Drawing Attention … December 19th, 2018

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Christmas Addition

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art by smarrttie panntts

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Published in: on December 19, 2018 at 3:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sit Down Comedy … November 30th, 2018

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Mall Talk

Santa: Jesus Christ!

Jesus: Are you cussin’ or just glad to see me?

Santa: (hugs Jesus and pulls back) I almost didn’t recognize you.

Jesus: That’s because I’m traveling S. I.

Santa: S. I.?

Jesus: (smiling) Savior Incognito. So good to see you, old man.

Santa: Yeah, that’s interesting, because I supposedly have gained immortality, but they’ve stuck me at about seventy-five years of age.

Jesus: Well, I died at thirty-three–that’s where I’m kind of stuck, except I didn’t exactly leave behind a pretty corpse.

Santa: (frowning) Sorry about that.

Jesus: Oh, lighten up, old man. It’s Christmas. We’ll get around to that Easter stuff later.

Santa: Well, what brings you to this mall on this day?

Jesus: I was about to ask you the same question.

Santa: Well, there are so many people dressing up like me now, that it’s easy for me to slip in, as you say, incognito, and play myself at a mall. No one knows the difference.

Jesus: So why this mall?

Santa: The best damn curly fries at the food court. I’m tellin’ you, you’ve got to try them. They’re to die for.

Jesus: Was that another crack at my crucifixion?

Santa: Oh, I’m sorry…

Jesus: (punching him in the arm) Just kidding! You’ve gotta lighten up!

Santa: Well, there’s a lot of pressure. This time of year, you run into this “Christmas war” thing–you know, where you and I are supposed to be enemies. You representing the “true meaning of Christmas” and me being a commercial bungler.

Jesus: Well, don’t people know that you’re real name is Saint Nicholas?

Santa: I’ve always been your greatest fan. I watched what you did with children, learned from how you gave to people. And I took it seriously when you said in your Beatitudes, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.”

Jesus: And you even copied my twelve elves!

Santa: (a bit flustered) Well… Not exactly.

Jesus: Well, sometimes they acted like elves. You see, people like to keep you where they found you. Lots of folks met me in church so they think I live there. (whispering) Honest to God, Claus–I haven’t been there for years.

Santa: You’re right. Because with me, they loved the Old North Pole thing. Obviously couldn’t do all the work in one location. I have it spread all over the globe. Every once in a while, I even use Amazon.

Jesus: If people just understood that there’s no bad way to say Christmas. It’s kind of like the word “candy.” You can substitute “chocolate, peanut butter, confection, caramel”–and still, what comes to your mind is…

Santa: (interrupting) …candy. You’re right! You can say “reindeer, Christmas tree, carols, jingle bells or manger.” What comes to my mind is Christmas.

Jesus: So they can call it a holiday. That doesn’t help them. Because the word “holiday” means “holy day.” They can say “Season’s Greetings,” but everybody knows the season is Christmas.

Santa: People just fuss too much.

Jesus: I’d say “amen” but I’m not that religious.

Santa: You really aren’t, are you?

Jesus: Nope–I just love people. I love my Father, I love Mother Nature and I love the idea of life. You know I was born in a barn…

Santa: (laughing) That’s funny.

Jesus: (serious) What’s funny about it? You live in a toy shop with reindeer.

Santa: (serious) Well, I didn’t want to argue with you.

Jesus: (laughing) You really are uptight about this Christmas thing, aren’t you? Tell you what–let’s head off to the food court and you can buy me some of those curly fries and prove to me that they’re the best in the world.

Santa: That’s a deal–if you’ll tell me about the first Christmas.

Jesus: Well, I was just a little baby surrounded by asses.

(Santa is shocked)

Jesus: (poking him in the arm) You know–donkeys. Listen, old man–we’d better hurry and get those curly fries right now. You are desperately in need of some good cheer.

 

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Jesonian … December 9th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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jesonian-cover-amazon

To the classic question, “Were you born in a barn?” I can truthfully answer, “Matter of fact, I was.”

Although my good friends, Matthew and Luke, did a charming job relating the circumstances of my coming into this world, many layers and textures of the actual tale were left out in favor of a concise sharing, a Hollywood ending with all the participants–shepherds, wise men, angels and Holy Family–lined up in a row for a photo op.

Certainly beautiful and even miraculous, the actual unfoldings were different. I did not learn all the factors of my birth in Bethlehem until I was twelve years old. Mary and Joseph wisely chose to withhold some of the more frightening aspects of the experience from my ears until I was of an age when I could at least attempt comprehension.

But following a trip to Jerusalem, where I was particularly disobedient to them by chasing my curiosity instead of using my common sense, they sat down one night along the trail and spilled.

First, let’s understand that a young girl getting pregnant without a husband was always met with shunning or stoning. Mary’s simplicity and piety did not spare her from the wicked tongues of the gossips.

Joseph felt pressure. We’re told that an angel spoke to him, but Joseph never confirmed that with me. He said he was tortured in his dreams and finally realized that he loved my mother more than he wanted the approval of the town elders.
He did not need to make the journey to Bethlehem with Mary–he could have represented on his own to give the information about the taxes. He brought her because he was afraid to leave her alone.

So they made a fifteen day journey to a little town outside Jerusalem, which had no significance in their lives other than the fact that some “Great-Great Somebody” was born there and Joseph happened to be part of that clan.

When Mother and Father were unable to access lodging in the houses surrounding the town square, they quietly slipped into the stable, hoping not to be discovered. The innkeeper found them huddled in a corner among the animals, and when he saw that Mary was hopelessly pregnant, he chose to leave them alone rather than interfering.

They were stowaways in an animal shelter.

The birth was difficult because Mary was so small, weary from the journey–and both of them completely inexperienced with the process.

No shepherds arrived that first night. No angels sang. Nothing but grunting animals, relieved parents because the baby actually came out whole, and a chill in the air disguised by the heated odor of the stable’s occupants.

The next morning Joseph went to try to find food, and both of them realized there was no place for them to go. They would need to stay where they were for eight days to fulfill the Jewish law on circumcising the baby, so they remained as quiet as possible, hoping the innkeeper would leave them alone.

Three days passed with them scrounging for food, tucking themselves away in the farthest corner of the manger. It was on the fourth night that some shepherds did arrive. They looked perplexed, abashed and completely out of their element. They explained that they had been spoken to from the skies and told to come to find a baby in a stable.

It made no sense. Matter of fact, there was a sniff of alcohol on all three of them which hinted that the visit from heaven might have come from a flask. But Mary and Joseph listened politely, and it made for great conversation over the next few days while they waited for the circumcision.

Arriving at the temple on the eighth day, they were accosted by two very old, wild-eyed individuals–one man and one woman–who claimed the gift of prophecy. They told Mary and Joseph that the baby was going to be great and amazing. Even though Mary and Joseph wanted to believe the words, they feared the utterings were coming from dementia rather than another dimension.

Then things became really difficult. There was no need to go back to Nazareth. The presence of the baby would only increase the gossip.

So Joseph talked to the local carpenter and secured a single room in his home in exchange for work. The job included repair work, masonry and even some garbage collection.

They found contentment, until Joseph was awakened by an angel. (This time he really believed it was an angel.) He was told to leave Bethlehem to protect me from danger. When Joseph told me the story, he said it was the hardest decision he had ever made. It seemed illogical, for they had been in the carpenter’s home for a year-and-a-half and had found some peace of mind. Leaving seemed futile, if not insane.

Before departure could be executed, there was a visit from foreigners–those wise men mentioned in the Gospel story. They brought gifts. They inserted finance into a family that was about to be on the lam from the law. It was certainly timely.

The visitors explained about a star in the sky, but Mary and Joseph never really understood the significance, nor the tie-in.

During the journey to Egypt and the next six years of exile, I developed a separation anxiety. I just never felt part of anything. When Mary and Joseph started having other children, I didn’t feel like a brother. It was more like I was an intrusive uncle or a foster child.

This haunted me my whole life. I never felt quite secure with my surroundings. There were times I left the fellowship with my disciples to slip away and get my head straight, so I wouldn’t come off like a crazy man, nervous and frustrated.

Even though Egypt saved me from King Herod, the rejection hung in my mind throughout my life. I had to be careful not to get offended by the treatment I received. I learned mercy because I had no sense of mercy being given to me.

It became especially strong, and nearly violent in my soul, when Nazareth rejected my ministry, and then my mother and family thought I was crazy. I had to walk away from them.

You see, Christmas is a different tale to me.

It’s a story like many stories in the sense that God’s hand is not completely obvious in the moment, and is only unveiled through the endurance of his followers.

God picked the right pair. For if Mary had been prissy, Joseph would not have been able to manage without her. And if Joseph had been too conventional, Mary would never have been able to muster a companion. They needed each other.

Christmas is a miracle story–about God allowing people of faith to use their faith to do faithful things, to see their faith make things whole.

So Merry Christmas.

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Cracked 5 … December 5th, 2017


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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Some people are offended by the religious implications of saying “Merry Christmas.” Here are five renditions they might find even more unsettling:

A. Happy B-Day, Baby J!

 

B. A baby shower for Mary and Joseph (bring a gift)

 

C. Save 50% at the Savior Birth Extravaganza!

 

D. Merry Manger Moments

 

E. Happy Jesus-mas

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-christmas-mat

A Sprinkle

A sprinkle of hope, a jingled bell

A manger scene does my soul quite well

A Christmas tune under candlelight

Angels heard on high, O silent night

Thinking a moment about a friend

Wishing the joy would never end

Perched in front of a blazing fire

Shedding a tear, hearing the choir

Ignoring the pressure to be over-wrought

Tweaked with glee over the treasures I’ve bought

Some see angels, others dream of elves

Be at peace, let them choose for themselves

For the season has only one danger

Don’t forget the message of the manger

Peace on Earth, good will to all

Be still, my soul, and heed the call

Ho-ho-ho and hal-le-lu

Taking this chance to think of you

Before the tree becomes the cross

Before the battles report their loss

Before the evil touts its power

It’s time for Christmas, a holy hour

To ask and have it given

To seek and find true livin’

To knock and enter sweet heaven

Merry Christmas to the wise from afar

Who still continue to follow the Star.

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Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

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G-Poppers … December 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop was wondering what it would have been like if Facebook had been around for the birth of Jesus.

What would have grabbed the attention of the average Facebook reader in Judea?

Let’s look at the classic elements of the story:

  • Rejoice
  • Glad tidings of great joy
  • A Savior is born
  • Prince of Peace
  • Listen to the angels
  • Can you see the star?

These would more than likely have been deemed boring, averaging seven likes, zero comments and no reposts.

Even if someone had inserted the statement, “a baby was born in a manger,” the single repeating comment would have been, “Come on, Joseph. Get a job.”

Facebook demands drama.

Facebook seeks attention.

Facebook feeds off frenzy.

Facebook is selfish.

No, for the Christmas story to have worked on Facebook, one would need to hand-select the elements, and twist them a bit to make them of interest to the market:

“Pregnant teen and her boyfriend snub traditional marriage”

“Bonnie-and-Clyde-style crazy kids hold shepherds hostage in stable”

“Foreigners, astrologers, wanted for questioning by authorities for smuggling in unknown drugs”

“Lights in the sky! Could it be aliens?”

“And here is a picture of my ‘fur son,’ Jehoshaphat, the cat, as he rubs up against a little immigrant boy in the barn. Isn’t he cute? I mean the cat.”

G-Pop contends that we have become a society of “I’s” who include a few “we’s” if they agree with “us.”

To get likes, shares and comments, the entry has to be insipid enough to have universal appeal to those who find most of the universe unappealing.

But there will be a persistent few who insist on planting the notion of salvation, joy, humanity, brotherly love and peace on Earth.

And who knows?

Maybe in two thousand years, if that is done, they might call us Wise Men.

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity



Don’t let another Christmas season go by without owning Jonathan’s book of Christmas stories

Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling!

An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

"Buy

 

 

Jesonian: Born… December 7, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby born bigger

Being born is important, necessary, a boat launching.

If you were born in a manger, there is certainly some significance to that, along with an accompanying story. Yet we often determine the success of an individual based upon his or her roots, or as we phrase it, “humble beginnings.”

So it is markedly amazing that some of the greatest people in history were given extremely stressful or poverty-stricken conditions at birth.

Jesus was born.

We have a whole holiday about it. While some people debate whether the season is given enough reason of spirituality, I would rather focus on that night–when a virgin was placed in a dastardly position, and asked to perform a task, minus any experience.

Nothing of any significance in faith can be achieved unless we understand the purpose of the mission of that evening in “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

Actually it never changed. Although we have many Calvinistic preachers who want to insist that the reason for the appearance of the Christ was for him to die on a cross, that fatalism removes our choice.

“Peace on Earth, good will toward men.”

  • It was the byline of the night.
  • It was the ‘holy tweet.”
  • It was the mission statement.

And it didn’t change when Jesus became a man:

  • “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
  • “My peace I give to you.”
  • “Peace be unto you.”
  • “Love one another.”
  • “Be reconciled to your brothers.”
  • “Whenever you’ve done it unto the least of these my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”

Here’s a strong statement: Jesus was not born to die, he was born to bring peace and good will.

(Don’t argue with me–take it up with the angels.)

And he faithfully conducted his business, echoing the voice of these heavenly proclaimers all through his ministry, until humanity came along and put nails in his healing hands and his traveling feet. It was only then that they could stop him.

So we have to learn the difference among these words: mission, free will, insanity and grace.

  • The mission was “peace on Earth, good will toward men.”
  • The free will was offering humans a chance to decide what they thought about it.
  • The insanity was rejecting it and killing the messenger.
  • And the grace is that if we choose to still believe in that “peace on Earth, good will toward men”… we can be born again.

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The Best Christmas Stories You’ll Ever Read!

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