3 Things… September 6th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3788)

That Will Get You Noticed

1. Don’t honk your horn in traffic

 

2. Arrive at a meeting with an idea

 

3. Send a note the same time each week to a friend

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 12th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Common Life

I saw myself today

In a young boy at play

Completely engrossed he seemed

In all the things he dreamed

Whiling away the day

 

I saw myself again

In a fellow needing a friend

He tried so hard, you see

Ached and strained to be

A person to tend and mend

 

Yet there again I was

Nervous, jerky, abuzz

Flirting with the chick

Wishing to make it click

Begging as the lonely does

 

Was that me over here?

Stuck, alone in my fear

Yearning to be reliable

Praying I am still viable

Confused over the reflecting mirror

 

It seems I am everywhere

If I take a moment to care

My heart can watch and grow

And receive what we all should know

The common life which we share.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … October 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-not-always

 Not Always Like This

Concerning this morning’s mode

I seem burdened, overload

Hampered by nagging retreat

Fostered through vague deceit

I pity again my worried self

Placing others on the shelf

Determined that I must be seen

Bubbling a heart of treacherous mean

I probe to find the callous slight

Denying the evidence of what is right

I am the critic for the meek

Sneering, I mock the lovely weak

Exposing their obvious lack

Hoisting burdens on their back

Enemy, I emerge of that deemed decent

Ruddy with anger over offenses most recent

Finding the Christ I deny

Shaking my head, I decline to try

To simply deal with my lot

The portion provided, what I’ve got

Frowning at the human race

Unmercifully mocking the joyous face

For goodness seems too good to me

Foolishness and fear are what I see

In this cauldron I melt into a creep

Unworthy to mingle with the holy sheep

Beware, my friend, something is amiss

Please understand, I’m not always like this.

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Confessing … November 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2752)

XXVIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

His name was Conley and he had a bad influence on me.

Aw, hogwash. Actually, Conley was successful in finding the bad influence in me.

Ironically, we sang gospel music together–and discovered that when Amazing Grace stopped having such a “sweet sound,” we were quick to rediscover the “wretch” in each of us.

Conley was not an evil person; he was mischievous, comical and deceitful.

So one day when I was driving my old van and entering a thoroughfare, we were joking around–me in the driver’s seat and him lying on a beat-up couch we had inserted into the vehicle. Suddenly there was a huge bump.

Apparently in my oblivion, I ran into a car which was driving in the first lane, which I was trying to enter. I pulled over and so did the car.

Conley grabbed me by the shoulder and said, “Let me do all the talking.”

Seemed good to me.

So Conley got out and began to complain to the driver, whose car we had struck, saying that the poor hapless fellow had changed lanes into us, striking us, and therefore, it was his fault.

I had no idea how Conley could possibly know this, considering that he was lying down in the back of the van, which had no windows on the driver’s side. It did not even occur to me that Conley was making up the story line as he went along.

The police arrived and issued me a citation for changing lanes without safety. I was prepared to pay my ticket and let that be the end of it.

But Conley got a twinkle in his eye, said we should go to court, that he would testify on my behalf and that we would beat the ticket.

So we did.

I didn’t go along with the plan because Conley overwhelmed me with his personality. I was just as much a jerk as he was. I was just wrapped up in a thicker covering of self-righteousness.

So we went to court and Conley testified that he saw the gentleman change lanes into us, therefore creating the accident. Even though the other driver had given a report to the contrary, the judge believed Conley.

My citation was dismissed and we both left the courtroom feeling we beat the system.

So because I was not convicted of the citation, the driver was not able to retrieve his repairs from my insurance company.

I didn’t even feel bad about it.

At that point in my life I had this idea that if you were ingenious enough to lie, then it was the system’s fault for being so stupid.

I wish I could tell you that Conley saw the light and became a more industrious person. Actually, the last time I saw him, he split town, leaving behind a trail of seven bad checks he had written in my community.

I do not blame Conley for my actions.

As I sit here today, I wonder how much “horrible Houdini” is still left in me–prompting me to escape my responsibility, congratulating myself.

I pray that’s dead.

But I want to thank you for allowing me another chance to confess it … and drive a stake through the heart of that demon.

 

Confessing collision

 

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Jesonian: F. A. A. E. … October 18th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

In an age when Facebook has attempted to simplify relationships down to “friend” and “unfriend,” it might be of social significance to each one of us to look at the Jesonian approach to human interaction.

Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus did not love everybody with the same intensity. There were measures, concerns, confinements and meters to his affection and devotion.

Understanding that those judgments were not based upon prejudice, but rather, practicality, is the beginning of forming a way of dealing with humanity, preventing you from becoming jaded.

Jesus put human relationships into four categories:

1. Friend.

His definition of “friend” was very specific. He traveled with twelve disciples for more than three years before he referred to them as friends–and then he said he felt he could do so because he could “share his life with them.”

A true friend is a rarity because you must be willing to share the good, the bad and the ugly without fear of incrimination.

2. Acquaintances.

These are people Jesus interacted with who shared a common purpose, but not necessarily a transparency. They were the many individuals who believed on him because they encountered a miracle. But generally speaking, these acquaintances did not end up following him, but departed on their own to start a new life, or were instructed by Jesus to go back to their homes and spread the good news.

3. Adversary.

It will probably astound you when I say that most of the interaction you have with your fellow-travelers will be adversarial.

An adversary is someone you really want to grow to appreciate and love, so you’re learning to cooperate with each other, while also being fully aware of your differences. This is why Jesus told us to “reason with our adversary.” Don’t criticize them; don’t kill them. Find the areas where you concur, and interact in those ventures without forcing agreement in others.

4. Enemies.

And finally, an enemy is simply defined as someone who does not wish you good will. Enemies are not happy when you succeed.

They may not plot against you nor gossip but they do not rejoice when you rejoice, nor mourn when you mourn.

This is where the variety and intensity of Jesonian affection is put into place. So:

We love our friends because we can be completely open with them.

We honor our acquaintances because we share so much in common that it establishes a deep sense of human-hood.

We commit to our adversaries because they keep us thinking and challenge us to have a good reason for what we believe instead of stumping and stomping around about our contentions.

And we respect our enemies because that is the only way we can assure ourselves that their animosity will not easily be turned into action against us.

  • Friends are rare.
  • Acquaintances are growing.
  • Adversaries are plentiful.
  • And enemies are few.

Fortunately, the treatment for all of them is easy to remember:

A multi-faceted love.  

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Jesonian: (Part 2) The Preparer … June 7th, 2015

 

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2605)

Jesus for Jesonian

Hearkening back to my school days, I recall four distinctly different types of teachers:

  • Paul the Paycheck
  • Larry the Lecturer
  • Mike the Mentor
  • Fred the Friend

(There were also the female counterparts of Paula, Lorraine, Michelle and Freda.)

Paul the Paycheck was a reluctant participant in the educational process, but faithful to his duties, always reminding you, though, that he wasn’t paid enough and could have gone into business and been rich.

Larry the Lecturer was in pursuit of the morality of learning, insisting that placing fine detail in a child’s brain was the best way to keep him or her from delinquency or poverty.

Mike the Mentor was pretty well aware that the best way for information to reach the adolescent brain was to provide examples which were easily understood in the teenage thinking process.

And Fred the Friend was the type of teacher who realized that students were going to learn what students were going to learn, but the lasting impression for their high school experience would be a loyal, intelligent and cool teacher.

Paralleling this to the religious system, we have a church today that teaches that Jesus is Paul the Paycheck, who died for our sins and now has become Larry the Lecturer, making sure we don’t accidentally have fun, ending up in a pit of evil.

We can certainly understand why this approach is not absolutely filling the pews.

But it only takes a quick study of the Gospels for us to realize that Jesus came to mentor his 12 disciples, and by the end of the session, called them “friends” because he shared his life with them.

So when my Mentor and Friend tells me that he is preparing a place for me, I am fully aware that he is working for my completion in the following areas:

1. Helping me find out what’s good for me here so I will know what I enjoy and what I would love to do forever.

2. He is also helping me find the perseverance and sense of humor to survive the bad that comes my way, by acquiring the ability to count the cost and avoid unnecessary conflict.

3. He’s placing his spirit deep within my being so I begin to recognize in the world around me what is growing towards the good, what is stagnant and what is determined to be dark.

4. He has placed the confidence in me that because of his mentoring and friendship he knows exactly what to provide for me in the life to come. to keep the joy of goodness flowing.

So my heaven will not be your heaven. My heaven will be a glorious expansion and explosion of the good I’ve already found here, thrilling my soul.

It will be prepared for me by my Preparer.

It will be a home where my Mentor and Friend can join me in freedom, fullness and pleasure.

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Untotaled: Stepping 34 (March 19th, 1967) Water Buffalo … October 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2370)

(Transcript)

Jack Forrest was my friend.

He was one of those adolescent chums who I was sure would always be my next-door neighbor, as we borrowed lawn and garden tools from each other and swapped spares in the neighborhood bowling league.

We played football together until I quit early in the season–and sure enough, he also abandoned the sport in reverence and defiance. So I think he was a little confused when I returned to play basketball.

It was not an easy choice for me, either. I never wore shorts and because I was so large, the little tank-top jersey they provided was too tight and made my promising pecs appear to be burgeoning breasts.

But by the same token I was athletic. I was good enough to be a starter. So one afternoon, the Olentangy freshman basketball team came over to play us and Jack attended the game.

I was hoping to do well in this particular competition because I had secured the starting forward position, and I wanted to impress the coach. When I walked onto the court in all of my chubby glory, a young student from the Olentangy campus yelled out, “Hey, look! A water buffalo!”

There were some titters from the opposing faithful.

Even though I shouldn’t have, I looked around to see who was taunting me. There was this guy with a smirk on his face sitting right behind my buddy, Jack.

The coach whispered in my ear an exhortation to put it out of my mind and the game began.

But I didn’t put it out of my mind–especially when this fellow continued to call me a water buffalo and once even generated a “M-o-o-o-o!” in my direction. Honestly, the thing that crossed my mind was that I didn’t think the buffalo species “mooed.”

But being a kid, the insults affected me. I dribbled a ball off my foot, missed an easy lay-up and fouled the opposing team a couple of times in frustration. I found myself peering over at that screamer instead of paying attention to the game.

Jack just sat there quietly in front of him without moving a muscle.

All at once, when the fellow yelled out his most recent insult, Jack stood up, turned around and punched the kid in the nose. He didn’t knock him out, but the guy did bleed. Jack didn’t care. He just turned around, sat back down and watched the game.

It was amazing.

  • No one stopped the action.
  • No teacher jumped in and sent Jack off in hand-cuffs with the police.
  • And the fellow who had done all the yelling stopped his taunts, never filing a lawsuit.
  • Matter of fact, no one ever even talked to Jack about what he did, assuming it was a rite of passage between two young, emerging studs.

I finished the game free of interference and actually scored a couple of baskets.

After it was over, I thanked Jack for his assistance, but said it wasn’t necessary.

Jack replied, “I didn’t do it for you. His squawking made my ears hurt.”

I smiled–because I knew he did do it for me.

He was loyal. And even though loyalty can be misguided, it’s a pretty powerful thing to carry around … on your way to acquiring good sense.

 

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