1 Thing That Makes Sense All the Time

 

REPENTANCE

“Don’t you just hate change!” he said with a huge bobby-bubbalicious smirk, looking across the room at what he knew to be adoring fans to his wit and humor.

Although an older gent, he was confident in his attractiveness and the sway he held with the little conclave. He paused, allowing time for the “amens, attaboys,” and “you-said-a-mouthfuls” to pour through the room, and then turned to me, awaiting my appreciation for what he considered to be an obvious observation about the nastiness of change.

I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

I certainly would have been more popular. But instead, I replied, “Mark my word, dear friends, death and taxes are not certain, but change is—and those who try to stall its purpose will find the wheels of progress rolling over their sensitive toes.”

I received no support for my position. After all, if the human race did not have an explainable ignorance, we would have to conclude it was pernicious.

Repentance should always be at the ready, or you may very well find yourself doing a “perish in your parish.” Therefore, as each new day begins, and you realize that neither you nor I created the universe—rather, we are permitted to remain on a very tentative lease—try to follow the spirit of common sense wherever it goes. That spirit will tell you:

  1. Change is necessary.
  2. You are necessary.
  3. Therefore, you will change.

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Catchy (Sitting 36) An Audience with No Audience … February 18th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3587)

The highway leading to Heathrow Airport was completely jammed. Gridlock. For twelve kilometers, cars were lined up, unable to move, creating the worst traffic backup London had seen in years.

This fiasco was brought about by a rumor that the Pope was flying in from Rome to meet with the Queen, to discuss the uniting of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church again.

The rumor was false–but that didn’t keep people from chasing it, causing a frustrating day of travel through the Old City.

This was just the latest of a series of stories being reported about the Pope and the Catholic Church, put out by a new website: “Popedope.com.”

It was started a few weeks earlier with an article in the Sun Newspaper from the United Kingdom, touting an exclusive on an alleged meeting between the Pope and Jubal Carlos.

Supposedly, after his noontime rally in the blistering heat of Rome, a black town car from the Vatican rolled up, and representatives of His Holiness asked Mr. Carlos if he was willing to come and have an audience with the Holy Father.

Dressed in jogging shorts, a tank top, with tennis shoes and a baseball cap, Jubal climbed into the vehicle and headed off for this strange new opportunity. According to insiders, upon arriving at the Vatican, he was asked by the public relations liaison if he would be willing to have the interview videotaped, so it could be shown to a congress of Cardinals due in Rome soon.

Jubal refused. He explained that it was common knowledge that he did no interviews–and certainly none which could be edited.

The audience with the Pope was granted anyway, and the two met face-to-face. There was only one other person in the room–a young man studying for the priesthood, who was chosen to serve refreshments. (Therefore it was assumed that all the information leaked must have come from this newbie.)

In the Sun article, detail after detail was reported about the conclave of the two unlikely men, both preachers. The Pope arrived in a simple gray tunic, wearing sandals. He wasted no time posing a question to Jubal:

“Where do you find disfavor with the Catholic Church?”

Jubal took the moment to share his heart. “When something is stuck, the instinct is to make an effort to move it–whether it’s mud, ice or snow, people join together, put their shoulders and backs into it to escape the rut. The Catholic Church today looks like the Catholic Church of the sixth century. Right there you can see there’s something wrong. Life has evolved. Generosity is growing. Tolerance is expanding. Yet the Catholic Church allows androgynous men to parade around with incense, believing in magical potions. If the Gospel is not about people, then at least it should be about ideas. If not ideas, then generosity. If not generosity, then hope. The Gospel cannot be about maintaining a religious practice which was not even begun by its founder.

“For Your Holiness, I will tell you–if there was a First Pope, his name was Jesus, not Peter. And as the First Pope, his lifestyle, goals, wishes, humor and direction would preclude him from ever wearing a crown and glorifying himself.”

At this point, the writer of the article stated that the Pope remained completely silent. At length, the Holy Father asked Jubal to come forward, laid hands on him, blessed him and gave him a hug. He left Carlos with one closing thought.

“I don’t know,” he said. “If I were younger and foolish, I might be you.”

When this piece was published in The Sun, the English people were ablaze with conversation about true spirituality, a living God and the possibility of purpose coming from heaven. It had been decades since the British had made room in their daily thoughts for the Divine.

After that, story after story after story popped up everywhere. One announcement from Popedope.com suggested that the Pope was on his way to America to ordain some women to be priests. The next pronouncement alleged the Pope would stop off in San Francisco to hold mass for the gay community. Of course, all the stories ended up being erroneous but nevertheless, a door had opened for great conversation.

Instead of people looking at the Church with sleepy eyes, challenges were hurled through the air.

“Why don’t we join together?”

“Why aren’t women priests?”

“What is the function of the Church?”

“Why do we have all this ceremony?”

When Jubal Carlos was asked if such an audience with the Pope had actually occurred, he responded, “You know I don’t take interviews. Why are you asking me for an interview?”

This further fanned the flames, as each news organization interpreted the answer to their favored direction.

But there was one sure thing–people were not antagonistic against God. People were not bored with God. People were just very weary of being given the same answers over and over again.

Matthew watched all the bewildering unfoldings and thought to himself, “What a damn good idea. Take the news media and use it as a counter-culture, or maybe even a counter-irritant to existing religious practices, to get people stirred up. Would a comprehensive look at the life of Jesus favor the Catholic Church, or introduce fresher insights?”

In the midst of his musings, he made a few phone calls to friends who were in the know and were able to check out Internet matters which would normally be forbidden due to privacy laws. He was able to discover the founder of Popedope.com.

A single user with a one-word name: Susannah.

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Untotaled: Stepping 1 … February 8, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2145)

(Transcript)

December 18th, 1963.

It was my twelfth birthday. Twelve years of age is such an annoying station of life. You’re not a kid, not a teenager, not an adult, not … anything.

You are stuck in some sort of limbo between a former oblivion and what might be an emerging consciousness. This grants you the ignoble position of being invisible.

My mother gave me a birthday present of one pound of pickle pimento loaf, purchased from Dick’s Market. It was not a slight nor an insult, but rather, a gracious response to my request. I loved pickle pimento loaf. Sweet pickles, pimentos with red dots pretending to have taste, surrounded by bologna. And it was beautifully presented–white butcher paper with some holiday scotch tape holding the package together, sporting holly and bells. After all, it was the season to be jolly.

And for the next fifteen minutes of consumption of the delicious treat, I was. Jolly, that is. It was so good that I ate it all in one sitting.

It was a confirmation of both my birthday and for a lifestyle choice–to be a fat person. Yet I needed that present to prepare me–anesthetize me–for the arrive of Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Benny.

They were coming to celebrate my birthday. Actually, no such jubilation was possible. Aunt Myrtle didn’t like me–always displaying a half-smile pasted below her German nose, prepared to turn into a full-fledged snarl at any moment. Uncle Benny, on the other hand, had his emotional backbone removed decades earlier, and more recently, a similar operation snipping his vocal chords.

You see, Aunt Myrtle had a favorite word.

“Tidy.” To this day I hate that term–tidy. Up-tight and makes me want to die. Ti-dee.

She had three criticisms which she rattled off immediately upon seeing me.

  • Your shirt tail’s hanging out.
  • Your fingernails are too long.
  • Stop slouching.

But in commemoration of my birthday, she added a fourth complaint. Out of the great, cloudy sky of her demeanor, she suddenly asked me, “Do you use deoderant?”

She went on to explain that I was becoming “a little man” and that my body excreted odors displeasing to others. She offered to bring me a tube of her favorite roll-on the next time she came.

Something snapped inside me. I needed to get out of that room. I knew the best way to achieve the purpose was to become insolent, so that my parents would dismiss me. So I asked Aunt Myrtle, “Do you like me?”

Shocked, she replied, “Well, I love you.”

I didn’t miss a beat. “Aunt Myrtle, it would be better if you liked me.”

This simple exchange seemed to set the whole conclave ablaze with disapproval. I was quickly sent to my room, banished from any further proceedings. I feigned disappointmend and arriving in my cave of seclusion, I shut the door and leaned my back against it.

Still lying on my bed was that wonderful white butcher paper, torn asunder. I eased my way over and lay down next to the present. I sniffed the paper for its former contents.

“You are empty, butcher paper,” I said, cuddling closer.

And so am I.

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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

. . . knew what to do … October 26, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2048)

five thousandCommittees can be powerful as long as they are headed by a visionary person of principle who reminds the gathered of the power of truth instead of giving in to convenience.

We should never throw a good idea aside, but also never embrace one when it has fallen by the wayside and is being maintained for the sake of tradition.

If they had held a committee meeting on a hill so many years ago when five thousand hungry people, who had been listening to teaching for days, were famished and in need of nourishment, the vote taken by the thirteen members of that body of consideration would have been to “send the folks away” and hope for the best. Even though a young itinerant minister named Jesus asked the opinion of his fellow-travelers, the story tells us that he, himself “knew what he was going to do.”

And because of his sense of mission and mercy, the folks were fed, using the resources of the reluctant committee members, stimulating their faith by giving them the chance to be part of a miraculous event–even though they might have voted against it.Abraham and cabinet

In 1861, a less-than-popular Abraham Lincoln ascended to the role of President of the United States. He surrounded himself with both advocates and critics, trying to form a government that would cohesively address the issue of slavery.

Yet I will tell you, if Abraham Lincoln had left the decision up to his Cabinet and Congress, we would be two nations today–one of them probably still having some form of sophisticated slave labor.

Abraham Lincoln knew what he was going to do–and somehow or another found a way to get those around him to come along and appear as if they were part of the solution instead of being entrenched in the problem.

Over and over again, throughout history, men and women of purpose and conscience have sat in front of committees, and rather than surrendering their leadership to the temporary will and often insanity of the popular opinion of the day, they guided their constituents to better conclusions.

gay rightsRecently, even in our country, on the justification of gay Americans to have civil rights, there has been a committee of those who have focused on the morality or normalcy of the issue instead of the liberty and justice that is required for all. Even in the face of such comprehensive division, we, the people, found the impetus to begin the journey to grant our citizens their due.

Do we all agree?

Absolutely not.

Is there a right and wrong here?

Often, my dear friends, freedom dictates that we abandon the notion of purity in favor of equality.

There is much to do in this country–and since we cling to a notion of democracy, it probably will require committees for accomplishment. But we do need those who chair the conclave of “deciders” to have an understanding of history, an appreciation of freedom and a stalwart will to abandon popularity in favor of posterity.

Can we find such individuals? Will we take the time to select leadership that will spur us to discover the inspirational choices … which will make our children call us blessed?

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Freedom Part 3: SPEECHERS… July 3, 2013

(1932)

protestHuman beings are defensive.

It is perhaps our worst attribute. We spend much more time trying to explain, qualify or rationalize our positions than we ever do considering whether they are valid.

So our founding fathers, thinking they were being extraordinarily intelligent, came up with the First Amendment. In that particular assertion, they concluded that the new nation of America should give everyone freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Their thought was that everybody should have the right to say whatever they want to say and believe whatever they want to believe.

Back to the original point: human beings are defensive.

In other words, once we speak something aloud, we are much more likely to kill someone in order to defend our ridiculous notion than we are to change our minds. We are also more accustomed to stomping our foot and preaching our rendition of God than we ever are to believing there’s additional revelation of the Divine available to us through the testimony of others.

So we end up with speechers and preachers.

Because we have granted people the right to have an opinion, we have also told them they are not responsible for the truthfulness of their ideas. We have allowed folks to meet in conclaves of religiosity with no responsibility for the human beings around them because their interpretation of some holy book grants them the privilege of irrational behavior.

Not even in a perfect world would freedom of speech and freedom of religion be applicable. The first thing perfect people would do is be more quiet and not try to force their convictions on others.

Even though I agree that it was a noble gesture–to give everybody the right to their opinion–it is insane to think that speechers and preachers, who have no regard for the freedoms of others, should be allowed to indiscriminately spew their venom into the air without recourse.

Not only is it stupid to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no blaze, it is equally dangerous, if you believe there is a blaze, to scream “fire!” knowing that it will create a panic.

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are two of the weakest parts of our Constitution. They do not take into consideration that defensive people will continue to give “speeches” and “preaches” in order to justify ideas that were present for the dinosaurs’ demise.

So what can we do?

Well, we certainly can’t throw out free speech and freedom of religion. And I’m not suggesting that we develop a police state, where what people think and believe is analyzed by committees and judged for accuracy.

But I am suggesting that a generation of rejuvenated human beings, who truly have been “born again” in their emotions, spirits, minds and bodies, take some personal responsibility for their words and for their contentions about God’s will.

I would suggest three questions:

1. Is what I’m about to say or believe going to make things better?

2. Does what I’m going to say and believe have any historical value, or has it already been proven to be erred?

3. Is what I’m going to say or believe ready to be changed by me when I realize that at least part of it is wrong?

Jesus said it this way: “By your words you are justified and by your words your are condemned.”

From that, I gain the insight to use my freedom of speech and religion, BUT … to do it wisely.

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******

 Jonathots, Jr.!

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******

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