G-Poppers … April 14th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

Jesus.

What does the name evoke?

G-Pop remembers a time when the mention of Jesus would flood one’s mind with images of mercy, kindness, forgiveness, tolerance and most certainly, love.

But the years have pressed on, and the insanity of religious fanaticism has begun to lump Jesus in with all his errant practitioners and sour-faced sheep.

It may be the greatest tragedy of Good Friday. Not only was he crucified by ignorant rabble, who had memorized scripture but had no Word in their hearts, but he is now re-wounded by those who fail to comprehend that they are imitating the primer of his murderers instead of the mindset of the Master.

G-Pop recalls a phrase Jesus once used: “Except your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Exceed.

Exceed what?

Prayer? No–it can’t be that. Jesus warned his disciples not to advertise their prayer life, but instead, find a closet, shut the door and create intimacy.

Study? Highly unlikely. Jesus accused the Pharisees of parsing every jot and tittle as they “strained at the gnat and swallowed the camel” forgetting the “weightier matters” of God’s message–that being justice and mercy.

Fasting? Once again, both he and his disciples were accused of never fasting, and Jesus told them that if they did, to make sure they literally put on a happy face.

So how did he want his disciples to exceed the religious people around them?

In the humanities.

  • Training themselves to give a damn instead of insisting that they just couldn’t muster the energy.
  • Refusing to judge other people, even though it temporarily makes us feel ooey and goooey with superiority.
  • Realizing that the folks who are considered the least on Earth have the heavenly Father’s eyeball–to see who will come and gently tend to them.

G-Pop points out that as we consider the crucifixion of Christ, we have to ask ourselves, why such a drastic measure? Why kill him?

And the answer is simple. There was a danger that if Jesus lived, or his disciples were still filled with his power and spunk, that religion would not be able to manipulate people into enough guilt to trap them in ceremony–as it robbed their pockets.

“This Jesus, this Jesus, this Jesus must die.”

G-Pop thinks the best tribute we can give to Jesus on this dark day in history is to exceed the Pharisees that walk the Earth today–by using the humor, kindness, gentleness, cleverness and mercy that he taught us to possess.

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G-Poppers … March 25th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop awoke with a whirl of conflicting ideas swirling in his mind, trying to find a landing space in understanding.

Good Friday.

What a joke.

Especially when you consider that the religious fanaticism which killed the Prince of Peace 2,000 years ago is still alive and insane, bombarding the innocent in Brussels.

Why do we kill?

Some people blame firearms. Yet we succeeded very ably in snuffing out human life long before there was gun powder.

Maybe it’s due to intolerance for other cultures and religions. But even in countries where there is no religion and very little culture, they kill off what they consider to be abnormal.

G-Pop decided that the next time he got together with his children, he would tell them that the reason we kill is because we are on a foolish journey to find the “best.”

It’s why Americans murder at a higher rate than Canadians. Canadian children are not taught that they always have to be supreme. American offspring are informed that they must always come off as the best.

There are only three things that can make you the best:

  • Work hard and have some luck
  • Cheat
  • Lie

As you can see, two of the three are quite unacceptable–because after we get tired of working, we decide that deceiving people about our prowess is equally as effective as long as we don’t get caught. Or we may choose to lie about our competitors and cast them into darkness, portraying them as sinister.

It is a screwed up system.

G-Pop wants his children to know that it is a beautiful thing to chase “good” and “better,” but to always leave “best” alone.

So what is good?

Make things and bless things

Not just people–but your car, your job, your garage, and Mother Earth. Make things and bless things. You could stop right there and have a fulfilling life. Making things keeps you busy and blessing things keeps you happy.

If you still have extra time you’d like to fill, consider “better.”

Better is working within yourself. Cease comparing your efforts to others. Stop trying to advertise your fruit. Live your talent within yourself–you being your most intelligent encourager and critic.

To be happy, continue on that path and ignore the best. After all, the best is not decided by you–it is a fickle passing of the torch by fans who think they have found the next fabulous thing.

To ignore the best is to be grateful and content. What is considered the best is beyond our control, and certainly subject to the blowing winds of opinion.

2,000 years ago, people climbed a hill–not so they could see better or take in the view. They did so because something good had come their way–something that brought better ideas–a human being who insisted that those who would follow would do greater things than him.

This made them lethal because they were being threatened … by losing their status as the best.

 

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G-20: Life or Knowledge … April 18, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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tree of lifeRight there in the middle.

It’s hard to miss. It’s not hiding from us.

It’s called life.

And life is where ability, faith and our daily bread of situations merge together.

  • It’s meant to be abundant.
  • It is intended to be fascinating.
  • It is not free of hassle, yet within the struggle is a great learning gift which further enriches our experience.

Anything that deters us from eating of the Tree of Life and gaining strength, wisdom and energy is counter-productive to our humanity and destructive to our character.

So as the story goes, God placed this gift of life right in the middle of all the activity. It wasn’t hidden at all. Like every other possibility in the Garden of Eden, it was “good for food and pleasant to the eyes.”

Yet is was absent of distraction. That particular misleading element was found in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And this tree was useless to our human escapade because knowing what’s evil does not give us the function of improving our situation. After all, since we are not gods and do not control our Olympus, we end up being at the mercy of despair.

God offers one piece of advice to his free-will creatures: having the knowledge of good and evil, which appears to offer elements of being wise, only introduces futility, which makes us exhausted to partake of life in the middle of our existence.

Adam and Even didn’t get it.

They listened to the voices screaming for self-improvement and pursued a knowledge which made them feel they were naked and vacant of the capacity to change their situation for the better.

Though many of my friends and even family members argue with me continually about television shows, movies, books and even blue-tinted comedy routines which offer a view on the bleak side of life, insisting that this is an element of maturity lending itself to greater understanding, I have to shake my head and say that the knowledge of evil does not make me a god.

It makes me a victim.

Jesus told us we should “be as little children.” So anything that comes before my eyes and into my heart which is not suitable for a child of eight years only ends up pointing out to me the deficit in my society, the weakness of my character and the vacancy in my soul.

Just like Eve, we are pressured into believing that we are deprived of experience by a God who refuses to allow us to explore our sensibilities.

But all that Adam and Eve achieved was a weirded-out feeling–that the things they had been participating in and enjoying were now somewhat dirty, nasty and needed to be hidden.

“Why do you think you’re naked?” says God to a frightened Adam.

Who told you and me that it’s “adult” to watch men beating up women? Or solid citizens losing their minds and becoming criminals? Or sexuality being reduced to the mere visualization of humping?

Yet this is what is chosen.

So on that day, whether completely truthful or partially a metaphor, when man and woman chose knowledge over life, two things became evident: (1) we, as a species, have to learn to escape evil to find the good and munch on life; and (2) a plan of salvation to light up the road to that discovery would be necessary.

Yes, Good Friday was a bad thing that happened because human beings thought it was possible to become gods through knowledge.

It is life that makes us powerful.

It is life that welcomes intelligence.

And life is always right there … in the middle of what we’re doing. 

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I’m One of Them … November 26, 2012

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He was very serious.

It was the kind of somber, cranky style that gives me the creeps. Maybe it’s the furrowed brow. It could be the long pauses between sentences to connote deep thought in the process of excavating some powerful piece of truth from a private cavern in his brain. I don’t know. I just don’t like it.

Here’s what he said: “The trouble with people of faith is that they like Christmas more than Good Friday–and unfortunately, our world is geared more to the latter.”

I turned it off. For you see, I was watching another talking head on TV expound upon his particular revelations–to sell a new book. When did smart become so complicated? Why can’t smart be simple? Why do we have to establish our preeminence through the surrender to sullenness?

I said to myself, I’m one of them.

Yes, I am one of those knuckle-headed “people of faith” who’s a sucker for a good baby-in-the-manger story over the mauling of a human being on a cross. Shoot me. Or better yet–cover me in tinsel.

I don’t like Christmas better than Good Friday because I’m stupid and vacant of a world vision. I like Christmas because it’s the only time of the year when we actually focus in on what Jesus really came to do instead of commemorating what he ended up accomplishing. I love Christmas because it tells us that God was smart enough to realize that commandments, voices from mountains, burning bushes, and even prophets were not getting the job done.

The message of Christmas is that God became human because human beings only speak and understand that language.

When I was a blessed man yesterday and had a chance to perform in front of the inspiring Tennesseans at Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church, I could see it in their faces. Written all over their beautiful countenances were the words, “Tell us something good.”

Even though my friend on the TV would probably call them shallow or ill-prepared to handle the tribulations of the world, I truthfully have never seen anyone who’s more prepared for battle simply because they wear armor.

So here we go–into another Christmas season. I’m on my way to North Carolina to tell people, without apology, that Christmas IS better than Good Friday.

And if we will take this season and learn the message of the angels and start spreading a little “peace on earth, good will toward men,” maybe by springtime a few less brothers and sisters … will end up crucified.

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

I’m One of Them … November 26, 2012

(1,711)

He was very serious.

It was the kind of somber, cranky style that gives me the creeps. Maybe it’s the furrowed brow. It could be the long pauses between sentences to connote deep thought in the process of excavating some powerful piece of truth from a private cavern in his brain. I don’t know. I just don’t like it.

Here’s what he said: “The trouble with people of faith is that they like Christmas more than Good Friday–and unfortunately, our world is geared more to the latter.”

I turned it off. For you see, I was watching another talking head on TV expound upon his particular revelations–to sell a new book. When did smart become so complicated? Why can’t smart be simple? Why do we have to establish our preeminence through the surrender to sullenness?

I said to myself, I’m one of them.

Yes, I am one of those knuckle-headed “people of faith” who’s a sucker for a good baby-in-the-manger story over the mauling of a human being on a cross. Shoot me. Or better yet–cover me in tinsel.

I don’t like Christmas better than Good Friday because I’m stupid and vacant of a world vision. I like Christmas because it’s the only time of the year when we actually focus in on what Jesus really came to do instead of commemorating what he ended up accomplishing. I love Christmas because it tells us that God was smart enough to realize that commandments, voices from mountains, burning bushes, and even prophets were not getting the job done.

The message of Christmas is that God became human because human beings only speak and understand that language.

When I was a blessed man yesterday and had a chance to perform in front of the inspiring Tennesseans at Beaver Ridge United Methodist Church, I could see it in their faces. Written all over their beautiful countenances were the words, “Tell us something good.”

Even though my friend on the TV would probably call them shallow or ill-prepared to handle the tribulations of the world, I truthfully have never seen anyone who’s more prepared for battle simply because they wear armor.

So here we go–into another Christmas season. I’m on my way to North Carolina to tell people, without apology, that Christmas IS better than Good Friday.

And if we will take this season and learn the message of the angels and start spreading a little “peace on earth, good will toward men,” maybe by springtime a few less brothers and sisters … will end up crucified.

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

Friday, It Better Be Good… April 6, 2012

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6:41 A.M. I wake up and realize it’s time to take a shower–and in the midst of my thick-headedness, I step into the enclosure and immediately drop the bar of soap, having to bend down and pick it up, which is followed by two identical droppings. Three times–bending down in the shower to pick up my bar of soap. Why can’t I hold on to the slippery little booger?

Meanwhile, Jesus is carted off and then ridiculed in front of King Herod and his court because he refuses to do miracles as parlor tricks for their amusement.

7:21 A.M. I find it difficult to enjoy my breakfast because I only have two strips of turkey bacon. Even though it’s a decision of my own making, I’m a bit aggravated because several days ago I allowed myself four strips. Honestly, four strips would not kill me. It’s just that in the pursuit of trying to lose some weight, I felt it was a simple area to cut back on. It doesn’t feel simple today. It feels like someone stripped me of my bacon.

Simultaneously, Jesus is unceremoniously returned to Pontius Pilate because he failed to gain the approval of King Herod. The religious leaders, lacking footing for their charges, decide to accuse him of sedition against the Roman government in order to gain the attention of the single-minded governor. There is no truth to their statement, but as is often the case with those who have a “political mind,” the mere whiff of impropriety frightens him.

8:30 A.M.  My right knee is sore. It’s sore because I’ve been exercising to try to achieve a status in which my right knee will cease to be sore. So what is the purpose of exercising to make your knee stronger, if in the short run it makes it more sore, which makes you want to exercise less? It may be the true definition of a defeated purpose.

Baffled as to what to do, Pontius Pilate makes a decision to whip Jesus thirty-nine times with a cat-o-nine tails to satisfy the blood-thirsty nature of his enemies, without completely draining the life from his body.

9:51 A.M. I open up my Outlook Express to discover that I have no emails from friends and family today. I do not understand why they forsake me, considering that I am faithful to write them each and every week. Would it kill them to put down a few words or send along some niceties? Or just type in my email address and claim they forgot to include a message? I do not understand why people are the way they are. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I don’t think it’s mean to lack understanding. I think it’s kind of mean to not send an email to somebody as cool as me.

Following typical human logic (which lacks any true merit) the decision on the fate of a young man from Nazareth who preached love and healed the sick is left in the hands of a howling mob which has been paid off to yell the correct phrase: “Crucify him!”

11:32 A.M. I just realized I left two things in the van that I need–and it’s also laundry day. These are in two different directions. It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s just that I’ve reached an age where I like to economize my efforts. Also, I’ve been exercising and my knee is sore. And more walking will just make it sorer, right? So I’m going to take a few moments to figure out how I can lessen my activity without coming across as perniciously unmotivated–and still get the two things out of the car I need and also help out with the laundry. Maybe if I think long enough Janet will get tired of the delay and do it for me.

A night without food. A night without water. A severe beating and numerous verbal and physical attacks. A beam is placed on the back of Jesus of Nazareth as he is commanded to climb up the Via Dolorosa to his position of death. It’s too much. He falls under the weight of the cross. He feels humiliated that he’s unable to man up to the moment. Another is called to bear his load as he stumbles his way to his execution.

12:21 P.M. I open up my cupboard. Lunchtime. And I realize that several days ago I purchased the wrong soup for lunch. I was looking for some sort of chicken soup, but ended up with an anemic chicken noodle that tastes like you hosed down a hen in the coop. Suck.

Jesus is nailed to the cross and in the midst of the initial burst of agonizing pain, he speaks to those who will hear and says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

1:41 P.M.  Jan drank all the diet Coke and all that’s left is diet Sprite. Do you think I’m being picky to be upset about this? There’s plenty of diet Sprite. Of course–because it’s NOT diet Coke. I don’t want diet Sprite, but I don’t want to fight with her about it. That would make me seem small. So I pour myself a cup of water, which I really don’t want, so I don’t have to drink diet Sprite, which would make me mad because she drank all the diet Coke.

At this point, nailed to the cross, having lost nearly a third of his blood, he is plagued by a nagging thirst. With a dry, parched throat, he rasps out to the surrounding guards, “I am thirsty.”

2:22 P.M.  Taking a few moments to check out the television shows available, nothing looks good. There is a Law and Order episode available but I’ve seen it too many times. Daytime talk shows and HBO has its crappiest movies on. So many television shows, so little potential. And all I want is a bit of entertainment to pass the time.

In the midst of the agony of dying, a companion on a cross nearby asks for grace in the upcoming realm of the afterlife. Jesus takes a moment from his own concerns and tells the young fellow that “this day you will be with me in Paradise.”

2:59 P.M.  Television is a bust. It’s not time to do my next project. I’ve already completed my other work. I can’t eat any more because I’ve used up all my calories for mid-day, so I allow myself the grace of becoming bored, which soon leads to believing I’m tired, as I settle down on my pillow and give in to a delicious nap.

Back on the cross, Jesus has lost all energy to lift himself up to gather a breath. His chest is heaving; his muscles are cramping. Right before his heart explodes from all the pressure, he says, “It is finished.” And into the Father’s hands he commends his spirit. He is dead. He is alone.

Epilogue

Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Why? So I can be petty, trivialize important things and search for reasons to be dissatisfied? Maybe someday, because you died with such dignity, I will finally live long enough to learn how to take my cushy, relaxed and privileged life … and make a difference.

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

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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