Jesonian … January 27th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Considering what a contrarian Jesus of Nazareth was to structure, practices, piety and legalism, it is sometimes difficult to understand how he ended up bleeding out a religion.

It’s not just his own words, which abhor the strict nature of religiosity, but also the reaction of those who were the faithful partakers–how they deemed him ignorant, a drunkard, a glutton, an evil man who was demon possessed, and a friend of sinners.

Not a rousing recommendation.

Let us start on the basis that all religions have one similar goal–to promote the notion that there is some sort of Supreme Being(s) or enlightenment which prompts us to worship.

Also, when you put the religions of the world in the order of their inception, you gain an interesting insight.

Buddhism and Hinduism preceded Christ, as did Judaism. Then came Jesus. But the only religion that had the benefit of eyeballing the fallacies of following faith without rhyme and reason was Mohammed. Yet the Muslim faith is riddled with the misleading trap doors that open up to fanaticism.

What is the difference between Jesus and Mohammed?

Mohammed wanted to start a cliqué.  Jesus was avoiding one.

Let’s look at specifics.

When it comes to the basics of spiritual expression–prayer–Jesus constantly warned his followers to make their overtures to God as practical and personal as possible. He said that prayer was necessary but should never be done in public to be seen by others, using vain repetition, or at a wailing wall or on a rug, but instead initiated behind a closed closet door.

When the subject of fasting came up, Jesus said there was nothing wrong with it as long as nobody knew you were doing it. In other words, put on a happy face, wash up and look energized by the experience instead of depleted.

How about worship? When he talked to the woman at the well, she was worried about where to do it and the style of doing it. Just like today–should it be contemporary or traditional? Jesus pointedly informed her that location and style were irrelevant. Worship was to be unfolded “in spirit and in truth.”

Seems like we’re on a roll. How about giving? Jesus claimed that giving was the key to getting. He once again wanted to make sure that generosity was not expressed to impress others, but instead, to instill in our hearts the knowledge that every little bit helps, and someday those we assist might come back our way and be our angels of blessing.

And then there’s the Law. Judaism and the Muslims are intent on maintaining a code of ethics, conduct and social interaction that was conceived more than two thousand years ago, with no respect for the power of freedom and the necessity of evolution.

For you see, Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of the Law. And what is that fulfillment? Two fold: “He has come to give us life and it more abundantly, and also come that our joy might be full.”

By no means should we condemn or even critique those of the Muslim faith for adhering to their rendition of God. But we must question whether the faith that is promoted has sufficient warnings to scare away all the rascals, fanatics and self-righteous rabble which can try to hurt others by using the words of the Prophets.

  • Jesus told his disciples to worship God by being as normal as possible.
  • He told them to blend in.
  • He told them to honor Caesar instead of hating Caesar.
  • He told them they were the light of the world, not the scourge of the Earth.
  • And most of all, he told them that they had no right to judge. (He even sealed this point by saying that he–Jesus–could judge and it would be righteous and fair, but he refused to do so.)

Christianity works because we know how to isolate our idiots and make sure it’s clear that they are not really part of the faith.

The Muslims talk a big game, but after decades and decades of terrorism, they are still represented by those who kill women and children.

 

 

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G-Poppers … May 26th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

It was time for G-Pop to check out at Wal-Mart.

He found himself in line with a cashier he had seen a couple of times before–a gregarious woman in her mid-fifties who loved to chat. G-Pop loves to listen.

The previous time he’d had interchange with her, she had explained about her faith, her church and she even reached across the counter to touch his hand and say that she was praying for his knees.

Sweet.

On this day, she was equally as engaging, but with a different focus. She shared with G-Pop that she had gone through a season of studying the Bible, and also was deeply involved with her church.

But this past Sunday, she skipped the gathering to go to a fitness center. She cited that she had been given a trial membership, and said that spending the morning working out and sweating had energized her like nothing else had in a long time. She was thinking about going back.

G-Pop smiled.

He realized that most church-going people would frown at her, asking why she was leaving the church in order to utilize a treadmill. Why? Because there is an abiding sensibility that going to church is something we do for God, to prove our love and devotion–that we owe him at least that hour for granting us the courtesy of life and hopefully some divine protection from the elements.

Truthfully, in our world, religion is beginning to blend into a malaise of what G-Pop calls Judeo-Buddhism–a bizarre combination of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” with “don’t worry about your eyes and your teeth.”

As Buddhism is an attempt to alleviate the tensions of our passions and feelings, Christianity, on the other hand, is meant to enhance them. That’s why Jesus talked about the “abundance of the heart.”

G-Pop was not critical of this woman, simply because she is absolutely correct: we should all pursue the APPEAL OF WHAT WE FEEL.

If God did not want human beings to be creatures of emotion, He should have created us differently. If He wanted us to merely go to some stone building and worship Him in silence, reverence or even jubilant choruses like a pack of Druids, then He should never have included desire, passion, giddiness and endorphins into the mix. The fact is, human beings, if sane, will ultimately gyrate to an opportunity which has the most feelings.

This woman was not wrong. She was just honest.

Ask fifty percent of people, and they would tell you that they fight to stay awake in church. G-Pop wonders if that’s really a sign of reverence. Snoozing is usually associated with losing.

And what we’ve lost is the Jesus sense of worship. He described worship as a heart-felt expression that pours from every fiber of our beings, leaving us with full joy.

Yes, G-Pop is saying that if we cannot offer the thrill, the energy and the excellence of a morning of aerobic exercise, then we will lose people to their God-given emotions.

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G-Poppers … September 25th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Practicing: working on something to get it to where you want it to be.

Practicing piano, football, dance, law–each one has a process. Each has a defined path which determines quality.

So let’s look further:

  • Practicing Judaism.
  • A practicing Muslim.
  • Practicing Buddhism.
  • A practicing Republican.
  • A practicing Democrat.
  • A practicing atheist.
  • A practicing Christian.

No difference?

In each case, there is a philosophy, a platform, a journey, an insight, a doctrine or a purpose which has to be acted out faithfully in order for the practitioner to be proven worthy.

G-Pop feels that we err when we think the conclusion of all the organizations and religions listed above are moving in the same direction. As ignorant as it is to be intolerant, it is equally as ignorant to be unaware of what the end result is to the religions, politics and procedures around us.

To find out what a Muslim believes, you have to study Mohammed. He is their prophet.

To find out what a Jew believes, you must combine the Torah with the prophets, and a study of the Jewish kings.

To understand a Buddhist, one must consider Buddha.

A Republican is comprehended by looking at the climate of the Party in its present form and also perusing the platform.

Likewise with a Democrat.

An atheist seems to make it quite clear that his or her pursuits are absent any recognition of a deity.

So it may seem to be intelligent or even high-minded to throw everybody in a big pot and say we’re all the same, but as long as the people in that pot believe they are unique or even superior, then you’re not making a human stew–just a pot with stewing humans.

Even as G-Pop looks at his life as a Christian, he sees that it falls into three categories:

Is he a Judeo-Christian, believing that the Old Testament has as much anointing as the New Testament?

Is he a Catholic Christian, in the sense of finding his solace in the teachings of the Roman Church and the authority of the Pope?

Or is he a Pauline Christian, pursuing the instruction of the Apostle Paul as regards the formation of a New Testament congregation?

G-Pop offers a fourth alternative: Jesonian–basing one’s faith and practice on the heart and mind of Jesus.

So before you condemn others–or condone them–sit down and read up a little bit on what they treasure, and realize that in the eyes of God there are only two standards for a civilized and spiritual society:

1. How do we treat women?

Are they equals or subordinate in any way?

2. How do we educate our children?

Do we lock them into a narrow-minded curriculum, force them into a limited culture or give them more of a world-based view?

G-Pop passes this information along to all of his children.

“Study to show yourself approved unto God.” Don’t make so many blanket statements.

Understand who and what you’re talking about, and realize that what people practice they will not only preach … they will also act out.

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Populie: Deny and Defend… July 9, 2014

 

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nixon thumbs upReligion, politics and entertainment often get together and find what is popular, mingle it with a lie, and then set out promoting the fad for the masses. After all it’s the easiest way to get along in the short-term.

Unfortunately, it wreaks havoc on the emotions and soul of the human race while declaring a truce with an existing deception.

It is a populie.

Even though we tout that we are a Christian nation, we tend to receive our marching orders from other nations and their philosophies.

  • From the Jews and Arabs, we cling to “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
  • From Buddhism, we believe that we have the power to enlighten ourselves.
  • And from the Hindu we have an inordinate worship of animals.

ClintonCase in point: we tend to prefer to deny having problems and defend our actions in covering them up.

Religion likes this because it makes human beings appear weak, and therefore God seems stronger.

Politics favors the idea because if you can survive a 72-hour news cycle about one of your failings, maybe it will go away.

And entertainment builds whole storylines around characters who either cheat or fudge on the truth, or defend themselves from dealing with difficulty.

Here’s the populie:

1. Deny. “I do not allow myself to make mistakes.”

2. Defend. “Therefore I will not tolerate critique from you or anyone else.”Obama

This populie creates a climate of lies, leading to an ongoing sense of mutual mistrust.

Since we don’t admit our fallacies, insist there’s no problem and refuse to be inputted by others, a complicated web of deceit is constructed and maintained by our spider sense.

It would be comical if it weren’t so dangerous.

And you can certainly judge your spirituality not on whether you attend church, but by whether you’re willing to deal with your problems without shame or falsehoods.

swaggartHonestly, this is what works in the human family:

A. Confess. “I will tell you myself where I’ve made mistakes.”

Confessing your faults one to another is the only way to set inner healing in motion. It is also the only way to prevent people from piling on.

B. Expand. “After I confess, I will tell you what I have learned through my mistakes and how I plan on improving my situation.”

If you want to be the victor instead of the victim, you have to be prepared to admit what is becoming obvious to all. If you get ahead of it, you’re leading the way instead of being drug with a rope by the mob.

Yet I will admit, this is probably one of the more difficult things for people to overcome. But if you don’t confess, be prepared to be confronted.

In the long run (which is often a shorter sprint than you might think) people do find out–and when they do, and they sense that you have tried to escape reality–the punishment will be more cruel.Newt

Deny and defend–a national pastime. But it is time to put it in the past.

In closing let me give you one idea on how to welcome this into your life: start very small.

If you left something on a table and someone had to move it, step over, apologize, and move it yourself. It’s only by practicing this kind of candor that you will gain the muscle to lift your own weights instead of having them dropped on your head.

“Deny and defend” may be one of the most popular of the populie–and may I add … one of the more devastating.

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A Gospel Moment … April 24, 2012

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A single drop of reason can sweeten a bucket of misunder-standing.

It is the gospel. For when you remove the underpinnings of religiosity from that word, “gospel” literally means “good news.” And the good news is that human beings are fine–when they’re human. And gratefully, there are those who are sent to every generation to remind us of the power of our gift–humanity.

It doesn’t matter what their backgrounds are or what nationality or bloodline pumps through their veins–the message is always similar. It is a moment when the spark of revelation triggers the human spirit to enlighten the brain with the notion that we are all human. We need each other. And if we just realize it, we can do better.

  • For Hippocrates, the father of medicine, the message was summarized as: “First, do no harm.”
  • King Arthur had his round table for all the gathered souls, who were encircled in a fellowship of equality.
  • Gutenberg came along and told us that the Word could become Print.
  • Michelangelo walked into a chapel and said, “Look up. Make beauty.”
  • In the midst of ages assumed to be dark, men and women rose up and remembered the value of their own lives and attributed that currency to the generation around them, as Thomas Jefferson intoned, “All men are created equal.”
  • It was Louis Pasteur who granted us the great revelation that bacteria kills people, and because of that, milk, which before had poisonous possibilities, was purified and smallpox, which killed more people than AIDS and cancer combined, was eradicated.
  • It was a man named Lincoln who proclaimed, “…with malice toward none and charity toward all.”
  • A simple fellow named Woodrow Wilson had a vision of a League of Nations, where all the people of the world could discuss their disagreements until unity could be found.
  • Let us not forget Helen Keller, who demonstrated that we could love without all of our senses.
  • And Mother Teresa, who stood firm in proclaiming that there were no untouchables.
  • And a preacher named Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “I have a dream…”, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a young woman, Rosa Parks, who had tired feet and refused to go to the back of the bus. Yes, Martin took his people to the Promise Land, but was not able to go in himself.

These were gospel moments, when good news was allowed to fill the air to cover the cacophony of unreasonableness and bigotry. They are all derivations, reincarnations, interpretations and anointing of the words of Jesus: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

It is the only message. It is the good news.

It caused a young inventor to try thousands of different techniques to finally say to the world, “Let there be light.” Yes, it is the spirit of Thomas Edison that we desperately require in this day and age of bleakness. Gospel moments demand that you cease to believe in the bad news around you, that you stop up your ears from hearing the futility, and instead, you allow a sweet melody to sing in your heart, telling you: “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

How can we do it? How can we avoid being trapped in the incessant repetition that demands we stand in line to wait for our next cup of unchanging gruel? What will produce a “gospel moment” for us? Better phrased, how can WE become a gospel moment for others?

Because truth does not come merely from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu or any other variety of religious expressions. Truth is one person who refuses to believe that life is a jungle, but instead, clears a path towards understanding.

Is it too much to ask? Or have we used up all the angels of our better nature, and now we’re left with the lingering demons?

Ridiculous. For it is no easier OR more difficult to be “gospel” today than it was for Dr. Hippocrates. Matter of fact, it is merely understanding this simple couplet:

The world’s gone nuts;

Don’t join.

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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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