Cracked 5 … February 20th, 2018


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Reasons Why the U.S. is Having Some Difficulty Winning Medals

 

A. Turns out the Norwegians are quite good

 

B. We bought our skis in China

 

C. It’s really, really, really, really cold

 

D. Other nations didn’t get the memo that “America is exceptional”

 

E.  Hypnotized into losing by rogue North Korean spies

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Good News and Better News … February 19th, 2018

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During a particularly glorious pee-pee break during the night, I turned on the TV to light my path, muting the sound (as I didn’t require any audio commentary while urinating.)

Upon returning to my bed, I reached for the selector to turn off the TV–my normal practice–so I could roll over and hook Sleep One up with Sleep Two, when I looked up and saw Joel Osteen on the screen.

I have no strong sentiment about Pastor Osteen. There are some people who think he is handsome, with his million-dollar smile and house to match, and others who call him everything from a charlatan to a heretic. (The worst thing I probably have done is finding myself holding the coats of those who were stoning the Houstonian.)

But I also do not favor his instruction. Oh, that’s stupid. I just really have never listened to him. After all, I find myself so fascinating there’s little time for others. (I hope you know I’m kidding…)

But on a whim, I unmuted the messenger and let him speak. Amazingly, for the next three-and-a-half minutes, this young gentleman spoke directly to my heart. His message was so specifically designed to my circumstance that I was startled. If I were the superstitious sort, I might even believe the actual show did not exist, but was manufactured in the heavens to be aired on my screen and mine alone.

For three-and-a-half minutes there was nothing but Joel talking to me. After that it got a little clunky, but I treasured my three-and-a-half minutes.

Clarity. It is one of the greatest things God can give us. We all pray for healing, finance and retribution, and He offers us wisdom and strength, knowing that these two powerhouses usually set everything else in motion. I was struck by the simplicity of it all.

You see, I’m tapped.

I’m not angry, I’m not frustrated, I’m not disillusioned. I’m just tapped.

I am drained of any further toleration for a religious system that spends time bickering instead of beckoning.

Drained of a political collision in Washington which is no merely longer involved in gridlock, but has transformed our country into bumper cars.

And a business world which decides to charge more for a candy bar while simultaneously shrinking its size.

So in a sense, I have great empathy for the WWE (another show I’ve never watched). I am tapped out.

I don’t want to wrestle any more. I’m tired of the struggle. I’m weary of watching people pretend they’re passionate, only to resume their mediocre lives once the cameras are turned off.

I don’t want to hear any more about school shootings–not because I’m indifferent to brothers and sisters who were slain, but rather, enraged by those who use the event to become overly religious, maudlin, improve ratings or posture for votes.

God came into my room last night with the aid of Joel’s words, calmed me down and gave me another gallon of hope for truckin’ on.

I am no longer tapped. I am open for business, to be gentle, kind, humble and therefore, powerful.

The good news is, God spoke to me through Joel Osteen.

The better news is, I didn’t act like a jerk, but instead, listened.

 

 

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Catchy (Sitting 36) An Audience with No Audience … February 18th, 2018

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The highway leading to Heathrow Airport was completely jammed. Gridlock. For twelve kilometers, cars were lined up, unable to move, creating the worst traffic backup London had seen in years.

This fiasco was brought about by a rumor that the Pope was flying in from Rome to meet with the Queen, to discuss the uniting of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church again.

The rumor was false–but that didn’t keep people from chasing it, causing a frustrating day of travel through the Old City.

This was just the latest of a series of stories being reported about the Pope and the Catholic Church, put out by a new website: “Popedope.com.”

It was started a few weeks earlier with an article in the Sun Newspaper from the United Kingdom, touting an exclusive on an alleged meeting between the Pope and Jubal Carlos.

Supposedly, after his noontime rally in the blistering heat of Rome, a black town car from the Vatican rolled up, and representatives of His Holiness asked Mr. Carlos if he was willing to come and have an audience with the Holy Father.

Dressed in jogging shorts, a tank top, with tennis shoes and a baseball cap, Jubal climbed into the vehicle and headed off for this strange new opportunity. According to insiders, upon arriving at the Vatican, he was asked by the public relations liaison if he would be willing to have the interview videotaped, so it could be shown to a congress of Cardinals due in Rome soon.

Jubal refused. He explained that it was common knowledge that he did no interviews–and certainly none which could be edited.

The audience with the Pope was granted anyway, and the two met face-to-face. There was only one other person in the room–a young man studying for the priesthood, who was chosen to serve refreshments. (Therefore it was assumed that all the information leaked must have come from this newbie.)

In the Sun article, detail after detail was reported about the conclave of the two unlikely men, both preachers. The Pope arrived in a simple gray tunic, wearing sandals. He wasted no time posing a question to Jubal:

“Where do you find disfavor with the Catholic Church?”

Jubal took the moment to share his heart. “When something is stuck, the instinct is to make an effort to move it–whether it’s mud, ice or snow, people join together, put their shoulders and backs into it to escape the rut. The Catholic Church today looks like the Catholic Church of the sixth century. Right there you can see there’s something wrong. Life has evolved. Generosity is growing. Tolerance is expanding. Yet the Catholic Church allows androgynous men to parade around with incense, believing in magical potions. If the Gospel is not about people, then at least it should be about ideas. If not ideas, then generosity. If not generosity, then hope. The Gospel cannot be about maintaining a religious practice which was not even begun by its founder.

“For Your Holiness, I will tell you–if there was a First Pope, his name was Jesus, not Peter. And as the First Pope, his lifestyle, goals, wishes, humor and direction would preclude him from ever wearing a crown and glorifying himself.”

At this point, the writer of the article stated that the Pope remained completely silent. At length, the Holy Father asked Jubal to come forward, laid hands on him, blessed him and gave him a hug. He left Carlos with one closing thought.

“I don’t know,” he said. “If I were younger and foolish, I might be you.”

When this piece was published in The Sun, the English people were ablaze with conversation about true spirituality, a living God and the possibility of purpose coming from heaven. It had been decades since the British had made room in their daily thoughts for the Divine.

After that, story after story after story popped up everywhere. One announcement from Popedope.com suggested that the Pope was on his way to America to ordain some women to be priests. The next pronouncement alleged the Pope would stop off in San Francisco to hold mass for the gay community. Of course, all the stories ended up being erroneous but nevertheless, a door had opened for great conversation.

Instead of people looking at the Church with sleepy eyes, challenges were hurled through the air.

“Why don’t we join together?”

“Why aren’t women priests?”

“What is the function of the Church?”

“Why do we have all this ceremony?”

When Jubal Carlos was asked if such an audience with the Pope had actually occurred, he responded, “You know I don’t take interviews. Why are you asking me for an interview?”

This further fanned the flames, as each news organization interpreted the answer to their favored direction.

But there was one sure thing–people were not antagonistic against God. People were not bored with God. People were just very weary of being given the same answers over and over again.

Matthew watched all the bewildering unfoldings and thought to himself, “What a damn good idea. Take the news media and use it as a counter-culture, or maybe even a counter-irritant to existing religious practices, to get people stirred up. Would a comprehensive look at the life of Jesus favor the Catholic Church, or introduce fresher insights?”

In the midst of his musings, he made a few phone calls to friends who were in the know and were able to check out Internet matters which would normally be forbidden due to privacy laws. He was able to discover the founder of Popedope.com.

A single user with a one-word name: Susannah.

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Jesonian: Lukey 13 … February 17th, 2018

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I gave this essay a title.

I don’t very often–but since I planned to refer to the Good Book in Luke the 13th Chapter, I decided to get cute: “Lukey 13.”

Very simply, this is where Jesus explains how the planet functions, progresses and purifies.

The explanation was required because the folks who surrounded Jesus of Nazareth were caught up in politics and blamed the government for all the ills that came their way. This spilled over into their conversation with the “carpenter-turned-preacher.”

They wanted to get his opinion on an event. Pontius Pilate, the governor, had killed a group of people who came to a religious service to offer sacrifice, and were brutally attacked by the Roman Legions–murdered during their ceremony.

The people dramatically cited to Jesus that “the blood of the victims was mingled with the sacrifices.”

They failed to say that the Romans knew these folks to be Zealots, viewing them as terrorists who raided the army and killed infantrymen.

(There are always two sides to a story, usually with neither one being the truth.)

The people wanted Jesus to be enraged. They wanted Jesus to be a nationalist. They wanted Jesus to be a Zionist. He astounds them.

He replies, If you won’t change, you’re next. (The actual wording was, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”)

He asked them if they thought the Galileans who were killed were bad people because it happened to them. He asked if a tower which had recently fallen on innocent folks was punishment for their sins, once again closing with, if you don’t change, you’re next.

What is his message? First, it is impossible to comprehend the ministry of Jesus without realizing that he came to bring understanding to the Natural Order instead of having people believe in mysterious protections from a Supernatural Border.

The Jews thought as long as they were Jews, God should take care of them. They felt no responsibility to the world around them, referring to people who were not Sons of Abraham as “heathens.” They became targets for cultures which were stronger in military might, and in no mood to be called “dogs.”

In a parable, Jesus explains the nature of Nature. He also outlines the nurture of the Father:

You cannot get God’s grace if you do not honor Nature’s place.

Jesus tells a story about a tree. It had leaves, bark and roots. No fruit. This tree was deemed by those in charge to be worthless, and was marked to be cut down.

Consider: although God loves me, He wants me to understand that since I live on Planet Earth, I have to follow the rules of the trees. I am not allowed to take up space, suck out nutrients and just sprout leaves. I am expected to bear fruit.

What is fruit? What defines fruit? “I am trying to improve my life, therefore understand why you are attempting to do the same.”

That’s fruit.

Nature wants to get rid of anything that is not fruitful. Some people might even say that Nature is prepared to get rid of Earth, because its inhabitants are no longer respectful of the system.

Yet let’s talk about you and me. There is a Natural Order and a Supernatural Border. It is impossible to come under the grace of God if you’re not submissive to Earth. And on those occasions when you find yourself erring, and in danger of being eliminated because of your mistake, you will need the Supernatural Border.

There is only one way to get under the protection of God’s mercy: humility.

Yes. Be the first one on your block to know you’ve done something stupid. Repent of it before anyone else even knows you did it, and dip your head in respect to Mother Nature as a way of honoring Father God. When God sees this, He comes to Mother Nature and He says, “Dig and dung.” In other words, let’s not eliminate this person yet. Let’s give him or her a chance. Fertilize with dung.

To put this process in a lexicon we better understand: to gain God’s help, you must humbly admit your weakness and allow Him to send some shit your way so you can grow.

If you’re convinced it’s not your fault, and you reject the shit, get ready for the buzzsaw.

If you’re going to be oblivious, be prepared to be the next one eliminated. But if you honor Nature and the order of things and realize that it’s not the government’s fault–there is no massive plan against spirituality, but rather, misdirection on your own part, which needs to be humbly corrected–then God has the ability to extend His grace, to help you establish your change.

It is a powerful passage. It is our “Lukey 13.”

And if we comprehend its meaning, we have an earthly advantage over the religious fanatics who believe God owes them something, and also the secular world, which contends it can out-muscle the competition.

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G-Poppers … February 16th, 2018

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There’s no upside to horror.

After seventeen bodies lay in a schoolyard, riddled with bullets, any attempt to assign valor, purpose or mission to such a scene of mayhem is sacrilegious.

G-Pop insists that three things should never be stated:

A. “They’re in a better place.”

No mortal can say such a thing for certain. Since we have not navigated the oceans of eternity, we should be careful touting our knowledge from our port of bewilderment.

B. “There were heroes.”

There are no heroes in a murder spree. There are people who die, people who intelligently run and people who feel compelled in the moment to step in and try to stop the craziness. All of them are victims.

C. “No one saw it coming.”

Liars.

Rather than getting worked up into a froth over gun control, sit down and understand the process of what causes someone to reach a point where they unleash bullets into the bodies of their brothers and sisters.

There is a fourteen-step process. Yes, at any point in the fourteen steps, these killers can be stopped.

1. “I’m disturbed.”

You know the crazies in your family. Take care of them.

2. “I’m disturbing others.”

Disturbed people are not satisfied with a solitude of pain. They want notice, attention and to inflict heartache on others.

3. “I insist on being the victim.”

Disturbed people who are disturbing others will accuse them of bullying and mistreatment.

4. “I threaten.”

This is the first sign that the soul of the human in front of you is beginning to disintegrate.

5. “I am drenched in self-pity.”

Look for lack of hygiene, wearing dark clothes, smelling bad on purpose, grimacing and hiding away.

6. “I plot.”

Not the final plot–just ways to communicate that everyone is crazy and he is misunderstood.

7. “I intimidate.”

Sometimes it’s animals. Sometimes a next-door little boy, but they always go through this phase of domination.

8. “I write warnings.”

Read their Facebook. See the journal they scribble in. It will be filled with rancor and hate.

9. “I purchase a weapon.”

10. “I practice.”

11. “I am arrogant and brag about my gun.”

12. “I wait for the right moment, which will seem logical to me for committing my insane action.”

13. “I warn.”

There’s always someone who’s told.

14. “I kill.”

Pursuing gun control is a piece of liberal propaganda to pass the responsibility for the poor mental health of many of our young people on to the National Rifle Association.

You can’t tell grown-ups in America what they can’t have or do.

But you realize that disturbed people go through a definitive process before they kill. The children in Parkland knew who the shooter was long before anyone told them. Why weren’t the grown-ups listening?

Every young person in America, along with his or her SAT scores, should have to pass a basic mental health exam before going to high school and then college. Maybe before high school.

It is not an intrusion–it is an inclusion which will protect them and those around them from the screaming demons that want to release hell.

 

 

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3 Things… February 15th, 2018

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 To Help Sustain Great Love

1. Tell the truth

 

2. Be the first to admit your mistakes

 

3. Constantly evolve toward kindness

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 14th, 2018

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Hand of Love

Music is how I heal my heart

When my soul can’t touch my brain

Mercy is what I grant to you

To escape from going insane

Grace is the hand of love

Caressing what’s condemned

The law, drenched in kindness

Ready to amend

Laughter, the way I dry my tears

Compassion the pathway, allay my fears

Faith my only substantial hope

To bolster my trust, learn to cope

This morning I continued my personal story

Another day blessed this side of Glory

Do this, do that, do nothing at all

Catch my breath, cushion the fall

Inhaling the truth, made so free

Find my peace

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