Catchy (Sitting 60) Debriefing…August 5th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog


Unable to get his head around Jo-Jay’s tales of abduction, Matthew made the decision to fly into Washington, D.C. and meet with five very confused but elated friends.

Each of them had purportedly encountered similar imprisonments, leaving them suffering from amnesia except for a very specific name, which each was intended to retain.

Matthew did not want to fly to Washington, D.C. by himself. Shortly before he received the phone call from Jo-Jay, the latest blood count numbers had come back from the doctor. They were not good. His liver was not repairing–actually getting worse.

This was probably due to the fact that Matthew was continuing to drink. When the doctor discovered that Matthew was not pursuing a tee-totaling lifestyle, he explained that it would soon be necessary to pursue a transplant–or Matthew would no longer be able to remain cynical, but rather, would be quite dead.

With that rattling around his brain, he did not want to be alone, so he asked Leonora to accompany him to Washington, D.C. She was completely unwilling–until he set up an audition for her as second oboist with the National Symphony. Even though Leonora hated not playing first–feeling that the classical masters chose the second oboe part to lose their inspiration, she still felt it was a good career move, and a good step for her in advancing her dreams. She agreed to travel along.

Yet she adamantly refused to attend the meeting with Matthew, Carlin, Jubal, Jasper, Soos and Jo-Jay, feeling she would be out of place, and that after the fiasco in the Las Vegas hotel suite, they might hold a grudge against her atheism.

Matthew assured her that they weren’t that type of people, and said she wouldn’t need to stay if she felt uncomfortable. To ensure she had autonomy, Leonora rented her own car upon arriving at the airport in Washington, D.C.

It was clear to Matthew that there were many roads of communication that needed to be opened in the days ahead if he was ever going to have this lovely woman as his partner.

The two Vegas souls arrived in time for brunch, which was beautifully set up at Jo-Jay’s house. It was light but delicious, tasty but small, and consumed in no time at all.

After a few moments of conversation, wherein all five Washingtonians exhausted all of their knowledge about oboes and double-reed instruments, Carlin spoke up.

“Matthew, we’ve asked you to come here because of a very strange set of events. Considering how this whole project has been tinged with the bizarre, isolating one thing as ‘strange’ might seem a little redundant…”

Soos broke in. “But honest to God, this one is strange. This is Twilight Zone freaky.”

Leonora furrowed her brow. Soos turned to her and said, “Do you know The Twilight Zone? You know–Rod Serling?”

Leonora neither acknowledged nor denied awareness. There was an uncomfortable moment while six people waited for one person to emote.

Jubal jumped in to fill the spot. “Well, it was. It was creepy. Let me summarize so I don’t bore anyone. All five of us…” He motioned his hand around the room.

“Yes, all five of us…Well, I guess I’ll use the word ‘abducted,’ though it wasn’t by aliens…'”

Jasper cut in, laughing. “Well, they were alien to me.”

Everybody nodded except Leonora, who was staring into her cup of tea.

Jo-Jay spoke up. “I’m not good at explaining things, but I have listened to everybody’s story, so let me summarize the details we have in common. Each of the five of us were taken against our will and flown by airplane to another location. We were given drugs which didn’t do any harm to us, but for some unusual reason, refreshed us. We were interrogated…”

Soos interrupted. “And this is where it gets different. For instance, I was interrogated by a woman in a clown suit.”

Carlin noted, “My guy was a fat Alfred Hitchcock-looking fellow wearing a ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’ mask.”

“I was interviewed by a football player,” said Jubal, “with an unknown uniform–at least unknown to me–with a mask over his eyes.”

“Mine was a little kid,” injected Jasper.

“And that leaves me,” said Jo-Jay. “My interrogator was dressed as an angel. A very dark one, wearing a black hood. It was scary shit.”

A silence fell over the room which Leonora filled with a heavy sigh, shaking her head. Matthew realized he was losing the attention of the woman he loved–or at least lusted after. He thought about trying to include her, but decided it might be better to just hurry the meeting along so they could get out of there.

But before he could speed the conversation toward a conclusion, Leonora stood to her feet and said, “The food was delicious. I shall not stay for the stories. I have an audition in two hours, and I am going to go practice and prepare. I’m sure you understand.”

She turned on her heel, and without saying another word, walked out the door. Matthew wanted to follow her, afraid of the separation.

At that moment, Matthew hated all five people in the room, and counting the Father, Son and Holy Ghost–make it eight. He was extremely tired of the whole project. He was sick of being sick.

Carlin sensed his desperation. “We won’t hold you long, Matthew.”

He continued. “I was given a name. Terrence Eldridge. I have Googled him, studied and tried to get as much information as I could. Turns out he’s a fellow who has started a new movement in the black community, to escape what he considers to be the racist term, ‘African American.’ He wants to give his brothers and sisters their rightful place in this country. He wants to call them ‘Amerikin.’ From what I read, he is powerful, dynamic and completely unknown.”

Soos jumped in. “Believe it or not, the name given to me was Michael Hinston. You may not know it, but he was recently exonerated of all charges. He’s been given a clean bill of health by the Congressional investigating committee. His testimony before them was speckled with spirit and humility. He’s in a good place. For some reason, he is my mission.”

“Mine,” said Jubal, “is a guy named Milton Crenshaw, who lives in South Florida. That’s not the name I was given. I was given a word. ‘Jesonian.’ When I typed that word into Google, this fellow’s name came up–with a self-published book that seemed to have gone nowhere. So I assume I’m supposed to go talk to him and find out what he’s trying to communicate with his new word.”

Jasper laughed. “Well, of course, I was given the name of a comedian. Mickey Kohlberg. He’s a Jewish fellow who has taken it upon himself to take all the material of Jesus of Nazareth and rework it into a standup comedy routine, which he has entitled ‘Dying Laughing.’ So I’m off to see what he’s all about.”

Jo-Jay looked around the room. “Well, I guess that leaves me. I was given the word careless.’ Of course, dumb girl that I am, I thought it was the normal word, “careless,” but then I discovered there’s this consultant to the rich–a young man in his early thirties named Careless. His goal is to teach these very wealthy people how to redeem their sense of worth through giving–intelligently. I’m set up to meet with him next week.”

Matthew sat for a moment. Carlin started to speak, but Matthew interrupted.

“No, I don’t need to hear any more from you guys. You do understand, this just sounds like a crock of shit. The smartest thing I could do is run out the front door of Jo-Jay’s home and throw a hand grenade behind me and save the world a lot of trouble.”

“Now, I’m not much of a church boy, but I do remember that when the Apostle Paul was talking to a king one day, the monarch got done hearing him and said to the Apostle, ‘Too much learning has made you crazy.’ Do you see my point? You guys have gotten so involved–so convinced that you’re going to change the world–that you’ve just let your minds go nuts.”

Jo-Jay stood up indignantly. “You know me better than that, Matthew. You once called me the most level-headed person you had ever met. Not woman. Person. Sometimes, though, all the answers don’t fit into a bottle of booze.”

Carlin also stood to his feet and pulled Jo-Jay toward him. “That’s enough. We’re not here to hurt our friend…”

Matthew shook his head. “You’re not my friends. I could use some friends. Did you all even know that I have liver disease? Did you know that I need a transplant? That’s what they told me right before I came here. And if you did know, how much would you let that interrupt your lives as you try to save the world for Jesus?”

“Did you see that woman who left? I love that woman. At least I think so. If she weren’t so goddamn obnoxious, I’d tell her. But the way she is right now, she’d just use it against me. You guys don’t have an answer. She hates your guts.”

He shook his head. “I know what she’s going to do. She’s gonna ask me to make a choice. Am I going to be with her, or continue to be in this ridiculous adventure?”

“And what would you say?” Soos asked meekly.

Jubal countered. “Hush, Soos. That’s none of our business.”

Matthew stood and walked toward the door. He stopped short. “Jubal, you said a mouthful. It’s not your business. Not because I don’t care. Not because I don’t love you guys. But right now I need someone to love me more than they love Jesus. Do you fucking get that?”

Carlin nodded and said, “We do.”

“We do what?” asked Matthew.

Carlin smiled. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

Matthew craned his neck from side to side, relieving tension. “Listen,” he concluded. “I’m sorry. I’m not myself. It sounds like a great punch-line, but keep in mind–my liver is dying. And I’ve got a conversation waiting for me with a very angry, talented, intelligent, sexy woman. And I’m outgunned. I would ask you to pray for me if I believed those words would go any higher than the ceiling. So let me leave it like this–I’m gonna live through the next twenty-four hours. I’ll let you know how much damage was done.”

He turned, opened the door and was gone.

Five startled, loving, confused, bewildered, exasperated, terrified and worried people peered at one another, anxiously.


Donate Button

The producers of Jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation for this inspirational opportunity

Three Ways to Acquire Patience… January 29, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


popscicle tower bigger

Not everything in life has a purpose, but everything in life can be assigned a purpose.

This is where patience comes to play.

Patience is the tool we pull out of our shed when we run across events which appear to be purposeless, and rather than floundering or losing faith, we hammer down value into the situation.

For after all, every wait becomes a weight unless we change it to a way-to.

So what is patience?

1. Pay attention.

While I am here, I will notice what has brought me to this point, what appears to be available to me to improve my situation and the best ways to set a good idea in motion.

It reminds me of the old Twilight Zone episode, when the man’s truck breaks down in the desert and after several days he dies of thirst and when the rescuers arrive, the bizarre revelation is that all the time, his truck was hauling water.

More often than not if we’re paying attention, our solution–or at least elements of it–are in the surroundings where we find ourselves, stalled.

2. Pay your dues.

If we’re going to be placed in a dilemma when for a certain length of time we will be immobile, we might as well practice.

When I was much younger, I had an upcoming musical performance in which I had a piano piece that was well beyond my ability. I was sitting in a room with a friend talking about how I was uncertain of this particular composition.

He jokingly said, “Do you know what you’re sitting on?”

I looked down. It was a piano bench. And where there’s a piano bench, somewhere there’s a piano. Sure enough, stuck in a side room I found a piano. I took my bench, went in and paid my dues–I rehearsed.

The amount of time it takes to worry is an equivalent to the amount of time it would take us to practice our way to victory.

3. Pay respect.

It seems to me that when we are in the fit of impatience one of the first things to depart is civility.

Remember that old saying–“biting the hand that feeds you?”

After all, you only have three friends: you, God and other people.

If you are frustrated, you’re probably not very friendly.

If God knows there are people around to help you, He will probably leave it up to them.

So in the midst of trying to be patient, cordiality must be maintained and respect for the feelings of others, because you just never know who has the rope to throw your way, to pull you out of your ditch.

Patience is looking for hope in a meager possibility. It is a length of time that comes our way before we find resolution.

You might as well put it to use.

The old saying is, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But the truth of the matter is, lemons only make lemon juice.

It’s necessary, through our patience, for us to bring the sweetness.

Donate Button

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

click above for information on 567!

click above for information on 567!


Bridging the Troubled Waters … July 18, 2012


Poolside at Bethesda in Jerusalem near the sheep gate.

Yuk. Who wants to go swimming near a sheep gate?? I guess the key would be to dive under the water a lot to avoid the smell.

Now, this particular place has significance because it is the source of a story of supernatural proportions, which allows it to become a magnificent tourist attraction. According to legend, an angel fell into these waters and somehow or another transferred heavenly energy into the stream, so occasionally the waters would become “troubled” and allegedly, anyone who jumped into the bubbly brew was immediately healed.

It probably did not occur to anyone that the “troubling of the waters” was brought about by a deep underground spring, and the Artesian effect created the bubbling. But it made for  an impressive mythology and drew out great crowds of people who wished to become the next benefactors of the bountiful bubbles.

You may insist that I am being sarcastic about the miraculous proportions of this tale. Not at all. I believe in miracles. I am humbled by a gracious intervention of a mysterious origin. It’s just that I know that this was not a miracle. How? Let me give you three reasons:

1. It favors those who are the fastest. Honestly, if you were truly sick and completely unable to walk and needed the miracle the most, you were least likely to get it because somebody with acne would immediately leap into the pool ahead of you. Blessing from God is not contingent on portability.

2. The myth was kept alive because the only people who got healed were those who were healthy enough not to need it. If the only success stories in your life are those people who were basically successful before and just hit a bad patch, then you are a pit stop, not a salvation station.

3. Rather than creating faithful, excited individuals who are anticipating great benefit from God, the pool ends up making those who linger around it into grumpy, cynical and whiney losers.

For when Jesus runs across a man who has been crippled, as it turns out, for thirty-eight years, he does not ask him why he failed to get into the waters. He doesn’t move him closer to the pool so that all he has to do is fall in. Jesus asks him “if he really wants to be made whole.”  Is it a dumb question? After all, the guy’s LIVING next to this magical pond. Doesn’t that demonstrate his willingness to be transformed? The guy doesn’t even answer Jesus’ question. Instead, he explains to Jesus why it’s impossible to get to the waters before the “speedy sickos.” The man has developed an apology for his belief.

This is my problem with religion. It develops a storyline filled with angels, heavenly promises and seemingly grounded in the Word of God. Then all the sick people come and sit next to this little piece of superstition, devoid of healing or change–just developing excuses for their desperation and need.

I hate superstition. I hate it when people are left in bondage and handed a series of scriptures to hold onto while they struggle with their misery.

So does Jesus. He doesn’t waste any time. He tells the man to rise, take up his bed and walk. He doesn’t trouble the water for the man and put him in, to promote the lie. No–he connects him. And the funny thing about the story is that this guy, who has now been healed, rather than being grateful, overwhelmed and unabashedly appreciative, ends up joining up with the religious leaders to finger Jesus as the guy who did this wonderful deed for him … on the Sabbath Day.

Jesus is angry. He finds the man and warns him to repent lest a worse thing happen to him. Now, answer me this: what could be worse than being crippled for thirty-eight years, sitting next to a pool of water, sniffing sheep dung and waiting for the waters to bubble up in front of you, knowing that you probably will never receive restoration from its flow? I guess what would be worse is being healed and still bound to a religious system that did nothing to help you get that way.

We have to begin to ask our faith to make us whole, not merely comfort us. Not just be satisfied with wonderful stories that we all recite, memorize and retell, never fully understanding the meaning, nor eat magical bread and drink mystical wine, thinking that somehow or another it transforms us into new creatures. Instead, step away from the superstition and ask God to teach you how to be a good human being.

Here are the three things I believe need to be done to escape the religious rhetoric that is driving people away and has no authority to address the problems of our present generation:

1. If our faith makes us whole, then it’s time to teach people that God will involve them in their miracle.

2. There is nothing wrong with questioning stories, fables and even scriptures that do nothing to invite newness of life.

3. If the by-product of our spiritual experience is not becoming rehabilitated humans, then what we’ve entered is a time capsule of belief that was relevant to a former generation and obscure to us.

Here’s a clue:

  • If your reaction to disappointment is the same as the worker in the cubicle next to you, who does not believe in God, then your faith is meaningless.
  • If you are not finding new ways to use your talents to improve your lifestyle and increase your possibilities, then your religion is an albatross hanging around your neck.
  • If you find yourself defending God more often than you do living out His promises with good cheer, then you probably hooked up with the wrong team.
  • If you’re listening to scriptures and the words are beginning to blur together like a highway on a sleepy drive, you probably have lost the power of the word to transform you.
  • If you find yourself criticizing those who don’t believe more often than using your belief to uplift the critical, you are part of the problem, not the solution.
  • And if you’re lying next to a pool of water, waiting for the angels to trouble the stream so you can be healed, you might just have entered a religious Twilight Zone.

Sometimes people make up reasons for religion because the ability to turn disciples into the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth” has been sacrificed on an altar of tradition. Spirituality is a daily bathing in good cheer and good ideas.

Anything less is religion, which merely gives you an excuse for why you’re not well.


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

%d bloggers like this: