The W Word … July 9th, 2019

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THE

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WORD


The W word that should never be spoken or written again is:

WORRY

It is a self-proclamation of great concern that has been hollowed out by the need to feel important, even when others require the greater attention.

It is often spoken as a prayer, but never contains belief.

It is delivered with tears, but rarely lifts a finger to help.

It insists on something being done while languishing in self-pity.

It is irrelevant—mainly because it fails to acknowledge that to do nothing is to get nothing.

It is ignorant.

It pretends to be involved—but proves “to study nothing is to learn nothing.”

And it is arrogant.

Feel nothing.

Be nothing.

It is nothing surrounded by sentiment.

It is fear in a climate that demands love.

It is a series of carefully worded statements that never form a legitimate thought.

A great man once said that we should never worry. He also went on to say (and I paraphrase):

“Don’t worry about tomorrow. Hell, today will probably kill you.”

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Cracked 5 … July 3rd, 2018


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The Reason Fireworks Make a Lot Of Sense for July 4th

A. They make a lot of sound but not much sense

 

B. They sparkle but quickly fizzle

 

C. You can blow things up

 

D. “God Bless America” doesn’t sound quite so arrogant

 

E. They’re cheap

 

 

 

 

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3 Things… December 21st, 2017

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To Remember About the Classic Christmas Movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

1. In the end, Mr. Potter remains a mean-spirited thief and liar

2. Uncle Billy is as dumb as a rock and has no business being in business

3. Mary Bailey has learned how to be successful in a world filled with arrogant, demanding, whiny men

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Good News and Better News… March 27th, 2017

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In the midst of the morning prayer at the First United Methodist Church in Port Saint John, Florida, I peeked from my bowed-head position out at the congregation. It was a small gathering.

The church as a whole has been losing folks over the past few years. We could probably do a whole article on that subject, but let’s just work on the basis that there is an “exodus of the chosen people.”

So the denominations step in–Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, Pentecostals and the like–and offer their remedies to try to plug the dike of leaking souls. The answers they come up with are rehashing of former traditions or speculation on how better to use social media.

What they fail to consider is that church is dying because the reason for church has been crucified.

  • Church is for people.
  • People are the church.

When the church does not relate to people, but instead, makes some arrogant attempt to reach God through vain repetition, then people run away to brighter prospects for encouragement and a chance to access their better selves.

People often ask me if I am anti-church. Quite the contrary. I think church is our last bastion of hope to retrieve community among all living creatures.

It’s just that we need to be willing, for a season, to be awkward.

We don’t know what we’re doing.

We don’t know how to reach people.

And we certainly cannot figure out a way to escape our vague practices to translate them into real “soul food” for the everyday consumption of our brothers and sisters.

And for those who have left the church–citing hypocrisy, boredom, indiscretions and scandals–I must say to them: well, it certainly doesn’t bother you that your politicians, your entertainers and your movie stars are riddled with unholiness.

We need people who feel awkward about returning to church to join with those who are awkward about being in church, to laugh and cry their way about coming to church.

Folks, it’s gonna be ugly.

But yesterday morning I watched beautiful, insightful, gentle human beings come together with two strangers and create fellowship in an inspired, clumsy way.

It made me cry–it can be done. But we need to get our heads out of religion and our eyes on the prize of finding new ways to love one another and repent of our foolishness without shame.

The good news? It’s just like when we were learning to date in high school and survived our feeble attempts, to eventually end up in a relationship.

The better news is that if we stop trying to be godly, and just start looking for the goodness that has been placed around us, we literally can become a community of faith that “comes, communes and creates unity.”

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … November 5th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

The following conversation is a bit of stagecraft conceived in the mind and heart of this author. It was not an actual event, but rather, a speculation on a possibility based upon existing information, tendencies and personalities.

Man: I was surprised you took my call.

 

Woman: Why would you be surprised?

 

Man: I thought you might be a little afraid to talk with me.

 

Woman: Why would that be?

 

Man: Well, since we’ve been at each other’s throats for the past six months, I figured you might be a little terrified to have this private conversation.

 

Woman: You see, that’s your problem. You think I’m a woman and therefore incapable of mustering the courage to handle the everyday situations that come to all of us no matter what our gender may be.

 

Man: No, I don’t feel that. I just see weaknesses in your character, which I plan to exploit to get what I want.

 

Woman: Well, I guess I can say at least you’re honest about your dishonesty.

 

Man: Where am I dishonest?

 

Woman: I wouldn’t know where to start. Your portrayal other humans, your disrespect for women, your bombastic and arrogant approach and your loose handling of the facts.

 

Man: I just believe in winning. Because until you win, you don’t control anything. Losers don’t even get a vote. I see you as a danger to our country. I see the administration you had with your husband as bringing disgrace to the Presidency, and I’m fully aware that most people don’t like you and by the way–no one has hired me to be your public relations agent.

 

Woman: That’s fascinating. Because I see you as dangerous. I see you as having a mouth minus the intuition to know how dangerous words can become–especially when you’re crossing international borders and dealing with grouchy cultures. I have made my mistakes, but at least I’ve been somewhere–where I was able to make the mistakes and learn from them.

 

Man: I don’t like mistakes. I don’t like making them and I certainly don’t like admitting them. But it’s not because I’m prideful–it’s because in the business world–or let us say, the real world–showing weakness is opening the door to disaster. I believe you to be weak. I believe your ideas weaken our nation. And I’m not so certain that you can stand on your own and separate yourself from the crowd, and make quality decisions without being influenced by people who have already proven themselves to be anemic.

 

Woman: Why do you hate women?

 

Man: I don’t hate women. I love women. I just don’t think they’re magical. I don’t want to lift them up, but instead, would love to see them fight back. If they’re equal, then they should have to prove they are. It shouldn’t be a gift. We shouldn’t try to bring down the standards just so women can pretend they can compete. So what I do is I make things strong enough for a man. Then if a woman can measure up, great. If she can’t, she–or in this case, you–need to be exposed for having willingness with no power.

 

Woman: But there is a danger of having the assumption of power without having the willingness to be merciful, kind and tender.

 

Man: We’ve got preachers and nuns to do that. It’s not up to the President of the United States to become a missionary. Your desire to reach out to people may be interesting but if there isn’t a climate of peace, prosperity and strength, it will never be accomplished, because all the bad guys will be whipping your ass.

 

Woman: We just don’t agree on this.

 

Man: No, you just don’t want to accept the way things are. You see, you’ve lied. I lie, too. But what I lie about doesn’t matter that much. When you lied, because you had a position of authority, people got hurt. People got frustrated. And now they’re mad as hell and they’re just not going to take it anymore.

 

Woman: So you think you’re going to win this?

 

Man: No. I think you’re going to lose it. I think you’re going to cling to all your loyalties, to your husband and the President and be swept away because you don’t have one goddamn fresh idea of your own.

 

Woman: You see, ideas are meaningless if they don’t make things better. And those ideas take us back to a time when the status of your bank account and the color of your skin thrust you to the front of the line.

 

Man: There wouldn’t be a front of the line unless we needed a front of the line. Somebody has to lead. If you think there’s racism in this country, you won’t solve the problem simply by putting black people in charge of things. People need to get used to things instead of having them forced on them. Maybe gay people should marry, but you didn’t leave that up to the folks. You would never let them vote on it. You just decided for them. And they will get even with you.

 

Woman: There you go. Threatening. You don’t have a campaign. You have a series of ultimatums and doomsday proclamations. Even if I didn’t want to be President, I’d have to run just to stop you.

 

Man: You can’t stop me because the people don’t want you. They don’t want four more years of the same stuff–where they have no say and are made to feel ignorant because they disagree with a bunch of liberals hanging out in country clubs.

 

Woman: So was this the purpose for your call? Are you trying to get me to give up?

 

Man: No. This is my way of apologizing. It isn’t standard. I’m apologizing because I have to destroy you to do what’s right for this country.

 

Woman: And I suppose that means you expect me to destroy you to win the title.

 

Man: You saw Rocky, didn’t you? That’s the way it’s done.

 

Woman: You see, Donald, that’s your problem. You think all of this is a Hollywood movie instead of the life and death of our future.

 

Man: And you, Hillary, think anyone would really care about any of this stuff if it isn’t entertainment.

 

Woman: Shall I say thanks for the call?

 

Man: You’re welcome. And may the best man win.

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Jesonian: There Is Truth … November 22nd, 2015

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It was during the trial that Pilate asked Jesus if he was a king. After all, to some degree, the flaming uncontrollable human ego yearns for kingship over something.

Jesus said he had “come to bear witness of the truth.”

A cynical, jaded Pilate responded, “What is truth?”

And may I say, ever since then, it has been the mission of pseudo-intellectualism to establish the precept that truth is both illusive and expansive. In other words, “there’s your truth and there’s my truth.”

Therefore, the human race has done little to progress itself beyond the wheel and the microwave oven.

I’m here to tell you today that there is truth. If you find my discoveries to be worthy, you should take that list and go see if you can find these elements of truth in the Christian faith, the Muslim faith, Judaism, Hindu, the Republican platform, the Democratic platform, or even the mission statement of your local government.

Here is the truth I believe to be constant:

1. You and I are part of eight billion tourists with a temporary visa, on a planet where we are aliens.

2. Nothing is thought, dreamed or acted out in a vacuum. All my actions affect you and all yours intervene in mine.

3. Thinking ahead and learning from what has been discovered is the definition of Earth Logic.

4. Maintaining respect for nature and honor for our fellow-travelers determines our fate in the process of natural selection.

Four simple points on which the entire foundation of Earth-life is dependent.

If we think we own anything, we become wicked landlords.

If we think we can be ourselves without respecting the wishes of others, we become terrorists.

If we contend that life is built on destiny rather than our free-will choice to plan, we cripple ourselves in the march of progress.

And if we think the earth will allow us to continue to be arrogant, unfeeling and unaware of our surroundings without stepping in to eliminate us, we are total fools.

I can’t always find these four truths in the religious system–but I can go to the Sermon on the Mount from Jesus and find all four.

This is why I believe in the Jesonian–the heart of Jesus.

And it is why the truth does make us free. 

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Good News and Better News … September 14th, 2015

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Gooe news Reedsburg

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding.

I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

Yesterday morning, I was in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Since your travel plans probably don’t have you going there in the near future, let me tell you that it is a quaint, Midwestern town and that my experience was delightful and insightful.

I found people who still possessed an inspirational ilk.

They believe in the belief of believing.

They still contend that belief stimulates the joy of true believing.

Let me tell you a little bit about them:

1. They don’t want to give up.

Even though they’re fully aware of the dangers of our society, they insist that there are still many ways of escaping the insanity, while still recognizing reality.

2. They hope there is a God.

They are not so arrogant as to stomp around the room, insisting they have been to Mt. Heaven and had dinner with the Divine. Their expression of confidence lies in a hope that a Heavenly Father is still working with human beings.

3. They want to do something.

It’s not so much that our generation is lazy, as that we are paralyzed with fear and mocked by those who are convinced that nothing can be done. “Give me something to do” is probably the best five-word phrase that can fall off the lips of any human being. That doesn’t mean we don’t trust God or believe in His grace–it’s just our simple way of thanking Him for sending mercy our way.

So even though I found these Reedsburg folks to be delightful and insightful to my life, I was very pleased to bring them even better news.

I told them:

A. God wants to be human

God has no desire for us to become more religious, more heavenly or even more angelic. He came to Earth in the form of Jesus to make it clear that He loves human beings and wants to see if we can learn how to do this better.

B. God knows we are all made of heart.

We had several breakthroughs yesterday–they were all emotional realizations, not scriptural translations. We are creatures who add to our faith by feeling, lest we become boring and discouraged.

C. If you share your life, miracles will follow.

Certainly some of the best parts of the service yesterday were when people opened their mouths and their life poured out. God doesn’t want us to be perfect, God wants us to be honest.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stop-off in Reedsburg. I hope they did, too. And I hope they remember … no amount of prayer to the heavens is equal to a simple conversation and confession to one another.

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