G-Poppers … February 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop wonders if the current crop of ears listening to the corny dialogue from the field of candidates is totally aware of the dangers.

Would they even consider the insights of a young preacher from 2000 years ago, who warned that his generation was like a bunch of “children sitting in the marketplace”–the message being that since they’re children, they aren’t ready for the marketplace, but instead, better suited for the playground?

So the danger in politics and religion is that we end up with a clump of childish scoundrels. It’s difficult to look at them as criminals because they are so inexperienced, but impossible to consider them viable, since they are so bratty.

The definition of childish is anyone who thinks their feelings are more important than the truth.

So when you look at Marco, Hillary, Ted, Ben, Jeb, Bernie, Donald and John, you realize that each one has some endearing qualities which are certainly tainted by a fussy need to come across superior.

We must understand that superior is only achieved when inferior is confronted and corrected.

So what should be the profile of those who desire to rule over us and reign in the “land of the free and the home of the brave?”

A simple phrase:

“I am capable.”

  • I am capable of good things, which my campaign manager will now recite to you in detail.
  • I am capable of bad things, which my opponents will soon find, so to free them from that exhausting task, I will confess myself.
  • And I am capable of learning by listening to the wisdom of others and their counsel, and adjusting myself to the reality of the present predicament.

These candidates want to express their readiness–yet no one is ready to be President of the United States. The job description changes daily, with the focus landing squarely on varied skills at a moment’s notice. You cannot prepare for such a mission. What you need to do is learn to submit to each situation as it arises.

I am capable.

“I am capable of good things, bad things and learning better things.”

G-Pop does not have any desire to endorse a candidate, but he’s happy to tell you that the wisdom expressed by that itinerant teacher 2000 years ago still holds true.

Children in the marketplace will turn childish when confronted by difficulty.

Escaping childishness requires that we humble ourselves by celebrating the good, acknowledging the bad … and arriving, every day, with a willing attitude.

 

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Ask Jonathots … September 3rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I like animals more than people. I own four dogs and volunteer at the animal shelter once a month, and regularly canvas my co-workers to donate to the shelter and also to other animal charities. I dress my doggies for the weather and buy them special cakes for holidays and their birthdays. Two of my co-workers referred to me as “unbalanced” because I treat my dogs like they’re my children. I told them that I think animals are more trustworthy than humans. What do you think?

I am curious about the way you have framed your paragraph and question. In other words, if you had begun your statement by telling me about your delightful four dogs, your work with charities and the fact that you treat these animals as your children, I would have said,”Absolutely fabulous.”

But the fact that you chose to begin your feelings by saying that you like animals more than people does warn me that you are dealing with a neurosis.

I would feel the same about someone who led off by saying they liked people more than animals. My question would be why?

If you truly contend that animals are part of God’s creation and therefore deserve our respect, tenderness and appreciation, that is one thing. But to isolate them off as superior to people–another part of God’s creation–is no different from someone telling me they like gay better than straight, white better than black and female better than male.

The unbalanced part of your personality lies in your need to prefer instead of just honoring.

Honestly, animals are not more trustworthy than humans. I have very few friends–or even enemies–who would eat my dead body if they were locked in a room with me for three days without food.

But animals not only have a purpose, they are symbolistic of what Jesus called “the least of these, my brethren.” They need our care, they need our attention, they deserve our respect, and they also anticipate that we will have the insight to place them in the correct position in our lives.

It’s not that people are better than animals or animals are better than people. It’s just that when you set apart some segment of creation as superior to another segment, you are on the slippery slope of bigotry which lends itself to tyranny.

  • I love animals. I love animals to let them be animals.
  • I love people. I love people enough to let them be people.
  • And I love God. I love God enough to let Him be God.

Because in your hour of need, you can certainly believe that God cares about your situation and will help. There is also the potential that people will come along and assist, based upon their compassion.

But if you’re broken down along the side of the road, your dog will just sit there and bark, waiting for a treat.

 

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G-32: Protector … July 11, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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battling JewsShortly after Joseph died, his friend, the Pharoah, passed away, bringing a new monarch to power, who had an inordinate interest in building pyramids.

A project of such magnitude demands labor, preferably cheap. And the best way to acquire this workforce is to convince one group of people that they’re superior to the other, and to intimidate the other conglomeration of souls into believing that they’re inferior.

So the created human beings who had found provision under Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph suddenly found themselves strangers in the land of Egypt and were gradually subjugated to be servants of the locals.

Since they had been a people provided for by their Creator, they didn’t make very good slaves. The sense of entitlement caused them to rebel against the oppression, creating an ongoing conflict and growing hostility.

Even though the Father in Heaven had found great joy in being a Provider, He now found Himself in need of becoming a Protector.

Through Moses, Joshua and David, the people were freed from Egypt, wilderness bound, conquering Jericho and gradually became a warring tribe, attempting to secure what they considered to be their “Promised Land.”

So the Creator who had regretted making human beings and repented by deciding to provide for them, now found Himself protecting them, only to discover that the instinct to conquer is an overwhelming vice in the human spirit, turning us once again to abstract violence. (Matter of fact, when King David wanted to build a Temple, God refused to allow him to do so because his hands were covered in so much blood.)

It was an awkward situation.

The people weren’t dissatisfied with their status as aggressors, and they deeply believed they were pursuing both a nationalistic and a religious goal by destroying the heathen. But since the root word of Creator is “create,” the Father found himself very saddened by the destruction of other human beings in order to protect a tiny handful.

And as violence often does, it led to other depravity.

What was the answer?

  • Certainly being a father means you need to provide, but such provision can make for spoiled children.
  • And because they’re spoiled, they can become eccentric and need protection.
  • But protecting them makes them feel superior to the surrounding families of man, creating a climate of war and calamity.

What was the next step in learning how to be a Father to Your children? 

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Populie 3: Family is Everything … February 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Things become popular because they make us feel good about ourselves without challenging us to improve.  The sensation is so intoxicating that we’re often willing to bottle lies in order to guzzle it down.

This is how we arrive at the infamous Populie, Family is everything.”

It is really an Old Testament approach to believing that our particular lineage, descendants and tribe have been granted a special anointing from on high–superior in some way to other groups in our nearby community.

Even though in the Good Book, Jesus makes it clear that if you love those who love you, you’re no better than the heathen, we are on some sort of “birthright high” right now, in pursuit of giving extra love to those who possess our DNA.

You might ask, “What’s the big deal? So what if people embrace their own personal households with greater intensity and fervor than they do the other humans around them? Isn’t that natural?

When you become too intensely involved in your own concerns, you are a clan–and I’m not talking about the Ku Klux version. A clan is just a group that gets together and says, “We are us.”

It sounds like a celebration of life, but clans quickly become clubs. Clubs: “We are different–and special.”

Once you’re a club, you may find it necessary, in order to keep your rendition pure, to become a cloister. “We are separated from everyone else so as to remain free of interferance.”

And unfortunately, cloisters quickly become cliques: “We are better.”

So the same segregation which occurs in high school, forbidding a nerd, a geek, a jock and a prom queen from interacting, is continued on in adulthood, as we establish our own form of that campus life in our family.

We are us too easily becomes we are different–and special. Since we are special, we need to be separated, so we can celebrate how much better we are.

And I must tell you, whenever any group of people are convinced that they are better than others, they soon feel compelled to hurt, or even kill, the inferiors.

What should we feel about family?

  1. We are blessed to have one.
  2. It is a great climate for learning patience, and how to treat all people.
  3. We have a fellowship in agreement with the principle that we are going to love the whole world.

The Old Testament was full of families. When Jesus came on the scene, he started talking about the whole world.

So I will tell you–I am a family man who takes the experience I have with my own kin to reach out to the kindred of the earth.

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I beg NOT to differ … August 21, 2012

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I had no idea.Well, that’s not exactly true. You always have ideas. They kind of war in your brain–the overly pessimistic crowding sensation and the optimism floating around in your cranium like puffy white clouds. But when I say I had no idea, what I mean is that all my speculation was really useless, because I had no point of reference.

When I left in January to go out and share and I was inspired to name this particular journey “the Six Word Tour,” in reference to “NoOne is better than anyone else,” I wasn’t really sure what response I would receive to the assertion. Of course, I knew there would be some grammarians in the audience who would insist it was seven words, because “no one” is actually two words instead of one. But I checked it out in English handbooks, and actually, no one can be hyphenated (no-one), two words (no one) or used as a compound word (noone). So I was prepared for the handful of souls who pursue such logic.

But what I was NOT prepared for was presenting the concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else” to a rather quiet and perhaps tepid response. Actually, the first time I share it with an audience, they tend to just stare at me. Over the months I think I have discovered the reason why. For the past thirty-two years–really, since the 1980 election between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan–we have divided into two very angry camps: conservatives and liberals.

Now, I understand these two have been around since the beginning of time, but never before had they blended such social, political and spiritual energy in attacking one another. What I have discovered this year is that those who are conservative do not like the concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else” because maintaining the theme of their mission statement requires that they believe in possessing a certain moral superiority. Those of a more liberal leaning don’t care for “NoOne is better than anyone else,” because to foster their creed, they insist on portraying a certain intellectual superiority.

So while the conservatives believe they’re superior morally, and the liberals contend that their rendition of truth makes them intellectually superior, we seem to have no leaders who are capable of loving their neighbor as themselves or of absorbing the attitude of “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It is why I have never been able to join either camp, though both have tried to suck me into their little conclaves.

I do not feel I am morally superior to anyone. Can I tell you the truth? Neither did Jesus. He makes it clear when he tells the rich young ruler, who calls him “good,” that there is “none good except God.” He challenges the crowd who wants to stone the woman caught in adultery by reminding them of their own failings and sins. And he warns in the Sermon on the Mount that judging other people leaves us vulnerable to equal portions of judgment.

I also have never been one to believe that I am intellectually superior to anyone else. Once again, I refer to Jesus, for he said during a particularly vulnerable prayer that he was grateful to God that the words of truth had been “hidden from the wise and prudent and delivered unto babes,” and on another occasion, “except we become as little children, we shall not enter the Kingdom of God.” And Jesus made it quite clear that there is a danger in thinking that with our much speaking, somehow or another the heavenly Father hears us more.

I do not know how we have strayed so far from both the gospel of Jesus and from plain old commonsense. Simple rational thinking tells you that the minute you express supremacy over another person, you have set in motion the seedlings of creating an enemy. If God is no respecter of persons, how do we think our particular breaking down of mankind into social orders is going to be received from the divine perspective?

If you want to do something magnificent in this generation and for the world around you, cease to be part of either the conservative or the liberal cliques. They are constantly arguing, plotting their revenge and plugging their causes. They feel they are ordained to rule–one group because of its moral superiority, and the other insisting on intellectual dominance. One will tell you that we need to return to God and the other will inform you that knowledge and education is the key to our progress.

Well, we’ve had God around for a long time and things aren’t better. And honestly, we’ve been teaching science, technology and history for hundreds and hundreds of years and we keep repeating the same script. So there has to be something else.

I know it is difficult for each and every one of us to fathom the concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else.” I was raised to believe I was better than other people. It has never helped me. When I was in the Church of Christ, I was told that those more liberal churches didn’t believe in Jesus and didn’t have salvation. When I began to interact with people of the mainline denominations, I was informed that those red-neck fundamentalists were just too ignorant to really understand the mind of God.

No one found a reason to stop differing. And that’s what I want. I beg NOT to differ.

I don’t want you to compromise; I don’t want them to compromise. I don’t want me to compromise. I want us ALL to start out our discussion with “NoOne is better than anyone else.”  It means that our arguments can not be given weight simply because we have quoted from a book or we’ve brought a twisted stack of statistics. We’re going to have to respect one another. You may call it idealism, but it is really not naive when it is a necessity.

Once again, we face an election where the conservatives and liberals are trying to get the high ground. The conservative Republicans want to tout their moral superiority and the liberal Democrats blow their trumpet about education and intellectualism. We are getting nowhere. In the meantime, the world teeters on the brink of unnecessary disaster simply because we look across the waters at other nations and find them inferior because they’re not American.

I am coming to your town looking for reasons to “love the God outta ya.” I know it’s in there–He created you in His image, and no matter how much moral or intellectual superiority you use to try to cover up the picture of His beauty, it can still be unearthed if we’ll just relax and stop trying so hard to be Daddy’s favorite kid.

I am not superior to you. I wouldn’t know what to do if I were. What I would like to be is equal with you as we pull together to find ways to agree on goals which will bring us closer to understanding.

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