Jesonian… June 24th, 2017

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“Go.”

But where?

Into all the world, Jesus said as he was about to ascend into Heaven.

Although most theologians like to focus on the Ascension based upon Jesus’ arrival to “sit at the right hand of God the Father,” I would like to discuss what we have called the “great commission”–to go into all the world.

Was it not actually the ludicrous commission? After all, Jesus had traveled with his twelve disciples for three-and-a-half years. He knew they were Jewish, bigoted, disrespectful of women, indifferent to children and completely bound to their home base. How could he possibly anticipate that these immovable religious boys could ever take a message anywhere?

There were three keys to the success of the early church:

  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Apostle Paul
  • The destruction of Jerusalem

If you remove any one of these elements, Christianity becomes a cult of Judaism, therefore suffering the fate of the Jews when the Romans destroyed their Temple.

Peter, Andrew and John had no intention of doing anything but hanging around Jerusalem and aggravating the Pharisees. (You may notice that I left out James because early on he mouthed off and lost his head–literally.)

So the Holy Spirit arrived on the Day of Pentecost and gave Peter the boldness to speak about the murder of the Messiah in front of Jews visiting from all over the known world. Three thousand of them were saved that day, went back to their homes and began the process of reaching the entire planet.

Meanwhile, a Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus became quite adept at killing Christians, therefore terrorizing them. He was on his way to crippling the movement when Jesus signed him up on the road to Damascus, to take the message to the Gentiles. Why? Because the original twelve were not going to do it.

And even though Paul was a Pharisee, he was a rabble rouser–a fire-brand of intellectual and spiritual energy. He found himself criticizing the original disciples because they would not eat with the Gentiles, deeming themselves better.

Paul took the Gospel to the Greeks, and since the Romans always followed everything the Greeks did, they made excellent evangelists. He ended his life in Rome, teaching, knowing that the Romans were going to reach the Germanic tribes and the Germanic tribes would evangelize the Angles and Saxons, and the Angles and Saxons were going to climb into boats, land on rocks near Plymouth and begin a new nation called America, which would generate the technology to reach the whole world.

To ensure that those “stay-at-home disciples” would eventually leave Jerusalem and follow in Paul’s footsteps, Jesus warned them about the coming destruction of Jerusalem–to make sure they left town before the Romans arrived with their deadly foreclosure.

By 70 A. D. there was no Jewish synagogue, race or movement. Christianity survived because the followers of Jesus literally “headed for the hills.”

In the process of touting the power of prayer, the value of meditation and the worth of Bible study, we need to understand that Jesus intended us to be a “go” people.

He wanted us to view the world as a whole instead of just our little village, and he desired that his children would be the most tolerant, non-bigoted, caring and clever people on the face of the Earth.

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G-Poppers … June 23rd, 2017

 

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Identify.

G-Pop would love to have his children learn to identify the slippage of awareness that often comes into our society to re-invite old evils. There are many.

But the most startling cockroach trying to crawl under the door of our safe house is racism.

G-Pop understands that it has never gone away. Yet because the outbreaks have become more prevalent, or at least more publicized, it is time to realize how it is gaining a hearing again. It’s because we’ve allowed the whispers of intolerance to become acceptable.

Most people know what racism is: “White people are better than colored people.”

You can always pick out racists. They tell you that people with color in their skin can be equally as vicious.

Folks, it’s just a matter of numbers. When there are more of “your kind” than “their kind,” you will always be deemed the transgressor.

How about the definition of bigotry? People are naturally drawn to people of their own race. “Birds of a feather flock together.” It’s amazing that those who claim to be believers in God conjure a deity who likes to color-coordinate human flesh and place them in adjoining apartments. Highly unlikely.

Let’s move on. Prejudice comes along when we insist that we’re all different–the snowflake philosophy. “Since you’re different, I don’t have to deal with you, and I can tout that my differences are not really different–just normal.”

But the sneaky little brat trying to infest the playground of the Earth School is this new philosophy of “preference.” It’s even presented under the guise of education. It’s when we begin to proclaim that it’s a very good thing to study cultures and understand unique approaches.

G-Pop knows that many of his children reading this will immediately leap forth and say, “What’s wrong with that?”

But desiring to wear a sombrero instead of a cowboy hat does not establish a difference, nor a preference. Just a fashion statement.

There aren’t ten Earths, a dozen Mother Natures and twenty-five different codes of behavior that can work in a world that demands precise measurements and degrees.

We’re all here together to learn how this thing works so we can help one another find the better ways to accomplish our journey.

There’s only one pursuit that teaches true tolerance: “We are mostly alike.”

You can share with me how you celebrate Christmas–that’s fine. But that doesn’t have anything to do with the responsibility you have as a member of the Earth family, to learn and submit to the common good.

Racism will continue to flourish as long as bigotry is overlooked, prejudice seems passable and preference is lauded as a way to “just get along better.”

 

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Dudley … June 22nd, 2017

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DUDLEY

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 21st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Standing There

I was just seventeen

Trying not to be mean

When I saw her standing there

Is she terrified?

I am

I brushed my teeth four times

Back and forth, side to side

Even upside down

Yet the foul is returning

My deodorant is so damn unpredictable

Was that a whiff of skunk?

I’m sweating

It’s not hot

She is

I’m not

Does she know that I’m plain?

Yes, plain

Dry toast without butter

Marshmallow minus cream

They say women are from Venus

I, supposedly, am from Mars

Could someone build a spaceship?

Maybe we could date on the moon

And gradually come down to Earth

That sounds romantic

No, wait. Corny

Corny is bad

Like my deteriorating breath

She is fidgeting

Or maybe just exercising

I am not athletic

I bounce the ball

And then watch it roll away from me in disgust

Yes, the ball had an opinion

It mocked my efforts to participate

Doesn’t she do most of the stuff I do?

Just not as noisy or smelly

Is there common ground?

Why are we on the ground?

Many magnificent wonders

I want to talk to her

No, I don’t

Talking is dangerous

It demands sentences

Verbs connecting nouns

Yet I need to communicate with her

Hand signals are out of the question.

And unfortunately, spontaneous making out is rare

Some sort of interaction is required

I wish my dog was prettier

Forget I said that

No, promise you forgot

I like girls

Even when they’re women

I just don’t want a mother

I have one

I will savor the unique experience

Why doesn’t she talk to me?

Maybe she can’t talk

A deaf mute

Why does that interest me?

Did she just check her breath?

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Cracked 5 … June 20th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Five Father’s Day Gifts That Will Never Make It Out of the Box

A.  A “make your own” beef jerky kit

 

B.  A book entitled, “Finding the Mommy in your Daddyhood”

 

C.  A week’s membership at the “Him Gym”

 

D.  A bow tie–ANY bow tie

 

E.  An app with replacement words for cussing

 

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Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Good News and Better News… June 19th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dislike–deciding to “diss” liking.

In the pursuit of what we call love, and even unconditional love, we’ve reached a point where we just don’t like each other anymore. We have the appearance of Atlas carrying the world on our shoulders because we feel compelled by our civilized natures to be as calm as possible.

We “diss” liking. We claim great affection for souls around us while privately rolling our eyes, communicating that they are annoying.

So when I arrived yesterday morning at the Ruskin United Methodist Church, I was looking for people who like each other. Because here’s the truth–a paraphrase of John the Apostle: I don’t think you can love God if you don’t like people.

It seems that God is really proud of His creation.

I know we portray an anxious deity, constantly perturbed over our sins, but since He gave us the ability and even the permission, I seriously doubt that He will be terribly upset when we occasionally go errant.

The greatest arrogance, the most self-righteousness, and perhaps the sin of all sins, is to believe that human beings are not worth liking.

  • It’s in our government.
  • It’s in our religious system.
  • It’s in our movies.

We are training ourselves to be suspicious, and failing to acquire great moments of human fellowship that just demand a little bit of mercy and grace.

I’m not one to advocate looking in the rear view mirror and assuming that the past was better than the present, but I will tell you, if there was any era when people were given the chance to excel without being pre-judged, then we might want to reach back into that span of time and regain some of that tenderness.

For the good news is, God likes people.

And the better news is, He loves those who like them, too.

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Catchy (Sitting Two)This Young Man … June 18th, 2017

Matthew Ransley was an advertising agent but fancied himself an executive. He was a founding partner in a company called S.E.E.D.S.–an annoying, elongated acronym: “Selling Everything Everywhere, Delivering Success.”

Matthew was very good at what he did. He worked at being congenial but if sufficiently aggravated, could launch into a rampage to defend one of his well-guarded opinions.

It was Tuesday when the phone rang and Mariel, his secretary (though she preferred “executive assistant”) was not yet at work to answer, so Matthew found himself taking the call. It was from Marcus Tomlinson, an attorney—an attorney for the estate of Arthur Harts.

Matthew knew who Arthur Harts was, and had even heard that the old man had died. He listened carefully as Mr. Tomlinson explained about the recent reading of the will and the revelation of the “Make Jesus Popular” addition.

It did cross Matthew’s mind that it might be a crank call. But the attorney established credibility because he seemed to know what he was talking about, including an abundance of information about Matthew and his agency.

“The reason we called you is that we thought that your agency’s name, S.E.E.D.S., sounded a little religious, and in doing a background check on you, we also discovered that you had some interest in matters of faith and such when you were a student back in college.”

Matthew smiled. He remembered. College–a chance to plan your future while simultaneously ruining your life. After graduation he had included every piece of resume-worthy material possible on his application to gain employment.

He had begun a club during his college years, launching a fledgling organization initially called the “Son of One” (he being the only member at the time.) His vision was to create a para-religious/party-motivated/pseudo-intellectual club, which would attract both thinkers and drinkers.

Before too long he achieved a member and they became the “Crew of Two.” Then came another and they became the “Tree of Three.” When a fourth joined, they dubbed themselves the “Core of Four.” A fifth inductee created the “Hive of Five,” and a sixth, the “Mix of Six.” When a seventh young lady cast her lot with the organization, they became the “Leaven of Seven,” where they remained throughout their university years, garnering no new converts.

Matthew assumed this was what the attorney was referring to when he mentioned “some interest in matters of faith.” Honestly, the seven young folk liked to talk about God and politics until the wee hours of the morning while indulging in “the beer and bong.” It was hardly a consecrated conclave, but rather, dedicated to the proposition that all men–and women–are created equally arrogant.

“What is it you want?” Matthew asked. It was too early to chat–or reminisce.

Mr. Tomlinson proceeded to explain that one of Arthur Harts’ dying wishes was to give two hundred fifty million dollars towards increasing the popularity of Jesus.

“How popular does he need to be?” asked Matthew. “I mean, they named a religion after him, and, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t our entire calendar run by the date of his birth?”

There was a moment of silence. Then Lawyer Tomlinson spoke in metered tones. “Let me just say that I don’t know much about religion, or God for that matter. I am merely performing the literal last request of a very wealthy man.”

“So what do you want me to do?” inquired Matthew.

“What do I want you to do? I guess I want you to tell me that your agency will take two hundred and fifty million dollars and at least try to make Jesus more popular.”

“We could start a rumor that he and Elvis are going to get together and cut an album.”

A pause. “Sounds fine with me,” replied Tomlinson.

Matthew chuckled. It was becoming quite evident that this lawyer was merely going through the motions of fulfilling a contractual oddity. On the other hand, as unusual as the request sounded, the two hundred and fifty million dollars did offer a bit of sparkle. As a founding partner in his business, did he have the right to reject such a lucrative offer simply because it was weird?

The lawyer piped up, uncomfortable with the delay. “Perhaps you could suggest someone else.”

Matthew laughed nervously. “No, I don’t really think I could suggest anyone else. I’m not familiar with any All Saints Agency or God Almighty, Inc.”

“It is two hundred and fifty million dollars. I mean, can’t you do something?”

“Yes,” said Matthew. (He figured it was always better to say yes to two hundred and fifty million dollars. You can revise your answer later, but in the meantime, well, it’s two hundred and fifty million dollars.)

Matthew punctuated his acceptance by adding, “Maybe we could get Jesus to date a supermodel.”

“I think he’s dead,” said Tomlinson, without inflection.

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