Jesonian … June 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It wasn’t a “God-storm.”

The disciples were wrong. They were wacked-out–frantic over a poor use of faith.

They were probably reflecting back to several weeks earlier, when they were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, got swatted by a cloud burst with huge waves, thunder and lightning, were surrounded by other little boats, and Jesus walked on the water to save them.

Now, that was a “God-storm.” In other words, a storm that required the hand of God. But the little squall that blew up on this night was not a “God-storm.”

The disciples should have known–for Jesus was sound asleep on a pillow in the boat.

Let’s keep in mind–you’ve got four fishermen on this craft–at least that many. This isn’t their first raft trip. It’s not the first time they saw the waters well up around them.

But back before they were disciples–when they were men–they handled it. If they didn’t, they died.

But now, you see, they had faith.

And their faith, instead of making them whole, had made them lazy.

They didn’t need to wake up Jesus. They had just grown accustomed to the Master handling all the difficulties, and they were in no mood to put themselves in jeopardy by practicing what they had been taught.

They didn’t want to “take no thought” about the storm.

They didn’t want to be the “salt of the Earth and the light of the world.”

They were completely content being followers–while Jesus was trying to make leaders.

They were lazy.

This is the same problem we have in the Christian church today. The faith we espouse is making us lazy instead of whole.

For I will tell you–I cannot attest to the fact that the Christians I know are the nicest people I know.

I cannot testify that these same Christians are the smartest, most generous, most open-minded and most forgiving people I have encountered.

They are simply too damn lazy from living off grace to use their faith.

Somehow or another, Jesus had called men to be on his team, and they had all turned into little children: “Daddy! We’re gonna drown! Don’t you care?”

Even two ounces of faith would tell you that if Jesus is asleep on the pillow, this must be a livable situation.

Maybe it’s a “Me-storm.” That’s one that only requires “me” involved to produce a safe conclusion.

Maybe it’s an “Us-storm.” That would include my partner and myself, working together to provide energy, brains and faith.

Perhaps it’s a “We-storm.” We might have to beckon the whole family, maybe the congregation, the town, or who knows? The nation.

But when it’s not a “God-storm,” don’t expect God to take care of it.

Jesus wanted his disciples to trust him. But he wanted to trust them, too.

So if you want to have a Christian walk and you want to be Jesonian, you’ll have to learn the difference between a “God-storm” and a “Me-storm.”

After all, it’s not that God fails to answer your prayers. He just wonders why you’re so lazy, and don’t answer your own.

*****

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G-Poppers … December 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3172)

Jon close up

G-Pop was considering unusual circumstances.

What would he do if he found himself in a parking lot and a gentleman with a gun ran up, demanded the keys to his van, pushed G-Pop inside, started the vehicle and took off down the road, G-Pop in the passenger seat?

A strange situation–yet it demands more calm than action.

  • Who is the man that’s taking his van?
  • Could he be a policeman commandeering the vehicle?
  • Is he motivated?
  • Is he desperate?
  • Is he of sound mind?

All good questions that need answers before G-Pop would try to struggle with him to take control.

First, there’s a gun involved. Secondly, since the fellow is now in charge of the van and driving, it could be dangerous or lethal to interrupt his process.

People always admire heroics, but the truth of the matter is, lots of heroes die.

G-Pop doesn’t want to die.

G-Pop doesn’t want to be foolish.

G-Pop doesn’t want to make a point just so he can claim bravery.

You see, much of the same situation is facing our nation:

Some think President-elect Donald Trump is crazy.

Some folks believe he’s an economic genius.

There are those who insist he’s a lewd, vulgar predator.

Then you have his supporters, who claim he’s a family man with nothing but good intentions.

All of this debate is useless.

President-elect Trump has the keys. He has the guns at his disposal. He’s in charge.

So what should G-Pop’s approach be?

What should an intelligent American do, given the information we have of an authorized election which established the will of the people?

The same thing you would do if you were in the van being driven down the road.

1. Find your seat.

It is not wise to be stupid.

2. Buckle up.

Just in case this ends up in an accident, it would be a good idea to be protected.

3. Get as comfortable as possible.

The human brain does not work well when it’s festered by confusion.

4. Talk common sense.

Yes, talk to the person who’s driving. Hell, pray for the person who’s driving your van. Let him know who you are, what you feel and why you feel that way.

5. Help if you can.

The last thing in the world you want to do is disrupt someone who may feel intimidated.

6. See if he knows what he’s doing.

If he is a policeman and just needed your van, then everything will probably be alright.

The foolishness of trying to fight against what has transpired instead of finding a way to live our lives in decency and order is not only self-defeating, but contrary to the philosophy of this country.

Every four years we elect a leader. Our leader is Donald John Trump.

Before we become frantic, we should at least see where this is going to take us.

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G-41: Pulseless… September 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2350)

coffin

Dead … as a doornail.

Please, no mention of nails.

Ironic: a carpenter terrified by nails. Leave it to the Romans to murder a tree and use it to kill me.

Dead … that last frantic, frightened gasp for air as the brain dims away like a flickering flame.

Extinguished.

Then … yes, then a victim of cruel-cified. Very cruel.

Waiting to see if suffocation, heart attack from extreme pain or bleeding to death occur first.

  • Constantly cramping
  • Constantly thirsty.
  • Constantly bleeding.
  • Constantly … trapped.

Some watched. Some mocked. Some busied themselves earning their daily shekel.

A few mourners.

I prayed for Mission A and ended up with Plan B–a sacrifice to stupidity to end stupidity once and for all.

For here is the reasoning:

To gain resurrection, something must die. To die, someone must risk, by faith, that there is more. To believe in more requires a zest for life that despises death.

Yes, John, pull me down.

Mother, take the thorns from my head.

Joseph, carry me to your tomb.

I shan’t stay long.

Set the alarm for 6:00 A. M. Sunday.

I will wake up.

The good news is …

So will you.

 

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A Season for the Reason … December 7, 2011

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Live from Fernandina Beach

Frantic isn’t sexy. Frantic isn’t fun. Worse, frantic is never productive.

On those rare occasions when I find myself late, driving somewhere, the first thing I do is take my watch off and set it aside and refuse to deal with time anymore. Honestly, I’m not going to get there any faster by wondering how late I am and I greatly increase the possibility for calamity by fretting and becoming frantic.

I know religious people think there’s not enough Jesus in Christmas–and average folks think they just don’t have time for Christmas–especially this year, when we’re supposed to think about politics and economic issues while considering the birth of the Prince of Peace and the fifty per cent off sales at the mall. 

No, nothing works in life unless you set aside a season FOR your reason. Nothing happens of any true quality unless you’re willing to participate instead of just watch or surround yourself with the experience.

Sitting in a church on Sunday morning listening to people sing Christmas carols, I was astounded at how such invigorating lyrics and jubilant notions could dwell in such a monotone drone. It’s not that the people don’t believe in what they’re singing–it’s just that in the midst of “step three” of their day, they’re already contemplating “step five.” How can step three be any fun if the aggravation of a fifth step is already gnawing at the corners of your mind?

Christmas probably brings one of the greatest potentials for real emotion, nostalgia and rebirth that comes across the calendar each year. But merely acknowledging the need to buy gifts–or even the gift of God’s son in a manger–does not make the experience ample.  Everything of value in life has to be valued. To do that we have to set aside a season for the reason.

You don’t have to do it every day–but one day during the Christmas season you should participate in three activities which will transform your holiday from a race into an experience:

1. Go out to a Christmas tree farm. Park your car and sit and watch people buy their trees for thirty minutes. They usually bring children who are hopping around, who remind you of the enthusiasm you once had for the whole experience of a cut-down pine which ended up stuck in your living room with lights on it.

2. Drive from the Christmas tree farm over to your local homeless shelter. Take along a fifty dollar check that you were foolishly going to spend on someone who really won’t care one way or another. Ask them to give you a fifteen-minute tour of their facility. Shake some hands. Taste the chicken salad they’re serving for lunch. Stay for the meal, if you can. And at the end, give them the fifty dollar check and thank them for their work.

3. End the day by going to the mall and buying yourself a peppermint sundae with hot fudge on it. Sit on a bench real close to the Santa Claus Exposition. Just observe the children sitting on the old man’s knee. Let the memories return. Let the feeling of the reason re-occur to your aching spirit.

Nothing happens when we’re frantic. Nobody is blessed by an explanation of how important something is–not until we set aside a season for the reason do we remind ourselves of the beauty of honoring the Birth of Hope. It’ll just take a morning. It’s your way of reclaiming your life from a schedule often not of your own making–and certainly not ordained in the mind of God.

So Merry Christmas–and do yourself the greatest blessing of all.

Go out there and make a season for the reason.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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