Salient…June 25th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3714)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Shall we take a look at a fascinating window of time that occurs in all human beings, from birth to about five years of age? Each one of us is so vulnerable, so needy, so inquisitive and so desperate that we are prepared to be taught to be Earth-dwellers by our parents. Sometimes this extends all the way up to age ten.

Three very intricate systems are introduced: manners, morals and motivation.

This is the period when we develop our ethics–perhaps a work ethic or a social one, but certainly a mental gear we adopt to deal with life and with others.

Most generally this instruction is completed by age eleven, because here comes puberty. For the average parent puberty can be best defined as this: “My children have lost their hearing in favor of their genitals.”

It is difficult to provide additional instruction during this period. Sometimes after a serious error, there will be a brief season of curiosity from the adolescent, but then the trio of temptation, taunting and teasing pulls them right back into the melee of mayhem.

This lasts until about age twenty-five. (Of course, it could be twenty-two, or thirty, depending on the person. But for the sake of this brief essay, I shall characterize it as twenty-five.)

At twenty-five young folks wake up–sometimes after a hangover or after getting their first threatening letter from a bill collector for their student loans, or perhaps realizing they might be in love.

A realization strikes: “Maybe me, an individual, could become us, a family.”

So three new friends show up to invigorate manners, morals and motivation. They are concern, confidence and clever.

We, as humans, develop a legitimate concern for others while building confidence and finding clever ways to use what we have more expansively.

It is a massive transition–a needful one. Without it, many young persons never become actual adults at all, but linger around their families, particularly their parents, coming back for another schooling in morals, manners and motivation.

This concern, confidence and clever births some children, buys a house, acquires job promotions and takes us, as people, to about the age of fifty. (Once again, this could be younger or a little older.)

At fifty, having tapped the fruit of concern, confidence and clever, people want more. There is a wrinkle in the spirit of human beings which causes them to wistfully wish to make a difference and leave behind a legacy.

It is at this point that we pursue wit, words and wisdom. It carries us through to our dying breath.

Yet we certainly know individuals in their seventies who have never escaped concern, confidence and clever–or maybe never even learned morals, manners and motivation.

This is a passage. All human passages are entered only through the power of repentance.

So here is your salient moment:

Gather up all your manners, morals and motivation, and stir in your concern, confidence and cleverness. And if you have reached the age, add on your wit, words and wisdom.

Finish the job.

Of course, if you’re led of the Spirit and you’re a creature who knows how to use faith, you don’t have to wait for birthdays to dictate your future.

As the Good Book says, “today is the day of salvation.”

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 4th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3632)

 

The Jubilee

Cashing in

Stop the buck

Help me win

Wish me luck

Two of a kind

Is easy to find

Believing in three

Can make you free

Life has time and chance

Children with heart join the dance

The music surrounds us every day

A truthful tune can make a way

The troubadour strums the people’s song

The band plays all night long

A rhythm emerges from the blues

As the Psalmist searches for hidden clues

Come hear the sound from all around

The children sing, spirit praise to bring

There is no reason

In any season

To deter the faithful

Or silence the grateful

I play my part

In the symphony

With all my heart

The Jubilee

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 13th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3520)

I Am Christmas

I need a virgin mind

To process what I find

I need the Spirit to birth

Some peace upon our Earth

Give me a simple place

To reach the human race

The angels from on high

Descend from the sky

To inhabit my human frame

The message to proclaim

“Good will to men and women,” you see

Let the tenderness begin with me

Stars in my eyes

Reject vicious lies

Follow the dreamer’s path

Abandon the King of Wrath

Shepherd my thoughts toward grace

See God in my neighbor’s face

My heart is the gold I bring

Blessing is the song I sing

It’s Jesus, Prince of Care

The only wisdom I know to share

For the Word has become my skin

Free at last of the burden of sin

I will dwell among my likeness

To humbly share with kindness

For I am Christmas–come and see

The manger child reborn in me.

 

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Good News and Better News… November 27th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3504)

Upon arriving at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Palm City, Florida, we were greeted by Pastor Roy and John, who graciously agreed to carry in our equipment and assist us in any way possible. It is magnificent to run across human souls who welcome strangers–no matter how strange they may appear to be.

Pastor Roy is a congenial fellow who, like Matthew of old, was called from his trade to come and share the Gospel. Courteous, gentle, kind, inventive and helpful. During the time of our set-up, and also our whole visitation, this dear brother became and remained, our right arm.

I am humbled by such an active service.

I had one mission in Palm City–an attempt to escort beautiful children of God’s kingdom from fear to good cheer.

Fear grips us.

Good cheer greets us: Greets us with the awareness that all is well, God is with us and we have resource.

Being good Lutherans, they were naturally afraid of any show of spontaneous emotion. After all, we’re not positive that God isn’t a solemn and austere figure. (Of course, if He is, we’re in a world of trouble.)

Good cheer is what Jesus suggests we use to survive while he overcomes the world, which is full of tribulation.

I explained to these dear brothers and sisters that there’s a difference between clapping your hands and applause. Applause is often deemed an expression of appreciation or even praise for an artist. Clapping your hands is the most authentic evidence of the presence of joy.

So when we come into God’s house and we sit tight in our seats, afraid to move, waiting for the Eucharist, we miss the point of our gathering.

We should be there for three reasons: to strengthen one another, to care for one another and to confirm that the Gospel continues to be “good news.” All of our other traditions are delightful, but have little to do with what actually constitutes praise and worship.

So I told my new friends that I personally need no applause–but that God loves to hear them clap their hands.

So if you hear something good, see something good, feel tingly and warm in the Spirit or are overcome with joy: “Clap your hands, all ye people. Shout unto God with a voice of triumph.”

The good news is that when these Lutherans did so, the building reverberated with the power of love.

The better news is, if they will continue to release that Spirit through clapping their hands, many prayers for miracles will come their way.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 22nd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3499)

 

We Gather

We gather with chatter

To make ourselves fatter

While tastin’ we bastin’

In dreams of a tender bird

Cornbread messing

Oyster dressing

With memories we cry

And celebrate with pie

The punch we are sipping

The gravy made from drippings

Butter up the bread

The table is now spread

Little ones crowd to see

Grandpa has to pee

Who will give the grace

Do it quick with praise

Our cake is angel food

The eggs, a bedeviled brood

The beans are green and onion clad

No one’s favorite scene

But still, all in all, not that bad

‘Taters are creamy

Desserts are dreamy

Coffee is hot

And always a lot

An embarrassing feast

Feeding the humble and least

We gather together

Being thankful for what matters

 

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

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3492)

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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