PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 16th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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If This Were 

If this were your final year

After shedding a needful tear

What would quickly cross your mind,

And what purpose would you find?

To keep your precious cheer

Blessings have come your way

Fresh and fruitful every day

With your portion of common pain

Your faith and hope still remain

To confirm the words you say

A partner in love and devotion

To share the deep-rooted emotion

A treasured husband or wife

Your children come to life

A divinely inspired notion

Your work is your good news

The evidence of your views

Your belief has the energy you need

To take the time to plant your seed

For love is what you choose

Yes, someday it truly will all end

Maybe not this year, my friend

But when it is your time to go

The curtain falls, the final show

Take a bow, but just your head

Born of God, you’re never dead

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: You didn’t ask me my opinions about the political conventions.

 

Dear Woman: Well, no, because I know you really don’t like politics.

 

Dear Man: That’s true, but there is one incident that grabbed my attention.

 

Dear Woman: What was that?

 

Dear Man: Thursday night, when the Muslim father who lost his son in the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Kahn, spoke to the gathering.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I saw that. Very moving.

 

Dear Man: I know that’s the popular view, but it bothered me.

 

Dear Woman: What troubled you?

 

Dear Man: He came on the stage with his wife. She did not speak for the whole duration of the event. She remained turned toward him in submission, wearing a hijab.

 

Dear Woman: You mean that head covering?

 

Dear Man: Yes, exactly.

 

Dear Woman: It’s just a Muslim thing.

 

Dear Man: I disagree. It’s not a Muslim thing. She stood in submission, did not speak, with her head covered, as he railed against Donald Trump, in support of Hillary Clinton for President. It was a massive contradiction.

 

Dear Woman: I disagree. You just need to be more tolerant. We need to give religious freedom to people–to have their traditions and honor their culture, otherwise our country becomes bigoted and self-centered.

 

Dear Man: I know the spiel. But when a man, who, by the way, was extremely intense, with angry gestures, stands beside a woman who is not speaking, who is looking on adoringly with her head covered…well, I get nervous. I feel it’s good to give spiritual leniency to people, to worship as they deem appropriate, but our country should not allow oppression to exist in the name of God. For instance, we certainly didn’t honor the traditions of the South and give them cultural “roominess” when slavery was at stake. I’m sure they could have made the point that no slaves were rebelling and that everything was working fine, but we still fought the Civil War to relieve the stupidity of a bad culture.

 

Dear Woman: I see what you mean, but I don’t think it applies in this situation. This is part of their religion

 

Dear Man: No. It’s not. It’s part of their tradition. Tradition is the way that people decide to conduct their religion. It has nothing to do with faith. It has nothing to do with a God who created all men equal, and that includes women. What happened on that stage was wrong. If we want to condone it because we’re afraid of speaking up to a religion’s tradition, and demanding equality, then let us call ourselves cowards. But if every Christian church in America suddenly decided that women should not be allowed to speak and had to wear head coverings, we would remove their tax exempt status. We can’t have two different standards. If he wants to support Hillary Clinton for President, he needs to let his wife be his equal.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe he does. Maybe it was just a decision on their part to have him talk because she was nervous.

 

Dear Man: Then in my opinion she shouldn’t come on stage. Standing next to him, turned in his direction, staring at him with her head covered, communicates subservience. Doesn’t the Democratic Party want equality? Or are they just looking for a bump in the polls from an angry Muslim man speaking against Donald Trump?

 

Dear Woman: You realize, nobody agrees with you. Everybody thinks that Mr. Kahn was one of the highlights of the convention. They think that allowing her to appear on stage in the head covering showed tolerance.

 

Dear Man: Tolerance becomes cowardice when everyone is not included. There were many people during the Civil Rights movement who were angry at Dr. King because he came into a situation that seemed to be peaceful, and stirred up trouble. But had he not pointed out the inequity of Jim Crow, the South more than likely would still be arguing about “colored restrooms” instead of transgender ones.

 

Dear Woman: I see your point, and I guess by your standards I’m a coward, but I think that sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone.

 

Dear Man: You see, my point is that “well enough” is never achieved by leaving women out of the equation.

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Cracked 5 … June 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Some Clumsy and Tense Exchanges Between Massa and Slave the Morning After the Civil War Ended

A. Massa: “Well, uh…if you ever need a recommendation…”

 

B. Slave: “Every time you asked for lemon in your tea, I peed in the glass.”

 

C. Massa: “Hey, listen–no hard feelings about your wife and all, right?”

 

D. Slave: “I wuz wonderin’ if you might just let me and Toby here have a crack at your whip. We wuz always curious to try it.”

 

E. Slave: “No hard feelings about your daughter Missy Sue, right?”

Cracked 5 He's Free

 

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Cracked 5 … April 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Confessions Made By Presidential Candidates in a Moment of Honesty (Which You Will Actually Never Hear)

A. Someone bet me I couldn’t win the election.

 

B. I will pander to the highest bidder because money is so-o-o luscious

 

C. Every Tuesday afternoon, my wife and I practice our smiles in preparation for taking campaign pictures. It is our only interaction.

 

D. It is very difficult to determine whether I hate my children more than they hate me.

 

E. I have absolutely no idea what I will do if I get elected.

 

cracked 5 money

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Ask Jonathots … November 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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I am a working woman, a wife and a mother of two teenage girls–one age 13 and the other 14. I have just come to an odd realization: my girls are brats. We have spoiled them. They don’t appreciate gifts, they demand the newest everything and I see trouble coming in spades. Sometimes I don’t even like them. I feel like I’m in this alone, especially since my husband thinks I’m blowing everything out of proportion? What should I do?

First and foremost, let me explain that if you did not go through a moment or two as a parent of thinking your kids are brats, you probably can be declared legally insane.

We have a source problem in this country. What do I mean by that?

We buy products, we see end results and we view the culmination of effort… without ever having any idea on the source of how it came to be.

Your daughters are not brats, but they are completely unaware of the effort that goes into the events and conveniences which they now take for granted.

In earlier years, when families lived on farms, young kids were not better than they are today, but they had to go to the barn and grab a cow teat if they wanted milk for their cereal. They had to go out into the field, plant seeds and hoe weeds if they were going to take a product to market in order to acquire the pair of shoes for which they yearned.

It wasn’t a better time but the system took you from seed to corn, from cow to milk and from chores to completion, when playtime could begin.

I’m suggesting you create that environment for a season, so your daughters will be aware of what goes into making a meal, what is involved in paying bills, how a car is maintained, and what people have to do to make sure that the Big Mac has special sauce.

Take your girls back to the source.

There are many farms in this country where you can go pick your own berries, or you can go to a fish pond to catch a fish to bring it home, scale it and fry it in the pan.

Your girls are victims of a society which expects perfection without ever seeing the trial and error.

Now, they will be reluctant to do anything since they are teenagers, but if you wade through their bad attitudes and throw them into the waters of discovery to learn to swim, they will gain a whole new appreciation…for what it takes to turn a cow eating grass into a cheeseburger.

 

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The Day After… July 5, 2013

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The day after I was born, I was a squalling, moody, pink blob of pending poop.

The day after my first kindergarten class, I was confused by the ABC’s, hoping and praying we would spend more time with round-tipped scissors and delicious paste.

The day after puberty began, I was greatly enamored with my abilities and appearance while frightened that I had five more years of school and celibacy.

The day after I graduated from high school, I was shocked by how little the world cared.

The day after I got married, I realized that my wife needed a man, and I had no idea whatsoever where to find one.

The day after my first son was born, I was surprised that no one would let me be a child with him.

The day after I nearly died, I concluded that life is brief and unsympathetic to the procrastinator.

And …

The day after they signed the Declaration of Independence, very frightened patriots probably wished they could take it back.

Fear is what intelligent people do to buy some time to gain courage.

The day after I die, I will know if what I believe is real–or just a bunch of crap.

Scary.

Lord, grant me the time … to muster bravery.

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A Carnal Man … June 3, 2013

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He was scrawny to my fatso, black to my white, smoker to my smokeless and Southern to my Mid-West. Yet he made his way to the window of my van to ask about the conversion aspect of my vehicle and to inquire whether it came “with a bed.”

Always glad to attempt the art of small talk, even when it seems to have microscopic possibilities, I explained all about my vehicle, including the fact that I purchased it with a bed, but I removed it so I could store equipment.

After a few questions about gas mileage, engine size and ride on the road, he finally arrived at his primary concern. “Do most of these conversion vans have beds in the back?”

I told him I believed they did–and he smiled. (When he smiled, I discovered that he was minus a few teeth.)

He then launched into a discourse on the beauty, the power, the glory and the availability of “pepper pots.” (Now, it really wasn’t pepper pots, but for the sake of keeping my jonathots free of questionable language, I will insert this euphemism.)

It very quickly became clear that my new conversation friend loved pepper pots. Matter of fact, he wanted to buy a van so he could climb into the back, onto the bed and discover all the intricacies and inner workings of pepper pots.

Honestly, I was a bit startled with the transition–from talking about front disc brakes to pepper pots–but I decided to hang in there so as not to appear judgmental, naive or discourteous. Little did I know that pepper pots was one of his favorite topics of conversation.

Also somewhere along the line, in elaborating about pepper pots, he decided to start talking about “salt mounds” (once again, a euphemism.)

He yammered and yammered and yammered about the subject. I think I saw a tear come to his eye when he discussed the gorgeous nature of pepper pots and salt mounds joining together to perform the action that God intended.

All at once, he mentioned the fact that his wife had died six years earlier. I seized that moment to change the subject to his dearly departed, to find out a little more about her. He softened as he explained that he had been married to her for twenty-three years, had stayed faithful and had never visited another pepper pot as long as she lived. It was a sweet moment.

But then he noticed my I-pad sitting in my lap and wondered if I had been watching X-rated movies. Reassuring him that I hadn’t, he went on to explain that if I WAS looking for such entertainment, there was a wonderful video store just down the street that had some of the finest flicks available–and also some side rooms where you could improv with the scenes you had just beheld.

I was certainly out of my element–but honestly did not want to come across like a prude or some sort of evangelist out to save his soul or … well, I really just didn’t know how to get out of the entanglement.

He stayed and he stayed and he stayed. Several times I reached out to shake his hand, to bring finality to our excursion, which he gladly shook–and then continued on with his tales.

I believe he took every angle on the pepper pots and salt mounds that was humanly possible.

I listened. Why?  Because I knew this stranger was lonely.

Sometimes we’re very critical of people and refer to them as “carnal” because they only pursue matters of the flesh. We never stop to realize that this kind of odyssey ends up your day with skin and goo. Nothing much ever gets inside.

But here I was–a fella sittin’ in front of him, about his age–and I was listening.

We must have talked for forty minutes–so much so that any additional dialogue about pepper pots and salt mounds would not be necessary for me for at least a couple of years.

At length, I realized I could not get rid of the fellow unless I told him I had to go. Fortunately for me, it happened to be the truth. I excused myself and he asked me where I was heading.

I said, “I have to go pick up my friends.”

“Pepper pots?” he asked.

“And much more,” I replied.

I squeezed his hand and looked into his eyes. There was a living soul there. There was a lot of passion there. There was a lot of belief in life that would not necessarily be acceptable in normal liturgy on a Sunday morning.

This man worshiped one part of creation–honestly, a very small part. Yet getting him to believe in the true nature Creator would be much easier to do than some hardened Bible thumper who was convinced that he was already redeemed.

I think this is why Jesus said that God is very willing to leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness to go after the one that’s lost. Sometimes you get tired of tending the sheep and you want to chase down a wild one. You know–folks who talk about pepper pots and salt mounds.

I told him I’d be thinking about him … and “God bless you.”

He was sad to see me go.

I read somewhere that a carnal mind is the enemy of God. It’s not because God is prissy. It’s because when all you can think about is fleshy things, you often end up alone.

And I also read: “It’s just not good for a man to be alone.”

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