Jesonian: Head for the Hills … November 8th, 2015

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Drachma

The Middle East is a muddled beast.

It has baffled politicians, military strategists and rational thinkers for generations.

Following a Jesonian philosophy, which is an attempt to tap the heart of Jesus, I decided to find out if the Nazarene had any insight on the issue.

Turns out he does.

It was in the latter part of his ministry when Jesus visited Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem and took the opportunity to attack the religious leaders for their hypocrisy, excess, indifference and greed.

He spends quite a bit of time elaborating on the iniquity that filled the religious system of his day. But it is the closing of his speech which is most chilling. He finishes up his talk by saying that he had come to Jerusalem many times, trying to reason with them and get them to repent of their stubbornness and sense of superiority. But the continual rejection had caused him to decide that “their house was left to them desolate.”

Because they had killed the prophets, ignored wise men who had been sent their way, and shunned anyone who was practical enough to believe that spirituality could be best expressed through the love of human beings instead of the practice of ritual, he felt it was time for him to depart.

So the 24th Chapter of Matthew begins with a chilling proclamation: Jesus left the Temple.

He never went back again.

He never has.

All the dealings of the Christian faith are meant to be conducted in the streets and homes of human beings–at the point of need.

The ironic part is that the disciples try to draw him back to the Temple, to show him all the sights and wonders–a “Holy Land tour.”

He emphatically tells them that what they see before their eyes will be torn down, stone by stone. He even describes the process. He says that people will be so involved in their religion and their family life that they will not notice the signs of their times.

They will be “marrying and given in marriage,” oblivious to the dangers of conflict and generational revenge.

Jesus gave his disciples counsel. He said, “When you see there is conflict around Jerusalem and that there are armies gathering … head for the hills.”

Don’t stay and fight.

Don’t pick a side.

Don’t assume that God will protect those who are out to destroy each other.

Head for the hills.

We, as the United States, should take the wisdom of Jesus’ warning. There is no Armageddon unless all the armies of the world go to the desert and fight.

It is possible for us to support Israel and also welcome the Palestinians as long as the Palestinians accept the right of Israel to exist and Israel includes the Palestinians.

This is a family fight, and if we join it, both sides of the family will fight against us. So basically, we don’t please the Muslims and we don’t satisfy the Israelis.

Head for the hills.

It is possible to be an arbiter without putting on boxing gloves to join in the bout.

This should be our mission. We should watch the signs of the times, keep ourselves free from the conflict, and do our best to guide these lost brothers and sisters into understanding that the world is big enough for both of them, if their hearts can grow big enough for each other.

So I say to the Republicans and the Democrats: from a Jesonian perspective, you’re both wrong.

Jesus realized there is no negotiation with religion.

  • Religion will kill to fulfill its principles.
  • Religion will repeat instead of repent.
  • Religion is constantly looking for a new Messiah.
  • And religion invites war because it thinks peace is compromising doctrine.

But Jesus left the Temple.

We should do the same.

Stand back and let’s see if these warring factions will grow tired of burying their children, and begin to have a heart for making peace. And then, let us be the peace-makers instead of the fellow-warriors.

I believe it’s the only answer.

There is no Holy Land in the Middle East: people are dying, people are hurt, people are abused and people are marginalized.

It is the definition … of unholy. 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 18, 2015

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Pohymn February 18

Two by Two

Angry news

Conflicting views

Pundits tell

Not well

Need hope

Can’t cope

Blank verse

Brings curse

Some turn

We learn

Traitors scurry

Faithful worry

Two conceive

Others believe

Children cry

Innocent die

Repetitious prayer

Produces scare

Insipid singing

Joyless bringing

Bullets speed

Flesh bleed

War increase

Seek peace

Prophets share

Limited care

Simple flow

Will grow

When I

Ask why

And you

Do too

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G-33: Propheting… July 18, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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  • Billowing smoke at the crest of a mountain leaves things a bit hazy.mad as hell
  • Tablets of stone are pretty concrete.
  • The heads of Amorites posted on sticks are not terribly inspiring, but actually, gross.
  • Butchered animals burnt on an altar of worship end up quite smelly.

The Creator needed a more creative idea to reach His creation.

For symbolism may have its charm, but after all, it demands that the person being attracted to the concept have both an interest and some intelligence. And here’s the rub: interest and intelligence are unusual commodities in the human race. We are people who require a more straightforward, human solution.

The Creator, the Father of al, decided to send prophets–human beings themselves and therefore capable of error and misstep, but also valuable because their mortal lips could convey an eternal message.

At first it seemed to be a workable idea. The people were alerted, impressed and even impacted.

But unfortunately, all prophets eventually have to speak unpopular ideas to cantankerous hearers.

So the life expectancy of a prophet dropped suddenly, leaving the job unpursued and frequently unfilled.

Still, it was a better way than killing turtle doves and terminating enemies in the path of the Ark of the Covenant.

“I will have mercy, not sacrifice,” said one of the prophets. Yet the people insisted on killing off livestock.

“I desire to repair the breach.” But people continued to fight instead of searching out reasons for peaceful coexistence.

“Be kind to strangers.” Unfortunately, strangers had little chance for acceptance among a people who deemed themselves chosen.

No matter what the prophets said, the people found fault and eventually realized that not listening to them levied no toll.

We were back once again to Creator and creature, standing at a distance, peering at one another suspiciously.

It was time to make a decision.

 

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G-30: Pouting … June 27, 2014

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Izzy PoutA monkey is normally satisfied with a banana.

A monkey-angel, on the other hand, requires a banana split.

From the understanding we gain from what we have dubbed The Good Book, the Creator experienced an adjustment period in trying to comprehend the mingled mess put together with the formation of the human race.

It was a rocky start.

Even though the Book dubbed Good has 1,189 chapters, within the first eight, the Father:

  • makes humans
  • places them in a Garden of Utopia
  • gives them a rule
  • catches them breaking the rule
  • kicks them out of the Garden
  • punishes them
  • sees one of their children murdered and another exiled
  • regrets that He made them
  • kills them with a flood
  • and finally, regrets killing them.

Not a stellar beginning.

So after the waters subsided, a mistrust grew between the heavens and the earth. It was actually more like an adolescent pout, where a child of a household who was once enamored with his or her parents lives long enough to discover inconsistencies, and along with the natural rebellion churning in his or her soul, decides to become non-communicative with the elders.

A quiet war started between God and man. (And by man, of course, I mean the female part as well.)

For thousands of years, attempts were made to repair the breach by using commandments, prophets, edicts, covenants, patriarchs, escape plans, and even miracles.

Nothing seemed to work.

Human beings were caught between a distaste for the jungle and a dislike for the heavens.

We pouted.

How could we trust a Creator who made us and then decided to break us? What could be done?

Yes … what could be done?

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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!

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New Hope… October 18, 2013

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New HopeI paused.

When Janet handed me the file on our sponsor for this weekend in Freedom, Pennsylvania, I noted that the venue was New Hope Lutheran Church.

The reason for my brief consideration was that I was trying to figure out if “new hope” was redundant–repetitious, as it were. After all, isn’t all hope new? Or we wouldn’t wish for it in the first place. And aren’t most things that are new still in the hopeful phase on the drawing board?

But then I realized that there are old hopes which need to be rejuvenated rather than buried as dead and meaningless. fouding fathers

For instance, while people argue about the Constitution of the United States, I look at it as a hope that was expressed over two hundred and twenty years ago, by a bunch of fellows in powdered wigs, who didn’t even know about trains, let alone rockets to the moon, and who certainly were anticipating that as things progressed, other folks would come along and “juice up” the original hope.

Likewise, when I read the Good Book, I am fully aware that the hope expressed by Moses thousands of years ago about God was given a reprieve by countless prophets, teachers and wise men and women over the years, culminating with Jesus, who fulfilled the vision and pushed the hope forward to us.

Hope needs newness. Matter off fact, if hope doesn’t receive an infusion of new ideas, it becomes tradition, which generally speaking, stalls the human race with trying to address the problems of our present world with tools from the past. Not very handy, man.

So I’m excited about going to New Hope. Matter of fact, I’ve already come up with a message to share with the beautiful people. It may be the definition of new hope:

Don’t give up on an idea just because things aren’t ideal.

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The Best of the Story… December 21, 2012

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He was fifteen years old…and horny.

He was my son, and extraordinarily girl-crazy. May I point out to you that he was interested in the female of the species, not in the sense of being a great anthropologist, but mainly for sexual reasons. I had already had the first “talk” with him, where I explained the parts, purposes and precepts of human sexuality, but now it was time for the second talk. Yes, I do believe there’s a need for a second “talk”–otherwise girls and boys grow up to be men and women with a complete sense of disconnect. Here’s what I told him:

“Don’t try to get inside a woman until you’ve found the woman inside you.”

He sprouted one of those adolescent expressions, blending perplexity and antagonism with a side of rebellion. So I explained. Yes, I explained to him the best of the story. It is actually the true tale of Christmas. So I thought that since we are in this season, it would be righteous to share it with you.

God made man because He wanted a companion–an extension of Himself. He always wanted to be a Father instead of just a deity. He breathed into man the breath of life. Man became a living soul, the best of both worlds–spiritually enlightened, physically enticed. There was one thing missing–companionship.

You see, an attempt at righteous living without having a confidante and a fellow-pilgrim is tedious, if not impossible. Thus the true value of church–when the religious system is at its best, it offers a delightful container wherein we might rub shoulders with those who share our journey and faith.

Meanwhile, man wanted more. Because he was created in God’s image, he also desired to have partnership of his own–and also a sense of fathering. God went inside man to find woman. Even though man was created from an external source–dust of the earth–woman was extracted from the internal portions of an existing comrade. So all the ingredients of woman were already inside of man.

So you see, all attempts to try to get the sexes to converse and agree will fail miserably until we teach our young men that all the portions–tenderness, compassion and emotion–of their desired coupler already dwells within.

Woman emerged from man–she, part of him and he part of her. The centuries roll on. There came a point where the redemption of the entire world becomes necessary, not just the Jewish race. The local prophets had predicted that this redeemer would emerge from among the ranks of their own lineage. The difficulty with that proposal was the question of how this salvation for the world could be solely Jewish, but universally applied.

So God went inside woman to make the man, Jesus. He was the perfect man, not because he was mistake-free, but because he was the manifestation of what every man and woman is meant to be–a complement to each other.

So you can see, it’s because we accept Jesus as the great gift and conclusion of the human creative process that brings salvation to men and women, north and south, east and west.

The experience is no longer limited to one race of people and certainly, because it was the seed of the woman that brought forth Jesus, we are not exclusive to gender. That is why the Bible says that in the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female. There is Jesus.

  • God created man.
  • God created woman by removing her from within man.
  • God birthed Jesus by going inside a woman to find the treasure of mankind.
  • We come to Jesus to find the best of our story.

It’s why we celebrate Christmas. It isn’t a holiday–it is who we are.

Yes … we are Christmas.

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I’m One of Them … November 26, 2012

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He was very serious.

It was the kind of somber, cranky style that gives me the creeps. Maybe it’s the furrowed brow. It could be the long pauses between sentences to connote deep thought in the process of excavating some powerful piece of truth from a private cavern in his brain. I don’t know. I just don’t like it.

Here’s what he said: “The trouble with people of faith is that they like Christmas more than Good Friday–and unfortunately, our world is geared more to the latter.”

I turned it off. For you see, I was watching another talking head on TV expound upon his particular revelations–to sell a new book. When did smart become so complicated? Why can’t smart be simple? Why do we have to establish our preeminence through the surrender to sullenness?

I said to myself, I’m one of them.

Yes, I am one of those knuckle-headed “people of faith” who’s a sucker for a good baby-in-the-manger story over the mauling of a human being on a cross. Shoot me. Or better yet–cover me in tinsel.

I don’t like Christmas better than Good Friday because I’m stupid and vacant of a world vision. I like Christmas because it’s the only time of the year when we actually focus in on what Jesus really came to do instead of commemorating what he ended up accomplishing. I love Christmas because it tells us that God was smart enough to realize that commandments, voices from mountains, burning bushes, and even prophets were not getting the job done.

The message of Christmas is that God became human because human beings only speak and understand that language.

When I was a blessed man yesterday and had a chance to perform in front of the inspiring Tennesseans at Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church, I could see it in their faces. Written all over their beautiful countenances were the words, “Tell us something good.”

Even though my friend on the TV would probably call them shallow or ill-prepared to handle the tribulations of the world, I truthfully have never seen anyone who’s more prepared for battle simply because they wear armor.

So here we go–into another Christmas season. I’m on my way to North Carolina to tell people, without apology, that Christmas IS better than Good Friday.

And if we will take this season and learn the message of the angels and start spreading a little “peace on earth, good will toward men,” maybe by springtime a few less brothers and sisters … will end up crucified.

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