Good News and Better News … September 19th, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

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good-news-marlette

It is utterly amazing how many potholes on the highway of progress can be gloriously filled in with the marvelous cement of enthusiasm and repentance.

Although many people tout the power of thinking and prayer, our thoughts are often stuck in the past, and our prayers can be pious.

When I arrived in Marlette, Michigan, to meet up with Pastor Dave and the human beings who inhabit that region, I was looking for enthusiasm and repentance. Nothing of any significance is going to happen without this pair of miracle-workers.

Enthusiasm has a simple message: “I want to be happy.”

And repentance comes along cleansing the process by offering, “And I realize I may have to change to get it.”

Without enthusiasm. we eventually regress to complaining. And absent repentance, we always become “makers of great excuse.”

I was so pleased to encounter one friend after another in this gathered array of Michiganders, who expressed enthusiasm, and with tears in their eyes, realized the necessity of repentance.

Throughout my journey I have discovered that politics does not work because it’s so afraid of failure that it lies.

Education is limited because without the spunk of perseverance, it may not survive.

And religion is nearly comical because it pursues salvation without revering personal responsibility.

But the magic of enthusiasm followed by the anointing of repentance turns the human race into a livable sort, making folks able to co-exist with one another without gossip and murder.

I think this begins with how we answer the question, “How are you?”

We can decide to hide our feelings and say “fine” with varying degrees of apathy, or we can launch into a series of woes about our present condition, hoping for sympathy.

But I have found the perfect answer to “how are you?Here it is: “At first, a little overwhelmed, but by nightfall, kind of surprised at how well things turned out.”

I shall always remember the folks in Marlette with Pastor Dave and his evolving outreach. They brought to the sanctuary enough enthusiasm to welcome repentance.

That’s the good news.

The better news?

It turns out that enthusiasm and repentance are much easier to work with than defeat and stubbornness.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Iowa Lot… July 24, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1953)

Iowa cornIowa lot to fruits and vegetables. They have prevented me from killing myself with fats and carbs.

Iowa lot to my parents. They could have fought instead of having sex.

Iowa lot to my third grade teacher. She got me interested in history, and the rest is … well, my life.

Iowa lot to my enemies. Trying to destroy me, they accidentally alerted me to dangerous flaws.

Iowa lot to good tires. They make my engine usable.

Iowa lot to mistakes. They are the potholes that teach me how to be road-worthy.

Iowa lot to my family. Learning my virtues while ignoring my vices, they continue to make me look good.

Iowa lot to Gloria, who came down from her highest and accepted our kin and has gone to her hallelujah moment.

Iowa lot to my voice. It keeps working, sometimes without the assistance of my brain.

Iowa lot to faith, hope and love – these three. But the greatest is remembering to use them.

Iowa lot to God. He gives me free will and then bravely rides shotgun on the bumpy ride.

Iowa lot to my fat body. Without it, I just might have leaped on anyone wearing perfume.

Iowa lot to Iowa. She has welcomed me to share my talent and heart.

I owe a lot.

I am debtor to all.

I will spend the rest of my life attempting to repay the loan…with interest.

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“A Little Piece of …” April 20, 2013

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church Wimberley betterI am off next to Wimberley, Texas, which touts itself, in its town slogan, as “a little piece of heaven in Texas.”

I’m sure I will soon find out if there’s any validity to the proclamation, but to be completely fair, I would have to clarify what the attributes of heaven just might be, let alone its manifestation in the Lone Star State.

I am told that heaven is a place with “streets of gold.” Although I’m sure the folks of Wimberley are very kind and generous, it’s rather doubtful that their pavement is actually golden. (Matter of fact, gold would make a very poor road surface. It’s too soft, would crumble and can you imagine the difficulty in getting the city workers to fill those potholes??)

Likewise, I’ve heard rumors that there will be “gates of pearl” in the eternal home. I suppose that would have been impressive to someone in a foregone time, but I don’t know that much about gates, nor do I know very much about pearl–except it would sadden me think that a bunch of oysters would be overworked just so I could have a spectacular vision.

Traditionally, we have the story of angels singing and strumming their harps. I’m just afraid if I heard harp music, I would be waiting for a dream scene in a movie.

There is that scripture that tells us that we’re all going to be living in mansions. Here’s my problem with that–I don’t want to have so much room that I have to clean it all the time or move the clutter around so I don’t trip over things, so I really don’t think that everybody in Wimberley has a mansion, nor would they promise such to incoming citizenry.

There is some sort of buzz about heaven being a place of “no more tears.” That, of course, does have immediate appeal to me as a mortal. But I have to be honest–some of my best discoveries in life have occurred in the midst of tears. Matter of fact, I don’t know who I’d be if I hadn’t learned to mourn over some things from time to time.

So I’m curious about what Wimberley, Texas, thinks “a little bit of heaven” would be.

Perhaps it’s a place where people stop judging each other and each person believes that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” You see, the power of that is that we get a chance to rise and fall on the merits of our talent and passion instead of the cut of our jib, our lifestyle choices or the color of our skin.

I guess that’s what Wimberley, Texas, must mean. They must be offering a location where human beings can come in and not be judged and NoOne is better than anyone else.

That truly would be a little bit of heaven, wouldn’t it?

So I’m going to make my appearance there tomorrow under the assumption that this is what they’re offering rather than streets of gold, gates of pearl, harp music, mansions and a tear-free environment. Because basically, if we give one another a chance to do good things free of prejudice, all these other things just might come our way.

At least,  that’s what I’m going to share with those heavenly folks in Wimberley.

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