Confessing … September 5th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2683)

XVIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

She was married and so was I–but not to each other.

She loved my mind.

I, hers.

We were connected in heart and soul.

From the first day, she sat and listened to my compositions, and I told her I wanted to record them and put them out, while starting my own music group to travel the country, sharing.

She was there.

She signed up.

For eight years, she stayed devoted to the dream as we crossed the nation, appeared on the PTL Club, the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, recorded at Johnny Cash’s studio, and even, in some cities, hit the gospel music charts.

We were close.

She was happy.

I wanted more.

I misinterpreted her consecration and faith in me for romance. I pushed. She pulled back, so I pushed some more.

She didn’t want to lose our friendship and mission, so she would occasionally give in to some awkward situations. Yes, she pretended to be interested.

She wasn’t.

I knew it.

This sometimes made me fussy and mean. We argued.

I turned something spiritual into a carnal nightmare. We never did anything. Honestly, if she had opened up to the boy-girl thing, I probably would have run like a frightened school child. She tried to reason with me.

Then her husband had an affair. She was broken and anguished. They divorced.

But rather than being a friend to her, I was just another source of conflict. She thought about dating, and because we were such good friends she asked me about it, but I discouraged her because of my raging jealousy.

She was so unhappy.But she still stayed as long as she could because she loved the music.

I drove her away–and when she left, she felt like we couldn’t be friends anymore without errupting the volcano of dissatisfaction.

We should have great memories.

We should be contacting each other frequently with updates on our lives.

But you see, I wasn’t happy with mere happiness. I wanted a “more” that I couldn’t explain but still tried to pursue.

I was young, foolish and self-centered.

I am sorry.

I had her full love, deep respect and tremendous honor–and lost it in pursuit of her flesh.

Love isn’t crazy.

I am crazy to have lost a living love … for the prospect of a temporary connection.

 

Confressing red microphone

 

 

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A Wilderness Crying with a Voice… March 12, 2012

(1,451) 

Sunday morning in Tucson, Arizona.

Blessed man that I am, I found myself with the unique opportunity to come before a gathering of good folks and share my heart. Since my platform of communication is a church, I am fully aware that the green pastures are often inhabited by sacred cows. I certainly do not wish to be insensitive, but a certain number of sacred cows need to be butchered. Otherwise we can’t have a good steak dinner.

But which ones? Which notions grounded in social acceptance, which have become part of the general thinking of the American public, need to be spoofed and gently illuminated, to discover more useful awareness?

For me it’s easy. Instead of having a “voice crying in the wilderness” in our generation, we have a wilderness crying with a voice. We have given a megaphone to confusion. We have vacuous, empty-souled people who have been granted the privilege of screaming their frustrations and attitudes on reality shows, with politicians vacant of new ideas attacking their opponents, as religion opts to fuss and fidget over social issues instead of more soulful concerns.

It’s not just that the inmates are in charge of the asylum. It’s more dangerous than that. The inmates have the key to the drug cabinets and are beginning to distribute medication to the masses, in order to intoxicate our country in a dizzying stupor of “who cares?” Spend a few minutes watching television, perusing the news or even listening to the lyrics of many of the songs, and you will understand that the wilderness is crying with a voice. The wilderness, having no boundaries or sensibility of its own, is now claiming the be able to lead a people who are trying to escape bondage. It is the bland leading the bland. What characterizes this wilderness? It consists of a group of people who have:

1. Nothing to be. Everything is up for grabs. Cynicism has replaced faith. Sarcasm is the new humor and pursuing understanding is viewed as a useless step when retaliation and retribution appear to be more satisfying. Over the past week I have heard three different television shows off-handedly make fun of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It was mocked as an archaic concept which never works. If we are not to have empathy towards our fellow-man, then we are going into human relationships demanding acceptance while offering no desire to accomodate. That may be the actual definition of war. And since these people have nothing to be, it lends itself to:

2. Nothing to say. This is why we have so many re-makes, re-dos and re-sharings of old ideas–because when our artists reach into their minds for fresh concepts, the lack of anything to be renders them mute of anything to say. If you want something to say, you’ve got to decide what you’re going to be. And if what you’re going to be is even influenced by the twenty-four-hour news cycle, you will be at the mercy of parroting what the pundits have said. Curiously, once you have nothing to say, you may find yourself with:

3. Nothing to do. America requires an agenda of entertainment, pre-fabricated in some boardroom to inspire the people to perform what they, themselves can no longer muster. When you don’t know what you’re going to be and you don’t know what you’re going to say, how could you possibly know what to do? It so reminds me of liturgy in the church. When you actually isolate the words written by inspired men and women of previous generations, well … they’re magnificent. But when they are spoken in a monotone by those who do not know what to be, say or do, they proceed from the mouth like dust blown in the wind. Interestingly enough, when you have nothing to do, there is:

4. Nothing to believe. I know the common thought is that first we believe and then we do, but actually, in human beings, the nature of our deep beliefs is accessed from actions in our lives which have proven to bear fruit. In other words “that which I have seen and heard, I declare unto you” instead of “that which I have been taught or heard preached.” The wilderness which cries with a voice is peppered with those who do not believe anymore because they have stopped doing, are completely baffled about what to say because they have no idea on who to be. And of course, when you remove a sense of belief, the final step is:

5. Nothing to feel.  And human beings who were created with nerve endings primed and ready to explode with joy are instead dulled into a sleepiness where they are overly fretful, suspicious and eventually numb of understanding.Then we take this status–this dead wilderness and graveyard of human lack of sensation–and proclaim it to be “normal.” After all, isn’t it normal to be uncertain about who you want to be? Isn’t it just logical sometimes to be devoid of things to say? Certainly all of us are bewildered about what to do. Right? And it’s only natural that we should be a bit befuddled on a course of belief. And finally–feeling…well, feelings can be over-rated and certainly over-stated.

So by the time I see a collection of friends on a Sunday morning, they have gone through the gauntlet of listening to an entire week of “the wilderness crying with a voice”: nothing to be, nothing to say, nothing to do, nothing to believe and therefore, nothing to feel.

What’s my job? I start at the bottom nd work my way up.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. For the next forty minutes, let’s dare to feel. In the process of doing that, what will emerge is something that we truly can believe in. Might we take that beleif and simply find one thing to go out and do that resembles the intensity of our faith? And once we have done that thing, let’s take our voices and speak the goodness of our discovery. And having spoken those praise-worthy thoughts, may we allow it to affect what we decide to be from this point forward?”

It’s my job. I just happen to love it.

I don’t resent the wilderness. I just realize that everyone who comes from there and has spent any time in it … feels lost.

************** 

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

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

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.

Lou’s Words… March 11, 2012

(1,450) 

They squeezed us onto the show.

Favors were called in, shuffling of schedule ensued, and the good folks at the Grand Ole’ Opry decided to allow our little up-and-coming group to appear on the show to sing one song. We had just finished recording our new album at the House of Cash (Johnny Cash‘s studio) and our fledgling record company, which had taken a chance on us, making us their first release, was able to wheedle and deedle a slot for us to present one of our tunes on this national platform.

Of course, we were excited beyond words. We rehearsed with a band, since the Opry demands that all music be live, and we prepared for the show. One of the steps of our preparation was to contact a female agent in Nashville, Tennessee, who had expressed some interest in our group and was considering becoming our agent. Her name was Lou. What a tremendous chance this was for us.When we invited her to hear us at the Opry, she said she had already planned to be there and was looking forward to seeing how well we handled the pressure.

The day arrived. I could barely breathe, I was so excited. We rehearsed one more time with our band, picked out the wardrobe we would wear on the show and arrived backstage at the Grand Ole’ Opry, peering like a bunch of tourists at all the country music stars. I met Lou, she gave us encouraging words, and before we knew it, we were being announced to the audience.

As I walked onto the stage, I looked back and saw Lou perched right behind the curtain, ready to take in every single moment. I was thrilled. As soon as we arrived at our microphones, the leader of our band counted off the song and our musicians began to play. But they were apparently equally as nervous as us, and started the song much too fast–what one might call a “Keystone Cop tempo.” Matter of fact, it was so speedy that I wasn’t exactly sure where to leap in. But not wanting to be embarrassed in front of an audience from all over the country, I closed my eyes and took the jump by faith, and by the grace of God must have caught the right note, as my other two cohorts grabbed at my coattails and followed. After that, everything became easier. Matter of fact, as we played the song, other musicians standing backstage waiting to perform came onto the set and joined in–so by the end, the number of back-up musicians had nearly tripled.

It was a great performance. The audience was responsive, pitch was correct and our original song was received with immense enthusiasm. I walked off stage floating on air, which, for a guy my size, demands a lot of emotional helium. There was Lou, beaming at us. She gave us hugs and we escaped back to a side room, where she wanted to talk with us.

I even brought along a special pen, prepared to sign a contract to make this woman our agent–so she could launch us into fame. We got back into a private area, closed the door, and Lou said the magic words. “I want to sign you. You guys are great.”

I think all three of us squealed (of course, mine being the more masculine of the trio). Lou continued, “Now, what I want you to do is give me all the leads for your upcoming dates and all the people you have met as you’ve traveled across the country.”

I was perplexed. You see, I thought Lou was going to come along and place us in situations already organized, so we could simply come in and become famous. She shook her head and explained the system to us. Gently and tenderly, she informed us that an agent merely puts a magnifying glass on the beauty and power of what was already there. Well, since we were just starting, we didn’t know very many people and even fewer knew us. She told us to think it over and get back to her. I’ll never forget her closing words.

“I can take your talent and who you know and get you more for it, but I can’t get you more talent or make you known.”

We never signed with Lou. We were too young, inexperienced, raw and without reputation to give her much to work with. But I never forgot her words–because sometimes I get around people who kneel in prayer, expecting God to become their agent for success, prosperity and a life free of difficulty. When they realize that God has heard their prayer, they are suddenly elated at the potential of being freed of all responsibility. And then they hear the words–really, the same ones that Lou spoke that night backstage at the Grand Ole Opry. Because God says to all of us, “I can take your talent and who you know and get you more for it. But I can’t give you more talent and make you known.”

Any spiritual experience that erodes to mere religion preaches an over-dependence on God’s intervention, rendering us weak and without resource. But true spirituality is when you realize that you have talent that needs multiplying, and that there is a world of people out there to meet–if you’re not afraid of them.That in itself, with the mercy and caring of God, is enough to propel you to sufficiency and beyond.

Lou’s words are no different from God’s. Use the talent you have and don’t be afraid of people, and miraculously, it would seem … doors will open.

************** 

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

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

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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