Jesonian… May 13th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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jesonian-cover-amazon

 Their minds and hearts drift back so readily to Galilee–to friends, family, loved ones and labors of love.

For the traveling is exhausting and drains the passion of purpose. Going from town to town, the folks they encounter are able to treat them as strangers, leaping to establish tribal superiority and regional domination. So there’s always a little bit of loneliness creeping into the corners of swelling doubt.

It threatens to extinguish the desire to speak peace to the perishing.

Each night they gather by the fire at the end of the day. Yes, devoted. But devoid of energetic will, not wanting to be too close to me.

After all, I am the teacher.

I am the messenger.

I am the reason, beckoning them from their safe memories of normalcy.

So in deference to their need for privacy, I excuse myself from the common fellowship. They require an opportunity to reminisce together, question their calling without condemnation, and whisper wishes across the embers.

I have a place I go.

After all, I have my own memories of childhood.

I, too, have a family that misunderstands my meaning. In that private space, I speak to God. He’s a good listener. Honestly, He doesn’t often contribute or elaborate, but in His own way, He helps me to clear my thoughts.

By the time I return, my brethren are asleep. I try to do so myself. Morning will soon be here.

Another day of wandering.

Another chance to fail.

And oh, yes–another opportunity to see the world born again.

 

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To our friends at Roseland: click the piano for information on Cring & Clazzy

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … September 30th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn 9 30

A Well, Defined

Precious must confirm some value

Faith is better with substance

Love requires a commitment

Hope is energized by a vision

Kindness is empty without action

Belief, annoying minus fruit

Equality should prepare for the challenge

And peace must outsmart all war.

God is mean without mercy

Church comes alive through heart

Music is tuneless when heartless

Money mocks without a companion

Salvation begins in the here and now

Heaven, the sequel to a well-written Earth

Hell is always denying there is more

Romance, the culmination of great conversation

Failure is the chance to humbly succeed

Success, the spotlight on our remaining need

Parenting is God’s therapy for wounded children

Childhood, the time to question blind tradition

Freedom is what allows the truth to be told

Truth is what grants us the freedom to be bold

Knowledge is the book, but understanding, the eyes

Patience is the learning that makes fools wise

Time is our friend if we don’t surrender

Surrender, our savior when it’s time to remember.

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NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

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G-Poppers… June 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop’s youngest son asked him, “What was your dad like?”

G-Pop took a long pause. He realized that often in his conversations of discussing his childhood and his relationship with his father, he was not very generous. Maybe it’s the lot of all children–to simultaneously be offended by parents while also defending them out of tradition and respect. G-Pop wanted to be honest with his son, but not overly critical.

“My dad was like all dads in the sense that he wasn’t prepared to be a dad, but was frightened to admit that. For after all, the word ‘dad’ begins with ‘da.’ Nobody knows how to do it. Most men don’t plan much beyond their orgasm. So it’s rather remarkable that the male of our species was actually able to come up with a rendition of fatherhood that is passable enough that all the children on the earth are not permanently damaged.

My dad was quiet, somewhat self-involved, but deep in his heart wanted to be closer to his sons. But by the time he ended up with five of them, he was pretty well overwhelmed and decided to kick into survival mode. So he had favorites. And even though that sounds terrible, we are human beings and we do tend to favor one thing over another.

He also was older. He was gazing at his 50th birthday when I was born. Now that I’ve reached that age, I realize how terrified he must have been to start all over again with a new bambino. So he did what he could.

I don’t think he was always happy with my mother. One of the things that men need to realize is that children often evaluate Father based on how much Dad loves Mom. So I give him a pass. Not because he’s dead and gone and I want to speak good of his departing spirit, but because now that I’ve become a father, I realize the job is ill-suited to humans–especially men. Yet it is our job.”

G-Pop’s son sat and listened patiently and intently. There was a question brewing.

“So what does it mean to be a good dad?”

“There are three things that are involved in being a good dad–a trio of needs that every child has,” said G-Pop. “First, love the me you see. Secondly, work with the child–meek or wild; and finally, pray for the one he or she will become.

Yes, every kid born needs to believe they are loved–if not unconditionally, then mercifully. But every child needs to be worked with. Nobody comes out of the womb with any idea of what to do. And then, somewhere along the line, when they become adults, you need to pray for them, knowing that the work is done and most of the love they require will come from other sources.

It’s not that we ever stop loving our children–it’s just that our love will never be the only love they require. Instead, they need to become lovers and parents.

So you love, you work and you pray. You put each one in the right season, and then, finally, you hope that by some miracle all your mediocre efforts will pan out.”

G-Pop’s son nodded his head and smiled.

G-Pop felt good about the fact that he understood his dad’s weaknesses and had tried to improve upon them. But he did comprehend that his dad didn’t have much of a chance to find ways to be better.

Fatherhood is not a natural happening because one is a man with a sexual appetite. Fatherhood is finding the piece of God breathed within, mingling it with virility and adding the more gentle parts of the woman–in order to create a workable and helpful teacher.

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NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 17–(November 25th, 1965) Too Late to Understand … June 7, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2257)

(Transcript)

Angry. Sweet.

Gentle. Mean.

Vindictive. Giving.

These words seem to be opposites of one another but they were all part of the personality of my mother.

All through my childhood, I had endured a see-saw of emotion which was not only painful, but unpredictable.

November 25th was Thanksgiving Day. I was excited. I walked into the kitchen rubbing my hands together with enthusiasm and asked my mother “when the feast was going to be ready.”

She turned to me with a bit of fire and spit and said, “Why don’t you cook it? It’s hard work.”

It was cold, ferocious and beyond my understanding. I just went to my room, cussing her name.

For after all, this was a woman I had seen empty her cupboards of canned goods to help a neighbor in need and then, the next day, turn around and curse that same neighbor for dereliction and laziness. She would often come into my room and give me a hug, only to scream at me an hour later for watching cartoons–“being in her way” during vacuuming.

In my youth I heard her speak of brotherhood while referring to some individuals as “worthless niggers.”

If I’d had a lick of sense–which I didn’t–I would have realized that a human being who is angry, sweet, gentle, mean, vindictive and giving–well, when you combine them, what you end up with is confused.

In my later years, I understood.

She was seventeen years old when she married a man who was eighteen years her senior. she never got to travel, she didn’t get to go to college, was unable to flirt with either disaster or blessing and birthed five children, which from time to time seemed more of an inconvenience than a heritage.

She lived in confined quarters with limited funds, with a very stoic husband who often went on trips to Canada without providing a definite return date.

I wish I could sit down with her and tell her that I’m sorry I did not understand her plight. In today’s world, she probably would be diagnosed with some sort of neurotic condition which would be tempered by medication. Such remedies were unheard of in her day and age.

The greatest reprieve to my soul is that on the day she passed from this world, I was the last one to see her in the nursing home. We had a wonderful trip to the mall and on the way back, together sang her favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross.

She taught me a lot without realizing that she was instructing.

It was neither the fits of anger nor her acts of generosity that remain with me, but rather, a desire to be universally merciful to people when I don’t know their whole story.

So nowadays I would only ask three questions of anyone I encounter:

  1.  Can you admit you’re not happy?
  2. Are you willing to be happy?
  3. Will you stay with it until happiness arrives?

That’s all my mother needed–someone to give a damn.

It’s hard for me to remember her as a mom or a mother, and I certainly don’t want to look on her as a monster.

She was a woman named Mary who was given limited possibilities … and did the best she could.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Central… August 17, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1978)

For a city, it’s downtown.CentralMuskegon

A doughnut, the hole.

The earth, the equator.

And a Twinkie, the cream.

Center of things. It’s important stuff.

As I take off tomorrow morning to do my thing at Central United Methodist Church in Muskegon, I realize that the end of my little excursion needs to make clear to this handful of souls what I believe is central, intricate, everlasting and truly necessary.

CentralMuskegoninsideHonestly, that’s easy.

Happiness.

Any time we stop believing in happiness, refuse to pursue it or think we’ve outgrown the magnitude of its blessing, we paralyze ourselves, with all of our emotions lying dormant and useless.

Life is about the pursuit of happiness. Some may call it idealism, but the lack of happiness should be a fire alarm pulled at the first sign of smoke.

Enough said. How do we get happiness? Just remember this little four-step process: don’t expect, don’t reject, don’t worry, do more.

That’s it:

  • Expectation turns us into brats, waiting for a reason to throw a fit.
  • Rejection makes us critics who have already written the review before seeing the play.
  • Worry makes us comical because we’re not energetic enough to participate and always have “egg on our face” when the omelet actually flips over and is perfect.
  • And doing more, although it seems to be futile at times, is the best way to stay busy while we’re waiting for today’s tragedy to become yesterday’s little piece of silliness.

Central is happiness.

It keeps us from becoming so grown-up that we lose our childhood dreams.

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

Brother’s Keeper… October 24, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Mary and Russell had five children.

I was the fourth intrusion. I do not characterize myself in that way to be mean-spirited. No human being is good at parenting. Even Adam and Eve were not “Abel” and ended up raising “Cain.”

Here’s the problem: By the time we figure out babies, they become toddlers. We graduate that phase, and suddenly they’re children. Just when we grasp the concept of childhood, they escape into the great tunnel of adolescence. Some brave souls actually try to follow them into that cave–and are never heard of again. The intelligent ones stand on the outside of the deep, dark hole, pray, cross their fingers and wait for their dear offspring to emerge about eight or nine years later.

Feel free to purchase books on the subject of raising children–although some piously insist that the term should be “rearing.” Your little darlings will be more than happy to dash all theories and bring to rubble great plans for household advancement.

So it was no different with Mary and Russell. Their particular skills were stuck somewhere between the McGuffie Reader and Dr. Benjamin Spock, causing them in their confusion to be too mean when compassion was required and too gentle when my four brothers and myself were desperate for discipline.

The only regrettable conclusion of this situation is that the five brothers grew up not particularly fond of each other. We were too competitive. We were too self-involved. We were too much of everything that is associated with the word “too.”

My oldest brother passed away before he and I were able to make peace with each other. Sad.

The third son and I made a truce which lasted until the day he died.

My younger sibling expresses affection in my direction, which is never followed up with any connection.

But Brother Number Two has become my project over the past twenty years. He was an intelligent, promising student many years ago, who had a vision for becoming a high school English teacher extraordinaire. He pulled it off for many years, but in the mid-1980’s he had a nervous breakdown and has lived on disability ever since.

I have great devotion for him. You notice I am careful not to call it “love.” To me, “love” is reserved for those excellent earthly moments when true connection is made between souls and an unearthly understanding of the universe unfolds.

No, I am devoted to him. For twenty years I have written him. For twenty years, I have visited every chance I can–whenever I get within a hundred miles. And every week I also receive a letter from him, ranging in tone from the kindness of mundane to the anger and virulence of vicious.

I endure.

So imagine my mixed emotions this week when I arrived in Central Ohio knowing that I needed to see him, but realizing that there was a reluctance in my heart to be confronted–especially at this time in my journey–with such a malevolent presence. I always have to remind myself that he strikes out at the world around him because he feels struck. But it’s not very comforting in the moment.

So I made a plan to pick him up at 9:15 yesterday morning, confirmed it with him by phone, and drove into his driveway to discover that his entire front yard had been transformed into a giant garage sale, strewn with trash and old junk. I thought to myself that at least we had a good topic for opening conversation. As previously agreed, I tapped my horn to let him know of my arrival.

There was no response.

My present physical condition does not permit me to leap from the van and go to the door to pound upon it with urgency. So I waited five minutes and tapped my horn again. Nothing.

My mind flashed back to the last three times I tried to connect with this dear brother, and had been stood up by him with a nasty letter from him following, explaining that it was my fault that he didn’t appear because he knew deep in his heart that I don’t really care anything about him.

So I started to wonder how long I planned to stay in his driveway, tapping my horn, before leaving with the realization that once again I was to be viewed as the ugly girl at the junior prom.

Yet I persisted. After five horn beeps and twenty-five minutes, he appeared sleepily at the door and told me he would be right out. Ten minutes later, I was rewarded for my perseverance by the appearance of my brother at the side of my van, and we were off.

The next two hours that I spent with him are a study in human behavior and an exploration into the definitions of feeling helpless. For you see, the reason his front yard has been turned into a flea market is that he has allowed two vagabond young men to come in and live in his home, and they have completely taken over his abode, and are beginning to fight with him to such an extent that the police have actually had to be called to the scene.

I resisted running away in horror.

He explained to me that these same individuals have chased away his beloved cats, which are really his only family, leaving him without feline protection. One of these young intruders has also brought a homeless man into the house to stay, further complicating the chemistry brewing in the cauldron.

Then my brother explained to me that he is trying to evict one of the squatters, while said squatter is also taking him to court for reimbursement on construction supplies that the young fellow purchased to build in a living quarters–for himself–on the back porch. (Now, I realize that all of this is very confusing when written into a story form, but let me comfort you by telling you that it was no easier to understand in the original telling.)

My dear brother had no trouble whatsoever filling in 129 minutes of conversation on his own, only once asking about my doings, in passing. He has a life that is full … without having a full life.

You see, it’s what happens to all of us when we don’t decide the purpose for our breathing and moving; circumstance and crazy travelers can come in and fill in our empty space with their own trauma and terror.

This is why I pity grown people who make their children their lives. Your seed will be more than willing to destroy your garden of hopes. I am always careful to warn those who have retired to start a second career, finding a reason to get up in the morning. Otherwise, all of the insanity of the world will crash in on you, exhausting you with its nuttiness without ever granting you fruit.

My brother was exhausted but had nothing to show for it but sadness, exasperation, apprehension and defeat. They had broken his television set, taken his car and left him desolate. And because it appears that he has given these things over to them, it is impossible to prosecute the perpetrators.

I was so depleted. I remembered the lament of an exasperated brother from thousands of years ago: Am I my brother’s keeper?

It’s so easy to walk away from insanity and allow it to be turned over to the general asylum. You can disassociate yourself from it so easily, returning to your own peaceful ways.

But he is my brother. He would be my brother if we had not shared a common womb, because we share a common God.

I did my best to encourage. I did my best to bless. I did my best to promise him that I would return again very soon to renew our conversation. I did my best to give him some money so he could spend it on himself instead of squandering it on his emotional assailants.

I did my best not to cry.

Mary and Russell did their best, too. But like many of those born after the Garden, they grew some weeds. It is now the job of those stray children to find one another and make some sense of it all.

I am my brother’s keeper. It’s just that sometimes the most difficult part of caretaking … is cleaning up.

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Eco-Quality… April 3, 2012

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A gift.  For a gift to have true value it has to possess two attributes–it has to truly be “mine” and I have to understand it. I have received presents that were not gifts, because the instructions came in German or Chinese and I was unable to access the true worth of the intention.

Likewise, around the age of sixty-one through seventy-two and beyond, we receive a gift. Unfortunately, most people of that age do not believe there IS a blessing imparted their way. Maybe it’s because the instructions are in the language of logic and we’re looking for something deeper or more mature. Maybe it’s because we focus too much on the difficulty of implementing the gift and fail to recognize the benefits. I’m not sure. But the ecosystem of Planet Earth is perfectly balanced within the human species by having us begin as children and basically end the same way.

Estrogen and testosterone removed as chemicals of dependence, we arrive in our later years once again on an even playing field, able to communicate if we so desire.

It is an eco-system that proffers quality, which I have blended to form a new word: eco-quality.

We are children again. As children, we can either choose to be child-like or childish. Verily, verily I say unto you–the greatest natural resource unused in this country is not natural gas trapped beneath the surface, but rather, our retired, aging, experienced, elderly population, which is set aside to vegetate and die. Maybe it’s because they never got over their addled essence and have decided to live a life that is adversarial rather than friendly. Maybe it’s because they wish they were still “kidding” and become overly involved in the lives of their grandchildren–ending up  interfering more than enlightening. Perhaps it’s because they think they’re still in their forties, struggling to make ends meet and haggling over the price of toilet paper at Costco. But more often than not, they get stuck dissing in action, and continue to pick at one another, finding fault and resenting each another because everything didn’t turn out quite as perfectly as planned.

So instead of having a flourishing, mature population, full of experience and wisdom, we have bratty old folk who need to have their diapers changed, bitching about eating their strained prunes and broccoli. I cannot disagree with those young humans who find this both annoying and pathetic. If you reach sixty-one years of age and the things you wanted to do with your life have still not happened, do yourself a favor and get up off of your rocker and imitate some of your aspirations with the energy you still have remaining. If we can teach our graying citizenry–many attending Woodstock, who were part of the disco revolution and survived all sorts of financial meltdowns–yes, if we can teach them to take on the better parts of chilled-hood and put that into practice in their everyday, senior citizen existence, we can unleash an intelligence for our youth and probably save a lot of money on medical care.

When children are happy they do two things–they learn and they play. If you reach sixty-one years of age and you think there is nothing for you to learn, you might just want to go to meet your Maker, who will be more than happy to explain to you the error of your conclusion. There is nothing more exciting, amazing and enthralling than an older person who is still willing to learn. We insist that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but since we are not of the canine species, we might want to rise a little above our “dogged” determination.

Learn. What’s necessary in order to learn? Two things: (1) “I don’t know,” and (2) “please teach me.” Since testosterone has ceased making men sexually obsessive, and estrogen isn’t cloying at women’s souls to keep them domesticated, we can actually enjoy things together and learn simultaneously.

And of course, play. There is no joy in longevity if we can’t find a way to pleasurably do everything. If life is a chore, please bring sundown so we can go home. But if we can find a way to make grocery shopping interesting, going to church a new vista of experience, or even a doctor’s visit to be a time of learning and information-gathering, then every day seems to have purpose and potential.

Yes, the greatest resource that is lost in our society is not the oil from old fossils, but getting our old fossils who are still alive to squeeze out some oil of gladness.

God gives us the tools:

1. We are not living in the pressure cooker of addled essence, where our hormones are screaming demands, making our bodies twitch with indecision.

2. We no longer have the pressure of “kidding.” I will be honest with you and hopefully others will join me–I enjoyed being a parent, I find grandparenting interesting, but I am glad I am back to my life being my own, thank you.

3. We have the intelligence to dodge the futility of Re-Spend-ability–causing us to fret over money–and  instead can take our experience and patience–to use it more wisely.

4. Hopefully, we will cease from dissing in action,  generating an atmosphere of tension, which has digressed to an ongoing silence of dissatisfaction.

Learn and play. Everybody gets older, but no one needs to get old.

The years from sixty-one to seventy-two and beyond should be conducted with two mantras:  (a) “I really know a lot, which makes me want to know more.” and (b) “if it ain’t fun, it ain’t done.”

A simple submission to these two precepts would change our society from a youth-crazed, fad-driven mania to a more balanced situation of looking at things through the eyes of experience instead of need and greed.

Let’s not kill off our old people, but let’s create eco-quality,  joyously returning to our chilled-hood, when male and female were much the same and we we had great fun bouncing a ball … and learning our biology.

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Listen to Jonathan sing his gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, accompanied by Janet Clazzy on the WX-5 Wind Machine

 

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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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