PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 15th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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He Forgot

He forgot to say thanks

Accused of misuse

She ignored subtle pranks

Suffered wicked abuse

He slept through the dream

And lost a better chance

She sat on the hay

And missed the next dance

He laughed at the warning

And drowned in defeat

She snoozed through the morning

And gave up her seat

He prayed for the sinner

Rejecting the single one

She mocked the latest winner

And never birthed her son

He shouted in the hallway

And left without learning

She heeded the bitcher’s say

The world just kept turning

He forgot

She ignored

Many were shot

I implored

For wisdom is everywhere

For those who watch

And dare to care

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 8th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3485)

One

One common face

For the human race

One blessed mind,

Seek, you will find

Man, woman, child

Meek, kind, mild

One Earth school

Teach the Golden Rule

One way to see

Human souls are free

One Father dear

Be of good cheer

One Son to hear

Lose all your fear

One Spirit within

Frees us all of sin

One way to truth

Our joy is living proof

One life to live

One heart to give

One sweet confession

Relieve dark depression

One trial of lies

A King on the rise

Yes, one conquering people

Gather beneath the steeple

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G-Poppers … October 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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He was tall, lean, with tight jeans, leather skin, cowboy hat and a big cigarette puffing out of his head.

He was The Marlboro Man.

G-Pop grew up believing that this cowboy was the symbol of masculinity.

Unfortunately, G-Pop was so-so tall, portly, marshmallow skin, baseball hat, with no “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Needless to say, his appearance was not deemed macho.

The vision persisted until other images of emaciated victims of cigarette smoking splashed on the scene–the consequence of years of tobacco, tar and nicotine.

So nowadays we don’t really know what makes up a man or what constitutes a woman, though we are certain that the two sexes are better when they intertwine instead of interact.

What makes a man?

What constitutes a woman?

It does sound like the beginning of a very long essay, or a series done by a writer attempting to generate readership through a dribble of controversy. G-Pop shall save you the time.

  • A man is a person who tells the truth, beginning with himself.
  • Likewise a woman tells the truth, beginning with herself.

The absence of truth places every human being right back in the center of the animal kingdom, willing to do anything to survive.

And as Pontius Pilate sardonically phrased, “What is truth?”

Truth is what we understand to be factual, while waiting for more information to enlighten us.

There’s nothing sexier than telling the truth.

Nothing more romantic than making it clear that you can be trusted.

There’s nothing more valuable to another soul than being able to relax with the account that’s been stated, and have some measure of confidence that it’s true.

Matter of fact, the truth sounds terribly alluring until you realize that occasionally it demands confession, apologies and repentance.

There is a contingency of our society that has begun to believe that the best way to avoid difficulty is to always deny any responsibility. It is pukey, sickening and devoid of any of the clarity which makes it simpler to live life.

Somebody lied to The Marlboro Man about cigarettes, so he ended up lying to us. Somebody’s lying today, and we are being tempted to buy into the lies and offer them up as explanations.

God help us all.

G-Pop would love to encourage his children to tell the truth, beginning with themselves.

It’s not always pretty, but it is always beautiful.

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G-Poppers … June 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

“It is the mingle that produces the mangle.”

G-Pop will freely admit that the phrase may sound a little too cute, but nevertheless, bears repeating.

How we mingle our thinking determines whether virtue, progress and intelligence will become mangled.

It all revolves around two insidious but often blended ideas:

  1. It’s not my fault
  2. God will take care of it

Yes, in an attempt to free ourselves of any responsibility for failure, we seek villains to blame for the destruction in our society.

Or we stand back, feigning helplessness, reciting our prayers, waiting for a divine being to intervene and make the world a better place.

And then, there is the ridiculous mingling of the two:

“Since God will take care of everything, why should I force myself to do things that are unnatural to my present thinking?”

It is the mingle that invites the mangle.

Because once you convince a generation of human beings that they are without fault and that God has a plan for everything, you scrawl a permission slip for people to continue their ignorance and prejudice.

Even though we contend “the truth makes us free,” we fail to realize that this freedom is only achieved if we’re willing to know the truth.

And here’s the truth:

G-Pop tells all of his children that if any one of us is within three feet of a problem, we probably have some responsibility for the situation.

And if we’re not within three feet, we still have the potential–within that yard of our jurisdiction–to improve the world.

  • There is no progress without repentance.
  • But there is no repentance minus confession.

“If we confess our faults, we will be healed.” If we don’t, we remain sick.

The more we insist that we are guiltless, the more intensely others look for our guilt.

And the idea that a God who created the universe and made human beings with a brain attached to their hands and feet without expecting them to use the connection, is just pure farce.

If you want to stop the mangling of truth, justice and mercy, you will have to attack the credibility of “it’s not my fault” and “God will take care of it.”

Unless we repent, we will perish.

And not even a God of mercy will stand in the way of our disappearance.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 5) Mercy … January 3rd. 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Our greatest fear is having our weakness exposed to others. To avoid this horror, we pursue positive attitudes, lies, anger, defensiveness, deceit, prayer and self-righteousness.

Yes, the absence of candor is the open door to deception. And when we are dishonest about our true selves, we have the ugly by-product of prejudice, which robs us of our better nature.

Why do we become prejudiced? In order to keep the attention away from the beam sticking out of our own eye, we try to bring focus to the speck in our brother’s eye.

So I can tell you of a certainty, honesty has a little brother and its name is mercy.

Without honesty, we feel no need whatsoever to be merciful, but spend all of our time drafting plans to escape notice of our vice. And maybe it’s not even a vice–perhaps it’s just a piece of us that requires grace instead of criticism.

It is time to become reasonable.

If the Gospel of Jesus does not afford us the humanity to confess our faults one to another, then it merely is a temporary pain-killer, or worse, a dangerous diversion.

Here’s a beautiful process–maybe better phrased, a way of thinking that actually produces thought:

  1. I have a weakness.
  2. You have a weakness.
  3. We have weaknesses.
  4. Therefore, we choose mercy.

If I do not believe I have a weakness, I certainly will not tolerate your peccadilloes. And if I discover that you are weak and I am unwilling to admit my weakness, then I will focus on yours and attack you for having it.

Thus, mercy is avoided, ignored and cast aside.

A world without mercy is always a lie, ready to be prosecuted.

For it will only take you a few moments after you meet me to discover that I have weaknesses, whether I confess them or not. It will not take me any longer to uncover yours.

So the only advantage we have is to get in front of these revelations by admitting that we have weaknesses, encouraging others to make the same confession, and then humbly allowing mercy to do its healing work through understanding and the passage of time.

Nothing happens until we realize how weak we are.

Strength is not owned; it is given by humbly admitting weakness.

 

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Confessing … November 28th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XXX.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

For the sake of this essay and season of confession, let me refer to it as “Thanksbumping.”

It’s that uncomfortable moment when older folks such as myself decide to openly share some insight with younger folks who absolutely have no interest in the input whatsoever.

It is tricky. It can slip up on you when you merely believe you’re sharing your heart, and almost always is interpreted as intrusion.

I thought I had outsmarted “Thanksbumping” this year by controlling the amount of time I spent with my family, while also promising myself to keep my convictions to my own inner pleasure.

I did really well the first night, but at the second joining together, subjects came up for which I had great passion.

I spoke up.

It did not go well.

I quickly retreated and spent the rest of the evening trying my best to imitate invisibility.

At the Thanksgiving meal the next day I was much better, and had learned my lesson.

But I must apologize to myself, to my Father in heaven and to those who once sat under my tutelage, for accidentally continuing to “tutle.”

Before you become self-righteous and insist that you never do such a thing, let me gently and mercifully explain that our children perceive any intervention which they have not requested as a breach of their territorial waters.

So as I confess this to you–that I did better at “Thanksbumping” this year but am still not without reproach–let me give you three hints to keep you out of this iniquity:

  1. Avoid giving opinions without hearing a question coming your way.
  2. Don’t offer contrary views in a climate where well-established ideas are being revered.
  3. And certainly, don’t attempt to do any sideline parenting.

It may be difficult to succeed at being a bystander when you feel as if you should be included and treasured, but it is the nature of our species.

It is the changing of the guard.

And to have a good Thanksgiving, you must make sure you dodge the “bumping.”

 

confessing chairs

 

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Slick and Slack … December 4, 2012

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Jon Signing

Sin or hypocrisy. Which one is worse? Or maybe those two words are too old-fashioned or medieval for you.  How about error or cover-up?

The trouble with human beings is that we are more comfortable with hypocrisy than we are with sin.

Not so with God.

Matter of fact, we are told that He does not look on the outward appearance but instead, does an inventory of the human heart. People, on the other hand, don’t hang around long enough to register our intentions or faltering, but instead, leap upon the action and focus on the dynamic.

The end result? We are taught from a very early age that it’s better to lie our way out of a situation than it is to own up to our mistakes and move forward in the learning process granted to us through the experience.

It really is the difference between cutting yourself slack and cutting yourself slick. When we cut ourselves slick, we come to the decision that we have done something that is not particularly savory to the appetite of the human family so we quickly begin to find some deceptive way to avoid being exposed. Matter of fact, I think some folks would say it’s just human nature to hide under our “fig leaves” of misconception. When we cut ourselves slack, we’re using the God-given intelligence we were provided to choose the moment to unveil our own inadequacy and confess it before someone else puts a spotlight on us and turns us into the next sideshow.

This leads to an interesting possibility–for we are told that “if we confess our faults one to another, we can be healed.” So does that mean the lack of confession produces illness? It sure appears to do so, doesn’t it–whether it’s emotional turmoil, mental distress or our actual immune system breaking down because of struggle, rendering us physically ill.

So let me be candid with you and tell you that I think I’m going to follow the heart of God in this matter instead of the teachings that were instilled into me by my culture, growing up in Central Ohio. I would much rather tell you about my foibles and stumbles, selecting the wording and staging of such a confession at my own pace and leisure instead of having you drag me into the streets and beat it out of me.

I don’t know why people want to “cut themselves slick” and end up sliding down to a hellish conclusion on their own greasy path. It’s just better to cut yourself some slack. Realize that whatever you’ve done wrong has been done before, repented of and has been redeemed–so if you are brilliant enough to get ahead of the horde, you will survive also.

I don’t know if I can convince many people to abandon the American predilection towards lying, but I will guarantee you that if you cut yourself slack, to be honest, you will not find yourself humiliated by cutting yourself slick and ending up exposed.

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