Tabling the Talk … March 16, 2012

 

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Martin wasn’t sure whether he had died or was just experiencing a dream brought on by consuming an extra-large pizza from Fatty Joey’s with pineapple, green olives and extra anchovies. Whatever it was, it happened in a quaint coffee shop. (“Quaint” used to mean a comfortable sense of being homey–but now has been demoted and refers to anything perceived as sub-standard.)

In the rear of the coffee shop was a booth with a person sitting, back to Martin, waiting. Well, at least, in this particular vision, he felt this individual was waiting for him. So he strolled back, looking around and found himself staring into the face of a beautiful woman–long blond hair, youthful, voluptuous, and quite engaging.

She reached out her hand and said, “Hello, there. I’m God.”

Martin demonstrated a bit of trepidation over the introduction, so the woman laughed at his reaction.

“What?” She-God asked. “You didn’t think I would be a woman? Do you have a problem with that?”

Martin mused for a moment and replied, “No. Not that you’re a woman. I’m just a little afraid for myself–that I’ll end up staring at your legs.”

The feminine Divinity replied, “Would you like this better?”

Suddenly, before his eyes, “she” transformed into a “he,” now resembling the forty-eight-year old son of the pairing of Danny DeVito and Margaret Thatcher. “Is this better?”

Martin slid down into the booth and said, “Well, at least no danger of lust.”

God continued. “What is it you want, Martin?”

Martin was prepared for the question–because Martin spent much of his time contemplating what he wanted. The unfortunate by-product of that process was that he was often discontented and fretful about what he didn’t have. “I want to be rich.”

“Good,” said God. “What are you presently doing with your money?”

“I don’t have any money,” Martin replied.

“Oops,” said God. “We  just started lying. You have money–you just don’t think it’s enough, so you kind of pinch your pennies until they scream at you. Is that about right?”

“I would do better if I had more, ” said Martin.

God smiled. “That’s what everybody thinks. But actually, human beings don’t do any more with much than they’ve already done with less. So what else do you want?”

Martin paused, partially because he wasn’t sure what to bring up next, and also a bit stung by his first request being dismissed in such a cavalier way. “Okay,” said Martin. “I want to be famous.”

“How do you bless those who already know you?” God asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” said God, “I would assume you would want to use your fame to make the world a better place, so I was wondering how you are making the world a better place for the people you already know, before I put millions of people at your mercy.”

“Forget that,” said Martin. “I just want to be more attractive. If I were more attractive, I could probably handle getting the fame on my own.”

God squinted and then queried, “Have you ever thought about bathing and combing your hair?”

“What!?” Martin replied, deeply offended.

“No, don’t get me wrong,” God said, “I am not suggesting you are absent of hygiene. Just how wonderful it feels to be cleansed and straightened up. Makes us all feel more attractive, don’t you think?”

Martin sighed. “Okay, Mr. Picky. You probably won’t have any trouble with this one. I would just like to live a full, long life.”

“Well, let me ask you a question,” God said. “Why do you get so tired?”

“Well,” said Martin, “I guess I get tired because I’m getting older.”

“I see.” God massaged His chin. “So you think you could live a long life without getting older?”

Martin was perturbed. “Are you just here to annoy me?” he asked. “What’s wrong with being rich, famous, attractive and given longevity?”

God fired right back. “Why don’t you want to be creative, generous, loving and funny? These are actually preferable.”

Martin scooted forward, with a burst of sudden confidence. “Listen, Mr. Almighty. If I lived a long time and was very attractive, had fame and great riches, don’t you see? Then I would have time and resource to BE creative, generous, loving and funny.” Martin leaned back in the booth, satisfied that he had scored a point.

God sat quietly, took a sip of His coffee, and said nothing. Martin smirked. “So I gotcha, right? I have made a case which you can’t respond to.”

“I can respond,” said God. “It’s just that you won’t like it.”

“Well, I haven’t liked anything you’ve said so far, so why should that stop you now?” said Martin nastily.

God took a deep breath and began. “Riches make you worried and selfish. Fame makes you defensive. Being attractive makes you insecure because you never know why people truly do love you. And living a long time just increases the number of days you have to be with yourself. They are all curses unless they are enhanced by you being creative, generous, loving and funny.”

God paused for a moment and then concluded, “I’ve enjoyed our talk. I was wondering if you would mind picking up the check on the coffee, and I also ate one of the crullers. I don’t have my wallet with me.” Martin nodded. Part of him knew that God was right, even though he was a little surprised that the King of Kings stuck him with the check. 

A bit of whirling of the head, some achiness of the body, and Martin found himself awakening his own bed–it had all been an apparition of the night. He belched, revisiting a bit of fishy pineapple from the previous evening’s escapades. He rose from his bed, took a shower, combed his hair and started down the stairs, whistling a tune from an old Dave Clark Five record that just popped into his memory.

He was off to begin a new day … wanting nothing.

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Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

If You Knew … January 26, 2012

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From Miami, Florida

 

If you knew taking a ten-minute walk every day would lengthen your life by five years, would you do it?

If you knew the person of your greatest affection was truly the very best you ever could have done, would you decide to be more appreciative of their presence?

If you knew that pickled beets, when eaten with Brussel sprouts, promoted longevity, would you adjust your palate accordingly?

If you knew there was basically no difference between men and women except a couple of obvious physical ones, would you reject society’s bigotry, or continue to join in the misguided laughter and fantasy?

If you knew your religion was incorrect and through some miracle, were given the true revelation, which ended up being from another religion’s hearth and home, would you change your affiliation to gain greater insight?

If you knew your car was being made in a foreign country at the expense of people who were suffering under the management of the manufacturer, would you switch to another vehicle to make a stand against tyranny?

If you knew the political party of your choice was actually detrimental at this time to the nation’s better interest, would you abandon your affiliation and change your vote?

If you found out that Santa Claus really did live at the North Pole, and during all these years, there’s been a vast conspiracy to disprove his existence, would you be willing to go back to a childlike heart on Christmas morning?

If you knew there was no difference between the races, would you still insist on keeping them separate?

If you knew money was important to give you the confidence to become a giver, would you work harder to get it, so that you could become more generous?

If you knew there was no God, would you still decide to love your neighbor as yourself?

If you knew that interfering in other people’s lives was the main cause of most of the disruption in our society, could you learn to keep your nose out of other people’s business?

If you knew chocolate chip cookies caused cancer, would you stop eating them, or gamble with the risk?

If you knew that “thank you” were the two most important words in the world, would you swallow your pride and say them more often?

If you knew that hoping for things was unfortunately a convenient way of not doing what you know to do, would you exchange your hopes for action?

If you knew that your mother and father were good people but had human flaws that caused them to teach you faulty logic, could you still love them as people but reject their philosophy?

If you knew more than you know now, would you be glad you knew it, or wish it wasn’t known?

Life is about one major decision. Actually, it’s an answer to a simple question.

Am I looking for answers, or do I want confirmation?

Because the truth of the matter is, if you seek you WILL find. If it’s confirmation of all your feelings, including your prejudices, you will certainly discover enough ammunition to fuel your war.

But if you’re seeking answers, you must be prepared for some of your pre-conceptions to be ravaged so that the landscape can be cleared for beautiful improvement.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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