Good News and Better News… November 16th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Good News Leo

You can like them.

You can ignore them.

You can get fussy about them

But people aren’t going away.

This came to my mind yesterday as I was honored to share in front of the dear souls in Leo, Indiana.

Pastor Dave walks in a congenial competence. I fear he might consider that statement to be a left-handed compliment or even an insult, but he would misunderstand.

The American public-at-large needs congenial competence.

We’re constantly tempted to be unfriendly while infested by excuses for failure instead of showing a steady leadership which offers a sense of comfort.

There’s something wonderful about being congenial. Saying hello to your fellow-human without scrunching your brow with suspicion may be the definition of God’s love.

And also taking a few moments to figure out what you can do, supplying an effort equal to your promise is a stroke of genius.

I don’t ever want to lie to anyone.

I wear my weaknesses as proudly as I display my strengths.

My weaknesses tell people they can trust me because I haven’t tried to hide them. My strengths can exhilarate them because they understand that I’ve taken the time to work on myself and try to pursue the second mile.

I suppose when I finished up in Leo yesterday, there were individuals who would have said we had a morning of revival, but without being coy, I would contend that we had a morning of “vival.”

I’m not so sure any of us were truly alive until we got together–because the worst prison we can find for ourselves is a cave of our own misunderstanding. We need one another, because without that contact, we think we are smarter than we actually are.

I so enjoyed the people. I loved hearing their stories. I was thrilled with the look of hope on their faces.

I am proud to say that I joined Pastor Dave in trying to be a congenial, competent person.

For this is my prayer:

I want to bring you joy and deliver the little dab of talent I can as efficiently as possible.

 

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Jesonian: Easy Does It … August 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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corn in hand

Into a world filled with self-righteousness, power struggles and idiotic inclinations, Jesus of Nazareth walked on the scene with a simple message.

Easy does it and lighten up.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Leadership hated him for it.

Making truth accessible to the masses and suggesting that it is not that difficult to attain does not endear you to those who make a living out of turning every situation into a quandary.

No mortal receives benefit when we demand divine effort.

Interestingly enough, right after he shared these thoughts of “easy does it” and “lighten up,” he was confronted by a situation which embodied the whole dilemma.

You see, his disciples were walking through a field of corn and they were hungry. Common sense said not to stand around and bitch, but rather, to pick some of the nourishment.

Logical enough, right?

But posted nearby were those religious leaders who made a living from “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.” They criticized the disciples and Jesus for the action, citing that the Law of God demanded that the Sabbath be honored by declining to take care of human needs.

Jesus’ answer is a spiritual classic.

He explained that throughout history, whenever noble men and women of mission found themselves without provision, rather than standing on ceremony, they used what was available instead of complaining to the heavens about their lack.

He said that King David even ate the holy bread from the Temple and gave it to his soldiers when there was a gnawing at their innards.

But Jesus didn’t leave it there. He told the Pharisees that everything revolves around one principle: God will have mercy, not sacrifice.

Because if you find yourself feeling sacrificial, restricted, bound and intimidated by religious fervor, very soon … you will end up condemning the guiltless folks who walk amongst you.

 

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Populie: The Majority Rules … June 25, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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A show of hands“All those in favor of … ”

It’s a process we learned at an early age when trying to choose between playing Monopoly or a game of cards. If there were five people in the room and three voted for card playing, then the other two were supposed to submit freely to the will of the majority. It is how we define democracy.

It’s the pressure that politics, entertainment, and religion live beneath in pursuing policies of their actions.

“Let’s take a poll.”

Politics runs its agenda based on how certain voting goes, determining the emphasis of actions according to the numbers provided.

Religion feels no responsibility to pursue the strait and narrow, remaining the conscience of our society, but instead, institutes committees which vote up or down based on the whim of a local congregation.

And entertainment rejects the responsibility for art to be a cutting edge reminder for our society, using focus groups to determine how plots should end and characters develop.

We are completely possessed by the demon of choice. Therefore, we are tossed to and fro on the energy of the present moment instead of having a sense of what truly will benefit the common good.

It is the popular belief in democracy, lending itself to the populie that the majority rules. Actually, the majority is rarely right.

There are three things that are necessary to determine the mission of any project or any people:

1. The history.

If we’re going to run our country thinking that there’s power in numbers, we will end up destroying all the potential for innovation and enlightenment. What is the history?

  • The majority of Germans voted to follow Adolph Hitler.
  • The majority of Jews in the Council cast their lot to crucify Jesus of Nazareth.
  • The majority of Southerners at one time held fast to Jim Crow.

Therefore, the majority has to be viewed through the sense of history, and history has some strong inclinations:

A. You can’t take freedom from people.

B. You can’t continue to kill people

C. You can’t stifle creativity and invention

It doesn’t matter if the majority wants to do this or not. It will be wrong.

2. The climate.

Even though politics, religion and entertainment want to give the people what they want, the goal of leadership should be to give the people what they’re going to require.

For instance, if you let your twelve-year-old son pack for summer camp on his own, he will run out of clothes on the second day and food on the third, having consumed all of his candy bars. It is the responsibility of those who have been given the blessing of guiding us to discover from the climate of our times what is available to meet the needs of human beings instead of what temporarily satisfies the whim.

3. The end game.

Yes, how is this going to end up? If we follow through on the present thinking, where will it take us? Honestly, we can’t decide the future of our society merely based upon greed. People who have the intelligence to understand where things are headed also have the responsibility to pipe up and challenge the end game.

So we’re going into Iraq. When do we leave?

We’re legalizing marijuana. What is the outcome?

We’re limiting the use of guns. Can we project where this will take us?

The majority does not rule; the majority is just loud.

We need insight from spiritually and emotionally mature statesmen and stateswomen, who will remind us of history, take us to what we require instead of what we just want, and follow through our efforts to a conclusion, projecting the end game.

Let’s stop taking a vote. Instead, let’s take a moment and find out what’s best for the whole human race … instead of just our little circle.

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After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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Somebody Should Do Something…. May 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are two simple ways to immediately improve your life.

First, get rid of all your committees.

Second, start doing some rendition of what resembles your dream and then be prepared to change.

Since our present society is completely unable or unwilling to pursue either of these options, then please settle in for a long winter’s nap of repetitive nonsense. And one of the main pieces of nonsense is the ongoing droning drivel that “somebody should do something.”

Let us understand–somebody already has.

  • We wouldn’t have cures for disease if they hadn’t.
  • Slaves would not be freed without somebody doing something.
  • Salvation for the human soul would never have been accomplished from a “do nothing” Savior.

It isn’t like we have to come up with our own idea or create a world unto itself–unique to our circumstances–to accomplish good deeds. There are many paths set before us, tremendous options and inspiring tales to thrust us forward in the direction of accomplishment.

We are reluctant–both as a species and then, as individuals.

Why?

There are two nasty principles that were ingrained in us at a young age, no matter what culture we came from.

  1. Don’t make a fool of yourself.
  2. Leave well enough alone.

For some reason, as a race, we learned these much more easily than we did long division. Maybe it’s because we’re basically insecure, and both of these concepts feed that timidity, making it easier for us to remain stagnant.

Maybe it’s because indifference burns fewer calories and allows for more naps. I don’t know.

But the end result is a disgruntled multitude, complaining about the absence of leadership while simultaneously resisting any prophetic voice that would advance a new theory.

You have to make up your mind. If you want to extol the status quo, do so, but please never complain about the blandness of your grits. Or … prepare yourself for the shock that if anything is going to be done, to look any further than your own motivation is an exercise in futility.Abe

HitlerBecause there is really only one moving part in the human experience–only one thing that separates an Abraham Lincoln from an Adolph Hitler. Both men were bigoted in their own way. Both men took office believing that a particular sect or race of human beings was inferior. Both individuals had a certain dictatorial style to their rule. (Yes, Abraham Lincoln was called a dictator.)

The difference between Abraham and Adolph is that when information was given to Mr. Lincoln to prove that slavery was wrong, dangerous and god-forbidden–he changed.

On the other hand, when the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States were perched on the outskirts of Berlin and it was obvious to everyone–including Chancellor Hitler, that the war was over, he literally dug into his bunker and permitted the slaughter of an additional quarter of a million people to justify his foolishness.

Therefore, saying that somebody needs to do something is an ugly blending of self-pity and stubbornness.

And self-pity and stubbornness are the main attributes of all the inhabitants of hell.

A footrnote: muich thanks to my dear brother from yesterday morning at Algood, who told me his pet peeve was the phrase, “somebody needs to do something.”

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heAfter an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Arrest Obama … December 5, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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arrest ObamaAs I drove off last night to Auburn, Georgia, to meet some delightful human folk, I was about to get on I-75 going south when I noticed a young man dressed in camouflage, running up and down the sidewalk, carrying a sign that read, “Arrest Obama.” He was screaming so loud that even though my windows were rolled up, I could hear his complaints with every rant and rave.

It gave me pause.

What causes us to believe that the inclusion or removal of certain factors from our lives will make things better, when we know, deep in our hearts, that we’ll still be stuck with ourselves?

Even if you gave this young man his wish and had the President of the United States arrested for whatever crimes the protestor deemed necessary, he would still have to go home, look in the mirror and deal with his bungles.

America has become victimized by the notion that changing our surroundings actually changes things.

Candidly, I don’t quite see the difference between the presidency of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They both found themselves overwhelmed by a position they underestimated, surrounded by vicious critics, and locked out of means of leadership because of political parties grappling for power.

By the same token, you can go to your local church and hear messages of how sin and immorality is destroying our country, or on the other hand, how intolerance is debilitating us and we should do better.

We just don’t get it.

  • President Obama is not my problem.
  • The Republican Party is not my obstacle.
  • Sin, degradation and all the flaws that are often flaunted in our culture are not what is holding me back.

Here is a simple two-step process which will give you the truth of the matter and therefore make you free:

  1. I am my worst problem.
  2. I am my best possibility.

I have just given you a paraphrase of what Jesus said when he explained to his followers that “the kingdom of God is within you.”

Whenever we look for a scapegoat or a reason for the destruction of society outside of our own efforts, we not only miss the boat, we sink the Titanic.

I don’t agree with things done by either political party. I have great differences with the religious system that exists in our country.

Here’s the truth: I don’t care. They don’t control my life. Honest to God, they rarely impact my life. What does bounce off of me everyday are my unresolved conflicts and trying to motivate myself to be creative and use my talents instead of allowing despair to render me immobile.

If we believe in God, we must understand that He breathed His life into us. Trying to find God in church, nature, other people, sermons or even the Bible will be impersonal, second-hand information. Finding God in your own heart by recognizing your own problems and tapping your abilities is the definition of true spirituality.

I felt great sadness for my brother screaming and yelling on the sidewalk yesterday. Not because of his politics, but because he is a victim of a fad philosophy which wants to blame the world for our own lives.

I am my worst problem. In like manner, I am my best possibility.

Once I come to terms with this, I can begin to be valuable to myself and others instead of a nit-picking old lady … fussing over the placement of the doilies.

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The Final Pollster… October 17, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Having survived last night’s Presidential debate, not to mention the incessant racket of pounding pundits that followed the encounter, I awaken this morning a bit befuddled, somewhat disappointed and slightly alarmed.

I have never considered myself to be one of the more intelligent people in the world. Even though God has given me talent, I feel that my greatest asset is in how well I have multiplied those gifts to foster fresh possibilities.

But when I listened to the message of the two men that America has decided are the cream of our crop for potential leadership, I was greatly dismayed–mainly because all of the processes, approaches and procedures that go into this fiasco called the American election system are completely contrary to the desires of my heart and the tenets of my lifestyle.

I have shared with you over the past several weeks the seven things that God hates. And last night, I suddenly realized that the entire collage of Divine dislikes were being acted out right before my eyes.

A proud look–yes, it seems that both the Republicans and the Democrats feel that “acting tough,” being overly confident and aggressive is the best way to convey dominating leadership.

I disagree. I serve a principle which says that to become master, you must go through the schooling of servanthood. I am looking to work with people who believe that NoOne is better than anyone else, and discard the jutted jaw, the stiff neck and the prideful glance of the arrogant.

How about a lying tongue? Yes, God hates that one. It seems that our friends who strutted across the stage last night in manly magnificence have no particular predilection to be honest or honor veracity. The lies flew like water balloons at a fraternity party.

I yearn for human beings who will admit their weakness but also acknowledge that NoOne is better than the truth.

The writer of Proverbs tells us that God hates those who shed innocent blood. Yet our two candidates running for the President of the United States feel that they prove their testosterone level by saber-rattling, discussing more destruction, additional war, ongoing conflict and careless loss of life. The only problem with saber-rattling is that somebody eventually screams, “Engarde!”

NoOne is better than life–whether it’s a poverty-stricken child, helpless animals in the forest, human beings in the Middle East or the unborn child. Until we learn to respect the value of the breath inside the vessel that God has placed on this planet, we are not worthy to be caretakers of it.

Did I see and hear any wicked imaginations? It seemed to me that the only goal pursued was attempting to prove that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and that each one of these men supposedly has the remedy for removing us from being toted away. When the only thing available to you is the desperation of ignoring beauty and goodness in order to frighten people with devastation, you have become a hateful thing to God.

NoOne is better than happiness. When you see unhappiness, the answer is not to finger-point and blame others for the unsettling condition. Find your own portion and change things for the better.

Feet swift to mischief. I kept thinking that Governor Romney and President Obama were playing to a very small audience while pretending to vie for the position of the leader of the free world. For after all, the voters and the human beings in that amphitheater were pawns in a chess game to establish dominance. Their concern was with their own little collection of cronies who had trained them for the evening’s joust and would be joining them for dinner afterwards, to discuss in glee particular points of mastery. That’s not leadership. I don’t think either man understands his mission, and when you don’t understand your mission, your feet will tend to run in the direction of favorability and mob mania. God hates that.

If you don’t know why you are doing what you’re doing, then stop doing it until you can find out why you did it in the first place. Once you establish your mission, then you have the means to know that everything else is secondary to it. The mission of being President of the United States is simple–liberty and justice for all. Anything that impinges on those two holy ideals must be deemed unnecessary or even evil. Likewise, the mission of God is to bless people, yet give them free will. When you stop blessing people or insinuate that you intend to remove their free will, you lose the heart of God. Our political parties are ALWAYS running towards mischief because they have forgotten why they have been honored with the privilege to serve America.

I had to think about #6–a false witness. Time and time again, I listened to Mitt and Barack twist the facts, turn the tables and knock over reality to allow for their particular rendition of understanding to be presented as supreme.

NoOne is better than good news, and if you don’t have good news, do yourself a favor and help those around you by being forthcoming and admitting the lack. Here’s the truth: we have gotten ourselves into an economic pickle which is now worldwide and does not seem to have an easy solution. So unless we go back to hard work, generosity and personal responsibility, we will never be able to get out of this mess. But neither one of these gentlemen is willing to tell the American people that there is hard work ahead, that we will need to be more generous with each other, and that the buck does not stop in Washington or with tax cuts, but rather, at our own doorsteps.

A false witness is someone who purposely tries to hide the bad news by pretending like there was never supposed to be any good news.

And finally, as I finished up watching the debate last night, I felt empty inside. I am overjoyed to be an American, but in that moment I felt raped of my patriotism and deprived of a national treasure. I sensed that our entire nation was being robbed of its dignity as these two men sowed discord among the brethren in an attempt to win an office which, if done successfully, requires unity, not division.

Don’t talk to me about gridlock. Don’t criticize the attack ads of the other party as you continue attack ads of your own. Don’t sow discord among the brethren of this country and think you’re going to reap anything that resembles cooperation. NoOne is better than peace.

I realized that before my eyes–acted out in some sort of sophomoric play–were the seven things that God hates. Here is what is required for our country to gain back its spirit and receive the favorable nod of the real Final Pollster–Almighty God:

1. NoOne is better than anyone else.

2. NoOne is better than the truth.

3. NoOne is better than life in all of its forms.

4. NoOne is better than happiness.

5. NoOne is better than our mission of liberty and justice for all.

6. NoOne is better than the need for good news.

7. And finally, NoOne is better than peace.

Maybe the vote we need to hold on November 6 is to decide once and for all if we really believe in each other anymore–or have we just become a permanent house divided, pretending to enjoy one another at holiday get-togethers.

God hates seven things. I take that seriously. I take that to heart.

And I, for one, am going to try to distance myself from His displeasure.

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Super Wednesday … March 7, 2012

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The economy. Gas prices. Iran. Abortion. Israel. Illegal immigration. Gay marriage. Afghanistan. Oil and energy. And apparently, for some reason … female contraception.

These are the issues that are touted, screamed and proclaimed from the podiums by candidates–both Republican and Democrat–in preparation for choosing a President in this country. It perpetuated last night in what they call Super Tuesday, which is actually just a clump of states deciding to hold their primaries on the same date, thus dangling an array of delegates in front of the candidates.

Honestly, my dear sweet friends, you can spend all of your time trying to make decisions on the issues of the day, and it becomes useless if you don’t first have an understanding of those folks who will be implementing the plans. In other words, as a father I can perch in my home and have a wonderful idea on how to remodel the house–even lay out the plans and buy all the supplies, and come to the dinner table with my family, only to discover that my three children at the table who are available to me to assist in the labor are five, three and two years old.

Yes, as Jesus so pertinently phrased it, to have a marketplace that is populated by children is the formula for the absence of productivity and the possibility of disaster. Where most folks think that the problems that face us are the real difficulty in our nation and the Republicans and Democrats stomp and stump against each other for bargaining position, none of them have stepped forward to understand that our country has gradually lost its vision, and therefore may be in danger of vacating its purpose.

I think motivation demands two definitive steps: (1) addressing; (2) blessing. If we are not able to address the heart, soul, mind and strength of the citizens of this great country, offering both encouragement and needed correction, we will not be able to execute a unified plan that will generate the blessing we desire.

We need leaders who understand that America has a heart–an emotional thrust, if you will. That heart has been clouded by nearly two generations of pounding with the acceptability of deceit, meanness and lies. Yes–from our political leaders to our spiritual ones to our reality television stars, we cajole the American people into believing that some amount of lying is necessary, and that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is the human rate of exchange. Therefore, the American people, fearing being involved in ill-founded deals and having their eyes gouged out, have retreated to their families, shut their doors and are hiding away. If anyone would be a leader, let him share from his or her own heart, transparency. It’s really not that painful, especially when you realize that in this super-age of information, all of your sins will find you out anyway. Let me give you a clue, Republicans and Democrats. Just as you don’t show up to a gun battle with a knife, you also don’t step into the public arena unless you’ve plugged up your holes of insecurity. We desperately need leaders who will set an example by telling the truth as much as possible, rejecting meanness and refusing to be involved in retaliation. Without this, the heart of the people will be darkened and therefore their decisions will be based upon fear instead of love.

Next, we need leaders who will comprehend that spirituality is not gloating over our religion nor the maintenance of traditions, but rather, the discovery of the image of God. You may feel free to seek out saints, angels, demons or ghosts, but the supernatural will not solve our natural world’s difficulties. This is why God intelligently placed His image in human beings–so that we would have something to study, love, appreciate and accept during our earthly journey. Spirituality is NOT seeking God–spirituality is finding His image in each other. Leaders who will teach us to do so–making everything heavenly have an earthly application–will actually march us to the throne of God Himself. A nation that protects religion leaves its people in darkness. A nation which believes that true religion is dealing kindly with each other–with vulnerability–will find God.

If you will allow me to continue, any great leader must also stimulate the intelligence of his or her people. And intelligence is a very simple concept. It is not merely learning–learning is memorization which can be easily forgotten. Intelligence is learning and then coming to the knowledge of the truth by finding an immediate, practical way to apply what we’ve been taught. We need individuals to step forward who do not believe that science, God, medicine, intellect, art and knowledge are at war with one another.

God is a scientist–look at creation. God is a philosopher–study the words of Jesus and how they apply to our lives. God is a poet–listen to the rhyme and reason of the universe–rejuvenating, challenging and restoring itself.

And speaking of restoring ourselves, it might be nice to have someone in a high office in this land who promotes health. And health is a well-sharpened, two-edged sword: spending equal time treating those who are ill while energizing the rest to prevent illness. It is taking the knowledge of the truth we have discovered in our intelligence and transfusing that wisdom into our physical lives.

Today is Super Wednesday. It is time to shed the gamesmanship and folly of Super Tuesday and a system that fails to give us the impetus to move forward.

  • It is time to address the heart of our nation. We must become transparent in order to teach transparency. Truth begets truth as lying begets lies. If we address that heart, the by-product will be the blessing of trusting each other’s word again.
  • We must address the spirituality of our country, which has regressed to a mere form of godliness, wrapped in a tattered cloak of religion, instead of appreciating the image of God personified in human beings. If we actually show mercy to each other, we will receive the blessing of obtaining mercy.
  • The season has arrived to address the intelligence of the United States, asking people to do more than read and study, but also to garner valuable truth from their perusing–truth that can lead them to greater understanding. The blessing will be that we can finally abandon intellect that lacks humanity.
  • And finally, it’s time to address the health given as a blessing to all of us. Rather than arguing over insurance premiums, let us find ways to understand the human body that God has so meticulously created–and end up with the blessing of being free from conflict and disease instead of being frightened by every pain.

Welcome to Super Wednesday, where we believe, pursue and pray for leadership that ceases to focus on the problems, but instead, addresses in the populace the waning motivation of gaining the blessing of a work force which arrives early to address these difficulties that beset us–but with a fresh heart that is transparent, a spirituality that is sensitive to human beings, intelligence that wants to apply knowledge and a healthiness that is seeking prevention over just treatment.

We can do this. All we have to do is stop pretending that the old ways actually work, and allow ourselves the opportunity to address our confusion, which will open the door to the potential of blessing.

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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