PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 13th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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To Truly Be

by Jonathan Ric

Three boys sit at my table

Too young to consider much

The world swirls around them

They need to develop some trust

What shall I suggest to them?

What truths are unscathed from the warfare of compromise?

Shall I tell them not to lie when lying is a national pastime?

Will they believe that being kind is possible for our race?

Or will they watch the atrocities committed in the name of God and country?

Will they honor women as equals and make amends

Or leer and jeer at the lasses, declaring them stupid with their careless friends?

Is the Golden Rule for saints

As gold, ruling the world, is touted as worth?

Can I teach them not to cheat when it seems that cheaters prosper?

Can I speak to them of God when others deny He lives?

Can they learn the power of humility and all the true grace it gives?

Do I have the courage to differ from the passive horde of sheep?

Or is my soul slowly dying and my conscience falling asleep?

I pass the food around the table ​and look at the young men before me

It’s time to shine

It’s a season of reason

Dear God, grant to me

The willingness to truly be

Our reader today is Jasson. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with three sons and his wife, Deahna

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Check Us Out … August 4, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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boy tying shoelaces

If you tell us we can’t, we’ll do it more

Tell us we can–why bother?

Surround us with love, we might prosper

Surround us with hate, we just might discover love.

Give us less and we start nurturing abundance

Give us abundance, we are drained of the energy to excel

Preach a sermon, we go to sleep

Produce a vision, we wake up prepared

Tell us we’re great and we’ll develop an attitude

Tell us it’s impossible and we just scratch the itch

Steal our heart, we fight back

Mess with our mind, we get revenge by thinking

Steal our soul, we create God

Laugh at us, we push harder

Believe in us, we may bring you along

Our colors don’t matter

Our nations are just land

Our religion is a process of hope

Our dreams are ever-changing sunrises

Ours is a family–a race of becomers

We are human

It’s up to us

We can’t walk on water

But we sure as hell will try

We have the power to welcome or deny our Creator

We are cast to Earth but not destined for mere mischief

We are …

What we are willing to be

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New Year’s Restorations … January 1, 2013

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jonatpool

Unless you become like little children, you will find it difficult to discover God.

I’ve heard that before. It sounds like one of those old adages. Do I believe it? Absolutely not. I want to be considered a “grown-up.” I want maturity brought up in any description of my character.

But I do have to stop on this New Year’s Day and ask myself what good things maturity has given me. The dearth of positive answers causes me to return to that notion of becoming like a little child.

Maybe the whole key to the passage of human life is to take the first twenty years and learn how everything works, the next twenty years to figure out what you can do to make a living and prosper within that system and all the rest of your life to go back to living like a little child–with your profits. What a great idea.

So how do I do that?

I decided to deal with the top six things that haunt us with this specter of “adultism.” Whenever these subjects are brought up, we clear our throats, deepen our voices and begin with some sort of preliminary speech about “such things are not easy to discuss…”

The six subjects are:  God, violence, sex, work, money and politics. Not in any particular order.

I realized last night that I’ve been force-fed old thinking on each one of these issues. Some of the thoughts are just “safe.” Some of the ideas have been tried, tested and have failed but are still kept around because…I don’t know. Maybe we already bought the promotional material for them. But even though I have no intention of making resolutions, I do plan to spend the next 365-day jaunt attempting to make restorations.  Yes–to restore a child-like vision on each of these six “monsters under my bed” without becoming childish.

Would you mind coming along for six days? I will handle each one of them, offering my limited insight and humble opinion. Because if there is any truth to the statement that we need to “become as little children to find God,” most of us are certainly driving off in the wrong direction. So let me pick for tomorrow.

Let me see …what is my new child-like approach to violence?

Of course, the supreme example of this is Jesus, who was given a cross–and since he was, then he turned it into salvation.

Layovers–you can either take the time to look at your watch … or use the time to watch and look.

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I Decided to Read It… November 30, 2012

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Having some time on my hands, I stopped off in the parking lot of a Food Lion Grocery Store and chose to enjoy doing a little reading.

While sitting there helplessly in my van, I was approached by two fellows walking through the parking lot, peering for potential prospects. I thought they would want some money, so I reached for my wallet, rolled down my window and discovered that instead of being homeless, they were out trying to find the “churchless.”

They explained that they were concerned for my soul. It was interesting that they didn’t even inquire how my soul was doing. Apparently they could tell by looking at me that I was  lost. They handed me some literature–without a smile–and invited me out to their church, which had some Old Testament name which included a salute to a minor prophet. They went on their way.

Normally, I stuff such information into a glove compartment to rediscover it six months later during a thorough cleaning of the van. But I decided to read it. There were seven things that this particular gospel tract wanted me to know.

  1. I am a sinner.
  2. I am presently going to hell.
  3. Jesus came to die for my sins.
  4. Without his blood, I am disgusting in God’s eyes.
  5. But if I accept Jesus, I can receive eternal life.
  6. Then I should go to church and worship God.
  7. And give my tithe to the church as evidence of my faith.

Forgive me. I was unimpressed.

The offer was not very satisfying–mainly because it wasn’t on point with any of my dreams and desires. So I came up with my own format for a gospel tract. See if you like it.

  1. I want to do better. (I don’t think I’m alone here…)
  2. I want to prosper. (I know I’m not alone there…)
  3. I want to give everybody a chance. (I may have just lost a few travelers…)
  4. I really want to learn what’s right. (Several more deserters…)
  5. I want to honor God by loving people. (May be getting down to a party of five but still get the egg roll….)
  6. I want to start heaven now and let God surprise me with His rendition. (Renewed interest from the gallery…)
  7. I want to have fun doing it. (I just got my crowd back!)

I don’t begrudge anyone their faith. It’s just that I believe faith shouldn’t look like you just came from the dentist and discovered that Walgreen’s is completely out of the pain medication you were prescribed.

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“My God-given American right…” July 3, 2012

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I read it off a bumper sticker on the back of a puke-green, mud-splattered pick-up truck. So you know it has to be true. Yes, I am back in Dixie, where all chicken is fried, all biscuits are covered with gravy and all truths are simple.

I love the south–at least, many things about it. There is a quiet hospitality available at the root of its motivation. But I’ve always been uncomfortable with any group of people who too closely mingle God and country. Historically, it’s proven to be a nasty mixture–whether it was the Roman Empire trying to make Caesar divine, or Hitler manifesting a super-race. Whenever nationalism and spirituality tango, the result is a tangled mess.

But the bumper sticker did get me thinking. Are there any “God-given, American rights?” Are there any standards, beliefs and guarantees granted to each of us simply because we were created by God and born in the United States?

I came up with a list of seven. I believe that if you listen to them carefully and follow them fervently, you will discover that a universal unction of benefit will be provided your way. They don’t really have much to do with our Bill of Rights, which tends to create more debate than progress, but rather, are the careful blending of the heart of God with the will of our nation.

1. You have the God-given American right to get as much liberty as you’re willing to give. Liberty is a slippery slope. You are completely free to seek it–as long as you’re willing to grant it to others. The minute you limit the possibility of another citizen, that measure will be measured back to you.

2. You have the God-given American right to prosper as you work and multiply your talents. There is no reason to believe that laziness or a sense of entitlement will provide for your common needs. There is also no scenario where continuing to do the same things repetitively will increase your coffers. You must work, keeping an eye on ways to expand.

3. You have a God-given American right to be loved exactly at the level with which you love. The minute we begin to believe that certain people are attractive, colorized correctly or financially solvent enough to receive more attention, our whole system of government and belief fall apart.

4. You have the God-given American right to be given to–at the rate you give. One of the “rules of the jungle” in human behavior is the precept that selfish people eventually get starved out. We tend to give to people who give. At first it may not seem that way. There may be the deceptive appearance that greedy people actually achieve success more quickly. But that’s only because those who are plotting revenge against them need time to perfect their plan.

5. You have the God-given American right to receive blessing if you’re willing to survive hassle. Blessing is not a portion provided for those who whine, complain or pout. Blessing is built into the natural order, to be the prize given to those individuals who stop resisting change, find a way to conquer the hassles that come along and introduce inventive ideas.

6. You have the God-given American right to be included as long as you believe that “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Even though the principle is a bit simplistic, and I suppose, deemed arguable by disagreeable people, any other approach creates too many prejudices that shut the door to others–thus eventually shutting the door to ourselves.

7. And finally, you have the God-given American right to respect your heavenly Father, honor Mother Earth, and live at peace with your sisters and brothers. Fussy children spend most of their available hours in “time out.” Yes, life has time out. When you’re not willing to give place to God, honor to Mother Earth and respect to your brothers and sisters, you will spend a lot of your earth journey missing out on opportunity, eating your peas and carrots without dessert.

So there you go. On this day before the 236th birthday of our country, you have my particular list of our God-given American rights. Forgive me if I left out some favorites–like brattiness, indifference, provincialism, regionalism, nationalism, political parties or religious intolerance. The truth is, certain trends may be given a podium and an ear for a season, but history tells us that they eventually will be snuffed out by the desire of the people and the intelligent will of God.

So take heart. Receiving our God-given American rights takes a little more than dropping a buck on the desk at a convenience store and picking up a bumper sticker and slapping it on the back of your favorite ride. It means being prepared to give everybody else what you want.

It means being human … and allowing others to do the same.

   

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