PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 15th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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He Forgot

He forgot to say thanks

Accused of misuse

She ignored subtle pranks

Suffered wicked abuse

He slept through the dream

And lost a better chance

She sat on the hay

And missed the next dance

He laughed at the warning

And drowned in defeat

She snoozed through the morning

And gave up her seat

He prayed for the sinner

Rejecting the single one

She mocked the latest winner

And never birthed her son

He shouted in the hallway

And left without learning

She heeded the bitcher’s say

The world just kept turning

He forgot

She ignored

Many were shot

I implored

For wisdom is everywhere

For those who watch

And dare to care

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 8th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3485)

One

One common face

For the human race

One blessed mind,

Seek, you will find

Man, woman, child

Meek, kind, mild

One Earth school

Teach the Golden Rule

One way to see

Human souls are free

One Father dear

Be of good cheer

One Son to hear

Lose all your fear

One Spirit within

Frees us all of sin

One way to truth

Our joy is living proof

One life to live

One heart to give

One sweet confession

Relieve dark depression

One trial of lies

A King on the rise

Yes, one conquering people

Gather beneath the steeple

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Fast Feet … September 19, 2012

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The commentator was insistent. He wanted each and every listener to understand that the quarterback was having trouble because he had lost his confidence. Furthermore, he knew the quarterback had lost his confidence because he had “fast feet–happy feet.”

The commentator pointed by pointing out that in one of the replays, this fine athlete, who had a history of being very proficient, was failing on this evening because he couldn’t stay in the pocket, stand firm and throw the ball, but instead was responding to the pressure by dancing about and looking for an escape. It made sense.

Human beings do require a certain amount of confidence. This is undeniable. But the confidence has to be based on something rational as opposed to mere intangibles or hopes and dreams. Otherwise we get dancing feet, fast feet or happy feet–take your pick.

If we go back to that list of the seven things that God hates, the next one is “feet that are swift to mischief“–fast feet.

Are we just talking about bad humans here, who are always looking for a new high or a way of escape? Not at all. Here’s a definition of mischief: “I have lost my mission and I’m chasing other people’s ideas.”

That’s when we get in trouble–when we lose our faith in the portion that has been provided for us and believe it to be insufficient, and then we start trying to wrangle new ideas which are out of our scope, beyond our comprehension or even detrimental to our values. After all, the person who says I’ll try anything probably ends up doing so and always arrives at a place of defeat.

What is my job? My job is to ask to receive my mission. Ask who? Three different individuals:

  • Ask God. God’s answer is always located in the reality of what He’s already given you.
  • Ask yourself. That answer always comes in the quality of your work and the confidence you have in doing it.
  • Ask others you trust. That answer will be given to you in the impact you have on their lives and what the depth is that they feel you impart to them.

When you combine those three answers, you end up with your mission. Then, when you have your mission, you should seek to find your best adventure.

This is where most people lose their way. I think there are many fellow-travelers who actually do discover their mission, but the available venue for them to pursue their particular adventure seems so insignificant and small that they lose faith and think they must have been wrong about their calling.

Do not despise small beginnings.

It it’s NOT small, it is probably a passing fad which will be yanked out from under you just when you’ve made a start. The best adventure is the possibility that comes your way which immediately allows you to start your mission–not in two years; not later on in life. Now. Remember, the scripture on faith in the book of Hebrews begins with the word “now.” Faith is never expressed in the future, but rather, manifested by making a beginning in the present.

Consider this: faith with works is alive.

And finally, knock on the doors around you until you open an opportunity to do your mission with the best quality possible. None of us are going to escape sales. Even if you don’t seek it out as an occupation, you will still find yourself doing some of it to gain the breath to exhale your abilities to the world around you.

So, this is how we plant our feet firmly, ready to deliver the ball. Without this, we get fast feet–we borrow other people’s philosophies, which is not that different from using their toothbrush. We look for what is most popular instead of what is historically lasting. We grant ourselves permission to flirt with sin and ill-advised activity, proclaiming that we can handle it and know exactly how far to go.

We are pursuing mischief. Mischief is when I have denied my portion and I keep trying out everybody else’s portion.

The Bible says God hates it. Why? Why should He care about such an insignificant, immature choice? Because He loves us and the pursuit of mischief makes us look stupid, careless, insecure, frustrated and without the ability to bear the fruit that obviously comes from our own efforts. People who have “fast feet” towards mischief state, “I am better than my mission.”

And what is my mission?

  1. What I can do.
  2. What needs to be done.
  3. A starting point.

I arrived in Gas City, Indiana, last night. Only fifteen folks showed up. I had a choice–was I going to try to adjust my feet to the number of individuals who occupied the seats and come up with a compromise towards my mission, or was I going to stay faithful to what I am able to do, find out what needed to be done with these fifteen folks and jump in to a starting point?

It’s really that simple. My surroundings will change. My circumstances will be altered. My hopes will be tainted. My faith will be challenged. My mission must remain the same–otherwise I find myself with “dancing feet,” running towards mischief.

God hates fast feet because they run away from true ability to try to find temporary success in mischief. So what will today hold for me? How about you?

I have no idea. But the only way to guarantee the purity of each and every moment is to stay on mission and avoid those “dancing, happy, fast feet” which cause me to chase a portion that was never meant to be mine.

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Don’t Get Confused … July 17, 2012

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Driving along on Interstate 40 towards Knoxville, Tennessee, I was confronted with a billboard which read, “Where will you spend eternity?”

I had an immediate answer. “I don’t know.”

Now, before you start trying to evangelize me to grant me eternal security and awareness of my heavenly destination, let me explain that I do have aspirations, desires and even requests on where I would like to spend the afterlife. But since Jesus, himself, told us to”make sure our hearts were not troubled on the issue, and we only have stories, promises and opinions, I think it could be considered a classic waste of time to deliberate such a question. Matter of fact, I will go so far as to say it is the festering sore on the backside of humankind–our preoccupation with the future, life after death and what’s going to happen next. I have written on this issue many times, but I continue to be surrounded by those who feel it is all right for them to be inconsiderate in the moment as long as they are pursuing a path to consider what is best in the future.

It’s annoying.

I would like to set this to rest. I think to be halted between two opinions–one being that humans have complete free will and the other contention that there is a perfect will of God in which we all should try to center our lives–is what makes us totally inept, if not comical. I guess I don’t care which side you choose, but I would request that you cease to believe that humans have free will and then continue to worry about what God may have in store for the future.

If I have free will, there IS no future. It has yet to be determined by my next action. Even if you want to believe that God is all-knowing about what I will do next, you must admit that if He is going to honor His system, He somehow or another has to at least pretend that He is experiencing my choice for the first time.

But I’m not concerned about God’s part in this process, but rather, my involvement. We should be suspicious of destiny–a philosophy that really found its origin in fairy tales and is now being introduced into the realm of basic human logic and interaction. Perhaps Snow White was always meant to be a Queen–or was that Cinderella?  Perhaps they were pre-destined and merely went through some obstacles to be rescued in the end and reinstated to their purposes. But that’s why they call it a fairy tale–because it’s not true.

I am not destined to be anything. Even though I’ve lived a life of being a father, a writer, a composer and traveling troubadour, if I want to, I can go out and take a rifle and kill twelve people tomorrow–and become known as a serial killer. I can choose that. I can select to change my image at my own will–and it isn’t because I was destined to eventually become a serial killer. It’s because my gift of free will allows me to be spiritually motivated instead of manipulated. Yes, I choose to love God instead of loving God because He chooses me to do so.

So I just wanted to take a few moments today to see if I can help you to get through this nasty piece of confusion that continues to insult humanity by introducing falsehoods and fairy tales into what could be a really exciting life.

1. There is no destiny. There’s just opportunity. Once you comprehend that life is about asking, seeking and knocking instead of sitting, watching and waiting, you not only begin to fathom the power of the gospel of Jesus, but you actually tap into the natural energy and karma in our world. What happens next is how effectively I use what I have to my advantage.

2. There are no thoughts–just thoughtful. This is why Jesus told his disciples to “take no thought for the morrow.” How do I get myself in trouble? When when I have down time, begin to analyze my situation and how it relates to my perceived future. I become frantic, I worry, I may even tear up because I think there’s a futility to my pursuits. In my ridiculous nature, I might consider these times to be rich with ideas and introspection, but really, it’s a complete waste of time, because unless I use this particular moment effectively, my thoughts will take me nowhere but despair. I will tell you of a certainty that no one ever thinks himself into repentance. Nobody ever thinks himself into rejuvenation. We just normally think ourselves into a tizzy. That’s why the beautiful brain you’ve been given is supposed to conjure ideas about how to be thoughtful–right now. How can I express, in a physical way, my feelings of joy to the world around me–in this second? That’s what the brain is for. If you hire your mind to do anything else other than act in the moment’s possibility, it begins to think it has more power than it was intended to possess. No thoughts, my friend. Just thoughtful.

3. And finally, no future. Just now. There is no future. What is going to happen tomorrow is being determined right now by my choices. God comes along for the ride. It is similar to the game we used to play with our children when we told them that they could make all the decisions for the day–where we were going to go, what we were going to eat and what we were going to do. For this particular exercise in fun to succeed, we had to get rid of all of our adult preconceptions, become childlike and go for it. This is exactly what God does. Our Father, who has given us life, does not suddenly snatch it back from us when we begin to make choices that are different from what He might consider to be fruitful.

There is either free will or we are creatures of pre-destination. The in-between state that we try to propagate in our pop culture not only is erroneous, but causes us to run into walls in the dark. I am deciding the future by my choices in the present. It’s as simple as that.

I had a new grandson born last week. What will he become? Well, some folks get that far-off look in their eyes and say, “It’s in God’s hands.”  It isn’t. It’s in his mama’s and papa’s, family’s, friends’–and mostly, it’s in his own hands. What little Johann is going to turn out to be is eventually going to be up to emerging Johann.

And hopefully, if we learn to respect our humanity and the power of our lives, in that process we will often stumble into the whims of God. There is no future–just now.

So I don’t want you to get confused. And even though there are those who will argue with this position, in the midst of their discourse about my error in theology or reasoning, they will collide into so many contradictions that they will eventually end their report by saying, “Well, much of it is a mystery.”

Feel free to pursue life as a mystery–but please allow me and others like myself to pursue it as an adventure. In the long run, you will understand that an adventure is much preferable to a mystery.

Don’t get confused. There is no destiny, just opportunity; no thoughts, just being thoughtful, and no future–just now.

So go and enjoy your day, knowing that it is truly your day, and it is one that God has made available for you–to revel in your free will.

   

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