Sit Down Comedy …February 22nd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3964)


For the sake of our “Sit Down Comedy” today, I shall refer to this as my Mull-it-Over Report. It is the ongoing investigation done on my life by the people around me, who constantly draw conclusions about my veracity and authenticity.

There is also a Mull-it-Over Report on you. You may not be aware of it yet it persists.

For even though human beings are not supposed to judge, it truthfully ends up being one of our favorite pastimes. We love to consider, reveal and scrutinize the lives of other folks, secretly convincing ourselves that we are in much better shape than them.

This is not limited to strangers you meet, but actually more prevalent among those you consider to be friends and family. Matter of fact, some people discover this Mull-it-Over Report being prepared by friends and loved ones and become so offended that they begin grudges which may last decades, or even until such time as death does its part.

It would be ridiculous for me to turn to humanity and say, “Listen, I know you’re doing a Mull-it-Over Report on me, but I want you to give me the results of that investigation and let me boil it down to a summary before you pass it along to the masses.”

Even if I told everyone I had an attorney-in-general who was going to be my reviewer of the final conclusions, I would never be allowed to tamper with what other people have decided to testify about me or against me.

I have two options:

A. Make it a moot point by living a solid, honest life.

B. Or make it a moot point by letting everybody know I don’t give a damn.

I do not have the possibility of controlling the thinking, reactions or determinations of those around me who have decided, for whatever reason, to investigate my doings and come up with the Mull-it-Over Report.

It would be similar to having children in school and waiting for their six- or eight-week report card, and then discovering that the school had allowed the students to take the tally of their grades and rewrite it into a summary which they would present to their parents. Although it would be popular with the young ones, the school system would be errant in allowing it, and the parents, daft in permitting it.

No, even though I may be nervous by the notion of a Mull-it-Over Report on my life, it is ongoing, irreversible and definitely without edit.

What is even more frightening is that the story goes that God, Himself, is keeping such a record on each and every one of us. (I don’t know about you, but I just got a chill down my spine.)

Since I can do nothing to avoid the Mull-it-Over Report being completed and passed along about me, it may be a bit ridiculous to think that anyone who is a public servant of the United States, entrusted with the care of the Constitution, should have the right to appoint an individual who is commissioned to write the Cliff Notes on a government report about him and his associates.

Here’s what we know. If you are working with several people who were in your business who are indicted, convicted and sent to jail, there are only two possibilities:

1. These people are working at your behest, with your blessing and your orders, since you are their honcho.

2. Or, you have a benevolent spirit which causes you to look on your business as a ministry to help those who are criminally minded—to rehabilitate.

 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

 

Jesonian … October 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3820)

A great resurrection always destroys a good funeral.

That’s just the nature of things.

Miracles interrupt. They evolve us and they change the world around us.

So since we are such stoic, immovable creatures, it is amazing how often we will carelessly pray for a miracle.

MIRACLES DISRUPT

Yes, miracles surprise us.

There are four times in the ministry of Jesus that he raised people from the dead.

Now, it sounds like a fabulous experience, but when put into the environment of the doldrums of everyday living, the people who were present for these events were more annoyed than “enjoyed.”

He came upon a situation with a twelve-year-old girl who had passed away. He was a little late getting there, so he told the room that she was not really dead, she was “just sleeping.”

This pissed them off.

They felt that he was insulting their ability to discern when someone was living or dead. They so abusively ridiculed him that he had to kick them out of the house so the little girl could live again.

As they stood outside, not allowed to be part of the miracle, they mused to one another, “That son-of-a-bitch ruined our plans for a good funeral.”

One day he was walking by a town called Nain and came upon a funeral procession for a widow who had just lost her son. Jesus, having great compassion, reached over, touched the coffin, and the young man rose up and began talking.

Two priests and a psychologist nearby shook their heads and said, “That bumpkin robbed her of her grief process!”

When his friend Lazarus fell ill, Jesus was once again tardy, arriving four days after his death. Still wanting to see his buddy, he decided to raise him from the dead. But Lazarus’s sisters were put off by the idea because they thought, “By this time, he will stink.”

Yes–they were unwilling to go through a bit of nasal discomfort to have their brother back.

And of course, when Jesus, himself, was put in a tomb, the religious leaders, sure of their power and might, positioned soldiers to guard the tomb and make sure nothing unusual could happen. Of course, the angel just put them to sleep and Jesus rose from the dead.

CREATURE OR CREATOR?

The truth of the matter is–and if it’s not the truth, it’s still a damn good point–as you walk on this Earth you are either a creature or a creator.

A creature of habit, tradition or propriety

Or a creator–someone who simply says, “This thing before me does not need to be exactly what it is, but could be transformed into something different.”

Make up your mind. Just remember:

If you want to see transformation and miracles, hold onto your hat.

You will be jostled.

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

 


Buy Mr. Kringle's Tales

Click the elephant to see what he’s reading!

Jesonian … July 14th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3733)

In Luke the 7th Chapter, a Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to dinner.

Why?

As the story rolls out, it becomes obvious that it wasn’t a “special” invitation. Jesus arrived to a very generic, all-male environment, believing that he was a special guest, but was ushered in to be seated as if he’s one of hundreds at a Golden Corral Buffet.

You see, Simon wanted to be “the guy.” He wanted to be that fellow who was open-minded enough to extend an invitation to Jesus. But at the same time, he was sure to portray that he was not getting on board with the Carpenter’s crowd.

Nasty politics. Insincere feelings.

So Jesus plopped down to have dinner, thoroughly ignored.

Except for one woman. She was a whore.  Luke makes it clear that she was not an out of work prostitute, nor one who had decided to forsake her profession.

Matter of fact, we are led to believe that she had just come from the job site to see Jesus. She probably still had the smell of a man on her. She certainly had the look of evil to those religious men who had presumably gathered to consider the turn of some phrase uttered by a prophet a thousand years ago.

She brought a gift–ointment. She brought her tears, and she used her hair to dry those tears as they drizzled on his feet.

It was a sensual experience.

It was so intimate that the Pharisees, especially Simon, became infuriated that Jesus did not stop the awkwardness of the moment.

They whispered. “If he were truly a prophet, he would know what kind of woman she is…”

When Jesus realized they were critiquing the woman’s gentleness and mocking her right to be considered, he spoke up.

First, he asks Simon’s permission to speak to him. He doesn’t yell. He doesn’t offer counsel where it is not wanted. He asks for the grace to share.

And then he explains the three essentials to reaching people–whether it’s for God or for business.

He tells Simon, “When I came here you offered me no water, you gave me no kiss and you provided no oil. Yet this woman has given me the water of her tears, has kissed my feet with her warmth and anointed me with oil she brought in her alabaster box.”

Water. Kiss. Oil.

All humans need all three of these.

We need water to be cleansed. We need water to drink. We need water to be refreshed, instead of having things withheld, leaving us thirsty.

Simon thought they were going to have a great conversation over dinner about their disagreements. Jesus said, “You don’t get it, dude. It’s about water. It’s about offering a kiss.”

Intimacy.

I, for one, am sick and tired of ministry that has no connection. It takes more than three or four scriptures being read aloud for us to feel caressed.

The human race has not failed. Rather, the messengers of God have settled for meetings in dark rooms to discuss minutia.

The woman gave Jesus a kiss and he said it was good.

There is no ministry without intimacy. If you don’t plan on looking deeply into someone’s eyes, drying their tears and hugging them, then quit. Save yourself the aggravation of performing religious duties that have become meaningless.

And finally, it was the oil–the oil of gladness, the oil of healing.

It touched Jesus.

How magnificent is it to know that you are a woman who has just risen from the bed of being with a lover, and worked up the gumption to come to Jesus’ feet humbly, admitting your confusion, and know that you moved him?

Ministry is not about theology.

Ministry is not about church.

Ministry is not about praise and worship.

It’s about bringing the water for cleansing, the kiss for intimacy and the oil for healing.

Jesus did not come to Earth to explain Heaven.

Jesus came to Earth so we once and for all could make sense of Earth.

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

Jesonian … June 16th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3705)

“When are we going to stop all this stuff you’re teaching and go back to who we really are?”

This statement seems to ooze from the twelve disciples throughout Jesus’ entire three-and-a-half year ministry.

They didn’t mind being taught, just as long as they didn’t have to learn.

And they didn’t mind learning sometimes, as long as they didn’t have to apply.

And applying was alright every once in a while, as long as it was a one-time thing that didn’t need to be repeated.

You can look at the disciples as either some of the whiniest men that ever walked the face of the Earth, or be candid and admit that they were typical.

Typical of us all.

Every one of us arrives at the Gospel with too many pre-conceived ideas. No wonder Jesus referred to the experience as being “born again.” Otherwise, we try to join a club that pursues all the traditions we have contrived since our birth.

Why are we going to Samaria?

Why was this man born blind?

Why do you talk so tough to the Pharisees?

Why can’t we divorce women?

Why are we supposed to love our enemies?

Why don’t we kill the Romans and start over again?

Why can’t I be scared in a boat when there’s a storm?

Why are we inviting tax collectors into our really neat band of brothers?

Why can’t we bring down lightning and thunder on the Samaritans?

You see, the Gospel is not just a plan of salvation, it’s also salvation from our plan.

Because without the Gospel, everyone would run hither, thither and yon, starting their own renditions of what Jesus said, coming up with funny-sounding names, and focus on one doctrine over another.

Wait. We’re already doing that.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself is to know that Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion.

It is not a revolving door, where we enter to worship, and leave to catch the beginning of the football game on Sirius Radio on the way home.

The Gospel is the essence of eternity, functioning on Earth. No other philosophy, no other interaction and no other manifesto ever came along which included God, Nature and people.

Instead, each of these other religions focus on one of these factors. In some religions, God is over-emphasized. Other approaches place too much importance on Nature. And of course, there are philosophies which contend it’s a human situation–i.e., every man for himself.

The Gospel is not going away. It is not going to be replaced or even mingled with provincialism. It took the disciples a long time to understand this.

But if we all join together with good hearts and good cheer, we might be able to shorten the process and get people rejoicing again, with exceeding gladness.

 

*****

If you like the mind of Jesus without religion, buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

Jesonian … March 17th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3614)

Setting the stage:

Jesus is in the beginning of his ministry. Fresh. Optimistic. Sharing high-sounding principles to what most people might consider a low-brow audience.

One day he is interrupted by the arrival of elders from a near-by town. They are Jewish leaders. The strange thing about the situation is that they have been sent by a Roman Centurion to intercede on the behalf of his servant, for healing.

The elders waste no time. They interrupt Jesus, testifying about the quality of the character of this Centurion.

“He is a friend of our nation. He even built us a synagogue,” they tout.

Most Romans were considered by the Jews to be conquering terrorists–not that different from ISIS in our day. So for the elders of a Jewish town to bear testimony for a Roman Centurion was not only peculiar, but inspirational.

Jesus drops what he’s doing and heads off toward the servant.

Then another strange thing happens. The Centurion rethinks his position. He obviously has a keen mind, and realizes that if Jesus enters his home–the domicile of a Roman–he could ruin his ministry for all time. It would be a disgrace to be in the house of a Gentile, and Jesus would be considered unclean.

So he suggests that Jesus just say the word, proclaiming the healing. The Centurion cites that he lives by commands all the time.

Jesus is astounded. Jesus learns from him, and says he has “never seen so great a faith in Israel.”

So Jesus says the word, and the servant is healed.

It’s a beautiful story. It lets us know several things.

1. The Gospel is not a Jewish Gospel.

2. It is possible for people of all races to get along as long as they show respect to one another.

3. The power in faith is in always simplifying your belief instead of complicating it.

But let us consider a possible scenario:

Such a man as the Centurion certainly, in three year’s time, moved up in promotions. Because he got along so well with the occupied people, he would be very valuable to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. There would be a very good chance he would end up in Jerusalem.

In the Holy City, he would have been given authority and respect, and placed in charge of difficult situations–maybe a predicament like carrying out a capital punishment during Passover week–because we are told that there is a Centurion at the cross.

Just for the sake of discussion–what if it was the same man? What if he arrived at his job early that morning and discovered that he was supposed to escort a prisoner to Golgotha–three of them, actually–and crucify them before six o’clock that night?

What if he was shocked to find that one of them was Jesus, the young man who had healed his servant three years earlier?

What should he do? His heart is torn apart. Yet to try to rig an escape would be complete death for Jesus, himself and many other innocent people.

What is left to him?

The keen mind is set in motion. The Centurion realizes they’ve already taken Jesus and beaten him, and that the Temple guards had cruelly mistreated him. There’s only one thing left for him to do–a single mission to honor the one who healed his servant. He tries to make the end easier.

After all, somebody gave the command for Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross.

Someone allowed John and his mother, Mary, to be near the foot of the cross to listen to his words and encourage him.

Someone kept the soldiers from tearing his Jesus’ apart, and instead, gambled for it–with him possibly winning the prize.

Someone knelt down, and as they nailed his hands, tenderly looked in his eyes, to comfort him.

Somebody asked them to be careful when they dropped the cross in its place.

Somebody grabbed a long reed and put vinegar and medication on it for him to drink when he was thirsty.

There was compassion at the cross.

And if it was the same Centurion, he did the best with what he had, to make things better than they might be.

Maybe that’s the definition of faith–doing the best with what we have, to make things better than they might be.

And when the Earth shook, the skies darkened and Jesus took his last breath, could it have been the same Centurion who looked up at his friend on the cross, and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.”

*****

Like the mind of Jesus–without religion? Buy the book!

Jesonian   $7.99 plus shipping and handling

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

Good News and Better News… October 30th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3476)

I have participated in thousands and thousands of …

Now, what shall I call them? For if I refer to these as “performances, shows or gigs,” religious people will give me the holy frown of disapproval because I have trivialized the spiritual significance.

But by the same token, referring to my efforts as ministry, worship leading or any other divine terminology makes me reek of pretension.

Of course, worst of all is the safe, but vanilla describer, “presentation.”

I run into the same problem when I try to decide whether to say a robust “Praise God” or a timid “thanks be to God.”

Do I go for the full dunk in baptism, or settle for some other plunk?

Should communion be unleavened bread, or a golden loaf?

Wine or Welch’s grape juice (which many denominations insist was Jesus’ preference)?

And I think the most intimidating crossroads of all is settling whether our Christian faith is ground in social commentary or revivalism.

That’s why the tambourine is pictured today. A tambourine can scare a Lutheran or a Methodist to death–almost as much as a printed bulletin with liturgy makes a Baptist tremble.

It just doesn’t seem to occur to us that defining the word “ministry” requires taking a long gaze into the lifestyle and actions of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus was both contemplative and flamboyant.

He had the strange notion that the profile for what he did in blessing others was contingent on what they needed, and not confined to the Book of Common Prayer.

So to one person, he said, “Be healed.”

He touched lepers.

He spit on someone else.

He stuck his fingers in another person’s ears.

And he shouted to raise the dead.

He would have upset a lot of people.

Jesus didn’t worship miracles; he didn’t minister miracles–he performed miracles.

He showcased the Gospel in stories, told with colorful description and high-flung gestures.

The church has lost Jesus because it has focused on either social gospel or revivalism.

Jesus was the Son of God, who came to teach us how to get along with each other–with a tambourine in his hand.

So the good news is that we need both social commentary and revivalism.

The better news is, when we actually mingle the two, we suddenly become more relevant.

 

Donate Button

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

Good News and Better News… October 23rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3469)

Yesterday we celebrated with the folks at the Belleview United Methodist Church. Well, at least with those who were willing to celebrate.

Of course, that’s always the case.

Jan and I are just “two drifters, out to see the world.” And of course, there’s an awful lot of world to see. But there are some common themes.

The religious system that has taken hostage the church of Jesus Christ somehow or another has convinced itself that it can build a congregation by using prayer, Bible study and worship. Even though diminishing numbers in the pews contradict this fact, those who have spent more time in seminary than in the mainstream of America continue to blindly lead the blind right into the ditch of oblivion.

Fortunately, we have the example of Jesus, who offered people abundant life, full joy and peace of mind. You remember his words, right?

“I have come to give you life and it more abundantly.”

“I have come that your joy might be full.”

“I bring you peace–a peace the world cannot give.”

What would happen if we actually started focusing our message, our ministry, our efforts and even our artistry toward abundant life, full joy and peace of mind?

Aren’t these rather desirable offerings for those who find themselves clad in human skin?

But there are still those who feel that if they whisper the name of God, bow their heads repeatedly and tiptoe through the sanctuary, the heavens will flash a big smile of approval.

Not for me.

I will continue to promote the idea that the Gospel was meant to be shared by humans, for humans. Therefore, any idea that angelic or pious approaches will reach the human family is ludicrous.

The good news is that abundant life, joyousness and peace of mind are still appealing to people.

The better news is, it just happens to be what Jesus wants us to share.

Donate Button

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

%d bloggers like this: