G-Poppers … December 1st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Many years ago, G-Pop suggested to his children that they celebrate December 1st as “Life With Style New Year”–not that there was anything particularly wrong with a January 1st startup on the calendar.

But because Christmas is such a special season, it just seemed natural to G-Pop that the year should commence with Yuletide sentiments.

It is a simple celebration–a time to welcome the Prince of Peace to a world that’s not very peaceful; to smile on a baby born in a manger to a planet that has somewhat forgotten the total safety of children; and to acknowledge once again that we are heart, soul, mind and body people, and each part of us needs to hum at a sweet vibration in order for our entire beings to be satisfied.

The heart needs joy.

The soul needs humility.

The mind needs creativity.

And the body needs temperance.

Even though sadness will come into our emotions, we become mature when we understand that our weeping needs to cease, allowing a new morning of joy to dawn.

Although we may feel greatly spiritually blessed by God’s love, we all must humbly remember how it is grace that covers our multitude of sins.

And merely using the mind to recollect instead of expanding ourselves with new ideas is a waste of good brain power.

And of course, the body should have license for nourishment and pleasure–as long as we don’t do too much.

December 1st is a day to rejoice in the birth of possibilities, the nurturing of peace and the joy that we humbly and creatively practice in temperance.

So from G-Pop and his family: Happy Life With Style New Year.

May the Christmas Season bring you all the wonderment it was intended to give.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 64 (December 25th, 1970) You’ll … April 25, 2015

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(Transcript)

A worthless, no-count, lazy, trifling, silly, mooching dead-beat.

That was the image of me in my community at Christmas-time in 1970.

I had no job.

Worse, I didn’t want a job.

I was just turning 19 years of age, and even though I’d been forced by my own actions into adult life, I was not a grown-up.

I wasn’t lazy in the sense of being unwilling to perform physical tasks. Dollie and I walked all over town looking for loose change in the dirt and offering to perform odd jobs to earn a few quarters and dollars. Most of the time, this was the way we bought our bologna and bread.

We were living in my mother’s house and she was certainly growing weary of our presence, which was also aggravated by people continuously telling her that we were taking advantage of the charity.

So when our first Christmas rolled around, I had been able to squirrel away $2, which Dollie was unaware we possessed. I did not know what to buy her for Christmas.

Then a lightbulb went off in my head. She loved Dr. Pepper. We didn’t purchase it very often–too expensive for our budget.

So I took my $2 and went out and bought a 6-bottle carton of the delicious fluid, wrapped one bottle up in Christmas paper and placed the other 5 under the tree on Christmas Eve. I was hoping it would be a delightful surprise.

But on Christmas morning when she opened up the bottle, I could tell she was greatly disappointed. Even the offering of the 5 additional Dr. Peppers did not seem to increase her joy.

Matter of fact, we spent most of that Christmas talking, discussing and finally arguing about our situation.

It was the Yuletide Season, but for me it was a memory of hearing:

  • You’ll never amount to anything.
  • You’ll end up in jail
  • You’ll be heading for the streets
  • You’ll be a thief
  • You’ll be a disgrace to your family

And worst of all:

  • You’ll be a husband who couldn’t even give his young wife anything but a bottle of pop for Christmas.

 

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Published in: on April 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Twenty-eight Years Later… April 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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jon with lightningIn my calendar of life, 1986 was a year that arrived, determined to leave its mark and remembrance.

I was in my sixth year of being a paternal care-giver to my twelve-year-old son, who had been struck by a car in the summer of 1980, leaving him in a persistent vegetative state.

  • State–no change.
  • Vegetative–present but uncertain response.
  • Persistent–no end in sight.

I also discovered that my wife was pregnant with our fourth child. It dawned on me that in short months I would be traveling on the road around the country speaking and sharing my heart with an entourage of a sixteen-year-old, a ten-year-old, a disabled child, a recuperating wife and new-born baby.

Honestly, I just chose not to deal with it.

It was in the month of June that Joshua, my “special” child, suddenly contracted pneumonia and died.

My new baby was born two months earlier than expected, in a hospital in Peoria, Illinois, and shortly after that, a promise given to us to use a house for the holiday season was removed one hour before we arrived to occupy and be a celebrating family.

We were stunned by it all.

We ended up in Lexington, Missouri, in motel rooms, feverishly attempting to generate yuletide cheer.

But 1986 was not yet satisfied with all its provided turmoil. On Christmas Day, my wife slipped and broke her ankle, side-lining her for two months, while I took the two older fellows back on the good ole’ gospel trail.

Tonight I return to Lexington, Missouri, for the first time in twenty-eight years.

I have good news for these delightful human travelers: I can tell them of a certainty that we, as people, can not only survive, but prosper in our trials.

It’s not that there’s a silver lining to every cloud or a new dawning after the blackest night.

It’s just that sometimes, each one of us needs to know what we have inside of us–or we assume we are empty.

The trial of your faith worketh patience. And patience intends on doing a perfect work–showing us that struggle is the only thing we all share in common.

I am of a belief that this realization should be a valuable contribution … to my Missouri friends.

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Invisible … August 11, 2012

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Don’t go bad-mouthin’ the tooth fairy. If there was actually some flying creature sticking dollar bills under my pillow while I slumbered in exchange for decayed enamel, I would defend the right of that being to be revered against all comers. Matter of fact, I’d be tempted to grab a pair of pliers and increase my wealth.

The problem with the tooth fairy is that its existence is dependent upon the good will of mommies and daddies, who keep the concept alive. But remember, it is why the idea still lives. The tooth fairy would not last more than twenty-four hours if we just believed in it and no parent ever took a dollar out of his or her wallet to justify and affirm the faith.

Likewise with Santa Claus. He is not going to leave the picture of humanity very soon. It is not because he’s building extensions on his North Pole complex to guarantee his position for generations to come. It’s because those who believe in what he stands for perform his duties for him in his absence.

Tomorrow morning, all over the world, churches will meet and talk about faith, hope and love. They will scratch their heads as they count the number in attendance and realize that it is shrinking. They will wonder why the younger folks are beginning to abandon a commitment to God–those same younger folks who continue to promote the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. It’s because God is not as well promoted as these two fantasy creatures. God, who certainly has more evidence through His creation, interaction, healing and general welfare of humanity, is actually believed in less than “Toothy” and the Claus.

Why? Because faith, hope and love are being passed along as ideals and goals rather than being backed up by actions. Faith has become a belief, hope is a fantasy dream, and love is normally presented as a romantic tizzy. We have given over the three greatest forces in the universe to speculation rather than providing adequate evidence.

This is why James so brilliantly states in his epistle, “Faith without works is dead, being alone.” And the writer in Proverbs tells us that hope which continually fails makes us emotionally and even mentally ill. And love, which is only viewed as interaction between the sexes, lasts about as long as the normal American marriage.

We deserve better.

When belief in God has the same intensity of follow-up that we see during the Yuletide in reinforcing Santa’s image with giving, singing carols and decorating, then we will see a rebirth in faith. Spoiler alert: after all, God, unlike Santa, is real. What He lacks are elves. What He is absent are the jubilant followers who will propagate the joy of the season and bring about good cheer.

Here is the truth of the matter–faith works. What I mean by that is that you can show me your faith without works, but I plan on showing you my faith with works so that my belief will not just be a personal triumph in the quietness of my soul, but rather, a victory to those around me who “see my good works and glorify the Father in heaven.” We can no longer mouth the words of the sacred without delivering the fruit on our tree.

Faith works. If it doesn’t, it’s dead on arrival.

Hope pursues. Jesus used the phrase, “endures to the end.” Hope is not a dream; it is not a fantasy. It is not a slogan. It is a premise of our faith that we decide to follow through to a conclusion. We’re willing to persevere through difficulty, cynicism and even a contrary spirit. It doesn’t matter. Hope does not work as long as it’s viewed in the ethereal and not changed into a workshop application. Hope is pursued.

And love–perhaps the most misinterpreted force in all the spectrum of the universe–cannot be limited to romance, or even romantic notions. Love agrees. You can really tell you’re in love when you walk around looking for reasons to be in agreement with those who have captured your heart. I can always tell when love has left the room because pickiness, grouchiness and a disagreeable attitude slither into the door, discouraging any semblance of passion. These monsters bring fear. We’re afraid that if we give out an agreeable nature from our heart, that we will not receive from others–so we withhold. We allow apprehension and suspicion to prevent us from being an agree-er. Love agrees. For it is the prayer of agreement that brings healing. It is two people agreeing at an altar that consecrates a marriage. And it is God and man agreeing for peace on earth that sets in motion the first fruits of tranquillity.

Love agrees. There would be no romance without agreement. There would be no sex without agreement. There would be no answered prayer without agreement. There would be no building constructed without the agreement of the architect and the construction worker. Love agrees.

As long as faith is a belief, it will suffer from those who are jaded against pursuing fairy tales. Faith works. And if the works aren’t there to reinforce it, it is dead.

Hope that is merely a fantasy or a dream eventually leaves us disheartened and emotionally distraught. Hope pursues. It hangs around for the meek to inherit the earth.

And love that is touted as a romantic notion is soon rendered insipid in the climate of infidelity. Love agrees. Love looks for a reason to come to terms with even its enemies on some form of sympathetic endeavor.

  • Faith works.
  • Hope pursues.
  • Love agrees.

Try to make that your new doctrine and see if your religion doesn’t become more realistic to those around you. Because when the world can actually see proof of your assertion, it is so much easier for them to launch out into the deep and cast their nets.

Faith, hope and love are not invisible. They are just well-hidden from those who only want to believe, pursue fantasy and think that romance is the only form of love.

 

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