Jesonian: Judgeless… May 24th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2590)

jesus and mary magdalene

At an early age, I awoke from a theological nightmare, quickly realizing that Christianity was not about relating to a composite of Moses, David, Abraham, Joseph, Jesus and the Apostle Paul, but rather, an intriguing study of the personality and character of a Nazarene carpenter, who became a philosophical, healing Redeemer.

I dubbed this pursuit Jesonian.

One of my earliest revelations in this quest was that Jesus did not judge.

This was not an assessment on my part or a consensus of his actions. He said it.

“I do not judge. If I did judge, it would be righteous and fair, but I do not judge.”

To confirm this, he dealt with Herod the Great, who as the story goes, was guilty of killing babies. Infanticide. Yes, it is said that Herod slaughtered all the children two years and under in Bethlehem. Jesus never mentions it.

Jesus also coexisted with the Romans, who arguably might be considered the most hedonistic and cruel dictators of all time. His response concerning them was, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”

He was criticized for befriending tax collectors, who were traitors to their Jewish brothers and also thieves, levying extra penalties without legal right. He welcomed them as disciples.

He constantly had to dodge the attacks of the Pharisees, who had turned spirituality into an exercise for profit and gain. He told his disciples to “honor their position, just don’t follow their doctrine.”

And of course, his response to sexual immorality was to rescue a woman who was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned by the tenets of Mosaic Law. He snatches her from death, forgives her and gives her the opportunity to “go and sin no more.”

He further enraged the pious prudes around him by saying that the prostitutes would enter the kingdom of God before the religious leaders.

So surrounded by baby killers, hedonists, injustice, cheats, liars and sexual immorality, Jesus decided not to judge.

Stop and think about that.

You see, it’s not that I don’t have opinions.

It’s not that prejudices don’t scream inside me for justification.

It’s the fact that my example–Jesus–felt no need to judge the world nor condemn it, but instead, quietly offered a lifestyle alternative which he died to validate.

 

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Confessing … May 23rd, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

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III.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

My dad liked cashews. Honestly, I think most people like cashews unless they’re cursed with some sort of peanut allergy. Certainly, his chubby eleven-year-old boy loved them.

My father was of an old-world mind, which believed that the patriarch of the family should be given special consideration and gifts greater than his offspring. So whenever we went to a restaurant, I would be allowed to order the chicken in a basket while he munched on T-bone steak.

Likewise, when my dad bought a can of cashews, he opened them, took out a couple and then hid them in the drawer of his desk. He did not offer any to me because they were expensive and I was just a kid.

When I asked him for a cashew, he said, “Little boys eat popcorn. Daddies eat cashews.” (Candidly, popcorn is very good unless you’re aware that cashews are within a three-mile radius.)

So every time my dad walked away from his desk to do an errand I would sneak in and steal from his can.

At first I tried to limit it to one or two cashews and attempted to “nibble” on them to extend the pleasure. Yet I think you will agree that cashews are better consumed in handfuls.

Pretty soon I found myself taking four, five, ten…twenty.

I looked into the can and saw that it was obviously depleted so I shook the can around, trying to plump them up to look like more. Unfortunately, I continued to eat them and “poofing” became impossible.

So I took the can out, dumped the cashews on the desk and stuffed Kleenex in the bottom, then placed the cashews back on top, trying to make it look like a full container.

But my appetite did not subside.

Soon it became obvious that there was Kleenex sticking out from among the cashews, so it became necessary to take a drastic step.

I ate the remaining cashews and then took the empty container and buried it in the back yard, careful to NOT remember where it was located so that when my dad asked me if I knew where the can of cashews was, I could truthfully say “no.”

He did ask.

I lied.

He didn’t say anything.

I don’t know if he stopped eating cashews or just found a better hiding place. But I was always ashamed of both my gluttony and my deceit.

Even as I write this today I wonder what selfishness would cause me to be equally as much a liar in my dealings with others.

I hope I would either ask for cashews or buy my own can.

Because even though I buried my sin in the backyard, for many weeks afterwards … it cried out to me.

 

cashews

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G-Poppers … May 22nd, 2015

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G-Popper

G-Pop scoured his memory.

His oldest son had asked him what he thought about David Letterman retiring. G-Pop was trying to remember a quote he believed to be from Cher. Yes, he was pretty sure that Cher was the one who referred to David Letterman as “an asshole.”

It was a pretty strong conclusion.

Actually, Letterman was not an asshole–he was a smartass. A smartass is someone who is so insecure about being dumb that he will act like an ass to prove he’s smart.

Yeah, that pretty well sums up David Letterman in his early years.

The trouble with a smartass is that he may accidentally end up conveying a jaded or negative approach about life around him. He believes that profile to be the definition of humor.

Time marches on.

Yes, some pain entered the life of David Letterman:

  • There was the pain he saw of 9/11.
  • There was the pain he inflicted with a sexual scandal with staffers.
  • And there was the pain he felt when he was confronted with heart problems and had to have bypass surgery.

When you come out of the pain, you want to stop the pain. You don’t want to be the cause ever again.

David Letterman became more comical as he got older. But when he lost a little bit of his “asshole,” he also dropped in the ratings, proudly ending up in the trailing position of three late-night hosts.

But he learned. Humor is pain diverted. Diverted where?

To a common human understanding.

To comprehend David Letterman, you had to be willing to be silly. You had to cast sophistication to the side in favor of sheer joy.

Because silly is where mature people go to laugh at the pain. 

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Three Ways for Me to Promote My New Book, “Within” … May 21st, 2015

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within promo shot

It is too easy to be vain.

To be vain, all you have to do is pretend like you’re able to accomplish something that other people can’t, and then continue to harp on it until everybody wants to kill you.

I wrote a book.

It’s my 12th book. By the way, it is no better than having laid 12 bricks or cleaned 12 rooms at a motel or succeeded in working a 12-hour shift.

It’s what I do.

Writing a book is thrilling because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. What follows writing a book is not such a pleasant experience–because at that point I have to find a way to get people to purchase it and read it.

Just because one is a writer does not mean that one is a marketer.

So when my book arrived last week and I held it in my hands, I realized that possessing my book was not the goal of writing it. The goal was to get my book out of my hands and into the hands of other people without annoying them so much that they declare me “vain.”

So I came up with three ways for me to promote my book, “Within.”

1. Remember why I wrote it.

It’s easy to forget, you know. If we’re not careful, we all forget the important stuff because we get overwhelmed by the dumb stuff.

I wrote the book because it seems to me that somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that we’re human. Being human is neither a divine nor a devilish proposition. I wanted to clarify that.

Then, I wanted to simplify the language into accessible “people talk.”

And finally, I wanted to rectify the mistakes of religion and secularism by filling the vacuum evacuated by the absence of a creative Father.

So that’s why I wrote it. I’m feeling better already.

2. Don’t be afraid of reactions.

After all, there really is only one bad reaction: “It was nice.”

If people are either moved to joy or distressed, and it leads to thought, then I have achieved my purpose as a writer.

I must be unafraid of criticism. I’ll work on that.

3. Tell somebody something to help someone.

Yes, I must be willing to tell somebody that I wrote a book.

It is a courageous step. I must risk that the person might think that I’m over-promoting. But if I don’t tell somebody, then the something I put in the book can never help someone.

  • Can I overcome my timidity?
  • Can I escape a fear of being rejected?

Truth of the matter is, if I can’t, I will probably have a whole lot of books sitting in my corner, never distributed to anyone else.

So here’s my announcement:

I have a new book. It clarifies, simplifies and rectifies some of the situations surrounding being a human. It’s not very long, it’s easy to read, it’s cheap–and it is available.

You can check out the details below.

Do I hope you will purchase it and read it?

I hope you will do what’s best for you, and in the process of doing so, might consider my humble offering.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … May 20th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2586)

PoHymn May 20

A Guest At My Own Funeral

I would love to attend my funeral

If I didn’t have to be terminal

Listening to what people say

When it truly is my grave day

Wondering if they would “rock it out”

Or sob like babies, whining some doubt

About the way they treated my feelings

In all the fussy personal dealings.

Would their tears make me cry?

Or eulogies contain some lie?

About my festering needs

Instead of “me more noble deeds”

For dying lasts a good long while

Stuffing in your butt–a painted smile

Please someone let loose and weep

Get good flowers, don’t go cheap

Prove that I was your favorite me

Make me more than I appeared to be

Because I’m meeting God on high

He knows my what, where, when and why

Send me off with words so kind

And ignore the occasions I lost my mind. 

 

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Cracked 5 … May 19th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2585)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Possible Names for Churches or Religions Founded by Women

A. Rutherans

 

B. Breasbyterians

 

C. Womenites

 

D. Muslins (Women of the Cloth)

 

E. Panticostals

 

clapboard church

 

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The Alphabet of Us: X is for Xerox … May 18th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2584)

Building block X

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

“It was my idea.”

A very popular sentiment. Most people enjoy believing that they are powerfully creative, needed and intricately involved.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

Yet when the sense of uniqueness eliminates the ability to receive counsel, take advice, observe excellence and improve your situation, then it is a dangerous piece of stubbornness that can leave you desolate.

So how do we know when we should “go solo” and when we should collaborate?

Growing up, I was introduced to the Xerox machine. It was nearly a god in my world. Having escaped the rigors of mimeograph and carbon paper, we suddenly were able to create a copy of something by pushing a button.

Of course, Xerox machines are nearly extinct today. With all the digital possibilities, the old apparatus has been slid into the corner.

But the need to copy valuable material still exists.

So how do we know what we should Xerox in our lives and what is required to be an original presentation?

1. Copy what is clear.

There was always one rule of working with a Xerox. If you started off with an original that was unclear or fuzzy, the Xerox would be even worse. I often nearly despair over the realization that as bad as politics and religion are today, the “children” of those practices will be worse.

2. Copy what is important.

There is no need to have two of something that’s meaningless. That goes for Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Establish the quality and integrity before you start spitting out duplicates.

3. Don’t copy a copy.

It’s one of the problems we have in religion. Rather than using Jesus as an example in the Christian faith, we are settling for commentaries and doctrinal books to establish our faith.

They are copies. And when we copy a copy, we end up with a third generation of confusion.

It is important to copy.

Over half of who I am is based upon the wisdom I’ve attained through watching.

Please remember that wisdom is not possessed nor contained. It is acquired through continuing to learn, updating your files and mingling that information with your own experience.

Human beings are meant to be creative, but we’re also intended to be Xerox machines, which copy what is clear and important, making sure we commence our emulation … by honoring the original.

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