G-Poppers … July 13th, 2018

G-Pop loves his children.

Of course, most folks claim they do. Even that lady in the courtroom who “offed her young’uns” insisted she adored the little tykes.

Love is the delicate balance between affection and correction. And who has ever found the balance? Some people are too affectionate–other people are just hard-asses.

How can you tell the truth in love?

G-Pop wants you to know that the world is segregating itself into clumps of misunderstanding.

For instance, over here on the right you’ve got the “He” crowd–“He” meaning God:

God is everything.

God is good.

Yet … God seems indifferent about the plight of children killed in war. (But that’s because we don’t understand His will.)

God, who is supposed to make us happy often leaves us sad, failing to return our messages.

So escaping “He,” we become…

Well, “you.”

I find myself having to contend with–you. After all, you have such great potential. If you would just listen to me, you would become amazingly fruitful, but you persist in your own ideas when you know that mine are proven better.

So you, who could be a companion to me, suddenly become a problem.

Conversations with you. I become convinced things are going to be better, and then you just end up being you.

Worse than that, many “yous” become “them” which is closely associated with “they.”

This is not an issue of prejudice or racism. These “yous,” who have clustered together in regions, have generated a serious predicament.

Maybe it’s skin color–but not exclusively.

Maybe it’s their customs.

But certainly, at the heart of it, they just aren’t quite as good and certainly not as adequate.

They need to be set apart.

Let’s not get mean about it. (Matter of fact, if we can get them to think it’s their idea to promote their own flag, their own skin tone or their own religion…)

Just keep them away.

I guess the only true way this can be achieved is for us to become a “we.”

We’re just so damn cute. We’re clever, we’re creative, we’re concerned about the world. We hold meetings and share ideas, relating with one another.

We are not animals.

We are not part of the ignorant masses who support foolishness.

We have culture.

We even have a mission statement.

Shoot–all we need is a song. Yes, a rallying tune to make it clear where “they” end and “we” begin.

So as the world drags on with devotion to “He,” criticism of “you,” bigotry about “them” and the self-righteousness of “we”, G-Pop notes that something needs to emerge that speaks the truth with love.

It is “I.”

But it is “i” in the lower case. It is an “i” that has not yet arrived.

And the tiny “i” is a way to signify that we understand that we’re empowered, but have not yet capitalized on all of our possibilities.

“i” am the beginning and the end of the significance of my life.

When “i” look to “we, them, you or He,” “i” drain energy from my existence–leaving a huge hole in my soul.

What do “i” need to do?

A. “i” need to repent of my fear of being wrong.

B. “i” need to make that repentance as joyous and as full of good cheer as possible, so “i” won’t resent doing it.

C. “i” need to focus on my work instead of trying to live off the efforts of others.

D. And “i” need to be humble.

G-Pop loves his children–enough to tell them the truth with affection.

G-Pop is an “i.”

He is an “i” who’s working everyday on trying to dot himself.

 

 

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Good News and Better News… December 19th, 2016

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good-news-jon-birthday

 

“Jesus was born to die.”

That’s what the preacher said.

He seemed pretty sure of it, too, because he kept repeating it over and over again during his “sermonic” pursuit.

I listened carefully. Here was the premise for the assertion–the best I understood it:

God, who created the universe, decided on His own, from the foundation of the world, that He would save the human race (which was not yet placed in the Garden of Eden) from their sinful nature, which they had not yet manifested.

It seems that since God made these creatures called humans, He placed within them a self-destruct switch, which is triggered and causes them to pull up lame, inept and basically evil.

So God put Himself in charge of them and each of their destinies, plotting their lives, and moved them about like fleshy chess pieces, understanding that in the long run, the end result of the game would be “checkmate.” In other words, they would need a Savior, and such an individual would have to come to the world as one of them, but be secretly enhanced with the dynamic advantage of knowing that his preaching, healing, conversations, or even established relationships were basically doomed, and that ultimately, his purpose for arriving on the planet was to slowly bleed out on a cross and die for the irreconcilable imperfections of humankind.

Although there are many scriptures from this God which inform us that He completely disapproved of animal sacrifice and found it gross, we are led to believe that He ignored those sentiments and killed a human being to prove that His initial idea of “original sin” was correct.

We are to ignore the birth of this son named Jesus in deference to his death.

We are to consider his teachings, but understand that basically, because of our faulted and feeble frame, we are incapable of living out his ideas.

Motivation to aspire, dream and grow is removed from us because basically without this “saving plasma,” we are completely lost and without remedy.

We are never to look on the cross as something that happened to Jesus, but rather, for some mysterious reason, something that Jesus caused to happen.

Even though we tout that human beings have free will, we quietly negate such a notion in favor of destiny, God’s will and a pre-formed path for each and every human unit.

Then we stand back and wonder why these human beings that were created seem vacant of expressing passion or goodness, but are constantly weeping over their failures in an attempt to be worthy of their salvation, and therefore feel a need, to some degree, to constantly re-start their appreciation for the blood atonement.

We just can’t wait to get the baby to the cross.

We have a lapse in our theology because we do not understand that God, being God, is completely able to give us choice while simultaneously having insight on where things might be going.

We do it with our own children. We have fears and apprehensions that they will struggle in certain areas, but we never take away the opportunity for them to surprise us. In other words, a disobedient five-year-old who breaks a lamp and giggles about it is not immediately sent to jail.

No, we give him another chance.

So during this blessed season, I wanted to offer a counter-view to this preacher who was so positive that Baby Jesus is just a prop on the way to Calvary.

For here’s the good news. It’s found in John 3:16:

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”

But the better news is in the next verse, where it’s made clear why Jesus came. It states:

“God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world.”

 

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Populie: It Must Be God’s Will … April 16, 2014

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imageIt needs to be popular so as to create a market. The lie is added to sustain interest past credibility.

A POPULIE.

And one of the most infamous populie is the destiny-driven notion that “it must be God’s will.”

  • Politics applauds the assertion because it provides a scapegoat for failed policies.
  • Religion pursues the concept, believing that a certain amount of mysticism is necessary to dazzle the faithful.
  • And entertainment joins the bandwagon because it provides the sense of destiny that keeps false hope alive and also removes personal responsibility.

But on this Easter week, it is very clear to me that God, who created humans and placed them in a Garden where free will was intact, also found His son, Jesus, in a Garden, expressing his own free will.

 “Let this cup pass from me.”

In other words, “I don’t want to die.”

I think we misunderstand his closing thought: “Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.”

You might think that Jesus was submitting to a master plan of crucifixion for salvation. But actually, he was referring to the truth that God’s will is always to give human beings their free will. And at that point in history, the will of the religious elite was to kill Jesus of Nazareth.

Understanding that we are mere mortals contemplating the intellect of the heavens, I will freely admit to you that it is possible for an all-knowing God to have insights and leanings beyond my comprehension. But the opinion that a script has been written for everyone’s life, and we are merely showing up to hit the marks is absolutely ridiculous.

The facts are, God’s will seems to be accomplished more often when people give a damn about each other, and His alleged will seems more clouded and elusive during seasons of self-centered insanity.

God has a way. It is expressed in Nature.

God has grace. It is allotted to the humble.

But the will of Earth is determined in the actions of its inhabitants.

We become more sane when we realize that our sanity is essential.

Politics breeds false promises. Religion begets unnatural hope. And entertainment teases us into believing in happy endings, achieved without happy beginnings.

Let’s stop blaming God. Matter of fact, let’s stop blaming anyone and realize that the earth has a simple mantra:

What you sow you will reap.

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G-7: Move or Stay… January 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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allergyIt is not healthy to remain in an unhealthy situation.

This might seem an obvious assertion, unless you consider that people have a tendency to do what is “normal” instead of what is beneficial.

We just get used to stuff. Then we convince ourselves that it’s meant to be, God’s will, our lot, a cross to bear, or even worse, a mission field.

Keep in mind, you have a certain amount of energy. It is a daily gift which should be used wisely–because honestly, it can’t be conserved. You can’t save up Tuesday’s passion for a Thursday adventure.

So we have to be careful to be in surroundings that move us. And if we’re not moved, then we need to move.  Staying is not an option.

How do you know?

1. Is there a hunger and thirst for life? If you’re surrounded by an atmosphere of negativity, despair and complaining, it’s going to be very difficult to forge a future. Even if they’re your relatives, it doesn’t change the level of obnoxious.

2. Is there change in the air? Human beings are either evolving or they’re going extinct. It’s just the natural order. If there isn’t a sense of wonder about innovation, you will start settling for things instead of choosing them.

3. Is there enough heart around you to be touched? There are individuals who think it’s adult to remain aloof and free of emotion. I will agree that too much sensitivity becomes annoying. But if a climate of your choosing does not have people in it who are capable of being touched in the heart, then you have to depend on them to be spiritual. Human beings are not naturally spiritual. Or you’re expecting on them to be smart all the time. (I don’t think I have to even speak to that.) The ability to be emotionally impacted is a sign of mental health.

4. And finally, is there still an abiding faith? Listen to the next five things the people around you say. Is there anything positive in them? Of course, we can all get aggravated and turn dark in our mood, but generally speaking, if the next five things said don’t have love and encouragement, you have found yourself in a dark cave where light is considered an intrusion.

Of course, you can continue to stay in bleak environs and try to be “this little light of mine.” But remember–there’s a reason people have chosen the path of despair, and they won’t be satisfied until you despair along with them.

The most important decision you will make in your life is where to invest your ching.

And if you stay where there is no movement, you will eventually be forbidden to move those who stay.

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WE are the US of OUR Lives… May 27, 2013

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 America is not a population–it is a collision.

Yes, it is a fender-bender, accidental conglomeration of people who have ended up in the same place, searching for similar freedoms.

Our churches are not congregations. They are configurations–the makeshift, last-minute gathering of a collage of human beings who often disagree with each other but are bound by what we hope and pray is a common purpose. Our disunity and differences are what challenge us to stay together and keep working, to ferret out similarities.

We spend way too much time trying to find perfect circumstances. We even arrogantly proclaim that we’re on a quest to find a “soul mate.” Life is not a Disney cartoon. It’s not the story of a chambermaid who is secretly a princess who finds herself “slippering” her way into marrying Prince Charming.

It usually consists of two folks who hang around each other long enough that the spark of lust ignites passion one evening. Then they spend time figuring out how to take that initial encounter and turn it into domestication.

What’s wrong with that? Why does everything have to be so antiseptic? Let us be honest. One of the most obnoxious thing about human beings is when they believe they have found God’s will or they have knowledge that exceeds others.

What I saw yesterday in Mabank, Texas, was a mish-mash of humanity which decided to stay together with each other instead of becoming picky and bratty–praying for better converts. Now THAT just might be the definition of God’s will.

We ARE the “us” of our lives.

  • I don’t always agree with my children, but they are my children.
  • I don’t always get along with my friends, but they are my friends.
  • I don’t always concur with strangers, but there’s really nothing strange about them at all, is there?
  • And the United States of America is always at its best when we include all the “we’s” and embrace them as “us” to create “our.” In the process, we collect some weirdos, freaks and people who think they’re extraordinarily normal, who end up being more odd than they thought.

But we do not express the love of God by giving up on anyone. We do not become a better organization by shunning members. And we never, ever discover the beauty of heaven by finding weakness in our fellow humans and displaying it for mockery.

I give great tribute to the people of Mabank. Even though they live in a small town and might be tempted to be snooty and fussy, they’ve decided to pursue the greatest depths of true spirituality, which is: don’t give up on folks just because right now you think they’re ugly.

So on this Memorial Day, as we celebrate our nation and the sacrifice of those who have gone before, let us not forget the power of this idea: the energy of our faith is that we constantly challenge our own prejudices.

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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.

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Dwelling… April 17, 2012

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A house for comfort.

A habitat for happiness.

A resting place for relaxation.

A spot within a cubicle placed strategically in a world not our own, where we can rejuvenate, regroup and rediscover.

It’s a good thing, right? Yes, I would have to agree that under normal conditions, finding a sanctuary of sabbatical for the purpose of sanity is sumptuous. Yes, it actually brings flavor to our lives, cools the brain off from over-heating, takes the soul off simmer and the emoting from emotions. But something I discovered recently was a bit of a shock to my system, while being a great revelation to my spirit. A dwelling can also be an escape from the reality encouraging us towards excellence.

I woke up this morning after having journeyed to Los Angeles, California, on my tour. I was tired. Over the weekend, I had driven nearly 450 miles–from Tucson, Arizona, to San Diego–set up my equipment, did a show, picked up a few hours of sleep and found myself back on the road, pointing to LA.

Before me was a task. We needed to go out and purchase food supplies for the week–a simple endeavor. But my weary body was not only reluctant, but resentful over such an energetic undertaking. I almost decided to go into my “comfortable, happy and relaxed” mode, putting off this responsibility until later. It would have felt good–I mean, it would have been comfortable, made me happy and certainly promoted relaxation. It was a dwelling place where my mind wanted to go in sympathy to my body.

I almost did it. But then I realized that when inevitable things are avoided in the moment of their best application, the season we select to be involved in is rarely as fruitful. Bluntly, life comes with opportunity when it’s needed–and putting it off leaves us with the arduous pursuit but often with less reward. For example, by midday it would have been hotter, more crowded at the store, and we would have a room lacking provisions. My dwelling place of comfort, happiness and relaxation was robbing me of my potential. I realized then and there that what we are comfortable with–or even what brings us happiness and relaxes us–can often be just a cop-out from getting what we truly need and deserve. A dwelling place can be a trap if it has no way of letting in the light, windows for fresh air and doors to escape when we require further expansion.

For after all, there are three things that want to settle into each of our souls and find dwelling:

(1) Prejudice. Of course, we don’t call it prejudice. Each one of us refers to our own personal prejudice as “experience.” Nonetheless, any idea that disincludes other people from having their own liberty is prejudice.

(2) We are often happy with our own insecurity.

  •  “I don’t want to go to that party–I don’t know anyone.”
  • “I don’t want to get a new job. You have to fill out all those applications and meet all those new people.”
  • “I don’t feel well, but I sure don’t want to go to the doctor. They give me the creeps.” 

Each one of us can be happy in our own insecurities, never realizing that these fears are keeping us from our better selves.

(3) And unfortunately, we can become very relaxed with failure. Here’s a definition: Failure is settling back into a position because we’re tired of trying. Failure is an old friend who makes an agreement to not criticize us if we won’t criticize him. Attempting to do new things and improve life for ourselves can be quite exhausting but to become relaxed with our failure, assuming that it’s our lot–or even worse, God’s will–is a dwelling place which becomes a cave, absent of light.

It was a good morning. I went to the store and overcame my prejudice, insecurity and failure. To do that, for a moment I had to relinquish my comfort, jeopardize my happiness and certainly give up my relaxation. The end result was that I got what I needed, I have what I want and my new dwelling place is the confidence in my soul that when choices are given to me–to remain the same or to improve my plight–I am capable of choosing righteously.

Beware of dwelling places that keep the air stale and the confines enclosed. They may make you comfortable, happy and even relaxed, but ultimately, a dwelling place can just become a prison.

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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.

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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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