Taking the Leap… February 29, 2012

(1439)
 
It happens every four years–and I’m not talking about me purchasing socks.

Leap year–the confirmation that our calendar was put together by human committee. (“Oops! We have one extra day! What should we do??”)  Since it is such a special occasion, let me go ahead and take the leap.

In January, 2000, my mother-in-law passed away, leaving behind an inheritance. It was not a lot of money but to us it was a fortune. We wanted to use it wisely. (No one ever gets a large sum of money and says to himself, “How can I squander this as efficiently as possible?”) We took precautions. We took suggestions. We followed the common advice of the day and entered the stock market–and even purchased real estate.

Yes, at forty-eight years of age, I bought and moved into the first home I had ever owned. Up to that point I had rented quite gleefully. And we found a good deal–an amazing deal for the year 2000. I was so thrilled with the house that I set out to become a great “lord of my own manor.” I put in a swimming pool, a circular driveway, a series of attractive deckings and placed a gorgeous gazebo in the front yard–built by good Amish farmers. It was a stunning property.

I simultaneously joined my friend, Janet, in founding a symphony in our town, which ended up doing some amazing things with very little financial benefit coming back our way. Let me clarify that. “Very little,” in this case, is a nice way of saying “none.” And meanwhile, I continued to do what I always have–I traveled the country sharing a message about how God has a reasonable concept for us to be happy. I raised four sons in that house and helped to establish my other two offspring onto paths towards prosperity.

I thought I had it figured out. When I only had one left in high school, I planned to put the house up for sale, redeeming my profits from the investment, paying off all my credit card debt and thereby possessing a nice little nest egg with which to continue my work, as I went back to being a member of “Renters Anonymous.”

But I got talked into waiting until the last son graduated, which placed me in 2007. When he received his diploma, something else came up. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but we basically decided to wait a little longer before selling the house. Once again, I continued to do what I do. I expanded myself by beginning this jonathots column, which is reaching tens of thousands of folks. I started writing a weekly letter to the pastors and church workers I had met, encouraging them in their faith, while giving them a little bit of exhortation and insight.

Then came 2008.

My house, which was once worth more than half a million dollars, was nearly overnight halved in its value. Actually, it ended up not being worth the payoff. So not only did I fail to have enough money to pay off my credit cards through my investment–as it turns out, I didn’t have enough money to pay for the house itself.

I had to make a decision.

Now, I am a firm believer in responsibility–but my first responsibility is to my calling. So I sat down with the bank and told them I was not going to live on the property anymore, and signed it over to a broker who more or less became my free agent to dispose of the house in the best way possible–to cover the indebtedness. And I went out to do what I’m supposed to do.

I got all the belongings that I liked down to a simple unit of travel, and in December 2010, I took off across this country–to see its people, to bless its inhabitants and to learn how to be a better human being myself. Now, the bank, the government and my broker seem to be having great fun figuring out how to trick one another into the best deal possible for each one of them concerning the property once mine. Matter of fact, sometimes when I get little updates, I giggle at their contortions.

Meanwhile, I move down the road. People always ask me, “Where are you guys from?” Well, see … here’s the truth: we have an address in Florida, for mail. But our life is right here–with you.

My needs were always simpler than the requirements that were placed upon me by those who deemed themselves to be more mature than myself. It’s amazing–once you have peace of mind and satisfaction in what you’re doing–how little you actually need.

For I will tell you, it’s not so much about “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That still requires water and sugar. Often, it’s learning how to develop a taste for lemons, while being grateful that you have the freedom, the gifts, the initiative, the talent and the wherewithal to move forward successfully.

I think we’ll become a better country if people are able to tell their stories honestly, without fear. I realize there may be some venture capitalists out there who will hear my story and deem me either a rogue or a vagabond. So be it.

What I have done is simplify my life down to my talent, my passion, my love and seven changes of underclothes. Meanwhile, I get to meet thousands of people and share my heart with them, and maybe just encourage them–that telling the truth without shame and anxiety is the best way …  to take the leap.

**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

Play Ball … February 28, 2012

(1438)
 

As far as I know, the only way to keep from being run down is to practice how to walk through.

I’m not quite sure why folks choose to live their lives like they‘re on stage in a comedy club doing improv–perhaps it’s because a certain number of us think that everything is dumb luck anyway, so why mess around trying to prepare for something that’s bound to surprise or disappoint you?

Others of the more pious sort believe that our entire destiny is laid out in the mind of God, as the angels act as our personal agents, arranging all of our circumstances to hopefully suitable conclusions.

It’s a fascinating dilemma. The Bible does offer both insights. One particular verse says that “our steps are ordered of the Lord.” And there’s another verse that proclaims that “time and chance happens to everybody.” So as I often do, I will defer to my good friend Jesus for his insight on the issue. He said, “It rains on the just and the unjust.”  

In other words, there are forces at work and we will find ourselves intertwining our efforts with those existing energies, so we might want to think about the subject of responsibility. I have realized that lots of individuals have only two thoughts as they being their day. (1) “Who will I meet?” and (2) “What will happen?” It is a popular way to approach the living process. We don’t consider it to be haphazard or lacking preparation because we have decided that we will avoid people we don’t like and cautiously and suspiciously stay away from any situation that seems foreign to us.

It probably was the thought brewing in the minds of those who boarded planes on September 11th, 2001. They certainly had no intention of interacting with suicide bombers and had not really alerted themselves to the dangers that might lurk in the sky above. Now before you think I am criticizing them for a lack of judgment, please understand, it is not only commonplace for all of us, but it actually seems sensible. If we can keep those we trust close to us and stay away from environments that are unusual, we should be able to plot our lives, right?

But once again, yesterday the dear souls of Chardon, Ohio, found out that insanity, frustration, stupidity and violence–perpetuated by a young man entering his school and shooting his classmates–cannot be relegated to one area and segregated from our safe havens. Life finds us.

So some folks smarten up and add a third consideration. “What will I do?” In other words, “Who will I meet?” (Let me try to control the guest list.) “What will happen?” (Stay away from weird opportunities.) Then additionally, “What will I do?” (If I find myself in a pickle, what’s my game plan?)

You have to admit, that has a bit more foresight to it than merely stepping off an airplane wearing a parachute that you didn’t pack. But here’s the problem–we really don’t KNOW what we will do. Most of us haven’t spent enough time in our own consciousness and emotions to really understand what freaks us and what tweaks us. Yes–there are things that really scare us to death and there are things that rejuvenate us to life. Do you know the difference? Can you identify them?

Because I contend there’s a fourth thing that has to be done–or what we do, what will happen and who we meet can be a precarious, slippery slope. And that fourth thing is, “Who am I–really?”

So since I believe that there’s going to be a game going on every day called life, and the stakes can sometimes be quite high, I want to make sure I’m quite acquainted with all the members of my team. I exercise my heart and emotions every day. I give my spirit a good running. I make sure my mind is well-oiled with reason, and I try to do my best to eat what’s cool instead of like a young fool. And then I do one more thing.

I rehearse.

That’s right. I rehearse. Rather than being afraid of terrorists, I take the time to put myself through the paces of what I would do if confronted in such a situation, based upon who I am. In the process I discover some hidden prejudices, some apprehensions and many inadequacies. So I rehearse.

I never go to meet somebody at a church who has been kind enough to invite me in to share without rehearsing how I would want to be treated, and considering what this fine individual may have been through in daily activity prior to my arrival. The most dangerous way to live on earth is without knowledge of oneself. To be so flippant and short-sighted as to think we can control who we meet, manipulate what happens or even guarantee what we will do is to weave our own spider web of self-entrapment. Who I am is much more important than anything else that will ever happen to me.

Let me give you an example. Yesterday, there was a news report about a man who was carjacked, suffered a broken leg and was crawling on the street. The broadcasters were appalled that people walked by without helping him.

Actually, it’s the identical scenario that Jesus told in the story of the Good Samaritan. In his tale, many people walked by a man who had been–well, in this case, I assume, donkey-jacked, and left for dead. They had their reasons for not stopping–mostly a determination that they had to be somewhere at some time as quickly as possible. The reason the story is called The Good Samaritan is that this Samaritan guy actually broke pattern, changed his plans and stopped, deciding to make this new situation his reality.

I will tell you this. He did not do this spontaneously. This man had rehearsed this many times before. He had thought over in his mind what he would do if he came across a traveler in distress. Spontaneity may be fun for sneaking up behind someone you love and giving them a kiss. But being spontaneous in life is acting as if we can actually manipulate all of our surrounding environment. It just won’t happen.

I rehearse. If I’m going to have dinner with my children, I rehearse complimenting the food, conversation I may wish to indulge in and inquiries which I will avoid (which make me the nosy father instead of the nurturing helper). If I’m going to go to the grocery store I make a list–especially of those items I am sure to forget–and carry it in my hand, so as not to walk out cursing the air because I forgot something.

Life is a performance–so rehearse. The heavens begin a new day with a rising sun and a shout of, “Play ball!”  You will quickly discover that who you meet is beyond your planning, what will happen is never completely within your grasp and what you will do might just shock you–unless you’ve already carefully considered who you are.

We’re going to do this thing called life once. We keep asking for do-overs, and when we plead, there is often an annoying giggle that comes from the sky. God is not mean, He’s just very practical. And if you let people be lazy and not aware of themselves, they will compound their own difficulties until they forfeit their free will. How unfortunate.

So feel free to go ahead and wonder about who you’re going to meet. Being human as we are, you might even want to muse over what will happen. It’s kind of fun to speculate on what you will do. But the most important thing is to know is who you are. And the only way to do that is by rehearsing courage, practicing concern and studying your own character–so you’re ready to play ball and pull out your best performance.

**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

It’s Only a Number … February 27, 2012

(1437)
 

Intelligence is allowed to be born when we stop complaining, which allows us to start learning, and in the process we gain some contentment free of complacency.  Likewise, growth can be measured when the knowledge we have applied in everyday life becomes wisdom. We gain stature and viability because of our contributions, therefore showing that we have favor with God and man, able to mix the spiritual and the practical at will. This culminates in progress. Purity in heart grants us honest emotion as we begin to hunger and thirst for spirituality instead of merely tolerating it, which sets in motion the renewing of our minds—to challenge outdated ideas as we move towards better health.

I gave you ten items over the past few days which will add up to our I.G.P.—intelligence, growth and progress.

Did you score yourselves? I took the time to do a very general evaluation on the United States of America as I see it through my travels. You, of course, know this is very unscientific and is based on present dealings and not what my hope is for this great nation. That said, let me tell you what I came up with:

1. Under stop complaining, I gave the U.S. a 4. There are still a few souls out there who understand the danger of constant dissatisfaction, but we seem to have a generation—or even two—who have accepted frustration as part of life instead of labeling it “complaining.” 

2. In evaluating whether the country has started learning, I gave it a 6. I believe our nation is susceptible to “mob mentality” and the daily whim of the news cycle. But I must give us credit for escaping the lunacy pretty quickly and moving away from too many insane ideas.

3. Concerning being content but not complacent, I had to give us a 3. The general air of discontent permeates the atmosphere in this country, but rather than stimulating us to change, it tends to cause us to huddle in smaller and smaller units of complacency.

4. Wisdom—5. That seemed safe.

5. Stature—7. I think we’re still respected in the world—unless we decide to start taking on everybody and blowing them up.

6. But in the category of favor with God and man I gave us a 2. Even though we try to pass off arrogance as confidence, the human family on earth knows the difference. For a while, our country needs to stop the boasting and quietly deliver the goods.

Then there’s progress:

7. Pure of heart—I’m sorry. I gave us a 1. We still believe it is necessity to lie and cover-up.

8. Hungering and thirsting for spirituality? How about a 3? But it’s a 3 with a bullet. I am encouraged, however, that the number will be going up.

9. On renewing our minds I gave us a 4. I think there may be the beginnings of understanding that the best way to avoid horrible results is to stop making the same mistakes.

10. And finally, a move towards health — 5. I just sat in front of a McDonald’s restaurant and saw them advertise the calories for an Egg McMuffin. It’s not perfect, but at least we’re thinking.

Total score for America? 40 out of 100.

But that number is useless to you unless I give you a chart and explain where that number lies in the spectrum of possibilities. So here it is:

Chart

 

81 to 100 = Excellent path.

The test confirms what you’ve already discovered to be true. Intelligence breeds growth, which procreates the offspring of progress.

61 to 80=On your way.

You probably have one area that is holding you back. Identify it. Then fine tune your direction and focus on that area—first to comprehend it and then to access a good idea.

 41 to 60=Hapless.

Somewhat undecided about the value of your own input to control your results. You may be a bit overly dependent on circumstances to grant you opportunity. Still, you normally choose life over despair in your daily pursuits.

 21 to 40=Floundering.

Lacking a vision for what specific goals are worthy of your consideration, you tend to find yourself struggling to choose between fads and chasing majority opinion instead of isolating off what is truly important to you.

 Below 20=Don’t be alarmed.

Just understand that many of your choices are being directed by insecurity instead of determination. Start with your heart, move to your soul, refresh your mind and gird up your strength.

Well, there you go. This is just for entertainment and consideration and nothing more.  However, anything that will help us access our intelligence to promote growth so that we can revel in progress is well worth a good look-see.

By the way, my number was 76.

 

**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

So What’s the Score? … February 26, 2012

(1436)
 
It’s impossible to initiate progress if you haven’t welcomed the ingredients and attitudes that produce growth. Growth, on the other hand, seems futile if it isn’t motivated by a revelation of intelligence. At least that’s the way I see it.
 
So what I’m going to give you today are ten elements that you can evaluate for yourself–and then be audacious enough to apply them to the world around you, giving each attribute a 0-10 score: 0 if you see none of it presently coming to be and 10 if you find that this particular idea is in full bloom.
 
Let’s start with intelligence. To contemplate if intelligence is truly being given an opportunity to do its good work, the first thing you have to consider is:
1. Stop complaining. Yes, it is virtually impossible to receive new information when you’re presently in rebellion to the circumstances and environment in which you have found yourself. Complaining is what stops the brain from receiving fresh insight and instead, forces us to fall back on attitudes which have proven to be insufficient. (Grade 0-10)
2. Start learning. All learning begins with considering instead of rejecting. If your beliefs are causing you to close out the entrance of knowledge that might expand your general intelligence, then your precepts are not really beliefs at all, but instead, a stone wall you’ve built around your brain. As you can also see, learning cannot begin until complaining stops. (Insert your grade, 0-10)
3. Be content but not complacent. Contentment is a rest stop on the road to discovery. Complacency is building a barn and storing up what we have so far, assuming it’s enough. We must be content, but turning that into a lack of activity is to stymie ourselves in an ignorance which eventually lends itself to stupidity. (0-10)
 
As you can see, the top score for intelligence would be 30.
 
Next is growth. The first area where we see the signs of growth is:
1. The appearance of wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is knowledge that has been accepted as real, which we have begun to apply to our everyday lives. You can tell when someone is becoming wise when what they believe shows up in their actions. (0-10)
2. Stature. Stature is the cloak of blessing that falls upon us in both our physical and spiritual beings that confirms our message by exposing all hypocrisy and making our lives accessible to others instead of a huge mystery. All of us have to be honest–if something is truly helping us grow, that particular spurt of growth will show up in our entire beings, from head to toe. (0-10)
3. We suddenly find ourselves in favor with God and man. There is no real evidence of growth in the human family without the joining of heaven and earth. We know that we’re beginning to expand when that which is spiritual in our lives is not at war with that which we have discovered to be practical. Likewise, we stand back in awe when we discover that the practical things in life have always had spiritual implications. (0-10)
Once again, high score here–30. 
 
This leads us to the final category–progress. This one has four parts. How can we determine that the human race (which, by the way, includes us) is making progress:
1. Pure in heart. The more emotionally transparent we are willing to be with the world around us, the healthier we will feel and the more we will progress. Without this, we live a shadowy existence of lies, constantly in fear of being discovered for who we really are. (0-10)
2. Hungering and thirsting for spirituality. One of the main proofs of progress in the human family is an appetite for spiritual things that is not merely worship in the abstract, but applied in everyday choices. That is why I use “hunger and thirst”–basic human passions–for describing the quest for understanding our more eternal side. You will be able to tell when the world both around you and inside you is making progress when you see a legitimate appetite–hungering and thirsting for spiritual things. (0-10)
3. Renew the mind. We make progress as people when we never make up our minds. I know that in politics they call it “flip-flopping.” In religion they refer to it as heresy. But there is really no need to make up your mind–because the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and we all are in the process of having our brains renewed with data that is not yet programmed inside our processor.  That’s why I am very careful nowadays to preface my ideas with this phrase: “… from what I know …” I am aware that one of the true signs of progress is that my mind will be renewed. (Once again, keep up with your 0-10)
4. And finally, you can determine the true progress of a human life by a decision to move towards health. The debate should not be about whether cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are legal or permissible. When we finally start making progress, we will ask the question, “Does it make us healthier?” It’s what I’m going through in my life right now. I really don’t overeat anymore, but I once did, which built up fat supplies in my body which resist eviction. So I have to reconsider all of my eating styles to find the most healthy possibility. If I don’t, I won’t make progress. (0-10)
 
As you can see, the high score for intelligence is 30, likewise, growth is also 30 and progress is 40, giving us a grand total of 100. Add up your own score–and go ahead and do it for the world around you, if you so wish. I will do so myself, and also share with you–as humbly as I possibly can–where I feel our country is in the matters of intelligence, growth and progress, based upon these categories I shared with you today.
 
I will give you my I.G.P. number tomorrow and then we all can start moving towards the excellence we so require.
 
Happy tallying!
 
**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

Are We Supposed to Do Better? … February 25, 2012

(1435)
 
“By grace you are saved through faith.”
“Do your best.”
“Be yourself.”
 
Behold … verbal marijuana. Yes, these are statements that tend to turn people who could be highly motivated, productive, intuitive and fruitful into folks lounging around letting life pass them by, relying on outside forces to determine the quality of their existence.
 
You can certainly understand how the statements listed above have slipped into the lingo. All of us get weary of trying–especially when those efforts are not greeted with some immediate evidence of success. The action of “trying” very quickly does become trying to our psyche and feelings.
 
It begins as early as elementary school. We are introduced to a grading system–A,B,C,D and F.  Unfortunately, that means of evaluation does not carry over to real adult life. There may be individuals who are C and D plumbers, waitresses, doctors or lawyers–but in the world of competition, they are quickly eliminated. Here’s the truth of the matter–if you’re not an A or a B in something, you will probably end up being an F. There are no C and D positions garnering you the peace of mind, prosperity and placement you desire in the human family. We actually allow students to go through the entire educational process learning very little, squeaking by with C’s and D’s, graduating and entering a marketplace where unless the find a niche where they can do A or B work, they will end up F-ired. It is a ludicrous application of capitalism.
 
You cannot propagate a system which advocates excellence while drugging the participants on the downers of “grace” and “self-esteem.” Let’s just blend the two because they are equally as harmful to human sensibility. Therefore, let us dub it “grace-esteem.” My definition of grace-esteem is: “God loves me in my inadequacy and if you’re really a nice person, you will love me in my clumsiness, too.”
 
Unfortunately, whether I love you or even God loves you does not secure you a position or placement in the workings of earth.  We need to be valuable. In order to be valuable, we must find something in our lives that we can do at an A or B quality–or prepare ourselves for a failing grade. I suppose there are folks who will read this and think it is too harsh–though privately they, themselves, pursue the tennets and objectives of the concept. I just don’t think there’s anything more cruel than telling somebody they can continue to fail and everything will be all right. It isn’t like people don’t know they’re in trouble. It’s not like they’re unaware of the absence of evidence for their claims of adequacy. But we play this big charade of acceptance, when everybody is actually fully cognizant that without the pursuit of excellence, we all fall short of our own personal image.
 
So religion and society join together here to form “grace-esteem,” which renders the public high on the notion of inclusion, but when the stupor wears off, folks are stuck being less than what they really want to be. It’s not so much that we refuse to accept someone in his or her present condition. It’s more that in a land of democracy and capitalism, we are all competing to promote the philosophy by seeking out better ways. Herein lie the difficulties:
 
  • Grace-esteem robs the human emotions of a sense of being welcome.
  • Grace-esteem steals away from the spirit the adventure of asking, seeking and knocking.
  • Grace-esteem blocks the renewing of the mind, trapping us in our genetic pre-dispositions and provincial upbringing.
  • And grace-esteem causes us to pull our heads into the turtle shell, ignoring our physical inadequacies and failing to evolve.
So what are humans supposed to do to maintain a balance of sanity along with the pursuit of the best?
 
1. Don’t evaluate anything but today. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or what you’re attempting to accomplish. Make sure your determination of your intelligence, growth and progress (the I.G.P) is based upon this 24-hour period. Don’t look back and don’t project into the future.
2. Don’t be ashamed of what you can’t . This is merely a classroom to find your A+ work. Since God is no respecter of persons, everybody has an ability and an apptitude to do something at an A-student quality that will provide them purpose and wage. That also means that all of us have things we do that make us look stupid along the way.
3. Don’t become medicated over the jargon of a society that instructs in the “beauty of equality” while extoling those who go the second mile. America is a trickster. The nation appears to be sympathetic to lesser fellows while regaling the champions who go for the gold.
 
Don’t allow yourself to be sucked up into grace-esteem, because for every verse of the Bible that tells us that we are “saved by grace,” there are three that inform us that we will give an account of every deed at the Day of Judgment. And for every soft-spoken motivational teacher who tells you that “you’re fine the way you are,” there are a thousand friends, relatives and co-workers cheering for you to do much better.
 
You cannot create a generation of healthy human beings by whispering in their ear that “they’re just fine.” You also cannot generate a horde of nervous ninnies who are afraid to do any work because they might fail. The balance lies in knowing that “if God loves me, there is something I can do and do so well that I don’t have to apologize for the work or who I am, and I can hold my head high as I complete my task, take my money and live a good life.”
 
Are we supposed to do better? Yes–because without improvement, we deteriorate. We are no different than the apple on the tree. Connected to the branch, we are nourished, but after we fall to earth, there is a season when we are ripe and ready, and if we are not used in that space of time, we rot and become an annoyance. If our country is going to improve its I.G.P.–intelligence, growth and progress–we will have to cease to intoxicate the populace with false dreams of self-worth and value, bestowed simply by birth.
 
In closing:  “I become valuable as I value my life and find things of value within myself that I can accomplish–to bring greater value to the brotherhood of man.”  That’s how simple it is.
 
So we’ve had our three question.
 
How about tomorrow we give a grade card on the present I.G.P.?
 
 
**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

Is God Mean? … February 24, 2012

(1434)
 
Even though I thought I had my information straight, I decided to go back and check out the list one more time. After a careful scrutiny, I discoveredGod is love,” “God is a spirit” and “God is light.”
 
For the life of me, I was unable to uncover “God is mean.”
 
It seems remarkable, doesn’t it, since the notion of God’s meanness is a prevailing human opinion from time to time for nearly all of us (myself included)? Some tragedy will come along or strange abuse of children or women and we’ll find ourselves lamenting over the seeming impotence of God to aid in these matters, and then someone will remind us about when He was starting his business back there in the Old Testament, that He was known for being quite ruthless.
 
So how does someone who is advertised for the love, spirit and light He brings get tagged so often as “the meanie?” Well, He has some strong deterrents to His public relations campaign.
 
1. Let’s start with the Bible itself. People mistakenly think that the Holy Bible is God speaking to mankind rather than a gradual discovery by mankind of how God speaks. It would be similar to examining a camel by starting at the rear end and working your way up to the face. That’s really the presentation of the book we know as the Bible. But there are those people who hold fast to the notion that the Book of Job is just as viable as the Book of Acts and because that philosophy is still in the air, it often appears that God is mean or in a bad mood.
2. Another thing that does no favors for God’s personal presentation is the earth itself. Storms, earthquakes, eruptions and all sorts of natural tragedies cause us to think that God is either in a bad mood or He’s just grumpy and anti-human. There are very few people who take the time to compliment God on a thousand beautiful sunrises, but they will certainly discredit Him for allowing one big wind to blow the roof off their house.
3. The third thing that makes it difficult for God to escape the “mean” rap are his followers. Most people who are religious blend in just enough of God to rationalize their personal ego trips–so God is labeled with all sorts of false conceptions, ideologies and interpretations.
4. Of course, the main reason that God gets smacked in the head for being mean is the decision He made long ago at creation–and that decision is the unbridled granting of free will to humans. It is irrevocable and non-debatable. People can do whatever they want using whatever excuse they choose, blaming whomever they have selected.
 
So let’s understand the problem. With some of the poor translation of the Bible, the earth’s shaking and shimmying, religious followers making the true nature of the Divine as elusive as possible and the general decision on God’s part to grant free will to humanity, God is often stuck at the end of the line, having to pay the bill for what everybody else has ordered.
 
And one other situation we rarely think about. Just because God is love–which mean’s He’s emotional, by the way–and God is a spirit–which certainly would connote that He is spiritual–and God is light–which means He welcomes enlightenment and knowledge (big brain stuff)–yes, even though all those things are true, human beings are often stuck in an adolescent stage of maturity, like teenagers not wanting to be loved, rejecting any attempt to become spirited, and resenting the hell out of light being shone on their deeds.
 
Yes, if you’ve raised children, you will remember the phase in those precious teen years, when the fact that you loved them and wanted to “spirit them” to better causes, and in order to be a good parent, you had to shed light on some of their dubious behavior … well, let’s put it this way. It did not cause you to fall into good graces with your sneering offspring. Yes, all parents have heard from their teenager: “You’re mean.”
 
So when you combine a Bible that is read literally instead of progressively, an earth that is mothered toward evolution and growth despite our objections, followers of God who always have more agenda than mercy, the decision by the Almighty Himself to grant unconditional free will to His human creation, and the fact that lots of us get stuck temporarily in an adolescent maturity and want to be left alone and not be loved, spirited or enlightened–well, when you consider all of that, it’s no wonder that some disgruntled patrons of the earth might consider God to be mean.
 
Here’s the truth: God is love, spirit and light. The love doesn’t change, the spirit is always moving forward and the light illuminates even those things we wish it didn’t. Mother Nature has a job of making sure that the earth continues and in the process, grants us all an even playing field. Human beings are basically self-involved, but when motivated by other fellow-travelers who are less selfish, can be pumped up to do better things.
 
So the answer, to me, is that God isn’t mean, but He created some factors in the world around us that can be mean if we don’t learn how to discern the signs of our times and understand our vulnerabilities. God gives free will and lets us discover the hidden treasure that’s been placed everywhere in creation.
 
So in conclusion:
  • The Bible is a book about God–not God Himself.
  • The earth is something He set in motion. It is never merely His daily whim.
  • His followers have to be judged on whether they bring love, spirit and light to the world–thus, God.
  • And the decision He grants us–to have free will–should be entered into with humility, respect and a healthy lust towards succeeding.
 So as we continue our I.G.P.–intelligence, growth and progress–we can fine tune that trio by understanding that a loving spirit of light named God has given us the free will of choice to find Him and unmask the imitators. So now we are two questions down, with one remaining. How about this one:
 
Are we supposed to do better?
 
**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

Are Human Beings Basically Bad? … February 23, 2012

(1433)
 
It was Trent’s fourth birthday. As excited as he was about the presents and the upcoming party at  Chuck E. Cheese, what was really revving his emotional engine was the prospect of going to the park and being allowed to go to the playground on his own. Dad would be nearby–but Trent would finally be allowed to play to his heart’s content without a parent hovering over his shoulder.
 
Independence. Trent was thrilled. Arriving at the park, he leaped from the car and ran towards the playground, with all of its contraptions and possibilities. Dad perched himself on a bench nearby, reading a newspaper and sipping some coffee. It was less than ten minutes later that a woman came running towards Papa, asking him if he had a little boy on the playground. She explained that his son, Trent, had just knocked down her little daughter for no good reason.
 
Dad immediately ran over to the location of the accosting and asked Trent what had happened. At first he would not respond. So Dad threatened to take Trent away from the playground–to punishment at home. Finally, with bitter tears drizzling down his cheeks, Trent replied, “She knew how to make all the stuff on the playground work and I didn’t! So I knocked her down.”
 
Dad suddenly realized what the problem was. Even though Trent was old enough to be on the playground, because he had never used any of the equipment on his own, he was unfamiliar with how to do it right. So instead of admitting his need or watching other kids and following suit, he decided to strike out.
 
You see, friends, that is the birthing of all “bad.” Even though there are many religious people who contend that human beings are born with original sin, Jesus disagreed. He said that little children were the citizenry of heaven.  He compared them to angels. No one is born bad. No one is flawed from birth with any permanent predisposition to anything–unless they relent to it.
 
That may not be a popular view, but the alternative philosophy renders us at the mercy of either a juggernaut of genetics or a religious doctrine of human depravity. The difference between good and bad in human beings is really quite simple. If people don’t know what they’re doing and they’re not humble enough to admit it, learn from others and appreciate those teachers, they will eventually do something to hurt the folks around them–and even themselves.
 
Here is what makes human beings bad:
1. They become angry because they don’t understand. The predominant motivation for anger in our lives is a lack of comprehension about how things really work without the pursuit of a greater insight on the issue. Just like Trent, we are thrust on the playground without adequate instruction. In other words, it’s easier to be pissed off than it is to acquire knowledge.
2. They don’t understand because they refuse to imitate. I don’t know about you–when I’m baffled about something, I just look around for anybody who’s been there before and try to copy off their paper. I don’t want to look stupid and end up angry. Yet there is a silly and sappy notion in the hearts of human beings that appearing vulnerable–in need of input–makes us look ridiculous. Just for the record, I am a man, but I always stop and ask for directions. If I need help carrying something, I will not strain my legs or break my back to do it. Bad and evil enter the human heart when we refuse to honor our need for aid.
3. And the reason we don’t imitate is that we were taught that it’s weak to do so. I cannot think of any greater reason that evil flourishes except that people are frightened of appearing less. It’s how Hitler controlled Germany. They were a country beset by difficulties after World War I and he taught them that they were a super-race that needed to rule the world, and dispelled all notions of need. It doesn’t do any good to preach a gospel that says “the meek shall inherit the earth;” “when we are weak we are strong;” and “confess your faults one to another,” when the brunt of society is screaming “self-esteem” and “self-reliance.” You can take perfectly good people and ruin their lives by convincing them they should be angry because they don’t understand, and see them continue to misunderstand because they fear imitating others–because the imitation of others would be a sign of weakness.
 
Can it really be that simple? Absolutely. All “bad people” are angry because they don’t understand; they don’t understand because they don’t want to imitate, and they were taught not to imitate because it made them look weak.  So are people naturally bad? Are they born in original sin? No. It is an outgrowth of a foolish rendition of pride in one’s work which leaves out a learning curve and garnering knowledge from others.
 
Here, on the other hand, is how you make good people. Teach them to:
 
1. Watch for winners. Look out for folks who are doing it right and get to the business of studying their procedure. It would be  wonderful if we actually would follow “what would Jesus do”–if we would first study the style of Jesus. But instead, we assume that Jesus would react like the typical American. He doesn’t. If you want to be a “good person,” you’ve got to start watching for winners and turning your back on the losers.
2. Appreciate and apply. When you come across a winner, make sure you walk up and congratulate him or her on the discovery and then honor the effort by applying it in your own life. I am not a rock–I am a sponge. When I see good things happening, I absorb them. When I read the scriptures and there’s something in there that is tender-hearted towards humanity, I own it. I appreciate and express thankfulness, and then I apply it in my own life as a tribute to the beauty. There is no goodness in life without imitating powerful ideas.
3. And finally, be grateful to your brothers and sisters. Not every meaningful experience in your life will happen in your own family or genetic lineage. You will need emotional and spiritual boosts from many travelers. So when you meet people for the first time, instead of treating them as strangers, be prepared to receive fresh spirit from their journey. Be grateful for your brothers and sisters.
 
So are people basically “bad?”  No–they have to be taught to be angry because they don’t understand, and to refuse to understand because they don’t want to imitate, and that imitation makes them feel weak.
 
But as for me and my house, we’re going to watch for winners, appreciate those champions, apply those precepts into our lives and be grateful for all of our brothers and sisters. The choice is ours–as it should be.
 
People aren’t bad; ignorance is bad–especially when it’s backed up with arrogance and cemented by reverence.
 
So that’s the first step in our I.G.P.–evaluating our society on intelligence, growth and progress. So what’s the next question? What shall we talk about on the morrow? How about this one:
 
Is God mean?
 
**************
Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com
 
  **************

Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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