Jesonian … August 28th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It was a nasty insult, compounded by the fact that it was delivered in front of an audience instead of offered privately behind the scenes.

It came from a friend–actually a relative–who had once made it clear that he was a supporter, a believer and prepared to do whatever was necessary to see the cause advanced.

Yet because he had recently been arrested for disagreeing with a king, he had lost some of his fervor, and had become jaded, lying in the moldy hay of solitude.

So the prisoner sent his followers off to his cousin with a little piece of fussiness.

“Are you the one we’re really looking for, or is there another one coming?”

His name was John and he baptized–matter of fact, he baptized the person he was questioning. So when these faithful couriers delivered his stinging words, the first reaction from Jesus was probably anger and resentment.

Jesus’ response to the disciples of John was, “Come along and follow me today, and see what I do.”

At sunset, he presented, “Go back and tell John what you’ve seen–how lepers are cleansed, souls are healed and the Gospel is preached to the poor.”

But before they could take off to deliver the message, Jesus turned to the crowd–the very same crowd who heard John doubt him–and he praised his old friend.

He said, “When you went out to see John, you didn’t go out to see somebody blown by the wind, wearing fancy clothes. You saw a prophet–and more than a prophet. John is probably greater than anyone born of a woman. But you folks need to keep in mind–in God’s eye, even the least of you is just as important as John.”

The crowd understood.

The crowd marveled.

The crowd was waiting for Jesus to kick John’s ass.

He didn’t.

Jesus found a way to praise the man for what he had done, while still pointing out that he needed to be more resilient.

So you see, President Trump, if you want to follow the Master, you must learn his ways.

And if you want to lead a country, you have to discover a pathway to praise your “John” for what he is due, while still wishing there had been more agreement.

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 24th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: I want to see people healed–not make them sick of me.

 

Dear Woman: I want to learn, not just repeat what I think I know.

 

Dear Man: I want to give a dollar to a poor man–not wonder what he’s going to do with it.

 

Dear Woman: I want to pray with people, not at them.

 

Dear Man: I want to look in people’s eyes instead of thinking about who they are sleeping with.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be remembered for laughing instead of remembering the past.

 

Dear Man: I want to love my country instead of hoping the President or Congress fail.

 

Dear Woman: I want to have God come out of my actions instead of my mouth.

 

Dear Man: I want to crap in the toilet instead of on people.

 

Dear Woman: I want to enjoy a colorful person instead of noticing colorful skin.

 

Dear Man: I want to shut up rather than being a know-it-all.

 

Dear Woman: I want to enjoy the money I’ve got instead of bitching about money.

 

Dear Man: I want to find a better me instead of constantly explaining myself.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be sorry instead of proud.

 

Dear Man: I want to see need instead of creating it.

 

Dear Woman: I want to be a human instead of a phony god.

 

Dear Man: Sir, we have much in common.

 

Dear Woman: My lady, we certainly do.

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Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 21) Tied … September 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

Really weird dreams.

Ever since Sunday, Meningsbee had been plagued by bizarre nighttime visions, each one nearly sensible and then suddenly making a left turn into Wackyville.

In one of these nightmares, he saw young Hapsy, trapped in a glass ball, rolling down the hill toward six-foot-tall bugs with hammers in their claws.

In another one, he dreamed that Patrick Swanson was water skiing on the Sea of Galilee, throwing fish at nearby peasants.

He also had one with Sammy Collins passing out candy bars shaped like Jesus for what he assumed was communion.

But the strangest one of all was seeing himself crawling on the dirty floors of the big city mall searching for pennies, which he then gingerly picked up and ran over and dropped into the tin cup of a blind man who greatly resembled Stevie Wonder.

Meningsbee recognized the problem. It had happened to him many times. Surrounded by people in need, he began to absorb their pain, feeling it was christ-like to express compassion. He was not only losing sleep, but also the hope and optimism necessary to share the power of faith with the living souls around him.

Opening up the Good Book, he happened upon the story of Jesus casting the demons out of a man who claimed the name “Legion.” On this particular reading, his focus was riveted on the closing exchange between Jesus and the man. The one who was once named Legion begged Jesus for permission to come along on the journey.

Meningsbee understood. You couldn’t blame him. The most exciting thing that had ever happened to this exorcised soul had come, and was now about to be gone. All he had left around him were people who thought of him as a crazy man, who certainly would not be quick to forget his gruntings, growlings and groanings.

The logical thing was to go with Jesus. Sit by the fire. Remember the miracle and attempt to resume his life in the midst of his benefactor.

But Jesus said no.

That’s right–Jesus turned him down. Jesus told him to go back to his own people and friends and tell them what good things God had done for him.

A noble answer for a noble cause. But there was something Jesus didn’t share–if you’re going to help people and continue to be a touchstone of gentle comfort to the world around you, learn how to be tied in without being tied up.

Truth was, Meningsbee knew he could spend his whole life just working with Hapsy, Matrisse and Kitty. He could cordon off the next six months to try to make peace with Sammy Collins and Patrick Swanson.

Yes, he could pick up pennies and try to enrich the prospects of the blind beggars around him, or he could take a tip from Jesus and be tied in but not tied up–allow himself to be human with the people but not swallow all their fears.

There is a point when a teacher needs to assume that the lesson has been taught, and open the door to new students.

Otherwise, he is no longer a teacher.

He is merely a caretaker for a handful of misfits he refuses to let graduate.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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G-Poppers … June 3rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

“It is the mingle that produces the mangle.”

G-Pop will freely admit that the phrase may sound a little too cute, but nevertheless, bears repeating.

How we mingle our thinking determines whether virtue, progress and intelligence will become mangled.

It all revolves around two insidious but often blended ideas:

  1. It’s not my fault
  2. God will take care of it

Yes, in an attempt to free ourselves of any responsibility for failure, we seek villains to blame for the destruction in our society.

Or we stand back, feigning helplessness, reciting our prayers, waiting for a divine being to intervene and make the world a better place.

And then, there is the ridiculous mingling of the two:

“Since God will take care of everything, why should I force myself to do things that are unnatural to my present thinking?”

It is the mingle that invites the mangle.

Because once you convince a generation of human beings that they are without fault and that God has a plan for everything, you scrawl a permission slip for people to continue their ignorance and prejudice.

Even though we contend “the truth makes us free,” we fail to realize that this freedom is only achieved if we’re willing to know the truth.

And here’s the truth:

G-Pop tells all of his children that if any one of us is within three feet of a problem, we probably have some responsibility for the situation.

And if we’re not within three feet, we still have the potential–within that yard of our jurisdiction–to improve the world.

  • There is no progress without repentance.
  • But there is no repentance minus confession.

“If we confess our faults, we will be healed.” If we don’t, we remain sick.

The more we insist that we are guiltless, the more intensely others look for our guilt.

And the idea that a God who created the universe and made human beings with a brain attached to their hands and feet without expecting them to use the connection, is just pure farce.

If you want to stop the mangling of truth, justice and mercy, you will have to attack the credibility of “it’s not my fault” and “God will take care of it.”

Unless we repent, we will perish.

And not even a God of mercy will stand in the way of our disappearance.

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Slick and Slack … December 4, 2012

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Jon Signing

Sin or hypocrisy. Which one is worse? Or maybe those two words are too old-fashioned or medieval for you.  How about error or cover-up?

The trouble with human beings is that we are more comfortable with hypocrisy than we are with sin.

Not so with God.

Matter of fact, we are told that He does not look on the outward appearance but instead, does an inventory of the human heart. People, on the other hand, don’t hang around long enough to register our intentions or faltering, but instead, leap upon the action and focus on the dynamic.

The end result? We are taught from a very early age that it’s better to lie our way out of a situation than it is to own up to our mistakes and move forward in the learning process granted to us through the experience.

It really is the difference between cutting yourself slack and cutting yourself slick. When we cut ourselves slick, we come to the decision that we have done something that is not particularly savory to the appetite of the human family so we quickly begin to find some deceptive way to avoid being exposed. Matter of fact, I think some folks would say it’s just human nature to hide under our “fig leaves” of misconception. When we cut ourselves slack, we’re using the God-given intelligence we were provided to choose the moment to unveil our own inadequacy and confess it before someone else puts a spotlight on us and turns us into the next sideshow.

This leads to an interesting possibility–for we are told that “if we confess our faults one to another, we can be healed.” So does that mean the lack of confession produces illness? It sure appears to do so, doesn’t it–whether it’s emotional turmoil, mental distress or our actual immune system breaking down because of struggle, rendering us physically ill.

So let me be candid with you and tell you that I think I’m going to follow the heart of God in this matter instead of the teachings that were instilled into me by my culture, growing up in Central Ohio. I would much rather tell you about my foibles and stumbles, selecting the wording and staging of such a confession at my own pace and leisure instead of having you drag me into the streets and beat it out of me.

I don’t know why people want to “cut themselves slick” and end up sliding down to a hellish conclusion on their own greasy path. It’s just better to cut yourself some slack. Realize that whatever you’ve done wrong has been done before, repented of and has been redeemed–so if you are brilliant enough to get ahead of the horde, you will survive also.

I don’t know if I can convince many people to abandon the American predilection towards lying, but I will guarantee you that if you cut yourself slack, to be honest, you will not find yourself humiliated by cutting yourself slick and ending up exposed.

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