1 Thing You Can Do to Make Your World More Honest and More Friendly … October 26th, 2020

Decide What Is Truly Abrasive

This may sound like a simple task, but the statements that were once considered abrasive have altered considerably.

The actual definition of abrasive is “harsh, rough to the ear and showing little concern for the feelings of others.”

Here is a rather comical collection:

“King George is a tyrant.” In colonial days, this would have incited at least violence and possibly jail.

“Slaves should be free.”  If you had said that in Congress in 1851, you’d have been dubbed abrasive for sure.

I love rock and roll.” Try that one in 1961 America.

“The Vietnam War is criminal.” In 1967, your father might have taken your car keys away.

Black people should have the right to vote.” Obviously, there are people today who find this an abrasive statement.

“We should have a woman President.” Once again, that one will polish a rough surface or two.

Honestly, I think “abrasive” is a tough one.

Often there are things that need to be shared–even shouted from the housetops. If they’re not said, they can’t be heard and if they can’t be heard, the faith to change things for the better is never launched.

So how do I know when I’m abrasive? This is where it does get simple.

If I’m saying something because I was personally offended or if I have a hankering to offend somebody else just for the hell of it, you can pretty well guarantee–it’s abrasive.

But words that are said to cry out for freedom and protect the innocent may be initially considered abrasive, but history will laud them as prophetic and courageous.

Perhaps it would take an angel to discern all the subtleties in this process.

Perhaps we need a few more angels.

1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Improve Your Spiritual Health … October 19th, 2020

Think of God as ‘Abba’

A friend of mine once said that if you think about God too much you go crazy. (He also believed if you licked the back of a frog, it was like taking LSD.)

He had a lot of ideas and didn’t mind sharing them.

Still–I don’t think it’s how MUCH you think about God that makes you crazy but rather, HOW you think about him. Some beliefs going around about God can certainly alienate you from your fellow-humans. For instance:

  • God is all-powerful.
  • God is mean.
  • God is American.
  • God is Jewish.
  • God is Arab.
  • God is rock and roll.

Each one of those particular incarnations of the Almighty has its own personality, style and demeanor.

I have concluded that of all the choices available, thinking of Him (or Her) as a Father is pretty good–that is, if you mean father as in the dad we all wish we had instead of the substitute-teacher-figure who ended up in our homeroom in the eighth grade.

So if God is a dad, who would he be?

My choice would be Harrison Ford when he played the President in Air Force One.

If you don’t remember the movie, even though the plane is hijacked by Russian subversives with really bad accents, Harrison, as the President, decides to stay onboard, fight them and save his family. He does a whole bunch of brave stuff that you know he would not really be able to do, but believing he was willing adds a lot of fun to the story.

Yeah, God could be Harrison Ford.

Note: I don’t know if it would be advantageous to me to think of God as my ACTUAL dad. I mean, I don’t have anything against him. He was a small, German man who normally didn’t say more than six things during the week and five of those were explanations on why he wasn’t talking. No, I couldn’t really tolerate a silent God. I’d always be wondering why He stopped speaking to me.

I kind of like the idea of God fighting for me.

I kind of like the idea of God being that kind of Father.

Of course, according to my friend’s philosophy, I’ve already talked enough about God to earn a 72-hour hold at Bellevue.

So remember–it’s not about how MUCH you think about God.

It’s about how you think of Him.

1 Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Mental Health … October 12th, 2020

Have an Imaginary Friend

Bill Maher, illustrious comedian and famous atheist, has often joked that people who believe in God are just talking to an “imaginary friend.”

Okay, let’s go with it.

What if He is an imaginary friend?

At least he’s a friend, right?

He’s not out to smite me with fire and brimstone.

And considering the fact that the average therapist costs somewhere between a hundred fifty and a thousand dollars an hour, it is certainly a cost cutter to have a friend, imaginary or not, to listen to my fussiness.

And if He ends up being imaginary, what did I lose? Nothing at all. It won’t make any difference because I won’t know.

It’s a win-win.

Because on the other hand, if He does end up being real, then I get to meet the Person who understood every step of my journey, laughed at my learning process and shared His wisdom with me.

Now…

To be honest you folks, I don’t think my Friend is imaginary. And I do know this. He is a Friend—and as a Friend, he is intent on making me look good.

So my advice to you?

  • Laugh at the detractors of your Imaginary Friend.
  • Save some money on therapy.
  • And enjoy having a Friend who stays closer than a brother.

From the stacks of Jonathan Richard Cring

1 Memory About Jonathan Richard Cring

For Angel, it was her wedding

I asked the sons, daughters-in-law, and grandkids if they had any specific memories or stories about Jonathan they wanted to share on his blog.  Angel responded with this remembrance:


In December 2009, I boarded a three-leg flight with my fiancé, Justin, to travel all the way from China to meet his family for the first time in Nashville–to get married there.

I knew little about Jon back then other than a few warm email exchanges. I brought my wedding dress and high heels—not sure how the wedding would look like, since Jon was planning most of it for us. 

The week of the rehearsing and planning was so much fun. Jon would call meetings with us to discuss the ceremony process, asking me for my preference and input on every detail. He found a beautiful chapel with Christmas decorations for our ceremony, picked the songs and arranged all Justin’s brothers to participate in the process.

The reception was hosted in his beautiful home on Bayshore Drive, with family and close friends. The chef was sweet and nice, the food was delicious. The cake was white with rosy decorations on it.

Jon even arranged the honeymoon suite, and later a road trip for us to visit Boston. 

“My dear, is there anything you would like to have for your special day?” he asked me, a couple days before our wedding, after we discussed everything in detail. His tone was warm and sweet, just like a father to me, making sure it will be my perfect day.

I said, “I want those cola cans at the back of the car that drag on the ground, like I watched in Hollywood movies.”

He laughed and said: “We will take care of that for you!” Just like that—it was done.

My wedding took place on December 21st, 2009. It was one of the most dreamy, sweet evening in my life.

After he passed away, my husband and I read through Jonathots, only to find out that in 2009, he was going through housing crash after the 2008 financial crisis. His property went down in value by over 50%. He was planning on selling the property for some profit as his next project—only to realize that he can now barely afford his mortgage.

It happened before our wedding and he never mentioned a word. None of us felt a drop of anxiety, stress. Joy was all that he gave me during my visit, and for my wedding. 

I think this might be the biggest lesson I learned from this one-of-a-kind man. He refused to be defined by his circumstance—absolutely determined to treat the world and everyone around him with good cheer. And in my twelve years of encounters with him, countless moments like this one defined him for me.


Angel is an entrepreneur and recently began a management position with Amazon. She lives in Shanghai with Justin and their two sons, Wyeth and Noel.

1 Thing You Need to Do to Be Alive … September 22nd, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Respond when someone knocks you on the head and says: “Are you there?”

Trust me–it’s true.

After nearly eliminating my life by accidentally taking too much insulin, those are the words I heard.

Are you there?

I wasn’t. But I was not gone.

So I responded affirmatively.

Death visits our lives more frequently than it should.

Don’t leave a welcome mat.

Published in: on September 22, 2020 at 1:53 am  Comments (1)  
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1 Thing You Can Do to Guarantee that Fear Will Remain … September 14th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Take it seriously before you take it someplace to determine if it’s serious.

The truth is, your mimicry of a problem is stronger than the problem itself.

In other words, your ability to imitate sickness is often much more astute, and even believable, than the reality of the problem itself.

Although there might be a bone-chilling sadness from finding out the truth, trying to keep up the illusion of fear can be exhausting.

You just have to find out.

Fear is what humans use when they hope God will surprise them by letting them know through some backdoor way that their fears are ill-founded—and they really are okay. And of course, it would have to be a back-door way—because fear is so very creative.

Fear loves fooling us.

Every person who is fearful needs to be honest and realize two things:

1. No person has ever died from foolishness.

It’s the realitythe real thingthat gets you. Which means that the majority of the time, when your foolishness is not a reality, you are legitimately safe.

2. Feeling foolish makes you look foolish,

This is not only uncomfortable, but can leave you defensive and ultimately appear ten times worse than necessary.

Go ahead and find out.

That way if you aren’t what you think you are, you’re safe and sound. And if you are what you fear, you can get started with the comfort and healing one week earlier.

 

1 Thing You Can Do That Will Always Blow Your Mind … September 7th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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The $200 Attack

First of all, there’s no magic in making it two hundred dollars. Any number works.

Just take some cash you’ve laid back, reserved, saved or collected and go to a nearby town (it can be your hometown, but it’s more fun if you’re not recognized.)

Start giving away kindness and money to people at a rapid pace so that before they know it, you are in and out of their community and on your way.

You can divide it up any way you wish.

  • How about $75 in five-dollar bills?
  • $20 in change to put into the washing machines at the local laundromat?
  • Pay for four meals at fast food restaurants.
  • How about some single one-dollar bills to hand out to kids?
  • Or surprise somebody by paying for their gasoline.

Take along your own children.

Give them the experience–and if you want to increase your cash, invite a couple of friends, who bring their stash.

In my opinion, it’s just better if you do it in a town near you—and do it as quickly as possible, leaving behind a community of at least forty or fifty people who are scratching their heads, talking about it for some time to come.

It’s $200 you will never wish you had spent another way.

And it will blow your mind.

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