Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4196)

Sitting Forty-One

Three days passed.

Karin found it difficult to sleep. She nibbled like a rabbit, trying to sustain her energy. Although she watched all the news reports, she heard nothing. It literally seemed that Iz and Pal had vanished from the face of the Earth. She made many phone calls but was unable to get in touch with anyone who knew anything.

Then, on Monday morning, while she was warming up her coffee, a special broadcast came across the television screen from the International News Network. She was brought to a standstill, staring in disbelief. There, being played out before her eyes, in a news conference, was a guy at a podium behind many microphones. He looked like Matthew Bradley, her photographer/suitor. Yet she shook her head, rattling in her own brain. It couldn’t be possible—because this man wore the trappings of a Catholic priest.

She lifted the volume as he stepped toward the microphones, placing a piece of paper on the podium. “I have a brief statement from the IEA. The two boys recently rescued from the desert and carried to a decontamination center to be tested and treated for injuries have unfortunately died from exposure to lethal chemicals. The boys, Jubal and Amir, who became known as Iz and Pal, left a final statement before passing on. And I quote:

We meant no harm. We just loved each other. Isn’t that a good thing? We wish you all holy peace.”

The Bradley doppelganger continued. “Both the boys were given medication to ease their pain and passed away last evening in their sleep. The IEA asked me, as a man of the ministry, to speak to the public. And may I personally add in comfort and closing, it is just blessed to know that Iz and Pal have gone to a better kingdom.”

With this, the priest folded up his sheet of paper, nodded his head and stepped away from the podium as a barrage of questions was shouted at his retreating form.

But there were no answers. He was gone. That was it.

Karin sat in front of her television for a long time. She wondered why she wasn’t crying—then realized it might be because Matthew Bradley was impersonating a priest. In other words, if the priest ain’t really a priest, then maybe, just maybe, the boys ain’t dead.

Trying to be comforted by the possibility of a false report, nevertheless, finally her emotional will broke. Her anguish and fears began to strangle her internally, draining the life from her soul. She couldn’t breathe. She stood to her feet, attempting to regain the simple ability to take in air and release it.

She felt so foolish. She had been part of tragedies before. She had seen men and women mutilated by bullets, and children blown up by bombs. Why in the hell was this striking her so deeply? Why did she let these two boys into her heart? Why hadn’t she been savvy enough to realize that this had no way to have a happy ending? It was doomed by all those doomsayers who spread doom all over the countryside in the name of their Deity of Doom.

She finally was able to sit down and calm herself, on the energy of one possibility. Maybe Iz was with his friend, Pal, and they were both alive. Karin didn’t know if believing such nonsense was optimistic or just dangerous. But she was tired of being cynical.

As she gradually regained her composure, she heard a knock at the door. Startled, she slowly stood, walked over and opened the door. A young Arab man was standing next to Jubal’s mother. She searched her mind to remember the name. Yes. Shelah. That was it.

It was very unusual to see a woman in public during the day with such a young man—one obviously not her husband. Karin was suspicious.

The young man knew he had surprised her, sympathetic to her predicament. “I am Talsan,” he explained quickly. “I am Amir’s…sorry…I am Pal’s older brother.” He turned toward the older woman, then back to Karin. “I suppose you know that this is…”

Karin interrupted. “Yes, this is Iz’s mother. Shelah, am I right?”

The woman nodded her head, continuing the submissive profile she had displayed on Karin’s visit to her. But then, out of nowhere, she spoke up. “Yes,” she stated. “As you say, I am Iz’s mother. May we come in?”

The sudden burst of speech from the silent woman surprised Karin. She welcomed the pair into her house. Karin offered them food and drink, which they both declined as they took seats on the couch.

Talsan said, “There is much I should say but the most important part is to tell you that I love my brother, and I refuse to believe that he’s gone.”

Before Karin could comment, Shelah piped up. “I will go further. My spirit—the mother within me—everything I hold dear—tells me that my son is still alive and breathing.”

Karin looked at Talsan and then at Shelah. She wasn’t certain what to say. She wanted to agree with them because she felt much the same way, but three fools don’t make a majority. The newspaper woman inside her rose up and cited, “You both realize that they don’t normally give out a false report from the IEA—and whether you trust Americans, or anybody from the West, I have worked with them many times, and they’re decent folk who would certainly not harm two little boys.”

Talsan started to speak, but Shelah patted his hand and said, “We are not accusing anyone of harming Iz and Pal.” She glanced over at Talsan. “We are just saying…well, I’m just saying…”

Talsan interjected, “It is me, too.”

Shelah nodded and continued. “We are just saying that we have done very poorly by these children of God and it is we who are believing that God will allow us another chance.”

Karin found it very difficult to object. All the words being spoken were sentimental hogwash, but still, they were the thoughts stirring in her own heart as well. She decided to offer a possibility. “Did you hear the announcement from the priest?”

They both nodded their heads. “Good,” Karin said. “Because his final thought was that the boys had possibly suffered enough and were redeemed to a better kingdom.”

Talsan jumped in. “I know this could be true. I’m not a fool. I’m an educated man. But it does seem ridiculous to accept the words without confirmation.”

“And beyond that,” Shelah emphasized, “Should there not be at least an attempt for us to let God, the authorities, but mostly the boys know that at the end of their journey there were people that loved them? People that sought them out and people that honored their memory?”

Talsan dipped his head as tears filled his eyes.

Karin realized that whatever powers may exist in the universe, Somebody Somewhere had granted her this visit from mother and brother, to restore her faith—and to help her make a decision she certainly yearned to do.

She took Mother Shelah and Brother Talsan by the hands and said, “I want to thank you for being brave enough to come here. But I wonder if you could be just a little braver still. Would you agree with me—no, more than that. Would you join me on a trip to America to make sure that these two great fellows really have gone to a better kingdom?”

Shelah quickly nodded her head, eyes glistening. Talsan thought for a minute, but then realized there was no way to avoid such a journey and ever be certain in his soul.

An unlikely trio of pilgrims made a covenant with one another to travel to the States to learn the truth about two wonderful guys that they all loved.

 

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Sit Down Comedy … August 16th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4138)


Sit Down Comedy

Can you play the game?

What is the game?

People interaction. Intimacy. Give and take.

The “get-along-ism” of the human prism.

Does it bother you that it’s a game? Shouldn’t it be called a mission, a ministry or an odyssey?

“Love your neighbor.”

A little piece of optimism, don’t you think? Some sort of idealistic drivel promoted by theologians. Generous and compassionate, but in its own way, foolish.

And it would be ridiculous to ask people to “love their neighbor” if that was exactly how the commandment was phrased. But it isn’t.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.

Actually, it’s a very cynical concept. In other words, since you’re madly infatuated with your own comings and goings and can’t pass by a mirror without glancing into it, might you consider sharing some of that concern with the people in the world around you?

After all, Jesus wasn’t stupid.

Jesus wasn’t hoping we would become angelic while praying that we would avoid devilish. He was merely asking us to play the game. The game is very simple:

Don’t expect anybody to give a rat’s ass about you if you don’t give a rat’s ass about them.

Perhaps not as eloquent as “love your neighbor as yourself,” but nevertheless, a practical paraphrase.

And by the way, be prepared for a five-to-one ratio. In other words, for every five minutes you’re willing to listen to someone else, they will probably return a minute of attention.

If you’re foolish enough to say that’s unfair, then you’ll end up with nothing.

If you decide you don’t give a shit about anyone, that’s fine, but you’ll discover that nobody gives a shit about you, and worse, they’ll probably try to find a way to get back at you because you didn’t give a shit about them.

Let’s tip our hat to President Trump. It’s obvious that he doesn’t care about anyone else. He is very interested in himself, and you can have a delightful conversation with the man as long as you’re willing to discuss Donald, and not “trump” him in any way.

On the other hand, the Democrats are less truthful. They pretend that they care about the farmer in Iowa who’s struggling with the loss of his soybean profits, while posting over and over again on the Internet the need for more donations—hoping to rise higher in the polls to make the next debate.

If you understand it’s a game, you can keep from being cynical.

If you think it’s supposed to be spiritual, moral or ethical, then you will find yourself broken, despondent and left with faith drained from your body.

I play the game.

Even within my own family, the interest level they have for me is limited and only comes forth when I first send out a query about their efforts and wishes.

Can you play the game?

Are you willing to take the five-to-one ratio?

Or do you think that if it’s not completely pure, that it has no heart?

It’s time to decide. If you can play the game, you will win.

If you can’t play the game, you will not only lose, but you will turn everyone who interacts with you into losers, too.

 

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G-Poppers … September 9th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3059)

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Sometimes G-Pop forgets.

He is suddenly overwhelmed by the nasty, cantankerous, mostly-cloudy conclusions, and then drenched in the negativity.

Weathering the storm.

What G-Pop forgets is that there are two worlds: the world around him and the world of his undertaking.

It is so easy to get trapped into believing that significant change can be accomplished by arguing, fussing, preaching or evaluating the lives and actions of eight billion other people.

But we’re all human. We want everything, everywhere, to be just fine. And by “just fine,” we mean “to our liking.”

There is only one world. It is the world where we live and have some sense of contribution.

But to keep on that straight and narrow of wisdom, G-Pop realizes that certain ideas need to be honored on a daily basis:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

Even if you have information to the contrary or discover evidence which contradicts such a noble notion, be intelligent enough to ignore it.

2. Don’t judge anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Even if you feel you have the backing of eternity or a stack of holy books, laugh at your inclination to be superior.

3. Stop thinking big.

It sets your mind to enormous expectation which causes the smaller opportunities to escape your vision. Life is not about a magic wand which causes dreams to appear, but rather, a pile of bricks, which we put in place one at a time.

4. Laugh.

It’s better than crying, and even if weeping comes for a season, be prepared for it to turn into giggling. Taking things seriously only puts you in serious trouble.

5. Don’t stop believing, but don’t rely on it.

Believing has an unrighteous tendency to wait too long before determining to do something. If you want God to know that you believe, start working with what you already have.

You see, sometimes G-Pop forgets these things. The bickering causes him to become cynical, or worse, proud.

When G-Pop lives in his own world, change actually seems possible.

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Ask Jonathots… June 16th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2974)

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Three times last week, I heard national news spokespeople say, “People don’t change.” How did this philosophy become commonplace in America?

Just a quick note to begin this answer–whenever you seek counsel, you will normally get one of three approaches:

1. The cynical approach. “Based on the data provided, we can tell you that it is unlikely…”

2. The hopeful approach. “With God all things are possible…”

3. The practical approach. “Present trends do not bode well, but certain actions could change the outcome.”

So I would like to answer this question by explaining that normally people are cynical about human beings changing because they, themselves, are no longer hopeful of much transformation in their own lives, and when presented with alternatives, they reject them.

I think it is a problem for older people to change simply because they embrace three erroneous profiles:

A. “The best things in my life have already happened.”

In other words, if you contend that the most exciting parts of your journey are already over, it will certainly cause you to be less-than-motivated to make transitions.

B. “It’s worked pretty good so far.”

There is an abiding notion that the philosophy which has taken us to this point in our experience should be sufficient to carry us on through the times ahead. There is no basis for this conclusion, but it prohibits aging people from taking an hour to learn how to work a computer.

C. No one’s listening to me anyway.

As you get older, there is a tendency to believe that your influence has greatly lessened because the children are grown, the job is in the past, your appearance is more fragile and you’re cast into the role of a soul on the way out the door.

These three ideas can cause a human being to dig in and refuse evolution. Matter of fact, when we talk about individuals who have great repentant leaps, like Ebenezer Scrooge or George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” these changes usually revolve around interventions from angels or spirits.

So to guarantee that a certain amount of enlightenment continues, consider three principles of power:

1. The best has not already happened or I would not still be here.

2. What worked yesterday will need some tuning for today.

And finally:

3. The best way to make sure people listen to me is to say things that are relevant to the moment instead of nostalgic about the past.

People can change. They just don’t naturally do it.

It takes a desire to live our lives all the way to very end instead of walking around in a misty haze of the past.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2791)

PoHymn Dec. 23

At The End

I am not a terrorist

Nor angry, avid Baptist

Not a bloke on a “watch out” list

Just overweight.

I am not a vicious killer

Won’t find me a Hades filler

Sometimes even a “God willer”

Still, often dumb.

Never lost to hesitate

Got some good things as I wait

Chasing sense instead of fate

Somewhat forgetful.

My soul is never just “all’s well,”

Yet far from a devil’s hell

I zip my lip more than I tell

I can be quite boring.

Life is not about the race

Who we follow or do we chase

Sometimes wool and others, lace

I rejoice in my common.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 16th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2784)

PoHymn Happy

Happy

Discovering I’m not so smart

Is the more intelligent start

Shedding a needful tear

Dispels some lingering fear

Quelling the push to win

Relieves the greedy sin

For an appetite of reason

Flourishes in every season

Stopping to feel compassion

Shall always be in fashion

To escape the festering mean

By having a heart that’s clean

While replenishing the broken road

Lifting the burdensome load

Refusing to be ignored

By those cynical and bored

And dodging the critic’s choice

Maintaining a hopeful voice

For happiness is not what happens to me

But rather, the person I choose to be.

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“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

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Good News and Better News… December 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2775)

Good News December 6

47.

Of the 52 Sunday mornings made available each year, I am blessed and honored to be able to share my vision and message with congregations all over this country in all but 5.

Easter Sunday, All Saint’s Day, and the three Sabbaths leading up to Christmas normally are already pre-packaged.

Yesterday was one of those 5.

I suppose I could say something noble, like the fact that I went to another church, or even found a hollowed-out tree in the forest in which to pray, but honestly, I just enjoyed being with myself and my traveling musical partner.

But one particular reflection came to my mind.

Although there is a contingency of human souls who believe in waiting for things to happen, I have found such a delay to be not only useless and pretentious, but also unproductive and foolish.

I have come to a conclusion: I only matter if I take my matter and address things that matter.

I am not naturally loved or appreciated by anyone.

I know that may sound a little cynical, but each of us must realize that ultimately, we are gauged by our value to the human tribe–whether we offer an opportunity to make things easier, more intelligent or prosperous.

  • I want to matter.
  • I want to have a life filled with purpose.
  • I don’t need to be personally important–just to know that what I’m doing has a level of importance.

So yesterday morning I asked myself a question. Since mattering is the matter at hand, what really matters?

1. Promoting liberty.

Without it, the Spirit of God is absent.

2. Promoting equality.

Without this particular understanding, we start buying in to the concept that we are exceptional.

3. Promoting mercy.

I desperately need mercy, and the only way for me to obtain it is to act it out in my adventures with others.

4. Promoting good cheer.

People who laugh are not better people, they just last longer, waiting for the solution to come.

5. Promoting peace.

Not just the absence of war but also the presence of ideas that find commonality.

That’s the good news.

And the better news is that great ideas are often considered nearly criminal when they are first suggested. Yet if you want to be found among the chosen few who are regarded as forward thinking, make sure you leave your fingerprints on these innovations.

So when they are investigated by future generations, it will be obvious to one and all that you were in on the ground work of an enlightened moment.

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

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

 

 

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