Confessing … October 31st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2739)

XXVI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Too much of a good thing.

No such creature.

However, there is a possibility of too much of my good thing. An overdose of my definition of “proper” and my code of appropriate behavior.

In my lifespan, I have seen morality change so often that I think we might want to consider writing the list in pencil. Finding what is unchangeable and humanly fulfilling is like searching for the pearl of great price in a desert of my misunderstanding.

Thus my problem with William.

We had the same Mommy and Daddy. I have been trying to confirm that we have the same Father.

I am not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination, but I see no value in traveling through this life making effort to love my neighbor as myself, comfortless from having a Friend who encourages me and believes in the same aspiration.

I really don’t care if He or She is imaginary as long as He or She is attentive.

William checked out of his life too early.

He was an excellent teacher who became despondent because he cared too much. The interesting factor is that after each one of us checks out of our lives, we no longer care about how we treated the “motel room” provided. Yes, there’s a danger of trashing one’s own existence.

About 25 years ago I decided to love William no matter what.

Hell, I was lousy at it. The reason for my failure is that even though I pursued unconditional love, I realized that humanly speaking, once that is determined to be impossible, we become obnoxious to those we intended to bless. Simply put, in the process of loving William, I had too many goddamn ideas on what William should be.

  • I thought it was helpful. It ended up being hurtful.
  • I thought it was ingenious. It was proven ridiculous.
  • I was never condemning. But I cannot truthfully say I was always consoling.

So for about nine months, I walked away from my relationship with William, giving him a chance to breathe air that wasn’t contaminated with my opinion.

The difficulty lies in the fact that William tends to alienate those souls who come his way, so after several months he recontacted me, figuring that a nosy brother was better than leading a faceless life.

So I’m off today to have lunch with him for the first time in over a year. I am scared and not ashamed to admit it.

I don’t want to be an asshole.

I don’t want to tread on his very thin ice, break through and drown us both.

So I confess to you that I am a caring person who realizes that caring is a dangerous thing. It only becomes valubale if the person receiving it has some place to tuck it away.

Confessing Bill

 

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Jesonian: I Can But I Won’t… September 14, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2352)

I can but I won’t.

I could but I shouldn’t.

It is an imaginative and ingenious philosophy put forth by Jesus to explain how to escape the lunacy of chasing every single possibility and problem that pops up in your face.

It happened one day while he was sharing with his disciples and friends about the true essence of their mission, and some of the obstacles they would face in the future as they tried to progress a message that most certainly would suffer some persecution.

As he’s closing out this admonishment, he renders these powerful words: “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you should say.”

Amazingly enough, his own sharings are about to be put to the test–because he is interrupted in a clumsy, if not rude, way, by a gentleman who feels he has a much more urgent need than that of training disciples to preach the good news to the world.

The intruder inserts, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

Talk about being off point.

Talk about misconstruing the meaning of offering power and wisdom. This man felt that since Jesus had the attention of the room, that Jesus should use that platform to resolve his personal conflict. This is where our opening couplet comes to play.

I can but I won’t.

I could but I shouldn’t.

The answer that Jesus gives this man is filled with insight and prophetic underpinning:

Who has made me a judge over you? I am not here to arbitrate. And by the way, beware covetousness.

Amazing.

  • I thought Jesus was God and he was ordained to judge.
  • I thought he was supposed to be the advocate for getting us forgiven our punishments when we’re ridiculously misaligned.
  • I thought it was alright to go get your fair share when it was owed to you.

I discovered a parallel: it made me realize that even though we, as a nation, may find things that we can do, we should say we won’t.

And even though we could contribute to bringing a tentative peace in areas of the world where brothers are arguing over their inheritance, we shouldn’t.

Among the many reasons for sitting out the present conflict brewing in Mesopotamia is that it is grounded in covetousness. Covetousness is when selfishness punches jealousy in the nose and then wants recompense by stealing everything its enemy

Let me tell you–I am a follower of Jesus because he had a unique and God-given ability to know where his battles were and when he was to simply walk away.

No matter how much we may think that the conflicts in the Middle East are deadly, fierce or even genocidal, they are not our affair. And if we jump in there, we are failing to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to us as Jesus promised He would.

I can but I won’t.

I could but I shouldn’t.

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The Money Brick … January 11, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2117)

Some people are stained glassbrick of money

Others, just stained

Either way, we’re hurtin’

Our flaws bring us pain

Or is it that our pain invites the flaws?

Who knows?

Stained-glassers focus on the flaws

Stainers, on the pain

But both remain

And it is useless to counsel a leper

And mean-spirited to offer a good book to a blind man

I awakened in the middle of the night, finding myself deep in thought. I like that. I believe life should be a balance between discouragement and satisfaction, exhorting us toward greater discovery. As I was quietly lying in my bed reflecting, a sense of well-being and warmth filled my soul.

Some folks would become cynical if I suggested God was speaking to me. They would insist I was just being prodded by my own conscience. To each his own.

But the revelation was that it is beautiful that I am traveling, excellent to share my life with tens of thousands of people, smart to write daily columns and ingenious to always be trying to update the material and the message to reach a specific gathered audience.

Then a yearning came. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was the realization that even after all these projects and outreaches are done, I still have time on my hands. After all, the bills are paid. I often have a little extra money.

Time and money–the dynamic duo. When they work together, lives can be changed.

In that moment of quiet, I was strongly impressed to take a small purse of cash–what I now refer to as a “money brick”–each and every week and invest it in human beings.. Here’s why:

  • Some people will not listen to words.
  • There are those who refrain from partaking of a melody.
  • And very few individuals will tolerate a sermon.

But everyone appreciates a few dollars offered as encouragement and evidence that they are not alone.

I don’t have much; I’m not going to pay off people’s debts. But sometimes what the stained-glassers and the stainers need is just a dollar or two–to let them know that someone sees them, cares and wishes them God speed.

Money does talk. It speaks a universal language.

So I thought that the generous folks who contribute to my cause would not mind me setting aside a specific amount of coinage each week, to bless the folks I encounter on a daily basis. I have requested that God send such individuals my way.

We shall see.

I will offer the brick … and ask God to provide the mortar. 

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New Life… January 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2111)

New Life

I picked up my calendar and noticed that tonight I’m going to be sharing at New Life Lutheran Church in Pearland, Texas. I couldn’t help but notice the two words: New Life.

I like that idea. I think everybody wants a new life to some degree, even if they’re enjoying the essence of their present journey. “New” is fun and fresh, and “life” is beautiful, if for no other reason than it’s the absence of death.

But I have never been a soul satisfied with the offerings of organized religion. I want new life, but Heaven and the promise of eternal existence is not enough to get me through Earth.

I need some heaven done here.

This is what Jesus promised in the Good Book–that it was possible for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I’ve always wondered why we thought Heaven was going to be so special if we weren’t impressed with the adventure God offers us on Earth. It’s like owning a Toyota Camry and being dissatisfied, and having the company offer you a Tercel. Still made by Toyota. No reason to believe the different name will make things better.

So I go to Jesus to find out what he thinks life is. Two things jump out immediately. He contended that life should be “abundant” and life should be “joyful.” Actually–full joy.

So what is abundance? I suppose it could be interpreted as “wealth” or accumulation. But I think in this case it means variety.

Yes, I will know that I have new life when I’m not afraid of what’s coming. If God was with me yesterday, why would I believe that overnight He’s abandoned me simply because today offers a different dilemma?

Yet, it is what plagues us. We really gain new life when we’re not afraid of what’s coming and we welcome the abundance because we know it grants us the wisdom to use our talents to gain our security.

And I need joy. Joy is the decision to be happy while you’re pursuing contentment.

If you do it the other way around, you’ll end up quite disappointed, trying to find contentment as a means of determining your happiness. This means that every disruption of your experience, actually bringing abundance, will distress you instead of bless you.

Yes, “new life” is the ingenious blending of abundance and joy.

So as I talk to these folks tonight I will share with them that Jesus did not come to try to make things comfortable. Instead, he came to comfort us as we grow able to handle our circumstance while maintaining our good cheer, eager for a chance to prove that what is in us … is up to the challenge.. 

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Christmas Greetings A to Z … December 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2099)

A: Adorable adventX-men

B: Blessed bounty

C: Cherishing Christmas

D: Dainty dancers

E. Elation everlasting

F: Favorite fa-la-la-la-la

G: Gathering gaiety

H: Huddling home-fires

I: Ideally ingenious

J: Joyous joviality

K: Kris Kringle

L: Loving lullaby

M: Merry manger

N: Noel newness

O: Old-time ornaments

P: Precious Prince

Q: Quality quest

R: Reveling reindeer

S: Sleepless shepherds

T: Tree trimming

U: Untold unity

V: Vivacious vision

W: Wise wanderers

X: X-tra X-men

Y: You, yours

Z: Zany zeal

(Of course, if you insist, you can stick with “Merry Christmas to all!”)

 

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The Mars and Venus War … July 14, 2013

Adam and EveJonathots Daily Blog

(1943)

I think it would have to be a really creepy laboratory–moss hanging from the rafters, bats flying by at odd intervals, spider webs and very little light. I mean, if you’re going to create a castle to experiment on how to destroy mankind, you might as well make it ominous and bizarre.

In this hostile environment, you must sit down and draft a hideous plan.

You could simulate the demise of humankind by creating a race war: black against white, red against yellow, brown against tan. But here’s the thing–human sexuality has us falling in love with all sorts of different colors, and eventually, on this little orb called earth, we will probably end up being the color of the dust from which we were created.

Perhaps in your laboratory you could propagate a religious war–where the faithful of one inclination decide to go on a crusade to destroy the infidels of another. But you see, human beings are strange. There are always a few–be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, or any other number of faith flavors–who come along and preach brotherhood, goodness, kindness and mercy.

I suppose you could try to use global warming, thermonuclear war, terrorism or some other frightening specter to dispel life from our planetary home. But we always seem to find some ingenious person who comes up with a great idea just in the nick of time–to make a light bulb instead of cursing the darkness.

So I think what I would do in MY sinister arena is promote an ongoing conflict between men and women that is masked by comedy–but at its root is a nasty bit of viciousness which eventually causes the two genders to lose desire for one another, believing the linking to be futile.

Yes. Just convince everybody on earth that men and women are incapable of getting along, and pretty soon you’ll have fifty per cent of the people fighting the other fifty per cent. What a devious stroke of macabre genius!

And then, here is the final unbelievable addition: you’re able to convince EVERYBODY that it’s true, whether they’re conservative or liberal, Christian or Jew, north or south, circumcised or uncircumcised–English muffin or bagel.

Then you can sit back in glee and watch the whole carnival implode on itself as one tiny little Calliope breathes its final notes.

OR … we could realize that God made men and women. He made physical differences so we could pleasure one another and also procreate the planet. Pretty good system. (Please note that God rarely asks us to do anything that improves our situation without giving us pleasure in the process…)

He told both man and women that they had dominion over the earth. He told both of them that they were equally responsible for caretaking the territory. Matter of fact, if you want to follow the theme of the story, woman came from man. How different could she be?

Yet we insist that somehow or another, through the manipulation of our culture, the laziness of our ethics and the backwardness of our theology, that men and women are just hobgoblins to each other.

If you will allow me: God made male and female.

The physical differences between us create the potential for continuing our existence. Yet the Father said “in the kingdom of God, there is neither male or female.” That means when we actually reach out of ourselves to higher thoughts, deeper spirituality and greater understanding, both genders take the same journey.

If you happen to be a Christian, you believe that the promise of your Messiah came through a woman. After all, it was a virgin birth, with some assistance from the Divine but none from Joseph.

The truth is, none of us know exactly what the differences are between men and women because no one has tried to accentuate the similarities. We truthfully spend more time figuring out our commonality with the porpoise and the chimpanzee than we do with Dick and Jane. It not only creates inequality, it fails to energize the potential which exists by the fusion of the two sexes in unity instead of conflict.

So I will not join in.

Any female member of the species who wants to come into my space will be treated as a human being, and the anticipation will be that she can pull her own load and she will be heard in all circumstances. I’m looking for reasons to get along instead of poking holes into the possibility of great fellowship.

So if you want to join this generation’s slide into insanity by negating one another based upon our sexual organs, you can feel free. it’s a very popular idea. But if we’re going to survive, we’re going to need each other–women and men.

And if you believe men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and you’re not prepared to build a space ship–be prepared to have the planet you so adore diminish in beauty, because there aren’t two caretakers.

 

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