PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 2nd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2770)

PoHymn Dec. 3

Merry Goes With…

Merry goes with Christmas

Of this you can be sure

As honey links with bee

And water prefers pure

As Baptist is to dunking

And Methodist welcomes eating

We’re all bound for Heaven

If we’ve secured reserved seating.

As Jesus embraces Santa dear

To join in the holiday cheer

And elves dance with angels

To dispel our human fear

Christmas belongs to people

Peace on Earth, you see

Those beneath the steeple

And others around the tree

For joy is a Godly thing

Birthed in heavenly trust

Hark the herald, angels sing

Worship the King, we must

For praise comes in many ways

But always brings sweeter ends

So let us take December days…

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 29th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2647)

PoHymn for July 29

Namey Name Name

Baptist, Methodist

But Mary called him Jesus

Lutheran, Presbyterian

Pentecostal, Unitarian

Latter Day Saint

Former day Jew

Assembly of God

No assembly required

Christian, Christos Iglesias

His buddies dubbed him Jesus

Catholic, Roman

Catholic, Greek

Catholic, schoolboy

Catholic, priest

Missionary Alliance

Missionary position

From this rock

I set sail

Calm the seas

Hell, it can’t fail

Revelation, Episcopalian

The lepers screamed for Jesus

Gay church

Black church

White church

Country church

Church in the wildwood

Church in the neighborhood

Church of the brotherhood

Every game has a name

But Jesus came to take the blame

Politics failed him

Religion nailed him

Wise folks trailed him

This one called Jesus

So let me say

In my simple way

I know Jesus of the people

Not Christ with a steeple

We were together

Long before he went

Non-profit.

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Untotaled: Stepping 20 (March 18th, 1965) Bible League … June 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2277)

(Transcript)

In the midst of puberty, football, family problems, unbearable school work, insecurities and an unwillingness to walk the dog, I managed to wiggle in time to attend church.

I didn’t go there because I loved God or was fond of listening to sermons. Matter of fact, I couldn’t recall one single point from one of these elongated discourses. No, I went to the Steeple House to see church friends and because I had an abiding love for gospel music.

So when it was announced by our pastor that a competition would begin in the style of College Bowl, using the Bible for questions and answers, and that we would be competing with eleven other churches in our district, to win a trophy, I was immediately on board. It would give me a chance to be with my friends, carpool to new locations, and actively participate in a way to prove that I was better than others.

The first category for our pursuits was Acts of the Apostles, which had intelligently been shortened to the Book of Acts. We studied the material for three weeks. The teams were divided into Junior Bible League and Senior Bible League.

I was at an annoying age–the oldest in the Junior League, but youngest in the Senior League. So they stuck me in the younger group. We went out for the first competition and won handily against Milford.

Having a disconcerting mixture of ability and ego, I quickly decided that the Junior Bible League was beneath me, so I immediately began to lobby to be in the Seniors. This stimulated many discussions, church board meetings, and phone calls among pastors, all trying to decide if it was righteous for me to be with the older participants.

I think they wanted me to give it up. Yes, they figured that eventually I would stop asking.

But I didn’t.

So by the third contest, studying the Book of John, I wore them out and was placed on the Senior Team. Within two weeks, I was one of the starting members and on the third week was voted Captain.

Can I tell you the problem with progress? The reason life has steps to it is so we can enjoy the graduations–because even though I got my way and was on the Senior Team, I was stuck there for four years, with no further encouragement for ascension–just an expectation of ongoing winning.

For the first three years we won the trophy for the best Bible League Team in our district. But by the fourth year, quite honestly, I just wore out.

My jot was exhausted and my tittle lay dangling.

So the lasting memory of this experience is that we lost, in my final year, because of my indifference, and I shall forever be remembered as the guy who almost pulled it off.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to stand up against unreasonable rules and regulations. But often they are there to ease us into a joyous journey, where we have the pleasure of growing instead of the aggravating expectation of doing well … again.Donate Button

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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Will It Play in (east) Peoria?… June 23, 2013

(1921)

play in PeoriaIt’s the question the old vaudeville troops used to ask whenever they were breaking in a new act: Will it play in Peoria?

In other words, does it have enough appeal to mainstream America to immediately make an impact and cause ’em to want to come back for more?

Well, vaudeville has come and gone. We live in the age of the reality show, the Internet, Twitter and instant gratification. So as I get ready to go to East Peoria First United Methodist Church this morning, I realize that the minds of the congregation are scattered over any number of issues and pursuits.

  • I could probably get a good laugh if I walked onstage and talked about Miss Paula Deen using derogatory names for her kitchen crew of Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima.
  • Somebody might think it was interesting if I talked about Exodus, International, agreeing to remove the pray and welcome back the gay.
  • How about this for a headline? World War Z is panned by movie critics as F.
  • Or we just experienced the first day of summer, which officially allows us to complain for a season about the heat we prayed for in January.

Yes, I suppose any one of those would raise an eyebrow, produce a chuckle or evoke some chatter. But that’s just not the way of the gospel. The gospel is good news.

So to give it, the first thing you have to do is have a story. I learned a long time ago that you’ve got to do some living before you start giving. People get tired of hearing you talk about Moses and the Apostle Paul. They’d really like to see somebody stand in front of them who’s alive and well–who can give a story about how it works today.

So that’s the second thing I’ll do. I’ll share my story. And you know how I’ll do it? I’ll talk “people,” not “steeple.” I’m not going to try to impress folks with a demonstration of pronouncing all the cities in Asia Minor on Paul’s second missionary journey. I’m going to speak the words that are common to my life and enriching to the ears of my audience.

And then I’m going to make a story. I’ll reach out into the lives of those folks I meet, who might think we’re strangers, and turn the whole event into an experience. I’m going to have a hope that our faith will sprout some love.

Because without that, church is not only repetitious, it’s cruel to people who need an answer for their lives that is understandable, and not just some scripture verses that are meant to be comforting.

So I don’t know what the folks in East Peoria expect, but I have a story, I’m going to share a story, and I’m going to hug them around the neck and we’re going to make a story.

And I can guarantee you–it won’t just play in Peoria. It will resound all the way from earth … up to heaven.

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