PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 4th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-step-careful

Step Careful

If the bugs ever organized

We would surely be dead

Executed for war crimes

Against their fallen kinsfolk

If the sky could speak

Would we hear great remorse?

Of being ignored for beauty

Then cursed for the rain

If a door might complain

Would it question our sanity?

In and out, back and forth

Please decide, scatterbrain

Yes, a horse would demand

We get off its back

A fish would certainly quibble

“Let me off the hook!”

And a road would order,

“Just keep movin'”

It is very easy to offend

More tough to amend

So be kind as you …

Step, look, open, close, ride, fish and journey

May your living bring life.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Jan 13 Make Me

Make Me

Sunshine makes me glad

Rain makes me sad

Cold can make me shiver

Insults make me quiver

Work makes me tired

Especially if I’m fired

Love can make me grin

Jealousy makes me sin

Laughter makes me glow

Tribulation makes me grow

Generosity makes me a friend

But poverty has no end

Prayer grants great assurance

But mission promotes endurance

Confidence makes me believe

Humility helps me receive

Truth makes me bold

Yet mercy makes me unfold

Teaching helps me learn

Repentance helps me turn

Renewal makes me feel

While revival makes it real

The old ways are often true

But blessing must be new

So Father of All Serene

Come and make me clean.

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Populie: We Are Blessed… November 12, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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african children with bowls bigger

Three billion people in the world live on less than $2.50 a day. That is nearly half.

46.5 million people in the United States live below the poverty line. That’s 15% of adults and 21.8% of children.

Yet we still continue to persist in the popular belief that prosperity is determined by blessing and that the evidence of sin, iniquity or evil is accentuated by the curse of being impoverished.

It is the populie:

  • If all is going well, God is with me.
  • If I face my share of adversity, God has abandoned me.

This populie is spun by the entertainment industry, which places physical beauty above the bounty of spirit.

Politics wholeheartedly believes that money is the proof of value.

And religion teaches that the prophets of old suffered persecution, while publicly insisting that a gospel of God’s favor being shown through prosperity.

But the spiritual rate of exchange in the universe is good cheer. Let me relate a story.

When a Christian adoption organization went into Central America to attempt to raise funds for the children, who were ravaged by inadequacy and financial desperation, all of the pictures of the little ones were peppered with smiles. They finally had to teach them how to frown in order for the cameras to convey the desperate message to the hard-hearted Americans.

The reason the children were so delighted–aside from the fact that this was the way they had learned to live–was that one of the camera men had wrapped a large rock in duct tape, and the children were suddenly blessed with a soccer ball.

America has become both paranoid and neurotic over its own greed. Because we have made beauty and money the center of our consciousness, we are incapable of being satisfied with anything less.

Even though good cheer is the only true way to overcome all circumstances and to react to all benefits, we allow ourselves the luxury of being depressed when confronted with difficulty and produce a phony sense of joy when we win the lottery. Yet a followup on most lottery winners shows that it fails to bring contentment, but rather, conflict and destitution.

So the fact of the matter is, it is impossible to attain sanity without eliminating craziness. And if you believe that the sun coming out on your wedding day means approval for your union, and rain falling on the same occasion might be an omen from God of pending disaster, then your next stop will probably be medication for your depression or ending up in a loony bin.

The only way to truly be blessed as a human being is to receive what is provided, find a way to work with it and maintain a sense of balance and good cheer.

If I were to look in the mirror to determine my value, I might end up suicidal.

If I ascertained the presence of God in my life by my financial take-in this year, I would probably believe myself abandoned.

But this has been one of the greatest years of my life–because the trial of my faith has taught me patience, which has allowed me to learn how to have good cheer in all realms.

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Quatrain of the Desert … February 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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desert

Neither lush nor green

Blooming alive with less

Absent the pouring rain

Warm in my sun

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G-11: Mad, Sad, Glad … February 14, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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  • We feel safe.Titanic
  • We made it.
  • The thunder rolled, the winds blew by and the rain ceased.

We’re standing on dry land, having escaped another near-disaster, feeling no repercussions whatsoever from the disruption–just grateful to be alive.

Little do we know that this is the most dangerous juncture in life. It is when we accidentally carry the anxiety of the previous encounter into the future, without realizing that the residue is hanging from us.

Yes, we are still mad: “It ain’t right.”

Or maybe sad: “It ain’t fair.”

But the once-confident spirit that propelled us into deeper and deeper adventures of faith is now making us cautious. We accept this new profile under the guise of being “well-seasoned,” But actually, we are not the same.

We have lost a bit of the joy that makes us the people we are, and when we realize it, we become defensive, insisting that nothing has changed.

What is the countenance of the average person you see on the street, when they don’t realize they’re being observed? A mad frown? A sad droop? Or maybe a blending of the two?

If maturity depresses us, then what is the purpose of growing older?

How can we overcome the extra destruction done by the storms of life which inflict unseen damage to our foundation? We gotta be honest: just because we’re standing on dry land does not mean we have escaped being drenched in worry.

We want to reach glad. We want to escape the sensation of “it ain’t right” and “it ain’t fair,” to arrive at a jubilant feeling of good cheer: “It ain’t gonna kill me.”

Sometimes we think projecting a brave front is a sign of our willingness to avoid doubt. But actually, acknowledging that the trials and tribulations that came our way did impact us but were unable to destroy us is the best way to escape the madness and the sadness.

For after all, mad people are cocked and ready to strike out at others, who unwittingly trigger aggravating memories.

And sad people are ill-prepared to enter into new relationships which certainly will require a bit of adjustment and forgiveness.

It isn’t just about surviving–it’s about surviving and candidly admitting how amazing and miraculous it was to be rescued. And then, to have the sense of humor to progress, keeping an eye on our motives, and healing our wounds instead of hiding them.

I am glad. This does not mean that everything is all right. It does not mean that I was saved from all the ravages of my temptations without any casualties. It means I lived. And in living, I am open to the dual process of inner healing and outer expressions of creativity.

Beware–being placed in the lifeboat is miraculous.

But it does not mean you will avoid horrible memories of the sinking vessel and fleeting trepidations to sail again.

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Tanks of Thanks … November 21, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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tanksBefore we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing, performing our hastening and chastening–yes, just prior to going through the normal list of fundamentals of gratitude with family, friends, finance, faith and freedom–and certainly just short of chomping down on that first bite of turkey and taking a crescent roll to sop up the gravy, may I suggest that we quickly consider and review some lesser-known blessings that often escape inclusion in the quick prayer uttered for Thanksgiving dinner?

1. Of the 12,420 diseases known to man, I have successfully negotiated myself through another year of avoiding most of them. (It appears I am somewhat immune).

2. I am happy to report that I squeaked by from 76 near-collisions in traffic, making it possible for me to not have a “bender in my fender.”

3. Interestingly enough, I almost tripped 54 times without falling on my face–or any other body part, for that matter.

4. Are you ready for this? I successfully found my keys 243 times without cussing.

5. I rejoice in the fact that I have had more good night’s sleep than not.

6. I am not too much fatter than last year.

7. How about this one? I didn’t get audited.

8. I was not caught sleeping during Sunday sermon.

9. My family is mostly healthy.

10. Much to my glee, I didn’t have the job of explaining the government to anybody.

11. I ate some delicious fish, poultry, beef, pork and seafood without feeling too guilty around my granddaughter, who now insists she’s a vegetarian.

12. Laughed more than I cried.

13. More “car running” than “car repair.”

14. Said hello more to new friends than good-bye to old ones.

15. I am delighted to note that I prayed more than I cursed.

16. I learned more than I forgot.

17. Praised more than I complained.

18, Believed more than I doubted.

19. More sunshine than rain.

20. And finally, even though I sometimes acted like a turkey, I still kept my head on this Thanksgiving.

My dear brothers and sisters, I have tanks of thanks.

All I can say is: Dear God, come and fill ‘er up.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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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

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Peter Thomas … April 21, 2013

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I speak boldly in the shadows and whisper in the light

I proclaim the goodness of God, yet pout when it rains

I am a fisher of men, trapped in my own net

I pray for miracles while growing weary in well-doing

I am a voice crying in the wilderness, complaining of a sore throat

I hurl rocks at the castle and quickly run away before the giant eats me

I love my neighbor in theory as I challenge him on the facts

I am outraged by the atheist while frequently ignoring God

I believe in the whole Bible and dust it off each month

I am the beckoned explainer who arrives confused

I am the singer of the hymn and the doubter of Him

I am an insecure expression of belief

I am a concession of faith

I am Peter, the preacher

And Thomas, the tongue-tied

I am both, as ordained to be

For too much faith makes me obnoxious

And an abundance of doubt renders me powerless

I am as God would have me

Sentenced to be an exclamation point

Sitting next to a question mark

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