Jesonian … October 9th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3820)

A great resurrection always destroys a good funeral.

That’s just the nature of things.

Miracles interrupt. They evolve us and they change the world around us.

So since we are such stoic, immovable creatures, it is amazing how often we will carelessly pray for a miracle.

MIRACLES DISRUPT

Yes, miracles surprise us.

There are four times in the ministry of Jesus that he raised people from the dead.

Now, it sounds like a fabulous experience, but when put into the environment of the doldrums of everyday living, the people who were present for these events were more annoyed than “enjoyed.”

He came upon a situation with a twelve-year-old girl who had passed away. He was a little late getting there, so he told the room that she was not really dead, she was “just sleeping.”

This pissed them off.

They felt that he was insulting their ability to discern when someone was living or dead. They so abusively ridiculed him that he had to kick them out of the house so the little girl could live again.

As they stood outside, not allowed to be part of the miracle, they mused to one another, “That son-of-a-bitch ruined our plans for a good funeral.”

One day he was walking by a town called Nain and came upon a funeral procession for a widow who had just lost her son. Jesus, having great compassion, reached over, touched the coffin, and the young man rose up and began talking.

Two priests and a psychologist nearby shook their heads and said, “That bumpkin robbed her of her grief process!”

When his friend Lazarus fell ill, Jesus was once again tardy, arriving four days after his death. Still wanting to see his buddy, he decided to raise him from the dead. But Lazarus’s sisters were put off by the idea because they thought, “By this time, he will stink.”

Yes–they were unwilling to go through a bit of nasal discomfort to have their brother back.

And of course, when Jesus, himself, was put in a tomb, the religious leaders, sure of their power and might, positioned soldiers to guard the tomb and make sure nothing unusual could happen. Of course, the angel just put them to sleep and Jesus rose from the dead.

CREATURE OR CREATOR?

The truth of the matter is–and if it’s not the truth, it’s still a damn good point–as you walk on this Earth you are either a creature or a creator.

A creature of habit, tradition or propriety

Or a creator–someone who simply says, “This thing before me does not need to be exactly what it is, but could be transformed into something different.”

Make up your mind. Just remember:

If you want to see transformation and miracles, hold onto your hat.

You will be jostled.

*****

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Jesonian … March 31st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3628)

 For thirty-six hours, God walked away and left humanity to dangle in its notorious decisions.

Long ago, from six o’clock Friday to six o’clock on Sunday morning, the conclusions derived by the honoring of religion, the promotion of politics and the inclusion of jealousy reigned supreme on the Earth.

In the process, a hapless lamb was slaughtered so that a less-than-noble tribe of Bedouins could believe they were special because their ancestors had the fortitude to escape Egypt.

A governor of Judea slinked away to Caesarea to spend a quiet weekend with his wife, only to discover that she was enraged because he had failed to take her dream into consideration when judging an innocent man.

A betrayer from Kerioth who was blindly jealous of his Master, his best friend, climbed a small hill, tied a rope around his neck and hung himself from a tree.

Soldiers were demanded to guard a tomb to make sure that nobody went in, or for that matter, nobody came out.

Disciples who had followed a messenger of love were scared into hiding because they simply believed that “loving your neighbor as yourself” was not a greeting-card sentiment.

Repairmen came to clean up after an unexpected earthquake shook the region, leaving behind great damage, even in the Temple.

The world proceeded with a nauseating sameness, which gained the smugness of superiority because it appeared that any variables were nailed down and silenced.

The kingdom of religion seemed to succeed–a philosophy contending that tradition must decide.

The kingdom of politics stomped around the Great Hall, believing that greed decides.

And the kingdom of jealousy slithered away to lick its wounds, confident of temporary victory because fear had made its decision.

For thirty-six hours, God removed Himself from the circumstances, leaving religion, politics and jealousy to win the day.

It seemed that the obvious forces in power were as formidable as advertised–because everything which had objected, contradicted or shared a different approach was beaten, crucified and buried.

At first sight, there was no light.

And then God returned.

Actually, it was the Kingdom of God, which is within us. It is a Kingdom where faith decides because we are the ones who offer the input.

Even though the disciples of the slain Master were still tucked away, three women bravely made their way to a tomb.

They were not expecting a resurrection.

They were not anticipating finding a miracle.

They did what women have done since the beginning of time–they viewed how men had screwed everything up and they came to clean up the mess.

No bands played, no dignitaries arrived with a key to the city, no men who had pledged eternal allegiance surfaced.

Just three women carrying a bunch of spices, which they immediately dropped when they saw an empty tomb.

Easter is a time when we celebrate more than a resurrection. It is a moment in history when God shows us that even though insanity may temporarily take control, His grace, mercy, understanding and wisdom are never far away.

It was not easy to survive thirty-six hours without God. But because those thirty-six hours showed us the foolishness of religion, politics and jealousy, we can now revel with great joy in the Kingdom of God, which allows our faith to decide.


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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 22nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2980)

PoHymn Orlando

To He Who Robbed Our Pulse

(Dedicated to the Souls in Orlando)

How easy it is to kill

To end the dreams of Jack and Jill

Who went to fetch some fun

‘Til confronted by your gun

Removing all their will

 

You claim faith in God

But then prove you’re a fraud

By destroying His greatest desire

You make the message a liar

Placing the young in a tomb.

 

Did anyone see your hate?

Could they stop the fate?

That crushed the hopes of so many

And produced the graves aplenty

Making the children helpless

 

It is time for a simple path

To expunge the bloody math

And let us look for a friend

Instead of promoting the end

Of God’s great human embrace

 

So as we contemplate the morrow

Let us rise from festering sorrow

And push to find something brighter

Lifting burdens, making things lighter

Listening instead of yelling

Laughing instead of cursing

And talking instead of shooting.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … April 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2910)

PoHymn care for the cure

Care for the Cure

Is there care for the cure

Or are we all so very sure

That God is on His eternal throne

And we are never found alone

Always blessed by all that’s pure?

 

While failure is a common fare

And defeat the meat for those who dare

Why do we worship the son’s shine

Believing it righteous and truly divine

Denouncing the stormy scare?

 

Weakness is what makes us feel

Pain arrives to test our zeal

Suffering is the passing light

Day surrenders to ultimate night

The tomb provides the final seal.

 

Can we muster the courage to stand

And offer the gentle reprimand?

Today I fall, but never retreat

Crawling on knees, rise to my feet

Planting my seed in the barren land.

 

For life is not for those who live

But suited better to souls who give

Fretless of the pending doom

Vacant of the sinner’s gloom

They work, creating redemption.

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Good News and Better News … January 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2824)

Good News Messiah Lutheran

I arrived early.

Nothing had started popping at Messiah Lutheran.

I was sitting at my book table checking out a few details when I looked across the vestibule and saw the bulletin board pictured above.

My first instinct was to chuckle since I was peering at a snowman while abiding in Panama City, Florida. But I guess because it was Sunday morning and my thoughts had become a bit introspective, I considered the snowman.

It isn’t, you know–a man, I mean.

If you came across a snowman and decided to melt it and free the human being inside, after extensive warming, all you would end up with is a puddle.

There’s nothing within.

It’s an imitation of life–using lumps of coal, a broom, a button, a scarf, a carrot and a top hat.

But it got me wondering if there are frozen people crusted over by the iciness of our culture, who really are more than just snowmen. Is it possible to become so chilled by indifference that you live beneath inches of ice?

Well, I certainly see it in politics.

Freezing out your competition and appearing above the fray, free of fault, seems to be the “call of the wild” in Washington. But I fear if the real heat of pressure and responsibility fell upon any one of them, they would sink into a drippy mess.

How about entertainment?

What could be more hypocritical than a bunch of snowmen in Hollywood who think they are so open-minded and liberal, who make a stand against guns–even as they use pistils, automatic rifles and any number of instruments of mayhem to kill thousands of human beings in their plotlines.

Then there’s religion.

Seems to me that we have sunk to the position of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, who spent their time counting cups, cleaning plates and decorating their robes.

Snowmen.

Nothing really left inside–just a cold form of what they once might have looked like.

So as I prepared to share with the folks at Messiah, I was reminded of the sarcastic statement of the angel, speaking to the women who came to the tomb to embalm Jesus: “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”

I had to ask myself a two-part question:

  • Is my life the pursuit of melting snowmen, only to find there’s nothing really there?
  • Or, under this arctic exterior, are there still living human beings who would like to have joy and abundant life?

The good news is that Messiah lifted my spirits.

Although at first they treated us as strangers, our hearts soon burned within us, taking away the frigid fear.

It was powerful.

It was good.

It was hopeful.

And unlike the snowman on the wall of their bulletin board, what I discovered were human beings suffering from a little hypothermia from being exposed to too much cold. So here’s the better news: We can warm up society and find out where the snowmen are and where the people just need to come in out of the elements.

1. When you see somebody doing a good job and you know they make minimum wage, give them a buck and a word of encouragement for their extra-mile efforts.

2. When you’re in the doctor’s office, instead of pretending to read an out-dated magazine, attempt to strike up a conversation with a nearby human being and see where it takes you.

3. Let “thank you” come off your lips more and more easily.

4. Lead with a smile long before you come face-to-face.

5. Appreciate the small things and be amazed at how the big things begin to take care of themselves.

6. Sit in your quiet, staid church and clap your hands during one of the hymns and see if anyone joins you.

I could go on and on.

Here are two dangers in life: falling under the spell of the deep freeze, or believing that you have no power to thaw it.

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Jesonian: Faith Without Smart Is … October 5, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2371)

woman touching

She had tried everything, depleting both her funds and energy.

A small trickle of blood was constantly flowing from her body, leaving her weary and exhausted, threatening to take away the will to persevere. But she knew one thing for certain: long before we arrive in the tomb, we haunt the graveyard of self-pity.

So she kept looking.

One day she heard about a young man who was touted to have healing powers. Too decimated by her illness to compete with the crowds that surrounded this wonder boy, she devised a plan. She would wait until he was passing her way, and then crawl through the sea of legs surrounding him, touch the hem of his garment and in so doing, trigger her needed recuperation.

She did not allow herself to second guess her own inkling. Such a reflection would have made her doubtful, causing her to give up.

It worked.

And her healing friend told her that it was her faith that made her whole.

****

He was a Roman Centurion, a stranger in a strange land. He was hated simply for the uniform he donned. When his servant became ill, he was frustrated that there was no remedy. All the Roman and Greek cures failed to provide comfort.

He heard about a carpenter from Nazareth who was supposed to possess a linkage with God, granting supernatural powers. He sent a messenger, telling this fellow of his situation.

When he realized that the young preacher was heading his way to assist, his wisdom told him that this was foolish. There was no need to come to his house. The Centurion was deemed unworthy by the citizens, and if the healer came, his reputation would be tainted by assisting a Roman.

“Just say the word and my servant will be healed.”

The Miracle Man smiled, shook his head and replied, “I’ve never seen such great faith.”

By the way, the servant was healed.

****

A prodigal son lying in squalor and self-imposed poverty comes to himself one night, realizing that it is prideful and unnecessary to remain indigent. He devises a plan, and because his humble reasonings produce faith, he ends up being returned to his position as son.

****

A Gentile woman comes to the young prophet of Galilee, wanting her daughter to be freed from demons. She is a bit surprised that he rebuffs her, being surrounded by bigots who deemed her less than human. But rather than being offended or full of self-contempt, she instead banters with him, explaining that although the people around her believed her to be a dog, that “even the puppies get the scraps from the table.”

The Galilean chuckles. “Your daughter is healed. Your faith has made you whole.”

****

Faith without smart is fear–and fear is always the unwillingness to conjure an idea. If it is faith that makes us whole, then our wholeness is determined by coming up with our own inspiration.

Sometimes we don’t know what to pray. (In that case, the Spirit intervenes on our behalf.)

But more often, we have the brain to attain what we are blessed to possess.

For after all, intelligence is not a rejection of grace. Intelligence is grace … with a map to Jesus’ house. 

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

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G-41: Pulseless… September 12, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2350)

coffin

Dead … as a doornail.

Please, no mention of nails.

Ironic: a carpenter terrified by nails. Leave it to the Romans to murder a tree and use it to kill me.

Dead … that last frantic, frightened gasp for air as the brain dims away like a flickering flame.

Extinguished.

Then … yes, then a victim of cruel-cified. Very cruel.

Waiting to see if suffocation, heart attack from extreme pain or bleeding to death occur first.

  • Constantly cramping
  • Constantly thirsty.
  • Constantly bleeding.
  • Constantly … trapped.

Some watched. Some mocked. Some busied themselves earning their daily shekel.

A few mourners.

I prayed for Mission A and ended up with Plan B–a sacrifice to stupidity to end stupidity once and for all.

For here is the reasoning:

To gain resurrection, something must die. To die, someone must risk, by faith, that there is more. To believe in more requires a zest for life that despises death.

Yes, John, pull me down.

Mother, take the thorns from my head.

Joseph, carry me to your tomb.

I shan’t stay long.

Set the alarm for 6:00 A. M. Sunday.

I will wake up.

The good news is …

So will you.

 

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The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

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

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