Jesonian … July 21st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus is not a conservative.

“He who is given much, much is expected.”

“Whenever you’ve done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”

Jesus is not a liberal.

“The poor you have with you always. Do what you can.”

“Every good tree brings forth good fruit.”

Jesus is also not a vegan.

Too much talk about killing the fatted calf and eating it, and of course, there was that time he devoured the grilled fish by the seashore.

Jesus is not a member of the NRA.

“They that live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

“My kingdom is not of this world; otherwise my disciples would fight.”

Jesus is not religious.

“Avoid vain repetition.”

“Thinking with their much speaking that they are pleasing God.”

Jesus is not an anarchist.

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

“I have not come to destroy the world, but to save it.”

Jesus is a FAITHOLOGIST.

He studied faith, analyzed it, prayed for it, praised it, wondered where the hell it was when it wasn’t there, and showcased it.

He was a Faithologist.

First he taught people to have faith in themselves…

“You are the salt of the Earth.”

“Your faith has made you whole.”

…then God:

“Our Father, which art in heaven.”

“If you, being evil men, give good gifts, won’t your Father give even better?”

In his Faithology course, he taught faith in Nature:

“You can discern the face of the sky.”

“Consider the lily and how it grows.”

And he taught us to have faith in others:

“Give and men shall give to you, good measure, pressed down, running over.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

He came in human form to talk to human beings about human things in a human way, to encourage human excellence. He certainly was the Great Humanist.

But he taught this by extolling the power of faith–that even as a mustard seed, if we will not doubt in our hearts, we can move mountains.

*****

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

                $7.99 plus S&H

*******

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Cracked 5 … February 27th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Other Names Being Considered For “School Shooting” to Give Television Commentators a Little Variety

A. Hall cleansing

 

B. S. H. O. T. Score

 

C. Early Dismissal

 

D. NRA Pep Rally

 

E. Homecoming

 

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Cracked 5 … November 7th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Mysteriously, a gun has recently begun to speak. Such a phenomenon–everyone jockeyed in an attempt to get an interview with the gun. Wanda Waylings was selected via a lottery. Below are the five golden nugget quotes from the gun during Wanda’s interview:

A. “The NRA is right. I’m a gun. I don’t kill people.”

 

B. “But could you stop selling me to a bunch of nut jobs?”

 

C. “And by the way, I would suggest you start making your bullets out of Cheerios–then the worst thing that could happen is you end up with a cereal killer.”

 

D. “By the way, I am quite proud to shoot a deer to feed hungry children.”

 

E. “Here’s what you can do–targets, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, and an occasional tree trunk. These are fine. I don’t like to be used to destroy people.”

 

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My Old Dog… October 23, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

His name was Madez.I sure did love that old dog–as much as one is able to express deep affection to a mere mutt. He was a house dog. During his stay on this planet, he lived a life of luxury, seemingly having an opinion on every household matter and settling in on his favorite places to slumber, which was often and frequent.

But once a day he enjoyed going out and roaming through our back yard into a nearby woods, pretending he was actually a viable member of the animal kingdom. He usually was not gone very long–thirty minutes or so–but on one particular afternoon he didn’t return for several hours and we became a little concerned about his whereabouts. Just before sunset, there was the familiar scratching on our front door, informing us that His Majesty was ready to reenter his castle.

I went to the door and absent-mindedly almost opened it to let him in, but in the nick of time, looked down to discover that he was covered in sticky burrs, had ticks all over him and what appeared to be fleas leaping from his nose to his head with a daredevil tumble to his backside. Madez tried to push on through the opening and enter as if there was no problem whatsoever. I was appalled and instinctively shut the door, unfortunately catching the tip of his nose and inviting a most ungodly yelp. I apologized for my lack of consideration, but made it clear to him that I had no intention of letting him into the house in his condition. He didn’t understand.

So as I tried to figure out which one of my children I was going to burden with the job of de-burring, de-ticking and de-fleaing our dog, he perched himself outside the door and began to whine and bark for entrance into the house, which was his domain.

You see, I couldn’t do it. Even though the old dog was fine, the friends he had picked up on his little journey were not welcome in my abode. They were back-biting, blood-sucking sticklers that had no business being in a civilized environment. Madez had to be quarantined for a while to be made suitable to enter his original domicile.

I want you to keep this story in mind as I explain my next point. As I watched the two old dogs square off last night during the debate at Lynn College, I realized that these two gentlemen were fine men–individuals I would be more than happy to count as friends and even comrades. What bothers me is that both of them have been walking out in the woods of their particular party affiliation and now are trying to get back into my life, carrying all of their fleas, ticks and burrs.

Yes, the problem with electing a President in this country is that he, and hopefully someday she, is associated with many back-biting, blood-sucking sticklers, who have an agenda of their own that is not inclusive of everyone else. It makes these two old dogs dangerous to us. Even though we may love them, we can’t let them bring the forest vermin into our house of freedom. It’s just not going to work.

So my dear friends, it’s not so much what Mitt Romney or Barack Obama are going to do if they are President of the United States that concerns me. If I can be candid with you, many of those decisions are already pre-determined or set in motion, as you could tell last night, when they ended up agreeing on more matters of foreign policy than being in dissension. The problem lies with the nastiness and short-sighted creatures that cling to their coats and come into that oval office with them, demanding that their specific special interests be given more attention than is really necessary or due.

Yes, I think a decision for President this year is based upon what fleas, ticks and burrs you think will be easiest to remove from your favorite old dog.

With Romney, you get the Christian Coalition, the Tea Party, anti-abortion, the NRA … well, I could go on. Each one of these organizations has an agenda that is very specific and unfortunately, fails to pass all of the standards of American inclusion and personal freedom. Also, I must be honest–they infest the fur and hide of Mr. Romney.

On the other hand, Barack Obama is surrounded by liberalism, over-dependence on government programs, pseudo-intellectualism and often more concern for baby seals than babies in the womb. These advocates, which cling to the carcass of Mr. Obama, are equally as dangerous to general inclusion and freedom.

The pestilence on Mr. Romney would love to get rid of all liberals, the state of California and most of the east coast.

The nasty bugs on Mr. Obama have a hankering to believe that everyone south of New York City is a hillbilly.

They are dangerous. Both of them.

So there really are only two questions. Number one: which one of these men is going to have the greatest ability and backbone, to stand up to the blood-sucking, back-biting sticklers from his own party and do what is right for all the American people? Number Two–which one of these men can grow in maturity with the office and become a statesman rather than a mouthpiece for this brief season for his political brotherhood?

For to be a good President is always to lose the support of your own people, and even for a season, to baffle the will of the nation. Just ask Abraham Lincoln, as he struggled over the issue of slavery.

You see, I couldn’t let Madez in my house until he was cleansed of all his unrighteousness. And we can’t let Mitt Romney into the White House until we’re certain that he won’t bring all of his “bugs” with him. Likewise, we must not allow Barack Obama to continue to be President until we’re confident that he’s been de-loused.

The choice is simple. Who will have the guts to sit out on the porch and allow himself to be shampooed and made worthy to enter the White House? And who is so tied up with his own walk in the woods that he demands entrance without being freed?

There you go, friends. By the way, it took one of my sons about an hour and a half to get Madez ready for the house again–and honestly, for two or three days after, we still found an occasional pesky flea and a perseverant tick. All of them had to be removed so that our dog was worthy of his surroundings.

And in like manner, all of these pests will have to be removed to make sure that one of these men is worthy of the White House.

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Guns, Grass and Whipped Cream … July 30, 2012

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Walking through a poorly lit parking lot one evening, I happened upon three young fellows sprawled out on the hood of their car, smoking marijuana. Now, I assumed it was marijuana because there was only one cigarette which they passed back and forth. I suppose it could have been a lean financial week, and we were dealing with a Winston-Salem product, but for the sake of my story, allow me the assumption.

As I neared their location, I noticed that laying on the car hood in the midst of them was a hand gun. I did not know why. Perhaps later on, they planned on going out into the woods and hunting for game to take home to their lovely wives and dear children. It could be that they were afraid that some fat, aging, traveling author would come along and accost them and they would need to defend themselves. Maybe they had taken it out to clean it in preparation for going to the local shooting range to hone up their skills and make themselves better prepared for an upcoming tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Handgun

Handgun (Photo credit: brendonjford)

I suppose all of these are possibilities, but not what immediately leaped into my mind. What came to my thinking was that I was about to pass by three individuals who were under the influence of grass and had a hand gun, ironically, very close to their hands. Thoughts of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, and whether legalizing marijuana would alleviate cartel activity in South America did not come to play in my reasoning. I was wondering if I was going to be able to get to my car with my wallet, watch, health and well-being uninterrupted.What profile should I take? I chose to address them before they looked at me, and fortunately for this traveling journeyman, they peered at me through bleary, bloodshot eyes, nodded in my direction and let me pass.Likewise, just the other night, I was watching television and a commercial came on for whipped cream-flavored vodka.  Honestly, since I’m not a drinker, notions of “yum-yum” did not come to my “tum-tum.” But I wondered, as a businessman, what the target market was for this product?

For instance, when I watch re-runs of Bonanza on TV Land, all of the commercials are about Depends diapers and Medic Alert, which makes sure that if you fall down and can’t get up, somebody will find you before you begin to decay. I immediately understand that I am watching a show being viewed mostly by people who are even older than I am.

But what IS the market for whipped cream-flavored vodka? Could it be a Green Bay Packer fan? I dismissed that. My understanding is that they take even their hot chocolate straight. Then I thought about NASCAR. But it’s only the people who win the Indianapolis 500 who indulge in milk products. Who could they be targeting with whipped cream-flavored vodka?

All at once, fearing that I was a bit jaded, I considered that it seems like the individuals who would be interested in such a product would be young women between the ages of fifteen and thirty. I immediately rebuked myself for such negative projection. Certainly the makers of this product wouldn’t be trying to get young girls to drink more and more vodka because “…well, golly, it tastes like whipped cream.”

You see, I understand what it means to be an adult. I am thoroughly in favor of the Bill of Rights. It would never be my desire to take a gun out of anybody’s hand.

It’s just the arguments that bother me. When the National Rifle Association says, “If you ban guns, then only criminals will have them,” if you will forgive me, I followed that premise through to a conclusion. So therefore, if everyone has guns in order to keep the criminals from possessing an “exclusive,” then EVERYONE is armed and prepared, with the right amount of provocation, to use that weapon to at least threaten someone else. Do we REALLY want a nation where everyone is armed to the teeth, with the capability of intimidating one another at the drop of a hat or the stealing of a lane on the freeway–even if there is never an exchange of fire? As I told you, the young men sitting on the hood of the car did not grab the gun. The existence of the gun threatened me. I could feel the bullets tearing through my vulnerable flesh.

In like manner, if we go ahead and legalize marijuana so that the criminals will not be in charge of marketing it, we may alleviate the economic problem and maybe even the policing of the situation, but don’t we open up the door to a nation with people walking around in a purple haze? Are we really prepared to have our young men and women not only stupefied by video games, but further incapacitated by marijuana? Do we really want to say it’s all right for Charlie Sheen to legally believe he has tiger’s blood?

Freedom is a necessary profile–as long as it’s accompanied by responsibility. Do you want your teenaged daughter, or granddaughter, for that matter, to finally break down and try vodka because it tastes like whipped cream? Is that creating products that are suited for adults? Or is it trying to force immature people into an adult world with the use of a vice–or even a potentially deadly weapon?

Please allow me five question:

1. Does freedom come with adult responsibility?

2. If it does come with adult responsibility, should it be monitored, or even forbidden, for children?

3. If forbidden to children, how do we meter the effects of its existence in a world inhabited by these younger ones?

4. If we’re metering the effects, how can we avoid some sort of regulation?

5. If regulated, how do we protect the adult freedom to partake?

Therein lies the debate. If we were sincerely talking about mature, intelligent adults having a realistic discussion on how to be responsible for their activities, I would say “yea and amen.” But when guns, marijuana and whipped cream vodka are basically being marketed to non-adults as proficiently or even more effectively than they are to their alleged target audience, there seems to be some insincerity, if not hypocrisy.

Please do not tell me that part of humanity is criminal and the other part is Polly Purebread. For I will tell you, when you give people the freedom to use something destructive, no matter how many Sunday School classes they attend, they will eventually use that destructive force. If you don’t believe me, think about the intelligent scientists, the well-educated politicians and the culturally grounded generals who built a bomb in 1940, and by 1945, set it off …. twice.

We can trust ourselves with freedom as long as it is not a weapon, a drug or a tease for us to slide into our more demented parts.

Oh and by the way… I don’t see the makers of the vodka offering the sensible and healthy choice of broccoli-flavored.

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Dark Night Descending … July 21, 2012

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Gary and Terri were my friends. Neither relationship was based upon ease and comfort, but rather, hinged on need.

I met Gary during a brief station of living in the Bayou State. He was just a little younger than me and both of us were much too immature for our own good. He had been diagnosed as bi-polar, and like so many folks who find themselves in that position, he yearned to be normal by conventional standards. To confirm that desire, he often refused to take his medications. When he didn’t allow for chemical intervention, he was completely out of his mind and would occasionally run through the streets of our little Southern town naked, proclaiming what he determined was the “good word of the Lord.”

Because I was young and lacked experience, I took a long time to consider what my job was with Gary. He had been to so many churches in his life that in many ways he was more qualified than some ministers–at least in being able to quote large passages of scripture. He had been counseled by an abundance of professionals, so he had learned to be a great con man and was quite able to convince you of his complete competence at the drop of a hat. He was charming enough to have deluded many hapless lasses into bedding with him, so he lacked respect for the opposite sex as human beings, viewing them as sexual conquests.

I watched all this unfold in front of me. I made a decision with Gary that I have used the rest of my life. The notion that we will never meet crazy people or that there’s nothing we can do about them is what causes the empowering of the weak-minded. People are either afraid of them, baffled by them or disgusted by them. All of us have crazies. Many of these crazies are in our own families.

Now, what do I mean by crazy? If you’ll allow me to insert my definition here before you become offended by my candor, here it is: crazy is when we allow disappointment and frustration to drain us of our better virtues and invite self-pity to take control. For some people, it’s pronounced because they have chemical imbalances or issues going back into their childhoods. For others, it’s an imitation of maturity–acting depressed, upset and pulling themselves out of the game of life just as they’re about to have the opportunity to score a touchdown.

The first thing I did with Gary was love him. The second thing I did with Gary was insist that he take his medication. In the process, he became annoyed, sometimes appreciative, attempting deception, and bounced among those three profiles for the rest of our relationship. Because he was on his medication, his life got better, he grew in true wisdom of his faith instead of superstition, and he met a lovely woman and married her. But then he decided to go off his medication, and ended up abusive, threatening and dangerous.

I realized I had one last responsibility with Gary. I stepped in, protected the young woman from his viciousness and got him admitted to a mental ward. I visited him. They decided to keep him for a long time. They even transferred him to a more permanent facility. Shortly after that I left the state and I’ve never heard from Gary again. But Gary taught me a very valuable lesson.

God sends you people. People are often crazy. Deal with your crazies.

Terri, on the other hand, was a young lady who joined my musical group in its early years. She was attractive, although she thought she was beautiful–her parents had told her so. She was a pretty good singer but she thought she was great–she had a letter from her church choir director to confirm it. She had a friendly personality, but believed she was dynamic. Everything about her perceptions were exaggerated. It wasn’t exactly Terri’s fault–in a great cloud of deceptive self-esteem, she had been raised by a family which believed it was their job to over-state their appreciation for their daughter to build up her confidence so she wouldn’t be depressed by the true nature of life’s competition.

So when Terri got in a music group and needed to sing harmony with other people, it was a shock for her to discover that she was occasionally sharp or flat. She would burst into tears at the notion that she needed to rehearse more to perfect her portion. It was a painful process and a grueling detail–to smother the false awareness that had been placed in her by her upbringing and replace it with reality, allowing her to improve so that she could measure up to the standard of the praise she so yearned to receive. Terri got better, and when she got better she wasn’t nearly as devastated by being worse.

Americans are under the misconception that giving praise will keep people from being dashed by the dastardly criticism of everyday life. Really, nowhere else in the world does any culture mislead its citizenry in such a way. Young people waking up in Africa are not told they are beautiful. The Chinese don’t laud their children with tons of accolades, but rather, expect perseverence and the desire to excel.

It’s in America where we feel the need to lie so as to cushion the harshness of the necessary system. Let me explain–when something is fair, it can not be considered to be okay. Okay is a little better than fair. Learn the difference. Likewise, when it’s okay, it is not good. The word “good” means that we have entered the ballpark of possibility. Okay means we’re still trying to get a ticket. Here’s a tricky one: good is not exceptional. We love to over-praise people and end up exaggerating their sense of importance, which means that exceptional is not great–and great, my friends, is not genius. I am not so sure that “genius” is proper to use for anyone but our Creator.

Our doctrine of self-esteem in this country has created a generation of “lazies,” and because of their addiction to accolades, they cease to try to get better. It affects our society, from the President all the way down to the street sweeper.

Very early on Friday morning, a man walked into a movie theater and emptied out all of his craziness and laziness into a theater full of unsuspecting people. Because it was not caught early enough by astute family members, friends and just folks who were perceptive to human need, his unleashing was in the form of bullets instead of frustrated bad language in a counseling session.

I will be blunt with you: James Holmes should have either ended up being taken care of and helped, or so frustrated that he put a gun to his own head, killing himself. Yes, let me say it loud and proud–suicide is preferable to homicide.

So even though the anti-gun people will insist that the purchase of weapons was the source of the tragedy and the NRA will defend itself by saying that guns are a God-given right, and those against video games will cite that the young man was trying to play the part of the Joker from the Batman movies, and the entertainment industry will bring in its experts to prove that merely watching violence does not create a climate for it, all of them miss the point.

The reason James Holmes was allowed to commit this atrocity in Aurora, Colorado, is because people didn’t deal with their crazies or motivate their lazies. When he was a kid he was given too much self-esteem because that’s what our society does, so when he arrived at adulthood he found out he wasn’t nearly as valuable as he thought he was; he also was a little crazier and more imbalanced than anyone was willing to admit to his face. So even though when people got around him, within half a minute they knew something was wrong, they chose to leave him alone instead of dealing  with their “crazy” and trying to motivate the laziness, which would allow his promise to turn into the reality of some accomplishment.

Every one of us has crazies in our lives. Every one of us has lazies. They are people who are weaker and require our focus and attention. What we decide to do with them determines whether they end up struggling, discovering a mixture of daily victories and defeats, or angry with the world, emptying ammunition into terrified ticket-holders.

Don’t blame anybody for Aurora. Be smart. Deal with your crazies and motivate your lazies. Stop avoiding people who are imbalanced and challenge them to find help. Cease to give over-zealous flattery, and instead, call great “great,” good “good,” fair “fair” and by the way–poor “poor.”

When we finally arrive at this point, people who love and care will take the crazies and the lazies out of the spotlight, and in so doing, save the lives of average people who just wanted to go out to a movie premiere.

    

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