Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 17) Parking Lotsa… August 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3040)

Reverend Meningsbee

It was apparently the Sunday that would never end.

As Meningsbee headed out the door of the church, evicted from the House of God by Sister Matrisse, standing next to his car was a smiling Sammy Collins, with all the jovial attributes of a freshly pardoned Thanksgiving turkey.

Sammy rushed toward him, vigorously shook the pastor’s hand, and gave him a huge “Day of Pentecost” bear hug–the kind that leaves you torn between appreciation and embarrassment.

Releasing his grip, Sammy blurted, “Are you prepared to take in about fifty ready-to-go souls who already know where the exits are and the location of the bathrooms?”

With this he laughed–very pleased with his joke, which he obviously had rehearsed.

Meningsbee crinkled his face. This gave Brother Collins permission to continue.

“Whoo-ee! We had a big blow-up this morning down at the church at the Holiday Inn Express–so much so that the front desk lady came and told us to tone it down. We were bothering the other guests who were still enjoying their continental breakfast.”

“What was the problem?” said Meningsbee, concerned.

“I confronted him,” said Sammy. “Yes, I confronted Patrick Swanson about what he said to you in my living room the night I invited you over to fellowship in my home.”

“You heard?” asked Meningsbee.

“Yes. I snuck in the dark room where my kids keep their toys–nearly tripped over a Tonka truck–but I was curious why Patrick wanted to talk to you. Never one to be shy, I decided that since it was my home, I had the right to know.”

“So you’re the one who told everybody in the church about our conversation.”

“Absolutely.”

“Well, he thought it was me,” cited Meningsbee.

“Sorry about that, but I had to let him think that way until I could get all the friends and neighbors organized for the revolt, and the opportunity to return to the Garsonville Church–our home church. Preacher, most of my kin is buried out there in the back section of the property. I could show you their gravestones. This is my church. This is where I want to live. This is where I want to die. So we’re comin’ back.”

Meningsbee stood quietly. The joy on Sammy’s face had disappeared quickly as he told his tale of dissension and vengeance. He was now flushed and also a bit bewildered about why the good reverend was not jumping up and down for the chance to include more sheep and coffer stuffing.

Meningsbee realized he had to say something. “Sammy, Sammy, Sammy. I love ya’. But the church is not a club, though it might seem that way since we collect weekly dues. It’s not a game. The choices we make are often life and death. You must believe me when I tell you that the church also is not a family reunion, though we are all part of the same bloodline. God knows, it’s not a political party. We’ve already chosen our leader. Sammy, well…it’s an adventure. Or maybe a competition. Yes, it’s an adventurous competition, to see who can love their neighbor as themselves the most and still remain deliriously happy.”

Sammy’s dark cloud burst. “Listen, Meningsbee, I didn’t come for a sermon.”

“Oh, you’ve gotta forgive me,” said the pastor. “I didn’t get to preach one today so I guess I felt a little cheated.”

Sammy frowned like a frowning man frowns when frowning is in order. “So you don’t want us?”

“I don’t get to choose,” said Meningsbee. “I was just explaining to you how we view the kingdom of God.”

So … Sammy Collins turned on his heel and walked back to his car sadly because he was very religious.

 

Donate Button

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

Populie 3: Family is Everything … February 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2149)

Cring family

Things become popular because they make us feel good about ourselves without challenging us to improve.  The sensation is so intoxicating that we’re often willing to bottle lies in order to guzzle it down.

This is how we arrive at the infamous Populie, Family is everything.”

It is really an Old Testament approach to believing that our particular lineage, descendants and tribe have been granted a special anointing from on high–superior in some way to other groups in our nearby community.

Even though in the Good Book, Jesus makes it clear that if you love those who love you, you’re no better than the heathen, we are on some sort of “birthright high” right now, in pursuit of giving extra love to those who possess our DNA.

You might ask, “What’s the big deal? So what if people embrace their own personal households with greater intensity and fervor than they do the other humans around them? Isn’t that natural?

When you become too intensely involved in your own concerns, you are a clan–and I’m not talking about the Ku Klux version. A clan is just a group that gets together and says, “We are us.”

It sounds like a celebration of life, but clans quickly become clubs. Clubs: “We are different–and special.”

Once you’re a club, you may find it necessary, in order to keep your rendition pure, to become a cloister. “We are separated from everyone else so as to remain free of interferance.”

And unfortunately, cloisters quickly become cliques: “We are better.”

So the same segregation which occurs in high school, forbidding a nerd, a geek, a jock and a prom queen from interacting, is continued on in adulthood, as we establish our own form of that campus life in our family.

We are us too easily becomes we are different–and special. Since we are special, we need to be separated, so we can celebrate how much better we are.

And I must tell you, whenever any group of people are convinced that they are better than others, they soon feel compelled to hurt, or even kill, the inferiors.

What should we feel about family?

  1. We are blessed to have one.
  2. It is a great climate for learning patience, and how to treat all people.
  3. We have a fellowship in agreement with the principle that we are going to love the whole world.

The Old Testament was full of families. When Jesus came on the scene, he started talking about the whole world.

So I will tell you–I am a family man who takes the experience I have with my own kin to reach out to the kindred of the earth.

Donate Button

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

The Reason for Rules … December 8, 2012

(1,723)

Jon Signing

“Don’t do that.”

I’ve always hated those three words. Maybe it’s because I have a snotty seven-year-old brat living inside my big, fat body. It could be my rebellious nature. It might be that I don’t like to remember a bunch of stuff that doesn’t seem necessary if I don’t already know it. But I think the reason I hate the words, “Don’t do that” is because when you pose the natural question, “Why not?” you are often met with indignation or even ostracized from the club that has instituted the regulation.Please do not walk on the grass

I do understand the importance of rules. I just want you to comprehend that sometimes they are arbitrary, other times rules become unnecessary because of development and too often they are just a way to keep people from achievement so that everyone can remain dull and mediocre.

As far as I can tell, here are the four reasons for rules:

1. To prevent people from doing something that will ultimately kill them.

2. To prevent people from doing something contrary to your government, your God or your preference.

3. To prevent people from doing something that won’t kill them.

4. To prevent people from doing.

I’m sure you can find different angles on this, but you might be surprised to discover that three of the four reasons for rules are less than noble.

I certainly am in favor of outlawing anything that endangers the life of human beings, animals or any part of God’s creation that has the right to live instead of being decimated. That’s why I’m against abortion. It’s why I am opposed to the right to bear arms without adequate restriction to guarantee the safety of the innocent. It’s why I think obesity should be against the law. Even though I’m a fat guy, I have to admit, nothing kills people more than blubber. It’s why I think restrictions on cigarettes, alcohol and mind-altering drugs are essential–they all a hook they jab into human flesh, dragging people into desecration and disintegration.

But not all rules are so valuable. For instance, I think it’s good that the Ten Commandments tell us not to commit adultery, but I don’t think it’s beneficial when the Catholics, Mormons, Muslims and fundamentalist Christians use that precept to cast aspersions on the joys and pleasures of sex. Sex was not created by God to make children. Children, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your point of view) are a by-product of a really good orgasm.

I do not think we can market a God who has more rules to His philosophy than jewels. I don’t think a government can sustain itself trying to keep its citizens from the liberty that God says we enjoy as evidence of His spirit. And I don’t think you have the right to establish disfavor for other people because just you find their particular habits distasteful.

I think we have to take a good look at the reason for rules. I think we have to be candid and say that the introduction of incurable viruses into our society through various types of lifestyles is reason enough to re-evaluate those choices. Why? Because the result is dead human beings.

“It is not God’s will that any should perish.” God does not hate sin, God hates death.

Learn it. Otherwise, you’re going to start looking for evidence that the people who are supposed to be your brothers and sisters are an abomination to your snooty God, because they ate shrimp from the nearby Mediterranean Sea. (You know that WAS the case at one time. Shellfish were forbidden for the Jews because for that season they were contaminated. In other words–they killed. Now they don’t. Enjoy your shrimp with your cocktail sauce.)

Likewise, if we come up with a cigarette that doesn’t produce lung cancer, more power to us. If we can prove that carrying around fifty extra pounds of lard on one’s body does not fry the circulatory system, then eat away. If we can produce guns with bullets that are better targeted towards evil than good people, then please start the manufacturing tomorrow. And if you can establish that aborting a fetus is not terminating life, then go ahead and open your clinic.

Other than that, realize that death is not admissible to a God who loves all of his children. But also be aware that making rules so as to make your fanciful cult more exclusive is just as distasteful to a God who honors free will above all else.

Be careful. Three out of four reasons for rules are at least erroneous, if not destructive. But by the same token, if a particular action ends in death, understand that our loving Father has only one desire–to protect His children.

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

Hands On … November 24, 2012

(1,709)

I can’t make up my  mind.

Yes, I can’t decide if I enjoy the warmth of the palms or the gentleness of the fingertips, one more than another. Hands are remarkable. Unless they close up and become a fist of rage,  transforming into a club to victimize, they are always more than welcome, at least in my world.

She came into my motel room. She was a stranger to me. She tagged along with a friend who had arrived for an annual visit during my stay in Music City for Thanksgiving. I knew nothing of her. During the introduction I discovered that she was a missionary from Nigeria, interested in music, and had come along with my old haunt to see if any of the nice things he pronounced about me actually had validity in the flesh.

I liked her. She was a bit cautious, being raised in a religious environment, with a danger of demons and deceivers being more advertised than the possibility of angels and truth bearers. I didn’t care. I stopped trying to impress people a long time ago, mainly because trying to figure out what would actually make their clock tick seemed a poor use of time. It was a lovely visit.

We didn’t agree on much. Coming from a theology where the Bible Belt is the only way to keep your pants up, she probably found some of my ideas a bit too progressive or inclusive. But here’s what I know. Disagreements don’t have to be disagreeable if our goal is to find reasons to love each other instead of paths to part the ways. I don’t care who I’m talking with–I can always find common ground, and from that earth I can discover a place to make a foothold and establish some things that are important to me without offending their turf too seriously.

We ate some chicken, sipped some Coke and shared some ideas. Once she realized that I was not intent on merely reciting a bunch of repetitious verses to establish my Godly profile, she relaxed and allowed herself the great blessing and courtesy of being present in the moment. As we neared the end of our visit, it because obvious to me that my friend had shared with her some of my ongoing plight with my legs, knees and immobility. She asked if she could pray for me. It was really quite beautiful. She began by serenading me with a soft, sweet lullaby and then moved towards me, kneeling next to me, placing her hands inside mine and began to pray, beckoning the heavens.

I stared down at her beautiful fingertips. They were the color of cocoa–or maybe like coffee that has just enough cream with a couple of Sweet and Lows.

Honestly, I didn’t listen to much of what she had to say–her words. Much of that was her religious training coming out in her vernacular, filled with ideas that are not foreign in my experience, but now ancient in my practice. I just kept looking at her hands.

I squeezed them occasionally to feel the warmth and tenderness. Combined with the sincerity and earnestness of her voice, they touched me in a place in my heart that did require reinforcement. Although not weary in well-doing in attempting to walk with unwilling legs, I was tired. Her hands on mine gave me the emotional energy to press on.

I know she probably wished for a miracle–maybe that I would rise up from my bed and walk. But life is not always as simplistic as the wishes of our childish hearts. Sometimes it’s just the heat, concern and immense energy derived from hands on hands. It doesn’t make things completely better, but it does make things better … completely.

She rose from her position of prayer and removed her hands, with tears in her eyes. I immediately missed her hands. I wish they could have stayed with me for another hour, day … or maybe a week.

But as I write this to you today, I can still feel them. We must never underestimate the power of becoming hands-on with the world around us. We just never know when God will use that touch to set in motion something truly beautiful.

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

%d bloggers like this: