Three of Them… December 25, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

I awake on this Christmas morning with the same jiggly, giddy anticipation I had as a young boy of ten years of age–unable to sleep in my bed because I couldn’t wait to run out into the room and see my brand new red Schwinn bicycle. I am unapologetically immature when it comes to the joy of Christmas. I do not like people who disparage her virtues, thinking themselves to be grown-up and beyond the magic. I will never say “hum-bug,” so certainly, “bah!” is out of the question.

 It’s because I have found the power of all three of them. Yes–there are three Christmases. And if you don’t learn them, you just may spend your time lamenting long lines, cursing commercialism or feigning fatigue.

1. Mary Christmas:

I celebrate a season when a woman’s simple faith reestablished Eden into our lives–because God wanted a do-over. He loved the Garden of Eden and fellowshipping with man and woman, and when it fell apart and everybody tried to turn Him into Jehovah, He was always wanting to be reborn in the simplicity and jubilance of the Garden. So after the last prophet spoke in the Old Testament, God decided to try Eden one more time–but on this occasion, He began with a woman instead of a man. For after all, starting out with Adam while partially ignoring Eve led to some dire consequences, so this time God started with a woman named Mary, placed Himself as a baby within her,  let Jehovah pass away and was reborn as Jesus. A man was included, but only if he was willing to believe his dreams–because Joseph was told in a dream to come on along.

I celebrate a Mary Christmas and am grateful for Eden II.

2. Merry Christmas.

There are very few times in our modern world that we allow ourselves to utter the word “merry.” Matter of fact, it has become almost a Charles Dickens type of term. It gets most of its applications only once a year.  Too bad. Because “a merry heart does well for us–like a medicine.” It’s the action of being merry that confirms that emotional, spiritual and mental health are pulsing through our beings.

So every year at Christmas, I take advantage of the permission given by mankind to be merry and I flaunt it and try to extend it as deeply into the year that follows as possible. I meet resistance but it only spurs me on to continue the avalanche of merriment.

How do I know I’m really merry and not just being obnoxious? (A) At the drop of a hat I can tell you the reason for my joy. I keep an arsenal of the weapons of praise in my soul at all times. (B) I don’t need you to confirm my merriment. If you choose to be dull or not participate, it does not dim my vision nor drain my enthusiasm. (C) I am cautiously looking for another reason to make merry instead of acting like I’m eating my last slice of the pizza of life.

I believe every day contains a blessing, an excuse to ignore it and a curse that follows those who do so.

3. Marry Christmas.

And in closing, since I believe that one woman, in union with God, reestablished Eden in our lives if we want it, and I rejoice in the Lord always–and again I say rejoice–over the power of being merry, I choose to UNITE all of my activities, friends, beliefs and projects in the joviality of Christmas.

For instance, find an easier way to do things. Dress for your own pleasure and notice the gifts that accumulate along the way. This is the action of literally marrying your spirit to the spirit of Christmas–til death do you part.

  • Christmas is not the season for giving; it is the initiator of a year filled with finding occasions to give.
  • Christmas is not the celebration of joy–it is the birth of joy, which we spend 365 days commemorating.
  • Christmas is not the decoration of our houses with unusual trinkets, but rather, realizing how important it is, on an ongoing basis, to decorate our lives.

So as you begin this wonderful day, would you join me in celebrating all three Christmases?

Mary Christmas–Jehovah passed away and was reborn through a woman as Jesus, thus ending the reign of a “thou shalt not God” and of subjugating women.

Merry Christmas–let nothing be done through strife and vainglory, but instead, with a child’s heart and a chuckle.

Marry Christmas–don’t allow this sweetheart of a season to slip from your grasp. Grab her, embrace her, kiss her under the mistletoe and take her with you through the next year of your life.

Mary, Merry, Marry Christmas.

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Published in: on December 25, 2011 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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The White Album … December 21, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

It was the Christmas of my seventeenth year and I wanted to buy a special gift for three of my friends. After fourteen minutes of painful deliberation, I opted to purchase the BeatlesWhite Album for all.

This was a bold move–because each one of the three was distinctly different. One of them was into gospel music, convinced that rock and roll was of the devil. The second friend fastidiously held that classical music was the only true artistic form and contended that Beethoven hung the moon (and not just the Moonlight Sonata). The final acquaintance played in the band in our high school,was an ardent trombonist and loved the music during football season. He even had a sticker on his trombone case that read: “I Marched With Sousa.” So as you can see, it was a pretty risky decision to buy one album for all three of these unique personages.

About two weeks after the New Year, I caught up with them again and asked them what they thought about the Beatles’ White Album. The gospel music advocate said that it was interesting, but he found that the more he listened to it, the more confused he became, and on one occasion, even nauseous. He attributed this to the notion that there might be evil spirits pulsating at him from the grooves. My Beethoven buff was convinced that most of it was just crap, but the Beatles did occasionally rip off certain licks from the great masters, thus making them copiers of genius instead of originators. And of course,  my trombonist found the one place, on cut three, where there was a trombone in the background and played that song over and over again to reinforce his personal theory that life begins and ends with a slide.

Move ahead ten years. I gave three New Testaments to three of my friends because someone told me it was a good thing to do. One of them was an atheist because he couldn’t understand how God could allow suffering in the world. The next one was a hippie who enjoyed a little bit of Puff the Magic Dragon, if you know what I mean. And the third one was raised as a Jehovah‘s Witness and claimed to be a searcher.

Over the course of time, I encountered all three. The atheist told me he had to stop reading the book because he was so infuriated by Jesus talking about hell and damnation. (He apparently missed the numerous passages about loving your neighbor as yourself.) My hippie friend was ecstatic because he was convinced that Jesus would not only approve of legalizing marijuana, but since he lived in the Middle East and opium products were everywhere, probably was smoking it the day he told his disciples, “Take no thought for what you shall eat and drink, man…” (He, too probably missed a few pertinent concepts.) And my Jehovah’s Witness was too nervous to read the New Testament because he was taught that God was Jehovah and having a little book that had no Jehovah in it made him frantic, even though he was not sure he believed anything his family said.

Giving is a good thing. But when you believe that art–or Bibles–are going to change the world, all you end up doing is imparting new ammunition to prove their present theory.  For people are like diapers–they will not change until they get tired of the stink. This is why Jesus said “you must be born again.” It is why God set the precedent for that principle by allowing Himself to be born again … in the manger in Bethlehem.

That’s right. Jehovah passed away and rebirthed Himself … as Jesus.

Something to think about while you wrap your presents.

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Merry Christmas! Listen to Jangled, below — the snazziest mix of Jingle Bells, Carol of the Bells and Silver Bells you’ll ever hear!

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Writer–not “Righter”–November 15, 2011

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She was so angry with me. Having purchased my book, Living a Legendary Life, she became incensed with Chapter 1, where I assert that it really doesn’t matter what we call God. We can even call him Larry as long as our deity teaches us to love people. She felt the concept I was putting forth was theologically incorrect and contained a bit of heresy.

I looked at her, bewildered–because I am not a theologian. I don’t even play one on television. Without being too critical, I don’t usually like to find myself in the company of such creatures. I am a writer–not a “righter.” It is my job to shed light upon subjects, and get people to think and feel again, instead of merely reacting within their denomination, political party or social structure’s platform of believing. Cleverness is my greatest tool, not necessarily accuracy. I am an observer of human behavior, not an explainer or controller.

It is my job as a writer, when things are not going well, to remind us of our better selves, and if necessary, chide us into believing that being human is a blessing rather than a curse.

I chose to be a writer because I never found that people who are trying to “right” all the wrongs in the world necessarily begin with a good agenda that would actually set the direction in a forward motion. It’s hard to be “right.” Not quite so difficult to write. Maybe that’s why I chose to be a writer instead of a “righter.”

Possessing a bit of laziness and unwillingness to attach a bibliography to everything I say, I have chosen a path where I can be erred and still be entertaining and enlightening. Do I occasionally discover things that are right as I write? Only God and time will prove that to be true. But as a writer, it is my job to explore all four of the human cavities of experience–the heart, the soul, the mind and the strength.

I am supposed to get people to feel again. Also, can I construct a sentence that might cause folks to consider the existence, or even the purpose, of God? Sitting behind my desk, might there be a concept that I conjure from my imagination that will cause human beings to think beyond their culture and apprehensions? And, as one of those writers, I am not afraid of the human body, sexuality and the expression of our physicality to one another. I examine the language, the tendencies, the trends and add my own little spice of humor and wit, such as it is, to make things a bit brighter.

I am not suggesting to this woman that she call God Larry. Actually, Frank would be just fine. Seriously, I would just like her and everyone else who has become intransigent in their pursuit of eternal righteousness, to consider for one moment what is really important, and if it is important, why it might be the first thing that pops to God’s mind when He meets us. I am not bound by conventional wisdom, nor am I limited to conventional morality. Yes, I can even explore the more unseemly portions of mankind’s behavior.

I have always feared those who believe they’re right. It’s just because I know how inadequate my own efforts can be and I have not yet found anyone else who supersedes my potential by enough of a margin to make me think that they have discovered the one true path to God.

So I write.

In the process, maybe occasionally I come up with something “right,” but I will guarantee you that I say enough wrong that you must not trust every word that comes from my pen and think it is an oracle of the divine.  Shoot, often it’s not even my own best work.

It will not be our prophets that will bring our country to a state of repentance. Politicians would never have enough organization to change the world through laws. Corporations are bogged down with their own profit margin and therefore don’t always seek the best for the consumer. And in my mind’s eye, religion spends too much time trying to please a God who already seems pleased.

It is our writers who will shed light on the dark corners of human selection and make us wonder if we can actually do better. If I really believed that God was angry about being called Larry, I would suggest that He take a course in sensitivity and turn His ego down a notch or two.  After all, I have taken my share of criticism and scrutiny, and have been able to survive it and grow through it. I think God, who certainly made some interesting creations that would be well worth questioning, is perfectly able to handle any mere writer’s imaginary journey.

If you gave me a choice of Allah (who supposedly is very angry at anyone who is not a Muslim) and Jehovah (who kills Amorites because they still have a foreskin) and the thousand gods of the Hindus (who certainly tend to collide with one another) or even the God of the New Testament (who often is perplexed about whether to be more like Jesus or Paul), I think I might prefer a God named Larry, who just really would like to see people get along and be happy. Because after all, you couldn’t have a name like Larry and take yourself too seriously.

So just to make it clear to you and all future critics, I am a writer, not a “righter.” I will leave such decisions of truth and accuracy in the hands of the angels. My hands are flesh and blood–and simply write of such matters.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

 

Jonathan sings “Let”

 

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

 

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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