Sit Down Comedy … April 3rd, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

Eunice Buell was a Sunday School teacher for the junior high class at my church. Somewhere deep in her heart, I think Mrs. Buell liked me very much—maybe even found me entertaining.

But every once in a while, I sent her into a near-saintly tirade over some of my comments. She called them crude, unwarranted, hurtful, offending—and once even went so far as to say “vulgar.”

When I said something she did not approve of, she often turned to me (while simultaneously gesturing to the whole class) and said:

“Think before you speak. That’s what separates us from the animals.”

I didn’t have the heart to correct her and say, “Animals don’t speak.”

She expected us all to understand.

We did.

And we still do. There is no place you can go where “think before you speak” would not be considered a holy axiom, possibly even found somewhere in the Bible.

Because of this, we now have politicians who polish their lingo, scrubbing it of all possibility of controversy, while inserting enough lying to make sure the proclamation has some heft.

Our religionists require blind devotion from all followers, lest someone stand up and suggest that there are contradictions, or at least confusions, dwelling in the Holy of Holies.

Our corporations and businesses hire lawyers to develop statements placed at the bottom of the product in small print to protect the stockholders and investors against all liability.

And relationships—oh, dear God—relationships are riddled with a series of phrases used to manipulate one party into performing “your will”–without ever noticing that they’re sacrificing their individuality.

It spawns from the notion that humans are capable of perfecting themselves.

We aren’t.

The theory is permitted to exist so we can maintain our arrogance. But it is the emotions in our lives that need to be spoken, even though they are often raw and uneducated.

They are the real we feel.

Certainly, these thoughts fester with frustration and can frequently be proven wrong.  But when we are the only ones correcting the language in our brains, we close the door to greater revelation being afforded us through discussion.

So without trying to cast myself in the role of renegade, I challenge each and every one of us to:

Speak before we think.

And since we know it comes out as raw ore—not gold—after we speak, we should be quiet.

Listen. Register the reactions. Ponder the possible contradictions.

Then we must do something that makes the human race truly unique:

Change our minds.

As a species, we are worthless to one another and an enemy of the Earth when we are incapable of recanting our initial feelings and replacing them with common sense.

Because once we change our minds, we can speak again.

And those who know us realize that we are not only sharing the truth with them as we feel it in the moment, but we have also alerted ourselves to gain new insight—and then verbalize our fresh discovery.

Thinking before you speak turns you into a self-editor.

No good writer should ever trust himself to be the sole editor.

Speaking before you think presents the emotion and heart which very well may be overwrought or even wrong.

Yet it provides the opportunity to inform those around you that you are fully aware of your imperfection—and prepared to be a student of the planet we share.

 

3 Things … August 15th, 2019

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You Should Stop Saying If You Want Your Life to Be Effective

 1.  I am so stressed out.

 

2.  I am really, really busy.

 

3.  I am sure I’m right.

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Sit Down Comedy … June 7th, 2019

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My favorite passage comes from the First Book of Pissed Off, Chapter 13, Verse 1: “Dammit to hell, Amen, what the shit, thank you, Jesus.”

There is no other collection of words that so typifies the balance of my walk in the Spirit. For I can tell you of a certainty:

Faith without frustration is fake

People who think they can cruise along and never want to spit at the heavens nor ever feel the need to praise the same are forgetting how easy it is for us to bounce between “Doctor Saint and Mister Sinner.”

You don’t have to go any further than Jesus of Nazareth to see faith and frustration at work. He constantly marveled at people’s unbelief. He yelled at the disciples, asking them when they were ever going to get some understanding of what he was trying to teach them. He scratched his head and inquired about how they could come up with so much doubt when they had seen so much happen. And on the night he was betrayed he lamented, “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” and noted that he would sure appreciate if this cup of poison could pass from him.

Frustration brings faith

Faith is the only thing that keeps frustration from taking over our whole being.

But faith offers its own banquet of frustration:

  • Who is God?
  • What is God?
  • Where is God?
  • When is God?
  • And why is God?

The five Great W’s that keep us in a constant quandary in the sixth:

  • Wonder

On the other hand, I know that frustration brings out the validity of my faith and makes it easier for people to understand both who I am and why I believe.

Some people are turned off by street language, and others completely repulsed by Biblical words. Yet a careful look at the history of great men and women of the scriptures shows that each of them had a very colorful faith—“faith” in the sense that they believed in something beyond themselves, and colorful because they spoke from their hearts, which included cursing this and sometimes cussing a blue streak.

So stop trying to remove the frustration from your faith or becoming agnostic by refusing faith to allay your frustration.

We will not know all the answers until we no longer need all the answers.

This in itself is enough to create frustration.

But may I say, the possibility that there will be a place to go where answers will be provided is why we require faith.


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G-Poppers … December 29th, 2017

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G-Pop sits quietly in front of his computer, musing over the topic he has selected for today.

What is the best way to discuss it?

It’s a very important subject, but like many matters that carry weight, it can seem too heavy and not that interesting. Yet to pursue activity without understanding how the climate of Earth really works can truly be frustrating.

So let us begin with this–a simple saying: Take a minute to find your hour to make your day.

Somehow or another, the misconception that we can get nine, ten, or fifty things accomplished within a 24-hour period–with the same efficiency for each endeavor–has left us stressed, with the nasty sensation of being overly busy.

Earth functions on scientific biorhythms. What does that mean>? There are things going on other than your plans and G-Pop’s plans and if we can get into the hum and energy of one of those rhythms, our ideas have a greater chance of being accomplished.

It’s nice to have an agenda, so you can look at it and realize what you might wish to accomplish. But some time during each day, there will be a minute when you realize what your best hour is for making your day complete.

Just because you plan it on Wednesday does not mean that Wednesday will tolerate you doing it. You can try to force it or manipulate it, but Wednesday may not want to do what you thought Wednesday should do.

It is at that point that we should take a minute to realize that this is not the hour to pursue.

Although many people are afraid of “cutting too soon”–missing a great opportunity to succeed–the greater danger is pushing too hard and losing the energy of this day over an idea whose time has just not come.

How do you know what is the right minute to find the hour of this day?

1. If a second problem pops its head up to challenge the possibility, then it’s time to regroup.

One problem can be an obstacle, but a second problem is often a warning that other difficulties will follow.

2. Passion is low.

We’re human. Therefore, we run on emotions, and even though we may think we can control them, they actually dictate our energy and our desire. Trying to force people to be passionate is emotional rape. It makes them feel defiled and gives them a sense that their ideas are not honored.

3. Stubbornness is the best way to fail.

A certain amount of evolution is necessary on Planet Earth, since the planet has been birthed by evolving. In other words, the process has not stopped. If you are not ready to evolve, then you will purposely walk into repetition which has proven to produce extinction.

Find the minute for the hour to make the day.

It’s not so much that we work too hard–but much of our work is meaningless, and therefore feels futile, which makes it seem much harder.

Work less.

Listen more.

React to the energy of those around you, the marketplace you are pitching and the Earth where you live.

G-Pop wants his children to know, when you are faithful to the hour, you will rule in the day.

 

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Dudley … January 19th, 2017

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Ask Jonathots … December 29th, 2016

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I am so frustrated. What happened in 2016??

Well, I’m not quite certain of your particular frustration, or what crosses your mind as a grievance concerning the year.

But certainly overall, the United States abandoned its sense of “civil” rights. In pursuing rights it is essential we maintain a civil attitude.

Somewhere along the line it became more important to chase down an agenda or voice opinions of opposition than to find ways to peacefully coexist and respect one another.

In the process, we had a lot of shouting without having any real interaction.

  • It became important to be right.
  • It was essential to win.
  • It was a game to degrade your opposition.
  • And it was considered fair play to dig up dirt and heap it on your opponent.

Because we humans are susceptible to selfishness, once we realized that our leaders were participating in playground antics, we felt the freedom to lessen our general toleration while increasing our volume.

It created a caustic environment.

So all the political parties, all the religions, and all the intellectuals who were supposed to guide us in ways of structured sensibility, instead became armed forts, where rocks were thrown across the chasm.

This will only change when we return to civil ways to establish our rights.

So what is civility?

1. It is impossible for me to completely be right.

I am human and therefore not only capable, but susceptible to error.

2. Listening means shutting up.

There is no such thing as listening with one ear as you prepare your speech to contradict your enemy.

3. Treat every human with the respect and reverence you would give to God.

If you don’t believe in God, treat every human like you would your mother.

4. Be fully aware that in a democracy you will need to include other people who have lifestyles and ideas which are completely opposed to your own.

If it isn’t killing anyone, you will have to learn to adapt.

5. Practice kindness whenever you can.

In other words, if there are going to be conflicts, we need to also have many moments of gentleness in between, or we will start bashing each other instead of learning to enjoy one another.

In 2016, rights became more important than civility.

It was not merely a liberal problem nor a conservative problem. It became universal.

Help change 2017 by making sure that the way you express your opinion is just as respectful as the passion with which you proclaim it.

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Good News and Better News… November 28th, 2016

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Yesterday–for the first time all year–I did not go to a church and share my heart for a Sunday morning worship service.

I am officially on hiatus for the Christmas season. I think the obvious questions would be, how do I feel about not ministering and performing. Did I miss it?

Actually what I felt was nothing.

Although some people would consider that to be a negative statement, “nothing” is the most positive position in which we can find ourselves.

Several years ago I was prompted in my spirit to close letters I wrote to a friend with the phrase, “without nothing.” I think she was a bit confused by this departing phrase, but it’s quite simple. Without nothing, something has no chance of happening.

The best way to ensure that you will not pursue anything of new value or creativity is to constantly claim, “I’m busy.”

Busy smothers the better parts of our soul

Busy convinces us that we have no time.

And busy shuts out others in preference to a pre-arranged party-goers.

When we finally stop being busy, we can arrive at nothing, which then offers the possibility of something.

If we don’t have enough time on our hands to be nearly frustrated by the time on our hands, then we’ll never use the time on our hands to take our hands to create.

  • Without nothing, there is no something.
  • Without a void, there is no filling.
  • Without loneliness, no new relationships.
  • Without grumbling over the absence of a feeling, there is no seeking innovation.

So as I sat in my chair Sunday morning, thinking for a moment what song I might be singing or story I might be telling under normal conditions, I was suddenly flooded with the assurance that God uses nothing to get my attention to do something.

That’s the good news.

The better news is: I found something.

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Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

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“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

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