Untotaled: Stepping 16 (October 2nd, 1965) 64-0 … May 31, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Catholic kids had all the advantages.

That’s why, when I looked on our football schedule for the year and saw that Barker Academy was on October 2nd, I was really pissed off.

Being raised in the Midwest, I was not really favorable to Catholics in the first place. I didn’t know why–just something I inherited and was infused in me during my training by my family and community.

I kind of think we hated them because they had money. (It’s ironic that we hate other people for having money as we desperately pursue getting money. Maybe it’s the classic case of self-hatred.)

Barker Academy didn’t have any more players than we did. Matter of fact, we out-weighed them and seemed to have even cuter uniforms.

So when the game started and I lined up in front of a 150-pound kid wearing wire-framed glasses covered with black tape, peeking at me through his battered helmet, I nearly giggled. I was almost double his size and certainly not wearing such ridiculous spectacles.

Yet when the ball was hiked on the first play and I found myself knocked on my backside as the running back dashed past me, forty-five yards for a touchdown, I realized that this little Catholic boy was going to have to die.

I tried everything–overpowering him, tricking him, even tried to trip him a couple of times–all to no avail.

At the end of the first quarter, when we were behind 28-0, fear crept into my bowels. Those ugly glasses that donned his face now seemed to posses the power to destroy.

So in a fit of desperation, on the next play I hurled my body over the line, knocking the kid over, grabbing onto the leg of the running back, only to procure his shoe in my hand as he ran fifty-two yards for another score.

In some desire to prove my value, I carried the boy’s shoe over to the bench to show my coach that I was making a valiant effort. He just stared at me as the referee retrieved the footwear and whistled for play to continue.

I played both ways. That means I was on offense, too. Did I happen to mention that we had none?

It was almost like Barker Academy not only knew what play we were going to run, and had figured out a way to foil it, but had also rehearsed dances and jigs to taunt us every time they threw us for a loss.

Shortly before the first half was over, I ran to the sideline and in deep exasperation, I screamed at the coach: “We need a better defense!”

He gave me that gaze you often see on the countenance of a serial killer, and then rethought his murderous ways, hearkening back to his training of a Bachelor of Education Degree from Ohio State University, and yelled back, “We don’t need a new defense! We just need you to defend!”

It was a good point, though it made me pout.

The second half was no better than the first half. It was the longest two hours of my life, as Barker beat us to a pulp, 64-0.

For the next two weeks, I woke up in a cold sweat almost every night, being chased by those ugly wire-frame, taped glasses.

I know it is appropriate, at this point in a story, to share what I learned from this experience, or to bring it to some sort of hopeful conclusion.

I have none.

The only thing I can tell you is, as I walked off the field, I swore to myself: never again.

 

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G-26: Splitting the Adam … May 30, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2249)

entwinedThe entire balance of Planet Earth is based upon the texture and interaction of men and women. This is not an overstatement.

When the Creator placed a man and a woman in the garden of his pleasure, He called both of them “Adam.” He viewed the pair as a single unit–no preference of one over the other, no stronger and weaker sex. Just one flesh.

So every attempt made to promote an agenda by ripping at the fabric and intelligence of that balance is detrimental to the well-being of the world around us.

Think of it: even though the first man and woman found themselves in a pickle, were cast out of their home and ended up with two children dead to them–one through murder and the other through exile–they stayed together.

It might not happen today.

For after all, we tell people they have too many choices and we fail to promote the power of persevering with one another.

And because the first man and woman stayed together, they had a third child named Seth–and it was Seth and his offspring that ushered in some sanity to our lives and also caused humans to start calling on their Creator for wisdom.

Nothing will be accomplished until we regain the unity and purpose of men and women coexisting and laboring together.

May I make some suggestions? What would help men become better partners with women?

1. Stop using politeness and chivalry to cover up the assertion that women are weaker. The reason chivalry is gone is because it was propagated in an era when women were sold like horses. The best thing to do with a lady is to ask her if she needs assistance or if she’s fine on her own.

2. Encourage by appreciation, avoiding flattery, without allowing women to make excuses.

3. Stop lying.

Likewise, may I suggest three things that would make the female journey with their male counterparts more fluid?

1. Never talk beyond the present saturation point. Be patient. Curiosity will grow if you don’t persist in demanding attention.

2. Play to strengths while being curious about the source of weaknesses. Once again, there’s a power in just asking why a man chooses to avoid some task instead of assuming he’s either stupid or diminished.

3. Stop lying.

As you can see, mutual respect is necessary to create a world where we don’t “split the Adam,” focusing on one sex over another.

Be careful.

I do not necessarily believe there’s a conspiracy against men and women in our society, but equally dangerous is a redundancy which promotes an irreparable breach between the sexes.

If our Creator insists we’re equals … who are we to argue? 

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A Third Option … May 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2248)

Maple Avenue UMCThe summer is nearly upon us so it is time once again for conclaves, church camps, seminars and conferences, where the more religious of our populace will gather to consider the questions of the day which plague the faithful.

There is an “unsettling” in the religious system.

Yes, we have baffled Baptists, muddled Methodists, petrified Presbyterians, confused Catholics, puzzled Pentecostals, mystified mega-churches and leery Lutherans.

All of them are trying to separate the sheep from the goats, but are finding out that the real problem is separating the sheep from the sheep. For within our congregations we have those who are literal and those who are lateral.

The literal souls believe that even if the Good Book speaks only on a few occasions on a certain morality, that it is important to enforce it as church doctrine and apply it across the board, to all individuals.

The lateral believers contend that the most important parts of the Good Book need to be honored over obscure passages which hinder the execution of love and forgiveness.

So the literal people turn to the lateral people and say:

If you accept that the Good Book does not accept you as you are, I can accept, as you repent and gain acceptability.

The lateral contingency comes right back and replies:

Accept me as I am, even though your beliefs don’t accept what I do. Then I believe that because you accept me, that you are acceptable.

Most church leaders have found that this problem is insurmountable. They think their denomination will have to go one way or another, and that a schism is nearly inevitable.

So let me pose the question: is it righteous to speak against something we find morally wrong, or is it more righteous to support people as they are?

If you will allow me, I choose to ignore that question, and offer a third option to both literal and lateral. It’s quite simple.

1. Read the Gospel.

Preferably the Sermon on the Mount.

2. Let it settle.

Let’s be honest–none of us are immediately smart. We need time to absorb.

3. Talk about it.

As you chat, realize that for every point you make, the Good Book has an annoying way of offering a counter-opinion, just to keep things lively.

4. Leave people alone.

Yes, this is a Jesonian idea.Let the wheat and the tares grow together, because we aren’t good at separating the truth from fiction.

5. Love and live.

If you find yourself leading with a desire to love people instead of instructing, you will find that living is much easier for you in the long run.

6. Let the Spirit do the work.

That’s why we call it Holy.

So this is an option to avoid exploding the Kingdom of God because one group is literal and the other is lateral. It is not your decision.

Let the Spirit do the correcting and leading.

 

 

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Populie: Judeo-Christian … May 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2247)

three symbolsOne of the most popular lies being actively promoted today by politics, religion and entertainment is the validity of the term “Judeo-Christian.”

It works on the basis that Jesus was Jewish. Was Jesus Jewish? If he was, he certainly wasn’t very good at it.

He constantly ignored their traditions, broke the Sabbath rules, cleansed the temple of avarice and then turned around and told them it would be torn down, prophesied of the demise of the Jerusalem hierarchy, frequently flaunted that his message superseded that of previous patriarchs and ended up informing them that their “house was left to them desolate,” as they toted him off–not to a ceremony presenting to their favorite son the key of the city, but rather, to nail him to a cross for being anti-Semitic.

It’s not a strong case for Jesus wanting to continue the traditions of Abraham, Moses and David–especially in deference to the children of Ishmael in the Muslim faith.

A quick look:

  • Concerning Abraham–Jesus told them he was around before Abraham and that God could take stones and make children of Abraham.
  • Moses–Jesus let them know that the ideas of Moses were “old men thinking” and that he had fresher insight.
  • David–he refused to be called the son of David, insisting that David, in the Psalms, referred to him as Lord.

So you can see, he dispelled all notions of being the fulfillment of a wish list from Judaism.

Concerning the Muslims, he mocked the idea of praying five times a day by saying that such an action is filled with vain repetition, and he refuted the idea that men were superior to women by including ladies in his ministry and by forgiving the lass caught in adultery, granting her a second chance from a stone-throwing crowd.

The driving force behind “Judeo-Christian” is the fact that because the Jews were dispersed in 70 A.D. from their home in Palestine, therefore of the approximate fourteen million which remain in our world today, mainly come from a background of Europe and America.

In other words–white.

If Jewish people were actually brown and looked Arab, we would be much less likely to include them in the inner circle of our spiritual brotherhood. But since Judaism does have this European or American flavor to it, we are much more likely, in our bigoted state, to welcome them.

It doesn’t make it right.

And also, politics, religion and entertainment love “Judeo-Christian.” It allows them to pull out obscure passages from the Old Testament to use when they want to pursue violence or greed and they find the Sermon on the Mount to be a bit “pansy.”

Jesus was born of God and woman. This is why we contend it was a virgin birth. If so, it ignores the lineage of David.

Jesus rejected that the Jews were chosen people and that the Muslims were destined to spread Sharia Law across the whole world. He taught that “no one is better than anyone else.”

Listen very closely: without alienating our Jewish brothers and sisters and our Muslim kindred, don’t you think it would be helpful to have a Jesonian approach to Christianity, which separates itself theologically, while still embracing the other religions of the world, emotionally?

As long as we promote “Judeo-Christian,” Muslim extremists will strap bombs to their bodies to blow the hell out of our idea. I am not guaranteeing you that the children of Ishmael and the children of Isaac will ever get along.

But it won’t help if the children of Jesus … pick a side.

 

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Quatrain of Revolution… May 27, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

American colonial flag

 

My reservations

Your realization

Our revelation

Amazing resolution

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My Story … May 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2245)

my storyFinishing up my time with the outstanding souls of Bluffton, Indiana, I mentioned in closing that it was very important that we try to remove our “opinions” from our daily outreach with our fellow-man.

One lady lodged a light objection by saying that she felt it’s essential that we share our story.

Oh, so true.

We must share our story–but we must learn that there’s a difference between our story and our opinion and even our story and our religion. If you’ll allow me to break it down:

1. My story.

What I’ve seen and heard. Nothing more, nothing less. If it’s in the boundary of my experience, I should feel free to share.

2. My opinion.

What I’ve heard, but not necessarily seen. There are rumors going around all the time, and we are tempted to adopt these ill-founded notions as fact. Matter of fact, we become excellent at convincing ourselves they are true. Now, there may be truth to them, but they are not part of our journal.

3. My religion.

What I’ve decided everybody should see and hear. Now, religion doesn’t have to be religious. It’s just some book, philosophy, lifestyle or practice that we have convinced ourselves is more regal than any other available ideas. Therefore, we begin to judge humanity on whether they have adopted our preferred practice.

So you can see the problem. When people mingle their story with opinion and seal it in a tomb of religion, they become less and less universal in their approach.

Yes, I will tell you–I have become and will continue to become a better person as I keep my spirituality to my own walk, my opinions to myself and allow my story to do the speaking for me.

Otherwise, opinions and religion just separate us–and such a breaking of fellowship always leads to conflict and war.

So on this Memorial Day, let me leave my wreath of peace at the doorstep of your heart, and just end by saying, “This is my story … and I’m stickin’ to it.”

 

 

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Jesonian: Three for the Road … May 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2244)

churchThe weakness of religion is that it draws people to the ceremony of worship instead of the heart of God and empathy with their fellow-humans.

You can read it all through history. The same complaints that Jesus had toward the religious system of his day hold true two thousand years later with our particular derivation.

But honestly, it does little good to complain about religion, politics or immorality if you don’t have a solid idea as to what will work, and a pathway to the door of understanding.

In becoming a Jesonian follower instead of a typical Christian, who is constantly stirring the Old Testament with the New Testament in an attempt to keep peace, three ideas have to be placed in primary position, as the dictionary for defining the terms of our faith:

1. God created the earth without form–and useless.

Yes, kind of a mess. So He could work on it. God is a builder, not an apartment manager. He likes His universe and He likes people because we’re both fixer-upers.

2. God created people for companionship.

He already had angels to worship Him. He was already well-served. He had no intention of running our lives or even devising plans for us to discover in the midst of our confusion. Granting us free will, He gave us the ability to both walk toward Him and walk away from Him with equal dimension.

3. God created nature as a balance–an even playing field–and also as an environment for humans to take responsibility for, as their home.

Environmental issues are not “liberal” or “conservative.” They are spiritual.

I must candidly tell you, until these three ideas become our spirited journey, there will be a sensation of being lost instead of found.

It is the Jesonian way of looking at life:

  • God is a Creator.
  • I am His friend.
  • The earth is our home.

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