Somebody Should Do Something…. May 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are two simple ways to immediately improve your life.

First, get rid of all your committees.

Second, start doing some rendition of what resembles your dream and then be prepared to change.

Since our present society is completely unable or unwilling to pursue either of these options, then please settle in for a long winter’s nap of repetitive nonsense. And one of the main pieces of nonsense is the ongoing droning drivel that “somebody should do something.”

Let us understand–somebody already has.

  • We wouldn’t have cures for disease if they hadn’t.
  • Slaves would not be freed without somebody doing something.
  • Salvation for the human soul would never have been accomplished from a “do nothing” Savior.

It isn’t like we have to come up with our own idea or create a world unto itself–unique to our circumstances–to accomplish good deeds. There are many paths set before us, tremendous options and inspiring tales to thrust us forward in the direction of accomplishment.

We are reluctant–both as a species and then, as individuals.

Why?

There are two nasty principles that were ingrained in us at a young age, no matter what culture we came from.

  1. Don’t make a fool of yourself.
  2. Leave well enough alone.

For some reason, as a race, we learned these much more easily than we did long division. Maybe it’s because we’re basically insecure, and both of these concepts feed that timidity, making it easier for us to remain stagnant.

Maybe it’s because indifference burns fewer calories and allows for more naps. I don’t know.

But the end result is a disgruntled multitude, complaining about the absence of leadership while simultaneously resisting any prophetic voice that would advance a new theory.

You have to make up your mind. If you want to extol the status quo, do so, but please never complain about the blandness of your grits. Or … prepare yourself for the shock that if anything is going to be done, to look any further than your own motivation is an exercise in futility.Abe

HitlerBecause there is really only one moving part in the human experience–only one thing that separates an Abraham Lincoln from an Adolph Hitler. Both men were bigoted in their own way. Both men took office believing that a particular sect or race of human beings was inferior. Both individuals had a certain dictatorial style to their rule. (Yes, Abraham Lincoln was called a dictator.)

The difference between Abraham and Adolph is that when information was given to Mr. Lincoln to prove that slavery was wrong, dangerous and god-forbidden–he changed.

On the other hand, when the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States were perched on the outskirts of Berlin and it was obvious to everyone–including Chancellor Hitler, that the war was over, he literally dug into his bunker and permitted the slaughter of an additional quarter of a million people to justify his foolishness.

Therefore, saying that somebody needs to do something is an ugly blending of self-pity and stubbornness.

And self-pity and stubbornness are the main attributes of all the inhabitants of hell.

A footrnote: muich thanks to my dear brother from yesterday morning at Algood, who told me his pet peeve was the phrase, “somebody needs to do something.”

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Arizona morning

heAfter 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

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G-6: Life or Strife?… January 10, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Gas, food and lodging.

These are the three items that I place at the top of my budget each and every week. I guess I’m not alone. Without these, we find it difficult to be secure, comforted and intricately involved in the process of human development.

Matter of fact, there are three elements necessary for life to exist at all–chemical energy, water and light. Without this trio of forces, life–well, at least life as we know it–cannot exist.

  • So chemical energy is like gas, fueling the possibility for growth and procreation.
  • Water is like food, feeding the endeavor
  • And light is like lodging, wherein we find our relaxation and sense of well-being.

Here’s what happens: when you mess with these three, human beings have a tendency to immediately leap from a cheerful pursuit of life into strife. When we don’t have what is necessary to breed a sense of growth, we shrink to darker corners, first becoming apathetic, then sullen and finally, vindictive.

Yet at the same time, we have a tendency in our present culture to deny the basics of life to the human family and then wonder why we end up with so much controversy, debate, anger and bigotry.

What is missing from the elixir of life in our present day?

1. We don’t mix our chemicals correctly.arguing

For instance, men and women were never created to be at odds with each other. They are interlocking portions of a human creation which requires understanding, interaction and meaningful dialogue. When you tamper with that natural order of communication and insist that it should be adversarial, you create strife. Once we have strife between men and women, it is an easy slide to establishing prejudices regarding other differences.

2. We’re taking the water out of life.

In some sort of bizarre adventure to promote the unseemly and dark areas of people-thinking, we have eliminated what keeps us wet and excited. Much as we may insist that we are absorbed in the macabre and the sinister, human emotions are actually starved for tenderness, mercy, understanding and acceptance. Where we need to have “rivers of life,” we’re purposefully drying things out, leaving  deserts.

3. And finally, we’re turning off the light.

If there is a possibility of finding a bleak representation of current facts, we will be given those little anecdotes instead of examples of goodness and purity winning the day. Here’s a case in point:

Adolph bunkerIn 1940 it appeared as if Adolph Hitler was unstoppable. A dark cloud of evil prejudice and domination encompassed the earth. People were scampering in horror. Our great nation was hiding in a corner, trying to avoid any conflict with this monster from middle Europe.

Yet it lasted for only five more years–and declining at that. Perhaps the greatest war-machine villain, hater of God and man, who scared little children and made great leaders of nations shiver in their boots, was found dead, under the ground in a bunker, frightened to death himself.

So I’m confused. Why do we promote evil so strongly, trying to douse the light of hope, when historically, truth seems to eventually have its day?

If you don’t have the elements of life, which are water, light and chemical energy, just like if you don’t have your gas, food and lodging, insecurity will enter your soul, and you will find yourself abrasively pursuing strife instead of life.

I guess it depends on whether you want to plant the seed of possibilityor merely investigate that which is seedy.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Creedless … August 6, 2012

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I have never been very enthusiastic about reciting things in unison. I will participate from time to time, but it always kind of reminds me of the scene in the movie, The Omen, when the followers of the anti-Christ mime his words back to him through what sounds like a really spooky echo chamber.

But a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a church where they were reciting the Apostle’s Creed. “I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten son, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried …”

At this point I stopped speaking with the rest of the sheep. It just seemed strange to me that in this particular discourse, we leap from Jesus being born straight to suffering under Pontius Pilate.  Wasn’t there a life in there somewhere? Weren’t there thirty-three years of dynamic existence, with the establishment of the Kingdom of God, healing the sick, raising the dead, teaching us to love our enemies? Where is that in the creed? Is the high point of the life of Jesus of Nazareth best expressed in explaining to all future generations that he died? What if we taught history that way?

“George Washington was born in Virginia and many years later he contracted pneumonia, was treated with leeches, was weakened and passed away.”

“Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky in a log cabin and through the passage of time was shot in the head during a theater performance.”

“Adolf Hitler was born in Germany and one day was found dead in a bunker in Berlin.”

Not only would we have a dearth of material to offer for our history classes, but our children would have no comprehension of the struggle, discovery and journeys of these figures who peppered our landscape with both greatness and evil deeds. The National Education Association would be up in arms.

It makes me wonder why the ministers and congregations are not equally as distressed when Jesus is presented only as a redemptive pin cushion to buffer the punishment for our sins.

No wonder our young humans are choosing to walk away from the religious system in favor of Sunday morning outings at the park with the family. Why go to church? If someone is dead, as a courtesy you put flowers on their grave once a year–which is why people show up for Easter. It’s only polite, you know.

Let me dispel some myths:

First of all, concerning this creed–Jesus did not suffer under Pontius Pilate. When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he absolved Governor Pilate of all responsibility, and laid the cause and blame for the atrocity of the death of Jesus at the feet of that day’s present Jewish religious leaders. If you will pardon my phrasing, I know it’s not kosher to blame the Jews for judging Jesus Christ. They had a bad day. Of a truth, they represented us all, who probably would have been equally as intolerant of someone insisting on tolerance. But it was their watch and they were asleep at the wheel.

Next: Jesus came to earth to show us the Father. For those of you who have been taught that he came to earth to die for our sins, you might want to take another pass at reading his own representation of his mission–because hours before they put nails in his hands, he announced, in the Garden of Gethsemane, to his Father through prayer that he had completed his work.

So what is the cross? It is the greatest act of sacrificial bravery in the history of mankind. It is the final proclamation of love from someone who knew that it was unacceptable to take away the free will-choice of those who wished to kill him. It was an action meant for treachery, which God, as always, brought around to our good.

So the act should be revered and respected for bringing about the salvation which we so frantically attempted to avoid, but it should never be put in predominance over the life, work, heart and mind of Jesus.

Perhaps I mis-titled this article. I called it “Creedless.” I’m not “creedless.” I believe everything in the Apostle’s Creed. It’s just that there is so much more I hold dear, and it is these assertions that make my Christian life meaningful–not the bloody, untimely death of my dearest friend.

Of course, all of this is going to play out. Every one of us will die and find out once and for all what is truly going on beyond our beatless heart. Here are the two possibilities: we will either meet God, our Creator, who certainly can’t be a God of love and also contend that we are so foul that He needed to grab His nearby son to expunge our blackened spot with his miracle blood. No, if there is a God up there, He is, as the Good Book says, Someone who desires mercy instead of sacrifice. So spending all of our time commemorating the death of his son ranges in quality from futile to annoying. As God said to Peter, James and John at the Mount of Transfiguration, “This is my beloved son. Hear ye him.”

There you go. It is just very difficult to hear the words from someone who has been relegated to being a prop for propitiation.

On the other hand, if we pass on and discover that there is nothing beyond the great pale, just paler circumstances, to have spent our lives rallying around the tomb of an executed savior will certainly seem useless when available to us was the spirit and message of a man who wanted to teach people to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

So you see, I have chosen what I consider to be a better path. If there is a heaven, God will have love and mercy as He promised. If there is no eternity, if you don’t mind, I will use the example of the life of Jesus, take that love and mercy, wrap it up and deliver it to the world around me.

 

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Like … March 4, 2012

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Love is over-rated.

It is a panacea of promises often deteriorating into a garbage can stuffed with disappointment.Although it is pure in its intentions, it is tainted by the greedy and the needy, who unwittingly pervert its purposes. For after all, the Southern plantation owner loved his family and his state, whistling Dixie while simultaneously abusing a race of people. Adolph Hitler proclaimed his love for Germany while murdering its inhabitants. The early American settlers loved their freedom and the prospects of new land, as they rolled their wagons over the dreams of the Native Americans. Then we have the concept that it is possible–supposedly–to love the sinner while hating the sin. And finally, is there any adult who has abused a child who doesn’t perpetuate the myth of undying love for his or her offspring? Love is a tattered emotional blanket that we throw across a frigid humanity, self-satisfied that everyone is now warm.

Yet we know the Bible says that God is love, so why is our love so different from God‘s? What does God possess in His implementation of love that is so separate from our meager efforts?

God likes people. We don’t. Simple.

Yes, God likes people. What a magnificent word–like..  Mainly because it has two immediate applications: like–as in having affection, and like–as in perceiving a connection.

  • “I like you.” In other words, I have taken the time to find reasons to be favorable to your continued existence as a person.
  • “I am like you.” I have taken an equal space of my attention span to discover ways that you and I are similar instead of focusing on our differences.

There are also two reasons our love is tainted.

1. We believe that everybody is different. If everybody is different, we can’t find enough in each other that is like us to cause us to like one another. God rejected this concept. Matter of fact, the Bible makes two things clear–“God is no respecter of persons” and “God so loved the world.” Do you see it? He thinks we’re so much alike that He refers to us as “the world.”

2. Our love is ineffective because of our ongoing contention that we were “born” some way. It is the universal copout that keeps us from dealing with who we are and allowing ourselves the possibility of being born again.

So if I’m different from you, I can love you in the abstract and not like you in the present. And if I was born this way, all of my actions can be excused by my genetic fallibility. Somewhere along the line, we need to learn how to like one another. Like is the kindness and gentleness that props up the concept of love. Like is the willingness to adapt to the needs of others, even when our present thinking may be contrary to theirs. Like is considering the value of another person instead of contemplating how easy it would to function without them. Like is when we abandon the importance of our cause for the primary mission of respecting and honoring the human race.

We heard a talk show host this week call a young woman he had never met a “slut” and a “prostitute.” He did it because he loves America. He did it because he loves the tenets of his movement. He did it because he loves truth enough to call an ace an ace, a spade a spade and obviously, a whore a whore. What he said was, in his own mind, rooted in the concept of love. But because his statement lacked tenderness, humanity, concern, awareness or even vulnerability, it left his rendition of love empty of virtue.

I will tell you this–Jesus would not appear to be loving if he had just quoted scriptures or taught on the subject. I am a follower of Jesus because he had compassion, he was moved by people’s faith and he put children on his knee and embraced them, defending them against overly zealous grown-ups.

Jesus liked people. If Jesus hadn’t like people, not only would he be useless to us, but honestly, he wouldn’t be Jesus. So neither am I a Christian–a follower of Jesus–when I superficially place love in a position of predominance and deny my fellow human beings the opportunity to be liked by me.

My principle is very simple: it’s “like or hike.”

Plainly, if I can’t like someone, I’m going to give them the great gift of getting out of their way and allow them the freedom to pursue their dreams without my allegedly loving intervention.I am not going to sit around and question whether I agree with people, but rather, whether I can be of any use to them, encouragement to them, or edification to them. Can I offer them a good bathing in my likability?

Love will become a powerful word again and a universal energy when we insert “like” back into our vocabulary and actions. Like is when I have affection that admits I have a connection.

  • I am not black, but I know what it’s like for people to have prejudice against me.
  • I am not Hispanic, but I know what it’s like to be treated like an alien instead of welcomed like a new settler.
  • I am not gay, but I know what it’s like to be spied on and viewed unfavorably.
  • I am not a woman but I certainly know what it’s like to be treated with inequality.

If you’re not going to like someone, get the hell out of the way, because you can bring no heaven to them.

Let’s give love a chance. Let’s start by liking one another.

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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.

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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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