Catchy (Sitting 30) Visiting Hours…January 7th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3545)

Jo-Jay’s memory of her past two weeks was like a jigsaw puzzle dumped out in a dark room. There were moments when she was almost able to connect thoughts, but then, as she described it, a dark cloud would come over her consciousness, stealing the information.

She was certain of three things: she woke up in the middle of the Amazon jungle, she was rescued by missionaries, and somebody named Joshua was a son-of-a-bitch.

Jubal and Matthew listened patiently, but were unable to garner enough story line to pursue any solution. Jo-Jay was still weak from her bout with disease, and agitated over being abducted, abused and thrust to the point of death.

There was a fourth thought which she shared with Matthew and Jubal. She believed Michael Hinston was involved in some sort of conspiracy against the “Carlos Revival”–that’s what the press was beginning to call the movement which was quietly sweeping the nation. Some had referred to it as “Jubal-ation” but Jubal was careful to play down the silliness, while trying to bring to the forefront what could be accomplished simply by believing instead of cursing.

“So what do you think Michael’s got to do with this?” Matthew asked with a furrowed brown.

“You don’t believe me,” squealed Jo-Jay. “I can see it written all over your face. Do you think I’m crazy?”

Matthew reached for her hands but she pulled away. “I don’t think you’re crazy,” he said. “I just think you’ve been somewhere you never intended to be which led to you getting a disease nobody knows anything about, which took you to the brink of death. So yeah. I guess you’re allowed to be a little eccentric.”

Jubal stepped in to soften the conversation. “I think we should listen to her. I think she’s got a story in her mind and if we hang around long enough, we’re gonna get all of it.”

Matthew was pissed. “Oh, you do. So you think we should sit here and listen to a person who’s just come back from the dead explain to us in a common-sense way the logic we should pursue.”

“You’re such a little shit,” said Jo-Jay.

“I’ll have you know I’m a big shit,” Matthew retorted.

Jubal laughed–not because it was particularly funny, but he thought laughter might tenderize the moment.

Jo-Jay swung her legs over to the edge of the bed. “I’m telling you. There’s something about Mikey, Joshua and something else called the CLO that’s just not right.”

Jubal leaned forward and asked, “Why would these people care? What difference does it make to them? Why would anyone try to hurt you simply because we’re off here goofing around with the Gospel?”

Matthew chuckled. “Now there’s our title. Forget about this Carlos Revival thing. ‘Goofin’ Around with the Gospel.’ We should go with that.”

Jo-Jay would not be deterred. “You guys can joke all you want to. You didn’t wake up with a snake kissing your cheek.”

Matthew frowned. “Do snakes kiss?”

“With lots of tongue,” said Jubal, laughing at his own joke.

Jo-Jay reached for a glass of water and nearly drank it dry. “I don’t know what to tell you fellas. I think we’re all in trouble. After all, if we knew what trouble was, we would avoid it. It’s trouble because we never know what it is, right?”

Matthew smiled. “You know, I came close to understanding that. Listen, Jo-Jay, I never particularly liked Mickey. Or Michael. But I don’t believe he would do anything to hurt you.”

Suddenly from the doorway came the voice of a new visitor. Standing there, in a three-piece suit, with a bright red tie, hair slicked back, holding a bouquet of roses, was Congressman Michael Hinston. “So why don’t you like me, Matthew?”

Matthew was stunned. Jubal, anticipating a violent reaction from Jo-Jay, moved closer to her bedside.

“Speak of a son-of-a-bitch, and there he is,” she said breathlessly.

“Well, this is awkward,” said Michael. “Actually, I was just coming to pay my respects and see how you were doing. But I sense that I am not welcome.”

“Who is the CLO? Who is Joshua? Why are these people trying to stop us? What’s wrong with what we’re doing? How did I end up in the Amazon jungle? And why, for the love of God, are you standing here in my room?”

Jo-Jay spouted her array of questions. Michael turned to walk away, but Matthew stood quickly and grabbed his arm. “I guess this is how she wants you to pay your respects,” he said.

Michael turned, and with great sincerity, responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have my own opinions on what you guys are doing. I think it’s foolishness. I think it’s going to upset the wrong people.”

Jubal stepped forward. “And who are the wrong people, Congressman?”

“You are very young,” said Michael. “To you, everything is black and white. It’s not really that way, you know. I thought when I came to Washington I would be involved in compromising. Most of my time is spent attempting to thaw out frozen thinking, so that maybe a single drop of inspiration can be achieved.”

“What a crock,” said Matthew. “And what an attempt to avoid this issue. Jo-Jay thinks you’re dirty. Are you dirty, Congressman? Michael? Have you hooked up with some really bad dudes? Did they pay you well to betray your sister?”

“My sister?” asked Michael.

“Yes,” Jo-Jay said. “That’s what you used to call me in college. We were all brothers and sisters.”

“We were also constantly drunk,” Michael inserted. “So I can’t really be certain what I felt one way or another. But I’m here–something tugged at my heart to come and see you, wish you well.”

Matthew walked over to the window and stared out into the night. “This is just crazy. Think about it. The guy who Jo-Jay thinks might have put her in a jungle prison which nearly took her life is now standing in front of us–and we’re trying to discuss whether we got too drunk in college. Yes, Michael–you are a politician. You have learned to avoid the truth at all costs.”

Michael turned and looked at Jubal. “You know, you do look a little like Jesus. Not the Jesus people would be comfortable with, but probably the way he might have looked when he was here on Earth. If he was here on Earth. There are many schools of thought.”

Jubal patted Michael on the shoulder and said, “Many schools of thought. But faith demands that we all graduate to some sort of belief.”

Michael stepped back. “I don’t like where this is going,” he said. “My common sense tells me it’s time to go. If I may leave the flowers–by the way, they’re not poisoned–and just wish you…Well, wish you all well.”

Jo-Jay stood to her feet for the first time, wobbling to the side and falling into Jubal’s arms. She regained her footing, stepped forward and pointed her finger at Michael’s chest. “I know who you are. And as soon as I figure it out…”

She paused. Michael was waiting for a conclusion, and when it didn’t come, he looked at Matthew, then at Jubal, hoping for further explanation. He shook his head, then patted Jo-Jay’s shoulder. “Get well. Sickness is a crazy thing. I remember when I had kidney stones. I thought the devil was in the room, whispering in my ear.”

Jo-Jay leaned forward, nearly fell again, held up by Jubal. She whispered, “Maybe that devil is still talking to you.”

In the midst of a very tense moment filled with uncertainty and the unpleasant smells of a hospital surrounding, a bright-spirited nurse’s aide entered the room, announcing, “I’m sorry. Visiting hours are over.”

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … March 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2883)

PoHymn See Me Standing

See Me Standing Here

Does anyone see me standing here?

All alone, please draw near

I lack the will to strongly insist

Embrace my story and bring your twist

For lonely is never just being alone

But watching your soul turn into stone

Let me hear you speak a thought

Share the things you’ve been taught

Then linger for an extra space

Don’t rush away to join the race

I’m frightened, you see, of all that’s me

And me is all I ever see

Open my eyes to what is wise

Remove my mask and ugly disguise

Yes, I fool myself into believing

There is little power in receiving

So sweet and salty leave my taste

With sour and bitter the remaining waste

So I’m in here, hidden beneath the frown

Yearning for an up to displace my down

Please glance at me before you leave

Pardon this prisoner, grant a reprieve

God cannot give me what humans impart

Your flesh touching mine

Is what heals my heart.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… October 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2722)

Is Not

Is Not

Screaming is not talking

Believing is not living

Quoting is not accepting

Hoping is not doing

Laughing is not joy

Praying is not hugging

Learning is not applying

Thinking is not feeling

Liberty is not freedom

Apathy is not consent

Working is not creating

Money is not wealth

Failings, not mistaken

Looking is not seeing

Having is not listening

As a kiss is not a caress

Following is not loyalty

Humility is not timidity

Patriotism is not nationalism

Knowledge is not wisdom

Yet God is love.

 

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Good News and Better News … September 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2692)

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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WITHIN

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Three Ways to Know a Change is Needed … March 26, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2543)

John Mayer with guitar

Many people are afraid of change because it risks their dollars.

They’ve grown so accustomed to a procedure which gives them a minimal satisfaction that they’re frightened to move from an unfulfilling position to a new possibility.

The first thing you have to remember is to get rid of the guilt when you find yourself stuck in the mud. Guilt tends to lead us to one of the most unfruitful human profiles: defensive.

Once we’re defensive we put up our walls and become impenetrable. There’s no shame in being stuck in a rut as long as you don’t spin your wheels.

Here is a clue–a change is needed when we either believe that no God is necessary to aid our human development, or that there is no human effort required to aid and assist God.

Either way, you’ve created an extreme which leaves us unfulfilled and basically looking for a way to be nasty to one another.

There are three simple questions to ask when determining whether a change is needed:

1. Have people stopped thinking?

Yes, it is possible to be in an environment where thinking is discouraged or is thought to be sacrilegious because it challenges some holy principle that must be honored without question.

If we don’t allow ourselves the ability to reason together, we start reacting. And when we react, we fall prey to our own moods, instead of the moving of spiritual renewal.

It was one of Jesus’s favorite phrases: “What do you think?”

Without thinking we react–from ideals which may or may not be part of our true conviction.

2. Have people stopped believing?

Our rendition of believing in the religious system, and even our secular corridors, is repeating. We have somehow convinced ourselves that the more we repeat traditional attitudes or platitudes the better off we are and the more we are expressing true faith.

Remember: “Faith without works is dead, being alone.”

In other words, merely repeating what we think should work without seeing the fruit born through our belief is not only futile, but ends up being the true definition of fatalism.

3. Have people stopped feeling?

When we forbid ourselves the ability to let our hearts be involved in our spirituality and let feeling enter into what we believe, we end up with a lifestyle that is just reacting to the stimulus sent our way. That’s not what we’re meant to do.

  • We’re meant to be doers.
  • We’re meant to be people who joyously exhaust ourselves in the adventure of our own pursuit.
  • We are meant to feel.

It is the joy of our faith that gives us strength. Not repetition. Not even love. We require joy–a feeling–to propel us as human beings.

When you live a life that is merely reacting, repeating and reciting, you close the door on true thinking, believing and feeling.

There is a change needed in our lives when we become defensive about our faith. For truly, faith without works is dead, being alone. We need something to point to which is a byproduct of our own spiritual energy to confirm to ourselves that belief in God is viable.

There are no words written by prophets that have the power of a single paragraph of personal testimony. 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… December 31, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2459)

pohymn 12 31

I v. You

I want more

Less is available

I am beautiful

Others, insist plain

I can sing

Where’s the audience?

I can love

Find the loveable

I am happy

Keep sadness away

I am lonely

Are you home?

I am valuable

See my worth

I am white

You have color

I am believing

You question me

I am laughing

Stop your mourning

I am crying

Cease the show

I am hungry

Fed, see more

I am earthly

You are heavenly

I am religious

You are irreverent

I am prejudiced

You are sensitive

I am weary

You are well-doing

I am here

You are there

I am absent

You are available

I am tired

You look exhausted

I am ready

How about you?

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G-Pop’s Coming — Part 2 … November 25, 2013

angy with familyJonathots Daily Blog

(2078)

Learning is what happens when we stop complaining and start believing that what has come our way is usable.

I guess the best way to describe my life is that I have gradually learned how to learn.

In so doing, I have become less critical of others because I understand the aching process involved in transition–but I have also become more motivated to escape the sidelines, nursing my injuries.

When I meet with my family this week and they ask the golden question, “What have you learned?” I’m going to tell them the following six things (of course, one at a time over a space of time, so as not to bore them):

1. People want experience without wrinkles.

Everywhere I go, audiences desire insight, excellence and maturity but because of our culture, they would like to receive it from someone who is young, handsome or pretty. Unfortunately, beauty and youth don’t always coincide well with wisdom and moxie. You have to make up your mind–do you want a beautiful billboard? Or a slightly beat-up but very functional moving truck?

2. The second mile is the new GPS destination.

Sometimes I wonder why people think they can get by doing what everybody else does and still distinguish themselves from the mob. You have to have an edge. You have to have a little extra oom-pah if you’re going to perform in the best polka band.

3. Sophistication is everywhere–and it’s annoying.

Somewhere along the line America has become more demanding than giving. We expect other people to jump through hoops as we feel only the necessity to hold them. We need an innocence in order to create revival–a belief that we haven’t seen everything yet, and what we’re looking for is not necessarily dazzling, just heart-warming and meaningful.

4. Good cheer is the new money.

People are so morose, despondent and out-of-whack that simply coming across with a willingness, a smile and a desire to pursue betterment pushes you to the front of the horde. Good cheer is when you purposely put on the mask of a face you deeply desire to be your own.

5. Indecision is killing us.

I don’t know when we started defining maturity as the act of holding meetings, discussing and deciding nothing. Sooner or later we will need to risk being flawed in order to actually move forward and discover improvement.

6. And the final thing I will tell my family that I learned this year in my journey across this United States is freedom isn’t always right–but it’s never wrong.

Unless you have some sort of belief that the U.S. should be ruled by Christian Sharia law, you have to understand that democracy grants freedom at all costs. This doesn’t mean that the things people select to do are always right, or even moral. It’s just that they’re never wrong–because the freedom exists in this country to do what you deem necessary, as long as you don’t infringe on the rights of others.

I see absolutely nothing in error in a church establishing in its doctrine that certain attitudes or behaviors are appropriate for the message they espouse. But if that same church lobbies for other American citizens to be forbidden to conduct themselves however they deem best, then that church has gone from a personal choice of worship to a position of robbing civil rights from their brothers and sisters.

So there you go. If I were to sum up all six of them, I would say this:

Find yourself, be happy, love people–but leave ’em alone.

That is what G-Pop learned this year as he traveled across this country. I’m in my van, driving to meet those who are willing to be called my kin.

It should be exciting.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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