PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 19th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Lyrica Americana

I started a joke

I’m a joker, a smoker

A midnight hour

When nobody else is around

Get around, get around, I get around

The world … in eighty days

No–eight days a week

I love you

Are the sunshine of my life

This is my life–go ahead with your own

Leave me alone

You’ll never walk…

Like a man

Talk like a

I am woman

The purpose of a man is to love a woman

W-O-M-A-N

When the night is young

Girl, get out of my mind

You were always on my…

Girl, talk about my…

Girls just want to have fun

We’ll have fun, fun, fun

‘Til Daddy takes the T-bird away

Far from here, my dear

Hearts, young love

All we need is…

Out of the darkness

Hello, my old friend

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Good News and Better News … June 6th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Cassius and Martinsburg composite

On February 25th, 1964, I was twelve years old when Cassius Clay totally surprised the boxing world by destroying Sonny Liston in Miami Beach.

It had been an interesting ninety days. Within three months, John Kennedy had been assassinated, the Beatles appeared multiple times on the Ed Sullivan Show, and now a 22-year-old black fellow was ranting and raving about his greatness.

My home town hated all three.

I was told that John Kennedy was a philanderer, the Beatles were communists and Cassius was an uppity colored man.

It got worse when Mr. Clay chose to change his name to Muhammad Ali, becoming a foreign, dangerous infidel.

I was in my twenties before I felt the freedom to think for myself and develop new opinions about JFK, the Fab Four and Ali.

I was thinking about this very thing in my green room yesterday at the Otterbein United Methodist Church in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Muhammad Ali was cursed, threatened with prison and had his title removed because he refused to fight in the Viet Nam War. Why? Because at the time it seemed important to do so.

But we were wrong. We were wrong about him, we were wrong about Viet Nam, we were confused about the Beatles, and Kennedy certainly had some moments of brilliance.

You see, it’s not a political issue and it’s not a spiritual issue. It all comes down to deciding whether to live a life where you complain or an existence where you create.

Because complaining people don’t create, and creative people don’t complain.

My heart’s desire yesterday, as I sat in front of the audience and shared my journey, music and insights, was to communicate that simple thought–complain or create?

Because even though Muhammad Ali was condemned by society, his consecration to his causes has endured the test of time. Matter of fact, the southern city of Louisville, Kentucky has tributes to him all over the metroplex. Isn’t that amazing?

You see, it’s simple.

The good news is that if you stop complaining, you start to learn. And the first thing you learn is that the more you create, the less you need to complain.

The better news is that there were a handful of folks in Martinsburg who got the message.

Others will be driven down the streets named after the men they once condemned–on their way to the graveyard.

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 5) Late … May 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

Sunday morning, and Meningsbee woke up late.

He wanted to blame his alarm clock, but since he was fully aware that he was the master of all of its decisions, he scurried along, skipping two of his pre-shower rituals.

He scooted into his car, started it and zoomed toward the church at what he hoped was a reasonable speed. He was thinking about what he wanted to share.

The Gospel of Mark. Most certainly.

It had been an interesting week.

After the breakthrough, with Betty and Clarice being reconciled, there was a sweet buzz of contentment among those who were present, but simultaneously, there were around twenty-five former members who had begun meeting in the banquet hall of the nearby Holiday Inn Express. They were stirring a flurry of frustration through the town.

Their contention? Meningsbee had “stolen their church.”

He understood their perspective. Yet there was a push in his spirit to continue the experiment–to find the real meaning of gathering together instead of marching in time to the drone of repetitive hymns.

Arriving, he ran to the door of the church, and then paused. He could hear the sounds of conversation. It was not the usual pre-church verbal exchanges, but instead, purposeful–what sounded like meaningful, prayerful tones.

So Meningsbee chose to enter quietly and climb the stairs to the balcony, where he could view the proceedings.

He had noticed coming in that there were a few more cars in the parking lot, and was delighted to see, when he looked down from his perch, that there were four visitors and a few of the original congregation who had returned.

But most enlightening was the fact that the three chairs he had placed in the front on Saturday night were filled with people, surrounded by other folks who were sharing and praying for one another.

On the seventh row was a young family who Deacon Smitters had befriended, and was quietly but feverishly entertaining with one of his stories.

It was a reverent scene, in the sense of the true meaning of reverence–full of humanity, compassion, tenderness and just a bit of the childlike freedom that was so often absent from the normal Sunday morning drill.

Reverend Meningsbee wanted to just hang out in the balcony and watch. He knew that as soon as he entered, the holy spell would be broken and they would turn to him to find order.

Finally he decided that it was not good for him to stay away for the whole time. He climbed down the stairs and came into the church as the gathering fell silent.

He turned slowly and addressed them.

“I overslept. But I have been here for fifteen minutes, just watching all of you. It is so beautiful for you to treat each other so beautifully. I know that’s not a good sentence, but it’s what I feel. Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for loving each other.”

All at once, a hand went up. It was Clarice, from last week’s reconciliation.

“Hello, Pastor. I just wanted to let you know that after Betty and I mended our fences, I got inspired to contact my son in Lincoln, who ran away from home a couple of years ago because he was mad at me for being such a–can I say ‘bitch’ in the church?”

Meningsbee laughed. “You just did.”

Clarice continued. “Anyway, I invited Michael home, we made peace, and I told him to come here with me today to seal the deal.”

The congregation burst into applause without being coaxed. It was spontaneous and it was electrifying.

One after another, there were testimonies about those who came and sat in the chair to receive God’s grace through the kindness of God’s people.

The good Reverend just stood back and shut up. There was a small part of him that felt useless, but most of him felt he had discovered his true use.

Lead the sheep to the green pastures, and then let them eat.

It came time for the end of the service, and Meningsbee wasn’t sure what to do.

Betty stood to her feet and said, “Did you know that Clarice’s son, Michael, plays a mean piano and can really sing?”

Michael feigned a bit of embarrassment, but also exuded a willingness to display his talent. So Meningsbee pointed to the piano, and Michael slowly rose to his feet, walked over, sat down and played and sang “Let It Be” by the Beatles.

It was an inspiring conclusion to the morning.

Meningsbee listened to the song very carefully.

“Let It Be.”

What good advice.

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Cracked 5 … March 29th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Much Less Commercial Names for the Fab Four (The Beatles) Had They Not Been John, Paul, Ringo and George

A. Humphrey, Noel, Jackal and Quincy

 

B. Neville, Winston, Franklin and Benito

 

C. Tommy, Timmy, Toby and Tarbaby

 

D. Fish, Chips, Vinegar and Suds

 

E. Figgy, Iggy, Jiggy and Bigamy

Cracked 5 Beatles

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G-Poppers… December 12, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

One of his granddaughters asked G-Pop about music. She was curious, thinking he might be old-fashioned in some of his views.

“What is your favorite song?”

G-Pop: The next song which is performed with so much passion that I can feel the meaning through the talent and heart of the performer.

“Well, G-Pop, do you like today’s music?”

G-Pop: I like good music, and since good music is timeless, there is no today or yesterday in it. Just the living emotion of the moment.

Amadeus, Frank, Paul and Beyonce bigger

“Do you like playing piano?”

G-Pop: It’s great fun as long as I realize I am out-numbered, 88 keys to 10 fingers. Obviously, I’m going to lose some of those battles.

“Okay, G-Pop. What do you think God thinks about music?”

G-Pop: God is a groupie, hanging around backstage, hoping the crowd is moved by the hits…and waiting to spend some personal time with the artist. 

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Click here for information on "567"--the Sermon on the Mount retold in story, song and music

Click here for information on “567”–the Sermon on the Mount retold in story, song and music

 

Quatrain of Beatle-name-ia…. May 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Beatles

John Harrison

Paul Starr

Ringo Lennon

George McCartney 

 

 

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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!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Published in: on May 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mistaken Identity … November 28, 2012

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It happens–just never twice in the same night.

But last evening I got a double dose of mistaken identity. It began with a lady coming to my table and asking that frightening question. “Do you remember me?”

I always dodge it by saying, “You look familiar,” hoping that the person will fill in the details. She did. She was quite convinced that I had been the DJ at her son’s wedding. As I contemplated how to contradict her assertion, she launched into details about the reception, the recent birth of children and what name these offspring referred to her as when lovingly addressing their grandma. We were in the full swing of a mistaken identity–one which I had no idea whatsoever how to escape. So please pray for me–I went along with it.

She came back two or three times, reminding me of certain aspects of the evening which she felt we had shared in common, and once even brought along the sponsor of the concert, to share the irony of our re-crossing paths. He looked a bit bewildered as she told her story and squinted at me for either confirmation or denial and I just sat there with a blank look on my face–similar to someone who just discovered he was one number away from winning the lottery.

On the heels of my proposed DJ performance, another man came to the table and said how glad he was to see me again, because he had enjoyed me so much last year when I was performing at the Lexington Civic Center. Once again, before I could jump in and point out that I had never been to the Lexington Civic Center, he recited the details of my performance, including a duet I had sung with a young black boy. Once again, I was unable to escape and found myself in the midst of a great nod-fest.

Mistaken identity. I know I probably should have corrected these folks, but you see, at the heart of this particular event is a blessing. People meet you for the first time and really want to establish a connection, so they go ahead and manufacture one based on a similar experience they once had with someone who might have resembled you. I think it’s just a way of saying “I love you” without having to mouth the words.

Matter of fact, maybe the world would be better if we had MORE mistaken identity. If all bigots believed that black people were Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey, maybe there would be less prejudice. Those who have problems with the gay community may wish to project that all gay men and women are Rock Hudson and Ellen DeGeneres. How about politics? That’s easy.  All Republicans are Abraham Lincoln and all Democrats are Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It may be a bit embarrassing when we do discover that all people with long hair, playing guitar are not the Beatles, but in the meantime, it might increase our toleration for one another and project some love out into a world that is starving to death for some of that good stuff.

I occasionally get mistaken for someone else.  Last night it was a DJ and a performer at a civic center. That’s not bad.  It has been worse. One night long ago in Michigan, a guy was convinced that I was the janitor at the local Goodwill store.  By the way–that one I denied. Sometimes people project that I’m Orson Wells or Dom Delouise or any one of a number of fat, aging men. Interesting though–so far, no Brad Pitt.

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