Ask Jonathots … January 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2813)

ask jonathots bigger

I’m fifteen years old and want to be an actress. I watched the Golden Globes and it looked like everyone was intoxicated. Some of my friends think that drinking is no big deal–after all, it’s not “doing drugs.” Their parents drink, after all. Their older brothers and sisters drink. Everyone drinks. What do you think about it?

I personally am not a big fan of camping.

Matter of fact, I only have one clear memory of going on such an excursion. What I do remember about the experience is that you do a lot of walking and while doing this peddling along, you are also carrying everything you need on your back, so that when you arrive at the campsite for the evening, you can open it up and have your “stuff” to make the journey tolerable.

You know what I discovered on the first night? Half of the things I brought were useless, making me tired carrying it around.

I found a nearby trash can and threw these items away, which someone had told me were necessary to have a woods event.

My second day was so much more pleasurable, and when I arrived for the evening’s rest, I had everything I needed–and if I didn’t, I was still happy that I had a lighter load.

  • Thus drinking.
  • Thus smoking.
  • Thus obesity.
  • Thus nervous energy.

Anything we decide to tuck into our lifestyle which we have to carry only makes the journey a bit more difficult, will slow our pace, and in the long run, when we arrive at our destination, will probably have to be abandoned in favor of more freedom.

I’ll tell you what I feel when I watch the Golden Globes and see people drinking. Since they are actors, directors and producers, I would like to follow the story line of their alcoholic curve. Are they really able to hold it to a couple of glasses of wine and an occasional beer, or does the liquor begin to control the dialogue, the circumstances, the party or even the friends?

I would say if you’re able to drink a glass of wine at a meal or have a beer with a bratwurst without feeling the need to carry alcohol into your life for inconvenient times, then you should be just fine. But to look at alcohol as a social statement, a way of relaxation, a means to unwind or a must so that you can garner the right people for your party, is to set yourself up for arriving at your goal toting a burden rather than a benefit.

How many people sitting at the Golden Globes have already been through rehab and countless attempts to stop drinking, or are short months away from a DUI which will place them in the public eye with a frown?

Alcohol is a substance. It warns us of its potency and danger by its flavor and after-effects. If you can incorporate that taste and responsibility in your life without losing control or feeling compelled to imbibe, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.

But many have insisted they can, and crashed.

Yes, many have lost their way.

Keep this in mind.

Alcohol never helped anybody get to their dream. 

Donate Button

The producers of Jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

Reservations… December 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2094)

angel light“Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord…”

These were the words uttered by the Virgin Mary of Nazareth upon hearing that she was to be the human incubator of the Messiah. Of course, she had no idea what the project entailed, nor exactly how God works with people to perform greatness.

  • Jesus was an idea.
  • God loves ideas.

The problem with our comprehension of the Divine is that we believe the “idea person” should jump in and do all the work. It doesn’t happen that way.

Actually, if you study the story carefully and put it into the context of Mary’s lifespan, it is a tale of unfulfillment, punctuated by obedience and highlighted by very brief moments of encouragement.

For after all, getting pregnant in a small town when you’re not married is not pleasant whatsoever–especially among people who consider stoning. Being a teenage girl going through morning sickness, swollen legs and a growing belly leaves little time for reflections on angels and promises.

And then to discover that your family is about to be taxed and you will have to leave town during your third trimester to journey over a hundred miles away–only to have your water break right outside the town of your destination, while your husband is unable to find any kind of lodging without situating you next to an animal–well, it certainly takes the glimmer off the original statement of acceptance and willingness.

But it didn’t stop there.

She was chased out of Israel, lived for at least five years in a foreign land, returned home to renewed gossip from non-forgiving-nor-forgetting townsfolk, and settled into what seemed to be a quiet life with a normal family, with no signs of her “miracle son” being particularly special, except for the one time when he was twelve years old and disobeyed her by hanging out in the temple.

When he was grown, she watched his erratic behavior as he lived among wild beasts and fasted, preached against religious intolerance and was rejected by his home town and nearly killed.

Shortly after that, his execution was completed on a hill–hung between two thieves and thrown into a tomb, where to her amazement, he was resurrected. But even at the point of her death, his movement and words had not traveled much beyond the borders of Judea. Hardly confirmation for a world-wide savior.

All of this was initiated by an angel’s proclamation and the only further confirmation she received to give strength to the original promise was an occasional dream, which she had to choose to believe was significant.

The Christmas story is a beautiful insight into the mind of God. It reminds us that everything which is eventually deemed heavenly is brought to pass … through earthly sacrifice.

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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

Where’s Ya’ Goin’? … December 8, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2089)

older boy with SantaAt twenty-two years of age, I was an unsettling blend of fun-loving, lazy, irresponsible and unfortunately, just talented enough to have reason to pursue a dream that was trying desperately to elude me. What happens in this type of situation is that normally you do quite well–until you run out of money.

Finance is not the most important thing in life, but it does buy you time to think about the important things.

So at Christmas time, I decided I needed to go out and make some candy-cane funding for my little family, and opted to pursue being Santa Claus. I was built for the position. Matter of fact, when I applied at the department store, they were delighted because the costume fit me perfectly and they didn’t have to add padding.

Honestly, I was pretty good at it, being Santa Claus. It involved acting, joking, caring … and could all be done from a seated position. The best of all my worlds.

Still, because cash flow was tight, I wasn’t able to afford money for lunch, so I lived on candy canes from my bag, which I gave to the children. I carefully tried to insert them into my mouth past the synthetic beard provided for me to accentuate the part. As you probably have already visualized, candy canes are sticky, and I was often unable to push the candy cane past the beard without including some hair in the process. It was yucky, but it was sweet.

Every three hours I was given a break, and would go down a freight elevator to enjoy some water and free time. One day, much to my surprise, a young boy about six years old followed me to the back of the store to the freight elevator, and surprised me when he piped up, “Where’s ya’ goin’?”

I was shocked. But wanting to maintain integrity, I continued my role.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa’s going to go feed his reindeer!” I said with abundant joviality.

“Where’s are dey?”

“Just down this elevator in the basement, waiting for me to bring them food.”

“Is dis the magic food that makes dem fly?” he inquired.

“Yes. I mean, no. Not yet. After all, don’t want ’em to fly until Christmas Eve.” I produced another ‘ho-ho-ho.’

“Which reindeer do you like best?” he continued.

(We were in the midst of a conversation which was quickly becoming an interview. I not only was losing my quiet time, but realized that in a few short moments, I would be beyond my expertise.)

“I like them all the same,” I shared with equity.

“I like Blitzen,” he said with assurety.

“Why is that, young man?”

“Such a cool name. And also, I think he helps Donner pull the sleigh, because sometimes Donner’s a little weak because he’s getting older. Just like my Grandma.”

Wow. This was getting way too deep for a department store Santa Claus.

“Well, I gotta go now,” I said, trying to inch my way to the elevator.

“Can I go with you?”

I should have known this was coming and prepared myself with a good answer. But I was twenty-two years old and punching a clock, even if it was for the North Pole.

“No, you can’t.” That’s all I came up with.

“Why?” he asked.

Once again, a predictable question. I decided to be honest.

“It’s because Santa Claus is tired right now and needs to put his boots up so he’ll be ready to talk to other boys and girls and find out what they want for Christmas.”

Much to my surprise, he accepted this and nodded his head.

“Can I ask you one more question?” he said softly.

“Sure.” He was so adorable I couldn’t turn him down.

“Are you the real Santa Claus?”

He looked up at me with a glance that any Hollywood producer would require off of a child actor, but unfortunately never get, no matter how many takes are procured. What should I say to him?

I thought about the standard fare:

  • No, I’m not really Santa Claus. I’m just one of his helpers.
  • I’m just filling in for him today because he’s busy making toys.

But momentarily inspired, I replied, “What do you think?’

He crinkled his nose, squinted at me, and said, “I think you are.”

“Then you’re probably right,” I concluded.

He hugged my leg, turned on his heel and strolled away, singing.

I thought to myself how wonderful it was to be childlike. What a disadvantage to be so old that I couldn’t believe like him anymore, and so young that my lack of belief would cost me for quite some time to come.

In all my life, I never met anybody who was better off for doubting. I have never seen atheists, agnostics or even overly zealous thinkers walk away singing.

Maybe in the vast spectrum of reality they are better off possessing knowledge, but for me, I want to be like that little boy:

Chase my dreams, talk to my ambitions and walk away … singing.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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

A Nice Price for Mice … November 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2069)

dead miceIt was a rather odd dream–not really spooky, just bizarre.

I found myself in a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant, chomping on a chicken sandwich, chatting with friends, when a young tyke about seven years old came walking up to me. He had chubby cheeks and wore a winter hat, similar to the ones you would see in the 1950s on kids who were forced to don them by their parents. In his hand he was holding an old-fashioned bird cage, and as I peeked inside, I discovered it was filled with little dead white mice.

I was taken aback. Then the youngster pointed to a sign pinned to his coat. It read, “A nice price for mice.”

I realized the kid was trying to sell these deceased little rodents–peddling from table to table.

Before I could express my horror, he ambled over to another patron, where a lovely older lady purchased one of the mice from the determined seller. He made his way all around the restaurant, with each person buying one of the dead boogers and patting the young man on the head.

I observed that none of the customers knew what to do with their purchase. As I mentioned, this was not a spooky dream. No one ate one or put it between their sesame seed buns. One lady wrapped the dead mouse delicately in a napkin and placed it in her purse; another man stuffed it in his pocket.

Why was the little boy selling dead mice? And why were people purchasing them?

Suddenly I awoke.

So you see, my friends, I don’t like to ignore my dreams. It may actually be one of the few occasions when my harried soul is still enough for God and my conscience to speak to me. In the process of analyzing the dream, I realized it was a parable of our American culture.

If Madison Avenue is able to find the right “little boy” to send our way to appeal to us, we are more than willing, at a nice price, to buy mice.

We really don’t know what we’re going to do with them. We don’t particularly favor them. But we find it difficult to say no to the attractive offer–especially when those around us are purchasing.

So we end up stuck with something we may not even believe in, and certainly do not treasure, as we pretend that it is our choice. Here’s the truth: mice aren’t nice–at any price.

Especially dead ones.

So I will tell you–there are some mice which have entered our society, promoted by Madison Avenue and large corporations. I would like to point them out and call them nasty, instead of wrapping them up in a napkin and tucking them away.

Here are three that immediately come to my mind:

1. Killing.

I am against it. I don’t like war. I don’t agree with capital punishment. I don’t like abortion. I don’t particularly like it when a guy shoots a woman through a screen door. It’s a dirty little mouse being peddled to the public as realistic and entertaining.

2. Drug abuse.

I don’t understand why we need them. What I mean is, I don’t understand why we would want to take drugs for recreational purposes when we’re reluctant to use them for treatment. I think we should be in the business of becoming a drug-free society because we’re working on being happier people. I will not purchase that little wall-dweller and call it a pet.

3.  Pornography.

It isn’t cute. It isn’t pretty. It doesn’t create equality between the sexes. It is another form of slavery for women. It is notorious. It is a dead “stinky” being sold by pretty people who want to portray themselves as open-minded–unless you are talking about the rights and dignity of the female of our species.

There you go.

I realize we live in a society that wants to peddle a nice price for mice, but I will tell you, things like killing, drug abuse and pornography are dirty rats.

And they are not a deal for me … at any price.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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

Friedens… April 5, 2013

(1,842)

friedens colorFriedens. The word is German for “peace.” Yet when I first eyeballed it, it looked like it might be the word for “friends.”

Maybe those Germans have come up with something. After all, the best doorway to peace is to establish a gentle life with friends–and likewise, an excellent avenue to friends is to arrive with a bit of peace. Put the two together and you come up with the essence of faith.

Peace, friends, faith.

Peace: Dear God, I will find my life in You. It’s a promise. If I’m willing to lose the confusing mass of mixed signals that I call my will, I will gain my life.

Friends: I will let you into my life. There’s a certain vulnerability to the process of interacting with other human beings which is simultaneously frightening and invigorating. If I am not willing to let you into my life, it’s difficult to make a case for true friendship.

Faith: We have life abundant. Once I discovered my peace by finding my life in God, and I’ve humbled myself to let you into my life, the miracle of fellowship allows us to share life abundantly. friedens brick

Sunday morning I will be with the Friedens United Church of Christ. We will share a peace that will lead to friendship and culminate in faith.

 

 

Friedens

There is a place of peace

Where human fears release

Holding our trembling soul

Worry taking its toll

For then our mind will ease

Turmoil finally cease

And rest warm with others

Our sisters and our brothers

Breathe the scent Divine

Allow our light to shine

Sense what we dream to be

The truth that makes us free.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

The Box I Built … February 9, 2013

(1,786)

I gave my caretakers, instructors and the adult world nearly two decades to make their imprint on my life, to prove their case. I think that’s pretty generous.

And then I noticed “now abideth faith, hope and love…” I suddenly realized in my late teens that I did not believe in my clan’s faith. It’s not so much that I had doctrinal differences as that I was completely dissatisfied with the absence of a belief system. My parents adhered to God without ever allowing the influence to permeate the corners of their minds. I wanted more than that.

I also did not favor the hopes they had for me. They wanted me to be a slightly updated version of their rendition of the American pursuit. I was not very impressed with the American pursuit. It advertised great promise, with the fulfillment of a dream, but rarely delivered the goods. I went out looking for my own hope.

In our house, I always felt “love” was a word that was set off in an emotional parenthesis–assumed, as it were. I don’t want you to think I’m being critical of their choices. My parents were raised in an era when survival was much more important than hugs. So emotion was basically drained from the experience of affection, and intimacy was only expressed following moments of crisis.

Let me explain.My father passed away when I was seventeen. About three months before his death, realizing that he was terminal with cancer, he came in the room and tried to converse with me, ending our session by reaching over to tickle me. I was seventeen years old–not really “tickleable.” I pushed him away. As I look back on it now, it probably was a point of sadness to him. But the emotion of love does need to be expressed more frequently than when you’re afraid you’re dying.

So I pursued a “reborn” identity. I chose to be born again spiritually–in a way that my family would have considered to be over-wrought and overly involved with the Divine. I rejected working at the local retail store as a means of occupation and pursued the hope of being a writer and performer, even though I was qualified for neither. And with a very limited understanding of human sexuality, I went out to find love, experimenting with the ease and ability of a blind chemist.

It didn’t all go well. But I was satisfied with my choices.

I built a box for myself. It was still a box,. I was inhibited by my childhood fears, restricted by my family’s traditions and intimidated by my own insecurities. But I still stepped out and tried things. I did some things poorly; I did some things well.

But I got away.

It’s one of the first things you learn about Jesus of Nazareth. Had he never left the home fires and the carpenter’s shop, running away from his family (which pursued him to drag him back to his duty) we would have the story of a Galilean carpenter who found a new way to refinish wood, instead of a teacher who changed the world with the Golden Rule.

Unfortunately, many people never escape the box built for them. They live with their “born” identity, making excuses for their lacking while simultaneously being defensive over their choices.

Sooner or later, you have to build a box for yourself. It is the only definition that truly fits the  phrase “right of passage.” You have to find your own faith, you have to chase your own hopes and you have to define “love” for your world.

It is the box I built.

Yet one day I realized … it was still a box.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Seven Days Later … July 27, 2012

(1,589)

One spoiled rotten boy

In a desperate attempt to annoy

Took his dastardly grown-up toy

And acted out his lethal ploy

Intent to kill off all our joy.

Seven days after Theater Nine. People trying to understand why.

Yet if our frustrated little boy from Colorado had come to us with a paint brush, we might have told him that “art is for pussies.”

If he had shown up with a hammer, we would have suggested that he go build something, and that we would decide if he was worthy of future constructions.

What if he had shown up with a song? The suggestion would have been made for him to audition for American Idol and hope for the best.

What if the little boy had arrived with just an idea? We more adult types would have smiled, patted him on the shoulder and offered a dubious “good luck.”

He could have completed his education. We would have handed him an application and told him to get in line.

And if our young, confused lad had brought along his dream, we would have felt the need to provide him with a big dose of reality.

But because he showed up with a gun, we have given him the entire twenty-four hour news cycle. What is the message?

  • “Be a dreamer or pursue something good … and be relegated to obscurity.”
  • “Devastate and decimate the body of humanity … and receive acclaim.”

It is because the infernal battle between conservatives and liberalsin this country squares us off into camps that possess jargon and slogans, but no real, practical way to make the American dream

English: Percent of self-identified conservati...

English: Percent of self-identified conservatives in the United States, broken down by state, according to Gallup, August 2010. http://www.gallup.com/poll/141677/Wyoming-Mississippi-Utah-Rank-Conservative-States.aspx#2. 49% and above 45%-48% 41%-44% 37%-40% 33%-36% 32% and under (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

wake up to personal success. The conservatives will tell you that all you need is a job, a family, a home and a faith. The liberals will postulate that human beings require opportunity, respect, equality and freedom. Here’s the truth: when our principles of purpose cease to produce better and happier human beings, they need to be revised, no matter how many times our forefathers may have endorsed them.

How about a true insight into our country? And it isn’t found by becoming a conservative or a liberal, but rather, by amalgamating all the better choices and forging them into the steel of a great American.

Here’s what somebody should have told the brat from Colorado:

“Welcome to America. You have the opportunity to get a job as long as you’re willing to use your ingenuity to work your way up. If you respect people and grant them equality, you might just get the blessing of having your own family. If you keep using your integrity, after a while you can buy a home–even though truthfully, you actually can make a home anywhere you decide to settle. You have the freedom to express your faith and convictions as long as you allow others unbridled liberty to live out their choices. There is no lifetime guarantee. There is just the guarantee that you have this lifetime. Please join us.”

That’s what someone should have told him. Instead, he was cast on a sea of division between conservatives and liberals that eventually caused him to decide that violence was the better way to gain notice instead of patiently being creative.

Seven days later, what have we learned? What do we know?

I will tell you what I perceive. Until the conservatives and liberals get off their high horse and we join together as people, to discourage violence and give great honor and place to creativity, we will continue to bury victims–many of them our children.

   

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

%d bloggers like this: