Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 8th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: November, 1976. Forty years ago.

 

Man: That’s before you and I were born.

 

Woman: I know, but they do have history books. You might want to check one out sometime.

 

Man: Why? It’s just a bunch of older people doing the same dumb things we do with less cool clothes.

 

Woman: I assume you’re trying to be funny. Anyway, it was the November issue of Playboy Magazine in 1976, when Jimmy Carter, running for President, made a statement. Everybody was very upset that he did an interview with Playboy. But the admission he made rang out all across the country, reverberating with everything from respect to ridicule.

 

Man: Wait a second–I think I remember this. Something about his heart, and lust.

 

Woman: Yes. When he was asked if he had ever cheated on Rosalynn, he said no, but he had “lusted in his heart.”

 

Man: Where did he get that?

 

Woman: It’s something Jesus said. The quote is, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery in his heart.”

 

Man: That sounds a little “prudey.”

 

Woman: That’s the way you might take it, but it’s not like that–especially with what’s happened in the last 24 hours, with Donald Trump’s comments about women.

 

Man: Absolutely ugly and distasteful.

 

Woman: That’s not what I’m talking about. The real problem is that equality between the sexes cannot be achieved as long as men see a woman and think “lust” and women are grateful for that, or even proud to be show horses.

 

Man: But there has to be an attraction between the sexes.

 

Woman: Yes, but a man can’t look on a woman just to lust after her and think we’re going to progress the race. It is a setup for inconsideration, abuse, violence, rape and even murder.

 

Man: I see. Because if his intentions are rejected, then he feels that she’s failed to fulfill her part of the bargain by being available.

 

Woman: Exactly. So you see, the problem is not what Donald Trump says, but the way we try to isolate it off and pretend he’s the only one who feels this way, by insisting that men have only one thing on their minds.

 

Man: And therefore, women have one thing on their minds–to try to fulfill that mental image of “sexy” so as to gain importance and worth.

 

Woman: So the key here is, how can we look on each other as people, knowing that in the process, every once in a while some passion and lust will rise up, but it will be based on a mutual understanding.

 

Man: It’s funny–most people would listen to what Jesus said and think he was a tight-assed religionist. But really, he was a humanist trying to get the male and female to honor one another without demanding the initiation of physical intimacy.

 

Woman: You hit it right on the head. So my prayer is that through this discussion about Donald Trump, we’ll get to the real root cause of inequality.

 

Man: Let me guess–until men know that the greatest way to welcome a woman is to include her emotionally, spiritually and mentally, we will continue to have flagrant outbursts from jerks who misuse women to prove their virility.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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PoHymn cover jon

 

G-Poppers… November 21, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

After I grew weary of abstinence, it followed in time that I eventually became the father to children. As they grew up, they were just as weary of celibacy, so they decided to procreate, forcing me into the role of “Grandpa.” Finding the term a bit offensive and arcane, I suggested that these “second generationers” refer to me as “G-Pop.”

So rather than being a mere passing fancy in their minds during holidays or a grave that they visit someday with a mixture of perplexity and tears, I send them my thoughts from time to time so they can someday check their in-box to garner my spirit.

I call them “G-Poppers.”

And if you arrive here on Fridays for the next little while, you will find some of these, hopefully for your reading enjoyment.

G-Pop on politics

My dear children, politics is the only business that depends on lying to get customers.

G-Pop on entertainment

Listen, kids, movies should move us or move out of the way for the next movement.

G-Pop, talk to us about sex

Sex is always better when two people think of it at the same moment.

Comedy?

Ugly folks are funnier, because even when the jokes fail, they are still funny-looking.

G-Pop, do you have an opinion on raising kids?

Parents teach their off-spring how to use kleenex, toilet paper, wear a coat, eat vegetables and say thank-you. Everything else is pretty much up to the kid.

 

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

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

 

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

G-4: Stay or Go? … December 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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clayI did it.

I made something.

Like every endeavor known to man, I felt greatly fulfilled upon completion, and a little disappointed with the inadequacy of the final product.

You see, in my mind, it should have been much better. But when I was finished, there were flaws. To my comprehension, glaring.

It was time for a decision–a very important one, may I add.  Do I stay or do I go?

Do I step up to what I have produced, proudly taking ownership, and begin to work with it until it becomes better, or do I distance myself from the project, expressing my displeasure and pretending that it wasn’t my fault?

Being creative does not guarantee perfection. Matter of fact, it usually presents you with the opposite: imperfection that yearns for your abiding, loving touch.

There is nothing I have ever done which possessed the qualities of my vision when I finished the first prototype.

That’s just life.

Where we develop a sense of purpose, devotion, loyalty and perseverance is in the extent to which we take responsibility for our labors, and nurture our creations to better forms.

  • No family is perfect.
  • No song is perfect.
  • No nail in a board is perfect.

Everything in life requires a second visitation, demanding that we take personal responsibility.

Is there a time to go? Is there a time to walk away from what hatched from your egg and emerged as a big disappointment? Here’s a guideline:

  1.  If it resembles what you want, but merely needs some work, stay.
  2. If its existence is proven to be a hurtful thing to those around you and yourself, go.
  3. If it is full of promise but ugly, stay.
  4. If it’s ugly, lacking promise, go.

The most valuable concept to possess in the human brain is the knowledge that nothing we touch is birthed in perfection. You have to come around, take a look, find out what needs to be fixed … and produce the good humor that makes correction process tolerable.

 

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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

WE are the US of OUR Lives… May 27, 2013

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 America is not a population–it is a collision.

Yes, it is a fender-bender, accidental conglomeration of people who have ended up in the same place, searching for similar freedoms.

Our churches are not congregations. They are configurations–the makeshift, last-minute gathering of a collage of human beings who often disagree with each other but are bound by what we hope and pray is a common purpose. Our disunity and differences are what challenge us to stay together and keep working, to ferret out similarities.

We spend way too much time trying to find perfect circumstances. We even arrogantly proclaim that we’re on a quest to find a “soul mate.” Life is not a Disney cartoon. It’s not the story of a chambermaid who is secretly a princess who finds herself “slippering” her way into marrying Prince Charming.

It usually consists of two folks who hang around each other long enough that the spark of lust ignites passion one evening. Then they spend time figuring out how to take that initial encounter and turn it into domestication.

What’s wrong with that? Why does everything have to be so antiseptic? Let us be honest. One of the most obnoxious thing about human beings is when they believe they have found God’s will or they have knowledge that exceeds others.

What I saw yesterday in Mabank, Texas, was a mish-mash of humanity which decided to stay together with each other instead of becoming picky and bratty–praying for better converts. Now THAT just might be the definition of God’s will.

We ARE the “us” of our lives.

  • I don’t always agree with my children, but they are my children.
  • I don’t always get along with my friends, but they are my friends.
  • I don’t always concur with strangers, but there’s really nothing strange about them at all, is there?
  • And the United States of America is always at its best when we include all the “we’s” and embrace them as “us” to create “our.” In the process, we collect some weirdos, freaks and people who think they’re extraordinarily normal, who end up being more odd than they thought.

But we do not express the love of God by giving up on anyone. We do not become a better organization by shunning members. And we never, ever discover the beauty of heaven by finding weakness in our fellow humans and displaying it for mockery.

I give great tribute to the people of Mabank. Even though they live in a small town and might be tempted to be snooty and fussy, they’ve decided to pursue the greatest depths of true spirituality, which is: don’t give up on folks just because right now you think they’re ugly.

So on this Memorial Day, as we celebrate our nation and the sacrifice of those who have gone before, let us not forget the power of this idea: the energy of our faith is that we constantly challenge our own prejudices.

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Jonathan’s thinking–every day–in a sentence or two …

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Decency and Order… December 26, 2012

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jass in recording studio

It was the first thing Jan asked me this morning. What did I think about yesterday’s Christmas celebration? That was easy to answer. Total, marvelous chaos.

Unfortunately, as people get older, they seem to deny the value of such an occurrence. They become like the Apostle Paul in the Book of Corinthians, who said, “Let everything be done in decency and order.”

What a priss. You gotta be kidding me. To achieve decency and order, you’d have to remove every human being from the room and every electronic piece of equipment that plugs into the wall. What you would have left is a bunch of microscopic organisms which you could not see, as they were being indecent and disorderly.

Our Christmas consisted of fifteen people in a room suited for eight, ranging in ages from five months to sixty-one years (and by the way, I was thinking about being cute by translating the sixty-one years into months, but it was too exhausting).

At no time was anything in control. Mingling torn paper with broken boxes, stocking candy everywhere and everyone’s personal preoccupation with their own gifts, decorum was abandoned in favor of basic survival. I wanted to be grumpy–partially because it’s my responsibility, as an aging American, to fill that position–and somewhat because my business sense told me that efficiency was being lost in moments of glee.

But since  Christmas morning has nothing to do with business nor is there any particular necessity to stifle glee, I laughed at myself, sat back and observed the process, occasionally participating in the fiasco with my own contribution of wild abandon.

Last night we had another situation during the evening meal, when one of the little tykes became very dissatisfied with the seating arrangements since he was not going to be able to sit next to his friend. He threw a fit in front of the whole gathering. Naturally, because we are all grown people who wanted to silence the racket as quickly as possible, the instinct was to give him his way, allowing him to sit anywhere he wanted so that the noise would cease and we could resume munching many calories.

But you see, that’s not the way it works. So instead, we made him sit where he didn’t want to sit but needed to sit, which caused him to launch into a rage and fury similar to a man heading for the gallows who knows deep in his heart that he’s innocent. It was very loud–so clamorous, matter of fact, that after a few moments it became funny. But because we decided to continue our lives over the top of the volcano of voice, he eventually calmed down and donned a sweeter disposition–mainly because he felt really stupid.

It was disruptive. It was loud. It was ill-contained, and it certainly would have pissed off the Apostle Paul, who would have insisted it was indecent and disorderly. Let’s be honest–nothing of quality is ever corralled. That’s just good horse sense.

Take our country, for instance. America is ugly. We do everything ugly. We brought slaves into the country ugly. We treated them ugly. We got rid of slavery ugly. We handled the issue of racial equality ugly. Can there be anything uglier than a Presidential election in America? The only “prosper-ers” are the television stations which make billions of dollars from the negative ads.

Evolution is a violent, often non-sensical process which offers no explanation, nor does it apologize for its scream.

I always get tickled when pastors of churches tell me that their congregation is run by committee. If we were going to invent something that would personify disorder, disruption and often meaningless behavior, it would have to be the committee.

No, we must be honest. Even though we get older and want to turn down the volume, it’s going to go up. The process of spirituality, growth, expansion, inclusion, equality, and freedom … is deafening.

And sitting with a room with people opening up Christmas presents who loved each other enough to get to the same locale but now have entered an “every man for himself” mode, is always going to be bizarre. I am determined to refuse to become the old man in the room who asks the children to calm down so his pacemaker won’t malfunction.

Life is chaos. If you agree with Brother Paul, that it should be in decency and order, be prepared to be on the wrong side of history. For after all, when God created the earth, the first review on His work was that the place He created was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

What a mess.

But you see, God’s not like us. He likes messes. Otherwise, how would you get a chance to clean things up?

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Me, Shelled from the Nut … February 9, 2012

In Houston, Texas

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I am as old as I am willing to learn

I am as young as I choose to believe

I am as wise as the width of my heart

I am as smart as the depth of my brain

I am as talented as the level of my use

I am as loving as the vacating of my fear

I am as attractive as I decide to attract

I am as ugly as I persist to repel

I am as giving as I am grateful for what I have

I am as funny as I relax to laugh

I am a worker as I discover the cause

I am lazy as I resort to “because…”

I cry as I feel the pain

I rejoice as I reject the insane

I whisper as I need to be heard

I shout as I ascend to the housetop

I am secure as I build on the rock

I am nervous as I feel the sand beneath my feet

I am American as I grant freedom to others

I am Christin as I search for Jesus

I am Godly as I comprehend His humanity

I am human as I see my possibility as Godly

I am at my best as I escape the rut

I am me, shelled from the nut

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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