Catchy (Sitting 58) Sand Building…. July 22nd, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Shifting.

A gradual erosion of confidence among the populace about the once-favored “Jesus movement.”

It was difficult to know where it started. Perhaps this loss of faith was just a trait of the human race–just no longer able to tolerate goodness.

Although folks insist they are in pursuit of “peace on Earth, goodwill toward men,” they still continue to huddle around the television set to hear of wars and brood over body counts.

A movie–a parody–was released by Hollywood, entitled “Dullsbury.” It was supposed to be a gentle poking of fun at the Soulsbury experience. The premise was that the government and the elite of New York decided to isolate all of the “stupid people” and place them in a huge camp in Upper State, telling them they had won the lottery. For some reason, it didn’t occur to the “winners” why the settlement was called “Dullsbury” and had streets named “Retard Lane” and “Brain-Dead Boulevard.” Yet attempting to maintain some sort of evenness, the Hollywood ending to the motion picture was that many of the people who deemed themselves to be intelligent packed up their belongings to go live in the simplicity of Dullsbury.

But the message was clear: good is cool, but bad is hot–and the majority of the American people like their burritos caliente.

Things were further complicated when Michael Hinston was indicted on suspicion of breaking campaign finance laws and taking a bribe.

Jasper also ran into problems on his comedy tour. In trying to explain the evils of racism, he used nasty words like “nigger, chink and wetback,” causing an uprising leading to cancellations. Liberals everywhere denounced his offensive terminology.

Not to be outdone, Jubal was recorded at a rally in Egypt saying that “it was up to the Israelis to come to the peace table in good faith, and compromise.”

He was immediately dubbed anti-Semitic. He refused to retract his statement, and so became the subject of great debate on talk shows.

It wasn’t an uprising–it was a deterioration.

Like so many things that happen in life, it simply took the steam out of a heated movement and turned it lukewarm.

The two surviving graces were Jo-Jay and Carlin. Both stayed faithful to the cause. Jo-Jay kept marching in the same direction with her boots on the right feet. And Carlin continued to counter the cynicism and scandal with humor and humility.

But pretty much single-handedly, he took on the brunt of communicating the mission with little reinforcement coming from anywhere–especially Las Vegas.

Matthew completely checked out–whatever interest or intrigue he once had for the project was gone.

He pursued a love affair with an oboist. He studied her. He played her. He leaned his feelings in her direction.

Day and night he thought of new ways to pleasure her in the bedroom, and when he wasn’t thinking of sexual techniques, he was remembering the ecstasy he felt when he was in her arms.

He was smitten.

He was old enough and smart enough to know it wasn’t love. He certainly could have called it by that name, but he knew it was actually an advanced dose of infatuation, mingled with personal affection.

But it was all about the sex.

Over the past year, Matthew had indulged in so much intercourse that he had forgotten what it was like to be sexually entwined–what it meant when someone kissed you deeply without fulfilling a checklist, racing toward orgasm.

The relationship between Matthew and Leonora would have been perfect if they never had to leave the bedroom. But even though the joy between the sheets was exhilarating, both of them struggled during their conversational times to make it seem purposeful, or perhaps, meaningful.

Interaction was awkward–especially since Jasper and Soos had dropped in, and it was obvious that Leonora possessed a hostile profile toward all things divine.

Matthew was not so inclined. He didn’t hate God–he just wished that God would move to the other side of town, and not frequent the neighborhood shops. He didn’t want a world without God, but he wanted no God in his world.

Unfortunately, he felt compelled to follow the energy of Leonora’s atheism. To compromise, he stopped taking all phone calls from his cohorts on the front lines of the Jesus campaign. It was his way of tipping his hat to Leonora’s aggression, without shaking his fist at the sky.

Carlin, realizing he needed to have contact with Matthew, flew into Las Vegas. But even though they found themselves in the same building, Matthew was careful to avoid placing them in the same room.

There was no meeting. There was no agreement.

Carlin felt that the weight of the calling shifted to his shoulders, and he was ill-prepared to play the part of “Chief.”

In despair, frustrated and angry, Carlin headed back to the airport to return to Washington, D. C., to meet up with Jo-Jay and try to find a way to still “go into all the world” and share the Gospel.

As Carlin stood in the security line at the airport, two gentlemen in black suits, white shirts and black ties approached him on his right and left sides.

Lefty whispered in his ear, “Would you please come with us?”

Carlin looked to his right and then back to his left and realized he was wedged between two mountains of male humanity. He thought it best not to make a scene. He was led down the thoroughfare, through a door. A private jet stood ready.

Safely out of the airport, Carlin began to struggle with his captors. They were too strong. He shouted, but the roar of the jet engines covered his screams. In no time at all, the two hooligans physically lifted Carlin and carried him up the air steps and into the Learjet.

They dumped him into a large, comfortable seat.

Carlin quipped, “I sure hope this flight has a meal. So far the service sucks.”

 

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Dudley … March 16th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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DUDLEY

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Good News and Better News … May 2nd, 2016

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Konnoak Hills UMC Good News

Our clothes get dirty.

When this happens, we check our GPS and head off toward a local laundromat.

It is always an adventure–we certainly encounter some intriguing human beings.

Jan met a woman who was frail, lying on a bench, who told her that she had spent the night in a hospital ward, taking chemotherapy. She explained that she needed to eat something but was not really hungry.

Jan pressed the point and offered to buy her a meal. The lady described in detail a certain entrée just down the road at Bojangles that she might be able to choke down–mentioning that she would want the selection with extra hot sauce.

So Jan and I trekked to Bojangles to procure the treat.

Why? Did we do it because we thought the woman was in need of nourishment? Were we convinced that this little action of mercy was a way to convey love and affection to this frail child of God?

Absolutely not. We did it for us. For after all, to do anything else makes you feel like crap.

Let’s understand something–people who are lost are horrible.

That’s why they’re lost. They’re not “partly good and partly bad.” They aren’t following five of the Ten Commandments. They are often selfish, liars and wiling to do almost anything to get their way.

The truth is, you have a choice in life: you can work or you can con. If you don’t want to work, you’ll probably end up conning.

Anyway, back to the story: we brought the chicken, gave it to the lady and left her alone to enjoy her delicacy. A few minutes later she was gone. (I asked Jan to do a sketch of her just so we would have the memory. See below.)

We have to remember what the purpose is for hope, faith and love.

We’re not hoping the world becomes a better place, that our faith will produce miracles, or love will change the planet.

Hope, faith and love abide. That’s what the Good Book says. They abide because they really don’t solve problems–they just prevent us from becoming part of the mess.

Hope gives me the confidence to get up every morning thinking I can actually accomplish my mission.

Faith embraces me with the belief that I am not alone–what I do and say matters.

And love is my doorway to escape hate because hate sucks.

When I went to the church on Sunday morning–Konnoak Hills United Methodist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina–this was fresh on my mind.

Such beautiful people with wonderful stories, who are constantly being bombarded with the concept that the world is changing at a breakneck pace, so they’d better grab onto the caboose or be left at the station.

Hogwash.

Right now in our country, “crazy” thinks it is the boss. It’s time for us to rise up and share the good news:

  • Shouting is loud, not smart.
  • Popular is advertised, not quality.
  • Anger is mean, not strong.
  • Cynical is frustrated, not clever.
  • And atheism is the absence of hope, not evidence of intellect.

I gave my faith, hope and love to the folks yesterday morning at Konnoak Hills. That’s the good news.

The better news is that I hope they’re smart enough to realize that the lost we are trying to reach can never be virtuous enough to please us.

It’s up to us to bring the heart, soul and patience to the matter.

 

Good News Winston Salem

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G-Poppers … November 20th, 2015

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Jon close up

If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C.

It is the only part of geometry that G-Pop seems to have retained.

It is called a syllogism. It is deemed to be valid–a valid syllogism.

It’s the kind of reasoning which allows us to make the necessary comparisons between things on earth which invite the pursuit of common sense.

G-Pop has spent the last week observing the raging tides of conflict which seem to tug at humanity from different spectrums, while simultaneously offering very little solace.

For we are given the option of religion, which often turns us into regulated bigots, with no compassion for those aroud us; or we are tempted with atheism, which insists there is no need for a God when we have the function of our conscience and intellect.

G-Pop just wants his children to understand that neither one of these hovering haunts offer any true sense of what it really means to be human. So please consider:

A. All human beings share a common planet.

Unless you plan to dominate the entire world, forcing it to submit to your will, you will find yourself situated in a compartment with other travelers, needing to share baggage space and conversation.

B. We do not naturally care for each other.

I suppose atheism would be a tantalizing possibility if human beings actually did have the will power to follow through on their whims. But since we don’t seem to be able to avoid eating the cake we renounced a few seconds earlier, it is safe to say that we won’t give enough attention to those around us who are screaming for space.

A life without God appears to be bold until you realize the limitations within yourself.

C. Human beings need a steadfast encouragement for participating and including one another.

G-Pop will not argue the point that religion does not grant the oil of understanding to generate the engine of mercy. But neither does atheism give us the impetus to continue to forgive the erratic behavior of others without becoming cynical and jaded.

So since A equals B: in other words, we share a planet, but don’t naturally care for those who share it with us

And B equals C: not caring for those around us means that we need some sort of special mentoring,

Then A equals C: human beings who are sharing a planet are benefited by believing there is something larger than themselves, which lovingly encourages them to co-exist.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that religion, like atheism, is just a different way to reject a loving Father and a path to mutual understanding with our fellow-humans.

Be careful–the greatest danger is believing that an extreme can ever turn into a legitimate compromise.

 

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G-Poppers … October 23rd, 2015

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Jon close up

G-Pop is a wee bit concerned.

His children are once again choosing up sides, sniffing out the dogma of their favorite political party and barking out beliefs.

Issue by issue, debates are offering a collage of opinions with no real respect for the central issue that should permeate the hearts of all humanity:

Are we killing people?

Nothing progresses until we stop killing:

  • No financial campaign is worthwhile if there’s a death toll.
  • No honoring of traditions or regaling of the Constitution is noble if we’re filling up body bags.
  • The central issue of the human race is learning how to talk to one another instead of pulling a knife, citing some righteous motivation.

For 16 years, two Presidents from two different parties have ruled and reigned in this country.

Even though G-Pop is sure that each one could present a resume of his efforts, in the long run, one of these men began a sermon of death and the other has trailed behind with his own chorus of “amens.”

President Bush and President Obama have both pursued a fruitless campaign of irreconcilable mayhem in the Middle East, which has paralyzed this country with the preoccupation that we are a superior military power–as we continue to lose battles. Not since World War II has the United States been part of a full-fledged victory through military conflict.

So we must cease to believe that the Republicans are good because they stand for God and the Democrats are evil because they allow for atheism. And we also must realize that merely taking stands on social issues or giving health care to the masses is of little use if we’re taking the children of the poor and placing them in harm’s way in a foreign land.

G-Pop will tell you why he believes in Jesus: Jesus angers both Republicans and Democrats.

In one moment, Jesus forgives a woman caught in adultery, infuriating the right.

In the next moment, he refuses to give money to the poor, insisting that it’s a never-ending process which should be pursued with wisdom rather than wild abandon, causing every liberal to object tearfully.

Jesus had one central theme: “I have not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

So the same Jesus who believed that “those who live by the gun will die by the gun” also contends that children are sacred and reflect the beauty of heaven.

Just as little ones should not be killed at their elementary schools, we should also find a way not to kill them in the womb.

Obviously, this approach pisses off both campaigns.

So G-Pop challenges his children to escape the futility of joining a side to instead pursue a purpose:

1. Is there any way to consider all the facts before we start following the fad?

2. Is there any way to favor one side in this particular case without offending the other permanently?

3. Can we move forward without rejecting what we know is true for the human family?

There is only one issue in the next presidential campaign: what is the best way to stop killing?

As long as we’re killing, no matter how noble we may feel our mission, we have become the enemy of the One who created us.

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Jesonian: It’s Just Church … May 10th, 2015

 

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church without walls

Each of us has a social lifestyle, a business profile and a religious inclination.

The difficulty we face is when we fragment these into three different campaigns.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to look on the church as the scratching of our religious itch.

We tend to get our social lifestyle and business profile from the world around us. So two-thirds of the makeup of the average Christian is forged in the world instead of the philosophy of Jesus.

To further complicate matters, the religious system seems completely incapable of sharing Jesus’ ideas on social lifestyle and business profile. Instead, the church focuses on salvation and heaven.

Therefore, the interest we have at any given moment in salvation and heaven becomes our intensity and intrigue about God.

Obviously, we are more intent on expressing our social and business profiles, so eventually our religious inclination yawns, climbs into bed and takes a nap.

So ministers scratch their heads, trying to figure out why people are leaving the church.

It’s because it’s difficult and almost psychologically impairing to constantly think about the crucifixion of Christ and streets of gold. What kind of person would you end up being? Some sort of fruitcake, heavy on the nuts.

So the more honest-minded humans, who don’t want to be hypocritical, abandon the church and try to find satisfaction for their religious yearnings in everything from Oprah Winfrey, to self-help books, to, ironically, even atheism. (At least atheism gives you something definitive to believe against.)

So what is the Jesonian?

It is the knowledge that Jesus gave us a social lifestyle, and even though there are many tenets to it, it is best summed up with the wonderful phrase: “To he whom much is given, much is expected.”

Jesus gave us a business profile: “Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Stop making excuses and keep evolving toward excellence.

And certainly Jesus gave us the spirited lifestyle goal of “loving our neighbor as ourself.”

While the Church of Christ may be concerned about baptism by immersion, and the Pentecostals may tout the significance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Jesonian is concerned about immersing ourselves in the lifestyle of Jesus.

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Jesonian: Strict July 20, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

parchment

Strict compliance to Judaism and Mosaic Law means you find yourself dependent on “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Strict reverence to Mohammed and the Muslim faith requires an acceptance of the superiority of men over women and a mission of conquering the heathen to win them to the faith.

Strict understanding of Buddha is the suppression of pleasure in favor of neutralizing passions in order to achieve your enlightenment.

Strict allegiance to atheism eliminates any supernatural inclusion in one’s life.

Strict respect for democracy means that the majority is always ruling.

Strict interpretation of communism is the sharing of all things in common, pursuing social and financial equity.

Strict following of Jesus means to love your neighbor as yourself, not to resist evil, don’t judge and receive mercy by giving mercy.

They aren’t all the same.

They aren’t equal

They aren’t reflections of one another.

I have made my choice.

 

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