Earthy … April 22, 2013

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mother earthAn interesting thought: what if it ends up that God welcomes people into heaven based upon how they honored the earth?

What if all the religious practice, doctrines, commandments, orders of service, liturgy and religious shenanigans were unimportant, and what really matters is what we’ve done with our home–earth?

There is basis for it, you know. The Bible says  “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Jesus said that the lily is more beautiful than the wealth of kings. He pointed out that not a single sparrow could fall to the earth without God’s full attention. Of course, we should never forget that even the Lord’s Prayer, which is a basic staple of religious function, states clearly that God’s will is to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Yes, what if Father God is most concerned about how we treat Mother Earth?

We do know that He arrived to find earth without form and void. Can I be honest with you? Sometimes that’s the way it appears to me. It just seems that nothing is coming together correctly and often no one cares.

But rather than giving up on it, conceding defeat and accepting it as formless and empty, God moved across the face of the waters. Is that what He wants me to do? Does He want me to leave my perch of piety and interact with the earth with my presence? Am I sitting around waiting for Him to change the world while He is waiting for me to do the same?

And then, God said, “Let there be light.” Am I going to be evaluated on how much light I bring to the darkness? Am I going to be questioned about how I treated the earth, loved the people of the earth and even about how I took care of myself while on earth?  And do I have the patience to work with this habitat around me until something good happens? (Of course, I would still need to be able to discern good and bad.)

On this Earth Day, it is well worth considering that perhaps this entire adventure we call human life is about producing evidence that what we feel and believe actually can affect our environment.

I’m not so sure a prayer opens the gates of heaven. I’m not positive that just believing in God, without loving people and honoring Mother Earth, will make me a candidate for eternal bliss.

So while we believe in grace and we’re thankful for salvation, it certainly wouldn’t hurt us to take a moment to honor Earth by bringing the light of hope, the presence of our passion and the willingness to see good … to this ailing planet.

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

Come… June 21, 2012

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In the fall of 1971 I traveled around small towns in Ohio, playing piano and singing in coffee houses where young humans were attending to sip watered-down Pepsi, munch on stale popcorn and listen to amateurs sing, speak, recite poetry and just postulate on the issues of the day. I did this activity, never wondering if anyone was actually going to show up, because there was a climate of curiosity in our country.

It would be a mistake for anyone to surmise that the children of the 60’s were less sophisticated than today’s I-pod grandchildren. After all, they came up with rock and roll; they planned and executed Woodstock, and they protested and basically stopped the war in Vietnam. They were active. Somehow or another, they were able to mingle the silliness and lovelorn nature of the Monkees with anti-war demonstrations, and in their spare time, start Earth Day. They weren’t better or worse than the kids today, they just believed that nothing happens until we come.

You can’t sit behind a computer or a television set, watching the world go by, and shake your head as you jump on the Internet to look at the next crazy YouTube and think that you’ve made your daily contribution to planet life. It doesn’t make you bad, but it does show that you’re masking a silent anger. Yes. That is the fourth silent killer infecting our society.

As I was planning my fall schedule, I realized I needed to do more concerts to welcome people to join together to laugh, reason and believe again. I have dubbed this series of events the Really Rally–a chance to get together and find out what’s really important–so we can rally around it. As I have shared the idea with various individuals, I discover that I am immediately greeted with cynicism and pity that I still have an idea that people will actually come out from their homes and join together instead of just sitting behind their keyboard and downloading.

We’ve given up on the idea of congregating. This is why some people say that books will soon be a thing of the past. After all, books demand that you either go to a store, visit a library, or talk to someone at a publishing house and order a volume which you actually place your hands upon and read. I was told the same thing in the 1970’s, when cassettes first came out. Everybody was making fun of vinyl records because they were a thing of the past, but as you well know, they’ve never really gone out of style. There will always be someone who wants to put a needle down on a whirling disk to hear music, as likewise, there will always be people who like to get their inspiration flesh to flesh instead of merely checking out the headlines on Yahoo.

But the reason we don’t want to come is because there is a silent anger in this country. Yes, we are angry. What are we angry about? We’re angry because it’s not working and no one has any idea how to fix it. “It” can be anything from politics to religion, and “fixing it” could be something as simple as someone admitting that we are at a loss about what to do. But no one’s going to do that, so a silent anger fills our culture and keeps people from coming together to feel the warmth of each other and be infused with new ideas.

So the invitation from God to “come let us reason together, saith the Lord” is being ignored in favor of hiding out in our homes and pretending that we’re self-sufficient. We are not. No matter how many talents, abilities or financial blessings we may procure, there will always be just enough lack in us that we will feel a sense of frustration that breeds a silent anger.

We need each other. This silent anger is keeping us from achieving our full potential and causing us to boast about past achievements instead of working for the future.

Let’s put it together:

Whosoeverthere is a silent prejudice in our society that will not allow us to embrace other people for fear of changing our minds and becoming more open to new ideas.

Willthere is a silent surrender that has swept across the soul of America, which keeps us from being creative out of a great apprehension that failure would be possible, and that failure would demand that we evolve, and then, that evolution would require that we admit our weakness.

Maysilent doubt. We seem more ashamed of what we don’t know than interested in learning more. So it seems prudent to just remain silent and stop believing.

Comesilent anger traps us in a prison of our own making, keeping us from interacting with one another and discovering little pieces of truth about ourselves in the process.

“Whosoever will may come.” What a brilliant invitation. But it demands that we expose our silent prejudice, our silent surrender, our silent doubt and our silent anger–and allow ourselves the opportunity to leave our houses and arrive at a place where we do not control all the circumstances, but instead, trust that a bit of inspiration might just fill our souls.

It may be the only reason for the church to still be around. Even though the religious system is flawed with many excesses and errors, it still maintains the premise that we’re just better when we’re together.

  • I will not give up on people.
  • I will not believe that technology is a replacement for fellowship.
  • I will not consider myself to be old-fashioned simply because I want more of humanity and less of contrivance.

Whosoever will may come. It is the only worthy invitation.

It is the only way to find a better path … to survive.

   

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

Juvies, Brats, Brown-nosers and … April 22, 2012

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They used to call it recess.

It was a fifteen-minute period when they allowed the students to escape the classroom and roam the playground, finding ways to entertain themselves and stretch their muscles before returning to the confinement of the educational system. It was also an opportunity to learn what your classmates were really like.

For some of them turned out to be juvies (short for juvenile delinquents). These were individuals who had decided to rebel against all forms of authority and who believed that Mom and Dad basically sucked.

Others were brats. These were children who were normally a little prissy and favored one parent over another. They explained to you that “my mom’s okay but my daddy’s mean.” Or “Daddy’s really smart but my mom’s a witch.”

A third group consisted of brown-nosers. These were kids who were kind of juvies AND brats, but had found a way to manipulate Mommy and Daddy to do anything they wanted because they APPEARED to be obedient. They weren’t.

Now, the reason I bring this up to you on this beautiful Earth Day is that the playground really doesn’t stop as we graduate from the school system into the life system. Juvies grow up to be atheists, agnostics or really unbelieving church-goers who don’t have faith in God and have no respect for Mother Nature. That’s right–they decry and deny both Father and Mother. They seem to find self-sufficiency in insufficiency. The times when they enjoy themselves the most are when they’re complaining about their lot being “the least.”

Meanwhile, the brats grow up and continue their brattiness by either preferring Father God–becoming very religious and self-righteous–or Mother Earth, favoring camping, pine trees, crystal-blue lakes and listening to lengthy renditions of Thoreau‘s Walden‘s Pond.

Of course, you probably have jumped ahead to think about the brown-nosers. These are the children who reach adulthood but continue being childish, believing if they do a few basic things to please Mother Nature and Father God, that they should get everything they want. They are disappointed and disillusioned because they fail to realize that they’re disconnected.

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of folks who understand the balance. We’re not supposed to be juvies. Mother Earth and Father God don’t suck–they simply work in unison. Once you understand that, it’s easier to sing along.

We don’t get anywhere being a brat–believing in God but hating the earth, or loving Mother Nature but speaking evil of her companion, the Father in heaven.

And people who just brown-nose or give lip service–kissing from the rear to gain frontal approval–are at odds with the world around them because their shenanigans and fake feelings always play out and become obvious.

Good news. There is a fourth group. In my day and age on the playground, we refered to them as “coolios.” These were the young humans who “got it.” It isn’t that you have to agree with your mother and father all the time–it’s just that you have to trust them enough to be honest, forming your complaint into a question in order to learn how things really work instead of just rebelling, ignoring or faking it.

For instance, I will not worship any God who is not open to Q and A. I am not interested in revering nature–when nature wants me to worship God. My job as a smart child of the earth is to trust my father and mother enough to ask questions when I don’t understand, instead of assuming that I am all-knowing or that they’re really unfair.

Do you want to give a present to earth on this Earth Day? Stop being a juvie, thinking that Mother Earth and Father God suck. You might want to give up the brattiness of favoring one over the other. And don’t think you’re going to brown-nose your way into finding God’s approval or Mother’s blessing.

It’s time to turn into a coolio. Trust your Father in heaven enough to ask the questions that are on your heart and to learn how Mother Earth really works so you can stay in step with the household.

Now that would make a great Earth Day. That would create the fulfillment of the prayer that says:

“Thy will be done on earth (Mother) as it is in heaven (Father).”

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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