An Agenda… November 13, 2012

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Everybody has an agenda. That particular statement is considered to be truthful, but also negative.

Yet–don’t we all need an agenda? Is it possible to live an entirely spontaneous existence without having some foundational goals and purposes?

The problem may not be the agenda. The difficulty is often the premise on which the agenda is built. For instance, if you’re trying to communicate to the world that God is love, you must have some sort of explanation for the scriptures in the Bible that darned tootin’ seem to be hateful. If your precept is that God is wrathful, you’d better be prepared to explain away the mercy, gentleness and inclusive spirit of Jesus.

People seemed determined in this day and age to divide into two camps–conservatives and liberals. Would you allow me to sum up the agenda of a conservative? This is what they believe:

“I am trying to remember the very best things of my childhood and then return to them as an adult by making sure that progress does not eliminate the quality of my remembrance.”

How about a liberal?

“I am trying to get what I desire and I feel the best way to do that is by giving everything to everybody so as not to shut out anyone. But to do this, I have to make sure that I don’t scrutinize the end result.”

So you can see, of the two philosophies, it is obvious that the liberal agenda will always win out. It doesn’t make it better or more righteous, it’s just a wider tent which will hold more people. After all, with the conservative agenda, what you and I may have thought were the better parts of our childhood may have been the worst recollections of others. White Americans certainly enjoyed the 1950’s, but if you were black, you might not remember the Eisenhower years quite so favorably.

Likewise, even though the liberals tout the stupidity of Prohibition, they fail to mention the free love, drug culture and excesses of the 1960’s and ’70’s, which left many of our creative artists and young aspiring Americans dead from overdose.

So what is an agenda? Should we have one? Should we join one of these two camps, so we’re not out of the flow?

I guess I have to go back and find God’s agenda. It’s not so difficult to acquire.Here’s what I think: It is not His will that any should perish.

Almost sounds like He’s a liberal, doesn’t it? Matter of fact, if you’re a liberal you might raise a cheer at this point because you’re imagining this expansive force in nature which is all-accepting, all-loving, all-kind and all-receiving.

But there is a closing phrase to that this agenda of God’s: Truly it’s not God’s will that any should perish, but He also wants everyone to come to repentance. Repentance? That almost sounds conservative, doesn’t it?

So let’s put it together: It’s not God’s will that anyone should perish, but He wants everybody to come to repentance.

If I step into a room of conservatives, they want me to be against abortion, against drugs, against gay marriage, against immigration, but for war, for focusing on the family, for traditional values, and completely for capitalism.

If I walk into a meeting of liberals, they want me to be for abortion choice, for the legalization of marijuana, for gay marriage, for animal rights, and against creationism, against religion in the marketplace and against any questioning of scientific research whatsoever.

Can I be truthful? I would be uncomfortable in both settings. I don’t want to see people perish. I love people. But I do not believe that human beings are capable of redemptive thinking without repentance and transformation. I don’t think we plop out of the womb with an understanding of what is best for ourselves, let alone the world. There has to be some sort of salvaging of our souls–otherwise, our more basic animal nature will make us bungle in the jungle.

Here’s the truth–neither the conservatives or the liberals are able to create an agenda that is satisfying, fulfilling and sensitive to humanity. The conservatives close too many doors and the liberals open too many.

So what can we do? There are three things necessary to make sure that the philosophy you select in life does not cause you to run into walls or contradict yourself.

1. Does what I believe generate salvation or perishing? Anything that shuts people out, failing to leave the possibility for rebirth can therefore not be God. Conservatives fail because they see men, women, black, white, moral and immoral instead of giving God the right to judge His own children and simply focusing on their own pursuit of happiness.

2. Anything that kills is anti-human. Drugs kill. Legalizing them will not bring down the death toll. The assumption that human beings have the capability of using anything in temperance is utterly ridiculous. Part of our appeal is our passion–and certainly an attribute of our passion is the danger of excess. By the same token, to be against abortion and allow guns to flow freely into our society is a contradiction in spirit.

3. Change makes us happy. As long as you have the mindset that change is the enemy, and the more we keep things the same, trying to make everybody comfortable in their present skin, the less effective you will actually end up being in helping others. Everybody has a need to repent. I will grant you that it is their journey and their requirement to find that problem, but to act as if we’re all fine the way we are is to rob human beings of the capacity to get better.

If you enact these three principles, you can come up with an agenda that is close to the heart of God.

But you will NOT find yourself being either a conservative or a liberal.

Each group will believe, from time to time, that you are part of them–because one of their ideas falls into agreement with one of the three statements above. But each group, from time to time, will consider you an enemy, because you have to disagree with something cherished by  them.

Agenda–it can be a good thing if it is based on the facts of human beings instead of the nostalgia of our youth and the wishy washiness of our own desires.

Now, I understand that this essay may not be one of your favorites as far as having humor, stories and clever twists and turns. But every once in a while, you have to buy tires for your car or it becomes very insignificant that you have an engine. And every once in a while, it is essential in jonathots that we find a way to roll in our live so what we mobilize will actually find God’s favor … instead of His opposition.

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

Super Wednesday … March 7, 2012

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The economy. Gas prices. Iran. Abortion. Israel. Illegal immigration. Gay marriage. Afghanistan. Oil and energy. And apparently, for some reason … female contraception.

These are the issues that are touted, screamed and proclaimed from the podiums by candidates–both Republican and Democrat–in preparation for choosing a President in this country. It perpetuated last night in what they call Super Tuesday, which is actually just a clump of states deciding to hold their primaries on the same date, thus dangling an array of delegates in front of the candidates.

Honestly, my dear sweet friends, you can spend all of your time trying to make decisions on the issues of the day, and it becomes useless if you don’t first have an understanding of those folks who will be implementing the plans. In other words, as a father I can perch in my home and have a wonderful idea on how to remodel the house–even lay out the plans and buy all the supplies, and come to the dinner table with my family, only to discover that my three children at the table who are available to me to assist in the labor are five, three and two years old.

Yes, as Jesus so pertinently phrased it, to have a marketplace that is populated by children is the formula for the absence of productivity and the possibility of disaster. Where most folks think that the problems that face us are the real difficulty in our nation and the Republicans and Democrats stomp and stump against each other for bargaining position, none of them have stepped forward to understand that our country has gradually lost its vision, and therefore may be in danger of vacating its purpose.

I think motivation demands two definitive steps: (1) addressing; (2) blessing. If we are not able to address the heart, soul, mind and strength of the citizens of this great country, offering both encouragement and needed correction, we will not be able to execute a unified plan that will generate the blessing we desire.

We need leaders who understand that America has a heart–an emotional thrust, if you will. That heart has been clouded by nearly two generations of pounding with the acceptability of deceit, meanness and lies. Yes–from our political leaders to our spiritual ones to our reality television stars, we cajole the American people into believing that some amount of lying is necessary, and that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is the human rate of exchange. Therefore, the American people, fearing being involved in ill-founded deals and having their eyes gouged out, have retreated to their families, shut their doors and are hiding away. If anyone would be a leader, let him share from his or her own heart, transparency. It’s really not that painful, especially when you realize that in this super-age of information, all of your sins will find you out anyway. Let me give you a clue, Republicans and Democrats. Just as you don’t show up to a gun battle with a knife, you also don’t step into the public arena unless you’ve plugged up your holes of insecurity. We desperately need leaders who will set an example by telling the truth as much as possible, rejecting meanness and refusing to be involved in retaliation. Without this, the heart of the people will be darkened and therefore their decisions will be based upon fear instead of love.

Next, we need leaders who will comprehend that spirituality is not gloating over our religion nor the maintenance of traditions, but rather, the discovery of the image of God. You may feel free to seek out saints, angels, demons or ghosts, but the supernatural will not solve our natural world’s difficulties. This is why God intelligently placed His image in human beings–so that we would have something to study, love, appreciate and accept during our earthly journey. Spirituality is NOT seeking God–spirituality is finding His image in each other. Leaders who will teach us to do so–making everything heavenly have an earthly application–will actually march us to the throne of God Himself. A nation that protects religion leaves its people in darkness. A nation which believes that true religion is dealing kindly with each other–with vulnerability–will find God.

If you will allow me to continue, any great leader must also stimulate the intelligence of his or her people. And intelligence is a very simple concept. It is not merely learning–learning is memorization which can be easily forgotten. Intelligence is learning and then coming to the knowledge of the truth by finding an immediate, practical way to apply what we’ve been taught. We need individuals to step forward who do not believe that science, God, medicine, intellect, art and knowledge are at war with one another.

God is a scientist–look at creation. God is a philosopher–study the words of Jesus and how they apply to our lives. God is a poet–listen to the rhyme and reason of the universe–rejuvenating, challenging and restoring itself.

And speaking of restoring ourselves, it might be nice to have someone in a high office in this land who promotes health. And health is a well-sharpened, two-edged sword: spending equal time treating those who are ill while energizing the rest to prevent illness. It is taking the knowledge of the truth we have discovered in our intelligence and transfusing that wisdom into our physical lives.

Today is Super Wednesday. It is time to shed the gamesmanship and folly of Super Tuesday and a system that fails to give us the impetus to move forward.

  • It is time to address the heart of our nation. We must become transparent in order to teach transparency. Truth begets truth as lying begets lies. If we address that heart, the by-product will be the blessing of trusting each other’s word again.
  • We must address the spirituality of our country, which has regressed to a mere form of godliness, wrapped in a tattered cloak of religion, instead of appreciating the image of God personified in human beings. If we actually show mercy to each other, we will receive the blessing of obtaining mercy.
  • The season has arrived to address the intelligence of the United States, asking people to do more than read and study, but also to garner valuable truth from their perusing–truth that can lead them to greater understanding. The blessing will be that we can finally abandon intellect that lacks humanity.
  • And finally, it’s time to address the health given as a blessing to all of us. Rather than arguing over insurance premiums, let us find ways to understand the human body that God has so meticulously created–and end up with the blessing of being free from conflict and disease instead of being frightened by every pain.

Welcome to Super Wednesday, where we believe, pursue and pray for leadership that ceases to focus on the problems, but instead, addresses in the populace the waning motivation of gaining the blessing of a work force which arrives early to address these difficulties that beset us–but with a fresh heart that is transparent, a spirituality that is sensitive to human beings, intelligence that wants to apply knowledge and a healthiness that is seeking prevention over just treatment.

We can do this. All we have to do is stop pretending that the old ways actually work, and allow ourselves the opportunity to address our confusion, which will open the door to the potential of blessing.

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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

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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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