Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Woman: Why don’t you like sex?

 

Dear Man: Who says I don’t like sex?

 

Dear Woman: Well, I guess me since it just came out of my mouth.

 

Dear Man: Where’d you get that idea?

 

Dear Woman: Let me put it this way. Maybe I overstated it, but here’s what I know. If I turned to you and said, “Would you like to go out to dinner?” or “Would you like to go shopping?” or even “Would you like to go visit your mother?” your response would be positive.

 

Dear Man: Even though that’s a generality, I suppose it’s pretty accurate.

 

Dear Woman: OK. But if I said to you, “Do you want to have sex?” your response is not always positive.

 

Dear Man: Who does that? It’s so abrupt. I mean, who asks that? Sex kind of just happens, right?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. But not enough. So I was just curious.

 

Dear Man: I wouldn’t call that curiosity. It’s more an accusation.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. I don’t know how we got there. I am really interested.

 

Dear Man: Really? Are you sure? Are you sure you want me to be honest?

 

Dear Woman: Well, if you can do it without being mean.

 

Dear Man: Yes, I can do it without being mean. The question is whether you’ll think it’s mean.

 

Dear Woman: Try me.

 

Dear Man: OK. Let’s talk about amusement parks. Let’s say we go to an amusement park and my job is to walk around all day with you while you go on the rides and you come back after you’ve completed the experience and explain how wonderful it was, and I’m supposed to get my pleasure through you being overjoyed with your ride.

 

Dear Woman: So you’re saying you don’t enjoy sex?

 

Dear Man: What I’m saying is, we go on the ride until you’re satisfied, not until I’m satisfied.

 

Dear Woman: So you’re not satisfied.

 

Dear Man: See? You’re already defensive, because you’ve been taught that it’s your job to satisfy me.

 

Dear Woman: What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that love?

 

Dear Man: No, that’s arrogant. It’s my job to learn my own sexuality–my own body–and be able to satisfy myself. Your job is to listen to me as I listen to you, so you can help me and be there when I achieve my satisfaction.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. That just sounds kind of weird.

 

Dear Man: See? You’re talking like a chauvinist. What you really want is for me to pretend that I’m satisfied with what you do. That’s what you call a good wife–a good sexual partner.

 

Dear Woman: Well, not exactly. But I do want to feel like I satisfy you.

 

Dear Man: And I want you to feel like I know how to get satisfied, and have you interested in discovering what that entails.

 

Dear Woman: So you like sex?

 

Dear Man: Just like you. I like orgasms. And what I’m trying to tell you is that sex without orgasms is like doing situps. You may sense the benefit but it gets tiresome.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. I don’t know whether I’m glad I asked or not.

 

Dear Man: Be careful what you ask. You may get an answer.

 

 

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Twain — Part II … March 1, 2013

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Both candy and fruit have sugar in them. The difference is that fruit also has nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Candy doesn’t.

So if you will allow me, for the sake of this essay, I will talk to you about “candy culture” and “fruitful faith.”

“Candy culture” is what looks really sweet, so it’s gobbled up and ends up rotting everything in our heads. “Fruitful faith” is developing a taste for things that are really good for you and then finding your peace with the sweetness contained within.

So here’s what candy culture tells us about relationship and marriage:

1. Emotionally men and women are completely different from each other, so it is practically useless to try to have conversations to work out feelings. Instead, the less we share with each other and the more we accept one another’s preferences, the better off we are.

2. Spirituality is really religion and religion is a very personal thing. We don’t want to force our belief system on anyone else, so of course, discussing the nature of God and how the planet earth works in the realm of the soul seems to be both frustrating and alienating.

3. Since men and women are believed to be so different emotionally, their brains also work with patterns unique to their genders, which usually boils down to some derivation of the “hunter/gather” theory, with men being the aggressors and women being the nesters.

4. Concerning our strength, physicality and sexuality, we are constantly, in this “candy culture,” attempting to blend love, having children and pleasure, to create a package of romance that is palatable to both parties and explainable to the surrounding world.

As you can see, in the “candy culture,” the collision of a lack of information with uncertain conclusions leaves the individuals involved in relationship second guessing each other, paranoid and ultimately, angry–either out of suspicion or dissatisfaction.

So what is a “fruitful faith” relationship?

1. In the realm of emotions, it is necessary to find a common humanity. If you’re going to get along with anyone, you have to find out what things you share in common concerning your desires, emotions and dreams instead of focusing on what may be obtuse or outlandish differences. Every discussion of an emotional nature should begin with two things: honesty and the statement, “As a human being, I … “ When two people agree emotionally on the parts of their beings that have common humanity, the issue of male and female quickly disappears.

2. In the realm of spirituality, there is a need for a common God. If one party believes in “destiny” and the other holds fast to “free will,” the relationship, in times of crisis, will disintegrate in confusion. We need a common God. That notion is not popular in the “candy culture,” but arriving at agreement about what God does or doesn’t do may be the greatest salvation you could ever provide to a relationship. And by the way … keep it simple. Make sure that your belief system has only one or two moving parts, and learn to trust that movement.

3. A common plan. Two heads are better than one–ONLY if they fuse their ideas. Two bull-heads that never stir in with one another just keep butting. A common plan is when ideas are shared, written down, and the “best of the best” is put together. Sometimes one person will contribute more than another. Other times, the other party will be the major donator. It doesn’t matter. Pursuing a common plan is the only way to have a single-minded relationship, which, by the way, may be the sexiest thing in the world.

4. And finally, a “fruitful faith” relationship has a common pleasure. Do yourself a big favor and remove children and love from sexuality. Those two things will have been handled beautifully by your emotions, spirit and mind. For human beings, sex has one purpose and one purpose only–pleasure. When you add anything else into it, you either over-emphasize the value of the act or degrade the energy. If two people who are emotionally seeking their humanity, spiritually worshipping a common God and putting their shoulders behind a common plan come together to pursue a common pleasure, watch out. “Sky rockets in flight.”

This is the difference between a “candy culture” and a “fruitful faith” relationship. If you want to keep your love going with another human being, emotionally you will need a common humanity, spiritually a common God, mentally a common plan and physically a common pleasure.

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Advent-ure … December 2, 2012

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The Advent season–to welcome newness.

I’m for that. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what we can give to Jesus for his birthday. I came up with ten gifts.

1. Why don’t we stop the war between men and women? Jesus included both and treated the sexes equally.

2. How about avoiding vain repetition in our church services? I have nothing against symbolism, unless somewhere along the line we lose the reality that makes the symbol have meaning.

3. We could teach heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s what Jesus thought. He was of the belief that human beings are heart creatures and if you don’t touch their emotions, you don’t stand a chance of touching anything else.

4. How about encouraging talent instead of insisting that everybody has some without requiring excellence to follow?

5. NoOne is better than anyone else. Jesus would just love it if we started teaching and believing that. When inferiority does battle with superiority, ignorance wins.

6. Why don’t we blend spirit and truth? Why does there have to be a segmenting between the conversations we have about God and those we have about our lives?

7. Here’s a good idea: let’s stop talking so much about evil. It makes us begin to believe that good is an underdog.

8. Be of good cheer. Even if we sometimes have to pretend that we’re seeking satisfaction and joy, it’s better than insisting that everything is boring and self-defeating.

9. How about if we promote a “yes” and “no” philosophy? Indecision is the best way to welcome inefficiency into our lives. Once we’re inefficient, we get too discouraged to do much of anything.

10. And finally, why don’t we try to simplify the faith instead of making everything so doggone complicated? God is love. If there’s more to it than that, I’ll probably need another lifetime to figure it out. But for this particular span of life I’ve been given, I think I’ll just stay with that if you don’t mind.

I believe if we followed those ten ideas and gave them to Jesus on his birthday, we not only would have a better church, but we would also certainly be on our way to having a better world–and then this year would be a true advent-for-sure.

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

Them There Those … September 18, 2012

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A startling realization–yet quite simple, as flashes of truth often are.

I awoke this morning fully comprehending that I was still retaining pieces of cultural prejudice which had been infused into me, not only by my upbringing but also by a social pressure which has been cooking in our country for the past thirty years.

Yes–circa 1980, an organization called the Moral Majority came along attempting to restore dignity, spirituality and of course, morality, to our nation. In the process of pursuing this agenda, this “majority” infected our country with a separatism that has made us aliens to each other within the borders of a common nation.

They should have realized that naming their particular outreach the Moral Majority was in itself an affrontation to anyone who didn’t hold fast to their concepts. Please understand, I do not accuse them personally of being notorious or evil. It’s just that in the pursuit of what we consider to be righteousness, we need to be careful not to thrust ourselves to the forefront as the primal example as opposed to the principles themselves.

The by-product is what I refer to as the Them There Those campaign. We no longer perceive ourselves to be part of a common humanity, chasing a dream breathed into us at creation. Now we are like forts of settlers fighting off the renegades outside our walls who just might have a different opinion from our own and therefore might taint the flavor of our particular recipe.

Them there those:

  • Them Jews — over there in the Holy Land, thinking that those like them are chosen people.
  • Them Arabs, there in the desert, with those terrorists.
  • Them Republicans, there in their mansions, with those rich corporate fat-cats.
  • Them Democrats, there at their abortion clinics, with those welfare masses.
  • Them Yankees, up there in the north, with those factories and high-falutin’ ideas.
  • Them Rebels, down there in Dixie, marryin’ those cousins.
  • Them men, there watchin’ football, with those friends with their brains in their pants.
  • Them women, out there at the shopping mall, with those other gossiping women.
  • Them young people, there in the streets, with those drugs and rock and roll.
  • Them old folks, there in Florida and Arizona, with those social security checks.
  • Them liberals, there in the Ivy League schools, with those anti-God, anti-gun curriculums.
  • Them conservatives, there in the Bible Belt, with those ideas that the world was actually created in six days.

Them. There. Those.

It’s showing up this year in the election. Somehow or another we feel the need to address our personal differences instead of attacking our common problems. It seems prudent to a generation of leadership that should be wiser in the ways of the world than to conduct the weighty matters of government and business from a playground perspective: “Give me the ball or I’ll hit you!”

I realized this morning, and startling it was, that I still had bits and pieces of this virus coursing through my bloodstream. I still was looking for an enemy instead of a reason to love those around me. I still am suspicious of being rejected instead of preparing what I will do upon receiving acceptance. I have pre-conditioned myself to believe that a certain amount of warfare is necessary in order to achieve peace.

I am perplexed by my own insanity. I am bewildered by my own misconduct. I am truly repentant of an attitude that separates me from those fellow-travelers who have just as much right to the road as I do.

But I am not alone. Even though we continue to postulate about how open-minded, free-spirited and generous we are with each other, we have all fallen victim to a need to be in the majority of everything, in order to secure our sense of belonging.

The Moral Majority believed that AIDS was the gay plague. The Moral Majority thought that apartheid in South Africa was acceptable due to the fact that the locals did not know how to govern themselves. Here is a sure thing: anyone who pursues the philosophy of Them There and Those will,n in some way, shape or form, be proven wrong.

What can we do about the plague?

1. Identify it in ourselves. We don’t have to do it publicly, but privately we should purge ourselves of all notions of Them, There and Those.

2. Stop preaching and start reaching. Don’t take the information you have read here or discovered in your own heart and use it to try to convict others. Just cease to participate in the disintegration of our country into tinier and tinier pieces of false individuality.

3. Develop a new philosophy. We shall call it We Here Us:We are together, here in this place at this time, trying to make the best ‘us’ possible.”

This is the tagline that will push us forward instead of thrusting us into Neanderthal thinking, causing us to believe that we must kill our neighbor in the cave next to us to guarantee that our family has enough mastodon for supper.

We. Here. Us.

Will you join me in abandoning the foolishness of believing that any one of us is a majority? 99.76% of the people of this country will never know my name, never meet me, never agree with me and never even know that I lived. It doesn’t make them less. It doesn’t make me suspicious of them. It doesn’t make me wonder why they even live. It makes me realize that the tiny percentage that I will meet must understand that I love them, I am trying to learn their ways and that when I don’t agree, I will get out of the way and allow them to do their best before their own conscience and God.

My dear friends, we are human and here together for this season, trying to become our best “us.”  And please don’t forget, it is all propelled by the necessary notion and powerful precept:

NoOne is better than anyone else.

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Six-Card Stud(y) … March 3, 2012

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Thinking that life is random, haphazard or even somehow targeting us for either blessing or expulsion may be the easiest path to becoming disgruntled, dissatisfied and depressed. We are human, and because we are, I think we are in need of two outstanding opportunities. We need to be both vulnerable and in control in alternating surges of power. 

That is why I contend that every human being born of woman is really dealt six cards–three cards are TO BE. And three cards are TO HAVE. Unfortunately, we are not given specific instructions on how to play our cards in this game of life. But let me start off by identifying what the cards are and then we can chat about some possible applications. 

The three TO BE cards are: TO BE LOVED, TO BE HAPPY and finally, TO BE PRODUCTIVE. The three TO HAVE cards are: TO HAVE GOD, TO HAVE PEOPLE and TO HAVE MONEY. 

Just as in any other game involving a deck of cards, how you play your cards and when you play them makes all the difference in the world. For individuals who start out trying TO BE LOVED, gauging their level of happiness based upon the receptivity of others,often shrink back in sadness over rejection and end up non-productive. Some try to lead with a desire TO BE HAPPY, promoting an optimisitc view of life, and then either try TO BE PRODUCTIVE to get someone to love them or try to be loving, hoping it will be productive. They often end up leaving themselves at the mercy of the withholding nature of the human family. 

On the other hand, those other three cards–the TO HAVE ones–can be equally as difficult to discern. For after all, people who lead with TO HAVE GOD often grow impatient with other folks and angry about money–mainly because they lack it. People who lead off with money frequently sense the need to abandon people to gain additional profits and therefore, out of a guilty conscience, deny the presence of any God. It is tricky business–and there are even those reading this essay who might find such a representation of human life, paralleling a deck of cards, to be either frivolous or even sacrilegious. Yet if we begin to believe that every human being has different needs, different desires and ways of feeling and thinking, we create an alienation from one another which literally makes us feel like we’re on different planets while occupying the same one. Honestly, what use is there for women being from Venus and men being from Mars if we all live on earth? If we’re not in the pursuit of commonality shared by all, considered by all and pursued by all, we start believing that our own particular brand of righteousness is preferable and our rendition of iniquity less sinful. 

So here’s what I think. I, too, have been dealt those six cards–TO BE LOVED, TO BE HAPPY and TO BE PRODUCTIVE.. I also received TO HAVE GOD, TO HAVE PEOPLE and TO HAVE MONEY. My selection for placing my cards on the table is:

  • I will find something I can do TO BE PRODUCTIVE that allows, and even promotes a way for me TO BE HAPPY–so I am available and visible to the world around me TO BE LOVED. That takes care of my first three cards.
  • Now let’s play the others.I will respect and not judge those around me. so as TO HAVE PEOPLE, which creates the only path TO HAVE GOD, granting me a procedure to prioritize my life and initiate ideas TO HAVE MONEY. 

There you have it. Because too much happy makes you sappy, and love without evidence of our personal value is often unrequited.We certainly know that those who are religious and intent on pleasing God often find themselves overly critical of people (who are the apple of His eye) and truthfully, it is human nature to give to those that we see are already open and giving to others–because then we feel the freedom to impart to them good measure, pressed down and running over. 

You may wish to complicate this process or may think that I’m not playing with a full deck. That’s fine. But I think you will discover, realizing that all of us are given the same opportunity by a God who is no respecter of persons, that accepting that we all have the same cards and nobody is being dealt from the bottom of the deck, makes us more willing to work with what we have and more merciful to the plight of others. 

It is a six card stud(y).

Pull up a chair, Sit down. Can we deal you in? 

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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.

From the Beginning… November 28, 2011

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Charlotte, North Carolina

It happened again yesterday.

A vivacious, older chap literally leapt to his feet to announce with great joy the anniversary of his fifty-second year of marriage to his wife. When asked what the secret was to their relationship, he jokingly replied, “Just do everything she says.”

The congregation laughed.

 I refrained.

I know it’s meant in good fun. But the seemingly irreparable breach between men and women in this country is no longer a laughing matter. If fifty per cent of our people have such irreconcilable differences with the other fifty per cent and commonality cannot be discovered then we might truly be doomed. I find myself quite alone in this conviction. The preoccupation with the alleged differences between the male and female of our species inundates our culture, dialogue, art and even politics.

One day when the Pharisees were desperately trying to justify their doctrine of open divorce, they posed the question to Jesus: “Isn’t it all right for people to get divorced, no matter what the reason?” Can you hear it? There was a great undertone in the question that assumed that the sexes were in a perpetual war and that certainly relationship was the ongoing casualty. Jesus had a different perspective. He said, “It was not so in the beginning. A man was to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they should become one flesh.”

Yes, his concept of humanity was one enjoined person. Not male and female, but rather, a single human presence. To accomplish this, men have to stop believing that all women are their mothers and that they are supposed to think and react exactly as their father did. Women, on the other hand, have to cease projecting the idea of “daddy” into every male they meet.

People wonder why romance dies. If you actually believe that you’re supposed to do what your wife tells you to do, how can you avoid viewing her as anything other than your mother–a parental entity? It might be understandably mind-jolting to envision yourself being romantically entangled with the woman who birthed you. Likewise, if you are a woman secretly projecting your daddy onto your sex partner, a certain amount of nastiness might enter your mind and frustration may be the result. So as the fire of passion goes out, it is replaced with responsibility, duty, loyalty or even the honoring of religious tradition. I’m sorry folks, that’s not enough spark to light a match.

I never treat any woman like my mother except the one who was present at my unveiling. And I don’t really want any woman to view me as her papa unless family ties warrant it.

If we are supposed to be “cleaving” to one another, which even by a simple definition would connote great familiarity, and the final goal is to become one flesh, we should not spend all of our time tearing at our own skin and ripping ourselves apart. Let’s look at a list of questions:

1. Are there differences between men and women? Physiologically, less than 2% of our bodies vary. Most of the perceived uniqueness in male and female is culturally installed by our religious, political and school systems.

2. Is it possible for a man and woman to be equal, or does there need to be a dominant partner? I really feel stupid posing the question, because if two men can work in a partnership and two women can work in a partnership, the only reason a man and woman would even hint at having problems with such an endeavor would be an uncontrolled bigotry towards the other party. In other words, take away prejudice and you remove inequality.

3. And finally, are the differences between the sexes just for fun and giggles and really don’t harm anyone? I suppose a man who’s been married for fifty-two years can tell his little tale about how their marriage works and know deep in his heart that it’s truly a union of purposes–but as those ideas trickle down to younger and younger folks who have less and less experience in interacting with one another, what was meant to be funny actually becomes fear. Yes, I believe that for people under the age of thirty-five in this country, there is a literal terror of man to woman and woman to man. To mask that trepidation, the sexes individually try to act superior to one another. That’s what we always do. When we are deeply frightened of being inferior, we try to find ways to prove our prowess.

So I think it’s dangerous to perpetuate this myth–one that Jesus shattered in the presence of the Pharisees of his day–by allowing the cultural ignorance of our time to hold women back by making men look stupid and giving them power by default of muscle. I would love to hear your opinion.

I think we need to make a beginning here. I think somebody needs to step forward and say, “I’ve been married for forty-one years, and every time we’ve fallen into cultural roles of ‘guy’ and ‘gal’ we have basically been miserable. And on the occasions when we have gone eyeball-to-eyeball, lifting the burdens together and respecting each other at the end of the day, sharing a common joy and fatigue, it has been not only pleasant but also romantically fulfilling.”

Yes, someone needs to say it.

 And I guess I just did.

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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!

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