Good News and Better News… August 7th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3392)

It is truly amazing how God’s plan for my life works so much better when I make good decisions.

Maybe that’s because God, who gave every human being free will, does not “plan our life.” Instead, he offers wisdom, strength and grace to those who remain humble. I see this every single day of my time on Earth.

Some people are waiting for God to do what He’s already done.

Others take what God has done and go out and do something with it.

I was a blessed man to be granted the opportunity to share at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Palm Harbor, Florida. I ran across people who were thinking about making good decisions.

One fellow candidly told me that when he walked in and saw that there were guest ministers, he wanted to walk right back out. But he decided to sit down –n a grumpy sort of way–and ended up being thrilled with his choice.

Another fellow was recovering from stomach problems and decided to come in spite of them, and departed exhilarated.

I ran across person after person who explained to me that the facts set before them did not necessarily warrant optimism or faith, but they chose to rearrange circumstances to their better advantage.

Jesus never criticized anyone for showing initiative to change his or her life. In our religion we often connote that too much ambition, or even an overload of passion, is detrimental to Godly humility. In the process, many of those who darken the door of the church are plagued by insecurity.

I am a human who truly has been granted a great opportunity of possibility–I get to go and share my thoughts, my songs, my words and my good cheer, with the aspiration of inspiring others. Did God plan for me to do this? He certainly is grateful for my efforts–and I, for His mission.

The good news is that we have been given the tools, the opportunity and the potential to make fruitful lives.

The better news is that our Father in heaven, from a position of support, is admiring our growth.

 

Donate Button

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

 

Advertisements

Jesonian… April 1st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3263)

jesonian-cover-amazon

Unconditional love.

The phrase has been so overused that now it is tossed off as a given.

It is a symbol of tolerance, a byline for acceptance; a teary-eyed sentiment conveying that we are truly embraced by affection.

If by unconditional love you mean verifying and legitimizing everything people do, then absolutely not. But if by unconditional love you mean a decision to stay with people and continue to be supportive, even though they are struggling or having problems, then assuredly.

But the definition is a slippery banana peel which needs to be clarified. It takes seven verses from the Good Book in Matthew the 16th Chapter to do so. These define what unconditional love is from the perspective of Jesus, who came to show us the attitudes and mind of the Father in Heaven.

In the 16th verse of that 16th Chapter in Matthew, Peter has a brilliant moment. When asked by Jesus, “Who do you think I am?” he quickly replies, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”

Jesus steps right into him with praise–and not only praise, but offers the status of a new name, and says that because of his great answer, he will be given more authority.

But just a few verses further, when Jesus is explaining to the disciples where the Jerusalem experience might lead, and that he will be killed by the Jewish elders and leaders, Peter rebukes him. I don’t know–maybe the disciple was high on his own praise–but he says that Jesus is mistaken–nothing like that could happen.

Under the popular concept of unconditional love, we would expect Jesus to say, “That’s all right, Peter. It is a bit difficult to comprehend. But hang in there–you’ll eventually get the idea.”

Under the umbrella of unconditional love, we would not expect, Jesus to call him Satan simply because he didn’t understand what was going on. But that’s exactly what Jesus does.

Because even though it says that “God so loved the world because he gave his only begotten son,” everlasting life is contingent upon us accepting that gift.

We are told that we are saved, but we are also warned that we will have to endure to the end to receive the realization.

The definition of unconditional love from the aspect of the Jesonian is as follows:

“I will love you enough to tell you the truth, because the truth will make you free–and only when you’re free do you really learn to love.”

When you remove the truth from love, what you have is flattery. It may feel the same, but it lacks the veracity to sustain us through the hard times, where our weaknesses will obviously be exposed.

To love someone is to tell him or her the truth. The truth grants the individual the ability to be free of the humiliation of being exposed. And once absent fear, a freedom to love is unleashed.

I am afraid that people who accept unconditional love as a guarantee that they will never be challenged will never truly learn to love.

  • Jesus loved Peter enough to praise him–when it was the truth.
  • He loved him enough to call him Satan when that also was the truth.
  • And even though Peter denied Jesus, Jesus never denied Peter.

Get your definition of unconditional love correct and then you can implement it:

“I love you enough to tell you the truth, so you can be free to learn to love.”

 

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

Good News and Better News … October 3rd, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3083) 

 

good-news-frankenmuthUnderrated:

The cheese on a pizza.

Sliding on a pair of socks which just came out of the dryer.

A plate of nachos when you’re really, really hungry.

An evening of television without politics.

The Frankenmuth United Methodist Church.

Yes, to the outside observer, the congregation meeting in Frankenmuth seems to be a small, middle-America United Methodist Church. As a society, we’ve nearly given up on such institutions.

I totally disagree.

From the minute I stepped in the door and met Pastor Scott, with his warm, inviting, gentle ways, to when I walked out to climb in my van, I was awarded the opportunity to be in the presence of untapped miracles.

By no means am I trying to tell you that the emotional environment of the Frankenmuth United Methodist Church is suited to the taste of the common person. To him or her it would still reek of religion and provincial thinking.good-news-frankdnmuth-sign

But the potential is there to do great things for mankind. What is missing?

Joy.

Joy is the unity of confidence and gratitude: A confidence based on the fact that we feel valuable, and a gratitude because we know a bit about our own unworthiness.

  • Too much confidence appears to be arrogance.
  • Too much gratitude creates a timid soul.

How do we generate joy?

Joy is when our “face shows our place.”

In other words, it bubbles out. Peter, in the Epistle, declared it “a joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

The folks in Frankenmuth still believe that their “Father, which art in Heaven” is a hard-ass. It’s just difficult to look at Him as “Daddy” when you find His demands unrelenting.

It causes them to be cautious–more fearful than appreciative–and it makes them reluctant to invite others to church because they’re pretty sure their friends would be unimpressed.

The good news is, if the Frankenmuth United Methodist Church would allow for more emotion in their worship experience, they would begin to realize why they meet together.

The better news is: when they are more certain of the reasons for their gathering, others will want to gather around their reasons.

 

Donate Button

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

The Alphabet of Us: Z is for Zeal… June 1st, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2599)

building block Z

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

“Be careful.”

I think it’s safe to say that all parents mouth that sentiment at least a thousand times to their child from birth to high school graduation.

It’s sound advice if it’s defined correctly and backed up with suitable examples. What we’re really trying to tell our offspring is to be smart.

But sometimes it’s not smart to tread carefully.A greater danger sneaks into the picture, creating a fuzzy outlook on life. Because careful can easily become cautious.

The difference between careful and cautious is that careful is a profile to be ready for trouble and cautious is a decision to look for it.

Ultimately, caution tends to lead the over-protected soul into a pathway of suspicion. And of course, when you think that everything or everyone is out to get you, you not only miss out on many blessings, but eventually something or someone does get you–merely to mock your defenses.

Here is the truth of the matter–human beings cannot live without passion. Even if we become passionate about being suspicious, we are still engaging ourselves in an active profile.

So without abandoning the position of being careful, how can we unleash the energy of our faith and talent into the world around us?

Zeal.

  • “I am ready.”
  • “I am not hesitant.”
  • “I am not fearful.”
  • “I also am not stupid.”
  • “I’m ready to believe that something good can come my way.”

Without zeal, we become encumbered by conspiracy theories and absorb the available doom and gloom in the room.

As careful leads to cautious, zeal opens the door to zealous. Matter of fact, the Good Book tells us to be zealously affected by a good thing. Zealous is when we take our “ready” status, select a favored cause and become excited.

I’m not completely sure what the Father in heaven dislikes, but I will tell you–He is deeply enthralled with human beings who are excited.

Zealous contains two important parts:

1. “I believe it’s possible for something good to happen.”

2. “I believe I’ve found it.”

Zealous is the opposite of cautious.

It is walking into a room knowing that you’ll be looking for a light switch instead of cursing the darkness. This culminates in the word “zealot.”

It is most unfortunate that this word has such negative ramifications. Actually, a zealot is someone who is committed and has become excited because he or she is ready for something good to happen.

We can’t live our lives like pre-teen girls who see a small spider in the corner of the bedroom and spend the rest of the night believing that hairy-legged varmints are crawling all over them.

Zeal makes us ready to be zealous, excited about possibilities, which gives us the opportunity to become committed zealots–chasing down a miracle that will change our world.

Donate Button

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

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

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

$3.99 plus $2.00 S & H

$3.99 plus $2.00 S & H

Buy Now Button

 

Jesonian: 19 Things Jesus Did Specifically Say… March 1, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2518)

Jesus Portrait big

1.  Love your neighbor as yourself

2.  Don’t judge or you will be judged

3.  Not everyone who cries “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom.

4.  Be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect

5.  When you do what is asked of you, call yourself unproductive

6.  What you do to the least of these you have done to me

7.  To he who much is given much is expected

8.  Go the second mile

9.  I have not come to destroy the world

10.  Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more

11.  Before Abraham was, I am

12.  My family is anyone who does the will of my Father

13.  I have come to fulfill the Law

14.  Turn the other cheek

15.  Count the cost

16.  Your faith has made you whole

17.  A man leaves his mother, a woman her home and the two shall be one flesh

18.  The kingdom of God is within you

19.  Whoever offends one of these little ones, it would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he would be drowned in the sea

Donate Button

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

click above for information on 567!

click above for information on 567!

Boiler plate 

Ascension Attention… September 27, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2019)

Peter PanSome things certainly “captain my hook” while others never “tinker my bell.”

Thus is life in these United States.

So this morning when I looked at my calendar and realized I would be performing tonight at Ascension Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio, I got to thinking about the word “ascension.”

Obviously, it means “to ascend.” But in reference to the Good Book, it specifically puts a spotlight on a day when Jesus “lifted off” from the earth and headed back to heaven–right in front of the peepers of his best friends.

Now you see, the ascension doesn’t turn me on nearly as much as the resurrection–not because I believe giving new life to a broken, crucified body is more POSSIBLE than levitating into the ethos. It’s more that … I don’t really care.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of those who maintain their spirituality without question, I will tell you there are stories in the Good Book I really like and others I kind of ignore.

I am not alone here.

After all, the folks who get upset about abortion and gay people have certainly failed to peruse the rest of the texts that tell us “not to judge” and to “do unto others.”

But there is one part of that ascension story that I do find inspiring and entertaining. Shall I refer to it as “an angel with an attitude?”

Generally, when angels appear on earth to do the beckoning of the Father in heaven, they often show up with a bit of chip on the shoulder and some sardonic wit. These angelic visitors have been known to strike people blind and deaf due to human disbelief, satirically ask women who have come to a grave to add their spice to the burial “why they seek the living among the dead,” and at the ascension of Jesus into heaven, it is recorded that an angel, a bit peeved, asked the gawking disciples, “Men of Galilee, why are you staring at the heavens?”

The logical answer was that this was their first time to see somebody float skyward. Rather impressive. A guarantee of first place on America’s Got Talent (unless there was a country singer who lost his leg in Afghanistan and saved his dog’s life from a burning shack while supporting his mother by digging out horse crap from a stable…)

But it is a good question–one I suspect I will pose to the audience at Ascension tonight.

“Why are we staring at the heavens?”

After all, the other alternative–which most people select–is to stare at the ground.

But there is a lifestyle somewhere between the ethereal and depression. It’s the ability to live an honest and truthful existence, enabling you to look straight ahead, preferably right in the eyes of your brothers and sisters.

I have no intention of being downcast. But I also do not want to be upcast when there are people who need help, love, encouragement and challenge.

So why are we staring at the heavens? It’s because, deep in our hearts, we’ve given up on Earth and we think the solution must come from divine intervention.

Too bad.

So call me Peter Pan–but I still believe that we can do better…and fly higher.

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

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

Finding a Message in a World aTwitter: Act III – Resolution… December 13, 2012

(1,727)

Jon Signing

I started my hunt.

I was looking for fellow-people who shared my message–and also for the possibility of some sort of divine order in the universe sympathetic to my cause.

  • I spent a few minutes with Buddha. He offered me Nirvana, a state of nothingness, when I was yearning for abundant life.
  • Moses had commandments, but was unclear about the payoff. He also insisted on being referred to as a “Chosen People.”
  • Mohammed had too much of his father, Abraham, in him. What I mean is, he was more interested in building a great nation to encompass the world with his message than he was in making kinder people.
  • Hindi had too many gods. Honestly, sometimes one is enough, if not too much.
  • Philosophy seemed to focus on one point in a spectrum of potential–I guess, more or less to sell a book or create temporary controversy.

And then an amazing thing happened. I found a brook within a stream of humanity that seemed to grasp the concept that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

“All men are created equal.”

“With malice toward none and charity toward all…”

“People  should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.”

Jefferson, Lincolnand King–a plantation owner, a lawyer and a preacher. All three came to the same conclusion as mine. I was onto something. They shared only one thing in common–they had come to America to escape injustice. So this is why I am proud to be an American. At least in our field of activity, the seed of commonality has been sown, even though we permit weeds to prosper. I have brothers and I have sisters. My message has forefathers, contemporaries and even the promise of a future generation of proclaimers.

So then I searched for a God. Why, you may ask? Why not just relish the message? Because on dark nights, when our mission is being battered by critics, we need the fellowship of other human beings and the confirmation that somewhere in the heavens we are being supported.

I found Jesus. Although he is hampered by much religious fussiness and tied to too many failing causes, at the heart of his message is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Pretty close, huh? Almost “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

He also said that God is our Father. If that is true, it usually means that a father doesn’t have favorite children. Jesus gave me a God who doesn’t think that some of His seed is better than others. There you go.

So even though I would not call myself a conventional Christian, I am a follower of Jesus and a believer in my Father who art in heaven. When people try to get religious with me, I go back to my message. When people deny my message, I go to another village.

I will end my life that way–because I know if some people are better than other people, then most certainly, beyond a doubt, there is no God.

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

%d bloggers like this: