Cracked 5 … May 16th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3308)

cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Other Names Considered for Jesus (and also the ones who proposed the “handle”)

 

A. Temple Tumbler–presented by the sarcastic Pharisees after Jesus “turned the tables” on them.

 

B. Winey Boy–a quickly devised name by some very drunken souls in Cana who suddenly found themselves slurping a burgundy made out of water

 

C. Jim Bay Luben–a proposal by the Southern Galilean Baptists, who were hoping it might promote Jesus to be more like his cousin, John

 

D. Carpo the Carpenter–a business-package idea by the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce

 

E. Bastard–a never-dying rumor by old, disgruntled Nazarenes who were “month-counters” for Mother Mary.

 

 

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Jesonian: Easy Does It … August 23rd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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corn in hand

Into a world filled with self-righteousness, power struggles and idiotic inclinations, Jesus of Nazareth walked on the scene with a simple message.

Easy does it and lighten up.

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Leadership hated him for it.

Making truth accessible to the masses and suggesting that it is not that difficult to attain does not endear you to those who make a living out of turning every situation into a quandary.

No mortal receives benefit when we demand divine effort.

Interestingly enough, right after he shared these thoughts of “easy does it” and “lighten up,” he was confronted by a situation which embodied the whole dilemma.

You see, his disciples were walking through a field of corn and they were hungry. Common sense said not to stand around and bitch, but rather, to pick some of the nourishment.

Logical enough, right?

But posted nearby were those religious leaders who made a living from “straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel.” They criticized the disciples and Jesus for the action, citing that the Law of God demanded that the Sabbath be honored by declining to take care of human needs.

Jesus’ answer is a spiritual classic.

He explained that throughout history, whenever noble men and women of mission found themselves without provision, rather than standing on ceremony, they used what was available instead of complaining to the heavens about their lack.

He said that King David even ate the holy bread from the Temple and gave it to his soldiers when there was a gnawing at their innards.

But Jesus didn’t leave it there. He told the Pharisees that everything revolves around one principle: God will have mercy, not sacrifice.

Because if you find yourself feeling sacrificial, restricted, bound and intimidated by religious fervor, very soon … you will end up condemning the guiltless folks who walk amongst you.

 

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Jesonian: Simeon Says… December 28, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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baby from roots no words bigger

People often walk up and tell me they have a “word from the Lord” for me. Sometimes they refer to it as a prophesy, sometimes a word of knowledge or wisdom, and on occasion, they will even describe the coloration of my aura. Most of the time they’re just trying to connect and be nice.

I listen to them intently and thank them.

Yet every once in a while, these fine individuals will tell me something that has true spiritual significance or is a revelation they could not possibly have ascertained on their own.

It is a joyous, chilling encounter.

I bring this up because we are told in the Gospel of Luke, that Mary and Joseph, being good Jews, make a trip to the local temple to offer a sacrifice of gratitude for the birth of their son, Jesus.

They immediately come across an aged gentleman who seems partly senile and partly crazed, who has one of these “words of prophesy” for them.

Being an old man and probably well-set in his ways by his traditional upbringing, his message is contrary to his training.

His name was Simeon. Here’s what he told them about their baby, Jesus:

1. Jesus will be a light “to lighten the Gentiles.”

It is highly unlikely that Simeon would share such a notion, since he believed from his youth that those who were not Jews were basically dogs. He would not select to be so broad-thinking unless inspired by a divine source.

The first thing to remember about the gospel brought by Jesus is that his main goal was to get God out of Jerusalem and take the love of the Father on the road. For hundreds of years, belief in Jehovah had been stuck in Mesopotamia. It was time for the rest of the world to be included.

2. Find the glory of Israel.

  • What is the glory of Israel?
  • Patriarchs?
  • Dusty scrolls?
  • Stories of heroes who conquered giants?

No–the glory of Israel is that one man or woman can hear a message from God and launch out by faith. Honestly, the traditions only hinder that process.

3. The message of Jesus will be “a falling and rising to many.”

Some people just like to be prejudiced. They want to believe in a God who “hates somebody so He can love us more.” The message of Jesus eliminates that vengeful creature, replacing Him with a creative Father.

Some people rose with that authorization. Others fell in with the crowd who cried, “Crucify.”

4. Mankind’s heart shall be revealed.

The Jesonian is not a thinking man’s religion. It’s not a spiritualist carnival. It does not extol physical appearance above all else. Jesonian is the willingness to have our hearts exposed without fear, knowing that in so doing, the “truth will make us free.”

Religion studies God so that we don’t have to study ourselves. That is why the Jesonian is not a religion–it’s a lifestyle.

That day an old man in the temple broke through all of his pre-conceived ideas to share a message from on high.

It was a message of inclusion.

It was a message of challenge.

And it was a message that told us that as long as we’re willing to be real, the reality that comes our way can bless us.

 

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G-45: Dark Pages … October 10, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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What made you think I would tolerate your religion?

What caused you to believe that you were given permission to rustle up rules and regulations and herd spirituality into some stinky-hole corral of repetition?

Did you forget how I mocked the traditions of men when I walked among the Jews? I ridiculed their ceremony and chided them for their elaborate clothing, flaunting their position.

Therefore, will I accept your garb of garbled expression, touting sacrifice, or worse, supremacy?

  • Wash your hands? No, thank you
  • Fast? I am a glutton.
  • Pray? Only in my closet of privacy.
  • Stone that harlot? I do not condemn her.
  • Worship the temple? I shall tear it down.

I am nauseated by your praise without heart. They are words of explanation without meaning, droned in somber tones to establish solemnity.

Blind from your eyes plucked by bouts with vengeance.

Toothless, pleading for your mother’s milk.

Calling one another Master, Reverend, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope.

Yes, Pope.

Did you forget it was the Jewish Pope, Caiaphas, who condemned me to death, using the Roman puppet to act out the violent, fool-hardy charade?

It is as if the Pharisees have hijacked my work instead of the mission being heralded by cleansed lepers, freed whores and liberated Gentiles, dancing for joy.

You have taken the pages of my words and turned off the light, to revere the book and ignore the context.

When you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you are cannibals because you ignore my mind and reject my heart.

There are no kings.

There are no serfs.

You are drunk on your own swill of piety.

As I told the daughters of Jerusalem, your house is left desolate. It is a tomb, displaying silence as the evidence of a slaughtered hope.

I was here.

Did you fail to learn of my actions?

I despise those who feel they are better than others, even if they can recite a litany of their righteous deeds.

I never knew you.

I don’t want to know you.

You cannot imprison my healing virtue in the torture chamber of your tiny vision and narrow mind.

I am the wind. I will blow where I desire.

I will find liberty and immerse my efforts in the waters of freedom.

You have found the heaviest burdens and laid them on the shoulders of broken travelers.

You have made my name weary when it was meant to produce rest.

I hate your religion.

I shall create again, calling new souls … and bring your efforts to nought. 

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G-32: Protector … July 11, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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battling JewsShortly after Joseph died, his friend, the Pharoah, passed away, bringing a new monarch to power, who had an inordinate interest in building pyramids.

A project of such magnitude demands labor, preferably cheap. And the best way to acquire this workforce is to convince one group of people that they’re superior to the other, and to intimidate the other conglomeration of souls into believing that they’re inferior.

So the created human beings who had found provision under Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph suddenly found themselves strangers in the land of Egypt and were gradually subjugated to be servants of the locals.

Since they had been a people provided for by their Creator, they didn’t make very good slaves. The sense of entitlement caused them to rebel against the oppression, creating an ongoing conflict and growing hostility.

Even though the Father in Heaven had found great joy in being a Provider, He now found Himself in need of becoming a Protector.

Through Moses, Joshua and David, the people were freed from Egypt, wilderness bound, conquering Jericho and gradually became a warring tribe, attempting to secure what they considered to be their “Promised Land.”

So the Creator who had regretted making human beings and repented by deciding to provide for them, now found Himself protecting them, only to discover that the instinct to conquer is an overwhelming vice in the human spirit, turning us once again to abstract violence. (Matter of fact, when King David wanted to build a Temple, God refused to allow him to do so because his hands were covered in so much blood.)

It was an awkward situation.

The people weren’t dissatisfied with their status as aggressors, and they deeply believed they were pursuing both a nationalistic and a religious goal by destroying the heathen. But since the root word of Creator is “create,” the Father found himself very saddened by the destruction of other human beings in order to protect a tiny handful.

And as violence often does, it led to other depravity.

What was the answer?

  • Certainly being a father means you need to provide, but such provision can make for spoiled children.
  • And because they’re spoiled, they can become eccentric and need protection.
  • But protecting them makes them feel superior to the surrounding families of man, creating a climate of war and calamity.

What was the next step in learning how to be a Father to Your children? 

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Paulless… February 1, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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El Paso SanctuarySaint Paul United Methodist Church in El Paso, Texas. My latest tour date.

Saint Paul.

I guess it’s one of those titles they give to you after you’re dead, and they’re trying to apologize for how badly they treated you. Sometimes they even name a frigid city in Minnesota after you.

The reason I like Paul is because he understood both ends of the spectrum of human life. Well … I should say he exhibited them, whether he understood it or not.

It would be unfortunate for our modern world if Earth had ended up “Paulless.” Honestly, Peter and the other eleven disciples were quite content, after the resurrection, to sit in their rocking chairs on Solomon’s Porch outside the Temple, and recall former days when water turned to wine.

It was Paul who was curious about reaching the rest of the world and not just those who liked to have a little “shew” with their bread. Matter of fact, I can guarantee you that Christianity would never have reached the white, bratwurst-eating tribes had it not been for Paul of Tarsus.

But the best thing about him is that he demonstrates that being inspired by God involves a combination of mistakes and discoveries.

  • Because the same Paul who succeeded in getting the gospel message to the Gentiles also spent way too much time arguing with the Jews, who had no intention of changing and ended up sending him to his demise.
  • Yes, Paul, who welcomed women into the ministry as equals, got into a bad mood one day and equated the female of the species as being deceived “weaker vessels” who needed to submit.
  • He taught us about the grace of God instead of a mean, Old Testament grouch, but also over-emphasized a plan of salvation instead of explaining the lifestyle of Jesus.
  • He had the eloquent moment in the book of Philippians, where he proclaimed with great joy, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” while also being tagged with writing complaints about how he was mistreated and not allowed to be an apostle.
  • With great humility he bowed his head and received the welcoming acceptance of Barnabas when the rest of the Christians were afraid of him because of his vendetta against the faith, only to turn around when Barnabas wanted to be forgiving toward John Mark, who had grown road weary, and condemned the boy as unworthy of his calling.

It’s all in there. It is unedited. It is why I know the Good Book is divinely inspired–for a God who plans on saving the world doesn’t need to embellish the story to make everything seem fine.

If the world was Paulless–well, the world probably wouldn’t have Jesus.

It also wouldn’t have the obvious example of a man who was ordained with greatness … and bewitched by moments of insecurity.

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My Body is in Temple… January 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2125)

First Lutheran Temple

It’s been forty years since my body has been in Temple.

Temple, Texas, that is.

I have passed by this fair town several times on my journeys, but never actually plopped down for a few minutes of food for thought, by breaking bread.

Four decades ago when I landed in Temple, it was during a brief tour when I was invited to come to Waco, Texas, to Word Records, to share my music, with the aspirations of having this fledgling company record my musical ensemble and make us famous. (Well, at least as famous as one would get by being the first fruits of a fledgling.)

I remember that visitation vividly. Being raised in Central Ohio, I was told horror stories about the depravity of the South and the backwards nature of unseemly locations like Texas. So up to that point in my life I had never gone any further south than Nashville, Tennessee, or further west than Chicago.jesus rally

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was a different time. Even though Temple was a rural community, ingrained with the traditions of its heritage, a new breeze had blown through, initiated by the winds of Spirit.

Young hippies, fresh from California, had just arrived in the region to sing a new song. So it was really amazing–you had long hairs and butch haircuts side by side, finding common ground with guitars and Jesus. They were tolerant of each other and seemed fairly oblivious to the differences that might build up over hair follicle preferences.

Many of the engineers in the recording studios were good ole’ boys, and the performers were fresh off the street, many of them ex-drug addicts who had been thrust into salvation, with a movement through Jesus.

Shoulder to shoulder, they worked on beautiful tunes, laughed, shared pictures of their families with each other, and acted like they had known one another for a lifetime.

I shared in several of the area’s religious establishments and was greeted with warmth and tenderness by folks who had just come out of the field with mud on their boots, curious about whether what they had just planted would ever reach harvest.

Even though I was a very young snap-off-the-whipper, I realized that what made this thing work was finding something in common with each other and sealing it by believing in the same message of love.

So as I come back to Temple, Texas, in a much different time–when it is considered to be righteous and upstanding to be at odds with one another over miniscule issues–I want to bring that same breeze with me.

I would love to allow the Spirit to permit commonality and faith to blend together again, to make us one.

It is a piece of idealism I permit myself without apology. For I know this: the world will never be a decent place to live until we find reasons to be alike.

And I also know that we will never find reasons to be alike …  when we work so darned tootin’ hard on trying to be different.

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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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