Dudley … July 20th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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DUDLEY

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Published in: on July 20, 2017 at 1:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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I Pretend… May 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is not that everything in my life is good. It is just that I cannot be healthy musing over the bad.Jon close up

So I pretend:

I pretend that my words are valuable and gain a listen.

I pretend that the smile I flash to a stranger cracks through the stony countenance I view.

I pretend that my children and friends welcome my thoughts and weekly emails.

I pretend that my mission is God-induced and not merely self-motivated.

I pretend that the church down the road wants me to come and inspire.

I pretend that my legs can carry me on, to complete my task.

I pretend that I am not alone.

I pretend that the Golden Rule still has the same rate of exchange.

I pretend that my creative offerings bless instead of bore.

I pretend that my plain features and overweight body do nothing to deter my outreach.

I pretend that God’s will can be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I pretend that a heaven awaits that I have never seen.

I pretend that good wins over evil.

I pretend that my whispers might one day be shouted from the housetops.

I pretend I matter.

I pretend you matter.

I pretend that anything matters.

I pretend because that’s what faith is.

It is pretending we see things that should be done before they can be.

I pretend…that I’m not pretending.

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

G-18: Fellowship or Companionship … April 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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Adam it's not enough

It’s not enough

I don’t know how to tell you

You have given me so much

I value your love

I treasure our relationship

I feel you inside me

I am thrilled with my work

I am enthralled by my home

I adore the creatures around me

If perfect is possible, then here it is

At my fingertips

In my pulse

Yet sadly, my friend, it is not enough

I simultaneously feel a vacancy and a sense of shame over the lack

I really tried to make a go of it

I felt as if work, fellowship and purpose should be sufficient to my need

I was wrong

I do not want to lie to you

I do not want to sneak away in a corner and pretend

I yearn for companionship

What is that?

Someone to hold in my arms

To confirm my presence

Someone to share blessing and blame

Someone for me to pleasure, and in turn, draw my pleasure from

Someone who disagrees, but remains

Someone who is like me but in a different sort of way

Someone who is sometimes stronger

Sometimes weaker

Honestly, someone who isn’t you

Someone who is, well … me

I don’t want to complain

But it is not enough

 

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

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Sometimes… January 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon black hat

Sometimes I do something right and I’m surprised how easy it was.

Sometimes I refuse to get upset and end up sleeping better.

I stop talking about God and do my best impersonation.

I refuse to have an opinion and start learning again.

I am amazed that someone wants to make love with me.

Sometimes I don’t honk for honkable offenses.

I laugh at myself  and make more friends.

Sometimes I only eat when I am hungry.

I pretend I’m the other guy looking at me.

Sometimes I don’t have to act interested; I actually am.

I walk back and pick up the trash that fell out of the overstuffed can when I tried to push more in.

Sometimes I really do pray for someone when I say I will pray for him.

I bravely tell the truth and feel clean.

Sometimes I love myself enough not to like me.

And sometimes I wonder if I could upscale … to oftentimes.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Peeking at the Moon … June 9, 2012

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A small motel room–so tiny that the bed is jammed up against the outer wall.

Saturday night … I always find it difficult to sleep on Saturday night. After all these years, I believe I am still the little boy who dreamed of traveling and sharing his message, and I still become giddy in my spirit over the notion that I actually get to do it. I never get tired of it. Sometimes, though, it causes my internal childhood giggle to wake me up from sleep, to play. I don’t want to play. It’s time to slumber and get my much-needed rest.

But the little fellow won’t leave me alone. So after a few minutes, I stop resisting the inevitable and allow my mind to wander. At first the room is dark around me, and gradually lightens as my eyes adjust to the surroundings.

Memories of other sleepless nights … I recall writing a novel and for four straight evenings I woke up at exactly 3:33 A.M. It was cool and spooky, all at the same time. Am I crazy? I think we need cool and spooky. Otherwise, we start believing our lives are the sub-total of our debt and intake.

All at once I noticed the curtain dangling down the window, right at my fingertips. It was one of those thick motel types, made of some polyester and plastic blend–the fumes would certainly kill you if it ever caught on fire. Absent-mindedly, I reached over to pull back the curtain and looked out.

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois)....

Full Moon view from earth In Belgium (Hamois). Français : Pleine Lune vue de la Terre en Belgique à Hamois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And there it was. The moon–surrounded by a great corona of haze–not high in the sky, but directly at my eye level. It surprised me so much that I chuckled. What was the moon doing so low? It looked like it was about fourteen inches from my nose. For some reason it had a Christmas appearance to it–like viewing a Christmas tree and its lights through a frosty window pane. It gave me a chill down to my soul. It was so special.

I don’t know why it struck me with such an intense emotion–but it was so close, so low in the sky–as if it were perched there waiting for me to pull back the veil and gaze. Yes, I am one of those odd birds who believes there are natural phenomenon that happen just for my pleasure. I guess it’s a strange mingling of vanity, faith, hope and childishness. But whatever it is, it’s magnificent.

If you will allow me, it’s like a great game of pretend. When we become grown-ups, we think that the word “pretend” is an immature or even nasty concept. But not so when we’re young.

My Aunt Mary used to come over every Sunday afternoon to visit, and we’d have some sort of meal spread out and she continually brought Brussel sprouts. I was told that I must try Aunt Mary’s Brussel sprouts, so I did. It crossed my mind to tuck them in my pocket or dump them in a nearby waste basket, but I was twelve years old, and by that age you pretty well know when you can get by with things and when you are destined to get caught. So I sampled her Brussel sprouts. I pretended to eat them, though what I actually did was chew a couple of times and then swallow them whole with a big gulp of cold water.

Aunt Mary asked me if I liked her Brussel sprouts, and then she smirked at me and said, “You didn’t try them, did you?”

“Yes, I did,” I replied. “But they were kind of hard … and bitter.”

My mother looked at me, angry. But Aunt Mary just nodded her head and walked away. The next Sunday she showed up with Brussel sprouts again, so I grabbed my cup of ice water and headed off to the table to get my portion of nastiness. But they looked different — the Brussel sprouts, that is. They weren’t as green and they had some sort of sauce on them. It was butter. They were softer, and with the butter, they tasted sweet. I actually liked them. I didn’t need my ice-cold water to swallow them whole–I was able to chew them up.

I glanced over at my Aunt Mary and she gave me a sheepish grin. I smiled back. That day I learned to kind of like Aunt Mary AND Brussel sprouts, and I also learned the power of honestly pretending.

Without pretending, we begin to believe that we can decipher this whole puzzle of life just with the pieces provided. And without honesty, we quickly become deceivers and liars, trying to escape the anger and nastiness of the scrutiny around us. It’s when you blend them.

Because when I was peeking at the moon, enjoying my own personal lunar expedition, I realized that the moon was probably there for everybody, but there was no power in my believing that. There was no exhilaration in my soul if some scientist walked into the room and explained the reason for my close encounter with that face in the sky.

Intelligence is a wonderful thing–until it stands in the way of joy. Then it becomes like your grandma at Chuck E. Cheese, who constantly complains about how loud it is, while noting that the salad bar is only “passable.”

I eventually did go back to sleep — I think. But I always enjoy those moments when I am awakened from the world of sleep to spend a few moments with myself and my desires. What is the greatest atrocity in life? To be absent of any evidence to confirm your dreams.

The moon was waiting for me that night. I believe that. Why? Because it doesn’t do me any good in my life to explain away all the blessings as coincidence.

Maybe we’ve found the definition for faith–to honestly pretend–to dare to continue to pursue a child’s dreams while offering a man’s feelings. I can do that; I can really do that.

I’m looking forward to the next time I’m awakened. Maybe it will be a clock with excellent timing–or a curtain that unveils the moon. I don’t know. But it will give me a chance to honestly pretend, which is the only true reason to continue on.

   

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

Pretend–October 31, 2011

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Dressing up in costumed apparel of a character of our choice, often with frightening possibilities. No, I’m not talking about the US Congress. Of course, I mean Halloween.  Halloween is today, and for me, a time when I enjoy the festivities of those around me, although I don’t participate to any great degree. It’s not that I’m a nudge or have some theological opposition to the holiday–because quite honestly, bizarre outfits are common in our day and age and you don’t have to go any further than organized religion if you want to see the devil at work.

No, it’s not about religious reasons or even not wanting to don myself in ghoulish garments.  It’s just that I don’t like to pretend. It is my great lamentation about our society–that dissatisfaction with our present circumstances causes us to contend that something else would be better than what we have and that we have some sort of God-given birthright to have more than we currently possess.

It’s more or less the “American Idol” philosophy of talent: “I don’t have to be that good; I just have to be able to dress up like someone who is good–look the part.”  All I need is to have a dream, be dissatisfied with my present life, want better circumstances for my family and arrogantly demand that someone make me famous so I can haul in the loot.

We have become a generation of pretenders. There’s nothing wrong with doing that on October 31st.  It’s kind of fun. But when the desire to acquire a position we have not earned permeates the other three-hundred-sixty-four days of the year, it is not only boring, but eventually becomes ridiculous in its unrighteousness.

I ate lunch with a man and woman yesterday who might have every reason in the world to pretend.  He was a graduate of Yale Theological Seminary–and I’m not talking about the people who make the locks.  These are high-falutin’ theologians who just might think they created God. She had a Master’s Degree and every reason to be proud of her status and position. Yet they found themselves in a little town in South Carolina, serving a small church and working in a hospice, respectively. You might think they would be disgruntled, dissatisfied or feel cheated that their education and status had been placed in such miniscule confines.–because after all, that’s what we love to do.  We love to classify jobs and positions in America according to status instead of productivity. Dare I say the average worker at a McDonald’s on the dinner shift actually is much more efficient and energetic than a CEO at a large company? But we don’t honor work; we give respect to position and the trappings of affluence.

We pretend. We pretend that money makes us happy. We pretend that people who make large sums of cash are actually more important than those who don’t. We pretend there’s a color barrier so we don’t have to interact with a racial mixture which just might cause us to expand our thinking. We pretend.

Not so with my two luncheon companions. He extolled the joy of pastoring a congregation filled with emerging people who are growing in their understanding of one another and trying to become more spiritually and culturally diverse. She rejoiced in the opportunity to aid those about to cross over the great divide between this plane of existence and the next, sharing that she felt purpose and value in performing her task.

Yes, America loves to pretend. It is a country that believes that we bring what we dream while disdaining where we are to get help to achieve our goals so that we might truly, in the end, possess more.

It is the opposite of what really makes people happy.  Actually, the way to be happy is found in the lifestyle of my two new friends from South Carolina.  And here it is: bring what you’ve learned to the place where you are to help who you can, to give yourself the purpose you desire.

That’s it.

So please … go! Dress up! Rejoice!  Bob for apples (if people still do that). Drink some punch.  Trick or treat.  Scare yourself and everyone else to death. Have the time of your life.

But get up tomorrow and do yourself a big favor and stoppretending. Life is not what we want. It is wanting the life that is already here.  Who knows?  Maybe that is just another way of pretending. But it is a way of doing so that doesn’t require that you to imitate anyone else … or scare the world around you.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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