Catchy (Sitting 65) Just As I Am… September 9th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Matthew sat quietly in the rental car he had selected at the airport, having arrived early for a meeting with Milton Crenshaw–one he promised Jubal he would cover.

As he sat on the narrow thoroughfare winding through the trailer park leading to Crenshaw’s mobile home, he watched with great curiosity as a mama duck led her four babies across the road. She was so damn organized.

He suddenly felt very stupid because he envied her. She was just a duck–but she had a family. Matthew had no “honey” and no “sonny.” Just himself and a nice rental car. Oh–and of course, there was that little thing of being saved by his old friend, Michael Hinston and being given a second chance via a liver transplant.

Matthew knew he was an ungrateful son-of-a-bitch, but that didn’t make him any more thankful. When Soos called him that morning and told him it had been a hundred days since anyone had heard from Jo-Jay, he was concerned–but not engaged.

Likewise, it had been seven days since anyone had heard from Carlin Canaby. Matthew investigated, and discovered that Carlin had turned in all his rental properties and checked out of his suite at the Las Vegas casino. He was nowhere to be found.

Jubal felt that he should take over some of Carlin’s duties, so he asked Matthew to take the weekly meeting with Milton.

Matthew had been very reluctant. There was no real reason for it. Well, he didn’t like trailer parks. Or old men. And he wasn’t particularly fond of fat people–especially if they were “preachers of the Gospel.”

Overall, he just felt ill-suited for the task. However, the ducks completed their journey across the road, so Matthew decided it was time to go meet Mr. Crenshaw. Like a boy called to the dinner table on broccoli night, he took his time, dragging his feet. He trudged to the door, knocked, and a voice from inside bellowed, “Come on in. It’s open.”

Matthew stepped through the door. Sitting in a wheelchair was a big fat man with a grin. The fellow reached out a hand and Matthew took it. He then offered Matthew a seat. Matthew sat down and declined coffee, breakfast and water–he wasn’t staying long.

Milton waited for a moment and then realized that Matthew had no intention of starting the conversation. So he launched. “You’re a talkative one, aren’t you?”

“No disrespect, sir,” answered Matthew, “but you’re a stranger to me and I’ve never been particularly fond of strangers…”

Milton interrupted. “Especially big fat ones that preach the Gospel, right?”

Matthew was taken aback by the bluntness, but managed to reply, “Oh, no. Nothing like that…”

“So are you tired?” asked Milton.

“My flight wasn’t that long,” began Matthew.

Milton interrupted again. “I’m not talkin’ about your damn flight. I’m just wondering if you’re tired of dodging and trying to escape the obvious.”

“What is obvious?” asked Matthew.

“What is obvious?” mulled Milton. “Well, how about this? We’ve tried for several hundred years to live in a world where everyone is allowed to believe anything they want to, do anything they want to, and even form governments around that thinking, without any objection.”

“That’s what they call freedom,” inserted Matthew.

Milton laughed. “‘Freedom’s just another word, for nothin’ left to lose.’ That’s from Bobby McGee.” He peered at Matthew and added, “I’m sure thqt was before your time.”

Matthew sat up in his chair and stated, “Well, if it’s conversation you want, and you want it to be honest, I would just love to receive this report I’m supposed to collect and get the hell out of here.”

Milton smiled. “Well, I see you have some backbone. That’s good. So you want my report? Here’s my report. I’m sitting in a room with a man who has been blessed–who is so ignorant that he feels he has the God-given right to question the logic of the universe. How’s that for a report?”

“I don’t like you, Mr. Crenshaw,” said Matthew. “And it’s not because you preach the Gospel or because you are heavy-set.”

“You mean fat?” Milton interrupted.

“Your word,” countered Matthew. “It’s not because of that. It’s because you’ve eye-balled me ever since I walked in, as a potential conquest for your ego-stroking evangelical need to save the world, one damnable sinner at a time.”

Milton lurched back in fake horror. “Oh, my God! I don’t want you to get saved! Then you’d be my brother in Jesus and we might have to work together! I’m just pointing out that you find yourself to be so intelligent and erudite–yet the obvious continues to escape you.”

“Okay, I’ll bite. What is the obvious?” asked Matthew.

“I didn’t say I’d tell you,” replied Milton. “I don’t usually waste my time sharing valuable information with those who are determined to be ignorant.”

Matthew stood to his feet. “And I’m not accustomed to hanging around to be insulted. I’ve had enough of this. I’ll just tell Jubal that it was great and you were super-fine. How’s that?”

“Sit down,” demanded Milton. Matthew didn’t move.

“Please,” added Milton with some tenderness. Against his better judgment, Matthew sat back down.

Milton paused. His demeanor changed.

“My dear friend,” he began gently, “if the human race does not find a common cause, a common kindness and a common appreciation, we’re just gonna fuckin’ kill each other. I hope you don’t mind me using that word. I don’t very often, but sometimes it’s the only one that grants correct emphasis on the desperation and futility of a situation.”

Matthew jumped in. “My problem with you is not that you say ‘fuck.’ My problem with you is that you’re a big, fat fuck.”

Milton laughed. He roared. He slapped his chubby thigh and he rolled his wheelchair closer to Matthew.

“That I am,” he said. “Do you know why?”

Matthew shook his head.

“It’s because while you deliberate two inches of rope to determine its strength, the world is hanging itself by the remaining length. Please understand–I don’t follow Jesus because I’m a religious man. Hell, I had a porn addiction at one time in my life. I had to fight it off like crazy. I’m not a good man; I’m not a pure man. Morality is not my primary concern. It’s common sense. You see, the reason they killed Jesus of Nazareth is because he was sensible. And the reason the church today does not preach Jesus is because it’s afraid their people will not tolerate the simplicity of ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ It’s much easier to play the organ, the guitar, preach the sermon and feign worshipping the heavens with candles and eucharist. But meanwhile, the world keeps dividing into smaller and smaller groups. And the smaller the groups are, the more dangerous they become. Organization becomes easier. You see, it would take China months–maybe years–to get agreement to destroy the world from all its various leaders. But sixteen fanatics in a garage in Syria, with a dirty bomb, could pull off tragedy before the weekend.”

“If we don’t come up with a common message–a common goal, a common sense–we will kill each other. And you see, Moses won’t do it–he believed in killing. As did Mohammed, Buddha and all the religionists throughout history. Jesus never killed anyone. He never recommended it. He said God is your Father, nature is your Mother, I am your brother, and the whole world are your cousins.”

“If that message doesn’t permeate our society in the next twenty years, we will have diminishing results, which will end up in a foolish decision to prove some asinine point.”

Matthew was stunned, but didn’t want to act like it. “What gives you the right, Mr. Crenshaw, to make decisions for everyone in the world?”

Milton leaned forward and said, “What gives you the right, young man, to deny that the decision has already been made, the price has already been paid–and all that remains is for each one of us is just to walk into the wisdom of loving one another and being kind and tender-hearted?”

Matthew laughed. “And you think you’re kind and tender-hearted? You think the way you treated me this morning is the spirit of love? If your attitude is Jesus, then you can stick the motherfucker right back up on the cross as far as I’m concerned.”

“Very dramatic,” said Milton. “I can see why they asked you to take on this mission. You have the power of your convictions even when they’re wrong. You started out your life–you wanted to be funny. You are funny. You wanted to have your own business. You do. You wanted to be successful. You are. You wanted money. God knows you got that. You wanted people to look up to you. Accomplished. Yet you sat in your casino suite and nearly drank yourself to death. How gentle do you think I should be with such arrogance?”

All at once Matthew broke. It really wasn’t anything Milton had said. It wasn’t a conviction from the challenge. But tears filled Matthew’s eyes. Not the usual weeping, where he conjured self-pity over some perceived injustice to his character. These tears were coming from another place, out of his control, streaming down his face, though he willed them to cease.

Matthew wept. Then he sobbed. And then he cried out, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!”

Milton backed up his wheelchair and turned away to give Matthew a private moment.

Matthew was moved–but angry at the same time. He didn’t want to be some common, everyday sinner, repenting and weeping over evil actions. He hated himself for being weak.

But none of that stopped the tears.

Quietly, Milton spoke–nearly under his breath. “Just as I am, and waiting not, to rid my soul of one dark blot. Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.”

Through a gushing of tears, Matthew squalled, “Why did they kill him?”

Milton paused and turned slowly to Matthew. “Because they foolishly thought it would stop him.”

This brought an even greater torrent of mourning. Milton eased his wheelchair over and put his arms around Matthew, who laid his head on the old man’s chest and cried like he had lost everything.

No one hurried the moment. No one spoke again. Neither Milton nor Matthew knew exactly what it all meant.

Yet something was different.

 

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Cracked 5 … May 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Rejected Ideas for New Candy Bars

A. Goo-Guts

A marshmallow, chocolate and cherry sauce confection in the shape of a human cadaver

 

B. Z & Z’s

M & M’s with just a hint of a sleeping pill added

 

C. Badfinger

Same as Butterfinger–just in the shape of a middle digit

 

D. Milky Gay

With a rainbow wrapper!

 

E. Mr. Good-4-U Bar

Little pieces of orange peel, broccoli, squash and kale, dipped in caramel, with a whipped zucchini center

 

Cracked 5 Candy's bar 

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Populie: With Age Comes Wisdom… September 24, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby and great grandma

“Old people know more.”

This is a popular assertion.

It is generally followed by the populie, “With that knowledge comes wisdom.”

Hold the presses on that one–or to make it more contemporary, don’t download.

The reason this populie is so accepted is that our country is becoming older and therefore desires a shortcut from the responsibility of productivity by stomping and stumping about birthdays.

The entertainment industry loves the populie because it creates generation gaps, where the conflict between age groups can be exaggerated to create humor or drama for the viewer.

Politics really touts it because it generates a new demographic they can pander to in order to gain votes.

It is especially comical in religion. Even though we live in an American society which has removed the basic tenets of the patriarchal system, we still continue to insist that Mom and Dad submit to Grandma and Grandpa, and the children should be in submission to all the above.

The only thing I can tell you about getting older is that you have lived more days and been exposed to more events, which gives you the chance to be of more benefit.

But the important factor is how we react to these events. There are three typical scenarios of reaction:

1. I resist.

Even though the evidence is quite available, I am still going to thumb my nose at the change I see, which seems to require expansion, while I would like to remain “status in my quo.”

Young or old, if you take this position, you will maintain an adolescent immaturity. It’s that four-year-old face on a seventy-two-year-old woman, communicating, “I don’t like broccoli.”

2. I avoid.

Once fear has taken root in your heart, you become quite good at politely refusing to try new things, indulge in new things, consider new things, accept new things or tolerate the notion that new things are even necessary.

There are many people we consider to be kind, but actually are entrenched in trepidation about moving forward. They avoid all atmospheres where such stimulation would be promoted.

3. I learn.

Now, this connotes that you are willing to attempt things that kick you in the butt from time to time. You also will need to pick yourself up, garner available data and grow.

As you can see, this concept is not bound by the accumulation of years, but rather, is a state of mind which hungers and thirsts for righteousness.

When I sit in front of an audience of people and share my feelings, I am not segmenting the folks into various demographics and age groups. I am looking for a light in their eyes which has not been doused by rejection and avoidance.

Age does not give us wisdom.

What gives us wisdom is losing our fear of knowledge, and beginning to understand that what is emotional, spiritual and mentally stimulating in our lives is in progress–not a one-time infusion.

Without desiring these fresh-bread experiences, we all eventually fall into the repetition of our upbringing, and end up imitating those who gave us birth and hearth.

So let us address the populie by saying that wisdom is not a by-product of passing years, but rather, an openness to one another and God.

If you want to gain that wisdom, you should find what you have that works, joyously learn what works that you don’t have, and then be “journey-wise” by keeping the door open.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Pro-Grow… November 18, 2012

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“That which we have seen and that which we have heard, now we declare it unto you.”

Don’t you think that’s the way it should be? I see so many people talking without having any experience and on the other hand, people who have experience really speaking against their own better interests.

I have a friend who claims he’s “pro choice,” even though as a baby in the womb, he was nearly selected for abortion. That just doesn’t seem to be on point with his experience, do you think?

I have other friends who insist that they’re pro-life–until they found out they had a young daughter who was pregnant, and then found themselves conflicted and pursuing a path that was quite hypocritical to their own beliefs and contentions. Your beliefs should reflect your experience.

I am pro-choice, if by pro-choice you mean a woman’s right to select contraception, partners and the correct timing to have a child or not have one.

I am pro-life if you’re referring to the respect for all living organisms and all living things–granting them the dignity of their space without trying to pretend that the word “terminate” does not mean “kill.”

That’s why I find myself to be pro-grow. I see two teachings of Jesus which blend together beautifully in my mind to form an excellent pattern for evaluating such matters.

For Jesus said, “I have come to give you life and it more abundantly.” And he also said, “He that the son set free is free indeed.”

So I believe in a move towards life–and that every such movement has to be permitted through freedom. I think it’s a mistake in a country like ours to take away the rights and privileges of individuals to make their own decisions. I neither think we can legislate morality, nor do I think that we can propagate spirituality by insisting on a code of behavior.

But by the same token, I believe that the true essence of being spiritual is to promote life and give it a fair chance to have freedom. I am pro-grow. I am in favor of anything that helps us grow–to a better understanding of each other, the respect of the life that God has given us, and the granting of freedom to each other, to pursue happiness.

For you see, it is quite possible to be against abortion and not rob other American citizens of the right to use that option. If I believe my life is light and that I am the salt of the earth, then the choices I make will reverberate and create a stir and a testimony to those around me. I don’t have to become a clanging cymbal or a critical spirit to others to promote righteous choices.

So as a pro-grow person, I believe in the right of every American to make his or her own investigation–and also my right to promote life drenched in freedom instead of seeing it squelched.

Yes, it is possible to disagree with someone without condemning him. It is plausible to give people freedom without believing the decisions they make are identical to your heart’s desire. For after all, the best way to promote any cause is to make that cause as irresistible as possible. Otherwise, broccoli stands would be open next to coffee machines instead of boxes of doughnuts.

I believe my pro-grow stand, which believes in life, but also contends that it must be conducted with total freedom, is not a contradiction, but rather, a way for me to be of value to the world around me, by sharing what I’ve seen and heard, and demonstrating that it is more appealing than the alternatives.

I could never abort a child–because I once thought about doing it, and in horror, I retreated, only to celebrate to this day that this human life is present among us.

I could never support abortion because I have a daughter-in-law who bravely birthed a child out of wedlock–a young boy who is now my grandson and the love of my heart.

I refuse to be a fool or a hypocrite by being afforded experience in life which enables me to speak plainly and truthfully about better choices. Yet at the same time, I give all my brothers and sisters the freedom to find their own way without my incrimination.

I am pro-grow. I am for everything that moves towards life without robbing anyone of freedom.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

One Per Customer … September 11, 2012

(1,635)

It’s Superman’s fault.

I mean, if we have to blame somebody (which we surely must), he, after all, was a great promoter of the dual existence. Feeling that his Superman persona would not fit into every social situation, he created Clark Kent. And likewise understanding that Clark Kent was incapable of outrunning a bullet, he kept Superman around.

It taught us, even as little children, that we would need many characters to function in a complex society, which often demands more than we can provide with our singular, puny personality.

So we bought into it. No one talks about it very much. It’s a general understanding– similar to the unwritten law that underwear shouldn’t be worn for more than one day.

So we pick a profile to use when we’re with our families, another one on the job; some people even select an identity to don while driving their car. Don’t forget the pious face we keep in the jar to use for more spiritual occasions. And then, when it’s time to vote, we pull out our donkey or elephant costumes and try to stay within party lines. At the end of the day, ready to go to sleep, we’re not quite sure who is in bed with us.

After all, who are we? We wonder why we’re a little sad, preoccupied, uncertain of the future and unwilling to be as generous as we once thought we were going to be. Superman should have made up his mind–be Superman or be Clark Kent, who just had some really neat abilities, like helping his friends lift boxes on moving day.

The only true pressure in life is trying to be more than one person. You have to find your philosophy. It’s one per customer.

A philosophy is easy to recognize: it has one moving part, one concept, one function, one energy, one idea, one piece of holiness. Universally, it extends this particular motion throughout all the facets of our lives. Ten commandments are nine too many. The seven virtues of a successful person is a half a dozen over. Whenever we try to multiply our approaches, we divide our effectiveness. You have to find your philosophy and its one moving part, and remain faithful to it. Therein you find the key to fulfilling human life.

The average person has five philosophies at work at all times. No wonder we are busy, exhausted and cantankerous. Here are the five:

  1. It’s all about family.
  2. It’s all about financial security.
  3. It’s all about health.
  4. It’s all about God.
  5. It’s all about freedom.

You can see–these five are not going to peacefully co-exist within the skin of our human kin. They battle. When you think about family, security becomes upset because everything is too expensive. When you think about God, you feel that your freedom has been impinged by religious imprisoning. When you think about your health, you worry about your family, insurance, God–AND a loss of freedom. So these colliding ideas become the “five stooges” within us–running into each other, knocking each other over and popping to their feet, ready to fight. It’s just too much.

You have to develop a singular philosophy of life that covers family, finances, health, God, and freedom. Otherwise, you’ll get up in the morning, look in the mirror and wonder why that growth has suddenly appeared on your neck as you stumble down the stairs to breakfast to be bombarded by some family member who has also found a growth on her neck and wants to talk about it. Over breakfast, you’ll read the newspaper about the financial collapse, making you wonder if you should withdraw all your money, stick it in a sock and bury it underneath the dog house. Lying on a table nearby is the morning devotional you promised your church you would read everyday before work, which on this particular morning, has lost out to a second helping of bacon, which worries you because of its high cholesterol. Part of you enjoys the morning activity with your family, while another portion of you is eager to get off to work, to have that twenty-three-minute drive, with complete freedom of the use of the radio before you arrive at your cubicle, to be told what to do by someone else who is also worried about his family, security, health, God and freedom.

I discovered this dilemma in stages, but I finally came to the conclusion that if I was going to change hats every time a new situation came up, it was only going to make me look ridiculous, with constantly messed-up hair.

I have a philosophy. It has one moving part. It used to be “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But I found a weakness in that statement, dubbed The Golden Rule.  When I felt bad about myself, or was angry with the world, I would project that anger onto others and justify it by saying, “All humans are angry.” By no means am I criticizing the Golden Rule, but I am saying that everything spiritual matures and grows.

This year I have taken a step of faith and innocence, to make the only moving part of my singular philosophy to be, “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

It is liberating. I don’t have to try to be top dog, nor do I have to look to find out if there IS one. I don’t have to wait to be saluted, nor is it necessary for me to provide the salute. We are all the same in the mind of our Creator, and from that status of equality, we either improve or deteriorate our possibilities. If you run across people who have improved, you should leave them alone or give them applause. Don’t deter them. If you run across people who have deteriorated their equality to become the “poor lost pups” of our kennel, look for an opportunity to scratch them in the right places and give them a bone. They will usually let you know they’re interested in getting off of their leashes by wagging their tails.

During this election year, my heart is heavy as I watch normally intelligent and even caring people turn into political maniacs, trying to prove their point about issues that no one completely understands.

So do I love my family? I sure do, but NoOne is better than anyone else. I also believe in the family of man.

Do I need financial security? Absolutely–but NoOne is better than anyone else. I will need to work for what I get, just like my neighbor.

Do I have concerns about health? Of course, but NoOne is better than anyone else. Broccoli works in my body just like it does in yours.

How about my feelings towards God? That’s easy. He’s the One that came up with the idea that NoOne is better than anyone else, because we are told that He is no respecter of persons.

But what about my freedom? Again, NoOne is better than anyone else. If I am willing to grant freedom to other people, I can anticipate the same.

I do not know if you will take this essay seriously or not. (Perhaps it’s a bit optimistic for me to believe you’ve even gotten this far in reading it.) But you can improve your life one hundred per cent simply by abandoning your “Clark Kent costuming.” Bring your life down to one moving part–one philosophy–one idea. You can pick what it is. You don’t have to follow mine. But each one of us is granted a single unit.

Yes–one per customer.

It not only makes our lives sensible, but it frees us of the responsibility of learning a new script … every time the scene changes.

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