Sit Down Comedy … May 22nd, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

I was a fully grown, on-my-own 34-year-old man before I held three thousand dollars in my hands that was mine and mine alone.

I mean, ours and ours alone. For the entire family had traveled for a year all across the nation—sharing our talent, our hearts and our simple message of common sense, to land in the month of December with a nest egg which we were about to crack open and turn into individual omelets.

But before we did, I decided to take my young sons to a halfway house for recovering alcoholics, where those whose “down and out” had finally brought them to the point that they needed human care.

I let my kids sit with these gentlemen and listen to their stories, messages of redemption. I was hoping my sons would understand how blessed they were to surpass survival and be granted bounty. It was an amazing experience.

Everyone was thrilled because one of the occupants, who had been hooked on liquor for years, was finally going to get to go home to Mississippi to see his family. It had been five years.

His name was Herbie.

He was mentally challenged—but still able to maintain a conversation and make sense.

I shared. I told the whole room about our magnificent year and how much God had sustained us and endowed us.

Unfortunately, I was carrying our whole financial bonanza in my wallet, simply because it made me feel good and I was obviously not cleared for prosperity.

So when I went to the bathroom, my wallet slipped out the back end of my pants, and one of the inhabitants of the house found it and brought it back to me. He was praised for his honesty, and I gave him twenty dollars for retrieving my wallet.

That was before I counted the money inside.

I knew exactly how much money I had. So when I counted it, and it was $810 light, I faced a problem. Aggravating the situation was that my nine-year-old son overheard a conversation between Herbie and his buddy, in which it was made clear that Herbie was our thief.  My boy had found a corner where he was unnoticed and happened to listen in on Herbie bragging to his bunk-mate.

I didn’t know what to do. I am much more comfortable being human than trying for sainthood.

I was pissed off that I had been pilfered.

I didn’t want to attack Herbie or hurt him in any way. He had much work to do on his journey, escaping addiction. I didn’t want to be the reason he returned to the bottle, but I also didn’t want this fellow to think he could receive kindness and give back evil.

So I asked Herbie to join me in a room—just the two of us. I talked to him for a good half-hour, opening the door for him to admit what he had done. I even offered to pay for his bus ticket to Mississippi and give him a hundred dollars to buy presents for his family.

Never have I seen a man so totally divided between purity and holding onto what he had stolen.

By the end of the half-hour, he had wiggled and squirmed all the way down into the “hog-squaller,” where repentance usually brings about mercy.

But he just couldn’t do it.

I have heard rumors that in hours of confusion, God will provide the grace to be gracious. Apparently, this applies to everyone but me.

I was infuriated. I was defensive.

I took every one of my childhood prejudices against the poor and spilled them out in my heart, trying to decide what accusation to pursue next.

The worst part? $2,160 is not $3,000.

Yes—the numbers bothered me. I was enraged that this fellow was going to get away with his crime simply because he appeared to be helpless, weak and beaten up.

We finished our visit at the mission by singing a song. Before we sang, I commented, “This was an amazing day. Amazing because I got to meet all of you. But also amazing because one of you stole money from me.”

There was a gasp. The chaplain of all the chaps turned white in horror.

It was a cruel thing I did.

It could have been done differently, and I suppose the next time (or at least the time after) when I have eight hundred dollars snatched, I will be more polished and organized.

But on this day, I was deflated and out to hurt someone.

It was three days later, when I was wrapping presents for my children, that I realized how much we had and how comfortable we were. I finally gave myself permission to consider a different ending for my story.

For the truth is, having good cheer means sometimes maintaining the cheer when the good runs away.

I’ve told this tale many times.

I’ve never lied and said I believed it was God’s will or that there was some good done with the money that was better than what our family would have chosen to pursue.

I don’t believe any of that.

But each time I’ve shared, the spirit of hope lights up a different part of the tale, making me think deeper about myself, money and Herbie.

Today’s revelation was that my son, who must have been terrified to hear the man confess to the thievery, trusted me enough to report instead of nervously hiding the truth for fear of being wrong.

Everything doesn’t work out.

Everything certainly doesn’t work out to the good.

But everything, in its own way, does work out.

3 Things … (May 14th, 2020)

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Can’t Go Away

1. Faith…

For we need something to believe that congeals our sanity with our talent.

 

2. Hope…

We require a dream to chase that sometimes chases us back.

 

3. Love…

Our yearning for a heart of affection is greater than our fear of affliction.

Sit Down Comedy … January 10th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

About a week ago I woke up grumpy.

I don’t do it often, but every once in a while I set aside the time, just to stay in practice.

Usually during these grumpy mornings I am well out of my mood by the time I enter into the actual work of the day. But on this particular occasion, I languished in my self-pity and remained grumpy well past the noon hour.

When I finally emerged from my dark cloud, a thought came to my mind. I realized that I had luxuriated in my vice of “cranky,” never considering that if my reaction—my temperament—were multiplied by eight billion, we would be in a helluva lot of trouble.

What would happen if the entire world woke up grumpy?

Certainly by nightfall—and I do not exaggerate—we would be involved in a thermonuclear war. We would blow everybody’s ass to Kingdom Come for daring to be grumpy on the morning we had reserved for the privilege.

Think about it.

We’re always so critical of life—and even one another—yet fortunately, we don’t all decide to go nutzoid at the same time.

There’s always someone who, when the idea of bungy jumping comes up, frowns and expresses some negative points that eventually bring the room to sense, which prevents us from jumping off a bridge head-first, at the mercy of an exaggerated rubber band.

Moving on from grumpy…

How about hungry?

If every person in the world woke up hungry—all eight billion of us—we’d have a situation.

Because the truth is, everyone in the world does wake up hungry. But fortunately, most of them don’t complain because all they have for their bagel is unflavored cream cheese. If the whole world woke up hungry and fussy over the choices provided, by nightfall the entire face of this planet would be overrun in terrorism.

How about horny?

Would we be dealing with rape and incest, not to mention a proliferation of babies conceived that we might not be prepared for?

Just simply this: if everybody in the world—all eight billion souls—decided next Tuesday to wake up sleepy (as I oft contend to be) how many airplane crashes would there be?

It is fortunate—even divinely inspired—that the human race does not destroy itself merely by sharing common vices at exactly the same moment.

Can you imagine four hundred people going to the DMV on Magnolia Street on the same day, who all arrive in a murderous rage?

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Yield to Oncoming Traffic.”

Don’t you find this significant?

Stop—let this change your life.

We are not alone. If we were alone, we would find a way to line up our bad attitudes in agreement, point them at one another and destroy all that we are.

In the midst of every grumpy, hungry, horny and sleepy human gathering, there are some souls who have have chosen to wake up

…kind.

Yay-yay!

Sometimes it’s a choice. There are special occasions when the pillow is exceptionally soft, and the mercy of a good night’s sleep turns us almost angelic.

But every single day, if four billion people wake up nasty, then, in order to balance things out, we are required to have four billion waking up kind.

And these kind people provide three essential gifts:

  1. They water down the hate so it’s not so poisonous.
  2. They spice up the boredom, so it doesn’t cause us to have a cranial meltdown.
  3. And they sweeten the disposition, so we do not aggravate one another.

The world is not without hope.

Every day, it is basically a numbers game.

The S Word … June 11th, 2019

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THE

Image result for gif of letter s

WORD


The S word that should never be spoken or written again, in my determined opinion is:

SARCASTIC

To me it is the blending of the words “sour” and “caustic”—sour meaning a terrible taste, and caustic referring to poisonous.

Sarcastic is when defeat tries to be clever.

It is disappointment, insisting it is entertaining.

And it is despair, deciding to be inviting.

I am told there are only three things that truly abide: faith, hope and love. If this is true, then any attempts to hinder the trio is nothing more than  being sarcastic.

At one time, maybe sarcasm was just satire with a bitter edge. But now it seems to have become the way we communicate—how everything in our world seems doomed to sameness or failure. Anyone who speaks against this sarcastic attitude is considered unlearned, a snowflake or maybe even a prude.

I, for one, believe that nasty deeds begin with nasty attitudes, and nasty attitudes are birthed in the soul of a discouraged hater. And discouraged haters are cloned from other malcontents who just refuse to believe that good has the power to win.

Sarcastic is a horrible condition we find ourselves in.

Sarcastic should be abandoned.

We desperately need artists, politicians, ministers and schoolteachers who will take the time to have their creativity born again, so that they can make faith believable, hope conceivable and love attainable.

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Chase Your Fear Away


Speak it out loud

Fears prefer silence.

Fears love to hide out and pretend they don’t exist.

Fears love to control our internal hope and choke out the faith we require.

Just speak it out loud.

You will be astounded how many people share the same apprehensions that you do. You will be equally amazed at how many allies you rally to your side simply by making it clear that the fear that once ruled you is now being exposed and “ratted out.”

Some fabulous things happen:

First, hearing your fear actually builds your faith because faith comes by hearing. It is the silent terror inside us that keeps us from believing.

Secondly, there is the fear that inhabits us and the fear that controls us. Once fear is brought to the forefront, it may hang around for a while, but it no longer has the key to your choices.

And finally, without sharing your fear, you never really have fellowship with anyone else—because simply trying to disguise your nervous energy prevents you from offering your true heart. And because you are never known, you cannot truly know.

It’s up to you–but if you’d like to chase your fear away, speak it aloud.

It’s always beneficial for a fresh cleansing of your soul, and many times a good hearty laugh.


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Drawing Attention … November 14th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Hope

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art by smarrttie panntts

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Good News and Better News … February 26th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I dig faith.

It’s what I claim to believe. My belief, though, is constantly challenged by problems and fatigue. Truthfully, faith does not sustain me. Rather, it is there to energize my hope. It causes me to reach for more.

I live off perspective. I do not see faith. Perspective is what I do see, and how I process it.

It begins with tinglings and inklings in my being, whenever I hear the word “Earth.”

What is the Earth to me? Is it an accident? Is it a punishment? How about a planet that is damned?

The Garden of Eden–a hopeless experiment? An orb floating through space, in rebellion to the Force, waiting to be disintegrated if it doesn’t comply?

My perspective of Earth is also my passion for life. If I think that I’m stumbling–trembling my way through 70-plus years of sorrow, to finally be rewarded with a heavenly utopia, then I will claim to be a person of faith, while acting like a miserable son-of-a-bitch.

On the other hand, if I try to make the Earth the center of the Universe, the Great Mama to be worshipped and honored, I will soon become angry with all the Homo sapiens who infest my surroundings as they gradually destroy our Mother.

Now, this could make me nasty.

People often wonder why there is so much belligerence on Earth–why folks seem so cranked and ready to fight.

It’s because their faith is greater than their perspective.

It’s an easy thing to believe in God. It’s not so easy to find God in what surrounds us. To achieve this, we must gain the correct perspective:

  • We must realize that the Natural Order is geared to rain on the just and the unjust without apology.
  • We must understand that whatever we sow we will certainly reap, even if we just came back from a seminar on grace, informing us that we are free from responsibility for our actions.

What is your perspective?

To be a Jesonian person is to understand the heart of Jesus. Jesus was thoroughly committed to the notion that the Father’s will could be done on Earth as it is in heaven. He put it right in the middle of his favorite prayer.

If the Earth is cursed, then aren’t the inhabitants equally doomed?

Will there be only 144,000 people salvaged?

Is everything meaningless?

Are we just here to confirm our salvation, awaiting the gates of heaven?

The good news is, I have faith. It bolsters my hope.

The better news is, my perspective tells me to value this planet, with the understanding that my passion for my life and work here will be infused into Eternity.

 

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