Good News and Better News… December 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus is a lifestyle.

Every time we try to focus on the “Christ” of his Earth journey and turn him into a religion, it seems clunky, fabricated, forced, unreal and nearly irrational.

It’s similar to when we try to make George Washington appear to be a statesman. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were rebels. They were revolutionaries. They actually found it difficult to stop their struggle and create a government.

The early disciples had the same problem when it came to Jesus.

Jesus taught them how to have abundant life, good cheer, tolerance, an expansive talent base and generosity. He did not instruct them to maintain the integrity of Judaism with the purpose of including the Old Testament.

So every time we try to present a Judeo-Christian image, we lose the lifestyle of Jesus–which is the essence of the Gospel.

Our church services today have more of Catholicism in them than Nazareth.

So let’s look at it from the aspect of definitions:

Religion: an attempt to find God in ancient scrolls, mysticism and tradition, feeling that these sacraments are the divine path to reach the Creator.

Church: a system we have set up within this religious thinking, to define our style of worship, welcoming a contingency of people who are comfortable within the format.

Christian: a doctrine that has been established which includes the teachings of Jesus, but focuses equally on the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, to formulate a plan of salvation based upon the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah.

Then we have Jesonian.

Jesonian is a return to the simplicity of the lifestyle of Jesus, who told us that his “ways were easy and his burden was light,” and that the purpose for pursuing his values was to “find rest for your soul.”

So the religious system permeating our society today is a core belief in the atonement of Christ on the cross, the folklore of Judaism, mingled with Catholicism, punctuated with Anglo-Saxon traditions and peppered with American patriotism.

It is not the lifestyle of Jesus.

It lacks the personal responsibility, the joy, the freedom and the experimentation that he promoted as he walked among humanity.

The good news is that Jesus wants to keep things simple and easy.

The better news is that human beings are much more productive and happy when things are simple and easy.

 

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Deposit Yourself … February 7, 2013

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Bank of AmericaWithin the common folklore and tales of the life and times of Jonathan Richard Cring is the notion that I hate banks.

It probably sprang from my early years, when I was so poor that when I walked into one of these institutions, I always felt like everyone in the room knew that I was “weighed by my balance” and found wanting. Over the years I have moderated my feelings and generally speaking, I am fine to go to the drive-through window and put money in without too much fear possessing my soul.

Such was my mission yesterday. Arriving there, I discovered that two lanes were open at the drive-through, one labeled “commercial accounts only,” and the other  for us plebeians. In the lesser lane was a white mini van, which pulled in just in front of me. The driver reached for the magical tube, to begin the transaction. It was a woman. I pulled behind her (since I was not a “commercial account” customer).

And then it happened. As it turns out, she took the tube–not to place her deposit neatly inside, for a quick transaction–but instead to acquire a deposit ticket from the teller, which she would retrieve and sit in her minivan and make out her deposit while I waited behind her.

This is one of my pet peeves.

I thought about changing over to the commercial transaction lane. But you see, that’s where we get in trouble. We get frustrated with our present circumstances, caused by someone breaking the rules, we decide to break the rules ourselves. Then we either get caught doing it or we frustrate somebody else, who comes in, observing us breaking the rules.

I realized I had two choices. I could sit there, staring at her rear end intensely, with its “Baby On Board” bumper sticker (I assume a personal confession to her emotional status).  If I did this, I would discover that fifteen seconds would seem like ten minutes. In no time at all I would be convinced I had sat there for half an hour and would reach for my horn, to blare at the surrounding world, only to receive the edification of the lady’s middle finger.

My second choice was to turn off my engine, totally ignore the situation and do something I was planning to do after I left the bank–out-of-order from my Things to Do Today list. But after all, those little notes I jotted down for myself, to give guidance for my day, aren’t exactly the Ten Commandments.

So I turned off my engine, grabbed a book nearby that I was supposed to peruse, and became deeply engrossed in reviewing the material. So involved was I that upon finishing about eight pages, I looked up and the van had disappeared. The lane was open for my entrance.

As I started my van, from my rear came the honking of a horn. Somebody behind me had selected Choice 1.

I just laughed. “I know how you feel, fella,” I said as I rolled forward to make my deposit.

Here’s the truth–I can’t change the world. Let me go further. I can’t improve the world. What I can do is find a way to make my journey as pleasant, free of tension and forgiving as possible. In doing so, it will appear that the world directly around me has changed. If I can get several friends to join me in that quest, we can generate buffer “safe zones,” where other humans can come and not feel that they need to make excuses, lie, cheat and become angry.

This may be the best we can do. Each one of needs to deposit ourselves in an environment of our own creation, where we select to be who we want to be–no matter how frustrating the circumstances become.

Turn off your engine. Grab a book. And ignore all “babies on board.” This, too, will pass.

Then all you have to deal with … is the terror of going to the bank.

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

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