Cracked 5 … November 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Other Practical Names Given for Thanksgiving

A.  Turkey Slaughter Day

 

B. “Why Don’t You Get a Job, Loser?” Day

 

C. “We Will Take Your Corn and Land” Day

 

D. “Does Anyone Really Like Green Beans and Mushroom Soup?” Day

 

E. “Thanks for the Electoral College” Day (only at the Trump home)

 

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 17) Parking Lotsa… August 21st, 2016

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Reverend Meningsbee

It was apparently the Sunday that would never end.

As Meningsbee headed out the door of the church, evicted from the House of God by Sister Matrisse, standing next to his car was a smiling Sammy Collins, with all the jovial attributes of a freshly pardoned Thanksgiving turkey.

Sammy rushed toward him, vigorously shook the pastor’s hand, and gave him a huge “Day of Pentecost” bear hug–the kind that leaves you torn between appreciation and embarrassment.

Releasing his grip, Sammy blurted, “Are you prepared to take in about fifty ready-to-go souls who already know where the exits are and the location of the bathrooms?”

With this he laughed–very pleased with his joke, which he obviously had rehearsed.

Meningsbee crinkled his face. This gave Brother Collins permission to continue.

“Whoo-ee! We had a big blow-up this morning down at the church at the Holiday Inn Express–so much so that the front desk lady came and told us to tone it down. We were bothering the other guests who were still enjoying their continental breakfast.”

“What was the problem?” said Meningsbee, concerned.

“I confronted him,” said Sammy. “Yes, I confronted Patrick Swanson about what he said to you in my living room the night I invited you over to fellowship in my home.”

“You heard?” asked Meningsbee.

“Yes. I snuck in the dark room where my kids keep their toys–nearly tripped over a Tonka truck–but I was curious why Patrick wanted to talk to you. Never one to be shy, I decided that since it was my home, I had the right to know.”

“So you’re the one who told everybody in the church about our conversation.”

“Absolutely.”

“Well, he thought it was me,” cited Meningsbee.

“Sorry about that, but I had to let him think that way until I could get all the friends and neighbors organized for the revolt, and the opportunity to return to the Garsonville Church–our home church. Preacher, most of my kin is buried out there in the back section of the property. I could show you their gravestones. This is my church. This is where I want to live. This is where I want to die. So we’re comin’ back.”

Meningsbee stood quietly. The joy on Sammy’s face had disappeared quickly as he told his tale of dissension and vengeance. He was now flushed and also a bit bewildered about why the good reverend was not jumping up and down for the chance to include more sheep and coffer stuffing.

Meningsbee realized he had to say something. “Sammy, Sammy, Sammy. I love ya’. But the church is not a club, though it might seem that way since we collect weekly dues. It’s not a game. The choices we make are often life and death. You must believe me when I tell you that the church also is not a family reunion, though we are all part of the same bloodline. God knows, it’s not a political party. We’ve already chosen our leader. Sammy, well…it’s an adventure. Or maybe a competition. Yes, it’s an adventurous competition, to see who can love their neighbor as themselves the most and still remain deliriously happy.”

Sammy’s dark cloud burst. “Listen, Meningsbee, I didn’t come for a sermon.”

“Oh, you’ve gotta forgive me,” said the pastor. “I didn’t get to preach one today so I guess I felt a little cheated.”

Sammy frowned like a frowning man frowns when frowning is in order. “So you don’t want us?”

“I don’t get to choose,” said Meningsbee. “I was just explaining to you how we view the kingdom of God.”

So … Sammy Collins turned on his heel and walked back to his car sadly because he was very religious.

 

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Confessing … November 28th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XXX.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

For the sake of this essay and season of confession, let me refer to it as “Thanksbumping.”

It’s that uncomfortable moment when older folks such as myself decide to openly share some insight with younger folks who absolutely have no interest in the input whatsoever.

It is tricky. It can slip up on you when you merely believe you’re sharing your heart, and almost always is interpreted as intrusion.

I thought I had outsmarted “Thanksbumping” this year by controlling the amount of time I spent with my family, while also promising myself to keep my convictions to my own inner pleasure.

I did really well the first night, but at the second joining together, subjects came up for which I had great passion.

I spoke up.

It did not go well.

I quickly retreated and spent the rest of the evening trying my best to imitate invisibility.

At the Thanksgiving meal the next day I was much better, and had learned my lesson.

But I must apologize to myself, to my Father in heaven and to those who once sat under my tutelage, for accidentally continuing to “tutle.”

Before you become self-righteous and insist that you never do such a thing, let me gently and mercifully explain that our children perceive any intervention which they have not requested as a breach of their territorial waters.

So as I confess this to you–that I did better at “Thanksbumping” this year but am still not without reproach–let me give you three hints to keep you out of this iniquity:

  1. Avoid giving opinions without hearing a question coming your way.
  2. Don’t offer contrary views in a climate where well-established ideas are being revered.
  3. And certainly, don’t attempt to do any sideline parenting.

It may be difficult to succeed at being a bystander when you feel as if you should be included and treasured, but it is the nature of our species.

It is the changing of the guard.

And to have a good Thanksgiving, you must make sure you dodge the “bumping.”

 

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G-Poppers … November 27th, 2015

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Though a little bizarre, G-Pop decided that Thanksgiving was fine because the grandchildren outnumbered the dogs by one.

Yes–five to four.

A little too close for the sake of sanity but still within the margin of error.

As all the family busied themselves preparing the delicacies they hoped would be the winner of the day, G-Pop just sat in his chair and thought for a moment about how absolutely amazing Thanksgiving and the season leading up to Christmas truly is.

In a way it’s about Santa Claus.

Very few personalities are as much maligned and revered as the Jolly Old Elf. But he does have a special formula for approaching humanity which is a workable format, and seems to gain traction every year.

It’s never out of style. It’s never rebuked so much by the religionists that it ends up being cast aside in favor of Biblical themes, and his presence is not so bound to the manger that those who have no reverence can still acknowledge the relevance.

It’s really a very simple plan of action:

1. Get prepared.

Think about the children and get the grownups to become more childlike.

2. Climb a little higher up on the roof.

You can see better. Ground level often leaves us grim.

3. Once you see better, slide down into people’s living rooms.

For after all, there’s no way to get folks to come to the North Pole–it’s too cold. At least, that’s the rumor. Also, human beings are not interested in becoming elves. So instead, you go to them, you go into their living rooms where they fellowship and nurture one another.

4. Next, bring gifts.

We’re all suckers for a gift. As long as we don’t have to sign on a dotted line, ending up with hidden payments, a free gift opens up the human heart.

We will never be able to intimidate the world into a submission of peace.

We will never evangelize the world into accepting a common Christ.

But we can come into their homes with a great package:

A. God loves.

B. God listens.

C. God learns.

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Ask Jonathots … November 26th, 2015

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Considering the many shootings around the nation and terrorist attacks around the world and the tragedies we hear on the news every single day, exactly what should Americans be thankful for this year? I know this sounds cynical, but how and why are we supposed to be happy in the face of so much grief?

Fear arrives when we forget what we truly can affect.

In other words, if you were diagnosed with cancer, your first question should be, “What can I do?”

But if you decide to say, “How long do I have to live?” you welcome the realm of fear.

The nightly news, in an attempt to keep their stories interesting, embellishes on the facts. In doing so, they make the stories so formidable that no one can get a handle on them or feel that they can make a contribution toward a solution.

Feeling powerless is what produces fear. To remove fear, you have to institute some power in your life.

So what we Americans can do on this Thanksgiving is confirm those things that still have power–to make lives better, to enrich our families, to enjoy a meal, to prepare for Christmas shopping, and to set in motion the kind of direction that frees us from fear, and therefore welcome love.

Specifically, here are three ideas to take into today’s holiday to help you confirm that the world is filled with tribulation, but Jesus has overcome the world:

1. There are no terrorists in your family.

I know it sounds silly, but considering the fact that we all come from diverse places and are pursuing various occupations, your family may have eccentricities, but none of them are ready to strap on a suicide bomb.

2. There are more good people in the world than bad people.

Start counting heads.

After your Thanksgiving meal today, drive by local churches and relief centers where fine human beings are serving meals to those less fortunate, while laughing, eating and fellowshipping with them.

3. Since the terrorists have the goal of creating terror, the best way to foil their efforts is to “be of good cheer.”

How can you be of good cheer?

First, celebrate having gotten this far in your life without being shot. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? And then realize that the chance of being attacked by a terrorist is less likely than being hit by lightning (and most of us know how to avoid being hit by lightning.)

Good cheer is the awareness that we are not cast down on this earth to be under the manipulation of maniacs, but instead, we are given the opportunity to help the disturbed around us–so there will be fewer maniacs.

A diet of news reports is like eating pizza seven days in a row–you don’t have to ask yourself why you feel sluggish and constipated.

 

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G-Poppers… November 28, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

Finishing up a fine meal, friends and family gather and decide to probe the mind of G-Pop.

“Speaking of eating, G-Pop, what do you think of the meal?”

G-Pop: I don’t need a reason to overeat, but thank you for giving me one anyway.

“How about the turkey, G-Pop?”

G-Pop: When our country was founded and the folks were choosing a national bird, it came down between the turkey and the eagle. The eagle won. Now you see how we treat the runner-up.

“Be gentle, G-Pop, and tell us what you think about family.”

G-Pop: Family is where we practice to make sure that what we preach is worthy to be heard.

“Well, since it’s Thanksgiving, G-Pop, what do you think about thankfulness?”

G-Pop: That’s easy. Gratitude is what intelligent people speak out loud when their hearts want to complain.

 

 

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Three Ways to Be Thankful… November 27, 2014

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Thanks bigger

The ice has already been placed in glasses and is beginning to melt. Very soon the meticulous preparation–hours and hours of harvested treats–will be consumed in mere minutes.

They have asked me to lead in a moment of grace, thankfulness and prayer. I agreed.

I must be brief. Concise but precise.

I must be able to articulate, in a few seconds, the sentiment of gratitude for an entire year. Though a formidable task, a most necessary one.

So let me begin by saying:

“Dear God, I didn’t want to come this year.”

Nothing can be achieved in life without first being honest. I was feeling sorry for myself. The family I spawned, nurtured and raised from my passion is now spread out and far away. Worse than feeling disconnected from them, I have begun to feel useless.

I was once the “King Bee”–the center of attention and the source of the buzzing in a bustling nest. But now, due to the necessity of time and purpose, they have moved on to have their own families, dreams and aspirations.

I didn’t want to come because I was feeling vacant of value. For after all, a pity party is not only poorly attended, but also never gets much return business.

But here’s what I’m grateful for:

I didn’t miss it.

I’m here with as many bells as I could fasten on with short notice.

I’m here to play my role.

I’m here to be the aging patriarch who refuses to crawl into the mountains to die.

I didn’t miss it.

Thank you, God.

My second gratitude is that I won’t abandon principle.

Although the world around me persists in pursuing courses which have historically proven to be foolhardy, I will hold fast to a few pearls of great price and sell all I have to possess them.

This I know: the difference between an opinion and a principle is that an opinion only benefits me, and a principle provides for you.

So I will not kill, I will not steal and I will not destroy.

Although the world around me is feverishly involved in these practices, I won’t.

Thank you, God.

And finally (as I peek over to make sure the ice has not melted into water) I say, “I can’t.”

I can’t stop.

It’s important for me to accept the progress of these loved ones, as they continue at their own pace and rate of understanding. But because I want my grandchildren to live in a world that still honors truth, values justice without being cynical about it and has a desire to pursue excellence, I will continue to be a voice crying in the wilderness, saying, ‘Prepare ye the way’… well, prepare the way for You.

  • I didn’t miss it.
  • I won’t abandon principle.
  • I can’t stop.

So therefore, for the hands that have prepared the meal, much thanks.

For those who have gathered, how generous of them to provide their energy and time.

And for me–I am here for those I love until they finally carry me away.

Thanksgiving.

Thanks for giving.

We appreciate it.

Amen.

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