PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 1st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Come, My Children

by Jonathan Richard Cring

Come, my children, let us greet

The rumble we hear on the street

Tear down the walls of religious tradition

Take a look at the human condition

Bring the drum, start the beat

 

Then let us dance to the sound

Of understanding spreading around

Love your neighbor is the scheme

Living out Brother Martin’s dream

May the blast of brass abound

 

Jimi arrives with his lick

Jesus comes and heals the sick

Love blends jazz to soul

A song celebration is our goal

 

Who am I in this holy jam?

An honest heart

I am what I am

In a climate of physical fitness

Can I get a spiritual witness?

 

Ease on down in the Muddy Waters

Bring your sisters and your daughters

‘Tis the season for the news

Race escapes into the blues

 

Gospel created the rhythm and rock

Join the festival on our block

Hometown boy is back today

His hair sporting a streak of gray

The shepherd seeking a groovy flock

 

So count your measures and blessings, too

The joyful noise is coming to you

 

This week’s reader is James, who lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, and shares his music, labor, love and ministry to everyone he meets.

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

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2701)

PoHymn Anniversary September 23

Anniversary

45 years

Many good cheers

Started to date

Began to mate

Planted a seed

Created a need

Flew far away

Met at U of A

Decided to remain

Drove me insane

Changed your mind

In Buckeye we find

Gossip and chatter

Just doesn’t matter

Carolina bound

To confirm we’re sound

Started a coffeehouse

With my brand new spouse

Yet scared away

To New York that day

“Thou shalt not kill”

We changed our childish will

Birthed a son, then two

Three came before we knew

Music and dance

Take a chance

To the Bay we went

Running, not sent

Lost a son too soon

Born the last of June

So I took my maven

And started The Haven

Saw each state

Tempting the fate

Then came four

At Peoria’s door

Soon lads were men

And needed to begin

To Music City

Seemed quite pretty

Gained a daughter

To tote some water

Given another

Who married his brother

Welcomed a friend

Remains to the end

A flash of cash

Building a stash

Started a band

Blessed the land

Raised a quartet

Bayshore’s where we met

Music, movies and books

A festival of looks

Lost the family home

Time again to roam

Spreading the blessed news

Writing the daily views

We continue to this day

Seeking a better way

So I say to you from me

Happy Anniversary, E.G. C.

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A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

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Untotaled: Stepping 22 (May 14th, 1965) Jack Smack … July 12, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2289) 

(Transcript)

School was nearly out. I cannot tell you the relief I felt to finish out the year.

Having survived my infatuation with Jennifer, I had disguised my feelings by using revenge or attempts at ridicule, to make it seem that I no longer cared about her.

We were two days prior to summer vacation, in the midst of a school-wide festival, which had loosened the reigns on the tight restrictions usually imposed on us by teachers and principals.

I was feeling so darned good that I felt like I could say “damn.”

I was in the hallway with my friend, Craig, when we both noticed that Jennifer was standing next to the boy’s locker room door, absent-mindedly staring out the window into the school parking lot.

I had an idea–another way to embarrass Jennifer and therefore appease my male ego from her rejection. I whispered my inclination to Craig and he giggled.

So we ran forward, grabbed Jennifer, opened the boy’s locker room door, and pushed her in. It seemed hilarious in the moment. We lodged our bodies against the door as she pounded and screamed to escape. Her pleas sounded a bit comical to us, so we were in no hurry to set her free.

Suddenly she stopped crying out and the pushing on the door ceased.

So both Craig and I ran back into the festivities, hoping to blend into the crowd so that our misdeed would go unnoticed. Little did we know that in the boy’s locker room was Coach Swartz–and that he had walked out of the shower to discover that Jennifer was there, peering at him, creating what could only be the personification of an awkward moment.

He quickly covered himself, ran around to the other door, to peek and see who was keeping her from escaping.

Now for a moment let me talk about Coach Swartz. He was a collision of cool, crazy and confusion. He was cool because he was very handsome and all the girls in the school thought he was dreamy. Crazy, because he taught health class, and thinking that he was a doctor, passed out some erroneous advice. And confusing because he once told us at football practice that black people couldn’t play quarterback because there was extra oil on their hands, and they couldn’t hold onto the ball.

We also knew his first name was Jack because he had a paddling board which he used to punish students, which he had surnamed “Jack Smack.”

Returning to my story, Coach Swartz, with his hair still wet from the shower, ran into the festivities, found Craig and me, took us into his office and explained his overexposure to dear Jennifer.

He wasn’t mad, but said we would have to be punished. He wasn’t even mad as he took the Jack Smack board from its perch on the wall and hammered us both on the ass, seven times apiece.

Matter of fact, from that moment on, I think he liked us more, winking at us in the hallway as he reflected back to his one-man Chippendale show for Jennifer.

Even Jennifer never complained about our prank.

So you see, even though I got my butt whipped, I didn’t learn anything about being a better person through this experience … whatsoever.

 

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Jiggle or Pray… May 26, 2013

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starcraftI’m really not quite sure why he did it.

For some reason, he took a liking to me.  He owned this beautiful, 24-foot, Starcraft motor home, which was sitting around his front yard, so he offered it to me to travel in with my three friends as we began to try to become artists, forces of nature and the next creative miracle in the music field.

I was only twenty-three years old. It is doubtful that I should have been entrusted to deliver a ham sandwich to an office building, but for some reason, this guy saw something in me–or he just had the kind of attitude that made him not worry about material possessions.

There was one stipulation to our deal. He had to pay a $178 per month payment on a loan for the motor home, which included insurance. I know a mere $178 a month sounds like a real bargain–but when you consider the fact that I couldn’t afford to purchase that ham sandwich I mentioned in the previous fictitious comparison, then you will understand my plight.

I had just enough talent to gain the attention of some big names in the Christian music field, so they invited me to come to Jesus USA, a festival being held in Pennsylvania, featuring the biggest names in the industry of the day. They explained that they couldn’t promise me a slot for performing on the show, but they would guarantee me that if I didn’t show up, there would be no chance to gig.

So I hopped in my motor home, putting together all my nickels, dimes and quarters–even scrounging in my couch pillows–and drove my motor home to Pennsylvania. When we arrived, we found that you needed a backstage pass to enter, but due to the beauty of our motor home, they assumed we were part of the show and waved us on.

I parked alongside the other gospel buses and soon became a popular hangout because our air conditioning actually worked and it was a very hot August day. Yet about three hours into our little excursion into the world of fame and notoriety, we discovered that our motor home wouldn’t start. That’s not exactly accurate–the key wouldn’t even turn in the ignition.

We didn’t know what to do. But being very young, at a Jesus festival, and obsessed with religious power, we started praying. We fervently supplicated to the heavenly Father on behalf of our starter, and then tried it. We did this again and again–for over two hours. Nothing happened. The key would not turn.

Being a bit immature, I hit my hand against the steering wheel in frustration, prayed one last time, reached for the key … and it turned. I was convinced we had experienced a miracle.

Just then one of the roadies from the stage crew stepped into our motor home and asked if we needed someone to help with our vehicle. We explained our problem and how we had prayed it away. He smiled and said, “That’s great. But if it happens again, what you need to do is jerk your wheel sharply to the right. It frees up the starter so it’ll work again.”

I tried to start my motor home and again the key wouldn’t budge, so I attempted the roadie’s trick. It worked beautifully.

I know it sounds silly, but part of me was disappointed that we hadn’t conjured a miracle, but that instead, in my fit of despair, I had beat some sense into the steering wheel.

I also must report that we never got to perform on the stage at the festival, but we did make a lot of friends.

Yet I learned a very valuable lesson that weekend: there’s a time to jiggle and there’s a time to pray. And the sooner you learn the difference, the less frustrated you will be and the less confused about moving in the will of God.

Here’s a good clue–if it was made in heaven and created by God, I would suggest you pray about it. If it was made in Detroit, I would recommend you jiggle it.

If I hadn’t gone through that lesson that day, I would never have learned the trick with the steering wheel. And as it ends up, I wouldn’t have been able to help about a dozen people over the years who were experiencing the same phenomenon and were desperate for some advice.

Always remember–God is in the jiggle AND the prayer. The God of mercy and miracles is also the God of knowledge and wisdom.

Don’t be afraid to try out both aspects of His resume.

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