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

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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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Jesonian… January 14th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Seven hours and thirteen minutes of sleep.

Three meals–well, kind of.

 

A couple of snacks.

A wash-up–bath or shower–cleaned my teeth.

 

Two good ideas that went bad.

One bad idea that surprisingly became good.

 

Got verbally attacked.

Tempted to retaliate.

 

Ate something that gave me gas.

Oops–diarrhea.

 

Someone betrayed my confidence.

Awaiting a delivery–very late.

 

A headache after lunch. Am I imagining it?

A little sore throat. Probably.

 

An unexplained, very temporary depression.

Inspired by the sight of a beautiful lake.

 

Paid bills. Short on money. Or am I really?

Grateful for opportunity.

 

Birthday for old friend.

Tired as the day goes on.

 

Don’t want to think about tomorrow.

Not supposed to…

 

This is a summary of my day.

Jesus, too.

I’m not saying Jesus had the same day that I did. But somewhere along the line, he had the same elements in his day that I do all the time. You see, God believed He was being very intelligent when He sent Jesus to Earth to be totally human.

We, on the other hand, have spent 2,000 years trying to prove he was perfect, even though we don’t like perfect people–they turn us off.

Perfect people are too damn perfect.

Even though the Bible tells us he was tempted in every way, just like us, touched by our infirmities, and learned obedience through the things he suffered rather than having it absorbed from heaven, we continue to be uncomfortable with the idea that he shared our “goofyness.”

Matter of fact, insisting that Jesus had diarrhea would cause some of the more holy saints to stomp out of the room, considering you a heretic or at least gauche.

But here’s the question: why would we care about anybody who didn’t care enough about us to be one of us?

So we portray Jesus as half-God, half-man, like some sort of Greek mythology, or all-God and all-man.

We lose the effect of the Gospel because we’re afraid to show that Jesus had days just like ours.

If we can’t relate the Gospel to the 21st century, we need to stop expecting 21st century people to find the Gospel relatable.

 

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Ask Jonathots … December 8th, 2016

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What do you think about the idea that people get depressed during the holidays? Do you believe in “Blue Christmas?”

The diagnosis of depression is applied to everything from copouts to extreme physiological disorders. It is a shame that such a legitimate concern is rendered questionable by people who simply want to feel sorry for themselves.

So when we talk about depression, we’re referring to three different regions of human behavior:

  1. Fear of the afar
  2. Fear of our surroundings
  3. Fear borne from a chemical imbalance within

So when dear hearts come to us and say they’re in no mood to celebrate Christmas because it leaves them sad, it is important that we listen to them and decide if they’re expressing some apprehension about the world around them, some feeling of a lack of appreciation by those they interact with, or whether the recent concern about the holidays is aggravating what seems to be an ongoing thread in their lives.

Those who are involved in conspiracy theories or worry about what’s going on in our world can often be comforted with good cheer, a sense of well-being and the knowledge that someone cares for them.

Others who are disappointed by their surroundings or who have been subjected to mistreatment are often healed right before our eyes by a spirit of gentleness and kindness.

And those who have physiological roots for their depression need our encouragement to see a doctor so they can feel better.

So during this holiday season, when you run across people who are expressing misgivings, start with some good cheer and give them a listening ear, and see if that doesn’t lift their spirits.

If it does, you are like the angels on high, who declared “peace on Earth, good will toward men.”

But if your attempts at healing still leave them feeling empty, you might use your holiday joy to encourage them to seek an answer and find out the source of their depression within.

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Ask Jonathots… October 6th, 2016

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I have a friend who is often depressed and sometimes mentions suicide. What can I say to him to get him out of this?

Stop feeling so guilty.

It is highly unlikely that your words will have sway.

When people are clinically depressed, they need medical attention. If they are mentally, emotionally or spiritually depressed, they need a sense of inclusion.

What does that require?

Unless your friend wants to talk about his problems with you, the more you can create productive links to him–of events, causes, entertainment or just personal exchange, like having a meal–the better off you will be.

When there is no medical reason for the depression, there is always an emotional devastation which has spread mayhem to the spirit and mind. In that case, the only way to encourage him to escape his own sense of doom is to offer a mutual mission or purpose.

I would suggest, if you know your friend is interested in antiques, to plan every week to go  antiquing with him, followed by lunch. Give him something to look forward to.

It also makes you a student to your friend’s expertise. Let’s be candid–everyone likes to be the “smartie” in the room.

If people just need to feel important, they need to repent.

When people need to feel valuable, we should include them.

Always take a suicide threat seriously.

Keep an eye on your friend. But when you are with him, place yourself in the position of being the instructed instead of the instructor. Let him feel dominant.

In doing so, he will look forward to seeing you because you empower him–and just possibly, he will take steps to feel that sense of energy in other aspects of his life.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Untotaled: Stepping 31 (December 18th, 1966) One Last Time … September 13, 2014

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(Transcript)

My home was just two blocks from school, so when the bell rang, dismissing classes for the holidays, I hung around. I was in no hurry to make the trek to my house.

It was my birthday and I was vexed by a bit of melancholy.

Maybe it was the reality of turning fifteen and still not loved by any girl, and kind of shoveled to the side by a family that had more pressing concerns.

I borrowed a basketball from the boys locker room and shot some hoops. I was temporarily invigorated by the fact that I set a new personal record for free throws–eight in a row.

When the janitor came into the gymnasium, he frowned. I realized he was going to ask me to leave, so I redeposited the ball back into the slot where it belonged, grabbed my books and headed towards my abode.

Darkness was already beginning to fall on the little central Ohio community. Clouds were clumped in the sky like folded dirty towels, haphazardly stacked on the shelf, precariously threatening to tumble on the floor in the linen closet.

It was gonna snow.

It didn’t take me long to get home, although I shuffled my feet most of the way. I had never seen that little stretch of road so vacant. Everyone had settled inside, lit their fires and were preparing to endure the forecasted six inches of the white stuff.

Strangely enough, when I got home there was no one there. The house was warm, dark and certainly well-suited to my threatening depression. I left the lights off and turned on our old television set.

There was Clara Jo’s Toy Shop. I never watched it–too “baby,” too silly, too girly, too stupid. But today I was in no mood to rise from my chair, turn the dial and find something else.

All at once, she introduced Santa Claus, to come out and talk to the kids. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head, and I realized, “Oh, yeah. It’s Christmas time.”

I cried.

I don’t know exactly why–but as I watched the man on TV pretending to be the saint from the North Pole, I suddenly wanted to believe again.

After all these years of growing up, knowing that the tales spoken of the northern elf were probably not true, I desired him in my life.

I was so lonely. I tried to play the piano, but each song just made me weep. Then I fell silent–so still that I could hear the howling wind foretelling the coming storm. The window panes in the dining room were already fogging over, promising frost.

With some tears in my eyes, I spoke out loud to the television set. “Santa Claus, all I want for Christmas is to still believe in Santa Claus.”

I cried again.

For a minute, it looked like I was going to be inconsolable. Then suddenly, it just stopped. I sniffed and peered at the television set.

I thought to myself that the family would soon be here. I was frightened that they had all forgotten it was my birthday. I didn’t think I had the heart to endure it.

Suddenly Clara Jo began to sing, in her off-key alto pitch, “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…”

I allowed my mind to wander to Christmases years before. It was December 18th, 1966 and I was fifteen.

And as a chill went down my spine, I thought to myself, “There goes Santa Claus.”

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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1946… March 13, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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Nixon resigningYour mommy is pregnant.

Well, actually, because it’s 1946, one is not allowed to say “pregnant.” Preferable is with child, in the family way or on the nest.

You are about to be born. While you are still in your mother’s gentle jail, two atomic bombs are exploded, with tens of thousands of casualties.

You, too, are going to be part of a “boom”–yes, an explosion of births due to men returning from war, seeking the comfort of family and the pleasure of their wives’ company. By the time you are three years old, China has joined the Soviet Union, becoming Communist.

By age four, the world is back at war, in Korea.

When you are six years old, the Supreme Court makes a decision on Brown vs. Board of Education, decrying segregation in the South. It would take thirteen years of bloody confirmation.

When you’re eight years old, you suddenly are confronted with a Cold War, which threatens to heat up periodically, causing your local village to build a bomb shelter near the school.

In like manner, when you’re sixteen, you feel the anxiety of global annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

And then comes the roller coaster:

  • At seventeen years of age John Kennedy is shot.
  • At eighteen the Beatles arrive, disrupting the social consciousness of a society already reeling from the death of a President.
  • At twenty-two, you stand by and watch as both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy are gunned down by no-name nothings.
  • Also in the same year you watch the Vietnam war escalate as thousands of young men your age are dying in the jungle.
  • At twenty-three they put a man on the moon.
  • And when you’re twenty-four, National Guardsmen gun down four students at Kent State.
  • On your twenty-eighth birthday, Richard Nixon resigns as President of the United States, acknowledging a conspiracy to defraud the American people.

The fear of your youth and the anger of your adolescence culminates into an adult cynicism.

Yes, the Baby Boomers became the adult Gloomers–and they passed onto their offspring a sense of mistrust, causing their children to constantly seek ways to escape reality.

It is rather doubtful if we can get out of the bland and bizarre depression that the country is experiencing without understanding how we got here.

We’re all too cynical.

We are too engrossed in ways to escape our lives instead of embracing them. And it is causing us to selfishly close up possibilities which just might make us better people.

Now you know how you got here.

Why don’t you go out today and do your best to reject the cynicism … and inhale some sort of new breath of life?

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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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

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