Hastens and Chastens … November 29, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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stocksThe quickest way to manufacture an agnostic is to allow false doctrines and teachings about God to continue to be propagated without challenge. Religion struggles under the burden of traditions rather than experiencing the power of transition.

This is definitely exemplified in the old-time Thanksgiving hymn, which begins: We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.

The next line continues: He hastens and chastens, His will to make known.

He hastens?

May I explain to you that God is in no hurry. Being a creative sort, he is fully aware of the gifts and limitations of His creation. Human beings are intolerable when they’re in a hurry. The best advice we ever give to each other is “slow down.”

Speed kills–and not just because it takes away the ability to control direction, but also because it removes the pleasure of scenery along the journey. I will guarantee you that God is not hastening.

If God believes that a day is as a thousand years, then He certainly doesn’t expect you to accomplish everything in one morning. If you want to find God, calm down. For I will tell you–Type A personalities never make it to Z.

He chastens?

For those of you not familiar with the Old English term of “chastening,” it means discipline or correction. I suppose you could consider life, Mother Nature and the way things work as a form of punishment–unless you were just smart enough to learn them and stop resisting what all of us have to live under in order to be part of the family of humankind.

  • God doesn’t discipline anyone.
  • He doesn’t tempt anyone.
  • He doesn’t punish anyone.

Built into the ecological and physiological nature of our planet are the guidelines and systems that rule the roost. Learn them. Then you won’t have to paint a picture of God with a wicked handlebar mustache tying you to the railroad tracks to be hit by the train.

His will to make known?

A true revolution in spirituality will occur when we stop believing that God has a perfect plan for everyone’s life and that He weeps crocodile tears over our inferior efforts.

God has given us a life where we can slow down, learn how things work and then possess the free will to pursue our dreams as we respect others.

So you can understand why people get so overly zealous promoting an angry God–and how those fed up with such an Abominable Snowman have run from the church in search of other comforts.

A quick review:

  1. God isn’t in a hurry, so why are we?
  2. God doesn’t punish; He instructs through life.
  3. God’s will is that nobody perish but that all people learn the power of repentance (change).

It’s so much easier to believe in God when you’re not religious.

He’s the Creator … who just keeps on creating.

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.

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Frontwards and Backwards… October 22, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

It appears to be the new definition of “cool.”

Especially among the younger generation, the profile of maintaining a certain level of agnosticism seems to be their choice in order to communicate an intellectual bent  social tolerance. Belief in God has been characterized as blackened teeth, having a southern accent and spending time down at the fishin’ hole, digging for frogs. So if you want to communicate that you’re current and living in the twenty-first century, you feel you need to distance yourself from the arcane concepts of religion and instead, embrace the supremacy of science and technology.

It is everywhere. Even those who insist they are still believers have abandoned the emotion, heart and depth of involvement in favor of practice, relics and dogma.

We just really need to get back to God. Now, I don’t mean this in the sense of a backwoods revival in a tent with screaming, hollering and rolling in the aisles. I mean, literally get back to the word: God.

Take a good look at the construction of the word. If you approach it from the front, it begins with G-O–go. If you decide to view it from the back end, it spells D-O–do.

Yes, even in the letters, we have go in the front and do in the back. Any message about a creative Father, who art in heaven, that does not lead with “go” and “do” is not only misrepresenting the essence of the supernal nature of the Almighty, but is lying to the hearers about the best way to curry His favor.

Religion goes nowhere and does nothing. It goes nowhere in the sense that so much emphasis is put on the afterlife and the insufficiency of the human experience that anyone who truly wants to be prosperous or find some fulfillment in their lifespan must walk away from the conclave of the waiters.

Religion does nothing mostly because it’s frightened of accidentally stepping out of the “will of God” and becoming carnal. The result is indecision or immobility. So any talented individual with a burning curiosity to discover the very best that earth has to offer is immediately repulsed by a “go-nowhere, do-nothing” campaign to spirituality.

I am sympathetic. I am often angered when I sit in churches and the messages of grace, mercy and unconditional love are used as flimsy excuses for remaining lazy and indifferent. I just don’t see any particular storyline in the gospels where Jesus encountered people and left them exactly the way he found them, whispering in their ear, “It’s all right. Just relax and trust God.”

It also doesn’t take you many chapters in the gospel to discover that Jesus was a “go” guy and a “do” dude. How we have succeeded in emulsifying the real meat of the truth of the gospel down to the pabulum of salvation and the insufficiency of man I will never know.

If I arrive at the Judgment Day and it turns out that God really desired a people who were shy, nervous, tentative, suspicious, overly-careful and always in the losing position, I just don’t believe that He will be dissatisfied with me because I selected to use my talents and aggressively multiply them. But if I arrive at the Judgment Day and God expected me to take what was given to me and put it into practice, improving my life situation, blessing the world around me, becoming as expansive as possible, and I, instead, have buried my abilities in the tomb of grace, mercy and unconditional love, I think I just might literally be in a helluva lot of trouble.

God: His name says it all–frontwards and backwards. Go and do.

But go and do what?

A young lady told me that she wanted to go to Africa to be a missionary. I replied, “Great. What are you doing here in your community?”

She paused. “Well, not much. You see, I’ve been going to college to train to be a missionary.”

I inserted, “Don’t you think the best way to become a missionary to Africa is by already being a successful missionary right here?”

We can’t always be in training. We can’t always be learning but never coming to the complete knowledge of the truth.

We need to go where we go. I know that may sound over-simplistic. But I don’t need to be telling God that I’m ready to go into all the world if I didn’t treat the maid at my motel with respect and generosity as I checked out of my room this morning in Indianapolis. I may have great ideas of where I want to go, but today I am on I-70, heading towards Lancaster, Ohio.

This IS my go. I plan on doing it so well that God will have confidence that the next “go” He sends my way will be equally as beneficial.

Go where you go.

I say to my good friends, Steve and Sharon: “You clean houses. Be the best house-cleaners in Davidson County.”

I say to my son, Jon, who is premiering his movie today: “Be the best host, director and artisan you can in Albany, New York.”

To Angy–beautify everyone you meet.

Maxine:  Bring cheer to all those shut-ins.

And I say to the delightful pastor I met yesterday in Brownsburg: “Brighten the corner where you are.”

I declare to all you beautiful people: “Go where you go and make the whole world glad you came.”

And then do what you do. I often have people tell me that they wish they had my talent. Perhaps they are a little confused when I laugh. Honestly, friends, I was not born talented. I just got tired of sitting around waiting for something to happen, and decided to use what I could do, and in the process learned enough that every once in a while it looks like I’m talented.

When my legs became weak about fourteen days ago, I realized that my life is not about my legs. My life is about my heart, soul and mind. Whatever I need to do to get my strength to a location where the other three parts of me can do their thing will be just fine. Do what you can do.

I speak to my dear friend, Jean, who writes me and encourages me with her comments from time to time: “Thank you for doing what you do. Mine is often a mission without much appreciation–stating plainly what might be possible. You encourage my soul.”

I would love to bolster the potential of this new generation by letting them know that just because the religious system has let them down does not mean that God has stopped being in the business of going and doing.

When you remove “go” and “do” from “God,” all you end up with is a big zero.

And too often, our churches, denominations and religious institutions have absolutely nothing to offer but the burden of more financial responsibility and additional insecurity.

So here’s to God. If you catch Him in the front, you’ve got GO. And even if you come in the back door, you end up with DO. I love Him because He has simplified this passage of time down to realistic, commonsense elements.

So here I go–maybe a little weaker than I was a couple of months ago. Perhaps for the time being, some of my physical strength has been “chaired.” But my desire to go and do has not diminished.

And because of that, I feel God in my life.

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Super-ag-nuts … July 22, 2012

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I should never have accepted the invitation. Sometimes I just have trouble saying no.

A very religious friend of mine invited me to come to lunch and meet his self-proclaimed agnostic brother. I know the aspiration of my ardent-zealot-religious comrade was that somehow I would be able to offer some sort of “smart” presentation of the gospel which would win over his brother, who was moving more each and every day towards complete atheism.

The luncheon started off all right, although a bit awkward, until my God-bud felt it was time to move into more supernatural topics and broached the subject of the divine with his less-than-willing family member. What ensued was a battle of wills, which had been in full swing for many years. It also became obvious to me that one of the brothers thought he was saved and the other one thought he was smart.

The one who thought he was smart equally believed that he would lose his entire brain if he was fully exposed to salvation, and the one who was saved was convinced that the introduction of too much knowledge could possibly dissolve any faith in God whatsoever.

I left that day feeling very unfulfilled and not certain where I fit in–because I am not a superstitious religious person. I don’t spend much time thinking about Jonah and the whale nor any one of the particular horsemen of the Apocalypse. I am also by no means an agnostic. There’s just too much flow of the Spirit and needfulness for God in our lives for any one of us to dismiss His creative presence merely to maintain a social strata of intellectual superiority.

The superstition of religion causes people to say, “I am afraid I am not pleasing to God,” which causes the agnostic to retort, “I think pleasing God makes me afraid.”

But a new phenomenon has now come onto the scene. People who formerly were involved in spirituality, which deteriorated into religion and eventually became mere superstition, have now been infected with a bit of agnosticism.

They are everywhere. They have just enough Bible in them to maintain a dangerous dose of superstition and a growing amount of agnosticism, which depresses them with the lack of God in their lives–similar to the temperament of a twelve-year-old kid after the first Christmas without Santa.

So just as a superstitious person believes he doesn’t please God and the agnostic thinks that pleasing God makes one afraid, this new group, which I have dubbed the super-ag-nuts, ends up trying to please everybody because they’re afraid. Do you see what I mean?

Because spirituality failed to maintain the integrity of its message, the superstition of religion took over the sanctuary and encouraged agnosticism, which has produced super-ag-nuts.

For instance, superstition says, “I want to go to heaven–because I don’t want to go to hell.”  The agnostic says, “I hate the idea of hell, so I reject heaven.” So this new super-ag-nuts philosophy blends the two and ends up with the assertion, “I am not sure if there’s a heaven or a hell, so I’m scared to die.”

It is the super-ag-nuts who are so politically motivated in our society. Like the Jews of Jesus’ day, they have lost all hope in their faith and are looking for a political solution here on earth to remedy their disappointment. The super-ag-nuts have a form of godliness but have begun to deny the power of it, creating such a boring relationship with the heavenly Father that they, themselves, yearn for an excuse to be absent from worship services.

The super-ag-nuts are the ones who have found pet Bible verses and use them as a reason to advance a cause rather than using the cause to advance reasonableness. It is the super-ag-nuts who foster prejudices using the scapegoat of Godliness, alienating  certain groups from being included, even though Jesus was intent on establishing that no one is better than anyone else.

The superstition of religion teaches that in theory we should love people, but it’s really okay not to like them. Agnostics, on the other hand, are very suspicious of people individually, but will boldly tell you of their love for humanity. It has caused this new generation of super-ag-nuts to focus on family and friends, hoping that will be enough in the eyes of God.

I’ve always hated superstition. Honestly, agnosticism kind of makes me laugh. But when you blend superstition and agnosticism together, you get a belief system without joy. And what could possibly be the reason for seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness if all these things were NOT going to be added unto us? If we weren’t going to end up more content? If we weren’t going to become more loving? If we fail to multiply our talents? If we maintain our dreary outlook on life instead of being free–because the Son has set us free?

I am very concerned that we are becoming a generation of super-ag-nuts, having just enough Holy Book in us to answer questions on Jeopardy! and enough agnosticism and doubt to steal our faith in the moment of need.

Call it out–first in yourself, then in the superstitious agnostics around you, who are too frightened to admit they don’t know and too prideful to be willing to allow knowledge to confirm the power of belief.

My luncheon with the superstitious-religious brother and the agnostic-emerging-towards-atheist sibling was a wash. But it did make me more determined to remove the superstition from my faith and allow the truth to make me free.

And mainly free of disbelieving just because I’m too lazy to experience God for myself.

   

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

So … they made Andrew a saint … April 23, 2012

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“Bring it.”

That was his philosophy. He was a young fisherman who was searching. He was tired of religion–or he would have ended up at the local synagogue, passing out shewbread. Instead, he found himself at the Jordan River, chasing down the latest crazed prophet who was dunking people in the muddy water to change their lives. When that same grasshopper-eating preacher told him that one of the people who was just baptized was the Messiah, he picked up his belongings and followed the new trend.  He was so impressed with what he heard that he got his brother and brought him along. That led to two other brothers joining up pretty quickly–also fishermen.

He got voted in, to be part of the top twelve, but soon saw the honor diminished when the dozen honorees were basically shrunk down to three of an inner circle–he not being one. His brother was, though, and his other two fishing buddies. Apparently, there was something wrong with him.

But he didn’t let it get him down. When five thousand people needed to be fed, he was the one who found a kid who had the only food available to even begin to address the problem. He brought it.

We don’t know if he was miffed because he wasn’t part of the inner circle; we don’t know if he resented his brother for seemingly being favored over him. We know this–he hung in there. He knew that religion didn’t have anything for him, fishing had lost its hook and the crazed prophet had lost his head. The only place to go forward was in the direction of the teachings, the love, the ideas and the spirit of the Nazarene.

So yesterday I went to a church called St. Andrew‘s. You see, it turns out that this guy who “brought it” put up with being left out of the inner circle, hung in there, lived and died long enough to be called a saint. I met some enlightened people. But I must tell them that it wouldn’t hurt them at all to study the life, style and mindset of the individual after whom they named the church. Andrew was not religious. Yes, I will tell you right now that belief in God would be a wonderful thing if it weren’t so damned religious.

For instance, my daughter-in-law, who has come over here from China to study business at UCLA, invited some of her friends out to see her father-in-law perform while in Los Angeles. All of her comrades were greatly enthralled with the possibility of the encounter until they found out it was going to be at a church. They refused to come. Now, I know this would make some people think that these little renegade agnostics need to “open their hearts to God” and receive the truth. But honestly, it’s not what Jesus would do–nor Andrew. Jesus would find a way to change the wording, the approach and the atmosphere so that those who need the help would be comfortable enough to receive the message.

There are just too many words in churches that are never used any other time during the week. There’s a stuffiness that makes you anxious to leave quickly and even causes the congregants to collect in the BACK of the auditorium–to prepare for a hasty retreat. No, I will tell you, St. Andrew’s, that your namesake, Andrew, would never have allowed a religious service in which he was participating to be so eclectic that people who need the message the most would be frightend to indulge.

Until we understand that we need limited use of religious jargon–just enough to communicate the ideas as quickly as possible–we will just have our little cult of the unrenewed, who cannot draw to the side of Jesus the people he desires the most.

It is in the heart of the folks I met yesterday to be real. All of them lead real lives with only a brief interspersing of religious rites and practices intermingled on Sunday. So why not make the leap? Why not do what Andrew did?

Bring it.

Stop apologizing during the confession of sins for not loving your neighbor as yourself–when we all know that it is the primal directive and the mindset of Jesus. You simply cannot keep coming every week to apologize for the same inadequacy when that particular flub is at odds with the entire mission statement of the gospel.

My words are not a critique, but rather, a challenge to intelligent people to be intelligent. When you spoke to me at the table or in the vestibule, you were delightful, engaging, beautiful, humorous and expansive. So why do we have to change when we enter the sanctuary and sit in the pew? Is God really so insecure that He needs to make us bow down in abstract brokenness before we are worthy to be heard? As you well know, ninety-eight percent of the things we do in churches are less than three or four hundred years old in practice. We can change them–not because we want to be nefarious or revolutionary, but because we would like to let those students at UCLA know that we are a congregation that speaks human and does it plainly–and like our friend, Andrew, when we get together, we “bring it.”

There are two concepts that make life work, whether you’re religious or not. (1) Bring it; and (2) be prepared for it to change. Andrew had both concepts down. He “brought it,” and when it ended up that he was one of the top twelve but not the “magnificent three,” he evolved. And because of that, we call him a saint.

We should, you know. He learned how things worked and rather than resenting it and hiding behind religious fervor or false humility, he changed.

So St. Andrew’s, I love you. And there are so many more people who would love you also if you just spoke your heart instead of the musings of the Common Book of Prayer. I will tell you this–you would have had a half-dozen more student there yesterday. And who knows what might have happened?

Who knows what can occur when you’re intelligent enough to put your five loaves and two fishes into the right hands?

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

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.

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.

Stay on the Boat… March 13, 2012

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Jack and Rose–the two protagonists from the movie, Titanic. They find themselves in a bewildering dilemma–in the midst of a rising romance on a sinking ship. Running from deck to deck to escape ever-increasing calamaties, Jack stops momentarily and turns to a breathless Rose and says, “We need to stay on the boat as long as we can.”

It is a great line, filled with emotion and enormous sensibility. For after all, there is no escape for the two of them in the cold water. Rescue boats have not arrived, offering a “plank” of possibility for salvation, and understanding human nature, those who are already afloat in tenuous safety in the lifeboats were most certainly not going to be generously inclined to “scoot over.”

Stay on the boat.

It struck me last night when I heard somebody mention the name Kurt Cobain. It followed Whitney Houston being referred to several times. One newsman even made a reference to Tim Russert. All three are dead. All three achieved  notoriety, but now only exist as memories for their families and an occasional hint of appreciation by those who view their work or have benefitted from their craft.

It made me think about my friend, Rick. He passed away nearly five years ago. When he was alive he was a cranky sort, but had a few moments of endearing humor that made him passable. But now–nobody ever mentions him. In an odd sense, it’s as if Rick never lived.

Even though people glamorize death as a doorway to eternal life or they trivialize the more spiritual implications, presenting human life as little more than a jungle journey, those who are wise put on their thinking caps, clean out their hearts and come to some very mature realizations. When we are gone, we’re gone. And it’s good we’re gone, so that those who are here can go on. What will remain of us is what we have created, expressed, the love we’ve shared and pictures and videos that hauntingly remind those who still maintain earth space that we were once present among them.

So my best advice is to stay on the boat as long as you can.The waters of death are cold. Rescue and salvation may be on its way but is still secured only in the beckoning of our faith. I am appalled at a religious system that places little significance on our human life and its value, in deference to a heavenly one, which as far as I know, is neither guaranteed nor have we ever had anyone come back to confirm.

On the other hand, those humanists–or even agnostics and atheists–who reason that we are just flesh and blood and do not survive our own earthly casing, usually end up with a sense of cynicism and futility that makes them cease to be of much use to those around them and causes them to begrudgingly see the journey through to an end.

It is not for me, my friend. I am not going to be so supernaturally charged that I fail to enjoy the electricity of my present earthly connection.  But I also am not going to be so short-sighted as to contend that this mere passing of my lifespan needs to end the recognition of my efforts and terminate me in an urn or a grave.

It’s really simple. (1) Live strong, humorously and ever-changing. (2) Write notes, messages and have yourself videotaped as often as possible–to leave behind a documentary of your passage. (3) Believe with all your heart that no one is better than anyone else. (4) Keep the memory of another person alive who did things worthy of consideration–and therefore establish a needed precedent.

Suck in a great moment of clarity. Life is not short; it is not long. It is just available.

And those who have the sensibility to stay on the boat and dodge the calamities will gain the most immortality … both here and in the hereafter.

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Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com

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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.

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