PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3435)

Even Longer

Come, behold the fractured frame

A union of regal holy name

Souls bound in a love so true

One found one, translated two

Two became a mysterious single

As will and purpose gently mingle

But pain exposed the dangerous lie

While pardon, forgiveness and patience try

To have her perfect work

Faithfully pursue, never shirk

Yet trust is a stingy master

Running yon with each disaster

Abandoning the glory of former days

Demanding repentance, a changing of ways

To mesh as one the broken seal

Make the hearts regain the feel

Mending the rip in the fragile skin

Brought about by careless sin

And welcome the chance–be born again

Dissect the critics and welcome your twin

So the twain can emerge as one flesh

Baptized in their tears suddenly afresh

Ma’am to sir, he lied to her

Sir to ma’am, he gives a damn

For the new love will be stronger

Conceived to last even longer.

Dedicated to JA at OK

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Cracked 5 … September 12th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Signs That You May Have Stayed Too Long At Your Adult Son’s House With His Family Waiting For The Electricity To Turn On In Your Home After The Hurricane

A. You’re beginning to repeat your stories with no other obvious symptoms of dementia

 

B. Your granddaughter caught a brief glimpse of you in your “holey” inappropriate boxer briefs

 

C. His family stares at you, perplexed, when you inquire about the fiber content in the breakfast waffles

 

D. You accidentally discover that your son has been browsing Google on the topic, “Evicting a Relative”

 

E. Your son’s children are crying because you woke up this morning

 

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Good News and Better News… September 18th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Optimism is completely useless in sharing the Good News. It always hopes for positive results which are only determined by the audience and the moving of the Holy Spirit.

Likewise, pessimism is a meaningless, funky choice. After all, what value is there in preaching the end of the world while the doggone thing is still revolving?

I think Paul Simon summed it up best in his song, “The Boxer” when he wrote: Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

So if you want to be a bearer of good tidings, you must keep two essentials in mind. These were in play when I went to Tampa Bay to do two concerts, one at the Sun City Center United Methodist Church and the other at Atonement Lutheran in Wesley Chapel. I was hosted by two fine gentlemen–Kevin and Scott–both of whom desire to see something good happen in our time.

But over the years, you learn that passion, deliberation and organization are not enough. Talent falls short, and patience is a virtue which often fails to impress the meandering mob.

Two things to keep in mind if you want to make a difference: make it clear and make it good.

Honestly, if you don’t come with quality, don’t expect to get any kind of ear turned in your direction. So stop trying to do things that are difficult, believing they’ll be impressive in the long run. Find things you can accomplish well in almost any circumstance, and perfect them.

I am not the best anything. I never will be the best anything. But I can always get better at my best.

That’s our job. Make it good. It’s time for us to stop apologizing for what we present under the guise that “since God is in charge, and He loves us all, He’ll forgive a few sour patches.”
Tain’t so, my brothers and sisters. We’ve got to make it good. And then, you’ve got to make it clear.

To do this requires simplifying your message so that everybody in the room, from six to ninety-six years old, knows exactly what you’re trying to say. Some folks will still try to twist your words to their advantage, but there’s not much you can do about that, so don’t worry.

If you want people to believe that “love your neighbor as yourself” works, you need to say it five times and provide three good
examples.

And then do everybody in the room a favor: Don’t try to make another point. Three-point sermons leave two points forgotten and one point confusing.

So my time in Tampa Bay was lavished with lovely, inspiring people who benefitted from my presence because I determined to not be either optimistic or pessimistic, but instead, made it clear and made it good.

So therefore, the good news is that life is not hopeless, filled with ungrateful human beings who are beyond redemption.

The better news is, as Paul Simon said, we need to give them things they can hear and don’t disregard.

 

 

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Catchy (Sitting 14) Abashed … September 17th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Matthew knew.

Yet he was surprised to find out that Landy Loren also knew. She sent him an email.

“Dear friend: Sorry to hear that Tomlinson is not interested in making Jesus popular. I can think of two hundred and fifty million reasons for it being a great idea, but since, so to speak, another lawyer is going to snuff out the light of the world, be comforted that I am dropping my lawsuit. It wasn’t anything personal. Just business, you know. Yours, Landy Loren”

Matthew pondered. Was it that obvious? Was it completely evident to everyone that this request of an eccentric billionaire to try to popularize Jesus of Nazareth was about to go the way of the dodo?

Why? What was the real reason?

Matthew understood that the controversy scared the hell into everybody. Panel after panel met to discuss the idea, and snubbed the possibility as being either irrelevant or irreverent. There was one little boy in a small Midwest town, who quietly said, “I’d like to meet Jesus.”

But generally speaking, the reactions were negative. An angry man in Birmingham, Alabama, bellowed at Matthew, “Jesus doesn’t need your help to do his job!” while an Episcopal Bishop in Chicago, Illinois, wearing the drapings of his profession, spoke in a nearly inaudible voice and asked, “Which Jesus are we talking about?”

Matthew felt abashed–that uncomfortable sensation of being embarrassed for feeling something he wished he didn’t. The whole experience had just left him uncomfortable in his own skin. Where he was usually blithe and carefree, uproariously overjoyed over his abiding indifference, he was suddenly plagued with fits of introspection.

It was maddening.

But he couldn’t deny the bizarre union of souls who had come together, who would never have made acquaintance if it had not been for the project. Finding Soos, Michael and especially re-linking with Jo-Jay had been enriching to his tired soul.

He felt something for Jo-Jay. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was more than just a passing business interaction. He could tell because when they chatted together, the tones were soft, nearly whispers; and upon leaving her presence, there was the tingle and ooze of romance.

But Matthew was too busy to be romantic.

He was too busy to think about his life.

And he was much too busy to take on any new silly project which no one wanted to happen anyway.

It was when Sister Rolinda showed up at the office to offer her services to the cause that he gained a little piece of insight on his turmoil. Rolinda had been a nun for thirty-eight years in the Roman Catholic Church, and had left (or been ousted, depending on the story you believed) because she no longer wanted to be a sister, but demanded the full status of the priesthood.

The Pope disagreed, along with all of his cohorts. So she left.

She was a sage with a hint of oracle. When Matthew was in her presence, he believed there was a chance she was actually hearing something from the heavens she was trying to translate into Earth words. She was creepy, sweet, kind and prided herself on making the best pineapple upside-down cake this side of the Mississippi. One day she stared deeply into Matthew’s eyes and said, “You have been chosen to do this.”

A chill went down his spine.

For after all, what could bring together a Congressman, a hippie, a prophet, a former Catholic nun and his business partners, who normally had no interest whatsoever in the content of anything, especially their character.

But he realized the longer he waited the more likely it was that Tomlinson would close the door. And once it was shut there would be no way to gain entrance.

He needed to move fast.

He needed to decide if he wanted to go back to being “Matthew the Rambler,” or investigate this new, confused being crawling out of his own skin.

He remembered a statement made by an old man in Des Moines, Iowa, during one of their test marketing meetings. The aged gent had slowly and deliberately stated, “It’d take Jesus to make Jesus popular.”

Matthew agreed.

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Jesonian … September 16th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I am despondent.

I feel violated.

Like millions of other souls in the Caribbean and the Southeast United States, I am insulted and slapped in the face by Mother Nature through her daughter, Irma.

It is a silly thing. After all, a hurricane doesn’t have a spirit or a grudge against anyone. It’s a part of the natural order which we should study, and learn its ways.

That being said, it doesn’t change my feelings. I am a human being, so naturally, I despise being inconvenienced. Irma disrupted my schedule.

So what’s next?

The secular answer is to show countless pictures of broken boats, torn-up homes, flood waters and weeping humans in an attempt to create empathy. But the problem is, America was already emotionally hurting before the storm came. Our country was reeling from not knowing where to put our feet on solid ground.

The storm has shaken an already unstable populace.

It reminds me of the story in Mark the 2nd Chapter. Jesus is teaching at Peter’s house. The crowd is good. Jesus had been away for a while, so people were glad to see him and came out to hear the latest “good thoughts.”

Four fellows showed up with a crippled friend, hoping to gain an audience with Jesus, thinking he might be able to do something to help their comrade. They can’t get into the house–it’s too crowded. They can’t get anywhere near the front door.

So they crawl on top of the house, lifting their friend, and they vandalize it. They tear a hole in the roof. Just like Irma.

They rip off the roof, creating devastation and a disaster.

They ease their friend down, into the house, in front of Jesus. Jesus does not comment on the destruction. Jesus does not apologize to Peter because a hole has been ripped in his roof. Jesus tells this man who’s been let down, humiliated and left vulnerable through the experience, that his sins are forgiven.

It’s what he needed to hear.

It’s what I need to hear.

It’s what everyone needs to hear: “Hey, it’s nothing personal. It’s a hole in the roof. You’re not a worse sinner because your roof got blown off and the one next door didn’t, and you’re certainly not more saintly because you escaped destruction. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be all right.”

We are emotionally devastated while simultaneously trying to tally the total amount it will take to replace our goods. There needs to be a voice speaking to all of us, saying, “It’s okay. Irma was just doing a natural thing. God’s not out to get you, and it’s not all about climate change. It’s called ‘the weather.’ It happens. But you are loved. You are worth much more than a hole in the roof.”

After Jesus forgives the man, he says to him, “Get up.”

And that’s what I want to say to all my brothers and sisters, as I also proclaim it to myself: “Get up. We’re all right.”

Take a minute, though, and make sure you are emotionally stable before you start filing your insurance claims–because it was scary. It was painful. It was hot and sweaty. It was dark.

Enjoy some sunshine. Get in the light. Remember, you are worth many sparrows. God hasn’t stopped loving anyone. Nature and science have run their course.

Let’s get up now–go back to our homes, take what we’ve learned, and live even more meaningful and intense lives.

 

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G-Poppers … September 15th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Even though from time to time G-Pop has been known to offer social commentary on the world we habitate–sometimes biting–he is fully aware that the only truly effective criticism is that which he offers to his own deeds.

You can’t change the world if you can’t change yourself.

With that in mind, G-Pop would like to reflect back one day. Yesterday he presented a Dudley cartoon about the hurricane. It was pithy, cute–and a little dark. Although he doesn’t think there was anything particularly wrong with the approach, it did lack edification.

What is edification?

Edification is saying or doing what you feel needs to be said and done, never forgetting that the goal is to improve matters.

Comedy is funny if at the heart of the humor there is a desire to expose foolishness and welcome freshness.

G-Pop will never be politically correct, but if he has a passion to correct the political, he must make sure it comes from an abiding sense of hope and charity instead of dismal dismay.

So with that in mind, trying to be an example to his children, as of this morning, G-Pop is taking down yesterday’s Dudley cartoon.

No one complained. No one reacted unfavorably. But the comic was not worthy of the message G-Pop envisions imparting to the world around him at this time.

The lesson here is simple:

Is what you’re saying, thinking and doing coming from a place of vision for mankind?

Or are you jumping ship because you no longer believe in the voyage?

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 13th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3428)

When I Fuss

When I fuss over nothing

I hear laughter from the clouds

As I stomp in fury

A thousand ants scurry to safety

Taking a deep breath

A galaxy is rescued

Smiling at a stranger

Locates the starving child

Look at me, curse my life

And the graveyard moans a desire

My gossiping is spewing lies

Delaying Mother from sprinkling rain

A donation placed in a pauper’s hand

Dribbles a cup of concern to the demented

Voicing my objection to godly science

Giggling angels shake their heads, shrugging

My purpose is meaningful, I find I can

When I abandon my selfish plan.

 

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