Cracked 5 … August 7th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Plans, Schemes and Promotions Organized by Vegetables to Help Promote Their Brand

A. Hail a Cabbage!

 

B. Lettuce Love One Another

 

C. Broccoli–Never Grew On Bush (George Herbert 41)

 

D. Caul-i-flower Bouquet

 

E. Corn–We’re All Ears

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Cracked 5 … November 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Other Practical Names Given for Thanksgiving

A.  Turkey Slaughter Day

 

B. “Why Don’t You Get a Job, Loser?” Day

 

C. “We Will Take Your Corn and Land” Day

 

D. “Does Anyone Really Like Green Beans and Mushroom Soup?” Day

 

E. “Thanks for the Electoral College” Day (only at the Trump home)

 

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Faithful Seeds … July 31, 2013

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BurpeeSeeds of Faith. The name of the church I was at last night.

Since we no longer live in an agrarian society, where everybody is well-associated with planting and harvesting, sometimes we forget the power, magnitude and mission of seeds.

It reminds me of my Burpee encounter. When I was a kid I suddenly became enthused over the notion of ordering a bunch of seed packets from the Burpee catalogue. I think it was because they looked cool, in their little containers with the pictures on the front. Whatever the reason, in about two-and-a-half weeks, I received an envelope filled with seeds for corn, peas, and I think, pumpkin. They were cool. I took them out of their envelopes and shook them like maracas.

But you know what I DIDN’T do? I didn’t plant ’em. I just put them on the shelf, looked at them occasionally, and once I went the back yard, dug some holes—but I forgot to bring the seeds with me. My idea was to return later to plant them. But when I did return a week or so later, the holes were gone—filled up—and I didn’t have the energy for re-digging.

So even though I ordered seeds, owned seeds and carried them around, I never made corn, peas or pumpkins.

I think the name Seeds of Faith is really cool, but it’s really not the seeds that make the difference. It’s putting them to their faithful mission. It’s scary.

It’s kind of weird to take something and plant it in the earth and trust that it will do something old-fashioned and natural, like grow. Seeds in little, tiny envelopes with pictures on them are so much prettier. Keeping our spirituality locked up in a book, having assigned seating in our pews at church or proclaiming the beauty of our favorite hymn is so much easier and more pleasant than actually taking the words of the songs and the ideas of the gospel and planting them into real-life situations, where we risk rejection.

Eventually, by the way, I lost my seeds. I don’t know what happened to them. I think they got shuffled in with some old papers and my mother threw them away during one of her frequent binges of cleaning.

It was weird. I felt sad. Because those seeds fell into my hands—an inept non-farmer—they never got to fulfill their purpose.

It’s time for us in the religious system to actually become the church.

It’s time for us to realize that seeds have been entrusted into our hands for planting, so that we might find reasons to place them in good situations, where they can grow.

Yet the same group of people who can spend hours talking about the plot of the movie, Titanic, can barely get two sentences out about what happened during a spiritual experience in church on Sunday. Why is this? It’s because we worship the seeds and don’t yearn for the harvest.

Here’s what I want to tell them at Seeds of Faith tonight:  “Take your seeds and…”

  1. Find good earth. We keep planting the gospel into dusty, old individuals who couldn’t grow a wart if they handled a toad. Find some good earth. Find people rich with possibility. Find people in need, so salvation means they were salvaged.
  2. Bury yourself. Become passionately involved with your spirituality, just as you are with your family, your movies, your food choices, your fishing and your grilling.
  3. Crack your hull. Understand, a seed doesn’t grow until it’s broken open. It splits open and a stem protrudes, going both up and down, so that the experience is obvious to the earth and to those above.
  4. And finally, suck it up. Suck up all the goodness and nutrients you can, in the earth where you are planted. Don’t miss a chance to discover something worthy of praise. Don’t avoid discussing goodness because the people in the room want to focus on Breaking Bad. Be the counter-punch to the sucker-punch of life. Suck it up—enjoy, relate and rejoice in the Lord. And again I say, rejoice.

Faithful seeds are seeds that find good earth, bury themselves, crack their hulls and then suck up all the nutrients around them, to grow.

Burpeemaybe I ordered them because I thought it was a funny name.

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Suffering Succotash… April 4, 2013

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succotashShe didn’t wear a hair net.

The health department had not yet enforced that particular rule, so Madeline would occasionally serve me my macaroni and cheese with a long red hair included within. It was one of the perils of being a ten-year-old, eating in the school cafeteria.

A second equally frightening concept was succotash. Somehow or another, somebody decided that succotash–the mysterious blend of corn and lima beans–was the vegetable of convenience to put on the plates of unsuspecting children.

Let us start out by saying that NO ONE likes succotash. I did meet one person  who told me he ate it and enjoyed it–right before the white truck arrived to take him back to the mental hospital.

Even though tons and tons of succotash were continually returned on plates and scraped into the trash can weekly, the school system refused to consider the possibility of finding a better vegetable to entice the young patrons. It was just assumed that vegetables were going to be hated anyway, so you might as well give them a cheap one that they could disregard, so you could stay on budget while piously maintaining that you tried to offer nutrition.

Yes, every child, in his or her lifetime, has gone through the indignity of suffering succotash.

Likewise, in the realm of the spirit, we are instructed by religion–fed in our churches an emotional and intellectual diet of doctrinal succotash. We are told that being a Christian is grounded in a certain amount of suffering. Otherwise we are not fulfilling the life of Christ. It doesn’t even take five minutes of gospel-hopping to discover that Jesus believed in abundant life, that he came to bring full joy, insisted that his burdens were light, told us we were the salt of the earth, said to rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and when faced with tribulation, to be of good cheer.

But if you base the entire message of Christianity on a twenty-one-hour period–from the Garden of Gethsemane to the death on the cross–as an illustration of devotion and lifestyle, you probably have missed the significance of thirty-three years of joy, victory, marveling, compassion and blessedness.

Why do we choose to offer succotash in the church under the guise of suffering, when no one is interested and every week, ends up scraping it off their plates, uneaten, into the trash can? Jesus never said that the door to heaven is through suffering. Actually, the door to heaven–or if you will, happiness–is through personal responsibility.

The world gives tribulation. My response is to be of good cheer. Why? Because Jesus has overcome the world.

It’s really that simple.

While the world debates gun control, abortion, states’ rights and racial issues, I refuse to join in and comply with the misery, but instead, take stock of myself and decide what I am going to personally do about guns, abortion, states’ rights and racial issues. Once I discover my approach, I can rejoice and be exceedingly glad. If I’m worried about world events, I probably will work myself into a tizzy.

Children don’t like succotash. When you continue to serve them succotash, you not only are wasting time and money, but you’re turning them into anti-vegetable people.

Human beings don’t like suffering. When you continue to preach suffering and insist it is the only available path, you’re turning them into anti-spiritual people.

Fortunately for me, I grew up and discovered that succotash was not the only vegetable. Also fortunately for me, I read the Bible, and in so doing, discovered that Jesus promoted joy–and not suffering.

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Children Are Not Corn … May 26, 2012

 

English: A display of six ears of field corn w...

English: A display of six ears of field corn with dented yellow kernels (Zea mays var. indentata) which won ribbons for “best of show” at the Steele County Fair in Owatonna, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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No, children are not corn. Good soil, seed, water, sunshine and care do not guarantee a plentiful harvest. Unlike corn they rarely take “stalk” of themselves and certainly are not “all ears.”

 Good corn  comes from good seed. But bad kids can come from good parents. We all know this, right? You can read books, study habits or even develop a life of piety–it will not ensure the results you desire.

I thought about this last night because my son and daughter-in-law are about to have a baby.They are excited. They will get over this and when they do, what will they need to know about fostering the growth of another human being instead of thinking that they are merely raising corn? Here is  short list I put together based on my experience with raising six sons:

1. Instruct following a failure. Don’t critique mediocre effort, but do use the moment to enhance results.

2. Encourage progress. Spend twice as much time exhorting brilliance as you spend fussing about “dimness.”

3. Praise success. Yes, celebrate. Don’t assume the benefits of the experience are sufficient without your words of acknowledgment.

4. And finally, in their presence, always believe the best. In their absence, always prepare for the worst. There is no benefit in being an optimistic parent. The only thing that will make you useless to your child is if their behavior surprises you, producing shock, which greatly resembles disappointment. And disappointment is poison to the spirit of a young human. Always have a contingency plan for what you will do if your children end up being … crazy.

So to my fine son and his wife, let me say that being the adult means standing firm in your support but being wise enough to never be  caught off guard, which can lead to accidentally becoming abusive because you were not rehearsed for any possibility.

Children aren’t  corn. You can’t butter them up and they don’t always en up lining up with all their little, golden nuggets in perfect rows.They are unpredictable. So make sure you have taken the time to predict what they’re able to do. 

  

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