I Have My Own Doubt… October 16, 2012


Live from October 1st filming

“No, thank you. I have my own doubt. I appreciate you thinking of me and offering me a fresh dose of disbelief and uncertainty, but I am a human being so I already come with a lifetime supply.”

One of the most difficult things to learn is that if you run across any child of God, that encounter has been entrusted to you in order to edify him or her, and if you, for some reason, find yourself unable to accomplish that task, please leave that human alone. If the only thing you have to offer people are Bible verses, the law of God or doctrinal positions on social issues, then you might want to spend more time at home, in personal consecration and self-improvement programs.

Human beings require encouragement. Even though we’re convinced that it may be our mission to discipline others to our particular brand of Spartan programming, God will snip the bud of your little flower of evangelism the minute it stops making people reach out and grow.

It’s hard to learn. Maybe it’s because we all go through the phase in life of being parents, attempting to instruct young earthlings in how to subsist and survive on this planet. Maybe it’s because most of us go to jobs where a supervisor is looking over our shoulders, scrutinizing our efforts. It could be the residue of an educational system which gives us grades on everything we do. Or maybe it’s just because we’re all a little obnoxious due to our own insecurities and feel the need to lord it over someone else. I don’t know.

But whatever it is, the more you abandon your self-righteous, pious, schoolmarm persona, the better off you will be–the more friends you will procure and the more God’s grace can be extended in your direction.

As I am in the midst of a personal pursuit for a little piece of God’s heaven to be brought into my earthly situation, I realized yesterday, as I drove from Fremont, Ohio, to Indianapolis, that there are only three things necessary to make life work. Let me not mislead you–it does take all three. But they hang out as buddies as a unit, so it’s difficult to imagine having one without seeing the other two. What I’m saying is, you probably have all three of these or you have none. Shall we take a look at them?

A good human life consists of faith, work and humor.

Faith: “God can.”

Do not be deceived. The majority of the agnostics in this country are not professors at Ivy League schools. They are pew-sitters in the local church congregations in small towns all across the nation. They are people who have a form of godliness, but privately deny there is actually any power for their personal lives through that system.

What is faith? Faith is God can. It doesn’t mean God will, which uses presumption and rhetoric. It is not God did, referencing Old Testament stories and trying to make them relevent three thousand years later. It is not God should, which is some sort of aggravating lament because life doesn’t work the way we want it to.

God can. That’s where my faith is right now. God can give me the ability to stand upright and walk about. I am not telling you that He must. I’, also not saying it’s a deal-breaker for our relationship. My faith is that God can.

To be around people who do not hold to that conviction may be totally inevitable, but at this particular phase in my journey, should be infrequent.

Then comes work. In other words, it’s my turn.

And work is very simple:  I will.

Once again, it’s not I plan. Nor I sure would like to. It’s not if I get the money together. It’s not if I can acquire some help.

Take your faith–the belief that God can–and find one or two little things you can do without anyone else’s help, and attempt them. Today I will leave my motel room on my own in my van and four times I will try to walk a few steps to regain my strength. Why? Because I need the work–and I have found something that I will do.

And finally, every human being needs humor. And what is humor? Humor is the profile we take when it temporarily appears that God has gone on vacation and our efforts fall short–more comical than profitable. Humor, to me, is the wonderful, laughing proclamation to the world of: Whoops! Next time. In other words, “My faith is still growing, my work fell short, and rather than denying my weakness, I shall be the first one to giggle over it.”

When you combine these three things together, you get the seed for human achievement. Yes, the seed. Do you remember Jesus challenged his disciples to pursue a small piece of excellence? Their response to him was, “Increase our faith.”

He just smiled at them and said, “Folks, all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed.”

And what is my mustard seed? The same as yours.

It’s just faith. In other words, God can.

It’s work, which translates into: I will.

And when I need it, it’s humor, which is the jocular admission: Whoops! Next time.

I don’t need your doubt–I have plenty of my own.

But if you’d like to bring your faith and your work and your humor … together, we might just change the world.

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

Are We Supposed to Do Better? … February 25, 2012

“By grace you are saved through faith.”
“Do your best.”
“Be yourself.”
Behold … verbal marijuana. Yes, these are statements that tend to turn people who could be highly motivated, productive, intuitive and fruitful into folks lounging around letting life pass them by, relying on outside forces to determine the quality of their existence.
You can certainly understand how the statements listed above have slipped into the lingo. All of us get weary of trying–especially when those efforts are not greeted with some immediate evidence of success. The action of “trying” very quickly does become trying to our psyche and feelings.
It begins as early as elementary school. We are introduced to a grading system–A,B,C,D and F.  Unfortunately, that means of evaluation does not carry over to real adult life. There may be individuals who are C and D plumbers, waitresses, doctors or lawyers–but in the world of competition, they are quickly eliminated. Here’s the truth of the matter–if you’re not an A or a B in something, you will probably end up being an F. There are no C and D positions garnering you the peace of mind, prosperity and placement you desire in the human family. We actually allow students to go through the entire educational process learning very little, squeaking by with C’s and D’s, graduating and entering a marketplace where unless the find a niche where they can do A or B work, they will end up F-ired. It is a ludicrous application of capitalism.
You cannot propagate a system which advocates excellence while drugging the participants on the downers of “grace” and “self-esteem.” Let’s just blend the two because they are equally as harmful to human sensibility. Therefore, let us dub it “grace-esteem.” My definition of grace-esteem is: “God loves me in my inadequacy and if you’re really a nice person, you will love me in my clumsiness, too.”
Unfortunately, whether I love you or even God loves you does not secure you a position or placement in the workings of earth.  We need to be valuable. In order to be valuable, we must find something in our lives that we can do at an A or B quality–or prepare ourselves for a failing grade. I suppose there are folks who will read this and think it is too harsh–though privately they, themselves, pursue the tennets and objectives of the concept. I just don’t think there’s anything more cruel than telling somebody they can continue to fail and everything will be all right. It isn’t like people don’t know they’re in trouble. It’s not like they’re unaware of the absence of evidence for their claims of adequacy. But we play this big charade of acceptance, when everybody is actually fully cognizant that without the pursuit of excellence, we all fall short of our own personal image.
So religion and society join together here to form “grace-esteem,” which renders the public high on the notion of inclusion, but when the stupor wears off, folks are stuck being less than what they really want to be. It’s not so much that we refuse to accept someone in his or her present condition. It’s more that in a land of democracy and capitalism, we are all competing to promote the philosophy by seeking out better ways. Herein lie the difficulties:
  • Grace-esteem robs the human emotions of a sense of being welcome.
  • Grace-esteem steals away from the spirit the adventure of asking, seeking and knocking.
  • Grace-esteem blocks the renewing of the mind, trapping us in our genetic pre-dispositions and provincial upbringing.
  • And grace-esteem causes us to pull our heads into the turtle shell, ignoring our physical inadequacies and failing to evolve.
So what are humans supposed to do to maintain a balance of sanity along with the pursuit of the best?
1. Don’t evaluate anything but today. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or what you’re attempting to accomplish. Make sure your determination of your intelligence, growth and progress (the I.G.P) is based upon this 24-hour period. Don’t look back and don’t project into the future.
2. Don’t be ashamed of what you can’t . This is merely a classroom to find your A+ work. Since God is no respecter of persons, everybody has an ability and an apptitude to do something at an A-student quality that will provide them purpose and wage. That also means that all of us have things we do that make us look stupid along the way.
3. Don’t become medicated over the jargon of a society that instructs in the “beauty of equality” while extoling those who go the second mile. America is a trickster. The nation appears to be sympathetic to lesser fellows while regaling the champions who go for the gold.
Don’t allow yourself to be sucked up into grace-esteem, because for every verse of the Bible that tells us that we are “saved by grace,” there are three that inform us that we will give an account of every deed at the Day of Judgment. And for every soft-spoken motivational teacher who tells you that “you’re fine the way you are,” there are a thousand friends, relatives and co-workers cheering for you to do much better.
You cannot create a generation of healthy human beings by whispering in their ear that “they’re just fine.” You also cannot generate a horde of nervous ninnies who are afraid to do any work because they might fail. The balance lies in knowing that “if God loves me, there is something I can do and do so well that I don’t have to apologize for the work or who I am, and I can hold my head high as I complete my task, take my money and live a good life.”
Are we supposed to do better? Yes–because without improvement, we deteriorate. We are no different than the apple on the tree. Connected to the branch, we are nourished, but after we fall to earth, there is a season when we are ripe and ready, and if we are not used in that space of time, we rot and become an annoyance. If our country is going to improve its I.G.P.–intelligence, growth and progress–we will have to cease to intoxicate the populace with false dreams of self-worth and value, bestowed simply by birth.
In closing:  “I become valuable as I value my life and find things of value within myself that I can accomplish–to bring greater value to the brotherhood of man.”  That’s how simple it is.
So we’ve had our three question.
How about tomorrow we give a grade card on the present I.G.P.?
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

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.


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.


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.

%d bloggers like this: