25 Smackabonies… January 16, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2122)

I'M book coverIt takes two different desires to write a book. Well, at least it should:

  • First, a vision of something to say.
  • And second, an arrogance that you actually have a right to say it.

I decided I wanted to write a novel. It went swimmingly until I splashed down in self-doubt.

What you may not know about the writing process is that you pen many, many pages which will never be used or are simply edited down in your completed manuscript.

Mine was a simple telling of the “greatest story ever told.” I wrote a first-person account of the life of Jesus–him telling his own story–including possible scenarios of what may have happened during “the missing years”–between the ages of twelve and thirty.

In 1993, I reached a juncture in the story where I was about to enter the last days of his life. I stalled. I didn’t want to write something predictable. I didn’t want to share the story of the final moments in the life of Jesus of Nazareth in a traditional way.  So I did what all writers do when they’re poised at a fork in the road.

I stopped.

My two oldest sons, who had just moved to Nashville and started working, were greatly concerned. They loved the book and wanted to see me finish it. So unbeknownst to me, they found an empty apartment in our complex which was fully furnished and was rented out to visiting parties for $25 a night. They rented one day’s lodging for me.

This was quite an achievement. It cost twenty-five dollars–hard-earned money they really didn’t have. (We jokingly referred to dollars as “smackabonies.”)

They came to me, handed me the key, and said, “Dad, get away. Go write.”

I was moved by their generosity, but was also fighting a severe bout with a urinary infection at the time. I had a sting in places on my body which were never meant to be stung. But rather than disappoint them, I took my old manual Royal typewriter with  an “a” key which failed to finish its bottom, and headed off for the seclusion.

I have honestly never had such a transforming experience. Sick, with a mild fever, in great pain, I sat behind that typewriter and hammered out seventy-five pages of my book, taking me through the betrayal, the trial, the crucifixion and the resurrection of my dear friend.

It was amazing.

The pain I felt only helped to feed the passion of the moment. Page after page flowed from me, almost like automatic writing, if there is such a thing.

I don’t know what my sons expected, but when I walked out the next morning with nearly ninety fresh pages of my book, they were in tears. They spent the next several hours reading the fruit of my labors and the grapes of their generosity.

It was just 25 smackabonies, after all.

But to them it was a gold mine. And to me it was a treasure chest.

I have never forgotten it. And it makes me realize that the greatest accomplishment in life is discovering that God, your friends and your family not only love you … but are prepared to invest in you. 

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

King Jesus … November 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2076)

crownI don’t like kings.

They give me the creeps. Too much pomp for the circumstance.

On the other hand, I like Jesus.

So imagine my surprise when I discover that the church wants me to call him a king.

Yes.  Christ the King. Here’s my problem:

Kings live in castles. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes but the son of man has no place to lay his head.”

Kings always possess land. Jesus told us that “his kingdom was not of this world” and therefore couldn’t be measured in acres.

Generally speaking, being a king comes with a certain gaggle of servants. Yet Jesus told his disciples that he didn’t come to be served, but to be of service.

How about a lavish throne? For Jesus, that was the back side of a baby donkey, bouncing his way into Jerusalem.

Then there’s fine clothes and a royal family. Yet Jesus’ philosophy was to “take no thought for what ye shall wear” and his mother was a peasant woman.

Here’s a question: can you be a king without an army or a treasure chest to fund that force? If I recall, Jesus said “we shouldn’t lay up treasure on earth, but in heaven.”  And concerning the military, he warned us that “they that live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

Even though Jesus was surrounded by devoted women, he possessed none of them as his queen.

And at his coronation, he was crowned … with thorns.

Christ the King Sunday.

He was a king. But he was a king because he came to testify to the truth: the truth that faith is the part of belief that we use, like a mustard seed. Hope is the desire we pursue. And love is the God we give to others.

All hail, King Jesus, who taught us that the only way to be a master … is to become a servant.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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