Drawing Attention … September 5th, 2018

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Salient…August 20th, 2018

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There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

“I need to find out for myself.”

This is a rather typical adolescent statement–an attitude that often lingers into adulthood and can even be heard off the lips of the “graying crowd.”

There seems to be an abiding notion that unless we personally experience something, we remain ignorant.

Why do we feel the compulsion to walk so close to darkness?

Why is it necessary to step to the edge of the cliff just to confirm there’s a huge fall available?

Why do we regard those who remain pure of heart and body as simpy or silly?

What causes us to believe that those who have indulged in evil behavior are somehow more suited for offering counsel to the ones going through similar struggles?

Let’s look at some of them:

1. Alcohol, smoking and drugs

Is it really required, in the human race, to try all of these things in order to give an opinion on the variables? Don’t we have enough experience with alcohol to know that it is a killer of the body and the best drink available to promote wife-beating?

How many warnings do we need from the Surgeon General before we accept that smoking turns lungs into coal?

And are there really good drugs? Even the ones we use as medications are chemical poisons. This is why we call them anti-biotics. They kill life. The drugs don’t discriminate good cells from bad cells. The list of side-effects for the drugs promoted on commercials is usually twice as long as the benefits.

Is it wise to dabble–to get a dribble of knowledge? (Maybe we should ask Eve.)

2. Lying.

Once you lie, you’re a liar, which puts you with all the other liars, who can’t hang out with anybody else but the liar’s club. People who require trust can’t interact with you anymore. It’s the nature of the Earth.

3. Pornography.

Perhaps I’m ignorant on this issue, but do men and women actually become better lovers by watching pornography? Or does it twist the brain, causing us to believe that simple romantic encounters lack the pungency to produce orgasms? Can the pictures on the screen ever imitate the patience of nurturing a relationship–smelling and touching the genitalia of the one you love?

Why does the statement, “I don’t smoke, drink, watch pornography and I greatly attempt never to lie” classify someone as a goody-two-shoes, when none of us want to be around somebody with a hacking cough, who is vomiting from being drunk and zoned out on drugs, looking at pornographic web sites, as they lie to us and tell us they aren’t pursuing evil?

So here is your salient moment:

Stay away from the edge.

The reason they call it darkness is because there’s really nothing to see.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 23rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Pay Me No Mind

Many many years ago

We fought a war in “Koreo”

I’m curious, did anybody win?

Who cares–let’s do it again.

 

Perhaps you did not know

Lincoln freed the Negro

Is he really free?

Hail the Confederacy.

 

Muslims hate the Jews

Over who is the Chosen Fews

It is really very sad

Since they both have the same Dad

 

Women have been here since dust

To make a child she is a must

Is she declared an equal?

Hang around for the sequel.

 

We had a war on drugs

Arrested and jailed many thugs

But children still take the bluff

And overdose on poisonous stuff.

 

All the leaders lie to us

Pushing freedom to the back of the bus

But no one has any real sparks

We sure could use Rosa Parks.

 

If blue lives matter

And black lives shatter

Can you hear the clatter?

Wall Street’s fatter

 

Everything new is old again

Tainted by rickety sin

Or portrayed to be the common good

Considering the could, ignoring the should

 

I am just a goof, you see

A dreamer in search of integrity

So march in step with the blind

And for God’s sake, pay me no mind.

 

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Dudley … June 1st, 2017

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DUDLEY

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Confessing … December 5th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XXXI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Three unwise men.

I met them many years ago.

They came my way one at a time, but quickly clumped together because each one was well aware of the exploits of the others, and had gone on many missions together chasing stars.

They had mental problems. This was not my opinion–they had the certificates and hospitalizations to back it up.

Yet I found a place in my heart for each one, and likewise, they were grateful for acceptance, and nestled up close to me.

We worked on Basic Humanity 101: courtesy, respect for women, getting a job, paying your bills, eating well and not putting substances in your body making you Jekyll instead of Hyde.

There was some progress.

Matter of fact, for a few months I felt as if a transforming miracle had swept over the lives of this trio, causing them to sing a new song.

But then it stopped.

I don’t know what it was. The creeping insanity that lingered dragged each one of them down into the pit of despair. Maybe they stopped taking medication. Maybe they saw flaws in me that gave them license to challenge my credibility. I don’t know for sure. But somewhere along the way it became necessary for me to try to salvage their families, their concerns and especially their children.

Yes, eventually these three unwise fellows became my enemies. They didn’t like me anymore. They accused me of being crazy.

My heart was broken because my dream of repairing the breach in their souls was devastated by crumbling results.

I failed. At least, that’s the way I felt.

I took them to the water but they weren’t thirsty enough to drink. So then my mission was to save the children and the wives.

I guess I’m happy to report that the offspring of these three disturbed individuals are no longer under the pressure of being subjected to insanity.

It is a victory.

But I loved these three gentlemen. I still do.

And every day I work a little harder to become understanding, gracious and clear-headed enough to be of value.

But please, don’t tell me that you’re unaware when craziness sets into your friends. Don’t go on television and claim that you were “completely surprised” by the fact that your kin became unkind.

I not only saw that these three guys I worked with had turned a corner, but I was fully aware that they had rejected reasoning in favor of calamity. I had plenty of time to free their kids from danger.

I feel humbled by my lack, encouraged by what I learned, but fully cognizant of the fact that salvation is God’s business … and He is the only one who has the power to truly transform lives.

(Perhaps there is a fourth…)

Confessing The three

 

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Populie: God Bless America… July 2, 2014

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Kate Smith

God is still pretty popular.

America, too.

Yet there are many people who believe the two are synonymous–practically inseparable.

Thus the populie: “God bless America.”

Politics loves this slogan because it enables them to incorporate just enough religion to get the evangelical vote and just enough patriotism to acquire the libertarians.

Entertainment plays off the idea by producing both tear-jerking war movies and also flicks that question the authenticity and purpose of nationalism.

And of course, religion is partial to this idiom simply due to the fact that if we are convinced that we are favored by God, we might be able to get by with a few more inconsistencies before Daddy calls a time-out.

Yet as we near Independence Day, I am focused in on the power and veracity of the statement, “To he who much is given, much is expected.”

So because I love my country, respect our attempts at democracy and favor our liberty, I would like to deny the populie of “God bless America” and replace it with, “God challenge America.”

I know that God chastises those He loves–to make us sharper and more powerful. Yet we are losing our authority, presence and respectability due to the belief in our exceptionalism.

  • When it comes to women, we should be world leaders in equality, but we trail behind others.
  • We should take it seriously to stop killing. After all, when we discover a few packages of tainted ground beef in a grocery store, every package is recalled. Yet if twenty-two children are killed in a school, we continue to taint our lives with guns.
  • We should expand ourselves in equality by including others we do not agree with, honoring their right to freedom. God respects free will above all else, even purity.
  • We should be a nation that excels in productivity. For instance, I think we’re taking the wrong approach to the minimum wage. To give people more money for what they’re already doing is not only foolish, but actually a slothful business practice. But by the same token, if we can encourage productivity in our work force while passing along the dividends by increasing paychecks retroactively or offering bonuses, then we’re making our workers part of the solution instead of tying them in with the problem.
  • Why aren’t we leaders in morality?
  • How about civility?
  • Instead of arguing about the climate of the Earth, why don’t we at least see if there’s something we could do and then surprise ourselves by doing it?
  • Why don’t we take our young generation and encourage them to be respectful, industrious and creative instead of working to legalize more drugs, to dull their senses?
  • Why do we allow our older citizens to become bitter and calloused instead of demanding they use their journey to become wise and merciful?
  • If we truly do have the best medical care in the world, why aren’t we healthier?

Hiding your talent and refusing to use it is considered to be the definition of a sluggard.

Knowing what to do and not doing it is the best example of sin.

And living beneath your privilege only generates self-pity.

The populie is, “God bless America”–a way to live off the past by pretending that the present is sufficient because a Divine Presence controls our future.

My hope in this season is that we will allow God to challenge America to live up to our ideals, abilities and dreams.

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Them There Those … September 18, 2012

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A startling realization–yet quite simple, as flashes of truth often are.

I awoke this morning fully comprehending that I was still retaining pieces of cultural prejudice which had been infused into me, not only by my upbringing but also by a social pressure which has been cooking in our country for the past thirty years.

Yes–circa 1980, an organization called the Moral Majority came along attempting to restore dignity, spirituality and of course, morality, to our nation. In the process of pursuing this agenda, this “majority” infected our country with a separatism that has made us aliens to each other within the borders of a common nation.

They should have realized that naming their particular outreach the Moral Majority was in itself an affrontation to anyone who didn’t hold fast to their concepts. Please understand, I do not accuse them personally of being notorious or evil. It’s just that in the pursuit of what we consider to be righteousness, we need to be careful not to thrust ourselves to the forefront as the primal example as opposed to the principles themselves.

The by-product is what I refer to as the Them There Those campaign. We no longer perceive ourselves to be part of a common humanity, chasing a dream breathed into us at creation. Now we are like forts of settlers fighting off the renegades outside our walls who just might have a different opinion from our own and therefore might taint the flavor of our particular recipe.

Them there those:

  • Them Jews — over there in the Holy Land, thinking that those like them are chosen people.
  • Them Arabs, there in the desert, with those terrorists.
  • Them Republicans, there in their mansions, with those rich corporate fat-cats.
  • Them Democrats, there at their abortion clinics, with those welfare masses.
  • Them Yankees, up there in the north, with those factories and high-falutin’ ideas.
  • Them Rebels, down there in Dixie, marryin’ those cousins.
  • Them men, there watchin’ football, with those friends with their brains in their pants.
  • Them women, out there at the shopping mall, with those other gossiping women.
  • Them young people, there in the streets, with those drugs and rock and roll.
  • Them old folks, there in Florida and Arizona, with those social security checks.
  • Them liberals, there in the Ivy League schools, with those anti-God, anti-gun curriculums.
  • Them conservatives, there in the Bible Belt, with those ideas that the world was actually created in six days.

Them. There. Those.

It’s showing up this year in the election. Somehow or another we feel the need to address our personal differences instead of attacking our common problems. It seems prudent to a generation of leadership that should be wiser in the ways of the world than to conduct the weighty matters of government and business from a playground perspective: “Give me the ball or I’ll hit you!”

I realized this morning, and startling it was, that I still had bits and pieces of this virus coursing through my bloodstream. I still was looking for an enemy instead of a reason to love those around me. I still am suspicious of being rejected instead of preparing what I will do upon receiving acceptance. I have pre-conditioned myself to believe that a certain amount of warfare is necessary in order to achieve peace.

I am perplexed by my own insanity. I am bewildered by my own misconduct. I am truly repentant of an attitude that separates me from those fellow-travelers who have just as much right to the road as I do.

But I am not alone. Even though we continue to postulate about how open-minded, free-spirited and generous we are with each other, we have all fallen victim to a need to be in the majority of everything, in order to secure our sense of belonging.

The Moral Majority believed that AIDS was the gay plague. The Moral Majority thought that apartheid in South Africa was acceptable due to the fact that the locals did not know how to govern themselves. Here is a sure thing: anyone who pursues the philosophy of Them There and Those will,n in some way, shape or form, be proven wrong.

What can we do about the plague?

1. Identify it in ourselves. We don’t have to do it publicly, but privately we should purge ourselves of all notions of Them, There and Those.

2. Stop preaching and start reaching. Don’t take the information you have read here or discovered in your own heart and use it to try to convict others. Just cease to participate in the disintegration of our country into tinier and tinier pieces of false individuality.

3. Develop a new philosophy. We shall call it We Here Us:We are together, here in this place at this time, trying to make the best ‘us’ possible.”

This is the tagline that will push us forward instead of thrusting us into Neanderthal thinking, causing us to believe that we must kill our neighbor in the cave next to us to guarantee that our family has enough mastodon for supper.

We. Here. Us.

Will you join me in abandoning the foolishness of believing that any one of us is a majority? 99.76% of the people of this country will never know my name, never meet me, never agree with me and never even know that I lived. It doesn’t make them less. It doesn’t make me suspicious of them. It doesn’t make me wonder why they even live. It makes me realize that the tiny percentage that I will meet must understand that I love them, I am trying to learn their ways and that when I don’t agree, I will get out of the way and allow them to do their best before their own conscience and God.

My dear friends, we are human and here together for this season, trying to become our best “us.”  And please don’t forget, it is all propelled by the necessary notion and powerful precept:

NoOne is better than anyone else.

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