Good News and Better News… August 7th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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It is truly amazing how God’s plan for my life works so much better when I make good decisions.

Maybe that’s because God, who gave every human being free will, does not “plan our life.” Instead, he offers wisdom, strength and grace to those who remain humble. I see this every single day of my time on Earth.

Some people are waiting for God to do what He’s already done.

Others take what God has done and go out and do something with it.

I was a blessed man to be granted the opportunity to share at the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Palm Harbor, Florida. I ran across people who were thinking about making good decisions.

One fellow candidly told me that when he walked in and saw that there were guest ministers, he wanted to walk right back out. But he decided to sit down –n a grumpy sort of way–and ended up being thrilled with his choice.

Another fellow was recovering from stomach problems and decided to come in spite of them, and departed exhilarated.

I ran across person after person who explained to me that the facts set before them did not necessarily warrant optimism or faith, but they chose to rearrange circumstances to their better advantage.

Jesus never criticized anyone for showing initiative to change his or her life. In our religion we often connote that too much ambition, or even an overload of passion, is detrimental to Godly humility. In the process, many of those who darken the door of the church are plagued by insecurity.

I am a human who truly has been granted a great opportunity of possibility–I get to go and share my thoughts, my songs, my words and my good cheer, with the aspiration of inspiring others. Did God plan for me to do this? He certainly is grateful for my efforts–and I, for His mission.

The good news is that we have been given the tools, the opportunity and the potential to make fruitful lives.

The better news is that our Father in heaven, from a position of support, is admiring our growth.

 

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What Do I Want? … April 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2216)

What do I want JonathanAs I scanned the congregation yesterday morning at Highland Hope United Methodist Church, looking into the varied countenances of those attending, I was reminded of a question posed to me two nights earlier by a young man after my concert. He was a precocious fellow with a bit of edge, but a curiosity that was born of purity rather than guile.

He asked me, “Mr. Cring, what is it you want?”

In other words, if I actually had a say in the matter, what is it I would like to see happen in the spiritual, social, cultural and maybe even political climate of our country?

People who pursue good cheer

Good cheer that leads to truth

Truth sensitive to humans

Humans searching for hope

Hope grounded in reality

Reality that uses talent

Talent which grows

Growth moving towards mercy

Mercy that believes in change

Change that births better people

Yes, I would love to see a church that has followers of Jesus instead of merely observers of the after-effects of the doctrine of blood atonement.

Jesonian: excited about the announcement that Jesus still has good ideas.

 

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It’s Only a Number … February 27, 2012

(1437)
 

Intelligence is allowed to be born when we stop complaining, which allows us to start learning, and in the process we gain some contentment free of complacency.  Likewise, growth can be measured when the knowledge we have applied in everyday life becomes wisdom. We gain stature and viability because of our contributions, therefore showing that we have favor with God and man, able to mix the spiritual and the practical at will. This culminates in progress. Purity in heart grants us honest emotion as we begin to hunger and thirst for spirituality instead of merely tolerating it, which sets in motion the renewing of our minds—to challenge outdated ideas as we move towards better health.

I gave you ten items over the past few days which will add up to our I.G.P.—intelligence, growth and progress.

Did you score yourselves? I took the time to do a very general evaluation on the United States of America as I see it through my travels. You, of course, know this is very unscientific and is based on present dealings and not what my hope is for this great nation. That said, let me tell you what I came up with:

1. Under stop complaining, I gave the U.S. a 4. There are still a few souls out there who understand the danger of constant dissatisfaction, but we seem to have a generation—or even two—who have accepted frustration as part of life instead of labeling it “complaining.” 

2. In evaluating whether the country has started learning, I gave it a 6. I believe our nation is susceptible to “mob mentality” and the daily whim of the news cycle. But I must give us credit for escaping the lunacy pretty quickly and moving away from too many insane ideas.

3. Concerning being content but not complacent, I had to give us a 3. The general air of discontent permeates the atmosphere in this country, but rather than stimulating us to change, it tends to cause us to huddle in smaller and smaller units of complacency.

4. Wisdom—5. That seemed safe.

5. Stature—7. I think we’re still respected in the world—unless we decide to start taking on everybody and blowing them up.

6. But in the category of favor with God and man I gave us a 2. Even though we try to pass off arrogance as confidence, the human family on earth knows the difference. For a while, our country needs to stop the boasting and quietly deliver the goods.

Then there’s progress:

7. Pure of heart—I’m sorry. I gave us a 1. We still believe it is necessity to lie and cover-up.

8. Hungering and thirsting for spirituality? How about a 3? But it’s a 3 with a bullet. I am encouraged, however, that the number will be going up.

9. On renewing our minds I gave us a 4. I think there may be the beginnings of understanding that the best way to avoid horrible results is to stop making the same mistakes.

10. And finally, a move towards health — 5. I just sat in front of a McDonald’s restaurant and saw them advertise the calories for an Egg McMuffin. It’s not perfect, but at least we’re thinking.

Total score for America? 40 out of 100.

But that number is useless to you unless I give you a chart and explain where that number lies in the spectrum of possibilities. So here it is:

Chart

 

81 to 100 = Excellent path.

The test confirms what you’ve already discovered to be true. Intelligence breeds growth, which procreates the offspring of progress.

61 to 80=On your way.

You probably have one area that is holding you back. Identify it. Then fine tune your direction and focus on that area—first to comprehend it and then to access a good idea.

 41 to 60=Hapless.

Somewhat undecided about the value of your own input to control your results. You may be a bit overly dependent on circumstances to grant you opportunity. Still, you normally choose life over despair in your daily pursuits.

 21 to 40=Floundering.

Lacking a vision for what specific goals are worthy of your consideration, you tend to find yourself struggling to choose between fads and chasing majority opinion instead of isolating off what is truly important to you.

 Below 20=Don’t be alarmed.

Just understand that many of your choices are being directed by insecurity instead of determination. Start with your heart, move to your soul, refresh your mind and gird up your strength.

Well, there you go. This is just for entertainment and consideration and nothing more.  However, anything that will help us access our intelligence to promote growth so that we can revel in progress is well worth a good look-see.

By the way, my number was 76.

 

**************
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.

So What’s the Score? … February 26, 2012

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It’s impossible to initiate progress if you haven’t welcomed the ingredients and attitudes that produce growth. Growth, on the other hand, seems futile if it isn’t motivated by a revelation of intelligence. At least that’s the way I see it.
 
So what I’m going to give you today are ten elements that you can evaluate for yourself–and then be audacious enough to apply them to the world around you, giving each attribute a 0-10 score: 0 if you see none of it presently coming to be and 10 if you find that this particular idea is in full bloom.
 
Let’s start with intelligence. To contemplate if intelligence is truly being given an opportunity to do its good work, the first thing you have to consider is:
1. Stop complaining. Yes, it is virtually impossible to receive new information when you’re presently in rebellion to the circumstances and environment in which you have found yourself. Complaining is what stops the brain from receiving fresh insight and instead, forces us to fall back on attitudes which have proven to be insufficient. (Grade 0-10)
2. Start learning. All learning begins with considering instead of rejecting. If your beliefs are causing you to close out the entrance of knowledge that might expand your general intelligence, then your precepts are not really beliefs at all, but instead, a stone wall you’ve built around your brain. As you can also see, learning cannot begin until complaining stops. (Insert your grade, 0-10)
3. Be content but not complacent. Contentment is a rest stop on the road to discovery. Complacency is building a barn and storing up what we have so far, assuming it’s enough. We must be content, but turning that into a lack of activity is to stymie ourselves in an ignorance which eventually lends itself to stupidity. (0-10)
 
As you can see, the top score for intelligence would be 30.
 
Next is growth. The first area where we see the signs of growth is:
1. The appearance of wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is knowledge that has been accepted as real, which we have begun to apply to our everyday lives. You can tell when someone is becoming wise when what they believe shows up in their actions. (0-10)
2. Stature. Stature is the cloak of blessing that falls upon us in both our physical and spiritual beings that confirms our message by exposing all hypocrisy and making our lives accessible to others instead of a huge mystery. All of us have to be honest–if something is truly helping us grow, that particular spurt of growth will show up in our entire beings, from head to toe. (0-10)
3. We suddenly find ourselves in favor with God and man. There is no real evidence of growth in the human family without the joining of heaven and earth. We know that we’re beginning to expand when that which is spiritual in our lives is not at war with that which we have discovered to be practical. Likewise, we stand back in awe when we discover that the practical things in life have always had spiritual implications. (0-10)
Once again, high score here–30. 
 
This leads us to the final category–progress. This one has four parts. How can we determine that the human race (which, by the way, includes us) is making progress:
1. Pure in heart. The more emotionally transparent we are willing to be with the world around us, the healthier we will feel and the more we will progress. Without this, we live a shadowy existence of lies, constantly in fear of being discovered for who we really are. (0-10)
2. Hungering and thirsting for spirituality. One of the main proofs of progress in the human family is an appetite for spiritual things that is not merely worship in the abstract, but applied in everyday choices. That is why I use “hunger and thirst”–basic human passions–for describing the quest for understanding our more eternal side. You will be able to tell when the world both around you and inside you is making progress when you see a legitimate appetite–hungering and thirsting for spiritual things. (0-10)
3. Renew the mind. We make progress as people when we never make up our minds. I know that in politics they call it “flip-flopping.” In religion they refer to it as heresy. But there is really no need to make up your mind–because the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and we all are in the process of having our brains renewed with data that is not yet programmed inside our processor.  That’s why I am very careful nowadays to preface my ideas with this phrase: “… from what I know …” I am aware that one of the true signs of progress is that my mind will be renewed. (Once again, keep up with your 0-10)
4. And finally, you can determine the true progress of a human life by a decision to move towards health. The debate should not be about whether cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are legal or permissible. When we finally start making progress, we will ask the question, “Does it make us healthier?” It’s what I’m going through in my life right now. I really don’t overeat anymore, but I once did, which built up fat supplies in my body which resist eviction. So I have to reconsider all of my eating styles to find the most healthy possibility. If I don’t, I won’t make progress. (0-10)
 
As you can see, the high score for intelligence is 30, likewise, growth is also 30 and progress is 40, giving us a grand total of 100. Add up your own score–and go ahead and do it for the world around you, if you so wish. I will do so myself, and also share with you–as humbly as I possibly can–where I feel our country is in the matters of intelligence, growth and progress, based upon these categories I shared with you today.
 
I will give you my I.G.P. number tomorrow and then we all can start moving towards the excellence we so require.
 
Happy tallying!
 
**************
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.

Are We Supposed to Do Better? … February 25, 2012

(1435)
 
“By grace you are saved through faith.”
“Do your best.”
“Be yourself.”
 
Behold … verbal marijuana. Yes, these are statements that tend to turn people who could be highly motivated, productive, intuitive and fruitful into folks lounging around letting life pass them by, relying on outside forces to determine the quality of their existence.
 
You can certainly understand how the statements listed above have slipped into the lingo. All of us get weary of trying–especially when those efforts are not greeted with some immediate evidence of success. The action of “trying” very quickly does become trying to our psyche and feelings.
 
It begins as early as elementary school. We are introduced to a grading system–A,B,C,D and F.  Unfortunately, that means of evaluation does not carry over to real adult life. There may be individuals who are C and D plumbers, waitresses, doctors or lawyers–but in the world of competition, they are quickly eliminated. Here’s the truth of the matter–if you’re not an A or a B in something, you will probably end up being an F. There are no C and D positions garnering you the peace of mind, prosperity and placement you desire in the human family. We actually allow students to go through the entire educational process learning very little, squeaking by with C’s and D’s, graduating and entering a marketplace where unless the find a niche where they can do A or B work, they will end up F-ired. It is a ludicrous application of capitalism.
 
You cannot propagate a system which advocates excellence while drugging the participants on the downers of “grace” and “self-esteem.” Let’s just blend the two because they are equally as harmful to human sensibility. Therefore, let us dub it “grace-esteem.” My definition of grace-esteem is: “God loves me in my inadequacy and if you’re really a nice person, you will love me in my clumsiness, too.”
 
Unfortunately, whether I love you or even God loves you does not secure you a position or placement in the workings of earth.  We need to be valuable. In order to be valuable, we must find something in our lives that we can do at an A or B quality–or prepare ourselves for a failing grade. I suppose there are folks who will read this and think it is too harsh–though privately they, themselves, pursue the tennets and objectives of the concept. I just don’t think there’s anything more cruel than telling somebody they can continue to fail and everything will be all right. It isn’t like people don’t know they’re in trouble. It’s not like they’re unaware of the absence of evidence for their claims of adequacy. But we play this big charade of acceptance, when everybody is actually fully cognizant that without the pursuit of excellence, we all fall short of our own personal image.
 
So religion and society join together here to form “grace-esteem,” which renders the public high on the notion of inclusion, but when the stupor wears off, folks are stuck being less than what they really want to be. It’s not so much that we refuse to accept someone in his or her present condition. It’s more that in a land of democracy and capitalism, we are all competing to promote the philosophy by seeking out better ways. Herein lie the difficulties:
 
  • Grace-esteem robs the human emotions of a sense of being welcome.
  • Grace-esteem steals away from the spirit the adventure of asking, seeking and knocking.
  • Grace-esteem blocks the renewing of the mind, trapping us in our genetic pre-dispositions and provincial upbringing.
  • And grace-esteem causes us to pull our heads into the turtle shell, ignoring our physical inadequacies and failing to evolve.
So what are humans supposed to do to maintain a balance of sanity along with the pursuit of the best?
 
1. Don’t evaluate anything but today. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or what you’re attempting to accomplish. Make sure your determination of your intelligence, growth and progress (the I.G.P) is based upon this 24-hour period. Don’t look back and don’t project into the future.
2. Don’t be ashamed of what you can’t . This is merely a classroom to find your A+ work. Since God is no respecter of persons, everybody has an ability and an apptitude to do something at an A-student quality that will provide them purpose and wage. That also means that all of us have things we do that make us look stupid along the way.
3. Don’t become medicated over the jargon of a society that instructs in the “beauty of equality” while extoling those who go the second mile. America is a trickster. The nation appears to be sympathetic to lesser fellows while regaling the champions who go for the gold.
 
Don’t allow yourself to be sucked up into grace-esteem, because for every verse of the Bible that tells us that we are “saved by grace,” there are three that inform us that we will give an account of every deed at the Day of Judgment. And for every soft-spoken motivational teacher who tells you that “you’re fine the way you are,” there are a thousand friends, relatives and co-workers cheering for you to do much better.
 
You cannot create a generation of healthy human beings by whispering in their ear that “they’re just fine.” You also cannot generate a horde of nervous ninnies who are afraid to do any work because they might fail. The balance lies in knowing that “if God loves me, there is something I can do and do so well that I don’t have to apologize for the work or who I am, and I can hold my head high as I complete my task, take my money and live a good life.”
 
Are we supposed to do better? Yes–because without improvement, we deteriorate. We are no different than the apple on the tree. Connected to the branch, we are nourished, but after we fall to earth, there is a season when we are ripe and ready, and if we are not used in that space of time, we rot and become an annoyance. If our country is going to improve its I.G.P.–intelligence, growth and progress–we will have to cease to intoxicate the populace with false dreams of self-worth and value, bestowed simply by birth.
 
In closing:  “I become valuable as I value my life and find things of value within myself that I can accomplish–to bring greater value to the brotherhood of man.”  That’s how simple it is.
 
So we’ve had our three question.
 
How about tomorrow we give a grade card on the present I.G.P.?
 
 
**************
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.

I.G.P. … February 22, 2012

(1432)
 
Clarity–it always makes things so clear, don’t you think? Like standing next to a lake and being able to see the bottom. True or false, you do have the sensation that you could stick a straw in and drink until your belly’s full, without fear.
 
Then there are those times that the waters get muddied. Honestly, I’ve gone to various bodies of water and have been invited to swim and because it was so murky, I had no desire to go in and add new silt to my already ongoing collection on my skin. I was told by all the residents that the water just LOOKED ugly–it was really very clean. But I don’t know how you can have a sense of cleanliness without clarity.
 
It’s what I’ve been feeling lately as I gaze across our blessed nation. My discoveries have led me to a conclusion–the I.G.P. meter. I for intelligence, G for growth and P for progress. Very simply, it’s a way of measuring what human beings do and how we should evaluate ourselves in grading our present status. Are we becoming more intelligent? Are we growing away from our stupidities and into deeper understanding–emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically? Are we making legitimate progress towards acceptance and forgiveness and away from blood feuds and dogma?
 
Good questions, don’t you think? And as you look into the waters of humanity, you have to see that they are muddied by all sorts of chunks of gunk–so large that you can literally pick them up with your hands and remove them if you have the heart to do so. But I don’t think we can continue to judge our fate–or our value–based on our history, our potential or our sense of entitlement. It just doesn’t make any difference if the founding fathers believed something unless what they believed can be transferred into our world, and you and I can find a way to keep the golden parts alive in our generation, passing it along faithfully to the next one.
 
No wonder we’ve returned to a “Marvel Comics” mentality, where we’re constantly seeking superheroes to confirm our real desire, since our passions are requiring more from us than we seem to be willing to give. What are the chunks of gunk? What are the things that are robbing us of clarity and the ability to see for ourselves what the next things need to be to advance our species? What stands in our way? Because even though we tout that the human race is powerful, anointed with special grace, and that each one of us supposedly is unique and without duplication, when we actually do sit down to discuss our future, or even our present plans, a sense of dismay and fatalism seeps into the conference room. Even when we make movies about the future of the world, they are always bleak, filled with violence and destruction.
 
If we feel so positive about ourselves, why is there so much negative energy? If we’re so certain that “no child should be left behind,” why are all the children being left in the dark from the responsibility of perfecting their talents? Why do we remove art and music from our schools and then insist that art and music are an essential part of our culture–blessings that inspire our nation to greater discovery?
 
I don’t think it’s so much an issue of hypocrisy as it is that the waters have been muddied for so long that everyone thinks they should look the way they do. Not so.
 
I would like to take a couple of days to talk about this. I considered sharing it in one jonathots, but I don’t want to pile up a bunch of concepts that end up being applauded for the merit of writing but abandoned because of complexity. So for today, let’s just deal with this–it is important that we take an I.G.P test for our country. Where is our intelligence? What is going on with our growth? And how are we making progress?
 
For the sake of simplicity (basically, for my own personal use), I have boiled it down to three questions. Finding the answer to these questions will help us both discover the present I.G.P. and also create the clarity that could set us off in more positive pursuits. Are you ready to get rid of some chunks of gunk? It will purify the waters. It’ll make you want to swim and drink again. Right now nobody wants to jump into any endeavor for fear of being tainted by the filth. But if we could remove some of these chunks of gunk, we could yell confidently, “Everybody in the pool!”
 
I will do the first question tomorrow–and I’ll even do you one better. I’ll tell you what it is:
 
Are human beings basically bad?
 
**************
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.

Here You Adapt–November 12, 2011

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If  you believe in your dream strongly enough, it will come true.

I’ve heard that for so many years. Of course, this statement is not factual. The reason we have stories on the news about people achieving their dreams is because it’s a rarety. It’s the same reason lottery winners end up with their picture in the paper. If everybody was fulfilling their dreams or winning the lottery, there wouldn’t be enough space in the media to cover the stories.

So is there a power to a positive attitude? I would have to ask you what you mean by a positive attitude. If you are referring to a tenacious presence in your thinking, causing you to pursue one particular line of success fervently, then I would have to say no. If by positive attitude you mean taking the benefits of thankful thinking and finding a place to begin with your abilities and make a start of things, knowing that any semblance of being able to do what you dream would be fantastic–then I would say yes.

It’s what Jesus meant by the mustard seed. Once we adopt thankful thinking, we have the clarity of mind to actually segment off our heart’s desire and begin to pursue it with an available avenue. It is the mustard seed. It is the tiniest of seeds, which does not necessarily represent the vision we have for our ultimate goal, but is the seedling of what we desire to be.

When I finally discovered that I wanted to be a writer, I didn’t contact Random House and ask them if they were interested. Why? Because Random House wants to make money, not promote unknown authors. I realized that the time and energy I would expend trying to impress them with my prowess with the pen would be wasted–because their bottom line would scream disapproval over taking on such a literal unknown quantity. Since I wanted to be a writer, what I did was to start writing–paragraphs, song lyrics (which turned into actual songs), little booklets which I passed along to people with some of my ideas–any chance I got to plant my mustard seed of passion about writing I pursued with great perseverance and energy.

Because my emotions were clean and I knew the rudiments of what I possessed, and was granted a thankful brain, I therefore was not afraid to begin small and plant my mustard seed in the ground–daily presenting evidence of what I ultimately wanted to accomplish.

If you think someone else is going to come along and make your dream come true because they possess the connections, money or vision for your project, you not only will end up disappointed, but very often duped by charlatans.

Thankful thinking promotes a positive attitude that causes us to be willing to plant our mustard seed of a dream into life and give it a chance to grow. Do I think it would be better for me to be on television than traveling to churches, sharing my heart? No–because this is my mustard seed. And if I do it well enough where I am, then very possibly I will be given chances to do it more.

If I had become famous at nineteen years of age when I finished writing my first book, my popularity would have lasted six months to a year and by age twenty-one I would have been a has-been. But because I had thankful thinking, I was able to plant my mustard seed, and now, forty-one years later, I have a flourishing work which journeys me all over the country, sharing and granting me tens of thousands of readers for my daily column. It has also given me four decades of blessing, rejoicing and being with beautiful people instead of being a flash in the pan. My mustard seed has grown.

It’s because I was not ashamed to take what I had and with a thankful mind, go out and do something that imitated the ultimate success I desired. If you’re waiting for life to afford you opportunity, you will never find the opportunity already afforded you by life.

Do you want to start a business? Plant your mustard seed. Go out and discover if your product actually sells, face-to-face, with the public. Do you want to be a singer? Go to a nursing home or to a homeless shelter and see if anyone is moved by your voice. Do you want to be a farmer? Start a small garden before you purchase twenty acres of land. Do you want to play sports? Toss the ball around with your neighbors until their abilities no longer challenge you and you’re ready to move to the next level.

I have a friend who wanted to start a business cleaning houses. He did not go out and line up twenty or thirty clients and then develop the ability to conduct his affairs in a professional manner. Instead, he started out by cleaning a couple of houses–including mine–to take in a little bit of money, finding out if he enjoyed it and could discover a way to do it in excellence. He now has more customers than he can handle. His mustard seed has grown.

When your emotions betray you because they are not clean, which causes you to take a poor inventory of what you’ve got, making you mentally ungrateful, you may end up thinking you’re better than what you are because you haven’t planted your mustard seed–you’ve just insisted on being recognized.

  • Clean your emotions. (Here you go)
  • Find out what you really possess. (Here you got)
  • Renew your mind with thankful thinking. (Here you adopt)
  • And begin doing what you desire to achieve–in a mustard seed way. (Here you adapt)

I am a blessed man because I did not sit around waiting for people to make me famous. I realized that the best way to be famous was to leave behind an audience which was impacted by my message. I do it every week.

You will not see me on network television, but by the grace of God, because I have planted my mustard seed, I am still everywhere. I wish the same for you. It is the definition of a positive attitude:

I will adapt my dreams by taking my mustard seed and planting it in the earth that surrounds me instead of demanding opportunities beyond me.

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

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

 

Jonathan sings “Let”

 

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

 

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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