Cracked 5 … January 24th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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First Drafts, Initial Wordings and Test Phrasings for Famous Quotations

 

A. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask when they will get it done.”

 

B. “Birds of a feather molt together.”

 

C. “For God so loved the world that He gave us chili dogs (and also His son)”

 

D. “Fourscore and seven years ago my Grandma was born. Happy birthday, Grammy!”

 

E. “We hold these truths to be self-evident. S-o-o-o-o…you already know them?”

 

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Cracked 5 … January 17th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Names That Joel and Vic Have Considered and Discarded for their New Born Boy

A.  Jic (certainly nickname challenged)

 

B.  Voel

treble clef gif

(Vo-el, Vo-el,

Vo-el, Vo-el

Born is the dude

From Street Stockell)

 

C. Mephistopheles (a hell of a name)

 

D. Jickle (Tickle, Pickle, Much too fickle)

 

E. Vladimir ( A long story)

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Good News and Better News … October 12th, 2015

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Good News Milton, WI

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding.

I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

If faith is what we believe

And love is what we feel,

Then hope is the desire to feel what we believe.

I spent yesterday morning in Milton, Wisconsin, at a church called Hope.

I did not go there looking for God. I found Him some time ago.

I went there looking for people–especially people who are interested in breaking out of the repetition of religious and social blandness.

After 40 years, I have found things about people which really set them apart and give them the advantage Jesus intended them to have:

1. People should be welcoming.

It may be hard to do, but it is even more difficult to wait for friendship to appear instead of stepping forward to cause it.

2. I look for people who have nothing to defend.

Don’t forget–trying to defend something makes you defensive. And being defensive makes you a target for criticism rather than the fort of solitude you envision yourself to be.

3. I look for folks who are listening.

Learning never happens without listening, and honestly, listening never happens as long as we’re flapping our jaws, complaining.

And also, there is a quality in human beings that must be brought to the forefront for us to escape animalism or the notion that we’re “little gods.”

4. I look for folks who can be touched.

To be touched, you have to admit that another fellow-traveler can come along and reach in and tickle your heart.

Here’s the beautiful part to my story:

Yesterday morning at Hope Church, I found such people.

Oh, they tried to hide out at first and pretend they were bound to their traditions and their loyalties to programming, but after a while they realized how beneficial it is to free themselves from the responsibility of being religious, and allow themselves to be children of God.

  • The Gospel is not for weaklings.
  • It’s not for people who want to follow the crowd.

It is a message for intelligent people who are fully aware that if they pursue the same path as the world around them, they will get the same result, which seems to be a collision of indecision and bedlam.

I was blessed to be with the folks at Hope.

They are shepherded by a fine gentleman with a tender heart and an increasing desire to be swept away by a great wind of Spirit.

I leave them with one better piece of news:

Whenever you walk through the doors of your sanctuary, develop the determination, the attitude and the will to refuse to leave that building … without being totally inspired.

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The Box I Built … February 9, 2013

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I gave my caretakers, instructors and the adult world nearly two decades to make their imprint on my life, to prove their case. I think that’s pretty generous.

And then I noticed “now abideth faith, hope and love…” I suddenly realized in my late teens that I did not believe in my clan’s faith. It’s not so much that I had doctrinal differences as that I was completely dissatisfied with the absence of a belief system. My parents adhered to God without ever allowing the influence to permeate the corners of their minds. I wanted more than that.

I also did not favor the hopes they had for me. They wanted me to be a slightly updated version of their rendition of the American pursuit. I was not very impressed with the American pursuit. It advertised great promise, with the fulfillment of a dream, but rarely delivered the goods. I went out looking for my own hope.

In our house, I always felt “love” was a word that was set off in an emotional parenthesis–assumed, as it were. I don’t want you to think I’m being critical of their choices. My parents were raised in an era when survival was much more important than hugs. So emotion was basically drained from the experience of affection, and intimacy was only expressed following moments of crisis.

Let me explain.My father passed away when I was seventeen. About three months before his death, realizing that he was terminal with cancer, he came in the room and tried to converse with me, ending our session by reaching over to tickle me. I was seventeen years old–not really “tickleable.” I pushed him away. As I look back on it now, it probably was a point of sadness to him. But the emotion of love does need to be expressed more frequently than when you’re afraid you’re dying.

So I pursued a “reborn” identity. I chose to be born again spiritually–in a way that my family would have considered to be over-wrought and overly involved with the Divine. I rejected working at the local retail store as a means of occupation and pursued the hope of being a writer and performer, even though I was qualified for neither. And with a very limited understanding of human sexuality, I went out to find love, experimenting with the ease and ability of a blind chemist.

It didn’t all go well. But I was satisfied with my choices.

I built a box for myself. It was still a box,. I was inhibited by my childhood fears, restricted by my family’s traditions and intimidated by my own insecurities. But I still stepped out and tried things. I did some things poorly; I did some things well.

But I got away.

It’s one of the first things you learn about Jesus of Nazareth. Had he never left the home fires and the carpenter’s shop, running away from his family (which pursued him to drag him back to his duty) we would have the story of a Galilean carpenter who found a new way to refinish wood, instead of a teacher who changed the world with the Golden Rule.

Unfortunately, many people never escape the box built for them. They live with their “born” identity, making excuses for their lacking while simultaneously being defensive over their choices.

Sooner or later, you have to build a box for yourself. It is the only definition that truly fits the  phrase “right of passage.” You have to find your own faith, you have to chase your own hopes and you have to define “love” for your world.

It is the box I built.

Yet one day I realized … it was still a box.

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