an opinion on anything–it is a luxury that ignorant people often take, delaying a better path–but I tell you this: you definitely do not get an opinion on your losses. The only thing you can do is acknowledge them, learn from them, adjust to them and grow through the experience as you try afresh.

As you can see, the greatest opportunities in life do not occur when we are winning, but rather, by the repositioning we do when confronted by inevitable failure.

“He that will lose his life …”

Now THERE’S something nobody wants to do. But we’re not speaking of totally forsaking all of our individuality, but instead, just taking a moment to count the cost of the pressing transition that is coming our way. Yes–actually thinking about what is around the corner and how it may be different instead of assuming that yesterday’s life will be Xeroxed. If we finally relinquish our pettiness to the joyful conclusion that life IS changing, we have the ability to begin to maintain our good cheer. Good cheer is just the awareness that nothing is going to be the same, but God will go with us as long as we don’t give up.

This grants us the flexibility to do one of the more intelligent maneuvers in life–adapt quickly. Everyone who stands against a reasonable premise ends up being ground under by the wheels of progress.

Count the cost of change. Maintain your good cheer and adapt quickly. It may feel like you’re losing your life, or at least your sense of domination, but it always ends up …

“…shall gain it.”

Yes, “he that will lose his life shall gain it” because he or she will avoid the delay caused by stubbornness. I’ve even seen folks who knew they would eventually have to give into new ideas continue to dig their heels in to make some sort of foolish point about their freedom to object. What a waste of time. If you’re not stubborn, you can actually join the committee and be involved in the process of the change.

I do not know what is going to happen in this country on any given issue, but there is one central theme that is universal in the United States of America: we never take liberty away from any individual without paying the price and feeling completely foolish afterwards. Every race and nationality has taken its turn at being the underdog, and those who stubbornly held that position and repelled these individuals always ended up looking like the villains in a Stephen King movie–black hats and all.

If you can be involved in the process of change, you get the privilege of surviving, to end up living better.

“He that would gain his life shall lose it, and he that will lose his life (for my sake),” Jesus said, “shall gain it.”

Losing is not painful. It is predictable. It is what we spend most of our time doing and the least amount of time training for. How ridiculous.

  • Just like the Olympic athletes who win bronze, we need to take as much out of the experience as we possibly can without insisting that we’re all equally winners.
  • Just like Jesus, who hung on a cross, sometimes the reasons for our affliction are not obvious on Day One. Often, it is on the third day that we will rise to the occasion.
  • And just like me, you don’t need to feel beautiful to do beautiful things. Apparently, only one person is the prettiest, so everybody else better get a grip, because beauty will not win the day. Wisdom always trumps comeliness.
  • And if you would gain your life, you must learn how to lose. Lose with style, grace, awareness, flexibility and good cheer.

May I close this whole series with three easy-to-remember thoughts?

1. Don’t be sure, be pure. (Be honest about what you know and what you don’t know–and be prepared to know more.)

2. Don’t resist, persist. (Keep moving towards liberty and justice for all. God is always right there somewhere in the midst.)

3. Don’t be right, capture the light. (The ability to win an argument is not a guarantee that you’ve won the day. There are principles at work that will always carry on no matter how well you argue and fuss about your own opinion.)

Losers–we share it in common. It makes us love each other. It’s what we all understand about each other. It’s what makes us all … brothers and sisters.

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