Salient … April 23rd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3651)

We called him “Denny the Dork” because we were twelve-year-old jackasses. He was socially awkward, walking around in a mental fog from the bog.

We could have been nicer, but when you’re twelve years old, nice is something you think people should do to you. It never occurs in your adolescent mind to be the initiator.

Denny was the equipment manager of our seventh-grade football team. If he had just brought water and taken care of the uniforms, he would have been fine. But Denny was inquisitive–what you might refer to as “an experimenter.”

One day Denny decided to replace the pads in the football pants with poster board. For some reason, nobody noticed while donning the uniforms–and after the practice, everybody arrived back in the locker room with extra bruises, and one kid had a dislocated knee.

When Denny’s act was discovered, he quickly explained that he wanted to learn the purpose of the pads, and thought the best way to do so was to remove them.

This made complete sense to him. It did not to the coach. Denny was kicked off the team and spent about six weeks coming to school early, to help the janitor clean the toilets.

Likewise, we have a lot of people in our world today who are determined to extract civility and kindness just to see what happens.

Is it curiosity? Is it a fear that goodness makes us all look weak and simpy? I don’t know. But because that emotional padding has been removed from our society, people are showing up bruised and broken.

Unfortunately, there is not one “Denny the Dork” to blame. All parts of our society–religion, business, politics, entertainment and even education–are permeated with the contention that dominating one another is preferable to accommodating.

We have allowed the jungle to be released, but unfortunately, none of us have the girth of the elephant, the tough hide of the lion, nor the universal survivability of the cockroach.

We are a vulnerable species that needs to be treated tenderly, or we break.

Yet there seems to be a competition to see who can be the “assiest hole” or the “assholiest.” (Yes, I think that second one fits it better, don’t you?People who act like asses but portray it is the holy mission of self-esteem they pursue.)

Yet in a room full of people who are crazy, suggesting mental instability is neither helpful or healthy. So today I stand as one soul speaking to you, saying that we have removed the padding which protects us from bruising each other.

It’s time to call ourselves dorks, and change this pattern.

So here is your salient moment:

You can’t make omelets without eggs, just like you can’t create a beautiful life without courtesy.

 

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Jesonian… February 18th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3222)

jesonian-cover-amazon

 

Christianity is not a religion–it is a lifestyle.

It is based upon the human example left behind by Jesus of Nazareth. Any attempt to build the Kingdom of God on doctrines, practices, rituals, worship, attendance, prayer, Bible study or fasting will flail, because the Kingdom of God is within us.

In other words, until we tap ourselves–our passions, our errors and get our questions answered–there really is no Kingdom of God.

Or maybe better stated, it’s a theory.

To emphasize this, Jesus told us that God is our Father.

Once we realize that He is our Daddy and not the smoke at the top of the mountain, an angry disciplinarian, the Force, or just karma, we can then predict what God’s reaction will be in situations due to His paternal instincts.

  • As a Father, He is certainly not going to plan our lives for us. Any dad who would do that would be considered a first-class asshole.
  • As a Father, He’s not going to give up on us, disown us, or throw us out in the desert with a canteen.
  • But as a Father, He will institute chores for us to perform–and by our faithfulness, evaluate our present mindset.

Jesus came to show us the Father.

We should be studying the life, ideas, tendencies and predilections of the Nazarene. Instead we focus on His arrest, trial and death.

In doing so, we attempt to divert the Christian message from being a revelation of the Father to a pre-destined, pre-ordained human execution in order to acquire blood atonement.

Actually, the crucifixion makes so much more sense when you realize that the Father was hoping his children would be more receptive–but still made a pathway of salvation for all of us through the courage and sacrifice of our elder brother, Jesus.

It is not that dissimilar to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament, who is thrown into a pit by his brothers, left for dead, only to redeem those same brethren in Egypt after he gained power, rescuing them from destitution.

Nothing good happens in the Christian church until we realize that the entire ministry of Jesus was about showing us the Father.

Even in the midst of the agony of the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

So if you’re wondering why religion is leaving you flat, and church seems redundant and meaningless, it’s because invented ideas have been passed along and given primary importance, while the congregation thirsts for the relationship with their Father promised to them by Jesus.

It is time for us to show Jesus to the community–so he can reveal the Father to all of us.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3169)

big-ball-of-twine

Just Jim Dandy

It is just Jim Dandy with me

If you hunt deer, rabbit, bear and flea

As long as you teach your children

That brothers and sisters with black skin

Are not niggers, jungle bunnies or monkeys.

 

Share your heart about your anger over abortion

As you visit the fatherless and the widows

 

Chat away about climate change and the melting of the polar ice caps

But please cease to refer to hard-working people who do not share your concern as “deplorable.”

 

Salute the flag, stand for the Star Spangled Banner and support the troops

Struggling with all of us to bring freedom and justice to every American

 

Choose to deny the existence of God and develop your own moral code

While honoring your neighbor nearby and the sanctuary where others gather to worship

 

Express your dismay over illegal immigration

While making sure your laments have nothing to do with race, religion or sexual orientation

 

Yearn for simpler times by keeping things simple

Joke about women and comically complain about men

Remembering that God in His Kingdom has neither male or female.

 

Make sure your belief is grounded in love

Your opinion has a little elastic on the edges

And decisions are merciful instead of final

 

Welcome to America!

Be yourself just short of being an asshole.

It’s just Jim Dandy to have you here.

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Confessing … October 31st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2739)

XXVI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Too much of a good thing.

No such creature.

However, there is a possibility of too much of my good thing. An overdose of my definition of “proper” and my code of appropriate behavior.

In my lifespan, I have seen morality change so often that I think we might want to consider writing the list in pencil. Finding what is unchangeable and humanly fulfilling is like searching for the pearl of great price in a desert of my misunderstanding.

Thus my problem with William.

We had the same Mommy and Daddy. I have been trying to confirm that we have the same Father.

I am not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination, but I see no value in traveling through this life making effort to love my neighbor as myself, comfortless from having a Friend who encourages me and believes in the same aspiration.

I really don’t care if He or She is imaginary as long as He or She is attentive.

William checked out of his life too early.

He was an excellent teacher who became despondent because he cared too much. The interesting factor is that after each one of us checks out of our lives, we no longer care about how we treated the “motel room” provided. Yes, there’s a danger of trashing one’s own existence.

About 25 years ago I decided to love William no matter what.

Hell, I was lousy at it. The reason for my failure is that even though I pursued unconditional love, I realized that humanly speaking, once that is determined to be impossible, we become obnoxious to those we intended to bless. Simply put, in the process of loving William, I had too many goddamn ideas on what William should be.

  • I thought it was helpful. It ended up being hurtful.
  • I thought it was ingenious. It was proven ridiculous.
  • I was never condemning. But I cannot truthfully say I was always consoling.

So for about nine months, I walked away from my relationship with William, giving him a chance to breathe air that wasn’t contaminated with my opinion.

The difficulty lies in the fact that William tends to alienate those souls who come his way, so after several months he recontacted me, figuring that a nosy brother was better than leading a faceless life.

So I’m off today to have lunch with him for the first time in over a year. I am scared and not ashamed to admit it.

I don’t want to be an asshole.

I don’t want to tread on his very thin ice, break through and drown us both.

So I confess to you that I am a caring person who realizes that caring is a dangerous thing. It only becomes valubale if the person receiving it has some place to tuck it away.

Confessing Bill

 

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Confessing … October 3rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2711)

XXII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

One of the dangers of doing noble deeds is the human tendency to desire to be treated with some nobility for doing so.

Of course, it doesn’t work that way.

During my years of living in Tennessee, I was party to beginning an orchestra in our hometown. It went well. Matter of fact, doors were opened so that we could offer an entertaining and enlightening musical program to the local elementary schools using a small ensemble from the larger body.

This project was so successful that we were invited to present these programs at ten elementary schools in the Roanoke, Virginia, school district.

We were thrilled.

The first day we did four schools and everything went well. At the end of the second day, we were finishing up our program when a teacher in the back of the auditorium began to gather up her children like little chickadees in preparation to take them out to the bus for departure.

We were at the height of the most important part of our communication with the students, and in my pridefulness, I became incensed at her insensitivity. So as soon as we finished our last note and took our bows, I immediately stomped over to the young woman and confronted her over what I considered to be an egregious error on her part–ignoring our work merely to prepare her children.

I was not foul or mean, but very confrontational–and I did it in front of the students.

She was shocked, offended, and immediately went to her principal to “tell on me.”

So by the end of the day, the principal of the school had contacted our sponsor and informed him of my breach,. Meanwhile, I was being reinforced by my own team, who told me I was being “honest and brave, sticking up for myself,” in dealing with this lady.

So long story short, the sponsor of our event was so thrilled with what was going on that he forgave my indiscretion and we continued the school concerts without any further furor.

Matter of fact, to this day those closest to me would consider me to be justified. That young teacher probably marks it as the day she was accosted by an asshole.

What is the truth?

The truth of the matter is, true beauty does not need praise.

Excellence can continue to thrive minus applause.

And the message will get through without us over-promoting it.

I was wrong.

I was wrong to accost a young woman, no matter what her motivations were. My job is to work on my own motivations.

I was wrong to do it in front of her students, and I was wrong to take a pass simply because I have enough talent that people are afraid to confront me.

Have I ever been so overwhelmingly egotistical and defensive again?

I suppose I have.

But I have taken the time to put a hole in that tank of ego and let it gradually drain out onto the ground–where it belongs.

 

confessing teacher

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G-Poppers … May 22nd, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2588)

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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