Sit Down Comedy … December 28th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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This is not a present.

This is a box which has been carefully wrapped in gorgeous paper, surrounded with an immaculate bow. Christmas present

We have no idea what’s inside.

We are led to believe that because it was wrapped so fastidiously that the contents are valuable.

But we don’t know. We can’t even guess. It could be a box of dog poop. It could hold nothing at all–or worse, it could be a juicer.

We have grown accustomed to calling things that are wrapped tightly and made to look attractive…

Well, we call them presents. Or gifts.

They are not. They are actually worthless until we tear them apart and find out what’s inside.

This, pictured below, is a real present:


As you can see, the paper is not impressive. The wrapping job is passable. But inside is value. Obvious value.

It might not even have been the first present you opened on Christmas morning, figuring because it was so bland or ugly, that it came from a long-lost aunt who picked it up at a convenience store on Christmas Eve to cover her butt.

So while you’re opening all the pretty presents bound up with bows, this one sits in the corner–containing the greatest quality.

Our society wraps us up, having no idea of the value of the people we meet.

We judge on appearance.

We evaluate on how concisely people have put their lives together.

We look at the things that surround them to determine their value.

We are often wrong. I will go so far as to say that more often than not we are wrong.

Then…

Every once in a while, we find that plainly wrapped gift, bound with twine. When we break our prejudice and decide to open it, we are astounded at the content.

So, I am no longer participating in the fashion show of human boxes we are required to climb into in order to be acceptable for a society that doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing.

I will do you a favor. I will not hide my soul. I will not disguise my talents. And also, I will not flaunt my humility.

But I will come… unwrapped.

 

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Cracked 5 … December 26th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

 

Presents That Were “Accidentally” Left Behind After Christmas Morning

A. “Start Your Own Beehive in Your Garage: 12 Easy Steps”

 

B. “Mr. Spock Reads Dr. Spock: Raising Kids the Vulcan Way”

 

C. “A Tub of Ant Butter and Willy-Worm Bread from African Missionaries”

 

D. “The Four Hoodie Sweatshirt–for the Man Who Likes Choices”

 

E. “Toiletries from the Holy Land: Smell Like a Prophet”

 

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Good News and Better News … December 25th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I went to church today.

There was no choir. There were no pews. There was no sermon. There was no invocation, except the squealing delight of children. There was no real benediction, but for the promises of those who had gathered to stay more in contact.

There was no threat of damnation, nor promise of streets of gold. There was so much contentment in being together that intimidation was unnecessary, and coercion, meaningless.

You see, I’m a father.

As a father, I do not evaluate my children by how much they adore me or praise my name. I determine the health of my children by how much they love each other–because it would be easy for them to despise their siblings so as to gain my favor, and perhaps, secure a sweeter inheritance.

So praising Daddy does not mean nearly as much as honoring one another.

In the church service this morning, there was respect for humanity. There was anticipation in the eyes of those who were giving, and a nervous jubilance twitching in the fingertips of those who were preparing to receive. An electricity filled the air that could only be adequately fueled by a perpetual flow of sweets and treats.

It was a worship of the Christ child–a salute to a simple birth, which simply ushered in the possibility of “peace on Earth, good will toward men.”

It was an intergenerational feast day of emotion and anticipation, culminating in the removal of all vexation, curses and grudges.

It was the kind of meeting of souls that causes the angels to sit back in awe, pricked in the heart with a bit of jealousy over not being human.

For we do everything best just as we do everything worst. We are God’s creation, who knows both the knowledge of good and the depths of evil.

Oh, but when we want to be good…we can be amazing.

We can bring tears to our Heavenly Father’s eyes when we tenderly take our human flesh and extend it from His mind and soul to reach into the hearts and lives of others.

Today I went to church. Some people would call it Christmas morning.

The good news is that Christmas morning is church.

The better news is, the more we take every church service and make it like Christmas morning, the more blessed the world would be.

 

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G-Poppers … December 22nd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop has the stomach flu.

Family has gathered for Christmas, bringing their local organic microbes and bugs along with them–one being an infestation of the tummy.

Normally G-Pop fares pretty well in these situations, but this particular brand seems to take no prisoners, and does not discriminate based upon genial nature or obviously, good looks.

Everyone has had the stomach flu. Matter of fact, when you’re not having the stomach flu, you look back on it as a bizarre inconvenience. It’s more or less one of those things that happens, lasts for a few hours, and it’s gone.

Similar to an atomic bomb.

The sensation of having lost control of one of the major systems in your body is disconcerting and certainly humbling.

G-Pop abandoned all of his appetite, he was at the mercy of all the exit areas of his being, and he was at the whim of this little bug that had landed in his system and was desperately trying to work its way out.

Yes, G-Pop felt the whole time that this stomach virus was just as pissed about being inside him as he was at having it inside. For all of its antagonizing, agonizing and struggling ways let G-Pop know that it truly did want to be free.

Simultaneously, G-Pop had to try to make sure it didn’t infect anyone else in the house. Tricky business.

Having the stomach flu right before Christmas is a little frightening–because one wonders if one will be able to participate in the festivities.

But the truth of the matter is, life actually does consist of “one day at a time,” and since today is not Christmas morning, there’s a good shot that some “Joy to the World” can still be excavated from a “Silent Night.”

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Good News and Better News… December 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-christmas-morning

 

My Christmas morning:

  • Four tiny little ones
  • One twelve-year-old
  • A teenager
  • Eighteen adults
  • And six dogs marauding about, sniffing at presents.

It was all held in a lovely, but somewhat square-footage-impaired house in East Nashville.

Although most people consider Christmas to be a holiday season which they either enjoy or complain about trying to get through, I contend that Christmas is a microcosm of life as it should be. It’s a collision of giving and receiving, organizing and finding yourself surprised by a slip-up, and having a crunch of humanity around you which requires you to be open-minded and willing to adapt.

For instance, in the course of our morning, well over a hundred presents were opened.

Also, one of the young men decided to use it as an occasion to propose marriage to his girlfriend–an amazing precedent.

And there were moments of silliness followed by junctures of tenderness, concluding with decisions to stay energetic enough to survive the gauntlet.

The adults made themselves flexible to appreciate toys opened by Santa believers and the subtleties of certain gifts which needed to be explained because they only had significance to the recipient.

Then, in the midst of the festivities and the brunch following, we discovered that one of the guests just lost his grandma. She had passed away in her sleep.

Quiet–and amazing it was how quickly it settled on the room, even among the children. A time to feel and consider the magnitude of such a departure.

Tears.

Gentleness.

Allowing ourselves to transition from one emotion to another without trauma or drama, to return to eating and enjoying one another as life insisted on pushing forward. I heard one person declare the day a “miracle,” but actually, it’s the way our lives are meant to be lived: in abundance.

Abundant opportunities

Abundant problems

Abundant relationships

Abundant attempts

Abundant failures

Abundant successes

And abundant gratitude

The good news is that Christmas is a time for abundance.

The better news is that the baby in the manger came to give us life, and it more abundantly.

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Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

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Reverend Meningsbee (Part 34) Old Men Will Dream Dreams… December 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

“Preacher! Preacher!! PREACHER!”

The volume rose to such a point that it awakened Meningsbee with a start.

He laid on his bed, confused, trying to place himself in a context with time and location. He was still in his miniscule motel confines, but outside there was someone screaming for a preacher.

He decided to try to ignore it.

But the pleading continued, coming closer and closer.

Meningsbee eased to his feet and peeked out the window. There was an old codger with a gray, unkempt beard and long hair, and an army coat–probably circa Vietnam War–shouting for all he was worth.

“Preacher! Preacher!! PREACHER!”

Fearing that the desperate soul would be arrested for disturbing the peace, Meningsbee opened his door a crack and peered out. The screamer saw him and ran forward.

Meningsbee was afraid and slammed the door, peeking out the peephole. The fellow arrived breathlessly.

“What do you want?” asked Meningsbee through the door.

“Are you a preacher?” demanded the stranger.

Meningsbee paused. He wasn’t sure what to answer, so he opted for the truth. “Sometimes.”

“I need to talk to you. I’ve had a dream and I need someone to interpret it.”

“I don’t interpret dreams,” confessed Meningsbee.

“Then just listen to me,” the old man insisted. “Maybe we can figure it out together.”

Meningsbee peered out one more time through the hole in the door and decided the fellow looked weak enough that he could take him if necessary. He opened up and allowed the very confused gentleman to enter his room. The man found a seat on one of the tiny chairs and launched.

“Preacher, I had a dream and I need you to interpret it for me. It’s driving me crazy. I need an answer. I need to know.”

Meningsbee interrupted. “Well, I need to know how you know I’m a preacher.”

“Oh. That would be Jackie Bee down at the front desk. He said you signed in as ‘Reverend Something or Other.'”

Meningsbee nodded. “Just call me Richard.”

The old fellow reached out and shook his hand but objected, saying, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to call you Preacher. That keeps my mind right.”

Meningsbee shrugged. “What’s your name?”

“They call me Nico because I’m always trying to get enough money together to buy a nicotine patch so I’ll stop smoking.”

“Okay, Nico,” Meningsbee smiled. “What can I do for you?”

Nico leaned forward, folding his hands as if preparing for prayer. “Here it is, Preacher. This is my dream. You see, it’s Christmas morning and I’m sittin’ in front of this beautiful tree with sparkling lights. It’s so chilly in the room that I cozy up to the fire to stay warm, and there’s this one big box–a present–right in front of me. So I unwrap the present, and inside is another box, all wrapped up in the same paper, but a little smaller. Well, I open that one up and there’s another box, wrapped, smaller still. This goes on five, six, seven times. Finally I get down to this itsy-bitsy box. I reach out and I shake it to see if there’s anything inside, and sure enough–I can feel something move. I’m just about ready to get my prize when suddenly–my arms dissolve. That’s right–they just disappear. I have no way of opening up the final box. I know there’s something inside, but I can’t get to it. It’s driving me crazy. It’s like my brain is itching but I can’t scratch it. And then suddenly, there’s the sound of many people laughing. And then I woke up in a cold sweat.”

“Do you live here, Nico?” asked Meningsbee.

“I do, Preacher. I’m on disability. Have been for almost thirty years. Some folks think I’m a little crazy but I think there’s still some good left inside of me, because I wonder if I’m nuts, too.”

Meningsbee laughed in spite of himself.

Nico continued. “So what do you think it means, Preacher? Tell me about my dream. Tell me what God’s trying to say.”

Meningsbee liked Nico. Although still a little alarmed, he felt a shepherd’s heart toward the lost soul.

“Nico, I could tell you a thing or two, or speculate, but I really don’t know what it means. You see, even though I’m a preacher, I’m a little bit lost right now, and I’ve come here hoping I could get an interpretation for my own life.”

Nico squinted his eyes, listening carefully, and then nodded his head. “So what you’re saying, Preacher, is that we’re both screwed up.”

“I guess so.”

Nico stood to his feet. “Well, I didn’t mean to bother you, and I apologize for my screamin’ and hollerin.’ I hope you find your way back to your dream.”

Meningsbee shook his hand and said, “Nico, I hope you find that your dream shows you a way.”

As quickly as the visitor had arrived he was gone. Meningsbee shut the door.

Just a couple of moments passed and there was a knock. The preacher opened the door and there was Nico again.

“Listen… I have a request.”

Meningsbee jumped in. “You’d like some money, wouldn’t you?”

Nico smirked. “For breakfast. My check is not due until Tuesday. I’m on disability. Oh, I already said that, didn’t I?”

Meningsbee shook his head, chuckled and pulled out three one-dollar bills. “This I can interpret. Enjoy.”

He handed the money to the eager receiver. Nico gave him a quick hug and ran down the sidewalk.

Meningsbee stood staring at the departing figure and thought about the dream. How many packages had he opened up in his life, only to find them empty? Or were they just promises, leading to other gifts?

It was much too deep to think about.

Especially without coffee.

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


Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

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