Jesonian: It Was the Summer of 29 … June 22, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear My Father Which Art:Daltry

I’m in the midst of gathering the group together for the summer tour, with Peter, James, John and myself in the front, three back-ups, a trio of roadies, one manager, one accountant, and of course, a tax man. A group of ladies with kids joyously join us, making up a commune of common community.

Stop off planned in every small village from here to Holy City.

The message is simple. The K of G is within U.

cast of hairGradually the crowds are getting bigger–more excitement. The faithful bring their hearts, which welcomes the miracle. See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.

So the rock is rolling on.

Of course, there are critics aplenty. All the men of old, upset with our new sound.

But it’s not stopping the light in the darkness and the salt to make them thirsty. Yes, what we have in mind is a surprise dinner for five thousand. We keep going.

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

As the Stones cry out and the Eagles soar.

We are the young generation and we got something to say.

It is the original summer of love.Hendricks burning guitar

The world will never be the same.

We will build this house on the rock.

I don’t know, Dad. Maybe the establishment will change.

Gotta believe the plan works–live the plan, work the plan, be the plan.

But right now I don’t care. We travel on. The seventy go two-by-two, with each heart beating as one.

Don’t stop ’til you get enough.

The hills are alive.

Your son,

Jesus

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

My Favorite Jim… May 17, 2012

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In the late winter and early spring of 1980, I found myself in a recording studio, spending one hundred hours laying down the tracks for a Broadway-style musical I had written called Mountain. It was the Sermon on the Mount, set to music. Even though the tunefulness of it gained much appreciation and buzz, my expertise in putting together such a monumental project was based more on presumption than actual knowledge.

So I was quite grateful when two friends came to join me in the process, to enlightened me where I was in darkness and give energy to my bulb of inspiration. It happened that both of them were named Jim. One of them was a pastor of a church who looked like a male model and had a burning passion to share the gospel, but also a secondary agenda of trying to remove all pornography from our community. The other Jim was an entertainment promoter with a delightful sense of humor, an interest in the gospel’s ability to enhance the brotherhood of man, with a very private lifestyle which he rarely shared with anyone. (To avoid confusion, let me call the minister “P. Jim”–for either Preacher or Pastor.)

P. Jim was an interesting blend of rock and roll with rock of ages. We don’t have many people like him around nowadays–because the sixties and the Jesus movement made him desirous of being open-minded, even though his theology sometimes wanted to “corral” that horse sense. Jim, on the other hand, grew up in a very religious home and was doing his very best to distance himself from such godly frugality.

Both of them came to planning sessions for the work on Mountain.  P. Jim would usually steer the conversations towards evangelism and the potential the musical had to “reach the lost.” And Jim nodded his head as he sat with a pencil, adding up how much this proposed evangelism was going to cost. The combination was perfect. I got to play the part of the artist who was not concerned with mere Bible verses nor touched by the insensitivity of money matters. The project was finished, the results were amazing, the casting was completed and two debut performances were scheduled–when a problem arose.

P. Jim called me out to a local restaurant for a cup of coffee. He was nearly in tears. He had found out through the spiritual sour-grape line that our other Jim was a homosexual. (If I may take a moment, this was a time in our country when there was no such thing as “gay.” Those of the more generous inclination in the heterosexual community referred to the “others”  outside their righteous world as homosexuals. If they were NOT generous, the words “queer” and “faggot” fell off their lips.)

P. Jim was a generous soul–but he was certain that he would not be able to continue his support for the Mountain project if Jim was going to be involved. He finished his speech, dried his eyes with a napkin and looked at me, waiting for my response.

I said, “Is that it?” He nodded.

“Okay,” I replied. I got up and started to walk out of the restaurant. Shocked, he grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the booth. He wanted to know what I was going to do.

I said, “Well, I guess I’m going to figure out how to do this project without your support.”

P. Jim was bewildered. No–beyond bewilderment. Actually, he was doubly baffled–first, that I was ignoring the potential judgment of God on our endeavor by allowing this sodomist to continue to participate. And secondly, he was bruised that I felt that he could so easily be cast away without it making any difference.

I explained my feelings. I wanted to have both of them. I wanted to have P. Jim, with his passion for God and love for humanity, and Jim, with his knowledge of the business and ability to raise funds so that the idea could get off the drawing board and into construction. But if P. Jim was going to make an issue over something that was really none of my business in the first place, I would go find the spiritual passion elsewhere and stay with what was working.

To say that P. Jim was flabbergasted would be the classic understatement. He began to throw scriptures at me–and I had a parcel of my own. Scripturally, we came to a dead-even draw. He tried to intimidate me with what would happen when people found out there was a homosexual involved in the planning. I told him it was America. There was no such thing as bad publicity, just ways to further entice people to come out to appease their curiosity. P. Jim wondered how I could do a mission on the Sermon on the Mount while still promoting evil.

I said, “Jim whether it’s evil is for God to decide when He finally closes the door on this little pawn shop of earth He’s put together. I know two things–I don’t have the right to judge and God looks on the heart and not the outward appearance. And Reverend Jim, our mutual friend, Jim, has more heart for this project that maybe the both of us put together.”

P. Jim frowned. He told me he would go think about it. Honestly, I never expected to hear from him again. And if you moved ahead thirty years in time, that WOULD have been the end of P. Jim’s involvement in my life. But you see, P. Jim grew up during the Civil Rights era, Viet Nam, Watergate, Woodstock and disco. His brain was not buried in cement, but rather, sloshing around in the quagmire of a Biblical swamp.

About five hours later, my phone rang and it was P. Jim. (I had already told Jim that we were going to lose the pastor and his church. Jim was devastated by the news and offered to resign. I explained to him that I wouldn’t have made a stand just so I could lose BOTH of them.) But anyway, back to my phone call, as I said, it was P. Jim. He was once again in tears. He apologized for interfering in the progress of what was truly an inspirational notion to bicker over the finer parts of religious law. He told me that if I had a belief in Jim, then he had the faith to stand behind my belief.

We had an amazing premiere, with P. Jim and gay Jim standing backstage together, applauding and hugging.

I lost contact with these two fellows shortly after that. I heard that P. Jim’s church eventually shut down and the porn stores he had been trying to get rid of in the community not only didn’t fold, but multiplied. Jim left the entertainment field and returned to a more normal life, becoming an accountant and a man discovering more about his identity.

But I will never forget that season, when the preference of two individuals–one for and one against–was set aside to pursue common passion.

Well, I entitled this particular essay My Favorite Jim, so you might ask, which one IS my favorite Jim? To answer that, I think I’ll fall back on the wisdom of Jesus. “Anyone who does the will of my Father …”

 

   

 

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Simon’s Son… April 5, 2012

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From Safford, Arizona

Simon fathered a boy–a delightful young lad–his only son. “Proud” could not possibly describe the experience that occurred in Simon’s soul over having such an opportunity–to have an heir and a young, fertile mind in which to plant great ideas and dreams.

He taught the boy to love God, because without the love of the Divine, the appreciation of the earthly is often tainted. He taught his son to be loyal to his family. After all, there is nothing greater than family. He instructed his fine pupil in the value of loyalty to your country–being willing to stand up for liberty and independence. He shared with him that generosity to the poor is a great way to please God and also a signal to your neighbors of the purity of your motives. He taught his son that government interference in the choices of its citizens should be limited, allowing for the population to grow, prosper and expand.

He was pleased when his young fellow grew into a man and offered his talents to the resistance party. Even though his child was not a warrior, he possessed great skill in communication, negotiation–and also had a knack for finance. After all, even freedom fighters need an accountant.

He was a bit surprised when his son ended up in Bethabarra by the Jordan with a new movement that promoted the idea that repentance and immersion in water replaced debate and standing up against tyranny. Yet he never questioned him. After all, all young people go through phases and as he got older, he would return to his moorings and roots.

But when his son chose to join forces with a Galilean, it was time to object. Simon was a proud citizen of Kerioth, a town in Judea.  Now, Simon did not feel that Judeans were better than Galileans, but the natural pecking order in both the physical and spiritual worlds seemed to have produced such evidence. Galilee was poor, absent loyalty to the country and too preoccupied with sustenance to be of much use to the common good. Judeans were faithful to both God and country, and were prepared to do whatever was necessary to free themselves from the interference of government and the tyranny of foreign influence.

But Simon loved his son. He realized that there is a season of reflection, when every man questions his values and wanders into the oblivion of possibilities for a brief season, to then return to the righteous struggle.

Simon loved Judas. Nothing could change that love. He was proud that Judas had found a place of high regard in this new movement, one of the top twelve–even though it was spawned in Galilee.

But today he had received news that his hope and dream–his prodigy and the symbol of his destiny–was dead.

Simon decided to make a journey to Jerusalem to try to trace the last days of his beloved Judas. It was difficult to find anyone who would talk to him. Apparently those associated with the new movement had escaped into private chambers or were completely unwilling to meet with the father of the man they knew as a traitor.

A traitor. Simon could not imagine his Judas betraying anyone. Loyalty to family, country and God had been the bulwark of their household philosophy.

Finally one of the women from the Nazarene‘s camp–a lady named Mary of Magdala–agreed to meet with him. He was a little uncomfortable to be discussing such important matters with a woman, but decided that something was better than nothing. He had only one question.

“Who killed my beloved son?”

Mary paused, eyeing him carefully, contemplating how to share the truth. She had no desire to hurt this father’s feelings. She had no wish to bring judgment on a man who was once a friend and now lay dead by his own hand. The delay troubled Simon, agitating his soul.  He asked again.

“Tell me, woman.  Who killed my Judas?”

Mary drew a deep breath. “I don’t know. And sir, I’m glad I don’t know. For Judas loved his country, but in the midst of his affection and devotion, his country changed. Judas loved the poor but didn’t realize that they would never go away and that merely casting coins in their direction was not a resolution to the problem. Judas believed in a religious system that was evolving from true Godliness to a safe Godliness that included greed and too much nationalism. Judas was my friend–but he forgot how to be a friend to the one who befriended him the most. So when our master asked him to stretch his mind and expand his heart to believe in things he did not yet comprehend, Judas returned to his training, his instincts and his security instead of abandoning them for the quest for the Kingdom of God.”

 Simon was aggravated. “You didn’t answer my question. Who killed Judas?” he asked.

Mary, without pausing, replied, “Religion. Tradition. Fear of being out of the mainstream. Insecurity. Selfishness. Hurt feelings. Jealousy. Nationalism. Wanting revolution instead of revelation. Money. Acceptance. And … probably mainly horror over being different for a season, to be right forever.”

Simon tried to interrupt, but Mary continued. “Your son betrayed. You see, it wouldn’t be a betrayal if the end result had been the betterment of mankind. But our master, Jesus, called him the ‘son of hell.’ I remember when I heard those words come from his lips, I thought to myself, ‘This is too harsh.’ But then I realized that hell exists whenever we believe that God is merely in heaven and not in the hearts of our brothers and sisters. And anyone who tries to stop God from loving people instead of just statues, countries and causes becomes hell’s son.”

Simon departed without saying another word. This woman was obviously deluded, as females often were. He went back to Kerioth feeling cheated and robbed of his only begotten son. Was there any truth to Mary’s words? Had he failed as a father? What was wrong with believing in God, family and country? What was wrong with objecting to government interference? What was wrong with being a patriot?

Six months later Simon passed away, still grief-stricken over the loss of his son. He never got to hear the words of Jesus. The only thing the name “Jesus” meant to him was that the son he had raised to be a good Jew was dead–because he had followed this teacher.

Simon had a son. He named him Judas–in honor of the great warrior who had fought for the Jewish people, Maccabees. His son grew up to be a man–a dastardly deceiver–the one who betrayed the Prince of Life.

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

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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