PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 18th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3548)

Easy Peasy

Easy peasy

Cakes and pies

Japanesey

Tell no lies

Raise the sun

Say a prayer

Night is done

Prove you care

Then one morn

I awoke

Dreams stillborn

Plans a joke

Doctoring fear

And nursing pain

Nothing’s clear

Shrill, insane

Where’s the promise

Of the Most High

Do I mingle praise

With the tears I cry

I like it quaint

Like any good saint

Follow the verse

Remove the curse

But now I feel all alone

A nasty storm has me blown

Where’s the favor

I once received

From my savior

In whom I believe

Easy peasy

Has flown away

Leaving me queasy

To stomach the day

 

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Good News and Better News … September 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2692)

Gooe news Reedsburg

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding.

I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

Yesterday morning, I was in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Since your travel plans probably don’t have you going there in the near future, let me tell you that it is a quaint, Midwestern town and that my experience was delightful and insightful.

I found people who still possessed an inspirational ilk.

They believe in the belief of believing.

They still contend that belief stimulates the joy of true believing.

Let me tell you a little bit about them:

1. They don’t want to give up.

Even though they’re fully aware of the dangers of our society, they insist that there are still many ways of escaping the insanity, while still recognizing reality.

2. They hope there is a God.

They are not so arrogant as to stomp around the room, insisting they have been to Mt. Heaven and had dinner with the Divine. Their expression of confidence lies in a hope that a Heavenly Father is still working with human beings.

3. They want to do something.

It’s not so much that our generation is lazy, as that we are paralyzed with fear and mocked by those who are convinced that nothing can be done. “Give me something to do” is probably the best five-word phrase that can fall off the lips of any human being. That doesn’t mean we don’t trust God or believe in His grace–it’s just our simple way of thanking Him for sending mercy our way.

So even though I found these Reedsburg folks to be delightful and insightful to my life, I was very pleased to bring them even better news.

I told them:

A. God wants to be human

God has no desire for us to become more religious, more heavenly or even more angelic. He came to Earth in the form of Jesus to make it clear that He loves human beings and wants to see if we can learn how to do this better.

B. God knows we are all made of heart.

We had several breakthroughs yesterday–they were all emotional realizations, not scriptural translations. We are creatures who add to our faith by feeling, lest we become boring and discouraged.

C. If you share your life, miracles will follow.

Certainly some of the best parts of the service yesterday were when people opened their mouths and their life poured out. God doesn’t want us to be perfect, God wants us to be honest.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stop-off in Reedsburg. I hope they did, too. And I hope they remember … no amount of prayer to the heavens is equal to a simple conversation and confession to one another.

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Confessing … August 8th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2656)

XIV.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

When I began this series on confessing, I made a private covenant with my ego to avoid revealing current events and basically stay focused on sins of the past, long ago resolved.

But unfortunately, I continue to transgress.

I travel on the road.

That’s what I do right now because it’s my way to try to speak some simplicity into the complexity of our world, and sanity into the raging din.

Arriving at my lodging on Monday, I found myself disgruntled. It is summertime, so motels and suites are more expensive, and therefore my budget does not allow me to stay in the top-of-the-line institutions, but rather, places me in Mom and Pop establishments, which are often a mixed bag.

Usually I have pretty good perspective.

For instance, I don’t call the carpet “shabby,” but rather, “quaint.”

I don’t refer to the furniture as being “outdated,” but rather, “antiques.”

But for some reason, this particular week I was fussy. I didn’t like the room. Rather than considering it spacious, I thought it was convoluted.

It put me in a mode: “I’m feeling sorry for myself.”

That sentiment is the soil for the seed of all iniquity. If you catch it early enough, you can keep it from going any further, but I was in no mood to be introspective, so I went to Phase 2: “I feel like blaming you.”

Self-pity never allows me to take any responsibility, so we grab the closest innocent victim and thrust him or her into the role of the villain and the source of all inconvenience–and that particularly dastardly profile was placed on my partner, Janet Clazzy.

So I growled at her a little bit. I expressed my superiority to the meager station of my surroundings. Since she’s the one who acquired the room, it was obviously her fault that they had not changed the paneling since the Eisenhower Administration.

We argued.

It wasn’t really an argument–just a general “blooming onion” of complaint, which had no real center to it, and therefore, no completion.

Shortly after finishing my griping, I went into the third phase: “I’m feeling stupid.”

This is the most important phase. From this point of feeling stupid we can either move to repentance–or we can simply recycle and start all over again with “I’m feeling sorry for myself.”

Matter of fact, I will tell you that a good portion of the population lives in a meaningless, constant circle of feeling sorry for themselves, blaming others, feeling stupid to return to feeling sorry for themselves.

It must have been a good day, because fortunately, rather than feeling stupid and going for another try at feeling sorry for myself, I repented.

I apologized.

And it was amazing how quickly the room went back to being a room instead of a prison cell.

I am the master of my own destiny. No one’s calling the shots but me. If the shots suck, it’s because I suck–not having the sense to avoid feeling sorry for myself … insisting that I got screwed over.

 

confessing room

 

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WITHIN

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Tabling the Talk … March 16, 2012

 

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Martin wasn’t sure whether he had died or was just experiencing a dream brought on by consuming an extra-large pizza from Fatty Joey’s with pineapple, green olives and extra anchovies. Whatever it was, it happened in a quaint coffee shop. (“Quaint” used to mean a comfortable sense of being homey–but now has been demoted and refers to anything perceived as sub-standard.)

In the rear of the coffee shop was a booth with a person sitting, back to Martin, waiting. Well, at least, in this particular vision, he felt this individual was waiting for him. So he strolled back, looking around and found himself staring into the face of a beautiful woman–long blond hair, youthful, voluptuous, and quite engaging.

She reached out her hand and said, “Hello, there. I’m God.”

Martin demonstrated a bit of trepidation over the introduction, so the woman laughed at his reaction.

“What?” She-God asked. “You didn’t think I would be a woman? Do you have a problem with that?”

Martin mused for a moment and replied, “No. Not that you’re a woman. I’m just a little afraid for myself–that I’ll end up staring at your legs.”

The feminine Divinity replied, “Would you like this better?”

Suddenly, before his eyes, “she” transformed into a “he,” now resembling the forty-eight-year old son of the pairing of Danny DeVito and Margaret Thatcher. “Is this better?”

Martin slid down into the booth and said, “Well, at least no danger of lust.”

God continued. “What is it you want, Martin?”

Martin was prepared for the question–because Martin spent much of his time contemplating what he wanted. The unfortunate by-product of that process was that he was often discontented and fretful about what he didn’t have. “I want to be rich.”

“Good,” said God. “What are you presently doing with your money?”

“I don’t have any money,” Martin replied.

“Oops,” said God. “We  just started lying. You have money–you just don’t think it’s enough, so you kind of pinch your pennies until they scream at you. Is that about right?”

“I would do better if I had more, ” said Martin.

God smiled. “That’s what everybody thinks. But actually, human beings don’t do any more with much than they’ve already done with less. So what else do you want?”

Martin paused, partially because he wasn’t sure what to bring up next, and also a bit stung by his first request being dismissed in such a cavalier way. “Okay,” said Martin. “I want to be famous.”

“How do you bless those who already know you?” God asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” said God, “I would assume you would want to use your fame to make the world a better place, so I was wondering how you are making the world a better place for the people you already know, before I put millions of people at your mercy.”

“Forget that,” said Martin. “I just want to be more attractive. If I were more attractive, I could probably handle getting the fame on my own.”

God squinted and then queried, “Have you ever thought about bathing and combing your hair?”

“What!?” Martin replied, deeply offended.

“No, don’t get me wrong,” God said, “I am not suggesting you are absent of hygiene. Just how wonderful it feels to be cleansed and straightened up. Makes us all feel more attractive, don’t you think?”

Martin sighed. “Okay, Mr. Picky. You probably won’t have any trouble with this one. I would just like to live a full, long life.”

“Well, let me ask you a question,” God said. “Why do you get so tired?”

“Well,” said Martin, “I guess I get tired because I’m getting older.”

“I see.” God massaged His chin. “So you think you could live a long life without getting older?”

Martin was perturbed. “Are you just here to annoy me?” he asked. “What’s wrong with being rich, famous, attractive and given longevity?”

God fired right back. “Why don’t you want to be creative, generous, loving and funny? These are actually preferable.”

Martin scooted forward, with a burst of sudden confidence. “Listen, Mr. Almighty. If I lived a long time and was very attractive, had fame and great riches, don’t you see? Then I would have time and resource to BE creative, generous, loving and funny.” Martin leaned back in the booth, satisfied that he had scored a point.

God sat quietly, took a sip of His coffee, and said nothing. Martin smirked. “So I gotcha, right? I have made a case which you can’t respond to.”

“I can respond,” said God. “It’s just that you won’t like it.”

“Well, I haven’t liked anything you’ve said so far, so why should that stop you now?” said Martin nastily.

God took a deep breath and began. “Riches make you worried and selfish. Fame makes you defensive. Being attractive makes you insecure because you never know why people truly do love you. And living a long time just increases the number of days you have to be with yourself. They are all curses unless they are enhanced by you being creative, generous, loving and funny.”

God paused for a moment and then concluded, “I’ve enjoyed our talk. I was wondering if you would mind picking up the check on the coffee, and I also ate one of the crullers. I don’t have my wallet with me.” Martin nodded. Part of him knew that God was right, even though he was a little surprised that the King of Kings stuck him with the check. 

A bit of whirling of the head, some achiness of the body, and Martin found himself awakening his own bed–it had all been an apparition of the night. He belched, revisiting a bit of fishy pineapple from the previous evening’s escapades. He rose from his bed, took a shower, combed his hair and started down the stairs, whistling a tune from an old Dave Clark Five record that just popped into his memory.

He was off to begin a new day … wanting nothing.

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

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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