Populie: The End Is Near… April 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2211)

moonIf politicians want to scare up votes, they always alarm the public with a new “evil empire” which is poised to destroy us and the rest of humanity with a nuclear weapon.

Whenever religion senses apathy or diminishing capacity within the membership, it begins to tout proudly and enthusiastically, “Jesus is coming soon.”

And the entertainment industry, in the pursuit of displaying a social consciousness, makes movies, songs and plays about the destruction of the earth through environmental indifference, which leads us to live in caves and throw rocks at each other.

Meanwhile, real life goes on and doesn’t seem to have enough contestants for the game.

Yes, the POPULIE I am speaking of is the contention–or even insistence–that “the end is near.”

There are three main problems with this particular popular lie:

1. What advantage is it to us to be living in the end times?

If it’s true, it places a greater responsibility on us to be proficient. If not, we go down into the history books, filed away next to “the earth is flat” people and the judges at the Salem Witch Trial.

2. If we believe the world is going to end, we certainly do not want our lives to end.

You see the bigotry here? In other words, God should come and smite the earth while providing us an ark of safety. Why? Do we really want to believe in a God who is a respecter of persons and likes some folks better than others? Are we anxious to see a battle fought in the Middle East where the “blood is so thick that it comes up to the bridles on the horses?”

3. And of course, most important is the foolish, ongoing drivel that the future is determined by destiny.

I personally believe there have been many antichrists on Earth since the prophesy by John in the Good Book. But there have always been enough “christs” on earth to stop them.

I don’t view prophesy to be fact, but rather, warnings–and a word to the wise should be sufficient.

So what can we do in this crazed age of cataclysmic yearning?

A. Then.

Yes. Look at history. Learn from it. Study it. Know that the people who lived before us were humans also, and if you can avoid their mistakes, you don’t have to repeat them.

B. Now.

Live. Take what you’ve learned from “then,” apply it, and let the Spirit lead you every day into gentle conclusions that seek reconciliation instead of trying to foster all of your personal demands.

C. Tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is decided by how well we learn and live.

I will not join in to the craze about the end of the world. I will not scream at the top of my lungs that “Jesus is coming soon,” nor that the polar ice caps are melting, and certainly will not be peering into the skies for missiles.

Then I learn.

Now I live.

Tomorrow is decided by my learning and living.

 

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Quatrain of the Diagnosis… April 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2210)

doctor with stethoscope

Good news and bad news

You are alive, my friend

This could change real soon

Can I have your mower?

 

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Published in: on April 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This Is To Inform You… April 21, 2014

_________________________________________

The Garden Sepulchre, Inc.

“Not just another hole in the hill”

________________________________________

Monday morning, bright and early

Dear Mr. Christ:

       This is to inform you that careful inspection of Lot #33 in our spacious, well-kept facility this morning rendered some egregious breaches in our contract with you.

       Our establishment has a history of solemnity and responsibility that must be honored by our clients and those left behind as caretakers of sweet memories.

Therefore, we reluctantly, but firmly, must ask you to right some wrongs:

1. You vacated the premises without sufficient notice. (Since this has never happened before, we are not positive on how to levy a charge.)

2. An unacceptable amount of sound and fury was heard coming from your resting place pre-dawn Sunday.

3. The gorgeous sedimentary rock placed as your final stage-door exit was moved and severely damaged. Unacceptable.

4. Screaming women racing from the sanctuary of solitude.

5. All sorts of miscellaneous meat bones and empty flasks of wine abandoned near the entrance. (Apparently an inexplicable party of some sort minus a clean-up committee.)

6. Reports of someone allegedly from your entourage walking about, imitating our gardener. (Identity theft.)

7. And in conclusion, even though the internal space was left clean, with garments folded, we are presently missing your body, which is most distressing to an institution of our reputation and ilk.

Mr. Christ, please attend to these matters. Failure to do so could result in court proceedings, which should prove costly, both financially and to your good name.

                                           Sincerely yours,

                                           Deadus Tu Me

 

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Jesonian: Qualified… April 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2208)

There are those who would question whether the human race needs a savior. They contend that we are as we have evolved, without need or apology.

Yet most of us, spending some time staring in the mirror, have noted some vacancy in our soul and clutter in our conscience. We require a savior who offers transforming salvation.

I am Jesonian. I have chosen Jesus because he:

  • was tempted like we are in every way.
  • learned obedience through the things he suffered
  • grew in wisdom and stature
  • celebrated the faith he saw in others
  • was touched with our sicknesses
  • deflected praise
  • called himself the Son of Man
  • chose to be baptized
  • referred to us as friends
  • loved sinners
  • challenged hypocrisy
  • turned his back on religion
  • welcomed women as equals
  • was not afraid to make mistakes
  • honored free will–all the way through the cross.
  • taught the brotherhood of humans
  • gave us the power to become the sons of God
  • yearned to live
  • believed in salvaging people instead of judging them
  • told stories that children could understand
  • crossed racial, cultural, ethnic and social boundaries
  • established a new Holy Land: “the kingdom of God is within you.”
  • gave his life freely when others determined to take it

He was human.

And because of this, he is qualified to be the Savior of the human race.

Jesus didn’t save us by dying on the cross–he already had saved us by becoming a little lower than the angels … just as we are.

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Untotaled: Stepping 10–December 31st, 1965 (The Watch Night) … April 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2207)

(Transcript)

There is certainly not much to do on New Year’s Eve in a little village of fifteen hundred people.

Some of the folks of our town would actually make the trip down to Columbus to take in a show and imbibe some alcohol, feeling as if they had flown to the moon and could disguise their drunken condition without fear of community scrutiny.

But most of the citizens of our little burg were devoid of entertainment or ideas for ringing in the New Year.

So our local church planned a Watch Night service, so as to prohibit–or at least impair–the possibility of the young kids falling victim to the beckonings of “demon rum.”

Watch Night services were a tradition of Dixie which had been transplanted to the Buckeye State via those who floated north. It was in four parts:

  • First there was eating–the best potluck of the year. Everyone tried to outdo one another both in culinary skills and appetites.
  • Then there were a couple of hours of gospel singing, featuring local talent (or at least local persons).
  • This trailed off into some preaching, warning all present of the dangers of increasing sin in our nation and the hopes that revival would break out in the coming 365 days provided..
  • And finally, the twelve o’clock hour offered the opportunity for hugs and handshakes.

This year I was thrilled. My group, The Gospels, a quartet of young teens, was going to participate in the singing portion of the evening. We had lobbied the previous year, and even auditioned for the church elders, were weighed in the balances and found wanting. This year, apparently we were in tune.

The ironic part of being welcomed into the songfest was that our group was about to break up. Actually I was breaking it up by kicking the Connelly brothers out of our team and replacing them with two of my friends who I liked better. This caused quite a stir in the church. Matter of fact, I was called in for a conference with the pastor’s wife, as she tried to explain that human beings had feelings and the Connelly brothers deserved better treatment.

I listened politely and then did what I always did. Ignored her. You see, the Connelly brothers didn’t mind. They sang their hearts out that night.

I don’t know if we sounded good or not, but we sure had fun. It was one of those times when I felt really grown-up, in charge and important. That’s hard to come by in a tiny town.

I thought a lot about what the pastor’s wife said on how to treat people and how to conduct your affairs in a way that would not upset anyone else. I came to the conclusion that this was going to be difficult.

I think many people thought I was a real dick when I was a teenager. But without being a little bit of a dick as a teenager, you can grow up to be a dickless adult.

So I decided to try to continually improve what I do and what I work with without upsetting people too much.

Yes, that should keep me really busy.Donate Button

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G-20: Life or Knowledge … April 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2206)

tree of lifeRight there in the middle.

It’s hard to miss. It’s not hiding from us.

It’s called life.

And life is where ability, faith and our daily bread of situations merge together.

  • It’s meant to be abundant.
  • It is intended to be fascinating.
  • It is not free of hassle, yet within the struggle is a great learning gift which further enriches our experience.

Anything that deters us from eating of the Tree of Life and gaining strength, wisdom and energy is counter-productive to our humanity and destructive to our character.

So as the story goes, God placed this gift of life right in the middle of all the activity. It wasn’t hidden at all. Like every other possibility in the Garden of Eden, it was “good for food and pleasant to the eyes.”

Yet is was absent of distraction. That particular misleading element was found in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And this tree was useless to our human escapade because knowing what’s evil does not give us the function of improving our situation. After all, since we are not gods and do not control our Olympus, we end up being at the mercy of despair.

God offers one piece of advice to his free-will creatures: having the knowledge of good and evil, which appears to offer elements of being wise, only introduces futility, which makes us exhausted to partake of life in the middle of our existence.

Adam and Even didn’t get it.

They listened to the voices screaming for self-improvement and pursued a knowledge which made them feel they were naked and vacant of the capacity to change their situation for the better.

Though many of my friends and even family members argue with me continually about television shows, movies, books and even blue-tinted comedy routines which offer a view on the bleak side of life, insisting that this is an element of maturity lending itself to greater understanding, I have to shake my head and say that the knowledge of evil does not make me a god.

It makes me a victim.

Jesus told us we should “be as little children.” So anything that comes before my eyes and into my heart which is not suitable for a child of eight years only ends up pointing out to me the deficit in my society, the weakness of my character and the vacancy in my soul.

Just like Eve, we are pressured into believing that we are deprived of experience by a God who refuses to allow us to explore our sensibilities.

But all that Adam and Eve achieved was a weirded-out feeling–that the things they had been participating in and enjoying were now somewhat dirty, nasty and needed to be hidden.

“Why do you think you’re naked?” says God to a frightened Adam.

Who told you and me that it’s “adult” to watch men beating up women? Or solid citizens losing their minds and becoming criminals? Or sexuality being reduced to the mere visualization of humping?

Yet this is what is chosen.

So on that day, whether completely truthful or partially a metaphor, when man and woman chose knowledge over life, two things became evident: (1) we, as a species, have to learn to escape evil to find the good and munch on life; and (2) a plan of salvation to light up the road to that discovery would be necessary.

Yes, Good Friday was a bad thing that happened because human beings thought it was possible to become gods through knowledge.

It is life that makes us powerful.

It is life that welcomes intelligence.

And life is always right there … in the middle of what we’re doing. 

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Mayberry Passion … April 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2205)

andyBeing the local sheriff in a tiny village in North Carolina demands a variety of skills. Sometimes a psychologist. On other occasions a fixer of bicycles for young boys. It always requires a smile and a kind word for those passing by.

Andrew Jackson Taylor just seemed to have been born for the position.

Most folks called him Andy. He was always available with a joke or a piece of sage wisdom, but could also offer the occasional warning to those who were flirting with disrupting the peace.

And recently that had become a prime concern.

Deputy Barney Fife, who was known for his nervous twitches, was agog with fear and was trying to warn Andy everyday that this new youngBarney Fife man who had come to town was causing a commotion which was about as close to a riot as the folks of Mayberry would tolerate. Matter of fact, Barney had been on the case of this fellow named Jesus ever since he had sauntered into town.

First of all, he had long hair, which was quite unacceptable to those who sported and required buzzed white-walls around the ears. Barney explained to Andy that Floyd, the local barber, was very unhappy, because many of the young boys in the town had begun to grow their hair long to imitate the stranger.

Jesus lived somewhere out in the woods, where he escaped late at night, only to appear early in the morning, chattin’ up the locals and joining in to the freshness of the day.

Goober came from the gas station to tell Andy how this young feller Jesus, had challenged him about putting water in Aunt Beethe gasoline.

The local sewing circle, led by Aunt Bee, in an attempt to be cordial and neighborly, invited Jesus to come and share at their monthly meeting. He created quite a stir when he decided to speak up against the practice of gossip.Gomer

Barney believed that this Jesus was anti-American because Gomer Pyle, after spending an afternoon with him, had decided not to join the United States Marines.

What really bothered Barney more than anything else was a rumor circulating that the Darlings, who lived in a holler down the road, had invited Jesus to a wedding of one of their young’uns, and word has it he brought his own corn squeezins’ that he had changed to moonshine.

OpieHonestly, Andy didn’t pay much attention to it, knowing that Barney was like a bear-trap with a spring too tight. That is, until he caught Opie fishing down at the lake with Jesus right after school, and didn’t much appreciate anyone interfering with his child. Jesus explained that he was just using fishing to teach the boy the multiplication tables, but Andy was not comforted.

Also when Thelma Lou was attacked by some of the local religious sorts for a reputation she had developed while living in Raleigh, this Jesus pointed out to the accusers how easy it was to have their deeds exposed, and that it might be a good idea for humans who live in stained glass houses not to throw stones.

Barney was even upset because Otis, the town drunk, had stopped drinking so much and didn’t frequent the jailhouse anymore. You just can’t mess with traditions.

But I guess it came to a head when Andy’s girlfriend, Helen Crump, who taught at the local elementary school, allowed Jesus to share withHelen the students a motivational message which ended up being “no one is better than anyone else.” It wasn’t so much that Andy disagreed with the idea in principle—just found it totally impractical.

So with all this ruckus being raised by this stranger, who most people believed must have come from Mt. Pilate, it fell Andy’s lot, as keeper of the peace, to take Jesus for a little drive down the road. He brought along with him a bus ticket and thirty dollars.

Andy explained to Jesus that it was nothing personal, just that it was his responsibility to maintain the dignity and order of this town, and that things just weren’t working out too well with young Jesus being among the citizens.

Jesus listened carefully.

About a mile outside town, Andy pulled the squad car over and handed Jesus the bus ticket and the thirty dollars, and told him he really wasn’t welcome in Mayberry anymore. Andy, being the insightful sort, suggested Charlotte—where there were many more people who just didn’t pay as much attention to one another.

Jesus took the bus ticket and the thirty dollars and climbed out of the car. He started to walk away and then turned and said, “I guess I’m finished here. I hope your memories of me, after a bit of time, will end up being pleasant.”

He waved, turned on his heel and ambled down the road.

Andy watched him for a few moments, and said under his breath, “What a peculiar fellow.”

He turned the squad car around and headed back to town.

It was date night with Miss Crump.

 

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