Not Really Evil … April 29, 2012

(1,499) 

In Los Angeles

When two dreams are separated and ignored, what lies between is a nightmare–a surrender to sleep, devoid of rest.

Such was my life for a season. About twenty years ago I stopped traveling. I ceased writing. I refrained from sharing. I removed creativity, suffocating my dreams. I settled into the San Francisco Bay area in a motel room with my wife and three children and attempted forced domestication. I worked the “dead man’s shift” at the front desk of the same motel to cover my expenses.

I was at that position late one night when he walked in the door. I had heard rumors from the maids and maintenance staff that he had checked into room 214 and was planning on staying a while, but it seemed so unlikely that I dismissed it as idle chatter. But all at once, in the night hours, he came strolling in, looking for a book of matches.

It was Evil Knievel. I didn’t know much about him. I mean, I had a cursory understanding of his fame and the bold endeavors he had undertaken by leaping over things with his motorcycle. So I was a bit starstruck and dumbfounded at the same time. I fumbled around, found him some matches and he stood there, staring at me, saying nothing. It was very intimidating.

I wanted to speak or maybe even ask a question, but each idea I formed in my mind was more stupid and comical than the previous, so I pretended to be working on some figures behind the desk–as he continued to stare. He only stayed for ten minutes. During that time he asked me three questions.

1. “Have you always been fat?” (That one was easy. I said “yes” and then began a sentence to explain, trailing off prior to verb usage.)

2. “Does the motel offer anything other than Danish for breakfast?” (Another easy answer. We didn’t. We wouldn’t. We can’t. And we shouldn’t. All the excuses I had been provided.)

3. And finally, he said, “What’s your name and what in the hell are you doing here?” (He tricked me with a two-part question. Through my flustered condition, I still was able to retain my name–Jonathan Richard Cring–but I was not sure what I was doing there, though I couldn’t confirm it was hell. But in a strange burst of boldness, I flipped it. “Let me ask you, Mr. Knievel. What in the hell are YOU doing here?”)

He gave a quick laugh which turned into a smoker’s cough, with a long clearing of the throat. “Damned good question, my man,” he said. He turned on his heel, walked out, disappeared around the corner and I never saw him again. About three weeks later he checked out of the motel and I followed his career enough to know that he had a couple of come-backs over the next few years before he took his final leap over the River Styx into eternity.

But in that brief visitation with this man, who had achieved such great fame and now was discussing breakfast choices, I realized that I had escaped down a hole simply because it appeared in front of me. I had decided that traveling around the country with my family, sharing a message of hope and love, was a bizarre thing for a father to do and that I was tired of being out of the box. I wanted to be normal. So I settled in and began to live in a motel, which in itself was extraordinarily abnormal. So here I was, trying to please an existing social system that was not of my heart or making, and even though I had forsaken all of my sense of calling and the energy which rattled my soul to excellence, I had still fallen short of the demands of my culture. What a fool. Just like Evil Knievel, I was hiding away because the hideaway was made available.

It was shortly after that visit that I packed my bags up and took my family back out on the road to reestablish our identity, such as it was. Because life does not consist of a marching army of conformed troops adorned in the same uniform. Life is a personalized journey through a wilderness, where survival is contingent on using what is available while maintaining the best attitude you possibly can.

Evil walked through my door that night–but he really wasn’t so bad. He wasn’t mean. Evil wasn’t out to get me. The main thing I will remember about Evil is that he was lonely. Loneliness is what we’re left with when we follow a voice that is not our own, which ends up not being God.

For after all, respectability is achieved when my needs are covered and you are happy over my choices. Contentment is when my needs are supplied … and I am happy with my choices.

  

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A Wilderness Crying with a Voice… March 12, 2012

(1,451) 

Sunday morning in Tucson, Arizona.

Blessed man that I am, I found myself with the unique opportunity to come before a gathering of good folks and share my heart. Since my platform of communication is a church, I am fully aware that the green pastures are often inhabited by sacred cows. I certainly do not wish to be insensitive, but a certain number of sacred cows need to be butchered. Otherwise we can’t have a good steak dinner.

But which ones? Which notions grounded in social acceptance, which have become part of the general thinking of the American public, need to be spoofed and gently illuminated, to discover more useful awareness?

For me it’s easy. Instead of having a “voice crying in the wilderness” in our generation, we have a wilderness crying with a voice. We have given a megaphone to confusion. We have vacuous, empty-souled people who have been granted the privilege of screaming their frustrations and attitudes on reality shows, with politicians vacant of new ideas attacking their opponents, as religion opts to fuss and fidget over social issues instead of more soulful concerns.

It’s not just that the inmates are in charge of the asylum. It’s more dangerous than that. The inmates have the key to the drug cabinets and are beginning to distribute medication to the masses, in order to intoxicate our country in a dizzying stupor of “who cares?” Spend a few minutes watching television, perusing the news or even listening to the lyrics of many of the songs, and you will understand that the wilderness is crying with a voice. The wilderness, having no boundaries or sensibility of its own, is now claiming the be able to lead a people who are trying to escape bondage. It is the bland leading the bland. What characterizes this wilderness? It consists of a group of people who have:

1. Nothing to be. Everything is up for grabs. Cynicism has replaced faith. Sarcasm is the new humor and pursuing understanding is viewed as a useless step when retaliation and retribution appear to be more satisfying. Over the past week I have heard three different television shows off-handedly make fun of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It was mocked as an archaic concept which never works. If we are not to have empathy towards our fellow-man, then we are going into human relationships demanding acceptance while offering no desire to accomodate. That may be the actual definition of war. And since these people have nothing to be, it lends itself to:

2. Nothing to say. This is why we have so many re-makes, re-dos and re-sharings of old ideas–because when our artists reach into their minds for fresh concepts, the lack of anything to be renders them mute of anything to say. If you want something to say, you’ve got to decide what you’re going to be. And if what you’re going to be is even influenced by the twenty-four-hour news cycle, you will be at the mercy of parroting what the pundits have said. Curiously, once you have nothing to say, you may find yourself with:

3. Nothing to do. America requires an agenda of entertainment, pre-fabricated in some boardroom to inspire the people to perform what they, themselves can no longer muster. When you don’t know what you’re going to be and you don’t know what you’re going to say, how could you possibly know what to do? It so reminds me of liturgy in the church. When you actually isolate the words written by inspired men and women of previous generations, well … they’re magnificent. But when they are spoken in a monotone by those who do not know what to be, say or do, they proceed from the mouth like dust blown in the wind. Interestingly enough, when you have nothing to do, there is:

4. Nothing to believe. I know the common thought is that first we believe and then we do, but actually, in human beings, the nature of our deep beliefs is accessed from actions in our lives which have proven to bear fruit. In other words “that which I have seen and heard, I declare unto you” instead of “that which I have been taught or heard preached.” The wilderness which cries with a voice is peppered with those who do not believe anymore because they have stopped doing, are completely baffled about what to say because they have no idea on who to be. And of course, when you remove a sense of belief, the final step is:

5. Nothing to feel.  And human beings who were created with nerve endings primed and ready to explode with joy are instead dulled into a sleepiness where they are overly fretful, suspicious and eventually numb of understanding.Then we take this status–this dead wilderness and graveyard of human lack of sensation–and proclaim it to be “normal.” After all, isn’t it normal to be uncertain about who you want to be? Isn’t it just logical sometimes to be devoid of things to say? Certainly all of us are bewildered about what to do. Right? And it’s only natural that we should be a bit befuddled on a course of belief. And finally–feeling…well, feelings can be over-rated and certainly over-stated.

So by the time I see a collection of friends on a Sunday morning, they have gone through the gauntlet of listening to an entire week of “the wilderness crying with a voice”: nothing to be, nothing to say, nothing to do, nothing to believe and therefore, nothing to feel.

What’s my job? I start at the bottom nd work my way up.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. For the next forty minutes, let’s dare to feel. In the process of doing that, what will emerge is something that we truly can believe in. Might we take that beleif and simply find one thing to go out and do that resembles the intensity of our faith? And once we have done that thing, let’s take our voices and speak the goodness of our discovery. And having spoken those praise-worthy thoughts, may we allow it to affect what we decide to be from this point forward?”

It’s my job. I just happen to love it.

I don’t resent the wilderness. I just realize that everyone who comes from there and has spent any time in it … feels lost.

************** 

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.

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.

Lou’s Words… March 11, 2012

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They squeezed us onto the show.

Favors were called in, shuffling of schedule ensued, and the good folks at the Grand Ole’ Opry decided to allow our little up-and-coming group to appear on the show to sing one song. We had just finished recording our new album at the House of Cash (Johnny Cash‘s studio) and our fledgling record company, which had taken a chance on us, making us their first release, was able to wheedle and deedle a slot for us to present one of our tunes on this national platform.

Of course, we were excited beyond words. We rehearsed with a band, since the Opry demands that all music be live, and we prepared for the show. One of the steps of our preparation was to contact a female agent in Nashville, Tennessee, who had expressed some interest in our group and was considering becoming our agent. Her name was Lou. What a tremendous chance this was for us.When we invited her to hear us at the Opry, she said she had already planned to be there and was looking forward to seeing how well we handled the pressure.

The day arrived. I could barely breathe, I was so excited. We rehearsed one more time with our band, picked out the wardrobe we would wear on the show and arrived backstage at the Grand Ole’ Opry, peering like a bunch of tourists at all the country music stars. I met Lou, she gave us encouraging words, and before we knew it, we were being announced to the audience.

As I walked onto the stage, I looked back and saw Lou perched right behind the curtain, ready to take in every single moment. I was thrilled. As soon as we arrived at our microphones, the leader of our band counted off the song and our musicians began to play. But they were apparently equally as nervous as us, and started the song much too fast–what one might call a “Keystone Cop tempo.” Matter of fact, it was so speedy that I wasn’t exactly sure where to leap in. But not wanting to be embarrassed in front of an audience from all over the country, I closed my eyes and took the jump by faith, and by the grace of God must have caught the right note, as my other two cohorts grabbed at my coattails and followed. After that, everything became easier. Matter of fact, as we played the song, other musicians standing backstage waiting to perform came onto the set and joined in–so by the end, the number of back-up musicians had nearly tripled.

It was a great performance. The audience was responsive, pitch was correct and our original song was received with immense enthusiasm. I walked off stage floating on air, which, for a guy my size, demands a lot of emotional helium. There was Lou, beaming at us. She gave us hugs and we escaped back to a side room, where she wanted to talk with us.

I even brought along a special pen, prepared to sign a contract to make this woman our agent–so she could launch us into fame. We got back into a private area, closed the door, and Lou said the magic words. “I want to sign you. You guys are great.”

I think all three of us squealed (of course, mine being the more masculine of the trio). Lou continued, “Now, what I want you to do is give me all the leads for your upcoming dates and all the people you have met as you’ve traveled across the country.”

I was perplexed. You see, I thought Lou was going to come along and place us in situations already organized, so we could simply come in and become famous. She shook her head and explained the system to us. Gently and tenderly, she informed us that an agent merely puts a magnifying glass on the beauty and power of what was already there. Well, since we were just starting, we didn’t know very many people and even fewer knew us. She told us to think it over and get back to her. I’ll never forget her closing words.

“I can take your talent and who you know and get you more for it, but I can’t get you more talent or make you known.”

We never signed with Lou. We were too young, inexperienced, raw and without reputation to give her much to work with. But I never forgot her words–because sometimes I get around people who kneel in prayer, expecting God to become their agent for success, prosperity and a life free of difficulty. When they realize that God has heard their prayer, they are suddenly elated at the potential of being freed of all responsibility. And then they hear the words–really, the same ones that Lou spoke that night backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Because God says to all of us, “I can take your talent and who you know and get you more for it. But I can’t give you more talent and make you known.”

Any spiritual experience that erodes to mere religion preaches an over-dependence on God’s intervention, rendering us weak and without resource. But true spirituality is when you realize that you have talent that needs multiplying, and that there is a world of people out there to meet–if you’re not afraid of them.That in itself, with the mercy and caring of God, is enough to propel you to sufficiency and beyond.

Lou’s words are no different from God’s. Use the talent you have and don’t be afraid of people, and miraculously, it would seem … doors will open.

************** 

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.

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.

Val’s Pals … February 14, 2012

 
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Valentine’s Day–a delivery system for chocolate, flowers, jewelry, aftershave, golf shirts and miscellaneous power tools. Yet–is it more than that? It could be–if we actually focused on relationship instead of just commemorating a once-great union of hearts.
 
In my lifetime, I have watched as the pendulum has swung from the extreme of Father Knows Best to “Mama Knows Everything.” There is a general misconception in dealing with interaction between the sexes that some sort of cushioning or compromise MUST be established–because we apparently are from different planets, arriving on spaceships fueled by diverse energy. Because of this false representation, we seek to compliment or ignore one another in the pursuit of domination. Domination is useless, especially when it comes to interfacing with someone we purport to love.
 
Yet in the times when Father was supposed to be the All Knowing, women were underpaid, not considered worthy of leadership on a national level (or even high management in corporations), a little unpredictable and ditzy and meant for the home, not the battlefield–be it war, politics or business.
 
Move ahead through years of alleged women’s liberation and cultural growth, and today we insist that women are smarter than men, as we continue to underpay them, forbid them high seats in government and the Fortune 500, think they’re very unpredictable and ditzy and keep them far from the front lines of the war–be it commercial, cultural or military.
 
So what has changed? All we have done is play a pretend game: “Women are really smarter than men, but after all, we don’t need smarter. We’ve got men!”
 
As long as the goal in any relationship is to dominate, we will never truly understand one another, no matter how many boxes of chocolates, bunches of flowers or trinkets are peddled. Somewhere along the line, we have to understand that true friendship is neither complimenting or ignoring, but rather, trying to stay on point and being as honest as we can, while dancing around trying not to offend.
 
If a woman can’t find that in her mate, she will have a best friend she converses with and a husband she tolerates.  May I immediately point out that merely tolerating another human being is not the greatest aphrodisiac to lead into the bedroom? So then we get to preach that “women don’t like sex and men do.”
 
Now, this particular Mexican standoff doesn’t vary, whether in the secular or in the religious realm. The religious community believes that men should dominate and that women should raise the children and take care of the household. In some religions they’re even willing to cut off her sexual organs to make sure she doesn’t forget her mission.
 
In the secular community, the pretense is that women are much smarter, more organized and able to direct, while simultaneously they are relegated to a submissive position where they are basically housewives, even in the office (coffee and comfort), and they’re disemboweled sexually by being forbidden true authority.
 
Here’s my suggestion–let’s do something special on this Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to reject the power of the flower or the thrill of the drill, but you might want to sit down and have a conversation with the person you say you love that begins with this statement:
 
“Honestly… Well, I am not always honest with you, but instead, compliment or ignore you because I foolishly think, because of my training, that I am supposed to dominate you. I would like to stop that and instead, maybe for the first time in our journey together, find out who you are and what you want … and ditto for me.”
 
Now, if I thought the farce of “romantic America” could continue without creating chaos, I would never even bring up the subject. After all, America believes that McDonald’s makes the best hamburger and really, no harm, no “fowl.” But when you think that complimenting or ignoring your love to create domination is the best way to interact with another human being, while internally you find them obtuse or irrelevant, there is a nasty hypocrisy going on that will eventually flare up and decimate your contentment.
 
This is why we often step back and say, “I never thought they would get a divorce.”
 
Just removing domination from a relationship allows for two people to actually begin to talk again. The reason we didn’t like dating is because we had to chat. It is exactly the reason we should return to it.
 
So if you look at Val’s Pals on this day, they are  com through gifts and the action of ignoring expressed by pretending that somehow or another we forgot that it was a special day. It is all an inglorious ploy to create domination. Neither Father nor Mother know best.
 
Actually, we never get the best until Father and Mother learn how to communicate with each other.
 
 
  **************

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.

Teaspoonology … February 13, 2012

 
(1423)
 
I understand and I am certainly not offended.  To the mindset of the average person in our hectic society, my little  philosophy seems frivolous, if not futile. I call it “teaspoonology.”
 
I have no grandiose notion that my contribution to life is going to come in some sort of magnanimous flood of information and wisdom. But daily I am provided a teaspoon–and I realize that I’m going to dump that portion into a vast ocean of life.
 
You might wonder how I was introduced to my particular brand of teaspoonology. Some years ago I noticed that “sour” was becoming the countenance, the taste, the thinking and reaction of those around me. A puckered face became the preferred visage.  It was like we had all decided that life was meant to be just a little bitter, so why fight it? And it was ushered in along with the assertion that presenting reality meant studying the dark side of humanity.
 
There was once a time when our literature, art, religion and politics presented our more bleak options as obscure, unnecessary and escapable. But then that changed. Goodness became the elusive; mediocrity and evil became the commonplace. It “soured up” the flavor of human life. So that’s why I decided to take my little teaspoon of contribution afforded to me every day of my life and sweeten it. So when it is added into life’s mix, for a brief time there is just a hint of a change in taste. Within moments it gets stirred in and the more discriminating soul might be able to notice the subtle difference.
 
I have discovered that I don’t have more than a teaspoon, but I do have the power to make sure that the elixir I add becomes sweeter and sweeter as I adjust its intensity. Yes–more potent with the nectar of possibility instead of adding vinegar to the already-tainted contents. For after all, what power is there in succumbing to stupidity? What joy in insisting that only sadness rules the roost? What victory in bowing one’s head in the presence of death instead of fighting to the end? It is my little concept of struggling against what most people would consider to be inevitable.
  • Yes, I am angry at religion. It makes people believe they have no hope unless they embrace a God they are told they can’t understand.
  • Yes, I am infuriated with politics.  It persists in a message of doom and gloom in order to garner a vote which grants power which is rarely used to improve anything.
  • Yes, I am baffled by an entertainment industry which tantalizes us with images of our creature instead of the possibilities of our creative.
But I will not allow my anger to overcome my mission–and that particular odyssey is quite simple: to take my teaspoon of contribution, sweeten it more each and every day and faithfully drizzle it onto the great concoction before me.
 
It is a childlike precept. May I share it with you? “Since no one is better than anyone else, let’s ease up, take our teaspoon … and sweeten the pot.”
 
Does it work? Case in point:
 
When I arrived at my present lodging location, I met a maid who services the rooms and befriended her. I gave her a few dollars for her generous work and treated her as I would want to be treated if I found myself in her station. Last night, when I went to perform my final show at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, I left a bag of money in my room accidentally–not realizing that the maid was going to come in and clean my room. When I came back and saw the room was spotless, my mind immediately went to that vulnerable clump of cash. You know what happened? Even though she had to move the money to do her cleaning, she restored it in entirety to its proper place. An honest woman, true. But might she have been tempted to be dishonest if her first encounter with me had been a jolt of sour instead of a teaspoon of sweet? I don’t know–and I don’t care.
 
I am determined to take my teaspoon and blend it into the broth of daily life, working on increasing the intensity of its potential while encouraging others to simply reject the sour and embrace the sweet. It was my message yesterday. It will be my message tomorrow.
 
I do not think we can change the world by insisting that the world is too big to change.
I do not think we can personally be happy as long as we spend most of our time in despair over the unhappiness that surrounds us.
 
Somehow or another, we need to purify our teaspoon of involvement, sweeten it up and pour it in. If enough people would do it, it might alter the taste of our society just enough that others might notice and want more of the flavor. Certainly it is a piece of idealism, but without it, we are left dumping our refuse of bitterness into the common pot.
 
And this I know: the only way to truly stop misery is to refuse to participate in its insanity.
 
  **************

Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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

To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Houston, We Have a Problem … February 12, 2012

 
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I was traveling in Houston, Texas, when I heard the report that Whitney Houston had passed on.
 
I didn’t think of that last night when the news flashed across the screen. It’s something that occurred to me this morning as I sat down to write to each and every one of you. Actually, it’s a rather irrelevent fact.
 
But here’s a piece of information that isn’t irrelevant: human beings were not made to be famous. We were created to be happy-and fame and happiness are inconsolable.
 
It is time for someone to finally speak this as the truth it is, without others trying to clarify it with exceptions or proclaim the importance of manifesting our own personal destiny. Because as I listened to them tribute this dear woman last night on television, they played in the background her recording of The Greatest Love of All. It is an anthem exalting the value of self-love, containing a rather hapless phrase: “I decided not to walk in anyone’s shadow.”  This is the kind of thing human beings revel in as we read poems like Invictus–touting that we are the masters of our own fate. Here you go–we aren’t. And the absence of that ability is not a weakness, but rather, the backbone of our true strength.
 
We require. It’s just true. The formula for ultimate success is not in teaching oneself to gain, but rather, in prospecting and mining the gold that we receive in losing. If little Whitney from Newark had continued to sing praises to God in her church, blessing as many folks as she could without seeking adoration, adulation, wealth–minus the erroneous belief that she was supreme in some way or another, more than likely she would never have ended up with the finance to attain enough of the “booty” in life to swallow her up. I don’t know where we get the idea that just because someone can sing, they are a goddess or a diva. I don’t know what mindset constructs the short list of occupations which we deem worthy of reverence, crowning those who excel in those positions the inhuman status of earthly godliness, and then when the natural pressures of undeserved divinity destroy their humanity, we muse over the remains, wondering how in the hell it happened.
 
Life was not meant to be easy–so any attempt to simplify the process through purchasing power is not only futile, but more often than not, fatal. Life is intricate–and continues to pursue that mission despite all of our attempts to growl, grumble or complain. Why, you may ask? It is that way so we can discover that happiness has nothing to do with how much we have, what has fallen us nor even whom we are with at the moment. Happiness was spoken into being as attainable for all of us in every station of life.
 
 
It is when we become dissatisfied with our financial portion in life that greed robs us of true love. It is when we look at our 24-hour plate of activities and pretend to be overwhelmed that we pursue the shortcuts that take us down the dark alleys. It is when we become malcontents with those God has sent our way, wishing for greater sophistication or a more astute entourage that we lose our equilibrium. Happiness is always found in the next thing that comes our way, relishing who we are, what we have and cleverly in the Spirit, finding a way to do it a little bit better–or at least a trifle differently.
 
Honestly, everything else is born of evil.
 
Am I saying that it’s ridiculous to pursue a wider market or try to improve one’s own status? The road to that particular goal is littered with the bodies of those who failed.
 
I wake up this morning in Houston, thinking about Whitney Houston. I am not going to be on national television this week. I shall not appear on the Grammys this evening. I will not be performing this morning in front of 20,000 breathless, wide-eyed sycophants who know the lyrics to every one of my songs.
 
Thank you, God. I couldn’t handle it.
 
Neither could Whitney. We should forgive her for being human–and we should keep in mind that it just doesn’t profit us much to gain this old world if in the process, we lose sight of our own souls.
 
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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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