Jesonian … November 25th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3502)

jesonian-cover-amazon

Aggressive apathy.

Seems like a contradiction–maybe even what they refer to as an oxymoron. How can apathy be aggressive, when by definition it avoids commitment, conflict or even connection?

But when apathy becomes the path to avoid deeper commitment, it will need to be defended whenever circumstances warrant greater involvement.

Jesus fell victim to aggressive apathy on two nasty occasions–when people chose to disregard and disavow the power of his calling.

Please keep in mind that miracles were a part of Jesus’ ministry. It wasn’t all Biblical text and parables. Yet even though there were certainly signs and wonders that followed him, apathy was still in the works.

The first instance was in Nazareth, when he had the audacity to announce the extent of his calling, the purpose of his message and the power of what was about to ensue to his hometown folks.

What did aggressive apathy do? Personal attacks.

  • “Who does he think he is?”
  • “He’s just the Carpenter’s son.”
  • “He doesn’t even have education.
  • “Why should we listen to him?”

When apathy becomes a communal mindset, it will feel the need to defend itself–sometimes violently. For if you remember the rest of the story, they push Jesus to the edge of a cliff, ready to throw him off and kill him–simply because he suggested that present circumstances were going to be changed.

In a second incident at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus asked a crippled man if he wanted to be healed. The fellow launched into a litany of excuses and complaints about why it was just not plausible. Jesus heals him anyway–and the man ends up turning on Jesus, and rats him out to the Pharisees, who were angry about a healing on the Sabbath.

In both cases, Jesus found himself in danger.

Once apathy has become the charter of a community or a segment of people, they will aggressively use whatever is necessary to maintain their autonomy of blandness.

Jesus said we should learn from his life–and that also includes his mistakes.

As Christians, believers and even artists, we need to understand that once we offer our gifts and our message, if they are met with lukewarm response, to further labor in the malaise of nothingness is to risk triggering aggressive apathy, leaving us ridiculed, if not wounded.

Later on in Jesus’ ministry, he learns from these mistakes.

When the Samaritan village doesn’t want to let him in to minister, he just goes to another town. And when the five thousand depart because he offered a perspective they found distasteful, he doesn’t do anything to chase them down.

Apathy by its nature is not violent. But it is alive–and any living thing will fight back if you try to kill it.

Donate Button

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

Ask Jonathots … April 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2911)

ask jonathots bigger

My three grown children were raised in the church, but not a single one of them goes to church now, although they all claim they are believers in God. Sometimes it bothers me and sometimes I think it doesn’t matter. What do you think?

I think the first question we have to determine is–what is church?

There was a major shift in our society in the 1980’s, when the church house changed from being a center of fellowship, awareness, social interaction, self-improvement and community concern to being an organization focused on the worship and discovery of God.

The whole concept of this transition seems so noble to theologians and ardent zealots of our time that we have failed to return to church being a center for emotional, cultural and spiritual expansion.

Like any functioning business or social awakening, when the purpose of that institution is defunct, it ends up dying.

So the church of your memory no longer exists.

It has been hollowed out of its message and purpose in favor of traditions, hyper-spirituality and seminars on self-worth and prosperity.

So the question you have to ask yourself is this:

Are my children better off by joining in to the efforts of a religious system that has abandoned its calling, or are they better off without it?

Now, your summary would be that the church, even though weakened by its introspection, is better than nothing.

Their conclusion would probably be that “no church” gives them a free Sunday to enjoy their friends and family.

So here’s the question: can we all begin to go to church–not with the idea of swallowing the provided pill–but instead, transforming it back to the vibrant, living organism that Jesus intended it to be?

After all, Christianity is not a religion–it is a lifestyle. And if the church is not promoting the lifestyle of Jesus, it is watering down the message to include pop psychology and Judaism, which are not fulfilling to a New Testament life.

So if I were you, I would sit down with my children and tell them of the regrets, misgivings and frustration you have with the present religious system, but also inform them of the hope you have to see it transform itself back into the heart of Jesus.

Because here’s the truth–even if the church remained as anemic as it is today, it is still necessary to be a buffer against the insanity of selfishness and rage.

Challenge your children to become the church by changing the church.

After all, they want to change the politics.

They want to get rid of Wall Street’s greed.

Why not step into a situation where they really could affect a lasting change … and turn the American church back into a place where Jesus would be proud to be a member?Donate Button

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

 

Jesonian: Belly-Aching … May 4, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2222)

belly acheHe said, “Everybody understands the problems. There’s no need to keep talking about them. We should stop belly-aching.”

He is a minister of the Gospel.

Over the years he has convinced himself that he prefers the “more positive” teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and wishes to focus on them in order to build a congregation of believers who think good thoughts and don’t generate any negative energy toward the world around them.

Here’s the problem: injustice will never leave as long as it’s making a profit. So it’s up to the prophets to chase injustice away through pointing out its hypocrisy and deceit.

Even though Jesus is portrayed by many churches as a combination of Gandhi and a hippie attending Woodstock, the young Nazarene actually has quite an edge.

Especially as he reached the end of his Earth journey, he began to spout off profusely against the excesses of religion, the selfishness of systems and the indifference of leadership.

There are three chapters in a row–Matthew 23, 24 and 25–where he exhibits his own form of belly-aching. Because you see, belly-aching occurs when you consume something that doesn’t agree with you, and is only relieved when you dispel the thing with which you do not agree.

Understanding that most of you may not want to read the three chapters, if you will allow me, I’ll summarize:

In Matthew 23, Jesus viciously attacks the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers who used their position to extort wealth while doing nothing to relieve the burdens of the people around them. He claims that they cared more for their traditions than they did for the human beings placed in their charge.

So because of their iniquity, in Matthew 24 he informs them that the Romans would come and dismantle their entire hierarchy and destroy their city.

To further reiterate the necessity for repentance, he tells a series of parables in Matthew 25 about a Judgement Day in which God, our Father and Creator, will expect us to deliver evidence of our faith and victory during our human escapade.

The three chapters are full of complaint, warnings, admonitions and some downright insults.

We forgive this belly-aching because the prophesy came true and we understand that the message Jesus preached survives today. To determine whether we are just purveyors of doom and gloom or messengers of hope, we have to keep three things in mind:

1. Never do anything to hurt people, but also do not permit anything to happen that is hurting people.

2. Never offer a warning without giving an olive branch of hope. Nothing is over until God says it is.

3. Always note progress–even if it’s a little–and appreciate it when you see movement toward sanity.

So am I a belly-acher?

If I run across ideas which historically have been proven to be foolish, and I see injustice which is cheating people out of the value of their human lives, or if I come across greed which is suffocating the life out of the needy, I will speak out, using every bit of cleverness, comedy and even cunning that I can muster.

Because without doing this, we become part of a third clump … the ones who stood by and watched the oppressor oppress the helpless.

 

Donate Button

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

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.

Free Indeed … September 5, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1997)

Zion“We’re all believers.”

Those words were spoken to me last night by four souls who had come out to hear our concert from surrounding towns. They went on to lament that the confusion of religion, the inflexibility of faith-based individuals and the entrenched nature of traditionalism is leaving us without a path to find communion with one another.

In my early years, I did some work in prisons. After one of my presentations, a guy in his early twenties came up to me and asked for a moment of my time. He explained that he was in jail because he had stolen a car. Since arriving, he had repented and was trying to educate himself. He said he had four more years inside, and that the greatest gift he had received since arriving was the extra privilege of being able to go to the lounge and watch television one extra hour a day.

You know what struck me? Here was a gentleman who was free of the guilt and pain of his childish error–but was still trapped because he was in prison.

If church is not making us free of self-imprisonment, insecurity and frustration, then just to have more privileges–even if one of them is salvation–does not remove the bars and take away the guards.

Jesus promised me that I could be “free indeed.”  What does that mean?

It means that even though people have a testimony and a religious conviction, they can still suffer from four terrifying evils that lurk at the corners of their souls:

  1. I’m afraid of failing.
  2. I demand praise.
  3. I’m trying to fit in.
  4. I need to be wanted.

Facts are, you will never be free as long as you’re afraid of the powerful gift of failure. It is a gift because it eliminates useless choices that will hinder our ultimate victory.

In like manner, it is difficult to gain independence as long as you’re stomping about or peeking around the corner looking for praise.

Likewise, if you feel the need to fit in, you will find that you constantly need to trim the corners of your life because some new trend will require you to be different.

And finally, the best way to be wanted is by taking care of somebody else’s need instead of your own.

I believe in spirituality and a lifestyle brought by Jesus. That kind of lifestyle creates a confidence that says:

  1. I welcome the ups and downs–I look at it as emotional exercise.
  2. I love the work–if you praise me for it, it’s just gravy. I’ve already got my mashed potatoes.
  3. I am supplied. I don’t need you to tell me what’s currently “in vogue” or what you deem old-fashioned.
  4. I bring something. I never arrive anticipating to eat off the communal buffet without contributing to the spread.

If what those four people said last night is true–that we’re all believers–then let’s start believing in being “free indeed.”

Free indeed happens when we realize that the kingdom of God is within us …  and any time we crawl on our knees to find it we create distance from our own solution.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Finding a Message in a World a’Twitter: Act II – The Conflict… December 12, 2012

(1,727)

Jon Signing

Do you want to have an intriguing dinner party? Then invite a bunch of atheists and believers over to your house, and as you serve the first course of soup, pose this question: Did God create man because He was lonely, or did man create God because he was?

Be prepared for some lively discussion. Matter of fact, some of your guests may stomp out, abandoning their main course and certainly their dessert. This confluence of confusion is all based around the foolishness of pursuing or rejecting a belief in a divine being instead of finding the footprints of that intelligence in His own creation and then tracing those clues back to His character.

If life is really just a big crap shoot of luck or misfortune, then candidly, a belief in a reasonable Creator is far-fetched. But if you take the time to study this planet we call earth–what works–you will emerge with your own personal message. In essence, your clue.

Mine, as I told you yesterday, is: NoOne is better than anyone else. That clue led me to several “con-clue-sions.”

1. The earth demands fruitfulness. Things that do not want to progress end up flailing and eventually die. This is something you can find in the Bible OR Darwin.

2. It is the responsibility of earth inhabitants to replenish and give back. Once again, science, technology, religion and even government require a certain amount of payback for receiving the blessings of earth. Those who don’t want to participate in this are always eventually identified as scoundrels.

3. And the third and final thing that is obvious to me as I have spread my wings with my message is that we live in a world that requires us to include. In other words, there’s nothing wrong with” specking out” your own space as long as you afford that to others–even that lion in the jungle. Earth creatures who decide to be insulated from the world around them, vindictive to different species or members of their own group, end up ostracized or extinct. They are also proclaimed by history to be fools.

So before you get into a big discussion about God or the absence of a supernal presence, make sure you understand the evidence that has been left behind in the present plane of existence we call life.

I selected my message of NoOne is better than anyone else because it honors the need to be fruitful, to replenish the earth and to include others. Am I saying that those three things are always easy? No. But they are made easier because the elements that are placed here for our use are not resistant to the flow of these concepts. We may think that having might and strength is the way to rule the world, but every previous empire that followed that philosophy is no longer in existence.

Here’s a clue: Switzerland thrives. It is never conquered, it doesn’t have financial difficulties–matter of fact, it possesses a big hunk of the world’s banks. It doesn’t take sides. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all become Swiss, but I am telling you there is a natural order to this planet that requires that we honor a message and in so doing, discover the purpose for our being and perhaps, the source of our beginnings.

So here is the conflict: those who discuss God without honoring His ideas, which are clearly laid out through His creation, end up looking backward and ignorant. Those who deny God without discovering His fingerprints all over the earth, end up appearing to be inflexible and dogmatic.blue marble

Find your message. Find it in the earth, and then look for those who have also discovered similar evidence and are on the hunt for whoever or whatever got this big, blue marble rolling.

 

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

Alone, Without Faith, Works… April 12, 2012

(1,482) 

Atheists and agnostics often make the mistake of assuming that all believers in God are closeted bigots with a third-grade-McGuffie-Reader understanding of the world. Likewise, those ardent followers of the Almighty often think that atheists and agnostics are bitter old men and women on the verge of mental and spiritual collapse, brought on by their great lacking and soulful malnutrition.

Of course, both sides are quite wrong.

Many believers in the Divine One are intelligent, fruitful, scientific, inventive and creative entities. Also, many of those who choose not to consecrate themselves towards any kind of conviction about God’s existence are loving, gentle, compassionate and joyful creatures.

The reason that both camps can function without giving much awareness or allegiance to the other is that they do have one-half of a truth, which gives them one-half capacity. The problem is, both believers in God and atheists and agnostics, for some reason or another, think they are in a custody battle and have decided to side with either their mom or their dad. The ones who believe in God are Daddy’s boys and girls and usually have very little respect for Mother Earth. And the ones who have turned their backs on the paternal part of their parentage are quite fond of Mother Earth, while ignoring dear old Dad.

This is why our planet basically runs half-full, with no one ever tapping all the resources available.

I live in a happy home. My Father is in heaven and He created me. He did not desert me upon my birth, but is very interested in my life, gives me great wisdom and is prepared to defend me against my own foolishness and the ridiculous notions of others. I am also a “Mama’s boy” in the sense that I understand that the earth is part of the great family that my Father in heaven intended, and the more I understand about this earth the better my relationship will be with others, myself and Him.

Most religious people have turned the earth over to a creature they refer to as “Satan” or “the devil.” Yes, Christians have a tendency to think that God is in heaven and “will make everything all right someday,” but that the earth is at the mercy, temperament and judgement of the Evil One. Now, I understand that belief in this idea is contingent on denominations and doctrines. But there is still a great upheaval in the religious community which causes us to believe that the earth is “against us” and only God is able to protect us from her fury.

On the other hand, those who worship Mother Earth and want to live with Mama instead of Papa insist that they do not need a Daddy. Mother Earth is sufficient to provide joy, peace and understanding. And because they do live in this plane of existence, they often prosper as much or more than those who are waiting for a heavenly reward.

Enter Jesus. He is the first to come along and say that Mom and Dad have not separated OR divorced, but are trying to keep the family together, even though the children are fussing and working to fester derision. Jesus said that “God’s will can be done on earth as in heaven.” He said we are supposed “to discern the face of the sky” but also to “discern the signs of our times.” Most of Jesus’ parables have some mention of seeds, growing, plants, birds, flowers–letting us know that Mother Nature, herself, extols the style of Father Creator.

What is the weakness of atheism? It lacks a Father who is able to sustain us through the times when Mother Nature may be insufficient to our cause due to our weaknesses or misunderstanding–who gives us a Daddy who cautions us against becoming weary in well-doing in loving our fellow-humans.

What do Christians lack? Respect for Mother Nature and the scientific community, which is discovering more about the glory of creation, the Christian community therefore remaining ignorant about things that could bring prosperity, leaving many of the faithful impoverished instead of empowered.

This is why I am a follower of Jesus. All of the other religious teachers lean either towards Mother Nature or the Almighty God. Jesus alone instructed us to honor BOTH parents. How should we do that? Here are three ideas:

1. Don’t reject knowledge. New information about the earth and the universe is never to the detriment of God. It either clarifies or expands the height and depth of His power.

2. Grace does not cover stupidity. You cannot come to your Father, having insulted your Mother (earth) and think everything is going to be okay. Matter of fact, it was your Father who told you that “whatever you sow, you will reap”–a warning to respect Mother Earth instead of assuming that Daddy is going to trump her efforts.

3. Find Father in Mother and Mother in Father. God is in nature–and nature is certainly explains the realm of God. When you draw those parallels and you establish commonality between the earth and the heavens, you actually have discovered the essence of the gospel. This is precisely what Jesus taught in his analogies.

  • Yes, people who live alone, without faith, still have lives that work–because they honor Mother Nature.
  • And individuals who have faith with works are successful because they have tapped half of the potential by worshipping God.
  • But the only way to gain contentment during your journey here is to respect Mother and Father–and give due to each one at the right moments.

It is the teaching of Jesus.

And it is the way to keep from creating a custody battle, which, if you’re not careful … could leave you orphaned.

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

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.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: