Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 32) Episode 4… December 4th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3145)

Reverend Meningsbee

When Episode 4 of “Gar-SIN-ville” aired on USBN, the entire town sunk into a puddle of melancholy.

The citizens had hoped to be recognized, heard, appreciated and valued, but instead were diminished by carefully edited interviews into creatures of weakness, frailty and in some cases, iniquity.

For instance, it was aired that the Swanson church, while pursuing “the perfect soul mate,” had members who slid into illicit affairs, deep confusion and even domestic violence.

Sammy Collins and his little congregation were characterized as bigots who were actively attempting to prevent the settling of Mexicans into the community.

Perhaps saddest of all was that the Bachman family was brought to tears on camera, discussing the suicide of their son, as Mr. Bachman was captured pleading, “I wish I did believe in God–so I could hate him.”

The community had chosen to be candid and forthcoming, hoping their stories would be welcomed with understanding. But the clever editing of the USBN staff made the town appear to be the most hypocritical community since Salem, Massachusetts burned imaginary witches.

In response, the Holiday Inn Express canceled the contract on Swanson’s church, refusing to let them meet there. The few folks who were coming to Sammy Collins’ house for church were too embarrassed to be seen parking in the driveway. And the Bachmans were bombarded with criticism and evangelistic rhetoric, warning them of a devil’s hell.

To complicate matters, Meningsbee received another visit from USBN. This time they sent their chief counsel, Hector Geminez, to the church office with a threat–veiled as an opportunity.

“We have noticed in all of our dealings in the town that your church could certainly use a kitchen and a pantry, which could be mobilized into a food service for those who are less fortunate in the community,” Hector shared, posing concern.

“We’ve thought of it,” said Meningsbee.

“Well, thoughts don’t feed many people, now, do they?”

Meningsbee paused and then challenged. “What is it you want, sir?”

“Please call me Hector.”

Meningsbee nodded.

Geminez continued. “I have been authorized by USBN to inform you that we have a donation of $25,000 for your church to put together such a kitchen and pantry to aid the community.”

“And why would you do that?” asked Meningsbee.

Hector sat for a long moment, eyeing the reverend. “Listen, pastor. We are both men of the world, even though yours is a bit cloistered. So let me not mislead you. The Garsonville series is doing so well in the ratings that we’re thinking about changing it into a weekly series. Since we have so much footage, we could easily cover a season.”

Meningsbee must have appeared startled, because Hector inserted, “Now, I know this is…ah…displeasing to you, so it was our hope that if you and your church could find a purpose by helping others through this kitchen arrangement, you might be willing to give your backing to such an endeavor.”

“Why do you need my backing?” asked Meningsbee. “The people in this town don’t necessarily like me that well. Why do you think my support will carry any weight?”

Hector suddenly stood to his feet, accentuating the drama. “Oh, but you’re wrong, good Reverend. They may not like you but they respect you.They believe you have insight. We’ve had several people unwilling to cooperate just simply because you placed a fear in their hearts that our intentions are not pure.”

“Well, they aren’t pure,” said Meningsbee.

Hector squinted his eyes. “They are pure in the sense that they represent the truth of the information that’s been provided to us. The public has a right to know what goes on in communities like Garsonville.”

“No, they don’t,” said Meningsbee. “None of us have the damn right to stick our noses in anybody else’s business. And by the way, you can quote me on that, Hector.”

“Well, they told me you might not be cooperative,” Hector said, easing himself back down in the chair. “So I wanted to let you know that we have data about some of your personal dealings–or shall we say, problems?–that might be intriguing to the people of the town.”

Meningsbee smiled. So it was USBN that had stolen his computer, to copy his browser.

He paused, wanting to make sure that his reaction came from a quiet place in his soul instead of the fury of his rage. He waited so long that Hector decided to continue.

“Now, we’re not threatening you. And we really don’t want to use what we have. God knows we all have a private life, right, Richard? What we want to do is make this arrangement to everybody’s mutual benefit. You get a food pantry to help the poor and we get a season of highly rated television programs that enlighten the American public.”

“So you feel you’re enlightening the American public,” barked Meningsbee.

“Well, it does say in the Good Book that the truth will make you free,” cited Hector.

“My dear friend, you have no idea what that verse means. Truth is a beautiful thing when it is revealed by the person with the secret. But truth is a nasty monster when it’s disclosed by strangers, leaving the exposed person condemned.”

Hector stood again and walked to the door, turning as he put his hand on the knob. “Listen, I didn’t come here to have a theological discussion. I’m an attorney. I deal with legal ramifications. We don’t need your blessing to do anything. We don’t need your permission to expose you. We were just providing a courtesy–to you, your congregation and the community–which might create a general welfare for all parties involved.”

He concluded, “I know you’ve heard the phrase seventy-two hours. In case you don’t know, that means three days. If I don’t hear from you in three days, I think you can assume that your predilections will be included in the format of Episode 5. You can have a kitchen–or be dealt a heaping helping of humiliation. It’s up to you. Nice meeting you, by the way.”

Hector Geminez turned the knob, opened the door, walked through and disappeared.

Meningsbee felt like chasing him down and giving him a good piece of his mind, but thought better of it.

He realized that he would probably need all of his brain to figure out what to do next.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … December 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Man: I want a woman who’s smart.

 

Woman: Well, I would suggest that you get smarter. Intelligent people tend to find each other. I want a man who’s confident.

 

Man: You’ll need to be careful with that one. Confidence isn’t bragging. It’s a delicate balance between accomplishment and humility. I want a woman who’s sexy.

 

Woman: Well, there are lots of women who need sex–claim to have a yearning for it. But if you’ll allow me to say so, you might look for a woman who wants to have romance solely with you. I, on the other hand, would like a man who’s talented.

 

Man: Well, there’s talent that’s perceived, and talent that has the proof of performance. It’s easy to find a guy who has a guitar and a whole bucket of songs he’s written and is convinced he might have a future. Let’s be honest. If somebody isn’t giving him money for his talent right now, they probably never will. That’s why I would like to have a woman who’s generous.

 

Woman: Now, generosity is a tricky thing. Some people are generous to those they know or to their families, or might even spread it to their friends. But the true spirit of generosity is doing something for someone who has no ability to give it back in your direction. I guess that’s why I yearn for a man who’s spiritual.

 

Man: That can be a trap. There’s a big difference between being religious and being real. True spirituality is realizing there’s nothing in heaven that can’t at least be attempted on Earth. If your man is constantly talking about heaven, faith, prayer and church, he’s letting you know that he has no intention of making God’s will done here on Earth as it is in the sky. Me–I would love to have a woman who’s funny.

 

Woman: Keep in mind, there’s a fine line between silly and humor. And the trouble is, sometimes women who are silly are also air-headed about everything. Here’s how you know a woman is funny. Is she self-deprecating about her own weaknesses without losing a bit of her self-esteem? For me, finding a man who’s kind would be the greatest thing I could achieve.

 

Man: That does sound good, doesn’t it? Except for the fact that some people are kind because they’re afraid of being honest. Kindness has to be borne from a knowledge of the truth, with the addition of mercy. Otherwise you start insisting that everybody in the world is okay, and slam the door on those who might have decided to get better. Let me guess–you’d like a strong man.

 

Woman: Strong worries me. He may be able to lift a box and carry it up to the third floor, but those same muscles could be attached to a bad temper and used against me. I think I would prefer a man who pursues being fearless and uses the strength he’s got to tackle his problems instead of attacking the people he loves.

 

Man: You know what I’m hearing?

 

Woman: What’s that?

 

Man: We’re looking for the same thing in each other.

 

Woman: I guess it’s safe to say, we’re looking for people who realize they’re human beings instead of a penis and a vagina.

 

Man: A little blunt, but I think I agree.

 

Woman: I wasn’t blunt. I was just being strong.

 

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G-Poppers … December 2nd, 2016

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Jon close up

G-Pop was wondering what it would have been like if Facebook had been around for the birth of Jesus.

What would have grabbed the attention of the average Facebook reader in Judea?

Let’s look at the classic elements of the story:

  • Rejoice
  • Glad tidings of great joy
  • A Savior is born
  • Prince of Peace
  • Listen to the angels
  • Can you see the star?

These would more than likely have been deemed boring, averaging seven likes, zero comments and no reposts.

Even if someone had inserted the statement, “a baby was born in a manger,” the single repeating comment would have been, “Come on, Joseph. Get a job.”

Facebook demands drama.

Facebook seeks attention.

Facebook feeds off frenzy.

Facebook is selfish.

No, for the Christmas story to have worked on Facebook, one would need to hand-select the elements, and twist them a bit to make them of interest to the market:

“Pregnant teen and her boyfriend snub traditional marriage”

“Bonnie-and-Clyde-style crazy kids hold shepherds hostage in stable”

“Foreigners, astrologers, wanted for questioning by authorities for smuggling in unknown drugs”

“Lights in the sky! Could it be aliens?”

“And here is a picture of my ‘fur son,’ Jehoshaphat, the cat, as he rubs up against a little immigrant boy in the barn. Isn’t he cute? I mean the cat.”

G-Pop contends that we have become a society of “I’s” who include a few “we’s” if they agree with “us.”

To get likes, shares and comments, the entry has to be insipid enough to have universal appeal to those who find most of the universe unappealing.

But there will be a persistent few who insist on planting the notion of salvation, joy, humanity, brotherly love and peace on Earth.

And who knows?

Maybe in two thousand years, if that is done, they might call us Wise Men.

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Ask Jonathots … December 1st, 2016

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ask jonathots bigger

Do you think Christmas is too commercial?

Every year when I watch the original movie, “Miracle on 34th Street,” there is a small speech delivered by one of the young men in the cast. Even though the movie was done in the late 1940’s, he laments, in his soliloquy that Christmas is too commercial.

So it is nothing new.

I would never question the sincerity of those who are concerned about keeping the purity and message of Christmas. But I will say that such complaining is contrary to the story itself.

The first Christmas was a tiny, nearly unnoticed intrusion on a world of commercialism. Augustus Caesar was taxing the empire, innkeepers were making so much money that they had no room for two vagabonds coming in the middle of the night, and the shepherds were busy watching their flocks.

Things were bought, things were sold.

In the midst of that, an absolutely miraculous event occurred–which rattles the world to this day.

The message of Christmas did not need much space to gain place.

If department stores want to make a dollar and other folks wish to focus on decorations and North Pole shenanigans, Baby Jesus still seems to always win out–just like he did that First Noel.

Why?

  • Because “peace on Earth, good will toward men” is necessary to keep the stores open.
  • “Love your neighbor as yourself” creates the environment for capitalism to flourish.
  • And Saint Nicholas probably wouldn’t give a crap about children if he hadn’t learned it from Jesus, who made young ones a strong part of his mission.

So when you hear people sneer about the “commercialism of Christmas,” please understand that the first time angels were heard singing on high, the world was either asleep, gambling or finding ways to increase the profit margin.

Caesar is dead, the innkeeper has passed along … but Baby Jesus is still rocking the world.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-in-charge-of-fate

In Charge of Fate

Here I sit and fitfully wait

He always seems to be so late

So left to my own thinking

Sleepy, my eyes are blinking

What is taking so long?

It’s painful to remain strong

Does it care that I am weary?

Fearful, angry, sad and dreary

As each second dribbles away

Impertinent, wasting a precious day

Why am I being rejected?

The only soul seemingly affected

Do they possess some care for me?

Are you too busy to look and see

That I have lost my childlike dream

Abandoned my hope of a heavenly scheme

My soul may need the patience I know

But I require some harvest to grow

Here I sit, nowhere to be

There it is, ignoring me

Is there a purpose, perhaps a plan?

Or just a random mistreatment of man

I should be kinder to their name

But right now I need someone to blame

For the place I’ve landed, ordained by me

Only my willingness can make me free

Yet truth is such an abstract thought

Can’t be cajoled, stolen or bought

Am I the one in charge of fate?

If not, why is she so goddamn late?

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Cracked 5 … November 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3140)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Reasons the Ohio State Buckeyes Beat the Michigan Wolverines

A.  Michigan was chased by badgers, gophers, Hoosiers and Spartans

 

B.  One school is Urban; the other needs to hit the “Jim”

 

C.  Real name of team: “Miss-Again”

 

D.  Ohio State scored more points

 

E.  God loves Buckeyes

  cracked-5-no-wolverine

 

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“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

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Good News and Better News… November 28th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-man-thanksgiving

Yesterday–for the first time all year–I did not go to a church and share my heart for a Sunday morning worship service.

I am officially on hiatus for the Christmas season. I think the obvious questions would be, how do I feel about not ministering and performing. Did I miss it?

Actually what I felt was nothing.

Although some people would consider that to be a negative statement, “nothing” is the most positive position in which we can find ourselves.

Several years ago I was prompted in my spirit to close letters I wrote to a friend with the phrase, “without nothing.” I think she was a bit confused by this departing phrase, but it’s quite simple. Without nothing, something has no chance of happening.

The best way to ensure that you will not pursue anything of new value or creativity is to constantly claim, “I’m busy.”

Busy smothers the better parts of our soul

Busy convinces us that we have no time.

And busy shuts out others in preference to a pre-arranged party-goers.

When we finally stop being busy, we can arrive at nothing, which then offers the possibility of something.

If we don’t have enough time on our hands to be nearly frustrated by the time on our hands, then we’ll never use the time on our hands to take our hands to create.

  • Without nothing, there is no something.
  • Without a void, there is no filling.
  • Without loneliness, no new relationships.
  • Without grumbling over the absence of a feeling, there is no seeking innovation.

So as I sat in my chair Sunday morning, thinking for a moment what song I might be singing or story I might be telling under normal conditions, I was suddenly flooded with the assurance that God uses nothing to get my attention to do something.

That’s the good news.

The better news is: I found something.

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“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

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