G-Poppers … August 17th, 2018

Today G-Pop wants to talk to his children about slippage.

In olden times they referred to it as “backsliding”–allowing oneself to retreat from principles once held dear–because the temptation of the times changes the atmosphere and weakens the faith.

In the past ten years, because we’ve allowed a streak of meanness to become acceptable behavior, there has been a slippage in the attitudes of the populace toward one another and in the passion for life.

It’s really quite simple.

Those who were once merciful have slipped into being merely open-minded, leaving mercy practically abandoned.

The open-minded people have slipped to being generous–and that normally only to people they know well or who are related to them.

The generous folks have backslidden to kind–hoping that flashing a smile and expressing a willingness to be helpful will be enough without having to commit to action.

And kind people, who used to think up ways to be contributors, have slipped to nice. If at all possible they will offer a pleasant countenance to the world around them–that is, unless something odd happens. At that point, nice people become careful. They will swear that the reason they become careful is because the world is screwed up and “you can’t trust anybody.”

And of course, careful people drop down a degree into suspicious. This is where you start to hear about folks loving their dogs more than people.

And those who were naturally suspicious before degrade to downright grouchy. They don’t even pretend to lead with a sweetness of spirit. It’s too risky.

Of course, there were people who were grouchy to begin with. They have become edgy–ready for a fight, and the edgy people usually find that fight, and end up being bullies.

Bullies have become fighters; fighters are more violent. Much of the violence has led to murder, and now murder has deteriorated to mass killing.

The political parties will blame each other for the problem, but long before there was a President Donald Trump, there was a President Obama, with all of the fussing, arguing and struggling that occurred during his two terms of administration.

G-Pop realizes that you may consider it a “conservative” problem, or perhaps an outgrowth of the liberal media. Since you can’t do anything to change either one of those organizations, G-Pop thinks it might be a good idea for his children to just work on themselves.

Where have you slipped to?

Where have you fallen?

If even 10% of the population would raise their human effort up one notch, to the position they occupied before 2008, there would be such an improvement in the climate of this country that the other 90% would have to take note.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that it’s time to stop backsliding.

There are no signs that the leadership in government, business, education or the church is going to lead a resurgence in civil behavior.

No–it’ll be up to us.

It’ll be up to G-Pop…and all his children.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 24) For So They … November 26th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Many frat pranks and moon-doggies ago, Michael Hinston carried a double major in college. History and political science.

Michael’s reasoning was that the history would tell him the mistakes to avoid, and the political science would open doors to teach him to become the kind of civic leader to change the world.

Now, as a congressman, he spent most of his time raising money. Because he had to be elected every two years, at least one of those years was a perpetual fund-raising bash. The rest of his time was divvied among family, uncomfortable parties and meetings with people who were desperately trying to get his vote.

Lobbyists.

It might be fine if they would actually work in the lobby–but they invaded the hearth, home and even mind of every congressman. Michael had once pledged to himself that he would never be involved in scandal. He hated the word. It sounded rotten and smelly. But he found, as a congressman, that he was already at the mercy of organizations, corporations and causes which seemed to be inexplicably linked together into one gigantic chain around his neck.

The latest was a visit from the Christian Liberty Operation (C LO). They met with him to discuss the Jubal Carlos situation in Las Vegas, and shortly after the meeting, Mr. Carlos was arrested, which set in motion a whole series of events which were very displeasing to the C LO

They made it clear. They were upset.

Even though Michael was not in charge of arranging Jubal Carlos’ arrest, he was blamed for the mischief that had been perpetrated because of the flawed plan. The CLO wanted this “popular Jesus idea” thwarted, and now it was gaining national attention.

It was especially disconcerting to Michael when Jo-Jay showed up at his door, a bit surprised herself. For she had been given a tip about where the original order had come from–to hassle Jubal Carlos. The tip she received led to an address, which placed her on the front doorstep of Michael’s home.

So it was an extraordinarily fretful exchange between the two old university friends. Michael did his best to convince Jo-Jay that her contact was completely mistaken–that he knew nothing about any Jubal Carlos or organizations trying to bring him down.

Jo-Jay was nice–but Michael knew, deep in his heart, that she did not believe him. Jo-Jay was a bullshit sniffer. For years he had admired her ability to detect lies and deception, but now he just wished she would keep her nose to herself.

Jo-Jay apologized for the inconvenience, made a lame attempt to suggest they “connect later,” and headed down the sidewalk, seemingly out of his life.

But something was wrong. She was onto him. She knew that he knew more than he claimed.

Michael didn’t know what to do. The honest truth was, he was scared to death of the people he was working with and the lobbyists who were tramping into his life. They were much too energetic, much too determined and much too violent in their mannerisms.

Yet he knew if he failed to report the visit from Jo-Jay, there would be punishments. He didn’t even know what that meant, but was positive he didn’t want to find out. So he called the Christian Liberty Operation and updated them on the visit.

Less than half an hour later, there was another knock on his door. He opened up, and standing before him was a tall, broad-shouldered man, about six-foot-four, with black eyes.

Michael was startled.

The gentleman at the door asked if he could come in. He introduced himself simply as “Joshua,” and for the next ten minutes he questioned Michael about Jo-Jay.

Who was she?

What were her political leanings?

Was she a religious woman?

What was her relationship with Jubal Carlos?

Was she part of the scheme to popularize Jesus?

Where did she hang out?

But what chilled Michael’s soul was when Joshua asked one final question. Do you know anything about her allergies?

Michael didn’t. Michael was suspicious. Michael should have asked this “building of a man” why Jo-Jay’s allergies were of any interest to him. He stayed silent.

Michael was afraid for his old friend.

But Michael did what he had learned to do over his months of living in Washington. He answered the questions, nodded his head and offered no objection.

The next day, a letter arrived on stationery from the CLO. The stationery read, “Christian Liberty Operation,” and the by-line was, “For so they persecuted the prophets before you.”

It was unlike any professional letterhead Michael had ever seen. It seemed sinister. Even though the words “Christian” and “Liberty” were displayed in the title, there was something about the operation that chilled him to the bone.

Who was Joshua, and why did he want to know so much about Jo-Jay?

More importantly, who was Michael Hinston, and was he going to warn his old friend?

 

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G-Poppers … September 30, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is not in the course of human events, a particularly rugged political campaign, or a social environment that has begun to ignore the importance of human interaction that creates our present quandary.

G-Pop believes we have begun to dilute the human glue that allows us to stick together: an adherence to values and a respect which prefers kindness to judgment, mercy to critique and truth to deception.

G-Pop contends that if we don’t respect this glue, we will begin to fly off in all directions.

Here is the human glue:

  1. I will try to tell the truth.
  2. When I fail, I will step forward and admit I’m wrong and tell you I’m sorry.
  3. Since I am often wrong, I need to both forgive and be forgiven.
  4. I will determine to do better.

The absence of this wonderful mucilage of human emotion causes us to attack one another, often with violent conclusions.

We can no longer sit by and act as if this present situation is typical. It is not. It is a deteriorated state of consciousness which fails to recognize the need for grace.

Without human glue, we collapse.

Yes.

We become unglued.

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G-28: Once Was Lost … June 13, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jack climbingGrace is so much more amazing when it is saving wretches.

Without acknowledging our wretchedness, grace merely funds and fosters a nest of pious arrogance.

The Creator learned this about His own creation.

For when the human race is encouraged without being challenged, we become smug, self-reliant and callous to the feelings of others.

As time passed on, people developed a definition for spirituality which favored their own profiles and vices.

They began to refer to themselves as the “sons of God,” which meant that eventually they no longer needed a Divine presence, since they, themselves could fulfill the mission. Yes–they believed they were gods. (Actually, the best we can hope for by having a common Father which is in heaven, is the delightful knowledge that we’re all brothers and sisters. )

But in the pursuit of self-esteem, we lost the humility that makes us desirable and attractive to one another.

As a race, we began to believe we were giants–immensely talented, obviously good-looking and supernaturally empowered. Any notion that came along to contradict this evaluation was considered a “downer” or a personal attack.

Once again, our species failed to understand that the power of discovering our worth is having the intelligence to know that we are actually poor in spirit and require the mercy of God and therefore should extend mercy to one another.

Of course, when giants mate with other giants, they create children who are mighty and renowned.

People believed that their offspring were better than other offspring, and therefore deserved special consideration.

  • It was the beginning of racism.
  • It was the maintenance of sexism.
  • It was the authorization of preferential treatment.
  • It was the idea that “family” was the most important thing in the world and that our particular unit was supremely endowed with favor.

Yet the most intelligent approach to child-rearing is the realization that our kids are no better than anybody else’s kids, and that all the children of Earth are painstakingly learning to become citizens of a common planet.

Of course, once you convince yourself that you’re a god, a giant, and your chldren are supernatural, your imaginations all become acceptable–even when they’re laced with evil.

Remember, evil always occurs when human beings feel they do not require editing.

So instead of thinking better about each other or hopeful about the possibility of goodness, a cynicism and suspicion descended on mankind, causing us to think evil when we were intended to take the beauty of thought to ponder good things.

And of course, once evil was allowed into the mix, violent behavior became not only acceptable, but encouraged in order to protect our children, our self-worth and our status as sons of God.

Rather than despising the shedding of blood–a sensation which is innately in our being–we began to pursue what we viewed to be “necessary killing” to honor our family, our province or our belief.

You can tell that violence is contrary to human beings because the minute we look down and see our own blood leaking from our bodies, we shrivel back in horror and demand immediate medical attention. Yet in our arrogance, we can watch others bleed without flinching.

People began to contended they were the sons of god, giants, raising children who were better than other sprouts, and opened the door to imaginations becoming evil, and violence gained acceptability.

The Creator was bewildered.

The Creator felt compelled to make a painful decision.

 

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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!

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Save Your Village… March 6, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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puddle water

I like to go to public parks to work on my writings and stuff. The scenery, atmosphere and intrusive clatter–well, I find exhilarating. Yet you do have to share the space with every living creature who habitates within.

Such was the case yesterday when a guy named Bunky came into my three square feet.

He was thirty-one years old and just as slight as I am husky, and wiry as I am cumbersome. We shared very little in common, but since proximity dictated either conversation or further social distancing, I jumped in.

Once I made my preliminary inquiries about his well-being, Bunky launched into a thirty-minute discourse on his life. Here are the highlights:

He had a nineteen-year-old girlfriend who is a junkie and needed him to go to work every day to get the money for her fix, so that she would not become violent and attack him. (In alternating presentations, she was referred to by Bunky as “lover, friend, enemy and bitch.”)

He had once been in a gang–I think it was the Crips–and told me he had killed a man, although he eyeballed me carefully to see if I was questioning his credibility. I didn’t. I saw no reason to authenticate a tale in progress.

He talked to me about the use of marijuana being helpful in relieving his back pain, brought on by years of working on cars, lying flat down on the hard concrete.

I wasn’t sure how long he was going to share, or if there would be a stopping point whatsoever–until his friends showed up. And then what had been a very intimate exchange was terminated as he rose to his feet, accepting the invitation of one of his cohorts, to go to another bench where they could smoke.

As quickly as it began it was over.

Being raised in a spiritual climate, I incriminated myself that I had not more sufficiently impacted Bunky’s world. It’s what we do best, you know. As human beings, we often “strain at the gnat and swallow the camel.” We criticize ourselves for what we don’t accomplish, while simultaneously failing to achieve what is set before us as our daily bread.

Let me share with you candidly, which is always my goal:

  • You are not going to change the world.
  • Jesus Christ didn’t do that.
  • He was smart enough to leave behind an example of exactly how things work.
  • Start where you are.

For you see, Bunky is not my problem There are many more qualified people to share, care and be aware of him than me. Here’s what I’m supposed to do:

  1. Find my village.
  2. Teach my village.
  3. Save my village.
  4. Let it travel.

I raised six boys in my household. For a brief period of human time, these young men sat at my table and listened to me expound on life. They also watched carefully to see if I followed up with my own choices. They were my village.

Also within that village was a handful of friends and comrades. They, too, were exposed to my experience.

I didn’t worry about changing a whole town, state or country. I found my village, I taught my village, I saved my village and then I let it travel.

Those young men met women and now their influence spreads from Miami to China to New York to Nashville to Dallas to Los Angeles. with films, music, business, ministry, recording, procreating and acting.

While some folks encourage me to spread out my influence as far as I possibly can, I would much rather have a thick spreading of peanut butter on a cracker than a thin application on a four-foot-long piece of French bread.

It’s simple–stop trying to change the world. Stop criticizing yourself for being ineffective.

  • Find your village, teach your village, save your village–then let it travel.

And always remember–leave your image in the puddle provided.

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Decency and Order… December 26, 2012

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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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