Good News and Better News … July 18th, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3006)

Lady Liberty hillAll the squirrels and sparrows in the woodlands of Pennsylvania did not seem to care.

As I drove through on my way to St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Valley View, these creatures were preoccupied with the pursuit of living–actually, rather excited and vigorous about it. They seemed unaware that political conventions were about to convene or that lunatic killers roam the earth, trying to prove that their god is better or that their lives truly matter.

I realized that I could either imitate my friends in the forest or the commentators on television, who bombard me with the command to be sad or mad.

After all, it seems appropriate to be forlorn or infuriated. Killing is deadly. Worse, it’s terrifying. (That’s why we call them terrorists.)

It seems irresponsible to follow the advice of Jesus and “be of good cheer” or “be not afraid” and “rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” Matter of fact, one of the better ways to be mocked in this day and age is to suggest that things will get better instead of worse.Valley View Map

So I was delighted when I arrived at the church and discovered that the human creatures emerging from their homes had decided to imitate the squirrels and the sparrows instead of the pundits on television, who continue to repeat the same information, hoping it will create greater nervousness and rage with each pronouncement.

Why do we need to be glad? Because we become emotionally unhinged when we’re mad, and mentally depleted when we’re sad.

Gladness releases the chemicals in our bodies which make us willing to go the second mile instead of complaining about the first one.

Gladness causes us to remember times of goodness instead of being partly cloudy with evil.

Gladness is the abiding notion that we still have something to contribute instead of being at the mercy of the people with the loudest guns or the biggest truck.

For I will truly tell you that yesterday the only place of satisfying sanctuary and hope was the church.

  • It’s not because it’s perfect.
  • It’s not because every issue is handled correctly by the clergy.

It’s because we serve a Master who insists on fueling us with good cheer instead of wearing us down with negative reports.

During the service, I watched the people bloom. They brought the seed, I brought the water and God gave the increase.

I watched Pastor Duane encourage it to happen without inserting reports of doom and gloom or trying to balance it out with an overuse of concern. Yes, concern is overused if it has no intention of becoming involved.

Here’s the good news: Jesus told us that even when we’re confronted by those who are persecuting us, we should “rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” Why? Because in the hour of need, our “smarts” might be our only friend.

And the better news is that the only way to tap the full potential of what we’ve experienced in our lives is to busy ourselves living instead of worrying about dying.

Valley View book table

 

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G-Poppers … May 13th, 2016

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G-Pop wonders if his children comprehend the origin of evil.

After escaping the notion that we are plagued by demons from hell or caught up in a Luciferian revenge plot, we are left with the reality that evil is simply human beings gone amuck.

But is it all the lust of the flesh? The lust of the eyes? The truth is, most carnal sins do little to hurt anyone but the offending party.

G-Pop is curious if his children can recall an old-fashioned word which seems to have fallen out of favor: cunning.

Yes, it is a cunning spirit inside a conniving human heart which plans the offense, and even death, of other souls.

G-Pop’s not quite sure where it started–maybe it was thousands of years ago, when the human race lived in tribes and one tiny village thought it was clever to withhold the location of a good hunting ground from another nearby clump of people, so as to gain superiority.

In doing so, the selfish clan established a wicked premise: “We are better than you.”

Once that idea is invited into the minds of people, they will always be looking for ways to express their dominance, to the detriment of others.

For after all, in the 1950’s, in the southern part of our nation, no white family would discourage black people from singing Negro spirituals, clapping their hands, eating neck bones with collard greens or acting quiet and humble. Matter of fact, any Caucasian person would insist it was “just the black culture.”

They felt magnanimous by being aware of the preferences of their darker-shaded neighbors, allowing them to practice their desires.

It was cunning–a way of saying, “You’re not as good as me because you don’t do the same things I do. I pretend to bid you well, but reject your choices.”

This is why, in our present environment, politicians are able to convince us that Mexicans are rapists, all Muslims are potential terrorists, and billionaires are out to strangle the poor so they can fill their coffers.

We once believed that America was “the great melting pot.” It’s been replaced by the insistence that “we are the great grocery cart.”

We lay inside this country–separate, culturally bound, no longer searching for commonality, but instead, faking a reverence for each other’s cultural inclinations, while privately looking down on each other for having them.

It is a cunning spirit that gradually welcomes segregation and eventually invites violence.

Will G-Pop’s children become aware of this, or buy into the ridiculous notion that we’re actually involved in culture conflicts, which can be alleviated by more education and understanding of our differences?

Going back those many thousands of years, if the selfish tribe which found the excellent source of food had simply said to themselves, “This other tribe is also hungry and there’s plenty for everyone,” then how many wars, executions and genocides could have been avoided?

The source of evil is the cunning notion that if I can convince you that you’re not quite as good as me, I can relegate you to a position where I can move you anywhere I want.

Until we become the great melting pot again, we will struggle in alienation which ironically seems to be feeding tolerance, but actually is just a cunning way to starve people of equality.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 20) Silence … April 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Silence is when I select to shut up before someone says to me, “Shut up.”

It is the definition of wisdom.

It is the personification of understanding.

It is the reasonable approach that an intelligent soul makes when further speaking will only produce more dissension.

Jesus often chose to be silent.

Matter of fact, history tells us there were many cults, religious groups, violent terrorists and wicked organizations around him–and he never says a word about any of them.

Why? Because they were irrelevant.

A rabid dog will eventually die. Your job is to avoid its teeth.

Therefore, it’s reasonable to be silent.

It is brilliant to choose silence at the right moment.

I choose silence when:

  1. Argumentative people are on the warpath.
  2. I am surrounded by those determined to prove they are knowledgeable on a particular subject
  3. Ignorant people are proud of their ignorance and would have no personality without it.
  4. It is obvious that I am not as up-to-date as others on what is being discussed.
  5. And I merely have an opinion instead of an idea.

We must understand that the passing of years, the passing of the torch, the passing of scriptural verses, the passing of a test or the passing along of tradition is not grounds to be heard.

But to those who believe it is, no amount of reasoning or cajoling will convince them otherwise.

Silence is the protection we place around beauty … until it can reach the eyes of the right beholder.

 

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Good News and Better News … April 4th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News and Better News Woodmont

It’s 9:53 A. M. and time for me to go into the sanctuary at Woodmont United Methodist Church in Reidsville, North Carolina, and share the little bit I know. (Fortunately, it’s only an hour, or I would quickly run out of smart stuff.)

There’s nothing terribly impressive about me, so as I get out of my wheelchair to hobble and creak my way over to the piano bench, the gathered host of God probably feel more pity than enthusiasm.

It doesn’t matter.

They have spent the whole week being overwhelmed by politicians, pundits and individuals of all shapes and forms who believe in establishing their prowess through dominance.

So as I look out at my soon-to-be friends, I feel compassion–because they’re man-handled.

They are continually manipulated, coerced and even criticized into believing that “might makes right,” and “the loudest always gets to be the proudest.”

They are peppered with the message that it is an “I” against an “I”–and teeth are made for biting.

Yet with all the promotion of this philosophy, the world still falters–with terrorists now telling us that God thinks we should be blown up, or at least shot multiple times with bullets.

So in that sacred moment, I realize that the House of Jesus needs to be a safe haven from the stupidity of prideful demolition.

Man-handling. What is it?

1. “You gotta fight. Stand up for yourself! Speak your mind. It’s a free country. If you don’t defend yourself, people will walk on you.”

But even in a room filled with just a hundred voices, if everybody speaks up for him or herself, nobody gets heard.

So my message?

Stop fighting and wait for an ingenious idea from the Holy Spirit, to handle the next situation.

Also, the man-handlers want you to know:

2. “Life is complicated.”

If they don’t convince you of that, how can they sell you the improved product, the new book, the fresh idea or the present political candidate?

So I decided to tell the folks at Woodmont to simplify.

After all, I never saw anybody get anything done in a better way because they complicated it. Even if I were an ant, my job would be to find the shortest distance to get the crumbs to my nest.

And finally, all the man-handlers want to make it clear that:

3. “We’re all different.”

Since nowadays it’s basically considered to be ignorant to be a bigot, we hide behind the disguise of “cultural choices” to promote our prejudice.

In other words, since “blacks like things done a certain way,” that’s why they hang out together, and “Chinese people prefer chopsticks instead of forks.” But rather than this teaching tolerance, we’re just promoting isolation.

My answer to the man-handlers is to find commonality among us all.

The forefathers said there is such a thing as the common good.

Here, here.

So as I got ready to strike my first note and begin the service, what crossed my mind was that these people really need to be “God-handled.”

Since I possess no divine qualities whatsoever, I chose to imitate the heavenly Father’s personality profile.

I brought mercy. Mercy-handling.

That’s the good news.

And the better news is that being merciful gets much easier when you realize that you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing.

Therefore you have a desire … to be generous to others.

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G-Poppers … March 25th, 2016

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Jon close up

G-Pop awoke with a whirl of conflicting ideas swirling in his mind, trying to find a landing space in understanding.

Good Friday.

What a joke.

Especially when you consider that the religious fanaticism which killed the Prince of Peace 2,000 years ago is still alive and insane, bombarding the innocent in Brussels.

Why do we kill?

Some people blame firearms. Yet we succeeded very ably in snuffing out human life long before there was gun powder.

Maybe it’s due to intolerance for other cultures and religions. But even in countries where there is no religion and very little culture, they kill off what they consider to be abnormal.

G-Pop decided that the next time he got together with his children, he would tell them that the reason we kill is because we are on a foolish journey to find the “best.”

It’s why Americans murder at a higher rate than Canadians. Canadian children are not taught that they always have to be supreme. American offspring are informed that they must always come off as the best.

There are only three things that can make you the best:

  • Work hard and have some luck
  • Cheat
  • Lie

As you can see, two of the three are quite unacceptable–because after we get tired of working, we decide that deceiving people about our prowess is equally as effective as long as we don’t get caught. Or we may choose to lie about our competitors and cast them into darkness, portraying them as sinister.

It is a screwed up system.

G-Pop wants his children to know that it is a beautiful thing to chase “good” and “better,” but to always leave “best” alone.

So what is good?

Make things and bless things

Not just people–but your car, your job, your garage, and Mother Earth. Make things and bless things. You could stop right there and have a fulfilling life. Making things keeps you busy and blessing things keeps you happy.

If you still have extra time you’d like to fill, consider “better.”

Better is working within yourself. Cease comparing your efforts to others. Stop trying to advertise your fruit. Live your talent within yourself–you being your most intelligent encourager and critic.

To be happy, continue on that path and ignore the best. After all, the best is not decided by you–it is a fickle passing of the torch by fans who think they have found the next fabulous thing.

To ignore the best is to be grateful and content. What is considered the best is beyond our control, and certainly subject to the blowing winds of opinion.

2,000 years ago, people climbed a hill–not so they could see better or take in the view. They did so because something good had come their way–something that brought better ideas–a human being who insisted that those who would follow would do greater things than him.

This made them lethal because they were being threatened … by losing their status as the best.

 

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G-Poppers … December 25th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop smiles, with a deep sense of satisfaction and a warm sensation of knowing.

The story would have to be told.

Had Levi Matthew and Dr. Luke failed to pass along the tale, some intelligent soul with an ability to craft words would have needfully granted our race a sharing of such an unfolding, so as to keep us from falling off the cliff of our own sanity, to splatter on the rocks of our despair.

After all, we need a Virgin Birth.

There must be a confirmation that women have struck out on their own, using the power of their own contents to birth a saving force for the world, free of manly intervention or boasting.

The same story certainly must contain wise folks from the East, who are heretics and enemies of acceptable religious inclinations. They appear–awed and in wonder over the miracle that was seen through their eyes and their perspective.

The plot thickens with the introduction of drunken shepherds who insist they’ve been visited by angels. They bring a working man’s energy to a project which might be in danger of becoming too “frilly.”

Add on the fact that as always, there is no room for a good idea in the local establishment, but instead, it must be relegated to the confines of a sheepish environment.

And of course, we need some sort of leader, ruler or in this case, king, who is so prejudiced and afraid of immigration bringing in riff-raff to take his job that he decides to close the borders and punish the children.

So we end up with refugees who have no place to go, no visa, no invitation, and land in Egypt, where they are nobody, possibly suspected of being terrorists.

The story would have to be told.

Whether it’s true or not can be debated by those who certainly have too much time on their hands, or the details can be gnawed on as food for thought.

But if a woman didn’t birth a child on her own, without the approval of a man, and if that child was not accepted by weirdos and drunkards while being rejected by kings and princes, and chased on down the road to feel like a refugee … what in the hell good would it be to us?

 

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Jesonian: There Is Truth … November 22nd, 2015

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christian symbols color

It was during the trial that Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king. After all, to some degree, the flaming uncontrollable human ego yearns for kingship over something.

Jesus said he had “come to bear witness of the truth.”

A cynical, jaded Pilate responded, “What is truth?”

And may I say, ever since then, it has been the mission of pseudo-intellectualism to establish the precept that truth is both illusive and expansive. In other words, “there’s your truth and there’s my truth.”

Therefore, the human race has done little to progress itself beyond the wheel and the microwave oven.

I’m here to tell you today that there is truth. If you find my discoveries to be worthy, you should take that list and go see if you can find these elements of truth in the Christian faith, the Muslim faith, Judaism, Hindu, the Republican platform, the Democratic platform, or even the mission statement of your local government.

Here is the truth I believe to be constant:

1. You and I are part of eight billion tourists with a temporary visa, on a planet where we are aliens.

2. Nothing is thought, dreamed or acted out in a vacuum. All my actions affect you and all yours intervene in mine.

3. Thinking ahead and learning from what has been discovered is the definition of Earth Logic.

4. Maintaining respect for nature and honor for our fellow-travelers determines our fate in the process of natural selection.

Four simple points on which the entire foundation of Earth-life is dependent.

If we think we own anything, we become wicked landlords.

If we think we can be ourselves without respecting the wishes of others, we become terrorists.

If we contend that life is built on destiny rather than our free-will choice to plan, we cripple ourselves in the march of progress.

And if we think the earth will allow us to continue to be arrogant, unfeeling and unaware of our surroundings without stepping in to eliminate us, we are total fools.

I can’t always find these four truths in the religious system–but I can go to the Sermon on the Mount from Jesus and find all four.

This is why I believe in the Jesonian–the heart of Jesus.

And it is why the truth does make us free. 

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