The L Word … April 23rd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4024)


THE

Image result for Gifs of the letter L

WORD


Well, I was having a devil of a time deciding between two different words that I wanted to select as the nasty one that should never be spoken aloud.

It had to be an “L word,” of course, and a pair came to my mind. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized the reason I was having such a hard time figuring out which one to choose is that the two are brothers. Maybe even twins.

So if I can break my own rule, I will tell you that I have decided to bring this duo of damnation to the forefront together for public incrimination.

So the L Word, or in this case, words, that should never be spoken again are:

Luck and Loser

I am a firm believer that anything that makes anyone believe that he or she is destined by the stars, the heavens or hell itself to be a certain way—well, that thing, or in this case, these words need to be attacked.

We are free-will creatures. We are not born, trapped in a body, a mind, a heart or even a soul. We have the freedom to reject all insinuations or even genetic leanings.

When you remove free will from people you start talking about two other diabolical ideas:

Blessing and Cursing

Here you go—I am not blessed, because I’m not cursed. And I’m not cursed sitting around waiting for approval to receive blessing. I am an independent agent, working on Planet Earth, trying to understand its science, its natural order and its humanity.

Once I believe that I am waiting for good luck to imbue me with blessing, or bad luck to curse me to become a loser, I actually at the beckoning of indifference, apathy and laziness.

There are three lies that make us feel as if we are controlled by luck, causing us to believe that some people are born losers.

Lie #1: You are not in control

Yes, you are. And if you aren’t, the whole idea of Earth, living, and even spirituality falls apart as a house of cards of hypocrisy. You are in control of your life, so start acting like it.

No one’s going to come and “take your wheel” nor is anyone going to come and steal your thunder. This is your life. Using words like “luck and loser” cast people into deep, dark shadows, making it difficult for them to feel their way through the bleak surroundings to discover purpose. How about another lie?

Lie #2: You are cursed or blessed.

Since God is no respecter of persons, He can neither curse you nor bless you. In both cases, He would be showing favoritism. He won’t.

It is possible to obtain mercy and it is certainly in the realm of consideration to be given grace. But to get mercy you have to give mercy and for grace to kick into your life, you have to remain humble.

I am grateful for mercy and grace. But it still is in my hands and my actions to receive them. After all, amazing grace is not so amazing if you’re not amazed.

And the final lie that traps people into thinking about luck and calling one another “loser” is:

Lie #3: God has a wonderful plan for your life.

There is an independence in the human spirit that was placed there by the Creator. Adam had no problem telling God, in Eden, that having thousands of animals around was insufficient for fellowship, but that he required someone more personal. Each one of us has a voice.

The truth: God has given you a wonderful life for your plan.

For He will never give you free will and then renege on the deal.

Here’s my version of luck—I live my life like I’m expecting opportunity, and when it dribbles in, I use it and expand it the best I possibly can.

I find that I only become a loser when I believe I don’t have enough to do something that would start me in the right direction.

Luck and loser—words born of darkness

You don’t need luck.

What you need is to take an inventory of what you truly have and find a way to win just a few more than you lose.


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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3945)

Sitting Five

Iz and Pal huddled and cried for a solid hour, shivering, sobbing, trying to speak, but diminishing to painful sighs and groans.

Bruised.

No father ever knows how deeply the rejection goes into the soul of a son who wishes to disagree but is cast into the role of the delinquent prodigal.

Night was falling—a desert night, black and chilly, clear and cold—the human blood still boiling from the day’s heat, but the skin releasing its warmth, beginning to freeze body and then, soul.

There had been no time to build a fire, so the two boys entwined inside the tent for heat and comfort. They whimpered and shuddered.

At length, Iz spoke. “Pada isn’t always that bad.”

Pal was speechless, unwilling to agree, yet not wanting to begin a useless discussion. Iz continued. “No, I mean it. He is a good man. He just has never understood my ways.”

Pal inserted, “Our ways.”

The boys soon discovered that having no fire allowed the creeping, squeaking, squawking and wiggling living organisms all around them to remain unseen, but certainly lively. The desert at night was terrifying. Some conversation was needed to keep them from thinking about the legendary, man-eating sand worm.

“Why do our people hate each other?” Iz asked.

“I don’t know,” said Pal, because he didn’t.

Iz objected. “‘I don’t know’ will not keep the conversation going and keep our minds off the bugs and slime.”

Pal growled, “I think your father thinks I’m bugs and slime.”

Iz attempted to soften his tone. “And what would your father think of me?” he asked.

Pal did not hesitate. “Probably just slime. Jew-boy slime.” Pal peered at his friend in the darkness. “Our skin is not different.”

Iz moved closer, agreeing. “No. In color, we could be brothers.”

Pal continued. “We eat, drink and live in the same places.”

“That’s right,” said Iz. “You don’t get pork, either, do you?”

“Nope,” said Pal matter-of-factly.

In the brief moment of silence between them, there were more buzzes and cackles in the surrounding bleakness. Iz inched even closer to Pal.

“I could never hate you,” he said.

“Why would you want to?” asked Pal.

“They want me to,” replied Iz, aggravated. “Because your God has a funny name.”

Without missing a beat, Pal replied, “And your God has a common name.”

Iz found this funny. “Maybe we could solve the whole thing by coming up with a new name for God that would please both of us,” he suggested.

Pal laughed. “One day in the desert and you’re ready to rename God.”

“How about Frank?” offered Iz.

Pal nodded. “The Americans would love it—and it sounds honest.”

Two friends giggling. The best sound ever.

Iz paused. “I need to tell you,” he said, “we’re almost out of water.”

Pal slowly shook his head. “Not a good thing in the desert.”

“What are we going to do?” inquired Iz with a slight creak in his voice.

Pal sat up on an elbow and said, “I think we should take this tiny tent down, and wrap ourselves in it for warmth, to keep all bugs and snakes far, far away.”

Iz eagerly agreed and the two friends turned themselves into a living, human cocoon. They tried to continue their conversation, but words began to fade into dreams. Dreams were displaced by moments of recollection—only to be interrupted by the sounds of the night creatures.

Iz dozed off, thinking about water.

Pal fell asleep, wondering where his family was.


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Jesonian–Troubling (Part 9)… August 26th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3411)

jesonian-cover-amazon

Troubling.

Yes, it’s troubling to me that the American and the European church feel they can do what Jesus said was impossible to achieve.

When Jesus was confronted by a man with a complaint concerning a brother of his, who would not share the inheritance, the Nazarene refused to weigh in. He replied, “Who has made me a judge over such matters?”

He then offered a discourse on the dangers of greed.

So it is troubling that the present Christian movement believes it can negotiate the problems between the Jews and the Muslims–brothers–instead of declaring the feud to be exactly what it is.

Greed:

  • Greed over dominance.
  • Greed over money.
  • Greed over Jerusalem.
  • Greed over favor with Father Abraham.

Nothing can ever be accomplished unless we understand that Judaism and Islam are not religions–they are two different tellings of a mutual history. The feast days, rituals and story lines that are thrown in are established to add credence to a family squabble.

Christianity was never intended to be a religion either, but rather, a lifestyle.

The Jesonian–the life of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus and the heart of Jesus–is a lifestyle. It is an abundant life that was offered to counteract a historical squabble. When Christians side one way or another on this dispute, they err, failing to honor the mission of Jesus, who said that he was not a judge over such things–because the conflict was and is grounded in greed.

The Jews are my brothers and sisters by creation, but they are not my relatives in faith. The Muslims, likewise, are my brothers and sisters by genesis, but not my fellow-laborers in the matters of spirit and truth.

It is my job as a Christian to love these two factions into understanding that there are things more important in life than trying to possess control.

God favors neither Jew nor Muslim. The message of Jesus is “whosoever will may come.”

But they do need to come–instead of standing at a distance, screaming at one another.

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Populie: The Holy Land … October 29, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2396)

Isis, Jew and Crusader

Land: a retreating of the waters, leaving behind soil which is available for living and planting.

Holy: promoting, initiating and welcoming a sense of wholeness.

These are truths.

So what is the populie? Calling some region in Mesopotamia “The Holy Land.”

It is neither conducive to growing much of anything or welcoming wholeness. Even though it’s only the size of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, it has fostered more death, destruction, bigotry, selfishness, greed and lunacy than any other location on the face of the earth.

Yet the entertainment industry loves to make movies about the Crusades and supposedly deep insightful, flicks focusing on the conflicts between the Jews and the Arabs.

Politics certainly enjoys spouting the term “Holy Land” because it welcomes certain constituencies into the mix for large donations.

And religion adores the idea that this space of property has magical powers or is ordained by God to be the prophetic source of spiritual renewal.

The Holy Land is not. I have never had a desire to go there, nor will I ever, of my own volition.

It is occupied by inflexible souls who mysteriously continue to fight a battle among each other to honor their traditions instead of dealing with the realities of our time.

It is evil in the sense that it pulls down the rest of our brothers and sisters living with us on this planet, because supposedly Abraham said something thousands of years ago, which Moses confirmed and Mohammed contradicted.

They are quarreling brothers who bang on our door in the middle of the night because they’re fighting again, and somebody punched somebody in the nose, and we’re supposed to decide if we’re going to call the cops or just make a big pot of coffee.

I must tell you:

  • Jesus found nothing holy about that land.
  • Matter of fact, he prophesied that it would be left desolate.
  • He told them that even though they believed they were the “children of Abraham,” that he existed before Abraham, and therefore trumped the patriarch.
  • He warned them that their holy temple would be torn down.
  • He told his disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem but to get out of there as quickly as possible and take the mission to the more receptive parts of the world.
  • He explained that true worship of God would not be in Jerusalem, but would be achieved through spirit and truth.
  • And even though we try to make Jesus Jewish and connect him to the Holy Land, he made it clear that he wasn’t called to those who thought they were righteous, but instead, to those whom the righteous considered to be sinners.

We must begin to call this desolate, angry, self-righteous location the dark place it truly is, and stop trying to revere it as a special piece of turf. If not, we will perpetuate the myth that if we just send one more army in there on a crusade, we can finally win back God’s holy land.

For if Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut suddenly decided to start squabbling over land and spiritual heritage, we would go in there and tell them to shut the hell up, get it right or we would close off all supplies and sanction them from our country.

But even though we contend that God is no respecter of persons, we in the United States continue to treat Israel preferentially and look at the Arabs with a jaundiced eye. They probably won’t be ignored, but we need to stop giving them so much of the human stage.

It is not a Holy Land. Stop planning trips there, thinking you’re going to “walk where Jesus walked.”

Because true holiness is where God is.

And the Spirit of God always dwells where there is liberty. There is no liberty in the Holy Land. Even Israel, which claims to be democratic, has restrictions on spiritual expression and prejudice against their neighbors.

Go where there’s liberty, and there you’ll find the Spirit of God. Forgive me for a little bit of flag waving–but that’s why I’m glad to be an American.

And for me, today, as I travel, the Holy Land … is Roanoke, Virginia.

 

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“Ifing” Way: Part 2… October 27, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2394)

If bigger

What if a voice of sanity had risen up at various stages in the story of human history, to offer a challenging view when craziness was about to win the day?

If …

Dad arrived just in time.

His youngest son was already primed and ready to run out the door to go see his older brother to try to reconcile hurt feelings. The siblings had never really been close, yet the bond of family had always meshed them with a sense of loyalty. But recent events had exacerbated the tenuous feelings, generating a volatile situation. A simple misunderstanding had turned into a sense of rejection, culminating in a looming burst of rage.

When the incident happened, Dad stepped between them to prevent violence, but the younger son, having a more optimistic nature, believed all that was needed was a good conversation. So he had privately decided to go off on his own, without any counsel, to see his brother at the work site so they could “rummage through their feelings” and arrive at resolution.

Fortunately, Dad came on the scene–just in time.

“Where are you going?” Dad asked.

The young man paused for a second, wondering if he could possibly deceive his father and achieve his own purposes, but then realized that was contrary to his heart.

“You know where I’m going. I’m going to make peace with my brother.”

The father smiled. “I know that seems like a good idea to you, and far be it from me to be against peace, but your brother is a complicated man and his emotions and thoughts are not privy to you, and therefore not available.”

The young man frowned.

Sensing his son’s disagreement, the father continued. “We could talk about this all day and we wouldn’t agree. What I would like you to do is trust me. If I end up being wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it. But I would like you to leave your brother alone for a while, until you and I agree on a better time. Because if you go and see him now, all you’re going to do is remind him of the pain of the conflict, and perhaps incense him over the idea that you appear to be the better brother because you’re trying to make things right. I want you to promise me–based upon our friendship and bond–that you will stay away from him until things are better.”

The young man objected. “But how can things get better if we don’t make them better?”

The father patted him on the shoulder and said, “Son, sometimes things don’t get better. But if we interfere, we can make them worse.”

He gave his younger son a hug. The boy agreed to stay away from his older brother until such time as was deemed appropriate.

As it turned out, the conversation never actually happened. The two brothers, who had never been particularly close, maintained a distance throughout their lives. They learned how to be appropriate during family gatherings, and gave each other proper respect and space.

Cain and Abel never became close friends.

But because Adam took his position as a father and intervened in a dangerous situation … no one had to die.

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G-22: Complain or Comply… May 2, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2220)

baby and parentsWhen a man loves a woman and she returns in kind, often the by-product of such an encounter is a kid.

It is procreation. It is the little surprise offered to us which pops up nine months later at the end of a seven-second orgasm.

First, let’s establish some ground rules: No human being is born to be a parent. We were born to be children who hopefully learn to function in an adult world.

Much to the chagrin of those around me, I must state that the notion of a maternal or a paternal instinct is at least elusive, if not mythical. Matter of fact, those who tout that they can offer seminars on parenting are perhaps some of the more dangerous individuals in our society.

Here are two basic principles about the process of bringing human beings into a world based on our own desires:

1. Ideas and actions transfer well from parent to child.

In other words, kids are more likely to pick up on your prejudices and your vices than anything else.

2. On the other hand, feelings and beliefs are often lost in the translation of growing up.

So even though you may insist that you taught your children to feel a certain way and believe in God, they will either deny such training or rebel against it. This is why ideas get overblown from one generation to another and actions are exaggerated.

For instance, a father who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will probably end up with a son who smokes two. A mother who is prejudiced against a certain race will raise a child who is much more demonstrative in his or her hatred.

So all feelings and faith have to be born again in each and every human. There is no transfusion of God from one individual to another. Yet at the same time, hate passes freely and bad deeds, fluidly.

So what can a parent do?

This was the problem for man and woman when they ended up with two sons. Even though both children came through the same birth canal, the tide and flow of their lives was quite different. One ended up being a complainer and the other, a complier.

I cannot truthfully tell you that one of these choices is better than the other. It seems more righteous, certainly, to comply–but at the same time, on some occasions it is essential to question.

And even though complaining is normally a whiny vice, it does afford time for reflection instead of just blind faith.

But in actual time–in other words, real life experience–complaining has a tendency to close down the door to learning, while complying at least puts us on the field of play for possible growth.

Two brothers, raised in the same household, with different philosophies, who are destined to collide.

What can mom and dad do? When could they have done it? And how effective would it have been?

This is the trio of questions all parents end up asking themselves–especially after some contentious, or even disastrous, results.

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Why Homing… August 31, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1992)

church signI ain’t no pigeon.

My understanding is that the pigeon can be trained to fly back to its nest carrying messages, to be cast to the winds again, returning faithfully.

In the pursuit of establishing loyalty to “the great American family,” I think we fail to realize the limitations of that organization.

After all, is our journey here on earth about doing what we were trained to be or training ourselves to be what we need to do?

When I look back at my own family and the family I was blessed to father, I see some distinct differences.

My birth family was seven people–four brothers, mother, father and myself. My parents were wonderful people–well suited to the era they lived in–but they had little awareness of how to guide children to a place of self-discovery, self-realization and ultimately, self-improvement.

I grew up in a generation stuck between Dr. Spock and Mr. Spock–so the instruction I received was an unusual mingling of coddling and science fiction. Because of that, my brothers and myself did not know how to glean the knowledge from one another which would have made us more balanced human beings. We were launched to be competitive toward one another, and at times, even critical.church wesley park

The power of having a home and flying back to it is in discovering the gifts your family members have, and siphoning off valuable pieces of their process, to bolster your own pursuits.

I boil it down to four areas:

In every family, one of the children–or perhaps one of the parents–probably possesses a predisposition toward a single element. This was true of my brothers and me. I was more or less the soul of the family, with my sights set on spiritual matters. A couple of my brothers deemed themselves to be thinkers. One was certainly a hard worker. And I think we could have become artists, if our parents had thought such a journey was respectable.

Unfortunately, a family CAN be a trap, because if one of these aspects is pushed more than another, we start to believe there’s a black sheep–one lamb won’t stay with the flock. In other words, if a family thinks that “working hard” is the most essential part of being a good human being, they may criticize one of their children away from being an artist because they don’t see any way to make a decent wage.

A family of artists may teach their children that the only important thing is to be creative, failing to communicate the importance of thinking and hard work.

Our homes should give us our first glimpse into the diversity of human attributes, and instead of criticizing the ideas of our siblings, we should incorporate parts of them into our own lives, generating a balanced existence.

If my brothers had acquired some of my soulfulness and I had latched onto their thinking and working, I certainly would have had an easier path, with fewer bumps and bruises. The purpose of a home is to introduce us to our first world, and realize that not everybody needs to be the same in their heart and dreams in order to be of value.

I tried to pass this along to my offspring when I became a father. Incorporating the beauty of heartfelt artistry with the spirituality of the soul, the renewal of the mind in thinking, while introducing the practical aspects of a work ethic creates a human being who’s ready to take on the next project.

So I think the family is good if it lets the artist, soul, thinker and worker be manifested and gives all four the chance to find home in the children.

On the other hand, I think family can be one of the worst things in the world when it quietly but determinedly demands that we conform to eat our turkey and dressing in peace.

It doesn’t end in our “homing.” There is another step. So if you were not taught to be flexible–yearning to adapt to positive notions outside yourself–then your next journey into the world can be quite harrowing.

 

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