PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 11th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3730)

Every Winner

by Jonathan Richard Cring

Don’t look for me down the road just yet

I’m reveling in this particular spot

Don’t insist my feet need to be more wet

I’m really learning a lot

The race you run is exhausting to me

I like to stop–enjoy what I see

So speed on, dear friend, just let me be

I’m enjoying the power of free

I really lost my single soul

Trying to be the “Best in Show”

Teaching the old dog takes its toll

Yes, the bite is worse than the bark

I’m not a philosopher, nor a king

Not a possessor of all that’s wise

I want to wear simple shoes

And avoid the nasty lies

My feelings were raw and full of hurt

Frightened to make a start

So give me time to sense again

And open up my heart

God means nothing if I feel small

So I relax, peaceful, awaiting my call

There is no hurry, there is no worry

No need to toil and spin

Slow down the race and find my place

Perhaps I still can win

For today has come to keep me busy

Making my logical case

For every winner is still a sinner

Pursuing amazing grace

Today’s reader is Jerrod, who lives in Florida and works as an executive technician at 3G Productions, residing with his wife and two daughters

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 6th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3421)

Z or P

Rising from my bed

I really wasn’t dead

Just somewhat fond of sleep

Like Bo-Peep with her sheep

 

I considered a roll to the right

To continue my blissful night

But there within my sight

Was a splash of morning light

So groan I did

Close my lid

And lie there very still

My toasty form

Is cuddly and warm

Not wishing a morning chill

But as I pause

For my sleepy cause

Reality stirs in me

I GOT TO PEE

And not just a wee bit

But a raging sea-fit

Threatening like tingling ants

To drown me in my pants

It comes to me

What shall it be?

Perhaps continue to snooze

And maybe then I’d lose

Control of me bladder

A very embarrassing matter

Nature certainly has her ways

To get us involved in our days

If we want the night

And fight the determined light

The sun will surely win

So Little Boy Blue

Blow your horn

Sloth–it be a deadly sin.

 

 

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … May 31st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3323)

 

A Stinky Job

I am not God

You are not God

Who would want to be God?

It’s a stinky job

You have to tell the truth.

Even though it eventually sets people free

In the meantime it makes them pissy

So those who worship you are also constantly a little angry

Because you are God but won’t be just their God

And their God alone

When you are God, you say,

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of me.”

“There is none righteous–no, not one.”

“Except you repent, you will perish.”

“Your righteousness is like filthy rags.”

Filthy rags??

Please lighten up

How about just a dirty t-shirt?

So God says He loves people

Then we sing, “You are an awesome God!”

Yet we privately wonder why He doesn’t kill some people to help us out

Couldn’t God be nicer–just to us?

We come to church

We’re in the praise band

We once memorized two whole chapters of the Gospel of John

What does He want?

Maybe if He just phrased things more gently

Changed “sinners” to “winners in training”

Instead of “damnation,” call it “escaping the oops zone”

God, why don’t you just say “mistakes?”

And since we all make them, let’s call these little flubs “journey-markers”

Listen, God, I could love you so much more if you wouldn’t lord it over me

I need encouragement

I’m a kitten that requires exaggerated petting

But since you won’t do your God job

With some tenderness

Then I look for tenderness to become my God

Are you feeling lonely?

And you wonder why you have grumpy praisers

Even though I am not God

I could give you some pointers

Would you listen?

Or–because you are all-knowing–do you have to be a know-it-all?

But where can I go?

Movies don’t move me

Drinking makes me drunk

Weed creates need

Which will only feed my greed

And poli-ticks me off

I got nowhere to roost

Of course, you know that

STOP SMIRKING AT ME

Go ahead

Tell me the truth

But stay a little while–sweetly

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3176)

pohymn-step-careful

Step Careful

If the bugs ever organized

We would surely be dead

Executed for war crimes

Against their fallen kinsfolk

If the sky could speak

Would we hear great remorse?

Of being ignored for beauty

Then cursed for the rain

If a door might complain

Would it question our sanity?

In and out, back and forth

Please decide, scatterbrain

Yes, a horse would demand

We get off its back

A fish would certainly quibble

“Let me off the hook!”

And a road would order,

“Just keep movin'”

It is very easy to offend

More tough to amend

So be kind as you …

Step, look, open, close, ride, fish and journey

May your living bring life.

 

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Good News and Better News… November 7th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-trinity-mansfield-sign-pic-1Autumn reminds me of getting older. It occasionally offers memories of the warmth of earlier days, but things start falling off your limbs.

As I woke up and drove to Trinity United Methodist Church in Mansfield, Ohio, it was a beautiful, sunshine-blessed fall morning–invigorating to the body and soul. I think other people felt that as well, because Pastor Bob and the congregation shared a gentle and kind greeting.good-news-trinity-mansfield-clouds-pic-2

I was also blessed to have my nephew and sister-in-law show up for the gig, and we had a few minutes in my green room to catch up and rediscover why we like each other (even though we’re related).

Then it was time for the service. I’m always intrigued by the fact that we pursue the traditions of religion without considering whether they are adequate for the needs of humans. What is the purpose of God putting together a ceremony which does nothing to enrich the lives of the participants?

What do we need from church?

First and foremost–good cheer.

Fortunately for us, Jesus said “he came that our joy might be full.” For after all, we cannot survive another experience that leaves us contemplating without rejoicing.

The second thing church should give us is fellowship.

Once again, God looked ahead and saw our need. Jesus proclaimed, “By this you shall know my followers–that they have love for one another.”

After good cheer and fellowship, we all desperately need forgiveness.

Jesus warned us that “except we repent, we shall perish. But if we do repent, “God is faithful and just to forgive us.” This pardon makes us a little bit more willing to consider being gracious to others.

So you can see, what we need out of church is also what God expects out of church.

Passing off the traditions of men and calling them the commandments of God is what really pissed off Jesus.

So the good news is that if we offer hope and cheer, fellowship and forgiveness, we will not only be doing God’s will, but we will be presenting an atmosphere which is conducive to the growth of human beings.

The better news is that it is a lot more pleasant to do this than arguing over hymns, trying to stay awake during sermons, and bickering over the color of the carpet in the vestibule.

good-news-trinity-mansfield-jon-pic-3

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3036)

PoHymn The Cost

The Cost

Ferocious mini-mongols

Topple my waning empire

Soggy dreams of nonsense

Dripping, can’t catch fire

Blinded eyes, hear the scream

Enlightened words, swell the dream

Cankered sores, leprous pain

Sense the brain become insane.

Sucking swill, peace be still

Lie in wait for my fate

Scattered pins across my mind

When I seek what will I find?

Scared to life, a deadly threat

Cast my lot. place my bet

Woven within the tapestry

A golden thread of what is me

Yet frightened to lose my sense of will

Listening for comfort, bombarded by shrill

Colossal failure, limited success

Cleaning the cup, leaving a mess

Precious is not the price, you see

But rather, the cost in evolving me.

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 5) Late … May 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2949)

Reverend Meningsbee

Sunday morning, and Meningsbee woke up late.

He wanted to blame his alarm clock, but since he was fully aware that he was the master of all of its decisions, he scurried along, skipping two of his pre-shower rituals.

He scooted into his car, started it and zoomed toward the church at what he hoped was a reasonable speed. He was thinking about what he wanted to share.

The Gospel of Mark. Most certainly.

It had been an interesting week.

After the breakthrough, with Betty and Clarice being reconciled, there was a sweet buzz of contentment among those who were present, but simultaneously, there were around twenty-five former members who had begun meeting in the banquet hall of the nearby Holiday Inn Express. They were stirring a flurry of frustration through the town.

Their contention? Meningsbee had “stolen their church.”

He understood their perspective. Yet there was a push in his spirit to continue the experiment–to find the real meaning of gathering together instead of marching in time to the drone of repetitive hymns.

Arriving, he ran to the door of the church, and then paused. He could hear the sounds of conversation. It was not the usual pre-church verbal exchanges, but instead, purposeful–what sounded like meaningful, prayerful tones.

So Meningsbee chose to enter quietly and climb the stairs to the balcony, where he could view the proceedings.

He had noticed coming in that there were a few more cars in the parking lot, and was delighted to see, when he looked down from his perch, that there were four visitors and a few of the original congregation who had returned.

But most enlightening was the fact that the three chairs he had placed in the front on Saturday night were filled with people, surrounded by other folks who were sharing and praying for one another.

On the seventh row was a young family who Deacon Smitters had befriended, and was quietly but feverishly entertaining with one of his stories.

It was a reverent scene, in the sense of the true meaning of reverence–full of humanity, compassion, tenderness and just a bit of the childlike freedom that was so often absent from the normal Sunday morning drill.

Reverend Meningsbee wanted to just hang out in the balcony and watch. He knew that as soon as he entered, the holy spell would be broken and they would turn to him to find order.

Finally he decided that it was not good for him to stay away for the whole time. He climbed down the stairs and came into the church as the gathering fell silent.

He turned slowly and addressed them.

“I overslept. But I have been here for fifteen minutes, just watching all of you. It is so beautiful for you to treat each other so beautifully. I know that’s not a good sentence, but it’s what I feel. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for loving each other.”

All at once, a hand went up. It was Clarice, from last week’s reconciliation.

“Hello, Pastor. I just wanted to let you know that after Betty and I mended our fences, I got inspired to contact my son in Lincoln, who ran away from home a couple of years ago because he was mad at me for being such a–can I say ‘bitch’ in the church?”

Meningsbee laughed. “You just did.”

Clarice continued. “Anyway, I invited Michael home, we made peace, and I told him to come here with me today to seal the deal.”

The congregation burst into applause without being coaxed. It was spontaneous and it was electrifying.

One after another, there were testimonies about those who came and sat in the chair to receive God’s grace through the kindness of God’s people.

The good Reverend just stood back and shut up. There was a small part of him that felt useless, but most of him felt he had discovered his true use.

Lead the sheep to the green pastures, and then let them eat.

It came time for the end of the service, and Meningsbee wasn’t sure what to do.

Betty stood to her feet and said, “Did you know that Clarice’s son, Michael, plays a mean piano and can really sing?”

Michael feigned a bit of embarrassment, but also exuded a willingness to display his talent. So Meningsbee pointed to the piano, and Michael slowly rose to his feet, walked over, sat down and played and sang “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

It was an inspiring conclusion to the morning.

Meningsbee listened to the song very carefully.

“Let It Be.”

What good advice.

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