Good News and Better News … September 26th, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is a medium-sized green table with retractable legs which we purchased at Wal-Mart about four years ago for $49.95.

tape-repairWe use it as a dining table in our motel room and it has faithfully served us many a meal, and even been put into service as a desk top for studious planning sessions. After all these years, it is a little beaten up, scarred and certainly worse the wear.

I could buy another table. I’m not cheap–it’s just that this table has not yet refused to stand up to its responsibilities. It continues to completely open itself up, offering its potential, although a bit bedraggled.

When I arrived at the Belleville United Methodist Church in Belleville, Michigan, and met so many intriguing individuals–including Pastor Jim–I was struck by the fact that most of us human beings are like my green table. We’ve been through some spills. We’ve been spread out, damaged and find ourselves in need of attention.

You can see in the picture where I have taken some duck tape to cover a multitude of errors.

Now here’s my thought–if we’re going to be a good church and reach people, the first thing we need to do is admit that we’ve been repaired. Yes, we’ve got the duck tape of salvation to prove it. We’re not pretty, but we’re still able to stand up.little-mirror-2

We also need to look in the mirror, not just for the purpose of good grooming, but to make note of our flaws before they become so obvious that we’re dubbed “ugly.”

So I carry a little mirror. I don’t like big mirrors–they display too much of me. But a little mirror lets me know that my face is still worth showing to the onlooker.

And I guess I want those people in Belleville to know that like a used Kleenex, I have already been put to the task, but well-used-3I’m still not ready to be thrown away.

Sometimes we look at older congregational members, and because they retired from their companies, we assume they’ve retired from life. Not so. None of us gets off that easy. Until we crawl into some sort of box and jettison off to heaven, we need to keep growing.

Yes, I’ve been used, but not abused, and I’m still worthy to be used some more.

And as you can see in the fourth picture, my table has some fresh tears. I haven’t gotten around to putting duck tape on them yet, but I’ll have to do so soon to keep them from spreading.

In other words, just like my table, I still have wounds. Sometimes I’m too touchy, so I keep coming back to church with my brothers and sisters because I need fixin’.

Many Americans don’t like to admit weakness. But the most powerful statement in life is, “I’m not good enough to be called good yet.” fresh-tear-4

In other words, don’t give up on me, don’t tell me I’m used up, but please remind me to look in my mirror and view my flaws.

The good news is, if visitors came to church and found human beings instead of folks trying to imitate what they think is righteous, they might just want to come back again.

The better news is, it’s much easier to live out life as a human instead of pretending you’re an angel.

 

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 22) Thirty Days Has Remember… September 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

One month passed.

It’s one of those phrases a writer inserts to move the story along. But they don’t really move. Stories must be evicted from the hovel where they huddle to escape progress.

Ten days after the “Old Time Religion Community Church” signed its incorporation papers in the living room of Sammy Collins’ home on a table near the fireplace, he was rushed to the hospital, red lights flashing. He had collapsed at work and everyone was certain it was a heart attack. The town was abuzz with gossip and prayer.

As it turned out, it was a ruptured gall bladder, and while he was having his personal rendition of that organ removed, it was discovered that he also had high blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

It was suggested he slow down.

Also within the month, a crumpled letter arrived in the mail at Matrisse’s house, postmarked Atlantic City, New Jersey. Inside was a note and a ten-dollar bill.

In her own words, Kitty attempted to explain to Matrisse that she was on an odyssey to find herself, which had taken her to the East Coast, and that she had found a job as a bartender at one of the casinos which had managed to escape bankruptcy.

Kitty said she was sorry and happy at the same time–because she missed her little Hapsy, but knew she was well taken care of, and until Kitty could find all her answers, she was probably better off separated from her growing daughter.

Also, about fifteen days into the “month of remember,” an article appeared in the local paper about Patrick Swanson and the church meeting at the Holiday Inn Express, entitled, “A Gathering for the Young Up-and-Coming Conservative.”

It seemed that Patrick had found his target market, as they say in the world of social media. Being interviewed by the local reporter, he explained that the congregation did not believe in gay marriage, government interference, and were certainly strongly against gender blurring. What they were interested in were young families who wanted to see the country return to its original glisten and gleam.

Then, seven days ago, a young boy named Alex Bachman arrived at school early, went into the lower portions of the building to the furnace room, threw a rope over the top of a pipe and hung himself.

He left a suicide proclamation. It read:

They said it would get better. It didn’t.

Reverend Meningsbee was called by the family and asked if he would be willing to conduct a memorial service at the church building, free of godly trappings, since the Bachman family was a non-religious group of people (what the average Nebraskan would call “avowed atheists”).

The family also wanted Meningsbee to be the moderator–yes, that’s the word they used–for the event, and to give a retrospective on the life of young Alex, ending with a positive message of humanity, and everybody departing to walk to the local park to plant three trees.

At first Meningsbee wanted to decline, offering his best wishes and regards, but then, in a moment of clarity, he realized there was no other place in town they could go for such a commemoration–and that opportunity never arrives resembling anything of what we really want.

So on a Saturday afternoon, with memories of a month full of Garsonville life racing through his mind, he drives to the church, on his way to a presentation which denies the importance of everything he believes.

What should he say?

What did he feel?

Maybe he should have studied more.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I want to see people healed–not make them sick of me.

 

Dear Woman: I want to learn, not just repeat what I think I know.

 

Dear Man: I want to give a dollar to a poor man–not wonder what he’s going to do with it.

 

Dear Woman: I want to pray with people, not at them.

 

Dear Man: I want to look in people’s eyes instead of thinking about who they are sleeping with.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be remembered for laughing instead of remembering the past.

 

Dear Man: I want to love my country instead of hoping the President or Congress fail.

 

Dear Woman: I want to have God come out of my actions instead of my mouth.

 

Dear Man: I want to crap in the toilet instead of on people.

 

Dear Woman: I want to enjoy a colorful person instead of noticing colorful skin.

 

Dear Man: I want to shut up rather than being a know-it-all.

 

Dear Woman: I want to enjoy the money I’ve got instead of bitching about money.

 

Dear Man: I want to find a better me instead of constantly explaining myself.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be sorry instead of proud.

 

Dear Man: I want to see need instead of creating it.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be a human instead of a phony god.

 

Dear Man: Sir, we have much in common.

 

Dear Woman: My lady, we certainly do.

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G-Poppers … September 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

When G-Pop was a younger man, some of his friends suggested that he go seek the wisdom of an “image consultant” to help guide him in his writing career.

The concept was that this expert in marketing would have great ideas on how to make G-Pop more relevant to the public.

The two-hour session, which cost $150, garnered one very important insight: everything we do projects an idea.

It’s similar to the genesis of the creation of the universe. After God set science and planetary formations in motion, He settled in to generate the working friendships that would highlight the essence of His feelings.

  • God created humans in His own image.
  • Therefore we are God’s image consultants.

What people will think about God is based upon how they view us–and to some degree, how they perceive our being comes from their ideas about God.

It’s really very simple:

  1. Humans need God.
  2. But God needs humans.

A covenant began in a garden. The rules were understandable. Humankind received free will, and God asked humans to become caretakers of the animals, the Earth and each other.

G-Pop knows that when this system is honored, the love of God, the love of humans and the love of Earth is manifested. But if we insist we love God but misuse the Earth and mistreat one another, we portray an image which is contrary to who He is, and therefore infuriating.

So returning to the simplicity that human beings are God’s image and therefore God needs human beings to propel His nature, we begin to grasp the beauty and magnitude of our mission.

G-Pop has free will. For the pleasure of making his own plans, his own selection of friends and his own life’s work, God requests that G-Pop be a good caretaker of the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

If you think that’s religion, then may we all be religious.

But if it is what the Bible calls it–the breath of life–then may be all start breathing deeply.

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Ask Jonathots… September 22nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

Am I the only person who is disgusted by the 50 Shades of Grey franchise? Take away the “rich” aspect and it becomes an episode of Criminal Minds. Why are we teaching our girls and women that this type of controlling and manipulative behavior is all right?

It’s risky.

Any time you try to present common sense, you will run across a contingency who do not view themselves as “common,” and also think “sense” doesn’t seem as much fun.

You will be accused of being provincial, puritanical, Victorian or even bigoted.

Yet…

Sado-masochism is anti-woman. If projected against a male, it is also anti-man.

Even if the participants are willing, they are functioning from a wounded place–perhaps previous abuse–which now spurs their lust.

It is grounded in violence.

It is a reenactment. or at least a shadow, of rape and torture.

It is the removal of the tenderness of intimacy.

There is no excuse for it; there is no place for it.

We don’t condone a young girl who takes a knife and cuts her arm, as merely expressing her personal preference in pleasure. We realize that this self-mutilation is warning us of an inner turmoil.

In human sexuality there is no room for violence, pain, intimidation, control or domination. Human sexuality is actually the opposite. It is a humble and gentle opening of oneself to another human being, looking for confirmation instead of denigration.

In the pursuit of giving rights to all races, all religions and all sexual orientations, we must be careful not to include a general freedom for human behavior which is destructive.

Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker are antiquated attempts by manipulative individuals to take the cause of human equality back centuries, when women were considered seductive because they were thrown down on the bed, averting their eyes in humiliation.

As I said, there is no excuse for it; there is no place for it.

There is no reasonable way to give it respect in our social order and still maintain the progress that men and women are pursuing to become human.

Simply stated, dehumanizing people destroys the human race.

The worst part of this treachery is that young girls are being taught, in a medieval way, that they are the “pleasuring holes” for domineering men, and that the painful process might just include increased pleasure.

It is foolish, it is selfish and it is damning.

I will say without any hesitation that anyone who laughs at a woman putting on a pair of handcuffs as a symbol of foreplay is encouraging this fallacy, taking one-half of our race and stripping them of their God-given power.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-blackbird

The Crow

Here comes the crow

Flying very low

Peering for a weakness

Destroy the holy meekness

Render the nasty blow

 

Nothing of its own

Gnawing on the bone

Selfish and so vicious

Drooling with malicious

Cursed to be alone

 

Will you stand in the field

Your rigid post and never yield

Frighten away the wicked bird

Expose the taunting absurd

Until the victory is sealed?

 

The crow looms to steal

Mocking what is real

Pecking at the child’s dream

Disrupting the beauty of the rising cream

Removing the warmth to feel

 

Anger is not a way to think

Filth never a suitable drink

Pride always a bitter pill

Empty cup never refill

As the sands slowly sink

 

Scare the crow–start today

Wave your arms as you pray

Stop the menacing flying

Expose the nauseous lying

Choose the pearls to say.

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Cracked 5 … September 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Other Explanations for Jesus Walking on the Water

A.  A movie pitch was accidentally released to the public, of a film treatment by Simon Peter

 

B.  Jesus flew over the sea most of the way, and decided to walk the last few steps

 

C,  Experimental water skis fueled by olive oil, wine and smashed figs

 

D.  The original Gospel writer thought the story needed some punching up

 

E.  Dead drunk disciples

 cracked-5-jesus-on-skis

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