Sit Down Comedy … October 4th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

I don’t know if you knew this or not, but there are grown-ups and there are grown-downs. It’s rather simple:

Some people get older in an upward direction and other pilgrims use the passing of time to turn downwards.

You might ask yourself, how can you tell the difference?

1. You might just be a grown-down if you think you’re always busy.

 

2. You might be a grown-up if you consider something funny and laugh to yourself, while simultaneously knowing you can’t exactly share it out loud because the grown-downs would think you were immature.

 

3. You certainly could be a grown-down if you’re constantly finding reasons to avoid doing something that you’re pretty sure would be good but you think it makes you sound more mature if you mull over the choices and decide not to do them.

 

4. You might be a grown-up if you just keep your mouth shut if somebody actually has a good idea before you step forward and try to shoot bullets in it.

 

5. On the other hand, you could be a grown-down if you find yourself spending a lot of time sighing, crying, complaining and disapproving.

 

6. You might be a grown-up if you ignore the difficulty of the opportunities that pop up in front of you and instead, find ways to turn them into adventures in living and giving.

 

7. You really are a grown-down if you believe that politics has a chance of doing something great.

 

8. You might be a grown-up if you stop waiting for politics to solve your problems—and you, yourself, go out and do something great, or at least something that could pass for it.

 

9. You might be a grown-down if you’ve cast your allegiance to a political party.

 

10. You might be a grown-up if you’ve found a good path for yourself and demand that the political parties begin to follow you.

 

11. You might be a grown-down if you know all the diseases, conditions and allergies that just might afflict your young children.

 

12. Or maybe you’re a grown-up if you realize that those kids only remain healthy by being exposed to the life around them and developing immune systems.

 

13. You might be a grown-down if you take God real seriously and become somber whenever serving Him is brought into the conversation.

 

14. You might be a grown-up if you seriously take God into every part of your life and enjoy the hell out of Him.

 

15. You might be a grown-down if you believe that sex and romance are the same thing.

 

16. Welcome to the grown-up world when you realize that sex is for fun and romance is necessary for the heart.

 

17. You might be a grown-down if you’re too concerned about your health.

 

18. You might be a grown-up if you’ve discovered a healthy concern.

 

19. You might be a grown-down if you’re laughing less, arguing, fussing and objecting more.

 

20. You might be a grown-up if you learn to laugh over the limitations of your reasoning power.

Walking around in today’s world is similar to a mine field.

(No—that’s too dramatic.)

It’s more like strolling in a cow pasture, trying to avoid the bullshit.

(No—that’s too dark.)

Actually, it’s almost identical to walking into the room where your kids keep their toys, without your shoes on, in the dark. Because you know that somewhere, there’s something that’s not put away, and if you step on it, it’s gonna give you a nasty ouchy.

It’s kind of like what my friend, Vic, said about it:

Sometimes you know you’re a grown-down because you insist you’re a grown-up.

 

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Jesonian: Rome, Jerusalem and Antioch… July 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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streetwalking Jesus

The religious system is confused.

Confusion normally sets in when what we have set out to do fails miserably, and rather than admitting our lacking, we choose to cover it up with freshly concocted stupidity.

All the churches in the United States are desperately trying to hang on to every blade of grass to keep from falling off the cliff into oblivion.

The level of disinterest for all things spiritual is growing daily. Rather than allowing for candid reflection and legitimate repentance, a strange sense of nostalgia has set in, causing these diminishing denominations to grab on to one of two efforts: to either become more Rome or more Jerusalem.

For some it’s an issue of attempting to return to the tenets of the Mother Church in Rome and put greater emphasis on sacraments, liturgy, tradition and form. They cite statistics telling them that most people want their church services to be somber, guarded and filled with relics of childhood memories of spirituality.

  • So communion around the table becomes more important than communion of the saints.
  • Repetition of words becomes more prevalent than the repetition of our ongoing commitment to one another.

Although many of them are Protestant, they secretly yearn for a reconciliation with Catholicism.

Then there are those who think the key to expanding their spiritual borders and increasing their attendance is Jerusalem:

  • More emphasis on praise, worship, Old Testament practices and an apocalyptic geyser of predictions concerning the end of the world.
  • If you can’t make people happy, then make them glad they’re sad because they’re waiting for Jesus to come back and make everything right.

And even though Jesus continues to stand at the door of all of these churches and knock, no one opens up to him because all of them are possessed by forms of godliness while denying the power of the Gospel to transform our everyday experiences.

There is a third choice. It is characterized in the Book of Acts by a body of believers who lived in Antioch.

  • They were not Jews.
  • They were not Romans nor Greeks.

They rejected the term “Gentile” and instead embraced a new name: Christian.

It was a mocking title placed upon them by their pseudo-intellectual neighbors, referring to this new breed of thinker as “Little Jesuses.”

They liked it.

They understood that to be a follower of Jesus was to embrace the lifestyle he proclaimed in his Sermon on the Mount and in all his dealings with his fellow-humans.

The Roman church will not give us the intimacy required to show mercy to others. We’re too interested in our own absolution.

The Jerusalem church will not provide us enough Jesus of Nazareth to transform the lives of the congregation from Old Covenant to New Covenant. And looking to the eastern sky for a Second Coming eliminates a vision of the entire horizon.

We must go back to being Christians–but in the style of Antioch, not Rome or Jerusalem.

That particular position functions with two Jesonian tenets:

  1. We should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
  2. And we will love our neighbor as ourselves.

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I’m Looking For… A Pleasant Planner February 1, 2013

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listWedged somewhere between the pesky pusher and the lazy loser is the delightful individual who purposely discovers ways and means to be a pleasant planner.

Although many individuals hate to admit it,we all do realize that some sort of organization is necessary in order to avoid … well, to avoid disorganization. Life is way too short to have to constantly peer at the rear end of people who have passed you by because they had an idea on how to follow through. Here’s what to avoid in the pursuit of a goal:

1. Don’t be too serious. If joy is our strength, then nagging is our death. Being somber in an aspiration communicates dissatisfaction and certainly does nothing to recruit followers.

2. Don’t be too involved. If you have your fingers in EVERY pie, no one wants to eat your pastries. Sooner or later you have to trust people to do something even if you believe it may amount to nothing.

3. Don’t take too long. Anything that takes over an hour needs to have a reprieve. I have heard directors tout the importance of three-hour rehearsals, but I will tell you–they only got sixty minutes of productivity out of it. Every human being needs a break after the hour hand goes around once.

4. Don’t be too boring. Some propagators insist that a certain level of tedium is necessary to prove sincerity and that we’re grown up about the vision. Good luck with that.

And finally …

5. Don’t be too strict. I know the old saying is “close enough for Hoyle,” but since nobody knows what that means, could we change it to “close enough for human?” Be prepared for people to fall short. In the movies, strictness is always portrayed as wrong, annoying and punishable. You might want to take a more cinematic approach.

Here’s what I think goes into becoming a pleasant planner:

1. Keep it simple. Just about the time you think it’s too childlike, you need to knock off a couple more steps from the directions. We are human beings. We like to celebrate. Establish benchmarks along the way where partying is possible.

2. Be ready to change. Even the Ten Commandments had to be amended. God knew that we human beings would never be able to follow anything past Number 1. That’s why, at the end of the Good Book it says “love your neighbor as yourself.” If you pull that off, you have done your part.

3. Laugh at your lack. There is one certainty in every project–it will run out of both energy AND money. If you’re not prepared for that you shouldn’t begin. A good sense of humor about falling short of the glory of your aspirations is the beginning of energizing future accomplishment.

4. Have fun getting it done. When you remove the excitement from life, you take the blood out of the body. For a little while it still looks like it’s human, but gradually, without blood flow, it starts to decay and stink. If you take the pleasure out of progress, everything around you will die and develop a stench.

5. Learn and burn. Learn what works and burn away everything that doesn’t. That means that a lot of things on your original list will have to be dumped along the roadside. You only look stupid if you become sentimental about things that are no longer valuable. You look like a genius when you follow through on the plans that do bear fruit.

Yes, I am looking for a pleasant planner.

I am looking to follow someone who tells me that my burden is easy and the weight is light.

To tell people anything else is to scare them away from following and chase them down the road … into obscurity.

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Murdering Conversation… December 19, 2012

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jon-in-red-hat

“How was your birthday?”

I know I’m going to hear that. It’s why I should be prepared.

I often watch with fascination as we meticulously and ardently murder basic human conversation. We have come up with these new responses to questions which could lead to communication but instead we quickly slam the door on that option.

For example, how was my birthday?

“It was all right.” (There’s a dagger…)

“It was okay.” (Pure conversational poison…)

“Oh, I don’t like birthdays.” (A bullet in the brain…)

We think acting uncaring, unfeeling and unattached to excitement is a way of expressing that we’re just “muddling through somehow” and therefore are brave adults. It’s horrible. I think it masks an avoidance of reality or an ongoing objection about how events are playing out.

In other words, we want to demand of life that it give us many more thrilling options before we will give up our praise for the outcome. So we have the classic Mexican stand-off. Life stubbornly proclaims that we have gotten all we’re going to get, so deal with it, we screaming back that “unless you cough up more lottery winnings, we have no intention of being engaged, let alone enthralled.”

It makes people boring. We should not really be boring. After all, we have five senses. One sense should be enough to make us explode with anticipation. Five should make us delirious with happiness. Bur we medicate our emotions, murder conversation and put a lid on zeal, cautioning people that we require a certain amount of miraculous evidence about the goodness of life before we will apply our seal of approval on the activity.

This is why most churches would like to talk about worship instead of praise. Worship can be done with a forlorn countenance, mumbling some words, acting very somber and reserved. Praise demands that we alert all five of our senses and emit adulation.

If you want to cease being accused of first-degree murder of conversation, there are three things you should pepper into your dialogue every day which encourages further discourse amongst the brethren:

1. “I screwed up.” If you want to get someone’s attention–and respect–tell them how you messed something up. It doesn’t make you look stupid, it makes you look powerful that you know the difference between mediocre and better.

2. “I learned something.” Once again, you will astound the masses by using your brain to acquire knowledge rather than merely pouting over the dismal nature of your affairs.

3. “I did good.” Not okay. Not all right. Not even so-so. I attempted something, it became difficult, I saw it through, completed it and now feel fulfilled.

These statements bring conversation back from the dead. They make people want to talk to you. They include the balance of humility and victory. Don’t become a human drone, silently on your way to explode on the next enemy who dares to cross your path and disagree with you.

Stop murdering conversation. The punishment for such a crime is to be thrown into prison–a jail cell where you’re stuck with only yourself to talk to.

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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.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

I’m One of Them … November 26, 2012

(1,711)

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.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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