Boy and Dad… October 5, 2012


Live from October 1st filming

He was a musician. I’m not talking about one of those prissy choral directors who sit around shuffling papers and complaining about off-pitch altos. He was a songwriter who loved to rock out and was willing to dance to the beat of exhilarating music.

He was passionate. But you must understand that passion is not a barn where you store up good notions to use on intelligent occasions. Passion is a wide-open plain filled with thorns, thistles, cacti, poisonous snakes, adventure and mountains. Passion refuses to be restricted by either temperance or the rules of the day.

So even though he was a man of God, he was also a man of the flesh. He loved women. He loved to be enthralled and overtaken by circumstance.

He loved the fight. Yes, he was a warrior–a gentle, romantic barbarian. He viewed the world in black and white and saw enemies instead of potential allies. He embraced those who embraced him and fought off those who rejected the simplicity of his common sense.

At one time in his youth, he trusted, only to be chased down by his mentor and relegated to the status of a slave. He rebelled against control but often found himself in authority over those who were less likely to achieve success than he was.

His mouth was filled with praise but his heart was filled with rage. He spent his whole life trying to balance the two forces, allowing repentance to be the buffer–a healing balm.

He had children, but did not know how to father them, and when he did parent them, he was either too gentle or too confused. You see, he possessed the nature of a lion, the energy of a king and the attributes of a rabble-rouser. In the midst of his marriage, he was tempted by a woman so beautiful, so significant and so needful that he acquired her and killed for her.

Through their union a son was born. The angry musician who loved God but did not understand earth wanted better for his offspring. So he taught the boy to learn instead of fight. He instructed him in poetry and prose instead of swords and spears. He asked the young lad to believe in the power of conversation instead of the marching of troops. He tried to instill passion into his son, but a bridled version, which was not subject to mere whim or appetite.

The father died. It was the son’s turn to rule.

The young man only asked for one thing: wisdom.

He wanted to understand instead of being constantly frustrated by what he beheld. He was given wisdom, and with wisdom, to his surprise, came all the other blessings and gifts of earthly treasure.

He was healthy, he was wealthy and he was wise.

Yet with all his wisdom, he failed to acquire true relationship with the God who had granted him this perception, so even though he rejected the notorious fierceness of his father, he still saw the futility of human effort and obtained his own form of resentment. He became a cynic.

His wisdom changed into mere knowledge, and knowledge, when left to itself, produces a madness in the soul–an insanity without remedy. It makes us believe that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

But because he possessed wisdom, he survived his temporary bout with doubt and in the end, came out believing.

Two men–father and son.

A father who was engorged in human emotion and blemished by error, who loved life and God with all of his heart.

A son who sought wisdom, found knowledge, but for a season was trapped in his own cynicism–until the possibility of hope sprang eternally in the depths of his being.

The father was David.

The son was Solomon.

Every man needs to understand that he will pass on to his son both his virtue and his failings. If the son gains wisdom through the father’s failings, then in the end, the message will survive and see a better day. But the son must remember not to lose the virtue of the father’s passion, or a sarcastic spirit will torment his soul.

Boy and dad.

The miracle of life continues–hopefully progressing with passion and wisdom towards greater understanding.

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

Symphony 150 … March 15, 2012


The Book of Psalms.

It is a collection of songs and poems depicting the victories and struggles of human life, punctuated by the pursuit of God. Its closing stanzas are reserved for an explanation—no, more than that—an orchestration of what truly is praise and worship. Yes, it is a symphony in four movements, carefully constructed, sensitive to the needs of mankind and seductive to the ear of the Divine.

It begins with the trumpet—a fanfare. I envision four measures of our brass in unison—a clarion. “Wake up! Life is good! Notice the beauty of God and join the chorus.”

In the fifth measure, a second part is added, introducing diversity but still maintaining the integrity of tone. In the ninth through the sixteenth measures, the trumpets blare a quartet of harmonies, announcing the beginnings of well-deserved appreciation.

 And then suddenly, the brass are replaced by the lute and harp, establishing our melody—a recurring theme of sweetness and gentleness that accentuates our deep sense of awe and wonder over creation. It is genuine, pure and simple. “Be still. Know. Relax. It is time to exude the unity of your internal orchestra—heart, soul and mind—and let it come forth in the jubilation of your strength.”

An ascending arpeggio and our first movement ends—with the awareness that all is well.

It is quickly followed by the second movement, which explodes with rhythm—tambourines, hand-held noise makers, stimulating the dance—like a Chopin Polonaise—the affirmation that human life not only is functional, but also fruitful, because there is no reason to believe that God would do anything to stop us from achieving our best. It is time to rise, to move to the music. “Produce a visual for your joy. Reject stagnation. Pound the tambourines. Dance.”

Then, at the peak of this exaltation, the strings are introduced, blended with the organ. We hear the first fruits of our original theme from the lute and harp, now played with greater intensity and flow from our orchestra. It is time to take the jubilance of our dance and find the tunefulness of our heart’s desire and express it freely, without fear. The strings and organ give us the freedom to be unashamed of our humanity—to be willing to let all of our parts connect in a joyous repentance, absent of sadness, but filled with the expectation that God is forgiving, God is light and God is love.

Our second movement ends with this reassurance.

Fully absolved of our insecurities, frustrations and sins, the third movement begins with loud cymbals. It is a chorus, flirting with cacophony but still maintaining a control over intensity. It is a time to confirm that we are salvaged. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Trumpet the conviction true spirituality is not escaping human life, but rather, finally confirming its dynamic. Don’t be afraid.”

Our loud cymbals are joined by high-sounding cymbals, producing a fevered pitch. Our worship has now entered into a thrilling lack of intimidation. We are in awe of God, which gives us permission to honor of ourselves. We are surrounded by sound without complaining about the volume. We are lost in the moment without shame.

This ends movement three.

Suddenly … stillness—a two measure rest. Recreation—and then we begin movement four, the finale, where everything that has breath joins the orchestra to bring praise to the Lord. The brass, the woodwinds and even a chorus of voices blend, revisiting that original melody by the lute and the harp, exploring it as an anthem—a victorious march to triumph. Breath unites with breath, building in volume, the pace picking up to a glorious climax, a place where the sopranos can find their highest note. The tenors join just beneath as the altos gloriously bellow their second and the basses resound the bottom.

The ending is held, vibrating the sound waves through the room with such an intensity that chills run down the body, when all at once the conductor stops the orchestra. Another two measure rest, when …

The entire ensemble culminates in a lower inversion C chord. Peace, be still.

Thus ends our fourth movement—and our symphony.

It is how the Psalmist describes what true praise and worship of life and God should be—not merely the droning of well-rehearsed, “special music,” but a fresh, burgeoning composition extolling the great potential of being alive.

Symphony 150, in four movements—always available, always beautiful—always penetrating the heart of God.


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.

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