Jesonian … September 23rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus got angry.

There’s no doubt about that. The Gospels make it clear that he frequently spilled out his wrath to those around him.

We don’t like this. The mind of the present theological times wholly disagrees because we desperately need to keep Jesus sheepish, quiet and gentle so that he can be the “Lamb of God slain from the foundations of the world.”

What’s amazing is, for a man who was destined to die on a cross, he put up one helluva fight. Let’s take a look at it:

He was angry when they criticized him for healing a man on the Sabbath.

He was angry when he came into the Temple and saw the money-changers cheating the faithful. (Actually, he put together a pre-meditated action of violence by making a whip to use on them for their thievery.)

He was angry at the man by the pool who was healed, who decided to turn Jesus into the scribes and Pharisees.

He was angry at his family when they thought he was crazy, and came out to take him home when he had disconnected from them.

And certainly, when the people of his home town pushed him to the edge of the cliff, it says that he “passed through the midst of them.” Perhaps you were taught that he evaporated and disappeared, but that’s not what is stated. The Bible portrays a man of strength and determination who turned to a mob and pushed his way through them.

We also know that Jesus understood anger because in his Sermon on the Mount, summarizing the Ten Commandments, he explained that the basic struggle in humans is finding a way to deal with anger and lust.

In a man, it is called testosterone. Jesus had plenty. He was not an anemic personality with pale skin, trying to love a world which only understood hate.

He was virile.

He was stubborn.

And when he saw injustice, he attacked it. Sometimes he called people hypocrites. Other times he referred to them as “graves.” And of course, he was not beyond comparing them to Satan.

So we know this: a man who deals with anger also deals with lust. For anger is often what leads us to conceive our lust, and when lust is conceived, it brings forth sin.

Jesus was surrounded by women. Oh, by the way, it wasn’t a “hands off” policy either. They were close to him, they embraced him; they even kissed his feet. It was intimate. Being intimate, the door was always open to seduction.

If the Jesus you worship could never be angry, nor lust after a woman, then you completely misunderstand the purpose for God sending His son to be a human. Being human, he was able to talk to humans–to explain humanity in a human way.

Yet Jesus did not want to be so angry that he destroyed others, and he definitely did not want to use his lust to take advantage of women who had been broken and even demon possessed.

So Jesus did the following:

1. He had three burly bodyguards around him at all times.

We often wonder why Peter, James and John never left his side. They were a trio of intimidating fishermen who scared away assassins, and made sure Jesus was never alone to be tempted by women. It was brilliant.

2. He escaped.

When he became angry or tempted, he went off by himself and navigated his own wrath and lust. He made peace with himself before he made the mistakes.

3. He created equality.

Jesus made sure that he preached the same Gospel to the women and the men. He demanded the same thing from the ladies and the gents. He created equality, which prevented him from favoring the females–coddling them–which could have led to affairs.

No man who treats a woman as an equal will ever accidentally slip and have sex. It’s only when he’s expressing sympathy, or trying to be the “knight in shining armor” to save her from her problems that he gets in trouble.

Jesus dealt with anger and lust.

He did so by refusing to trust himself, but instead, closed the door on the possibility of disaster.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … March 12th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I hope you don’t mind me sending along my ideas and feelings in the form of this note. I just didn’t want to sit down and have a face-to-face discussion, get interrupted and lose my train of thought.

Even though I see us making gradual progress to understand one another, I feel there is one large hurdle that we just can’t seem to get over.

You think I’m weak.

It’s not your fault. You were taught to do it. All the television shows portray women as having great intelligence, but falling apart under pressure.

You and I were born practically equal.

For the first ten years of our lives, our bodies were almost the same. I ran as fast as you, and you cried like a girl when you fell down and skinned your knee. Then the natural order–Mother Nature–came along and changed things to make sure that our species would be able to have a mother and a father to push the plan ahead.

I got estrogen, which gave me breasts, a period and hormones of sensitivity. You got testosterone, which gave you balls and a single-mindedness toward single-handedly procreating the species.

I no longer could run as fast as you could.

I couldn’t lift as much weight.

A few days every month, I found myself nearly out of commission due to my menstrual cycle.

At that point, you looked upon me as weaker.

It infuriated me. I could still think, feel and react with as much smarts as you, but because of my lesser muscle mass and need to mother children, I felt that I lost respect in your eyes.

I hate that.

It seems ridiculous to me that we view one another based upon the conditions of our genetic responsibility instead of realizing that we are both human beings and share almost everything in common.

I am tired of being the weakling–but I’m also tired of apologizing for having an emotional side which you may or may not understand.

So you try to be sensitive to my lack. That can make you consider me the weaker sex, which can end up with me being nothing more than “the little woman.”

Do you understand? I can’t be just “the little woman” and stay sane. I have to be more than a birthing chamber that ovulates three or four days a month.

I yearn for the time when we were children and had a childlike appreciation for each other. There were no “girl baseball teams” and “boy baseball teams.” We played all the games together.

I don’t want to be your weakling.

I don’t want to struggle to get respect because I’m seen as inferior. I don’t want to be viewed as bitchy and pushy.

Do you understand what I’m saying? Can you fathom how horrible you would feel if you were deemed second-rate? Why would it feel any different for me?

I thank you for reading this.

I’m not trying to blame you–I’m just curious if you can comprehend my heart.

Can we escape the futility of separating the sexes into Mommy and Daddy?

You don’t need to respond, but if you do, be candid and not afraid to share you heart.

I was thinking of you.

Woman

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Ask Jonathots… September 17th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Let’s cut to the truth. Why aren’t women considered equals in the workplace? My company has one female division chair out of twelve divisions. Upper management is less than 10% female. What is the future for equality for women?

Fortunately, the future for women can be improved by their involvement. For the power in life is finding your weakness, acknowledging it, ceasing to be defensive about it and therefore, turning it into your strength.

Up to the age of eleven, girls and boys are practically the same. At that point, Mother Nature, the Creator or Evolution–depending on your beliefs–strikes women with the whammy of estrogen.

Because it’s a chemical and therefore a drug, it places females under the influence of its power. It leaves them a little bit weaker physically, and therefore, in the world of the jungle, dependent.

So what should we do?

We should teach our young girls that merely being commissioned with carrying the procreation responsibilities of our species does not render them ineffective for also toting leadership possibilities. Instead, we now tell our young ladies that they don’t amount to much of anything if they’re not loved by a boy.

Likewise, we should tell our young men that even though they may possess greater muscle mass through testosterone, that the management and proliferation of our human race is almost solely contingent on the female. After a man commits his semen donation to the cause, women carry the ball.

Any man who has ever watched the birth of his child can attest to this. There are few times that a man feels any more helpless than when he’s observing his mate bring a child into the world.

Until we cease to fund and support a cultural war between the sexes, the female of our species will suffer inequality, injustice and unfortunately, often abuse.

So where should we begin? May I suggest four steps which would aid us in developing mutual respect?

1. Stop insisting that the way “Grandma did it and believed it” needs to be passed along to the next generation or we will all fall into a godless hell.

2. At the crucial time of puberty, find sports, activities and projects that young people can do together instead of separating them off due to muscling.

3. Stop portraying emotional response as a negative and realize that the entire human race is steered by the heart.

4. Find reasons for commonality–physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

Women are doomed to carry the cross of burden and the angst of disrespect until we realize that this characterization is based solely upon the introduction of estrogen into their bodies.

Once we understand this and honor one another for our contributions instead of limiting each other, we will not only start generating more equality but will also reignite the passion that men and women have for each other.

 

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Three Ways of Becoming What You Want to Become by Realizing What You Became… September 25, 2014

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Three huge bombs land on each and every one of us, exploding across our consciousness, leaving the fallout hanging in the air as we try to piece together the substance of what we call our “adult life.”

Peers, parents and puberty.

Long before we have the intensity, intelligence and ingenuity to separate right from wrong, smart from dumb, spiritual from ridiculous and cool from uncool, we are inundated and pressured by these three weapons, to submit to the “common norm.”

With our peers, our emotions are tangled, frustrated and jumbled by insecure fellow-travelers, who are groping for superiority, often by trying to make us feel less. In the process we develop deep-rooted insecurities, which bring bag and baggage to travel a lifetime.

Then there’s our parents. Although they do their best, their best is contingent on what has been done to them. Obviously, that falls into various degrees of miscommunication. Yet when these people hold the keys to your clothing, your housing, your food and your self-confidence, you tend to listen to them very intently.

And to top it off, here comes puberty. For a wonderful eleven years of life, men and women exist as equals–playing, laughing and working side-by-side–when suddenly they are grabbed by the pimp of nature, thrown to the ground and given an overdose estrogen or testosterone, placing them in a stupor with one another, often creating volatile conclusions.

The greatest thing you can do for yourself is admit you are being held hostage by this trio of conspirators.

So what is your next step?

1. I am prejudiced.

If you cannot admit this, you will never be able to understand that none of us possess a world view until we pursue it on our own. It is not taught in the classroom, it is not passed along in Sunday school and it certainly isn’t required in the locker room.

Learn the difference among these three words: prejudice, bigotry, racism.

  • Prejudice: “I was taught that people are different.”
  • Bigotry: “I believe people are different.”
  • Racism: “I am so confident that people are different that I will teach others.”

If we focus on the difference in people, we quietly assume our own superiority. Once that is propagated, war is inevitable.

2. You are prejudiced.

Yes, I need to cut you some slack. You had a blitzkrieg of the same bombings that hit me. I need to give you a chance to discover your prejudice even if it happens to be against me.

The definition of mercy is the realization that the person standing before me is just as confused as I am, and should be given as much time for growth as I would request.

3. Let’s do a rewrite on the script.

Yes, your life has been scripted. From the time you were a tiny tot, people were telling you what you should be, how you should do it and when you should do it. Being able to reject all of these “voices in the wilderness” is virtually impossible.

Rewrite the script.

And the only way to do that is to purposefully turn away from the crowd, tune your ears from the shouting and listen to your own heart and the Spirit of God.

You cannot become anything until you discover what you already became.

This is the true essence of maturity: putting away peers, parents, puberty … and all the other childish things.

 

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We Are Not Malala… October 13, 2013

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MalalaAdequately enraged by the story of a fifteen-year-old Pakistani girl who is shot in the head by a religious zealot on a school bus just one year ago, the American public has, this week, welcomed the brave lass into our hearts while simultaneously expressing disdain and indignation for the treachery. People all over the globe have begun to respond, uttering the mantra, “I am Malala.”

It’s one of the things we do best in this country–put a spotlight on injustice.

Of course, unless it is our own.

Do I think it’s possible for a young girl in this country to be shot in the head by a fanatic simply because she’s pursuing education and trying to gain some footing in her generation? Probably not.

But we do fail to give equal pay to women for equal work. In so doing, we create a backlog of single mothers who struggle to maintain solvency with their children, who are often cruelly abandoned by the men who had the testosterone to father but no will to parent.

We also willingly foster and fund an ongoing gender bashing via our movies, television shows and comedians, who preach the implausibility for the male and female of our species to get along in any way, shape or form. May I ask who, generally speaking, receives the major amount of blame for this feud? Is it not the female?

Hundreds and thousands of churches in this country refuse to allow a woman to speak in the pulpit–to preach a sermon about the goodness and mercy of God, who by the way, is no respecter of persons.porn

We have taken the nastiness of pornography, which used to be relegated to small shops on the side of the road, only open for a counterculture which indulged in such activity, and now have turned it into art–acceptable behavior for everyone, even though it is used to abuse women and place them in a painful, subordinate position.

In the course of one week of prime time television, nearly a hundred women are beat, abused, raped, murdered and dismembered, as the plot for detective shows or any program that wants to sensationalize cruelty to the daughters of Eve.

Yet we will pause in the midst of this ongoing revenue of insanity to posture ourselves as a civilized culture that would never think of shooting a teenage girl in the head because she was on her way to school.

Again, perhaps not.

But there are many other ways to mutilate the spirit of a human being other than creasing the brain with a bullet.

The only way we can become Malala is if we “take the log out of our own eye” on this issue of gender equality, and set an example for the world of how human beings are meant to be treated, no matter what their sexuality.

For I do not know the difference between gunning down a young girl and raping her spirit by using rap music to call her a bitch, a whore and then turning around and refusing to allow her the chance to stand toe-to-toe with her brothers.

No one is perfect on this issue. Each one of us has grown up with bias and prejudice, but because I love my country, I would ask for us to do less chest-thumping of superiority, and more gazing into the mirror, to find our soul on an issue that plagues the world.

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The Other Half of the Battle … April 25, 2013

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GI JoeBecause I had seven sons come through my household, I ended up becoming a regular watcher of the cartoon show, GI Joe. Although the program had the drawback of presenting testosterone-driven solutions via muscling your way to often-violent conclusions, in the commercial breaks, they offered practical little scenarios, where children could learn the value of good manners, eating vegetables or helping little old ladies across the street. At the end of the lesson, one of the steroid-juiced characters would intone in a deep voice, “And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.”

So if knowing is half the battle, what’s the other half? If we go ahead and concede the notion that knowledge takes us halfway towards maturity, success and progress, what is needed to complete the journey?

Truthfully, I was unable to ascertain the answer by watching any additional episodes of GI Joe, but I offer to you that the other half of the battle, after we have admitted the power of knowing and learning, is allowing ourselves the  opportunity for trying.

Yes, I will say it aloud: most people fail because they discuss and acquire information, but then freeze up, frightened to attempt a new idea because they are greatly terrified by the prospects of failure.

Failure is our friend. Failure confirms two wonderful facts: (1) we are trying; and (2) our latest attempt did not work.

As long as something exists in theory or is stuck in committee or is being overly debated, we never have the satisfaction of sensing that we are trying and we are never given the reassurance in our souls of discovering that something does or does not work.

Our government, our churches, our corporations and our entertainment in this country are presently frozen–in a state of limbo–because we continue to accumulate knowledge without ever trying anything.

Trying is the other half of the equation, which is initiated by knowing.

  • “I know things are changing. I will try to adjust to the change.”
  • “I know that all human beings are valuable. I will try to treat others like I do myself.”
  • “I know that hard work is required. I will try to learn to have fun with my labor.”
  • “I know that God is love. I will try to be move loving.”

When we pursue spirituality or even intelligence without adding the dimension of experimenting–trying the principles we believe in–we end up with a form of Godliness that denies the power that is available. And what is the power?

“Try it–you’ll like it.”

That is when we all learn. That is how we grow.

I know there is a God because when I apply who He is, what He is, and what I’ve learned about Him, and try it works.

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The First Valentine … February 14, 2013

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I wake up this morning terribly curious about what miracles St. Valentine would have performed to gain his station in the Mother Church. It is required in the Catholic experience, that each saint have two confirmed miracles. What would they be for Val? Maybe he lived in Hollywood–and was able to stay married for more than seven months. Perhaps instead of just saying that women are equals to men, he believed it and followed through. Maybe he enjoyed shopping and cooking with his spouse.

I’m not sure. But what I know about love, romance, women and the interaction between the sexes, I learned elsewhere. I learned it from a man who never treated a woman any differently from the dudes hanging around.

  • He didn’t create a separate message for men and another one for women, pretending they were at odds with each other.
  • Simultaneously, he demanded that women be human instead of following the darker parts of the internal nature.
  • He called them on their lies, not winking and pretending like it is a female prerogative.
  • He welcomed and blessed their children.
  • He forgave them when they fell.
  • He honored them when they made a good point that he hadn’t considered.
  • He included them without exception.
  • He never separated them off into women’s meetings.
  • He made them apostles and messengers of what was dear in his heart.
  • He was not ashamed to accept their financial help, citing some sort of macho philosophy of only men being bread winners.
  • He praised their faith.
  • At no time did he ever make them the butt of a joke, even when he was alone in a testosterone-driven circle.
  • He protected them against religion, politics and culture, which wanted to relegate them to being “birthers” instead of fellow-laborers.

I didn’t learn much from St. Valentine. Everything I learned about how to treat, love, labor and interact with a woman was imparted to me at the feet of the Master.

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