Things I Learned from R. B. (May 3rd, 2020)


Jonathots Daily Blog

(4399)

Episode 13

Not every door is an opening to happiness, but instead. can be a passageway to a cave with no exit—a darkened confinement.

After three-and-a-half years of traveling with the family, we found ourselves ricocheting from one miracle to another.

Although miracles have a glorious side, they also warn of an inconsistent living pattern, which requires grace to be poured out in barrels instead of cups.

Our journey became irresponsible.

Even though we tried to remain pure in heart, it was becoming difficult to see God. We were truly poor in spirit but bewildered by our insolvency.

We certainly set our goals to be merciful to others, but we were overly dependent on obtaining mercy for our lackings.

We were broke most of the time, and the rest of the time, nervous about how soon it would be before we had nothing again.

The fellowship, the family time and the intimacy was so enriching that we were nearly unable to make solid human decisions about our daily responsibilities.

Coming upon an opportunity to settle into a motel room in Santa Clara, California, where we would work our rent off by assisting on the premises and filling in front desk duties—was just too alluring.

I legitimately wanted my children to be confident. Although they were growing in their faith, their personal sense of talent and capability was diminished by persistent trial and tribulation.

At first the motel situation seemed ideal. My wife was even able to get a job, which for the first time in a long time, gave us money without having to wonder whether it would soon trickle away.

But to remain in the situation and do it righteously required that we abandon our music, our mission and that closeness that can only be achieved by pilgrims on a journey to the same holy place.

We drifted apart.

My sons became too familiar with HBO at young ages and had too much time on their hands. (We were uncomfortable placing them in a local school, lest the teachers or authorities ask too many questions.)

For a little over two years, we experienced an unhealthy prosperity.

One day, a traveler passed through and talked to me about my situation. He remarked, “If the owner here has been charging you tax for your room, he owes you that money. Because after the first month, no one has to pay tax on a motel room.”

I laughed. I didn’t know it was true. So I joked with the boss about it when he came into work that day.

I left, went out to lunch, and when I came back, he was standing in front of my door with a check for three thousand dollars in his hands—apparently frightened that I would make more out of the tax situation than I ever would have. He decided to cover his butt by paying back the money, so he wouldn’t have to worry about being accosted in court.

After he left me alone, I stared at the check.  I realized it was three thousand good reasons to leave “the cave” and start looking for a door again. I didn’t waste any time because I didn’t want to waste any of the money.

We packed up that night and the next morning we rolled off to Sacramento, California. Within two days, we rented a duplex with three bedrooms, a sunken living room, a fireplace, and a huge dining room—a heavenly haven to call our own.

We decided to try to start scheduling concerts again and live off our talent. The first three months were tremendously successful. Wanting to celebrate that Thanksgiving with friends, we invited two from San Diego, and I called R. B., who was living in Tacoma, Washington, to come and join us.

For the first time in his life, R. B. jumped at an opportunity. I was shocked. I was anticipating a rejection, or at least a request for three days of fasting and prayer to decide.

He arrived—and he looked terrible. After a few conversations I discovered that he had lost his job four months earlier and was living off of unemployment insurance. He was drinking, smoking more and was quickly running out of money. It was the most vulnerable I had ever seen him.

As the tenderness of Thanksgiving swept over him, he was in tears several times, grateful for the opportunity to escape his Washington surroundings and be with those who accepted him in the form he arrived.

On Monday, the San Diego couple left. R. B. decided to stay on a few more days.

During that time, we played music, sang songs and even devised a plan so he could come and live with us, join the band and be part of the tour.

Even though my sons were not particularly favorable to R. B., they still thought it would be inspirational to have another band mate.

We laughed and cried our way to a local department store, where we purchased a matching vest for him, to go with the ones my sons wore.

He seemed to belong. More importantly, he felt needed.

Yet, two days later, as we were about to rehearse, he became very still. Something was amiss. After allowing him a space of time to come clean with his feelings, I finally confronted him.

He cried again—and these were not the tears of a grateful traveler. This weeping was coming from a place of fear.

He explained to the whole family that he wanted to travel with us and be a part of the band, but he was scared. All of his life, he had counted on a job to take care of his financial needs, and even though he wasn’t working now, he felt more comfortable occupation than he did launching out by faith, to see how far his abilities would take him.

I wanted to argue with him. But one thing I knew was that each human being sets his own time and place. If we try to find a place and establish a time, he will only rebel.

Two days later, he quietly packed his bag.

He silently ate a breakfast with us, and he walked out our door without saying another word.

I really did believe this would be the last time I ever saw him.

I felt mercy, because I, myself, just a few years earlier, had gone into a dark cave—because I was afraid of my circumstances.

“Be safe,” I spoke aloud.

The family looked at me. They didn’t know what I was thinking.

But they certainly understood what I felt.

Cracked 5 … December 14th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4258)

Cracked 5

 Totally and Completely Politically Incorrect Names to Give to Elves

A. Shortbread

 

B. Little Hands

 

C. Tinker Bill

 

D. Brief

 

E. Grounded

 

 

Cracked 5 … December 7th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4251)

Cracked 5

 Things Santa Claus’s Therapist Could Certainly Tell You

A.  He wears a beard to cover his leprosy scars.

 

B.  He refuses to accept that the red costume makes him look fifty pounds heavier.

 

C.  Reindeer smell bad and attack black kids.

 

D. He never married Mrs. Claus. (It’s a long story.)

 

E. Can’t leave him alone for more than five minutes at a time with small children.

 

 

 

Cracked 5 … November 30th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4244)

Cracked 5

 Mistakes Often Made on Thanksgiving Day

A. Asking Grandma what she’s thankful for—right before we’re supposed to start eating

 

B. Saying, “The ham is good but nothing ‘trumps’ the turkey.” (Politics begins…)

 

C. Pointing out that the Pilgrims were illegal immigrants.

 

D. Asking what the calorie count is on each dish that comes your way.

 

E. Telling Aunt Minnie you like her Jell-O salad with the carrots—and she keeps passing to you over and over again.

 

 

Cracked 5 … November 17th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3858)

Cracked 5

Cracked 5

Laments of the Common Turkey During This Holiday Season, Including Ways It Might Try to Save its Own Neck

A.  Ducks are ALL dark meat

 

B.  The Pilgrims actually preferred lobster.

 

C.  At least give me the dignity of eating my gizzard

 

D.  Pork is also good with dressing

 

E.  Ben Franklin thought I should be the national bird. Did you ever think of that?

Thanksgiving Turkey


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

 


Buy Mr. Kringle's Tales

Click the elephant to see what he’s reading!

 

Jesonian … May 19th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3677)

With all the focus being placed on Jerusalem, dubbed “the Holy City,” I thought it might be fascinating to take a look at what Jesus felt about this newly-proclaimed capital of Israel.

For instance, his mother and father visited there before his birth, ended up stranded in the suburbs in a little town called Bethlehem, where there was no room for them in the Inn, and there they birthed their first-born in a barn.

When Jesus was twelve he visited the city, asking lots of questions which produced no answers. The fussy religionists basically told him to “go back home, little boy.”

Although he didn’t make many trips to Jerusalem itself, he frequently encountered a stony-headed group of followers of the Law of Moses who were more concerned about his eating habits than his message.

One day, while visiting the Temple with his disciples and realizing that they were enamored by all the gold and architecture, he explained to them that very soon “there would not be one stone left on another.”

Jesus was very upset about how Annas had turned the Temple into an unrighteous trading center, cheating the visiting pilgrims out of their money on goods and exchanges. He took a whip, beat the money changers and drove them out of the Temple.

When he raised Lazarus from the dead, not far from Jerusalem, spies and assassins were hired to plot the death of the resurrected man because it was bringing much notoriety to this upstart Galilean movement.

Eventually the religious leaders found a fellow-Judeean named Judas to betray Jesus. They put Jesus on trial, lied to Pontius Pilate about him, pretended that they were disinterested in having a “King of the Jews” because they were satisfied with Caesar, screaming for the Nazarene to be nailed to a cross.

On his way to his death, women who were weeping for him were rebuked by Jesus, who stated, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me. Weep for your children and yourselves.”

I believe at this point he might have flashed back in his mind to several days earlier, when he looked over the city of Jerusalem, and with tears, lamented, “How often I would have gathered you under my wings, like a hen does its chicks, but you would have none of it. Your house is left to you desolate.”

If you’re curious about the definition of “desolate,” it is “a place deserted of people, with a dismal emptiness.”

Even after they killed him–murdered him on the cross–the Jerusalem leadership was still afraid that the disciples might steal his body, so they placed guards in front of his tomb.

When he rose from the dead and ascended to the Father, Jerusalem continued to persecute the disciples and early church members, killing and scattering them into the world.

So there weren’t many Christians left in 70 A.D., when Jesus’ prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem came to fruition, with the Roman Legions destroying the Temple and the town.

As you can see, Jesus had no love affair with Jerusalem.

He angered the Jewish people because he told them that he existed “before Abraham,” and that “God had the ability to take stones and make children of Abraham.”

So it is a good idea for us to check out the Jesonian view of Jerusalem instead of joining the pandering that is done in this country under the auspice of “Judeo-Christian.”

I will tell you, certainly Jesus was not anti-Semitic. He loved the whole world.

But I also must tell you, he certainly was not pro-Israel.

 

*****

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

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3528)

 

Tabletop

Sitting quietly at the table

Surrounded by those I love

I hear what they think of me

I listen to the story they speak

What do I mean to these pilgrims

Who journey with me, yet separate

How do they view my soul

As it sweetly creeps into their space?

Am I a blessing

An insertion of purpose

Or an intrusion of clumsy repetition?

Arriving, I stumble into each human place

Endangering the human race

Did I speak into their silence

Or bring solitude from their terror

Am I humor for the sadness

Clarity in the madness

Goodness through the badness

What do they think?

Converse to me of being free

And the wishes of each heart

I will listen patiently

And pray to learn what’s smart

Whisper your desires before I scream

Shout and I will be still

I am yours as you are mine

From vacant to full may we truly refine

The secret words that unleash the power

The minutes that truly grant the hour

Your hour, my hour,

Joined magnificently

In power

 

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

%d bloggers like this: