Jesonian: Show Me the Father … June 15, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus talking to a discipleAnd Phillip said to Jesus, “Show us the Father and it will be enough for us.”

Jesus said, “Phillip, don’t you realize after all these years of traveling together, that my goal has been to not only show you the Father but to be a good Father.”

Because a good father gives his children permission to be happy. He gives them a path to happiness. And he walks them to the door.

Even when they feel poor in spirit, he tells them that they can survive the tough times.

Don’t be afraid to cry, says a good father. I’ll be there to comfort you.

And by the way, be meek. You don’t have to be mean to get what you want.

But it’s very important to get an appetite for life, because if you’re hungry and thirsty, you will be filled.

A good father shows mercy because he knows it’s the only way to get mercy.

“Son, don’t be macho. And my daughter, please don’t use your feminine wiles. Have a pure heart. Be prepared to feel.”

Make peace. Ignore trouble makers. It may sound simple, but where you find peace, you find God.

You will be beaten, but you don’t have to lose. You will be attacked but defeat is unnecessary.

You will be humiliated and mocked. Do yourself a favor–let it go.

For my son and my daughter, I am your father. What you’ve seen me do, make it your own. And in the end, we can rejoice and be exceedingly glad … together.

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Untotaled: Stepping 18–(January 14th, 1966) On My Sleeve … June 14, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2263)

(Transcript)

Two doors down from our home were some neighbors who were quite friendly, but we only saw about six times a year and talked to maybe twice.

So imagine our surprise when they showed up at the door the day before Christmas and brought gifts. My mother was frantic, trying to figure out how to reciprocate with some sort of generosity to this surprise burst of holiday cheer.

But the most amazing thing was when I opened my present on Christmas morning from these little-known neighbors and it was a sweater.

It was beautiful for two reasons. First of all, it was a swirl of blue in a cardigan style and had brown leather buttons that looked like chocolate covered cherries.

But the greatest blessing was that it fit. I was a big fat boy, and in that era, no one made provision for such creatures. I don’t know where our neighbors found it, but it was made of Angora–that material that looks like it should be on a goat or a really pretty rabbit.

I loved it. I wore it every day. I pretended it was my winter coat. Maybe because of that, I picked up a cold.

I hate colds.

I guess everybody does, but the main reason I despise getting the common flu bug is that I had no intention in my young teen years of doing anything about it except enduring it with much complaint.

So I was sitting in the study hall while wearing my beautiful blue Angora sweater with the chocolate buttons. It was a very cold day and they had turned up the heat, and the mixture of the other students in the room with the air of the furnace blowing started my nose running.

Now, I was a young man who had little care for anything that looked frilly, so I certainly did not carry Kleenex. (I don’t know what kind of fellow you would have to be in 1966 to have a Kleenex on you.) And I was also too macho to ask a nearby girl if I could use one of her tissues. That was forbidden territory.

So at first I just tried to sniff it back into my nose. Of course, this was loud, sounded gross and caused a cheerleader next to me to crinkle her nose and turn away.

I did not know what to do. I had already used up all my bathroom privileges with the study hall monitor, and was quite sure I would not be allowed to leave the premises. And sure enough, when I raised my hand, he just looked at me and shook his head.

Meanwhile, my nose was reaching avalanche proportions. I don’t know what it looked like, but it felt like Niagara Falls was running down my lip. It had to be gross. I tried to duck my head down, but that made the gravity of the situation worse.

I thought about running my hand under my nose, but then I would have it on my hand.

Suddenly, without thinking, fearing that I was about to embarrass myself in front of the entire class with my river of snot, I reached up with the sleeve of my sweater and ran it across my face two or three times.

Fortunately, at that point my nose loosened up and I was able to have one huge sniff and the running went away.

But my beautiful Angora sweater had been slimed by my drippy nose dropping.

I took off the sweater, folded it up, and when I got home that night tried to wipe the goop out of the fur–but it wouldn’t go away.

I wore the sweater a couple more times, but people kept asking me why the sleeve was matted.

I loved that sweater so much.

But about four days later, I quietly went out into the back yard, dug a hole, and buried it.

I realized there would be no way to ever fix it. My family knew nothing about dry cleaning, and I was in no mood to try to explain why it was rumpled and stiff.

I know it sounds strange, but I cried. Actually, I cried more at the grave of my sweater than I did for a couple of aunts who passed away.

Of course, they never looked nearly as good or kept me nearly as warm.

 

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

Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Untotaled: Stepping Six (May 8, 1965) … March 15, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

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When people control your food, water, hygiene, play and sleep, you learn to believe what they say–or spend a lot of time in your room without supper.

On May 8, 1965, I was thirteen years old and still a novice at any form of teenage rebellion. So when the church men decided to go to the mountains of Oklahoma for a meeting of all-male types–three thousand in attendance–to hear nothing but gospel preaching and gospel singing for a whole week, sitting on hard, knotty pine benches with a big knot just beneath my butt crack, I was compelled by those who controlled my supplies, to go.

It ended up being a week of firsts:

  • It was the first time I ever went skinny dipping in an ice-cold mountain creek.
  • It was the first time I heard that Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Communist and a womanizer.
  • The first time I had s’mores made with miniature marshmallows.
  • The first time I heard proclaimed aloud that Jews and Arabs were going to hell.
  • The first time I got poison sumac on my bum (thus the origin of “bummer,” I would assume).
  • And it was the first time I heard the word “nigger” used as a universal, collective pronoun, describing a group of people I didn’t understand and I suspect the speakers had little knowledge of, either.

The rally was forceful. It was intense. It was a meeting that peaked at times in jubilance. It was full of “god-talk.” It was permeated with self-righteousness.

And it was child abuse.

Because I needed …

Well, I needed tenderness. Instead, they gave me large doses of macho.

I needed an open mind. They worked very hard to seal mine shut.

God, I was desperate to know about girls. They proclaimed that women should “submit.”

Some laughter would have been nice. They reserved giggling for the older men around the campfire after they thought we young’uns were asleep.

And of course, I needed a world view. They provided God’s 40 acres.

After I got home and healed of my poison sumac, I started to think for myself. Yes, in my own simple way, I began to rebel.

I have never stopped.

I am still a warrior against anyone who has constructed a box for God … and wants the sheep to come passively, and worship.

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Corn on the Cob… April 12, 2013

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cornOn Sunday morning, I will journey to Helotes Hills United Methodist Church in Helotes, Texas. Please understand how delighted I was to discover that the word “helotes” translates as corn on the cob.”

How perfect for me.

Because bluntly, by today’s standards–I’m corny. I don’t pursue macho things in order to be a man, nor do I favor feminine things, to make my sexuality ambiguous. I like things that are real and touch human beings as a whole, instead of segmenting us off into color, size, sexuality or gender.

I’m corny.

Unashamedly, I cry when I run across something that is moving to my soul. I like to love my country, even though there are those who overdo it and those who under-do it. I am not ashamed of my faith in God, although I don’t wear it as a badge to make myself a policeman over other people’s morality, or as a means of establishing my supremacy in traveling first class on the Good Ship Lollipop to heaven.

I’m corny. But what exactly does that mean?

1. I lead with my heart. I will not arrive in Helotes Hills desiring to maintain a healthy distance from these dear folks so as to qualify myself as an artist or a theologian. I want to shake their hands. I want to hug their necks if they’ll let me. I want to laugh with them and I want to cry. Nothing any good happens in the human family if we’re not ready to feel.

2. Once I feel, it opens my spirit. That’s right–faith is when we allow God to speak to us through the feelings of our hearts. Nothing registers in us as people simply because it’s read from the Bible. It has to come with some emotion: a story or some way to stimulate our innards. Then we open up our spirits and faith happens.

3. Once my spirit opens, my mind can be renewed. Yes, that means I can get a little fervor in my thinking. My brain actually lays there like a big pile of mush if I don’t give it some shocking new revelation that gets me thinking again. I want to have fervor. I want my reasoning to grow to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Jesus. I know that sounds corny. So be it.

4. And finally, I want my strength to be empowered. I want to give my body some focus about the best things to do instead of floating from one mishap to another, trying to pretend that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

I want feeling, faith, fervor and focus–so I am going to involve my heart, soul, mind and strength in the experience I will enjoy with the good folks at Helotes Hills.

After all, this is the corn–and I guess that would make me … the cob.

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

Addled Essence… March 29, 2012

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All teenagers are drug addicts, induced into a life of dependency by their very own mother. Yes—Mother Nature comes along and takes these boys and girls who are enjoying the equality of chilled-hood and injects them with drugs to completely change their environment. The girls get estrogen and the boys get testosterone–and the human race gets really screwed up. So for the boys it becomes a hair-raising experience and the girls scurry along, trying to keep abreast of the situation.

Seriously, we refer to this as “adolescence,” but in my opinion, it’s more addled essence. The essence of oneness the boys and girls had is suddenly addled, shaken to the foundations by the introduction of puberty minus explanation. Yes, there seems to be a dearth of information. What we tend to do is hand the young ladies a tampon and a Midol and the young men a sports drink and a football–and hope they find a way to work it out.

Unfortunately, they don’t.  It begins an adversarial relationship which is never quite overcome, even as adulthood sets in and the later years of graying are achieved.

Boys are taught to be macho. “I want what you have.” Girls are permitted to be prissy. “I have what you want.”

So rather than being a playground–a joint experience of discovery or a class project resulting in understanding–we have a free-for-all of misinterpretation and domination. Society does little to relieve it, promoting the idea of the war between the sexes in its entertainment and its news articles. Politics continues to promote a glass ceiling, where women are supposedly encouraged to rise in business, but are greatly praised for remaining homebound. And religion—well, religion teaches abstinence without any sense of those who are abstaining understanding the depth, beauty and complications of their appetites.

So of the three choices available for these burgeoning, blooming, bountiful beings—those being abstinence, promiscuity and masturbation—we tend, in the religious community, to blatantly favor abstinence while secretly acknowledging that our children “might not follow the letter of the law.” In the secular community, we quietly allow for promiscuity, while insisting that we have instructed in abstinence.

God gave testosterone and estrogen for a reason. They are inside every one of us to teach us our individual importance and our corporate responsibility. So we end up with an addled essence in our teenagers, which causes the average parent to throw his hands up in the air in desperation, hoping that his precious offspring will outgrow the stupor. They don’t. They carry the adversarial attitude into adulthood unless someone stops them from being so brain-dead from the experience that they can see the necessary coalition between men and women.

We have to decide what we’re going to do. These young humans, who are under the influence of testosterone and estrogen, must be monitored for their better health. We cannot leave it to chance and hope that a few Bible scriptures will inspire them to abstain, or a couple of well-written teen comedies will cause them to wait until they “fall in love” to become sexually active. I think there are four steps to help us deal with the addled essence phase of humanity, to keep it from spilling over into the adult life and making us all believe that men and women were never meant to get along:

1. Talk. I know what you’re thinking. “Tennagers don’t want to talk.” Exactly. I also don’t want to lose weight. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m fat. Create environments, possibilities, interludes, dynamics and opportunities for conversation. Talk about sex. Talk about the opposite sex. Talk about their bodies. Don’t criticize them for pursuing masturbation out of curiosity when the alternatives you offer them are cold showers and the Gospel of John. Talk.

I raised six boys. We talked about sex more than anything else. Why? Because testosterone dictated the subject matter. Talk. Don’t be rebuffed; don’t lose the faith. Find a closet, tell them you’re going to clean it out, shut the door, lock it, turn on the light—and talk.

2. Remove the dominance of the physical. For the love of God, can we stop teaching that men are the aggressors and women are the prize? Anyone who knows anything about sex is fully aware that if a woman is not in touch with her own sexuality and able to have an orgasm, that the sexual act settles into an action of futility. Stop acting like “sex is for men and having babies is for women.” We are not all fundamentalist Christians and Muslims. If women do not enjoy sex as much as men do, the process breaks down. Remove all indications that physical domination has anything to do with romance.

3. Establish commonality. Every high school male should have to go through six weeks of home economics and every female should have to spend an equal amount of time understanding weight lifting and being involved in some form of team sport. We fail in our society by misunderstanding the cultures around us–including the culture of gender. Because I have spent time in a kitchen, I no longer believe that cooking is a female task. Because the women in my life know how to lift a box, sweat a little bit and carry their own load, they no longer contend that men are beasts of burden. Commonality produces cross-reference, which leads us to understanding and culminates in compatibility. Separating boys and girls to make sure they don’t do nasty things just makes them more ingenious on finding better locations for nastiness.

4. And finally, we should use the addled essence—from age thirteen through twenty-four—to inform these discoverers that the trio in our life is essential to make us a quartet. What I mean is when we’re emotionally clean and able to be honest with ourselves and others—even of the opposite sex—it allows for spiritual awareness instead of trying to follow rules line by line. And when we are spiritually aware, we have a great thirst for knowledge which makes us mentally informed. Then our physical–our bodies–are prepared to be honest, aware and informed in making choices. Without this process at work, human sexuality becomes a “shame and blame game” instead of a “same and tame” one. We try to shame people into being pure and then blame the ones who fail, instead of teaching that even though estrogen and testosterone have created different urges in us, we are still 98%  the same. And the more we understand our similarities, the greater our ability to tame our appetites–to more fruitful delights.

We must learn how to deal with our addled essence population. We hide our heads in the sand, hoping they will work it out on their own, when they are under the influence of drugs beyond their control. So you can worry about marijuana, cocaine and meth if you want. These are dangerous. But until we address the difficulties brought on by estrogen and testosterone, we will thrust our chilled-hood  into addled essence, and therefore cripple them for the adult walk–limping instead of sprinting.

Because unfortunately, if you have gone through the twelve years of addled essence, you arrive at age twenty-five feeling the responsibility to pay your bills and get married, which leads to the next condition, which I, tongue-in-cheek, have named … You’re Kidding.

 

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Listen to Jonathan sing his gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, accompanied by Janet Clazzy on the WX-5 Wind Machine

 

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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.

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