Sunday Mourning … October 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sunday mourning

Jesus is dead

Though he arose

As he said

Here is his body

In the bread

Drink his blood

That was shed

Gather, listen to the tune

Bow your head

And softly croon

“Rock of ages

Cleft for me”

Bass or treble

I assume it to be

Repeat after me

The magical words

Stained glass windows

With lilies and birds

Somber you came

And quiet you go

Reach the exit

End the show

A sermon of thoughts

Three in all

Very meaningful

But can you recall

The message shared

On this day

The names of those

For which we pray

A doughnut, some coffee

A word or two

A brief sense of one

And then we are through

Yes, God is our Father

On this we agree

But He works late at night

So quiet we should be

No running in the house

No whispering to your spouse

It is the way of the Lord

Though we feel quite bored

It is not for us to understand

It is not time to strike up the band

We worship a King

Our offering we bring

For we are lost

And He paid the cost

And never will we celebrate

Instead we carefully commemorate

Please, each of us redeem

From our unholy scheme

To achieve a pious conclusion

Our temporary absolution

To return again next week

Weaker and feeling meek

So we inherit the earth

In heaven at rebirth

Sunday mourning

Tears in our eyes

Is it true emotion?

Or fear of our lies?

 

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Symphony 150 … March 15, 2012

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The Book of Psalms.

It is a collection of songs and poems depicting the victories and struggles of human life, punctuated by the pursuit of God. Its closing stanzas are reserved for an explanation—no, more than that—an orchestration of what truly is praise and worship. Yes, it is a symphony in four movements, carefully constructed, sensitive to the needs of mankind and seductive to the ear of the Divine.

It begins with the trumpet—a fanfare. I envision four measures of our brass in unison—a clarion. “Wake up! Life is good! Notice the beauty of God and join the chorus.”

In the fifth measure, a second part is added, introducing diversity but still maintaining the integrity of tone. In the ninth through the sixteenth measures, the trumpets blare a quartet of harmonies, announcing the beginnings of well-deserved appreciation.

 And then suddenly, the brass are replaced by the lute and harp, establishing our melody—a recurring theme of sweetness and gentleness that accentuates our deep sense of awe and wonder over creation. It is genuine, pure and simple. “Be still. Know. Relax. It is time to exude the unity of your internal orchestra—heart, soul and mind—and let it come forth in the jubilation of your strength.”

An ascending arpeggio and our first movement ends—with the awareness that all is well.

It is quickly followed by the second movement, which explodes with rhythm—tambourines, hand-held noise makers, stimulating the dance—like a Chopin Polonaise—the affirmation that human life not only is functional, but also fruitful, because there is no reason to believe that God would do anything to stop us from achieving our best. It is time to rise, to move to the music. “Produce a visual for your joy. Reject stagnation. Pound the tambourines. Dance.”

Then, at the peak of this exaltation, the strings are introduced, blended with the organ. We hear the first fruits of our original theme from the lute and harp, now played with greater intensity and flow from our orchestra. It is time to take the jubilance of our dance and find the tunefulness of our heart’s desire and express it freely, without fear. The strings and organ give us the freedom to be unashamed of our humanity—to be willing to let all of our parts connect in a joyous repentance, absent of sadness, but filled with the expectation that God is forgiving, God is light and God is love.

Our second movement ends with this reassurance.

Fully absolved of our insecurities, frustrations and sins, the third movement begins with loud cymbals. It is a chorus, flirting with cacophony but still maintaining a control over intensity. It is a time to confirm that we are salvaged. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Trumpet the conviction true spirituality is not escaping human life, but rather, finally confirming its dynamic. Don’t be afraid.”

Our loud cymbals are joined by high-sounding cymbals, producing a fevered pitch. Our worship has now entered into a thrilling lack of intimidation. We are in awe of God, which gives us permission to honor of ourselves. We are surrounded by sound without complaining about the volume. We are lost in the moment without shame.

This ends movement three.

Suddenly … stillness—a two measure rest. Recreation—and then we begin movement four, the finale, where everything that has breath joins the orchestra to bring praise to the Lord. The brass, the woodwinds and even a chorus of voices blend, revisiting that original melody by the lute and the harp, exploring it as an anthem—a victorious march to triumph. Breath unites with breath, building in volume, the pace picking up to a glorious climax, a place where the sopranos can find their highest note. The tenors join just beneath as the altos gloriously bellow their second and the basses resound the bottom.

The ending is held, vibrating the sound waves through the room with such an intensity that chills run down the body, when all at once the conductor stops the orchestra. Another two measure rest, when …

The entire ensemble culminates in a lower inversion C chord. Peace, be still.

Thus ends our fourth movement—and our symphony.

It is how the Psalmist describes what true praise and worship of life and God should be—not merely the droning of well-rehearsed, “special music,” but a fresh, burgeoning composition extolling the great potential of being alive.

Symphony 150, in four movements—always available, always beautiful—always penetrating the heart of God.

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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.

Getting and Giving — October 23, 2011

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It probably really IS that simple–we get so we can give.

Some of what we get is for ourselves; some of what we give out is also for ourselves–to take care of our basic needs. We hope that our “get” will be large enough that we can increase our “give.” But those two words have an interesting prefix to them which affords a greater spiritual understanding. It’s the prefix “for.”  FORgetting and FORgiving–even though we would insist that forgetting has nothing to do with acquiring something and we might be hard-pressed to prove that forgiving has anything to do with imparting a tangible substance. But when you put it in context, getting DOES need a “for” and giving could use the same. 

The only way I can really get anything in my life is by abandoning that which has proven to be extremely unsuccessful  and reaching out for something that has greater capabilities to match my talents. Most people are unable to forget because they’ve stopped getting–and they’ve stopped getting because they’ve continued the same dissatisfying practices that have garnered no productivity. The first time I hit my head against a wall and the wall doesn’t fall over, it should be safe to assume that the tenth time will not be any more workable. But stubbornness is considered to be a virtue when actually it’s just a way of making repetition seem noble.

In addition, very few of us learn to be forgiving souls unless we learn what giving is for.  Giving is to get rid of the excess we really don’t need. If we feel like we’re in a constant state of need, perpetually frightened that we’re going to lose what we have, then giving will be out of the question. The same thing is true with “forgiving.” There are really three things necessary to find out what giving is for–or to generate forgiving.

1. It is highly likely that someone is going to offend me. We need to stop acting surprised when human beings bump up against each other and some bruising occurs. There are just too many different styles for us all to end up viewing “stylish” the same way.

2. People have a right to offend me. Probably the most useless phrase in the human realm of speech is, “How dare you?” The fact of the matter is, you not only dare, but often are absolutely delighted to do so.

3. The only way to guarantee that I will have a chance to survive in my everyday life is to release you from your responsibility to meet my needs. People are not here for me. People are not encompassing the planet for my pleasure. People are selfish–and as soon as I understand that, I can stop trying to hide my own selfishness and set aside some time to make sure they have adequate opportunity to meet their own requirements.

Forgiveness is not a holier-than-thou attitude, piously looking over at someone and saying that although they have wronged you, you are ready to move on, beyond the pain. Forgiveness starts long before any wrong occurs. It is a philosophy that knows that interaction with other human beings will inevitably lead to a combination of pain as well as pleasure. Therefore, prepare for both.

Likewise, forgetting is not attempting to ignore unpleasant matters in your mind, but instead “getting” by reaching forward to new things, knowing that we have a small attention span and as along as we divert it to other activities, it soon will not recall the previous misadventure. No one remembers anything as long as they’re replacing it with something else.

So there is really only one bad way to live in this world, and unfortunately, lots of people find it. They stop “getting” because they forget what creativity is for. It is a distraction–to take us away from activity that has proven to be non-beneficial and into worlds where we can excel. So the absence of teaching excellence is the presence of regret, resentment and frustration.

To achieve “giving,” we must find out what it’s for–because FORgiving is budgeting in human frailty and disappointment instead of constantly being shocked when your fellow-man falls short of the glory of God.

It’s all about getting and giving–but you have to know what they both are for.  Forgetting is always knowing that the best way to get a bad taste out of your mouth is to quickly insert something sweet. Giving is being intelligent enough to know what it’s for–because the only thing I want to have in the realm of giving is control. In order to have control, I must plan for the fact that human beings are going to be in need and are capable of hurting me, but as long as I am aware of that I can deflect the pain and offer absolution.

It’s all about getting and giving–but you can’t forget without reaching.  And you can’t forgive without planning.

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Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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