Catchy (Sitting 57) Avoid the Saddle…. July 15th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Matthew leaned up from his prone position on the bed and kissed the very naked back of Leonora, the oboist.

“Don’t do that,” she complained. “Now my back is all wet from your gooey lips and I feel cold.”

“You’re welcome,” said Matthew with a lovey-dovey hum.

The two of them lay in the bed, very still, for a solid minute, maybe two. Matthew interrupted the silence.

“You had a great idea,” he said.

“Which one?” Leonora asked.

“You know. When you decided to divide our evening into two parts–dinner, then the movie–and you declared it two different dates, and so when we ended up coming to my place to have sex, it was like we were finishing up the second date…”

“Actually the third,” corrected Leonora. “You forgot about the time we spent with the quintet in the Gallery.”

“So we waited until the third date, then, to have sex. Very proper,” Matthew noted approvingly.

“I thought so,” purred Leonora.

“You know what I like?” asked Matthew.

Leonora suddenly sat straight up in the bed and turned to Matthew. “You’re one of those. One of those goddamn guys who can’t keep his mouth shut and go to sleep. You’re part girl. That’s it, you know. You’ve got to have conversation, commentary, closeness and cuddle-wuddles to make you feel like what we did had really deep meaning, instead of being like two baboons cracking a nut.”

Matthew eased up to sit on his butt. “Wow. There’s an image I don’t need. So are you gonna think I’m weird if I tell you that this was great, and it felt great and you were great?”

Leonora sighed. “No, I think I pretty well knew that when you finished your orgasm by singing ‘American Pie.'”

“I always liked that song,” said Matthew. “Very underrated.”

“And so are you, my dear,” she said, patting him on the head. She pulled back the sheet and walked across the room totally naked, attempting to gather her belongings.

“Are you leaving?” asked Matthew.

Leonora turned to speak to him as she squeezed into her panties. “Yes. I have a life. My horn calls me. I have friends. Somewhere in my house I have a pet cat, even though he rarely makes an appearance. I just assume he’s still there because the food disappears and the house smells like shit.”

As she finished speaking, the doorbell rang. Matthew looked over at Leonora and mouthed, “I don’t know…”

He leaped to his feet and said, “Hold on a second. Let’s both put on those thick white terry cloth robes, and go to the door and answer it, pretending we are Mr. and Mrs. Normal Tourist from Des Moines, Iowa.”

“Make it Rapid City, South Dakota and you’ve got a deal,” said Leonora.

They donned the robes and headed to the door. Opening it, they found Soos standing there with a gentleman who greatly resembled Jubal Carlos, but with a much different haircut.

Matthew, displaying great shock, asked, “Don’t you think you should call me first before you just show up?”

Soos pushed past him, gave Leonora an uncomfortable hug and stepped into the living room. “We tried to call. You don’t answer, you’re never home, your mailbox is full. It’s almost like you’re dead, but nobody’s found out yet.”

The Jubal lookalike held out his hand. “I’m Jasper–Jubal’s brother. Nice to meet you.” He, too. walked right past the visitors from the Dakotas and stepped into the living room.

Jasper and Soos found nice seats on the couch as Matthew pointed to Soos and said to Leonora, “This is my friend from college. We call her Soos… Ahhh…You’ve already been introduced to Jasper…”

He turned to Soos and Jasper. “This is my…What should I say? My protegé in love.”

“What the hell?” Leonora gave a quick wave to Soos and Jasper.

Matthew, stung by his own awkward description, stumbled into the room. “What is it you want, Soos?”

Soos looked around the room, her eyes falling on nine or ten bottles of Jack Daniels, sitting in a corner, abandoned.

“Well,” she said, “I thought that since you’re the executive producer of this organization, you might like to have an update.”

Matthew sat down in a big, plump chair. “Well, actually, I get updates on the news broadcasts.”

“Well, that’s not very personal,” said Jasper.

“Exactly,” said Matthew. “That’s what I’m trying to avoid. Getting personal.”

“Who are these people?” Leonora asked Matthew, obviously perturbed.

Soos stepped in to offer an explanation. “We are his comrades, business cohorts and missionaries, if you will, on this project to make Jesus popular again. You may have heard of it…”

Leonora rolled her eyes like eyes had never been rolled before. “Yes, I’ve heard of it.”

Turning to Matthew, she asked, “Are you part of this?”

Matthew pointed at Leonora and said, “Great question. I got the thing started. Jubal Carlos, who’s his brother…” He pointed to Jasper. “Picked up the ball, and now it seems that Little Boy Blue is blowing the horn of insanity.”

“No shit,” said Leonora.

“Ooh, a non-believer,” Soos squealed with some giddy glee. “I love non-believers.”

“I am not a non-believer,” snapped Leonora. “I just don’t call it God. When I was asked in college about my faith, I told them I was a Panist.”

Jasper wrinkled his brow. “Panist?

Leonora stepped across the room and found her own seat in a straight-back chair. “Yes. Greek. Pan–all. Ist–me. I believe in everything, everyone and every creature. I make no distinction between the busy ant and your Jewish God.”

“Wow,” said Soos. And nothing more.

Matthew sat back admiringly. For the first time in many years, he realized he had made love to a woman who actually had a brain.

Soos, unperturbed, launched.

She explained that Michael Hinston had become an inspiration in Soulsbury to all around him–a leader and compassionate man, seeking to help others.

On and on she spoke. Of miracles. Moments. She mentioned the wonderful series done by Jennifer Carmen in North Carolina, featuring Jubal’s life and story. She nearly cried when explaining that the United Nations had put out a proclamation stating that this was to become the “Decade of Kindness.”

When Soos finally slowed up, Jasper jumped in. “Word has it you’re not that enthusiastic about the things we’re doing, Matthew. Is that right?”

Matthew just sat and stared at Jasper. He didn’t want to hurt the feelings of a man he had just met, but he also didn’t want to lie and pretend–especially in front of his exciting new lover.

“It’s just my experience,” said Matthew, “that the more you believe in God, the weaker you become. I’m tired of being weak.”

Jasper stood to his feet, strolled across the room, turned on his heel and began.

“Did you ever hear the story, “Horace the horse? Yes, Horace the horse lived in a barn. Unlike the other horses, he determined he never to be trained, saddled and used to herd cows and ride across the plains. So every time the saddle was brought in his direction, he spit, snorted and kicked, scaring away all those who tried to tame him. The ranchers who owned the horses decided to refuse Horace any food. So when the other horses went out to work for the day, and Horace had a lot of time on his hooves, Horace decided he would trick them by trying out the pig feed and the chicken portions. At first he felt very smart, but he got weaker, sicker and pretty soon, he could barely stand on his four legs.”

“One day a young girl–the daughter of the owner of the ranch–brought him an apple and a bag of oats. It tasted so good. The next morning Horace the horse decided he’d join his brethren. So when they placed the saddle on his back, he didn’t look on it as a burden, but instead, an opportunity to carry someone else’s burden.”

Jasper stopped his story like a preacher does when he finishes and it’s almost time for the Doxology.

“What the hell…?” asked Matthew. “Horace the horse??”

Leonora interrupted. “Oh, you didn’t understand, Matthew? Our friend Jasper, here, thinks that all God’s creatures should be saddled. Saddled with guilt. Saddled with fear. Saddled with rules. And saddled with worry.”

She paused. “And if we’re not saddled, well, they’re going to tell us right now–there’s no way we can be happy.”

Jasper tried to interrupt but Leonora held up a hand. “No,” she said. “You shut the fuck up. You come waltzing in here, and you’ve decided that you’ve got so much God you just have to spill it on everybody else. Well, here you go, big fella. Some of God’s horses don’t want saddles. They want to run free. They want to see a mountain in the distance, and believe it’s thirty miles away, start running toward it and discover it’s a hundred. But they still keep running. Here’s your problem. That little Dixie accent you throw in so you’ll be like part of the people? You think it makes you sound real. Simple. You know what I hear when you talk like that? I hear little girls screaming, running from the church that was just firebombed by the Ku Klux Klan. So if your goal today was to impress me with how wonderful your Lordy Lord is, well, you just made me hate the son-of-a-bitch even more.”

The room fell still.

Soos quietly stood to her feet and said, “You’re absolutely right. We’ve been rude.”

Jasper nodded his head, and walked toward the door. “I was wrong. I must have gotten in my preacher mode.”

The two left without saying another word, finding their own exit. After the door shut behind them, Matthew sat in his chair and Leonora walked over to stare out the window at the Las Vegas playground below.

They had learned a lot about each other in a very short period of time.

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Jesonian … March 10th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Not every morning supplies a miracle. Weeks can go by without walking on water–or water turning into wine, for that matter.

Truthfully, life is more like dry cereal looking for milk–not much to be excited about unless you brought along your own thrills.

This was true in the life of Jesus, too.

Fortunately, the Gospel writers tell us about the good moments and also the bad ones. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John share that sometimes Jesus just hung out, to “tarry” with his friends. And just like us, often his activities were dictated by the whim, intensity and preoccupation of his audience or critics.

In the Good Book, Matthew 19, there is such a situation. Jesus is minding his own business when he is confronted by the Pharisees, who seem to spend a lot of time worrying about things that don’t matter to anyone else. They were especially distressed over the issue of divorce–not because they were against it. The Law of Moses and also the Oral Law, which had been constructed by religious leaders over many centuries, allowed men to divorce their wives simply by leaving a note on the pillow.

The Pharisees felt that Jesus had a different outlook on the subject, so they confronted him about the dilemma.

Jesus made it clear that he believed divorce to be chauvinism. He explained that marriage is meant to be an experience between people of equality, who decide to leave their families to form their own union.

They were very upset.

Yet escaping their probing, Jesus arrives back in camp to discover that his disciples, who had been cut from the same homespun philosophies and bigotry as the Pharisees, were chasing away the women and children. After all, they thought, Jesus was too important to have time for women, who were lesser, and children, who were insignificant.

The feminist in Jesus comes to the forefront. He rebukes his disciples. He tells them to bring the children–which meant the women, also–to him, and he lays hands on the tykes, blesses and enjoys them.

Often we wonder how miracles occur. Miracles happen because people who know how to treat women and children humbly ask for them.

It isn’t about extended periods of prayer, nor ministers on Sabbatical studying the original Greek. Rather, miracles are about people who know how to play with children–people who are aware that a woman is not a “weaker vessel.” When these people pray, God listens.

Jesus treated women as humans. On this week, with “International Women’s Day,” we need to consider what this entails.

Jesus gave women empathy, but not sympathy: You are as good as men, but don’t pull up lame and fall back on femininity when you think it’s to your advantage.

So even though Jesus showed compassion on the woman caught in adultery, he looked her straight in the eyes and said, “Go and sin no more.”

He relished a conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria, but when she said she “had no husband,” he reminded her that she had married five husbands, and was now living with another man.

When his mother tried to interfere with his work, he spoke to her as an equal, not as a son, and said, Back off. It’s not my time.

And when busy Martha was doing all the housework, using the “gift of helps” to feed the disciples and Jesus, he stopped her and said, Your sister Mary has decided to listen to the teaching instead of playing “Harriet Homemaker. Follow suit.”

Life is not about what we do when we’re trying to be spiritual or contemplative. Life is lived in the cracks–those moments that seem insignificant when the world around us has cast a negative vibe and it is our job to bring the light.

Jesus believes that spirit begins with how women and children are treated.

I, for one, think he’s right.

 

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Jesonian … December 2nd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Whenever you’ve done it to the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it to me.

This seems to be one of those idealistic, philosophical utterances of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. Most people nod their heads in agreement, while secretly pre-repenting over not doing it.

But it is not a statement.

It’s a puzzle–a riddle.

It’s an intertwining ball of confusion leading us to a universal realization.

First of all, let us understand that Jesus, who walked with equality among Jew, Greek, Roman and Samaritan, did not believe that anyone was “the least.” So him phrasing the word “least” was ironic rather than iconic.

Since he didn’t believe anybody was the least, we are given a bit of misdirection. Jesus was suggesting that we, as humans, are obsessed with subjectively examining those around us, with the goal of finding our level of superiority.

Because we don’t want to hunger and thirst for righteousness, we live off the fat of our own arrogance. In other words, “I am better than you because I say that I’m better than you–and everyone in our clan believes we are better.”

Nowadays we pass this prejudice off as culture, or loving our family, or appreciating our home town. It’s the Red States saying they are more righteous than the Blue States, and the Blue States claiming the Red States are imbeciles.

There are no least.

So Jesus traps us in the maze: “Since you think these people are least, then you need to realize they are me, and the only place you will find me is in them. I will not be available to you in your favored few. You will only be able to discover me in those you deem least.”

So if you think black people look like monkeys, if you want to find Jesus you’d better show up with some bananas–because he will situate himself right in the middle of the black race and evaluate you on how you treat them.

If you think women are weaker vessels and stupid, Jesus will grow a vagina. Yes, Christ will only be accessible to you through the female.

If you think gay people are destroying America, then be prepared to find Jesus as a flaming queen with a thick lisp.

And then, based upon how you handle this information–how genteel and kind you are–your true spirituality will be rewarded.

For Jesus told us that if we love those who love us, we are no better than the heathen. Anybody can do that.

But if we insist there is an inferior race, an abominable people or just folks that are “no damn good,” then we will need to go to the prisons, the hospital wards and the whore houses to really find the Master.

It is a nasty trap.

Perhaps it would just be easier to cease believing that anyone is least–smarter to drop the arrogance that keeps us in ignorance, where God has no tolerance.

The least of these my brethren is not actually a group of people. It is a gathering place for all of our bigotry–where Jesus is waiting for us so that we can find him and be blessed.

As soon as the church starts teaching a progressive message–that no matter how unique our fellow-humans may turn out to be, none of them are least–we will be at the mercy of cozying up to those we deem intolerable.

There are no third world countries.

There are no human abominations.

There are no inferior races.

There are no least.

If you believe there are “least” in the world, be prepared to journey to them to find your Master.

He will be sitting there–right in the middle of the people you hate, waiting for you to repent and find Him.

 

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 19) Apolitical … April 10th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is impossible to pursue the dictates of a political party and stay faithful to the Jesonian.

There. I said it.

Anyone who follows a political persuasion is bound by that party to defend the stances presently being taken in the moment instead of embracing a more historical and eternal view.

Politics are for those who have given up on the power of the Gospel.

It is a way of trying to convince Caesar to accept your principles, or a way of forcing your principles into becoming “the new Caesar.”

Let us realize–they were constantly hounding Jesus to become political. They wanted him to fly the flag of Judaism and reject the Samaritans, or criticize the Greek woman who came for healing, attack the tax collectors, who were considered betrayers to the seed of Abraham, and most certainly, deny Rome the authority to rule and reign.

He disappointed all of these factions by living off of two simple concepts:

  1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  2. Go the second mile.

There is no political party in the United States of America that fully lines up in agreement with either of these concepts.

For “do unto others” is a decision to include all of humanity into your circle instead of rejecting some. So as the Republicans are infuriated with immigrants and the Democrats despise the South, the Jesonian individual must remain apolitical–loving the new visitors to our country and honoring the brothers and sisters in the Southeast.

No political party in this country believes in going the second mile. Going the second mile is finding out what energizes us instead of exhausts us.

The constant debate, attacks, and gridlock caused by political maneuvering becomes a national fatigue which removes the initiative to do just a little better than we did the last time.

  • “Do unto others” is spiritual.
  • “Go the second mile” is practical.

But you will find that when you do unto others, it has a practical edge, making you a friend of all tribes.

And you will discover that when you go the second mile, you gain spiritual credibility, as bystanders view your endeavors.

It is not reasonable to be political.

What is reasonable is to maintain a profile that is apolitical, while doing unto others and going the second mile–allowing the future to be determined by the wisdom of inclusion and the impetus of excellence.

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G-Poppers … December 11th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There is only one culture.

It’s called human.

It possesses two working parts–love and do:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Without this culture permeating the inhabitants of Earth, we naturally become adversarial, and therefore dangerous to one another.

  • Feel free to have all the customs you desire.
  • You can have hot food or bland food.
  • You can name your God whatever you wish.
  • You may adorn yourself in native costuming.

All of that is terrific, as long as you’re willing to join the human culture, which is love and do.

And membership requires that you abandon certain ridiculous notions:

1. You are not exceptional. You are just part of a huge family.

2. You are not better than anyone else.

3. You have not been sent to earth to enlighten the other races and peoples.

4. You are not alone.

5. You are not persecuted, and if you feel you are, please let us know.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that to continue to promote cultural differences which also highlight irreparable schisms among us is to propagate the climate for war.

There is only one culture. The sooner we celebrate that common culture while appreciating each other’s diversity and customs, the better off we will be.

The more often we acknowledge that the only evil is the absence of the good of acceptance and humility, the better our chance will be of peaceful co-existence.

G-Pop speaks plainly. Don’t come to him with an insistence on superiority and think that you will be able to make a case for your uniqueness.

It is in commonality that we find our strength.

And until we realize that whether it’s male or female, Jew or Greek, black or white, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu or whatever–our only responsibility is to love and do.

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Cracked 5… December 30, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Rejected New Year’s Resolutions

A. Learning Greek from a Zionist rabbi in Baghdad

B. Eating from only the white and tan family of foods

C. Spending more time listening to my senile grandma share romantic tales of her youth

D. Installing “clappers” for the lights in funeral homes

E. Devouring more pickled calamari

Picture by Smarttie Panntts

Picture by Smarttie Panntts

 

 

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Jesonian: He Was… November 2, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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He was not a traditional Jew, though he loved his mother, father, sisters and brothers who were.

He was not an Arab, even though he spent his formative years in Egypt.

He was not a Greek, though like many of their philosophers, he had great “ideas,” which when applied, improved the human condition.

He was not a Roman, though he told his disciples to “render unto Caesar the things that were Caesar’s.”

He was not an African, though his goal was to make the whole earth a common tribe.

Nor was he Chinese, though in the tradition of Confucius, Jesus say: “What shall it profit man if gain world and lose soul?”

He wasn’t German, but instead, tried to envision a world that was “all the Father’s Land.”

Not French, but turned water into wine.

Was he British? No, but to this day, the sun never sets on his kingdom.

He was not Spanish, though he taught us all to explore the world within and to go into all the world around us.

He was not Native-American, though he introduced us to the “Comfort of the Great Spirit.”

And he was not American, though he certainly believed that all humans were created equally.

Isn’t it fascinating that perhaps in being none of these individually, he had room in his being to become all of them?

Jesus was the “Great Physician Without Borders,” who healed the heart, saved the soul, refreshed the mind and energized the body.

 

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