Sit Down Comedy … July 12th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4103)


Paralyzed by the immobility of a weary exasperation, I pause, waiting for the Senate of Sitters, the House of Misrepresentation, the President of Whim and the Court of Supreme Confusion to hatch a single egg of an idea from their coop of chickens.

I would suggest that it’s time for each of us to step up and become the solution before we are drug into the quicksand of indecision and suffocated by lameness.

So therefore, may I suggest the following mission statement:

A lways

B elieving in the persistent power of goodness

C oncerned

D eeply in our portion of the responsibility of carrying the banner of possibility, we

E ffectively craft a plan of action which has historical awareness, future vision and a great sensitivity to the present need.

F inding reasons to agree, similarities among us all

G iving us a common joy which beckons an uncommon strength to tackle our problems, while

H aving respect for one another and reverence for great ideals,

I join with you to form US, which is the “we, the people” who are in pursuit of a more perfect union.

J ustice is our mind, creativity our heart and mercy our soul.

K indly we enjoin.

L osing the fickle identity of political parties, we

M ingle.

N aturally becoming the melting pot of cultures that we have advertised ourselves to be,

O ur hope is an equality that lends itself to equity—

P ure of heart, to find the divine within us.

Q uiet in ignorance,

R allying toward learning who we are together, we

S urvive to expand what we know without shame over our lacking, for

T ruth is submission to the next well-proven revelation. We

U nite with each other in our hunger and thirst for what is better. Indeed,

V ictory is sweeter when celebrated by all, and

W inning, more peaceful when there are fewer losers.

X marks the spot where there is an atmosphere wherein

Y ou and I, once and for all, are able to look one another in the eye without fear or prejudice—to go out every single day and be:

Z ealously affected by a good thing.


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Sit Down Comedy … December 7th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3872)

The Wise Crack (Up)

Dorkius was also wise.

He just enjoyed his wisdom with a strong portion of practicality. Matter of fact, Dorkius believed that wisdom without practicality was just foolishness with a nasty surprise.

So when his three friends–Santere, a wealthy merchant, Chenaul, a renowned seller of purple cloth, and Beloit, a little person in charge of the maintenance of a huge flock of camels–came to visit him, telling him about a beautiful star sparkling in the sky, Dorkius was already familiar with the phenomenon.

Very impressive.

Like his friends, Dorkius was always prepared to view heavenly wonders, and discuss them for hours over a nice flask of wine and a sumptuous meal. He believed that discussion held the power to calm every fiber of the human soul, and was therefore the ointment of contentment and good health.

But pursuing false wisdom produced a contentious nature which caused one to fear that not enough was being accomplished, and generated the eager itch to follow the unknown. This often left a confused traveler discombobulated, and therefore, ailing.

Even though Santere, Chenaul and Beloit were well-traveled, excellent reasoners, they were never able to out-debate the adept Dorkius.

So when the three came to visit, enthused over the revelation of the star, they insisted that it foretold a great event–a social and spiritual awakening–the announcement of a great ruler who would bring a sense of harmony to the Earth.

Dorkius immediately pointed out to his friends that there was no basis for this in the science of astrology, for such an alignment was unlikely for thousands of years. But Santere objected, noting that perhaps “the heavens felt the need to hasten the pace.”

Dorkius smiled. Chenaul was all to familiar with that particular smirk. It meant that her friend had been amused by some piece of illogical thought and was about to pounce on it with all the aptitude of his intellect.

“The heavens in disarray?” asked Dorkius, as if posing the question to the entire Universe. “My dear Santere, why would the heavens be in disarray? Why would they need to hasten anything, when they, and they alone, hold the vision to all answers? You must remember, my dear friend, that in the pursuit of great knowledge, many imitators, bringing stupidity, will scamper to our side.”

Beloit, who had a wee voice, spoke with great conviction. “But consider this, dear Dorkius. What if it is miraculous? What if it’s the only star of its kind to ever appear in the heavens? What if it is the beckoning light for the King of all Kings and the Master of all Magistrates? What if it is the greatest light we shall ever see?”

Dorkius countered with a fury of anger. He was always annoyed with Beloit’s overly simplistic approach. “And what if it isn’t?” he challenged. “If there were ten chances before you and nine of them were death and one was eternal life, would you take the risk? Is the prospect for a greater and longer existence worth the nine possibilities of losing the one you have?”

Chenaul touched Dorkius’ arm tenderly and said, “It is if it’s the brightest chance you’ve ever seen.”

Dorkius shook his head. He prepared himself for another onslaught of verbal battling and an additional flask of wine.

Instead, Santere stood to his feet and offered, “We have not come tonight, my dear friend, to argue philosophy or to wrangle over the intellect of odds. We have come to invite you to join us on a journey with a great entourage–to find the source of the Star. To find the resting place. And hopefully, to find the King it proclaims.”

Dorkius laughed, at first with great levity, which gradually curdled into a cruel tone. “Are you asking me,” he scoffed, “to drop all I have, all I own, and all I do, to follow a star?”

“No,” said Chenaul, also standing to her feet, “we’re inviting you. Since we feel the star invited us, it seemed unrighteous to leave behind our sweet friend.”

Beloit also stood, and spoke boldly. “I know you don’t like me, Dorkius. We don’t need to discuss that. But I love you enough to want you there when we find the source of the reflection that radiates the heavens.”

Dorkius sighed. “I would continue to reason with the three of you but I think it’s time for Nature and the gods to teach you a lesson. We are mere mortals. We live and die, and all that remains are the values we have taught others, the deeds we have done and the shadow of a legacy that is always fading. I don’t want my last memory to be a foolhardy odyssey to chase a beam of light. Please, reconsider your plan. I know the three of you to be extraordinarily wise. Now, use that wisdom in a practical way. The gods do not call us to chase, but rather, observe, learn and apply. I, for one, will take the beauty of what I see in the sky and report it to those I see around me–encouraging them to enjoy the spectacle. You see, herein lies wisdom–but mingled with appreciation for one’s own circumstances.”

The three wise ones could not argue with their friend. Everything he said had elements of truth, value, some nobility and certainly the safety of sleeping in one’s own bed, in one’s own tent.

But his perspective lacked faith. It lacked vision. It lacked the adventure required by hope–to bring the joy in the human soul.

They all embraced. They shared meditations. And the three mounted their camels and set off on a journey.

That night Dorkius wept for his friends. He mourned for their misguided, meaningless meandering. He went to bed confident that he was safe and sound.

Dorkius was wise, but practical.

And practical is what kept him from seeing the Christ Child.

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Good News and Better News… December 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2775)

Good News December 6

47.

Of the 52 Sunday mornings made available each year, I am blessed and honored to be able to share my vision and message with congregations all over this country in all but 5.

Easter Sunday, All Saint’s Day, and the three Sabbaths leading up to Christmas normally are already pre-packaged.

Yesterday was one of those 5.

I suppose I could say something noble, like the fact that I went to another church, or even found a hollowed-out tree in the forest in which to pray, but honestly, I just enjoyed being with myself and my traveling musical partner.

But one particular reflection came to my mind.

Although there is a contingency of human souls who believe in waiting for things to happen, I have found such a delay to be not only useless and pretentious, but also unproductive and foolish.

I have come to a conclusion: I only matter if I take my matter and address things that matter.

I am not naturally loved or appreciated by anyone.

I know that may sound a little cynical, but each of us must realize that ultimately, we are gauged by our value to the human tribe–whether we offer an opportunity to make things easier, more intelligent or prosperous.

  • I want to matter.
  • I want to have a life filled with purpose.
  • I don’t need to be personally important–just to know that what I’m doing has a level of importance.

So yesterday morning I asked myself a question. Since mattering is the matter at hand, what really matters?

1. Promoting liberty.

Without it, the Spirit of God is absent.

2. Promoting equality.

Without this particular understanding, we start buying in to the concept that we are exceptional.

3. Promoting mercy.

I desperately need mercy, and the only way for me to obtain it is to act it out in my adventures with others.

4. Promoting good cheer.

People who laugh are not better people, they just last longer, waiting for the solution to come.

5. Promoting peace.

Not just the absence of war but also the presence of ideas that find commonality.

That’s the good news.

And the better news is that great ideas are often considered nearly criminal when they are first suggested. Yet if you want to be found among the chosen few who are regarded as forward thinking, make sure you leave your fingerprints on these innovations.

So when they are investigated by future generations, it will be obvious to one and all that you were in on the ground work of an enlightened moment.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 10th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2608)

PoHymn June 10th

If Not, Then

If you can’t think, then feel

If you don’t walk, then bless

If you are confused, stop teaching

If you are amused, share the giggle

If you believe, provide some proof

If you are loved, shout from the roof

If you are angry, spit it out

If you are lonely, stroll about

If you know a secret, whisper its worth

If you have changed, announce the birth

If sadness visits, travel on

If regret nags, will it be gone

If happiness wishes, grant permission

If failure lingers, catch a vision

If time is short, slow things down

If somber threatens, become a clown

The power is yours

And even mine

To choose a path

And embrace the Divine.

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Check Us Out … August 4, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2312)

boy tying shoelaces

If you tell us we can’t, we’ll do it more

Tell us we can–why bother?

Surround us with love, we might prosper

Surround us with hate, we just might discover love.

Give us less and we start nurturing abundance

Give us abundance, we are drained of the energy to excel

Preach a sermon, we go to sleep

Produce a vision, we wake up prepared

Tell us we’re great and we’ll develop an attitude

Tell us it’s impossible and we just scratch the itch

Steal our heart, we fight back

Mess with our mind, we get revenge by thinking

Steal our soul, we create God

Laugh at us, we push harder

Believe in us, we may bring you along

Our colors don’t matter

Our nations are just land

Our religion is a process of hope

Our dreams are ever-changing sunrises

Ours is a family–a race of becomers

We are human

It’s up to us

We can’t walk on water

But we sure as hell will try

We have the power to welcome or deny our Creator

We are cast to Earth but not destined for mere mischief

We are …

What we are willing to be

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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. 

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Christmas Greetings A to Z … December 23, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2099)

A: Adorable adventX-men

B: Blessed bounty

C: Cherishing Christmas

D: Dainty dancers

E. Elation everlasting

F: Favorite fa-la-la-la-la

G: Gathering gaiety

H: Huddling home-fires

I: Ideally ingenious

J: Joyous joviality

K: Kris Kringle

L: Loving lullaby

M: Merry manger

N: Noel newness

O: Old-time ornaments

P: Precious Prince

Q: Quality quest

R: Reveling reindeer

S: Sleepless shepherds

T: Tree trimming

U: Untold unity

V: Vivacious vision

W: Wise wanderers

X: X-tra X-men

Y: You, yours

Z: Zany zeal

(Of course, if you insist, you can stick with “Merry Christmas to all!”)

 

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click to hear music from Spirited 2014

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