Three Ways to Make a Friend Last…April 23, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2569)

old friends

Merely relying on affection to maintain a relationship will exhaust the closeness.

It takes more than that.

For after all, human passion ebbs and flows. If you want to make sure the person you care deeply for is around for a long time, you need to instill values that incite longevity.

  1. Remember what your friend says and likes.

The quickest way to terminate a relationship is to stop listening to the preferences of your acquaintance. People make it clear what they like. People make it clear that they want to be heard. If you’re aware of what people enjoy because you listen to what they say instead of assuming that you know better, you greatly increase the potential of maintaining good fellowship.

  1. Remember to listen for a question before offering your opinion.

Sometimes people want to vent, not hear your sermon. A sounding board does not require a microphone. In other words, often in a friendship you are a pair of ears which purposely has closed up your mouth.

Only when people ask a question and inquire of your insight should you offer an opinion.

This is why our children can never be our friends. We must instruct them even when they don’t want to hear what we have to say. But our friends are not our children. We must grant them the respect of asking instead of being told.

       3. Remember to forget.

One of the more beautiful parts of repentance is the ointment of forgetfulness that is served up to complete the healing. No one ever truly heals until they press ahead to new projects which take them further and further away from the pain.

A friend should always let you–or even help you–create distance from your latest stupidity.

Anyone who constantly reminds you of your failures or warns you to be careful all the time is taking you out of the best aspects of your game and sidelining you as second string.

But until we remember what our friend likes, to only offer an opinion when asked, and to forget the mistakes that have crossed the path, we will lurk as an adversary instead of an advocates. 

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Published in: on April 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant…April 22, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2568)

Pohymn April 22

Just Ten

I found myself with ten

While waiting for my friend

So instead of getting weary

And thinking something dreary

I conjure up the good

Where should meets would and could

To celebrate a blessed day

Which is beamed to me along the way

For I am the great partaker

When I deny my inner faker

And decide to be real

Risking the pain to feel

For joy is never far

Even sitting in my car

Discovering a reason to create

An excellence to emulate

It’s just too easy to give up

While you’re waiting to fill your cup

And conclude there is no more

Thus life is such a bore

So rejoice, O Soul of mine

While waiting for a sign

Wonders will never cease

And miracles always increase

When I show up believing

The doors open to receiving

So I will be on my way

But this ten made it a better day.

 

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Published in: on April 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cracked 5…April 21, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2567)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Other Names (Perhaps Better) For Tornadoes

1. FunnelKooks

 

2. WhirleyBrutes

 

3. WizzingtoOz

 

4. Oklahomers

 

5. Twizzlers

 

tornado

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Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Alphabet of Us: T is for Truth (and also Timing)… April 20, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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buildling block T bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

I couldn’t make up my mind.

I was torn between truth and timing for this week’s “T” word in the Alphabet of Us. So at length I declared a tie.

But then, as I sat down and thought about it in preparing to write this essay, I realized the reason I had such difficulty in making a selection is that the two work so harmoniously together that separating them seems to be an injustice.

First, let me start off with a couple of definitions:

“Truth is what I have learned thus far.”

Since I am neither God nor privy to all of His personal thoughts, it is ridiculous for me to walk around espousing doctrines that are not totally my own experience. This definition of truth also leaves the door wide open for further discovery.

“Timing is what I’m ready to do.”

Once again, not what I wish to do or even feel compelled to accomplish, but what has settled in my soul as truth, which I am prepared to share in some articulate form.

I’m not so sure that life is the pursuit of truth, but rather, the acceptance of it.

Because denying the truth we have experienced in favor of the truth we espouse soon turns us into hypocrites. We convict ourselves to a prison with no escape.

Likewise, choosing the wrong time to enact our plan or display our gifts can be the classic case of “pearls before swine” and “giving that which is holy to the dogs.”

So life becomes simple.

“Let me figure out what I’ve learned thus far, and then, having that inventory, let me decide what I’m ready to do to promote this goodness.”

If we begin to believe that truth exists outside ourselves, we either become too prideful or too frightened.

If we choose the wrong timing to follow our dreams, we can quickly lose faith and have our hope turned to despair.

Do I know more today than I knew yesterday?

Absolutely.

But only because I used the truth I had acquired and applied it with the correct timing.

 

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Jesonian: Lost… April 19, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Oliver begging for food bigger

The shepherd did a quick sheep-head count before leaving the corral. He was taking them out for an experience which eventually ended up in the wilderness.

Other sheep-herders were critical of him, insisting it was better, safer and more logical to keep the sheep cloistered and free of danger.

But this particular shepherd thought it was prudent and necessary for the sheep to stretch their legs, and in so doing, experience things outside their own barn.

It was an exciting journey.

There was a wolf here and there, standing at a distance threateningly, but the shepherd quickly scared them away.

It was near the end of the day–time to go back and rest. That’s what a home base is for–to get food, fellowship and rest.

So the shepherd faithfully did another head count, only to discover that this time he came up with ninety-nine.

One was missing.

This was not acceptable. Any loss of any sheep for any reason can never be considered “collateral damage.”

So the shepherd made a bold choice. He decided to leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, feeling they had enough experience to survive for a few minutes, and went out to find the lost sheep.

As it turned out, the sheep got lost because it took a left turn when it should have taken a right, and in no time at all, found itself isolated from the contact to which it was accustomed.

The shepherd picked up the lost sheep and brought it back to the herd.

Unfortunately, several members of the sheep herd were disgruntled and upon arrival of the lamb, they listed their grievances. They expected these concerns to be addressed before total inclusion was achieved:

  1. Why did the shepherd leave them in potential danger to get the lost sheep?
  2. Where had that sheep been?
  3. Why had he left the flock?
  4. What steps going forward would be necessary to make sure this sheep was in submission with the will of the congregation?

The shepherd looked over the list and then burst out laughing.

He said to the gathered ninety-nine:

“I left you because I trained you to be strong, not weak. There are ninety-nine of you against one wolf. You should be able to handle yourselves. And as to the motivations of the lost sheep, or the weaknesses that may be involved, they are just flatly none of your damn business. All that matters is that your comrade–your fellow-sheep who was lost–is now found.”

Even though there were still some misgivings among some of the flock, the strong shepherd making it clear what the motivation was for this herd caused everyone to accept the lost sheep, and in no time at all … its errant path was forgotten.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 63 (October 18th, 1970) Three… April 18, 2015

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Jane, Mike and Diane.

Three people.

Please remember their names. I will get back to them shortly.

Leaving Buffalo, Dollie and I had much to talk about on our way to Ohio. We had decided not to abort our child, but that particular determination did not take away the problem we were facing upon our return.

How do you tell people who are already disapproving of your relationship that you’ve lied to them about a pregnancy, and that the baby is due in about 3 months?

We tried to be mature.

It was very difficult.

We wanted to pretend a little longer, hoping we could gain some acceptance, and then spring it on people at the last moment.

But we decided that the parents needed to know, and that we would let it flow from there.

We tried to get hold of Dollie’s parents but they refused to take the call. So we wrote them a letter, explaining that Dollie was pregnant.

When we sat down with my mother, she shook her head, whimpered a little bit, and then told us that “she figured there must be something like that going on.”

We then told the pastor and his wife, and once those floodgates were open, we tried to inform everybody we knew as quickly as possible–before it became the grist for the gossip mill.

It didn’t take long.

Within 4 days everyone in the community was aware that we were in the process of having a baby out-of-wedlock. (It didn’t seem to matter that we were now married and were trying to make the best of the situation.)

The general consensus was that “they already knew,” they wished us well, and they were pretty well certain that our relationship was doomed.

There were three folks who stepped out of the pack, and to this day I remember their courage.

Jane was a friend from school who decided to come over and give her support to us. I don’t know why.

Mike, one of the guys who used to be in my singing group, continued to talk to me at church, sing with me from time to time, and never gave up on our closeness.

And Diane, my sister-in-law, stepped in the gap and let Dollie know about a doctor to visit, who would help her through the final 3 months of the pregnancy and the birth.

They were shining lights in the presence of dimness.

I would never want to portray that the people of our community were mean, nor that they were wrong in their assessment of our situation. It’s just that their form of evaluation left us out in the cold, without the warmth we needed to find our escape from the iceberg we had created.

It was a lonely week. I shall never forget it.

It often comes to my mind whenever I am encouraged by others to alienate individuals who may have fallen from grace. Reminding errant souls of their sin is similar to going to a dermatologist for treatment for your acne, and having him repulsed by your complexion.

We needed more than mercy–we needed some human tenderness.

Had it not been for those three souls who stepped in the gap to be grace to us, we might have turned completely sour, never to return to faith again.

From that point on, I wanted to make sure that I always found myself as part of the “chosen three.”

 

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G-Poppers… April 17, 2015

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

G-Pop settled into a comfortable chair, grabbed the remote and readied himself to watch a movie that had been recommended to him by his son.

Granddaughter came in and struck up a conversation.

Granddaughter: What’cha watching?

G-Pop: It’s a movie your dad said was really good.

Granddaughter: Cool. Can I watch it with you?

G-Pop: Uh…no, I don’t think so. It’s a grown-up thing.

Granddaughter: Why do people always say that? What do they mean by “a grown-up thing?”

G-Pop: Well, it means that there are parts in the movie that are very grown-up and should only be seen by adults.

Granddaughter: Why is that? What would those be?

G-Pop: Just things that you don’t need to see right now because you’re not ready for them, and adults might find interesting or entertaining.

Granddaughter: Like what?

G-Pop: Well, like a murder mystery where they show you the murder and it can be pretty violent.

Granddaughter: Yeah, I get that, but is it interesting or entertaining to you–to see somebody murdered?

G-Pop: It’s not that the murder is entertaining. But the story that goes along with it can sometimes be intriguing…

Granddaughter: What does intriguing mean?

G-Pop: Well, it’s another word for interesting.

Granddaughter: So what else? Because I’ve seen people killed in movies.

G-Pop: I understand that. But sometimes the way they’re killed is pretty, well.. you know. Bloody.

Granddaughter: So do you like blood?

G-Pop: Once again, it’s not that I like the blood. But sometimes that scene, being really strong, makes the story more interesting.

Granddaughter: I don’t understand.

G-Pop: Exactly. That’s why you shouldn’t be watching it. Because you don’t understand.

Granddaughter: So you watch it because it’s interesting, and even though you don’t like the bloody scenes, you watch them anyway because you want to follow the story. Is that right?

G-Pop: Kind of. But it also has other grown-up things in it.

Granddaughter: Like what?

G-Pop: Somehow I knew you were gonna ask that. Well, bluntly, like romance.

Granddaughter: You mean kissing and stuff?

G-Pop: And lots of stuff. Stuff you don’t need to see right now because you need to be living the life of a girl instead of a woman.

Granddaughter: Do you like the kissing and stuff?

G-Pop: I suppose so. But it is grown-up kissing and stuff. It’s not the kind of kissing you have in your Disney movies. And before you ask, I would not know how to explain to you what grown-up kissing and stuff is. You have to talk to your mom and dad about that.

Granddaughter: I’m not trying to interrupt you, G-Pop, but are you saying that you watch the movies with the violence and the kissing and stuff and you kind of don’t look at that stuff very much and only put up with it so you can get the story. Is that right?

G-Pop: Sorta.

Granddaughter: So do you like some of the violence and the kissing and stuff?

G-Pop: Well, I filter some of the stuff out and I take some of the stuff in.

Granddaughter: How do you do that? Doesn’t it all get in your brain?

G-Pop: I suppose it does, but then I kind of push the stuff out that I don’t want and let the other stuff stay.

Granddaughter: You can really do that? I can’t. If I see something bad it sticks in my mind. It must be part of getting to be a grown-up–figuring out how to chase bad stuff out of your head.

G-Pop: I suppose.

Granddaughter: Well, thanks for talking to me. I won’t bother you any longer. Enjoy your movie.

Granddaughter left the room.

G-Pop sat for a long time. He thought about his movie. Then he began to wonder if he really needed it. He was watching it to kind of prove to his son that he was still cool.

So did he want to see it?

Did he want more violence in his life?

Did he want additional images that he had to kick out, that tried to hang onto his memory?

He couldn’t decide. But time had passed and other things needed to be done.

G-Pop left the room.

 

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Published in: on April 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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