The G Word … March 19th, 2019

THE

Image result for gif of letter g

WORD


The G word is God

It is definitely a word that needs great clarification before it’s spoken in a room occupied with human beings. After all, I don’t know whether you’re talking about the one who blesses, or damns.

I don’t know what intention you have in referencing the Almighty. The name of God has been used to foster genderism, racism and nationalism, not to mention rape, war and murder.

It’s just too easy.

The Great Fix: when in doubt, mention God.

Your political campaign circling the toilet? Make some reference to your faith and how you feel God has called you to pursue government position.

Get caught abusing young boys and girls? Explain that your work for God left you desolate of the fortitude to withstand your own temptations.

Is this a God that blows up buildings, or a God who laments the loss of the unicorn?

Is this G-O-D you’re tossing in my direction a blanket of comfort or a hand grenade to blow up my dreams?

We can no longer allow people to utter the word “God” in parlor conversation, and then turn around on a whim and assign all sorts of duties, actions and even atrocities to Him.

I would much rather hear you explain what your faith is going to do than have you hand me a book of text verifying how old and sacred your belief truly is.

“God” is a word we need to stop using—unless we’re prepared to back it up with a life that honors His creation instead of decimating it.

Because even the One who was proclaimed to be the Savior of the World said to beware those who come crying, “Lord, Lord”–but know nothing about the Heavenly Heart.


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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3980)

Sitting Ten

“Stay back, lady!” Pal leaped to his feet, alarmed.

Karin shouted, “I’m a reporter! “

“We are young men,” said Pal.

“Dangerous young men,” added Iz. They stood shoulder to shoulder, gazing at the intruding female.

Karin halted her progress and softened her voice. “So I heard.”

“What do you want?” demanded Pal.

Karin slowly inched her way forward. “I want to report your story. I want to find out why you two boys are in the desert together. If you don’t mind, I want you to tell me why you’re dangerous. And I also want to give you some water and food,” she said, motioning to the supplies she had laid to the side.

Pal and Iz gave each other a quick glance. Water and food—always good. Iz spoke up. “Just leave the water and food and go.”

Karin shook her head. “No deal. I didn’t come out here to be your delivery service. I told you—I’m a reporter. I want to know what’s going on.”

“Nothing,” spat Iz.

“So why are you dangerous, then?” Karin moved a few steps closer.

Pal backed away. “Because we want to be left alone,” he replied.

Karin reached out with open hands and said, “Okay. Give me my story and I’ll leave you alone.”

“Here’s your story,” said Iz. “Two boys…”

Pal interrupted. “We’re not boys, Iz.”

“Right,” said Iz, slapping his forehead with his palm. “Make that ‘Two Macho Men, Left Alone and At Peace in Desert by Reporter’.”

“I don’t know,” said Karin. “I can tell you—it’s not really a page turner. How about this instead? ‘Two Muscular Manly Men Tell Their Intriguing Story to Attractive Reporter and All At Once, the World Understands’?”

Pal shook his head. “The world will not understand.”

Iz jabbed his friend in the arm. “And listen, lady. You’re not that attractive.”

Karin feigned an offended gasp. “Now I see why they say you’re dangerous. Your tongue just killed my ego at fifteen paces.” She paused to see if the boys would laugh. When they didn’t, she eyed them with deep contemplation, then continued. “Just let me ask you five questions.”

“One question,” said Pal.

“Four,” countered Karin.

“Two!” shouted Iz.

Pal displayed a toothy grin. “I guess that means three.”

“All right. Three questions,” Karin agreed.

“And no funny business,” said Pal, crossing his arms.

Karin chuckled. “Listen, fellas. I live in the Middle East. What’s funny?” She carefully eased her way into the thrown-together encampment and sat down beneath a palm, staring at the two young gentlemen in front of her. She crinkled her nose. Although she was a good four feet away, they reeked of sweat and grain. She motioned for them to be seated.

Pal refused. “So what is your first question?”

Karin said, “I’ll make it easy. I’ll give you all three questions at once. Why are you here, what are you trying to do, and I guess my friend down there in the jeep? He wants to know where in the hell his grenade is.”

Pal jerked his head and shot a look at the vehicle. “Is that him?” he asked Iz.

Iz squinted to see. “I can’t tell. At this distance, Army men all look the same.”

Karin eased her way to her knees and interrupted. “Well, are you going to answer my questions?”

Iz could not take his eyes off the soldier. “What does he want?” he asked Karin.

“He wants his grenade back,” she replied quickly. “He really doesn’t want to be blamed for killing and mutilating people because he was careless with his weapons. You can certainly understand that.”

Pal shook his head. “We’re not trying to kill and mutilate anyone,” he said.

Karin sensed a moment of vulnerability, so she went on the attack. “Well, listen, dude,” she said. “That’s what grenades do. Maybe you should have thought of that before you stole it and came out here, flashing it at people.”

Iz continued to stare at the soldier, with his back to Karin, and inserted, “We just want to be left alone.”

Karin spoke back harshly. “If you’re not careful, you’re gonna be just left dead.”

Pal eased his way a bit closer to her. “Listen, lady. No one will die. We don’t even know how the grenade works.”

“Shut up, Pal!” screamed Iz.

Karin laughed. “Oh—and that’s good?” she asked. “That you don’t know how a grenade works?”

Her question quieted Iz and Pal. Iz made his way over and sat down by the reporter. Pal stepped closer but remained standing. It was all so crazy—not what they had envisioned. They were horrified by their plight.

Karin gave the moment a chance to simmer, then asked, much quieter. “Why are you here?”

Fighting back tears, Iz tried to explain. “We had become friends, but we really were not allowed to be friends. Our families are separated, our countries are at war and our people hate each other.”

Moved by Iz’s admission, Pal came over and sat down. “If we try to be friends, excuses will be made why it is a bad thing. So we’ve come out here in the desert, where we can be friends without interfering with the war that the grown-ups like to have.”

Iz leaned forward and emphatically concluded. “They can have their war. We just want to be together and be left alone.”

Karin was reasoning in her mind the whole time the boys were speaking. She knew she needed to do something, or the situation could easily go awry. She spoke gently but firmly. “It’s not that way, boys. There are lots of Arabs and Jews that get along together. For God’s sakes—they work in the same companies and factories. I’m sure there are lots of Jewish and Arab boys that are friends.”

“Do you know any?” Pal asked sincerely.

“Now that is a trick question,” said Karin. “Just because I can’t offer a name doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

Iz leaned forward. “But aren’t you a reporter? Aren’t you supposed to have answers?”

“Okay,” said Karin, drawing a very deep breath and releasing it slowly. “Let’s say you guys are right. Let’s say your families won’t allow you to be friends. Here’s my question. Is it really better to live out here—pardon me—starve out here, to be with each other, than to be with your families, safe and sound, knowing they love you, in your own communities?”

Iz sadly shook his head. “You just don’t get it, lady. What you’re saying to us is to give up our love and friendship just so our families will think we’re all right and will include us in the home. Why can’t we be included…together? Why don’t they make an exception because they love us?”

Iz’s speech touched Karin. “Hell if I know,” she responded. “That’s just not the way it works right now. And you’re not going to change it playing in the desert, dehydrating yourselves and smelling like a three-day-dead goat.”

Pal was surprised. “Do we smell that bad?” he asked.

“No,” replied Karin. “It would take four baths for you to smell like the goat.”

Iz shook his head. “Very sorry. I guess our manly body parts are much more mature than we thought.”

Karin winced, considered a retort, but opted to move on. “Well, I guess you’ve answered question two–‘What are you trying to do?’” she noted. “Or is there more? Are you boys trying to send a message to the Israelis and Palestinians?”

“Yes, we are,” said Iz. “Leave us alone.”

Karin looked around in all directions. “It appears you are alone.”

“Then good,” replied Pal. “But we also can do without reporters.”

Karin pretended to cry. “You mean you don’t want to be famous?”

“No,” said Iz. “Famous is our worst fear. The less people know about us the better.”


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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)

Iz and Pal

In a basket full of oranges, it is often the singular, lonely apple which gains attention.

This is an endearing characteristic of the human race—we are intrigued by difference while simultaneously frightened of the diversity.

So in our day and age, in the midst of clamoring for resolutions, often based on military might, a breath of fresh air comes into the atmosphere of pending war in a region ironically referred to as “The Holy Land.”

Amir and Jubal, two boys who grew up in different camps of a raging, never-ending conflict—one Arab, one Jew—find one another. They rename themselves “Iz” and “Pal” and strike out to change the world around them by creating a love between them. They determine to maintain their friendship amidst the granite-headed thinking of a stubborn society.

“Iz and Pal” chronicles the journey they take, the friends they encounter along the way, the surprising enemies—with a stunning resolution which will keep you riveted to the pages of this odyssey in exploring the value of peace.

Starting next week, I will share sittings from this novella with you, and hope that, in its simple way, it can transcend the pessimism of fruitless negotiations and invite an essential revelation:

After all, no war is ever finished until the children say “No more.”

 

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Jesonian … February 24th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3593)

Throughout the ten thousand years of chronicled human history, three repetitive actions have continually pushed their way to the forefront:

  1. Human beings resolve conflict through war
  2. Women are considered inferior to men
  3. Children are property and can be treated any way deemed necessary for maintaining order and discipline

Only in the past seventy-five years has the concept of equal rights for women and the possibility of child abuse even been considered.

Although we consider our species to be continually learning and growing, at the core of our actions–our relationships with each other–we are still neanderthal.

This is why the character, personality and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are so radical, even to this day. In a world where children were considered “chattel,” Jesus demanded, bring them to me because they are the symbol of heaven.

He warned that anybody who offended one of these “little ones” should have a millstone hung around his neck, drowned in the deepest sea.

And when trying to describe the temperament and energy of believers, he suggested that we find the heart of a child.

Even though in his day this teaching in itself would be enough to have him ridiculed and perhaps murdered, our society has not progressed much beyond believing that our offspring are community property which can be split down the middle into “visitation sessions.”

We leave our children confused over the term family because they often find themselves having to call a half-dozen or more people grandma or grandpa. And we make them privy to our “love struggle” instead of granting them the security of growing up in peace and finding themselves.

We are a wicked generation, mocking the foolishness of the past while keeping souvenirs.

This is also true with women. Jesus doubly astounds his disciples by going to Samaria–a forbidden area for any good Jew to even enter–but while there, talking to a woman in broad daylight, and using her as a conduit for revival. It left them speechless.

Also, forgiving a woman caught in adultery in the midst of an all-male audience was certainly not a popular choice, and having his ministry underwritten financially by three women of means raised a few eyebrows over the water being drawn from the community well.

I have always felt that Jesus made a mistake in not having a female disciple. But he quickly corrects this after the resurrection by appearing to Mary Magdalene first, making her the messenger to tell his disciples that he was raised from the dead.

Please do not come into Christianity thinking you can use Jesus to undergird your misogyny or disdain for children. Matter of fact, you can judge a nation by how much equality is given to the women, and how much true respect is offered to children.

We don’t need to “harden” our schools. We don’t need to tell our sons and daughters that they must be surrounded by guns or they won’t be safe.

It is our concern, love, mercy, tenderness and watchful eye that is the source of their protection.

If you’re going to be Jesonian, you need to stop living with a caveman consciousness toward children and women, while holding an I-phone in your hand.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … February 8th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3112)

pohymn-salva

Plantation Salva

A damning God

Seems quite odd

Why the fuss

Since He made us

Didn’t He know

How it would go

A fruitless problem

Closed the Garden

Making the nomad

Always a little sad

Chasing a dream

A meaningless scheme

Killing, making war

Settling an endless score

God sent preachers

Hideous, pious creatures

Listening to what they tell

Made us further rebel

Hate the wait

Fate is late

Will, for me

But it ain’t free

Sow and reap

Fail and weep

What a bore

Craving more

The color of skin

The depth of sin

Chosen people

Erect steeple

While we are here

Twisted in fear

God is over there

Cursed, so unfair

Settle the wild

Birth the child

He’s the Word

Judged absurd

A Master disaster

Kill the Bastard

Where can we hide

No place to abide

Then a voice

Offers a choice

His life, your Eden

Everything you’ve been needin’,

Your Plantation Salva

Is assembling

For you to discern

With a holy trembling

 

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Ask Jonathots… October 27th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3107)

ask jonathots bigger

Is there any such thing as a good war, a necessary war or a productive war?

I am always frightened of pat answers.

I’m talking about those responses given which attempt to be clever or cover a multitude of opinions in order to please everybody. We know that life doesn’t work that way. Actually, truth is a poison ivy that leaves everyone scratching.

So when you talk about war, it’s easy to take familiar stances.

For instance, “war is fine as long as we’re protecting the innocent.” The problem, of course is, who is really innocent?

And most people who decide to go to war tout that they’re doing it to “shelter the needy,” but have ulterior motives.

There are those who say war is necessary to promote our way of life. In other words, “these people are going to do what’s right or we’ll kill them.”

And there are people who contend that war is acceptable when we, ourselves, are attacked. Then the question comes, at what level? Are we talking about a bombing of our whole country, or an aggressive move toward one of our ships?

The truth of the matter is, war is so wrong that it must be won by people who know it’s evil.

If we begin to believe that there’s a righteous war, or our cause is anointed by the heavens and we’re allowed to enact violence, then we become the latest plague on the planet.

  • War is wrong because it kills people.
  • Killing people is against life.
  • God is a promoter of life.

So what should we feel about war?

I think many wars are avoided by choosing our skirmish.

In other words, if we step in early enough and rip the bad seed out of the ground, the ugly cactus of conflict doesn’t have to pop up in the desert.

If we use diplomacy, a show of force and a line in the sand that we really do follow through on, we have a much better chance of avoiding a death toll and devastation.

Should the United States have become involved in World War II earlier? Yes–the U. S. should have stepped in when Hitler decided to annex part of Austria–long before he took over Poland, all of Europe and bombed the hell out of England.

We should have noticed the political upheaval in Viet Nam and addressed it with the tools available–a show of force and diplomacy–instead of sending human bodies to shoot at human bodies.

War is not inevitable. More often than not, it’s a refusal and a denial of existing problems, hoping they will go away, only to discover that they multiply.

For instance, in a marriage, long before there’s a divorce, there are a thousand junctures where communication and conversation could have changed the outcome.

War is caused by delay.

Delay is triggered by politics.

And politics is the notion that by pretending everything is good, we will get elected.

Choose the skirmish.

Avoid the war.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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G-Poppers … October 14th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3094)

Jon close up

Seduced by a warming sun, G-Pop drifts into the arms of a gentle sleep. He dreams–a vision of a scantily clad, ragged man, racing from a burning woodlands–frantic, screaming as he nears.

Follow the angry man

He seems to have a plan

“Who is he?” demanded G-Pop.

Like a burning star

He’ll take you very far

“What’s the plan?”

The frenetic announcer arrives, stopping short of overtaking G-Pop. He nervously bounces from one foot to another, continuing his proclamation.

Listen to his voice

Make the raging choice

She is a liar

Send her to the fire

“Who is she?” inquired G-Pop.

Trust his common way

Listen to what they say

What the hell

He lets us yell

Oh heavenly elation

He can save our nation

But boys need toys

To get their joys

“Who are the boys?”

The man grows weaker, slumping to his knees, but continues his speech.

He isn’t the son of meek

He is what you seek

“Where does he come from?” pleaded G-Pop.

He laughs at the truth

Offering no lasting proof

“I need truth.”

You are his child

Needy and so mild

“I am not a child,” objected G-Pop.

Counting your vote

Not the sheep, choose the goat

The stranger collapsed into a heap of exhaustion. G-Pop knelt by his side and said, “I am so confused.”

Breathlessly the depleted soul answered.

He is more exciting

He is ready for fighting

“I hate war.”

You need his power

For such an hour

Come join him in his tower

Suddenly the intruder melted into a puddle of oily slime. G-Pop lurched back in horror and said:

“I have to go.

This scares me.

I want to feel good.

I want to do good.

I want to love again.”

All at once, G-Pop was released from his dream … to awaken to the nightmare.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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