380… April 8, 2012

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The story is related that 500 people saw Jesus as a raised being after his death. That’s a lot of folks. But less than three months later, 120 remained in an upper room, waiting to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Somewhere along the line, 380 of the eye witnesses to the risen Christ, chose to abandon the cause.

76% of the audience who viewed the show panned the performance.

Now, you and I would proclaim for a certainty that if we actually viewed such a miracle, our consecration would be lifelong. But if you follow those statistics, three out of four of us who actually experienced a resurrection, would, within ninety days, return to our normal lives. It isn’t something to be ashamed of; it isn’t something to lament. But it is well worth a quick study on this Easter morning–to understand what price we pay for believing and what toll can be imparted for ignoring. Let’s look at the reason that 76% of the people returned to their average lives after viewing the experience of the resurrection:

1. Seeing is NOT believing. We think if we can see things for ourselves it will completely transform our belief system and make us more faithful. Yet if you sit at a dinner table with twenty guests and bring up an extraordinary circumstance in your life that can only be explained in the realm of the miraculous, every person at the table will have a similar encounter. They will become wide-eyed with wonder as they share it with you, maybe even flirting with tears. They, too, have seen God. I do not know anyone–even atheists or agnostics–who have not had some supernatural event in their lives. Our disbelief is not based upon an absence of God‘s intervention, but rather, a peculiar categorizing that we all do with such phenomenon. Sometimes we explain it away as chance. Often we refer to it as a fluke. But the more prevalent explanation is that the intervention of a Divine Nature was granted to us so that we could continue to be mediocre. Belief is not achieved by seeing. Belief is accomplished by seeing, acquiring and continuing to put it into practice–test-marketing the idea every day. Which leads to:

2. Believing is NOT living. If believing were living, then the billions of Christians across the world would have certainly promoted the idea of the Golden Rule to the extent that at least in part there would be some waning in wars and lessening of bigotry. Believing is much like wedding vows–something we dress up for on one occasion, say fervently with tears in our eyes, but quickly forget in the midst of the next turmoil and argument. Just as seeing is not believing, believing is not living. Living is an entirely different matter.

3. Living is NOT changing. Most people have two rules for living: (a) “If you want to be my friend, don’t tell me I’m wrong too often;” and (b) “don’t ask me to do anything that wasn’t first my idea.” As you can see, just the pressures that come through Mother Nature continually defies that two-pronged philosophy. The natural order just doesn’t care about your feelings. It continues to promote the ideas of “seed time and harvest” and will be more than happy to let you know that what you sow you will also reap. Just as believing does not translate into living, living does not become a means for creating change. Otherwise our old folks, who have had so much experience, would be genteel, patient, expansive, open-minded and forgiving instead of overly sensitive, critical, worried and frustrated. Living does not create an environment for change. Case in point–there were 380 people who decided to walk away from the resurrection–a one-time occurrence not worthy of their faithfulness–and today we have nearly 380 denominations in Christendom alone. Amazing–one denomination for each excuse available to those who chose to forget the power of Easter. Yes, you do not have to change your life. When you run across a situation where it appears you are in danger of such a necessity, you can just change your denomination. Living is not changing.

4. And finally, changing is NOT human. The secret of the resurrection is that it demands supernatural, cosmic, Godly intervention into a human life that finally surrenders to its own death. It is impossible for human beings to change unless they are able to access the button inside them that is the image of God. Without this, we make excuses, we rationalize and we twist the truth to match our lie.

What is the importance of Easter Sunday? To let the 24% in our world–the ones who actually have discovered their own death–have a chance to access Holy Ghost power in order to resurrect from their culture, apprehension and inadequacies, to new life.

And here is the true miracle: 24% is enough.The principle of resurrection is so undeniable that if only one out of four people partake in it we can change the world. Because the other 76% are geared to follow the norm of the day; so if the 24% can alter that state, the 76% will come along for the ride.

500 people saw Jesus after his death–but only 120 of them allowed themselves to be resurrected.

They took seeing into believing, and they allowed a belief system to become their new lifestyle–and on a good day that lifestyle generated the desire for change. They superseded mere human frailty by touching their own “divine” and allowing the change to manifest resurrection.

Who are you today? Forget that. Who am I? I’m not sure.

All I know is that my tomb feels a bit cramped.

**************

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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