G-Poppers … December 16th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop sat quietly, listening intently as his grandson related a story about one of the young students at the school.

The little fellow had turned into quite a “preacher,” sharing his feelings about the best way to handle things and get along. He told G-Pop’s grandson that “you have to be a little mean to get what you want.”

The grandson was obviously bewildered by the comment, considering how contrary it was to the thoughts of his family–but impressed enough that G-Pop felt the need to input.

So after the grandson finished his tale, G-Pop shared.

“It comes down to a pair of words: toy and two. Actually, it comes down to what each of those letters represent. See, your young friend thinks the most important thing in life is to get what you want. But what if you don’t know what you want? Or what if you’re wrong? We don’t want to live in a world where the meanest and strongest control everything. So there has to be a better way.

So take the word toy. T-O-Y. It stands for ‘Tough On Yourself.’ And T-W-O represents ‘Tender With Others.’

By what you say, this young man believes that he should be tough on other people and tender with himself. It might sound good, but you see, if everybody did that, there would always have to be a big batch of losers for there to be a whole bunch of winners.

So what happens if the losers are upset? What if they want to get even? What if you’re in the middle of a ‘win’ and suddenly you’re attacked? Or what happens if you’re afraid?

Your job is to be tough on yourself. Not unforgiving. Not mean to your own feelings. Just putting more of a challenge on yourself than other people, because you are the only person you can affect.

And then be tender with others. Surprise them. Forgive them. Cut them slack. Be prepared to have a little extra in case they need it. Because you have to decide if you want to win once or twice, or if you want to live with a winning spirit.

You can conquer people, but you can’t make them like it. But if you conquer your own fears while showing mercy to others for theirs, you will always be loved and valuable.

Stay tough on yourself. Be tender with others. Without this, you’re just waiting for the next fight.”

The grandson looked at G-Pop and nodded his head. It wasn’t clear whether he understood everything.

But it appeared he understood enough.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Man: I’ve been really looking forward to talking to you about all this craziness in the political scene.

 

Woman: It’s really wacky, isn’t it?

 

Man: Yes, but I get tired of evaluating other people’s actions. The whole discussion got me thinking about my own conversations, interactions and dialogue with women. Am I saying the right things?

 

Woman: Do you think there are right things to say?

 

Man: Yes, I do. Matter of fact, I would like you to explain how some of the common phrases exchanged between men and women–well, how do they sound to you?

 

Woman: Well, I wouldn’t exactly know because we’re not in the moment.

 

Man: I get that. But can we try to discuss it?

 

Woman: Sure. Give me an example.

 

Man: Let’s say I just met you for the first time, and I walked up and said, “You’re so beautiful.” What would you think of that?

 

Woman: I think I would giggle inside. I wouldn’t be offended. But I also would know that you were coming from a school of thought which taught you that women need compliments in order to be opened up.

 

Man: You see–that’s great! Thank you. How about this? “I find you attractive.”

 

Woman: Actually, what you’re saying is that you see me as attractive, but you have no idea if my whole being is attractive to you or not.

 

Man: A third one. “Do you find me interesting?”

 

Woman: You’re asking me if you pass the “eyeball test.” In other words, is your face, body and physical being acceptable enough to catch my attention?

 

Man: How about, “Can I buy you a drink?”

 

Woman: Kind of weird.

 

Man: “Are you alone?”

 

Woman: Kind of stalker-creepy.

 

Man: “Do you think we could get together?”

 

Woman: Sounds like you suffer from over-confidence and have spent too much time speed-dating.

 

Man: I’ve heard that women like a more direct approach. Like this; “I think we should have an affair.”

 

Woman: Maybe when women are sitting around a table having consumed some alcohol, they pretend to be brave enough to field such an inquiry, but if a guy actually did that, we probably would desperately need to laugh out loud.

 

Man: And I would assume that laughing at a man is not a good sign, right?

 

Woman: Not unless he’s telling a joke.

 

Man: So what if it was a thoughtful question, like, “Are you experienced?”

 

Woman: Are you trying to hire a plumber, or a prostitute?

 

Man: You see, this is a great discussion. And maybe you don’t have the answer to this, but what do you think would be good, as a way to opening the door of possibility to another person?

 

Woman: Forgive me, but I think corny works. And by corny, I mean just awkward enough to know that the line hasn’t been rehearsed a thousand times in the mirror. I would be interested in any person–male or female–who would simply ask me, “Would you like to talk?”

 

Man: I like that. Will women respond well to that?

 

Woman: Probably not. Because we females have become so jaded by the Neanderthal approach toward sexuality. I think it would be nice if a man would just say, “I’ve been observing your interactions with people of all ages and I find your approach interesting.”

 

Man: Doesn’t that sound a little bit like a stalker, too?

 

Woman: Maybe, but not stalking to kill. Just watching to learn.

 

Man: So as a woman, what do you want to receive in the initial encounter?

 

Woman: Equity. Equal footing. The realization that I have a life that is real and functioning, and that I’m not waiting for a man to come along and complete me. So I’ll tell you a great question. I would be really impressed if a man would ask me, “What is your calling?”

 

Man: That sounds too old-fashioned.

 

Woman: Good. Old-fashioned isn’t bad just because it comes from a different era. Old-fashioned is still around because it’s worked.

 

Man: What I got out of our conversation is that any inclination toward physicality, sex, romance or even hooking up needs to be removed from the tone of the words, or it’s too shallow to wade into.

 

Woman: Very good. And keep in mind, romance is the by-product of a mutual understanding.

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G-Poppers … February 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2856)

Jon close up

Even though G-Pop knows that his children are smart and sharp enough to make good decisions for themselves, he is a bit concerned that the recent redefining of leadership is quite confusing.

Leadership is not an accumulation of stats and facts to place on your resume, or the ability to get people to vote for you to confirm your prowess.

Leadership is very simply an awareness. It is a two-part principle.

Anyone who is going to be a great leader:

  1. Tells the truth.
  2. Hears the truth.

Yes, there is a truth we know. It is our treasure-house, holding the contents of our understanding.

Telling the truth is essential. And even though lying has jokingly become a national pastime, everyone eventually becomes weary of a liar and unceremoniously boots the scoundrel out the door.

But we can’t stop with our truth. We can’t halt in the middle of the road, build a fort and say, “We need go no further.”

Telling the truth has to give way to hearing the truth. A leader must be submissive to listening to what he or she does not know. It requires a stillness in the soul, remaining silent for a season in order for personal truth to grow from acquiring new information.

If you cannot tell the truth and hear the truth, you will never be a good leader.

So G-Pop hopes that his children will ask four very important questions when they consider what leaders to honor:

1. Do they tell the truth?

2. Do they honor the truth?

3. Do they know there is more truth beyond themselves?

4. Are they searching for that unknown truth?

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The Alphabet of Us: U is for Understanding …April 27, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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building block U

 

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

When I was a younger man, I believed it was my function and goal to set the world on fire. But now, a bit older and having walked through a few blazes, I realize that the greatest gift I can give to my fellow humans is to put out the fires that were carelessly started by foolish schemers.

I don’t know if I’ll ever have enough time to pursue all of my heart’s desires because there is so much work to be done–clearing away the ignorance, selfishness, short-sightedness and bigotry that was here when I arrived.

This is the spirit of understanding that we must garner as people in order to be of value and continue to maintain our optimism. Otherwise, we stare at the raging fire of stupidity and wonder what we can do with out little cup of water.

Understanding requires three magnificent realizations:

1. “It’s not that bad.”

If you do not develop a kind spirit toward yourself and the world around you, you will begin to view your surroundings as unacceptable and find reasons to alienate your fellow-man instead of coming to the conclusion that peaceful coexistence is possible.

“It’s not that bad”–probably four of the most beautiful words that can fall off of anyone’s lips in the midst of a crisis. They open the door to thinking instead of frantic reacting.

2. “Let’s slow down.”

Instead of a philosophy of “pedal to the metal,” we allow the ointment of understanding to calm our spirits, which allows a realistic pace and also promotes peace of mind.

3. “We can work with this.”

Although thee is a contingency of folks who feel they show their spirit of excellence by being demanding and requiring perfect conditions, the Earth is in a constant state of evolution and therefore can never give you exactly what you want, but merely provides a portion or mutation of your desire.

Can you work with it?

Can you take a little bit and make it more?

Understanding is when we come to the conclusion that changing the world is unlikely, but improving the circumstances of even one soul is viable and necessary.

 

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… January 7, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2466)

Pohymn January 7

I, You–God

I am the light.

You have a light.

God is our light.

I have a great family.

You have one, too.

God is no respecter of persons.

I am smart.

You are educated.

God has wisdom.

I am beautiful.

You are attractive.

God looks on the heart.

I am great.

You are good.

God is … God.

I make mistakes.

You have sins.

Grace covers us all.

I am busy.

You are involved.

God is available.

I have insight.

You have opinions.

God has experience.

I have faith.

You have hope.

God is love.

I am bound for heaven.

You can come, too.

God has brought it here.

I need some changes.

You need to repent.

God agrees.

I am listening.

You are listening.

God is listening.

An understanding that passes all peace.

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Populie: Education is the Answer… August 6, 2014

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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846-02797023

“Knowledge is the doorway to understanding.”

It is a popular belief.

It moves on the premise that the more we know about any given subject, the better our chance of participating or being tolerant. Here’s another statement:

Pursuing knowledge is the way to achieve understanding.

It sounds right, doesn’t it? Matter of fact, might even sound the same. But it is a populie.

It’s based on the notion that human beings are mind and body creatures, and therefore, if we learn, we can do.

Truth is, if our race consisted of a brain that learns and a body that enacts the information acquired, then spreading the gospel of education would truly save the world.

Unfortunately, we aren’t just mind and body. We are heart, soul, mind and body. And if you’ll notice, the list begins with heart.

Yes, the human emotions are the doorway to our sanctuary and also the exit to the world around us. Everything comes through the emotions and everything departs the same way.

The question is, what do we do with the education, knowledge and discoveries which come our way when they try to gain entrance to the door of our emotions? For if I could actually hear something be convinced of its veracity, accept it without contradiction and apply it into my life in purity, then I would never need to consult my emotions and I could be Mr. Spock from Star Trek, floating on the peaceful Sea of Tranquility.

But I do have emotions and because they are often at war with my thinking, I require a Spirit–a soulful part of my being–to act as a buffer between my fluctuating feelings and my logical thinking.

What we want to do is renew the mind–update old-fashioned concepts with more enlightened and scientifically viable alternatives. The reason there is a reluctance with the ideas which come our way, desiring to take flight is that we’re often grounded by emotions which are uncertain, and we’ve deadened our spirits, thus generating a battle between heart and brain.

By no means am I suggesting that education is not important. I’m just saying that if you want education to be effective, you must plow the field, purify the emotions and use your spirit to soften the fear of transition, allowing the mind to be renewed.

Mind over matter not work. Likewise, mind over emotions is equally as futile.

So even though politics wants to pursue a path of promoting ideas, thinking that will be sufficient to overcome difficulty, and entertainment contends that the more variety of lifestyles they present to the human brain, the more open-minded we will become and even religion purports that “studying the Bible” makes good disciples, we must understand that as emotional creatures, if we do not learn to take what we feel, be truthful about it, allow our spirit to soften our hearts and then welcome the new information to change our minds, we will never be able to enact a plan that makes us more creative and gentle to each other.

Education is essential.

But we must allow people to purify their emotions by spiritually opening up to the possibility of newness of life.

As long as we contend that we are mind and body and have somehow or another overcome our emotions, and do not really have a soul, we will be conflicted in our decisions, overly cautious in our adventures and will end up with stalemate and gridlock.

Thus the American culture.

“Out of the abundance of the mind the mouth speaks?” Absolutely not.

Long before the brain has the chance to filter anything, the emotions are yapping away.

So it is a spiritual issue: the brain is transformed as the Spirit becomes the mediator with our emotions.

 

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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.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

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