Sit Down Comedy … November 23rd, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Common comments from politicians who just happen to also be turkeys

 

1. “We must stop the useless slaughter that happens every fourth Thursday of November, killing millions of our brothers and sisters” (The Alarmist)

 

2. “The problem is the hatchet. Not everybody should be allowed to have a hatchet. If we were able to curtail the sale of hatchets, thousands of turkeys could be saved.” (Weapon Control)

 

3. “Farmer Joe’s crazy. Not every farmer in this area is crazy. We have farmers over there growing corn. It’s Farmer Joe who’s crazy. We need to isolate Farmer Joe, treat him, and if not, imprison him to protect our turkey family from a mentally deranged person such as himself.” (Promoting the Mental Health Industry)

 

4. “I know this isn’t politically correct, but I think if you check the statistics, this problem has increased as the number of brown turkeys have crossed the border of our farm and joined us. Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with them but we have noticed that many of them are raping the hens and they need to go through the correct channels if they want to be part of the ‘turkey in the straw.'” (Hidden Bigotry)

 

5. “I think it’s due to the fact that the climate is changing here on the farm, especially among the gobbles and gizzards. The weather is fowl. Anybody else notice it? It seems hotter in November and it’s more difficult to be able to distinguish the kernels of corn from the rocks in the ground because the soil is so dry. I think it makes the poultry crazy.” (Climate Change)

 

6. “It’s the liberals. They’re the ones who stopped liking red meat, and God knows, we are exceptional white meat. So of course, they want to come here and deplete our ranks. They hate us for our freedom.” (Conservative Commentators)

 

7. “I know they mean well, but the conservatives have brought down this violence upon all of us because they’re always pecking at the people who feed them, chasing away other birds, and they are just so hostile that eventually they bring about the terrorism that kills and destroys the flightless.” (Liberals Blaming Others for Violence)

As you can see, all the creatures on Earth could blame every other creature on Earth if they wanted to.

Here’s the truth: Thanksgiving is here to stay.

People will not stop eating turkey–although it might be intelligent, if you are one, to advertise ducks, and then enjoy the other 364 days of the year.

 

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G-Poppers … March 24th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

G-Pop wants his children to learn two massive universal initiatives:

  1. Don’t forget to remember
  2. Always remember to forget

Without the institution of this pair into human life, it is easy to become overly sensitive to danger and unappreciative of salvation.

Over-sensitivity can lead to insecurity which breeds fear, and fear chases away the love that would come to assist us.

So in a strange sense, the thing we need the most–support–is cast aside because we’re frightened of what might happen if we trust.

So what should we forget and what needs to be remembered?

  • Forget the ordeal.
  • Remember the survival.

Even as you recount the stories in your life, make sure that you place much more emphasis on the solution, the blessing, the great idea and the healing than you ever do on the actual difficulty itself.

It is a transforming miracle in our emotions which feed the soul with hope. If everything is survivable, then the present ordeal is on a time clock awaiting its departure.

There are other examples, too:

Forget the offense that others may have brought to you and instead, remember the recovery.

Forget the sadness of losing loved ones and remember the joy they continue to bring to your life.

Forget the pain, remember the healing.

Forget the inconsideration that was thrust your way and remember the conclusion, when time and chance gave you the opportunity to bless those who cursed you.

And of course, forget the past and remember the way of escape that God, Mother Nature and common sense provided in your moment of need.

Great mental health can be ushered into our being simply by practicing forgetting, and welcoming remembering.

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Confessing … September 19th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2697)

XX.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Some time ago in a parish far away, I joined with some friends who had a creative bend and believed that art and faith were intended to be wed, and rented an H & R Block building, which had completed its taxing season and was available for occupation, gathering with these sweet folks at least twice a week to discuss the beauty of music and words, and also how we might be able to help others.

Yes, there was just enough hippie in us that we chose to have a concern for the needy in our midst.

So one day at our little headquarters, a large, cocoa-complected young man strolled through our door with an appearance that foretold his lack, possessing only a huge, toothy grin.

He wondered if we had $1.99 so that he could go to Church’s Fried Chicken, which was two doors down, and pick up their special–two pieces of chicken and a side.

We all liked him immediately.

We told him we would give him the money if he would pick up the same deal for the rest of us. Then we could all sit down, eat together and get to know one another. I think my friends were a little surprised when I pulled out a twenty-dollar bill, gave it to the big fellow and told him to purchase seven of them, come back, and bring me the change.

By the way, he told us his name was Johnnie, and I’m sure that all of my acquaintances were convinced that Johnnie was going to abscond with the twenty dollars.

He didn’t.

He came back, we ate chicken and it became a daily ritual for the next several months. We got to know him as a person instead of merely an object of charity.

So one day, when Johnnie told us that he was supposed to go into the Social Security Office and apply for disability, we took him to the local Goodwill, and after much shopping, we found a suit big enough to cover his girth.

He was so proud of it.

He went to the meeting, and then we didn’t hear from him for several weeks. I was concerned, so I went out into the streets, looking for my buddy.

I found him sitting next to a dumpster about a half-mile away. He tried to run away from me, but I was able to stop him. I asked him why he was avoiding us.

He explained that he was embarrassed because he had sold the suit so he could purchase a bucket of chicken.

I gave him a hug and explained that we didn’t love him because he was wearing a suit–it was just a gift, for him to use as he wished.

Shortly after that encounter, our little group decided to move our headquarters since the H & R Block building was no longer available. We found a place about three miles away and told Johnnie about our exodus.

He was sad.

I was bewildered. After all, we weren’t leaving town. So I made him promise he would come and see us.

He didn’t.

After about three weeks I went out on another search for Johnnie. Finally the lady at the Church’s Fried Chicken told me that Johnnie had been arrested for erratic and disorderly behavior, and that they were holding him in the mental ward on the 13th floor of the local hospital. I got in my car and went to see him.

Amazingly, since I wasn’t kin or connected to him in any logical way, they let me in to talk to him.

When I walked into the room he was sitting next to the window, staring into the distance. I was very disappointed when Johnnie didn’t recognize me.

He was heavily medicated and docile. I tried to stir his memory but was completely unsuccessful.

So I took his hands, which lay limp in his lap, and prayed for him. I stood to leave and was just about out the door when Johnnie turned his head and said, “Chicken.”

Just as quickly, he turned away and resumed his vigil of nothingness.

I cried.

He remembered.

But you see, I also learned. People are not projects. They are human, with real needs. We can’t just pick them up and handle them when it’s convenient to our charitable inclinations and then drop them off in the middle of nowhere without a map on where to go.

We thought we were so damned generous, but we didn’t realize that Johnnie needed daily care, daily love and a daily location in which to go to give him a sense of balance.

Johnnie taught me a lot.

Johnnie taught me that since the poor don’t go away, if we’re going to start helping them, we have to have a plan to keep from abandoning them.

Confessing Johnny

 

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G-7: Move or Stay… January 17, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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allergyIt is not healthy to remain in an unhealthy situation.

This might seem an obvious assertion, unless you consider that people have a tendency to do what is “normal” instead of what is beneficial.

We just get used to stuff. Then we convince ourselves that it’s meant to be, God’s will, our lot, a cross to bear, or even worse, a mission field.

Keep in mind, you have a certain amount of energy. It is a daily gift which should be used wisely–because honestly, it can’t be conserved. You can’t save up Tuesday’s passion for a Thursday adventure.

So we have to be careful to be in surroundings that move us. And if we’re not moved, then we need to move.  Staying is not an option.

How do you know?

1. Is there a hunger and thirst for life? If you’re surrounded by an atmosphere of negativity, despair and complaining, it’s going to be very difficult to forge a future. Even if they’re your relatives, it doesn’t change the level of obnoxious.

2. Is there change in the air? Human beings are either evolving or they’re going extinct. It’s just the natural order. If there isn’t a sense of wonder about innovation, you will start settling for things instead of choosing them.

3. Is there enough heart around you to be touched? There are individuals who think it’s adult to remain aloof and free of emotion. I will agree that too much sensitivity becomes annoying. But if a climate of your choosing does not have people in it who are capable of being touched in the heart, then you have to depend on them to be spiritual. Human beings are not naturally spiritual. Or you’re expecting on them to be smart all the time. (I don’t think I have to even speak to that.) The ability to be emotionally impacted is a sign of mental health.

4. And finally, is there still an abiding faith? Listen to the next five things the people around you say. Is there anything positive in them? Of course, we can all get aggravated and turn dark in our mood, but generally speaking, if the next five things said don’t have love and encouragement, you have found yourself in a dark cave where light is considered an intrusion.

Of course, you can continue to stay in bleak environs and try to be “this little light of mine.” But remember–there’s a reason people have chosen the path of despair, and they won’t be satisfied until you despair along with them.

The most important decision you will make in your life is where to invest your ching.

And if you stay where there is no movement, you will eventually be forbidden to move those who stay.

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Five Signs You Are Doing Fine… November 13, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I'm okWe do not need discouragement to be discouraged.

We are human, capable of getting depressed on our birthday because of the possibility of our imminent death.

Once you realize that we, as a species, are tuned to the negative–and you also come to the realization that merely “acting positive” does not stimulate extra energy or true emotion, you can realistically look at the barometers which allow sunshine to enter our lives instead of dark clouds.

I can think of five of them–a quintet of good signs for “people mental health.”

1. “I don’t complain.”

That doesn’t mean I like everything that happens–but complaining is a mask we wear for arrogance, which stifles our possibilities and eliminates grace from working in our spirits.

2. “I am learning.”

I can always pick out folks who are in trouble because they are resistant to the notion of change and won’t admit that they require refreshing.

3. “I know my gifts.”

Let me give you a definition of gift: a gift is a talent or ability which when applied, normally allows me the opportunity to overcome my difficulty.

4. “I am aware of my limitations.”

There is a power in knowing when to say, “I can’t do that.” It opens the door to collaboration and provides the opportunity for someone more suited to the position to provide excellence.

5. “I am looking for reasons to join in fellowship instead of alienating myself from others.”

If you believe that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” you will constantly be looking out for fellow travelers to chat with and to energize you as you exhort them.

Church attendance is dropping in this country because it’s no longer popular to believe. But it is also drooping because we don’t like each other anymore.

Take a look at that list and realize that a complaining know-it-all who has an over-assessment of his or her ability, and thinks they don’t have weaknesses and avoids interaction with other humans which might create change is probably the most dangerous bomb in the world. They are flesh, stuffed with the explosive of discontentment.

There are your five signs that you are doing fine. Think about them. Better yet, keep a good sense of humor as you change the ones that are undercutting your joy and success.

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Brother’s Keeper… October 24, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Mary and Russell had five children.

I was the fourth intrusion. I do not characterize myself in that way to be mean-spirited. No human being is good at parenting. Even Adam and Eve were not “Abel” and ended up raising “Cain.”

Here’s the problem: By the time we figure out babies, they become toddlers. We graduate that phase, and suddenly they’re children. Just when we grasp the concept of childhood, they escape into the great tunnel of adolescence. Some brave souls actually try to follow them into that cave–and are never heard of again. The intelligent ones stand on the outside of the deep, dark hole, pray, cross their fingers and wait for their dear offspring to emerge about eight or nine years later.

Feel free to purchase books on the subject of raising children–although some piously insist that the term should be “rearing.” Your little darlings will be more than happy to dash all theories and bring to rubble great plans for household advancement.

So it was no different with Mary and Russell. Their particular skills were stuck somewhere between the McGuffie Reader and Dr. Benjamin Spock, causing them in their confusion to be too mean when compassion was required and too gentle when my four brothers and myself were desperate for discipline.

The only regrettable conclusion of this situation is that the five brothers grew up not particularly fond of each other. We were too competitive. We were too self-involved. We were too much of everything that is associated with the word “too.”

My oldest brother passed away before he and I were able to make peace with each other. Sad.

The third son and I made a truce which lasted until the day he died.

My younger sibling expresses affection in my direction, which is never followed up with any connection.

But Brother Number Two has become my project over the past twenty years. He was an intelligent, promising student many years ago, who had a vision for becoming a high school English teacher extraordinaire. He pulled it off for many years, but in the mid-1980’s he had a nervous breakdown and has lived on disability ever since.

I have great devotion for him. You notice I am careful not to call it “love.” To me, “love” is reserved for those excellent earthly moments when true connection is made between souls and an unearthly understanding of the universe unfolds.

No, I am devoted to him. For twenty years I have written him. For twenty years, I have visited every chance I can–whenever I get within a hundred miles. And every week I also receive a letter from him, ranging in tone from the kindness of mundane to the anger and virulence of vicious.

I endure.

So imagine my mixed emotions this week when I arrived in Central Ohio knowing that I needed to see him, but realizing that there was a reluctance in my heart to be confronted–especially at this time in my journey–with such a malevolent presence. I always have to remind myself that he strikes out at the world around him because he feels struck. But it’s not very comforting in the moment.

So I made a plan to pick him up at 9:15 yesterday morning, confirmed it with him by phone, and drove into his driveway to discover that his entire front yard had been transformed into a giant garage sale, strewn with trash and old junk. I thought to myself that at least we had a good topic for opening conversation. As previously agreed, I tapped my horn to let him know of my arrival.

There was no response.

My present physical condition does not permit me to leap from the van and go to the door to pound upon it with urgency. So I waited five minutes and tapped my horn again. Nothing.

My mind flashed back to the last three times I tried to connect with this dear brother, and had been stood up by him with a nasty letter from him following, explaining that it was my fault that he didn’t appear because he knew deep in his heart that I don’t really care anything about him.

So I started to wonder how long I planned to stay in his driveway, tapping my horn, before leaving with the realization that once again I was to be viewed as the ugly girl at the junior prom.

Yet I persisted. After five horn beeps and twenty-five minutes, he appeared sleepily at the door and told me he would be right out. Ten minutes later, I was rewarded for my perseverance by the appearance of my brother at the side of my van, and we were off.

The next two hours that I spent with him are a study in human behavior and an exploration into the definitions of feeling helpless. For you see, the reason his front yard has been turned into a flea market is that he has allowed two vagabond young men to come in and live in his home, and they have completely taken over his abode, and are beginning to fight with him to such an extent that the police have actually had to be called to the scene.

I resisted running away in horror.

He explained to me that these same individuals have chased away his beloved cats, which are really his only family, leaving him without feline protection. One of these young intruders has also brought a homeless man into the house to stay, further complicating the chemistry brewing in the cauldron.

Then my brother explained to me that he is trying to evict one of the squatters, while said squatter is also taking him to court for reimbursement on construction supplies that the young fellow purchased to build in a living quarters–for himself–on the back porch. (Now, I realize that all of this is very confusing when written into a story form, but let me comfort you by telling you that it was no easier to understand in the original telling.)

My dear brother had no trouble whatsoever filling in 129 minutes of conversation on his own, only once asking about my doings, in passing. He has a life that is full … without having a full life.

You see, it’s what happens to all of us when we don’t decide the purpose for our breathing and moving; circumstance and crazy travelers can come in and fill in our empty space with their own trauma and terror.

This is why I pity grown people who make their children their lives. Your seed will be more than willing to destroy your garden of hopes. I am always careful to warn those who have retired to start a second career, finding a reason to get up in the morning. Otherwise, all of the insanity of the world will crash in on you, exhausting you with its nuttiness without ever granting you fruit.

My brother was exhausted but had nothing to show for it but sadness, exasperation, apprehension and defeat. They had broken his television set, taken his car and left him desolate. And because it appears that he has given these things over to them, it is impossible to prosecute the perpetrators.

I was so depleted. I remembered the lament of an exasperated brother from thousands of years ago: Am I my brother’s keeper?

It’s so easy to walk away from insanity and allow it to be turned over to the general asylum. You can disassociate yourself from it so easily, returning to your own peaceful ways.

But he is my brother. He would be my brother if we had not shared a common womb, because we share a common God.

I did my best to encourage. I did my best to bless. I did my best to promise him that I would return again very soon to renew our conversation. I did my best to give him some money so he could spend it on himself instead of squandering it on his emotional assailants.

I did my best not to cry.

Mary and Russell did their best, too. But like many of those born after the Garden, they grew some weeds. It is now the job of those stray children to find one another and make some sense of it all.

I am my brother’s keeper. It’s just that sometimes the most difficult part of caretaking … is cleaning up.

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The Dental of Mental … May 4, 2012

(1,504) 

“Let me sink my teeth into it.”

It was a popular phrase long before the current craze of vampire movies. Deciding what to “bite off” and putting some energy into it is a valuable process in our lives. How should we determine it? What should we bite into?

There are three basic reasons that people bite things off, making the new taste their project. Sometimes they bite things off because everyone around them, including their families, tells us that it’s perfect, encouraging them to “take it on,” even making it clear that if they don’t, they have passed on a golden opportunity. Can I tell you that guilt is one of the worst motivators for human beings? And it is usually followed by a sense of dread, interpreted as “being responsible.” Biting off something because someone else wants you to do it will always leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The second motivation that often taunts us is that we “need” to do something.Whenever it appears that I need to do something, I purposefully delay, to make sure that my choice is not generated in frustration or futility, but rather, by my own inclination. Because the only reason to bite anything off is because I WANT it.Yes, the only question that needs to be asked by anyone at any time before biting into a new piece of life is,Do I want it?”

It doesn’t mean that everything we bite off is good for us, or even necessary–because there are only two things that human beings require to maintain their sanity: (1) The choice was my own; and (2) if I find out it was a stupid one, please permit me a road to retreat and repent

The “dental of mental health” is to choose to bite off only what you want, not what others tell you is required or what you believe you need. Everyone knows–once you bite something off, you’ll have to chew it, and chewing is the process by which we prepare food to leave the delicious world of our taste buds and enter the unknown of digestion.  So as we consider what we want, the only question we really need to pose to ourselves is, “Can I chew it?” In other words, “Can I be patient?”

Chewing is being patient. It is also making sure that we drain the last bits of flavor out of what we’ve bitten before discarding it for more practical use.If we can’t enjoy the process of chewing, then we’ll probably end up trying to swallow everything whole, which will certainly cause us to choke in our hour of need. Can I be patient? Patience is one of those words that’s thrown around without definition, so let me give you two applications:

  1. It tastes good enough that I don’t mind keeping it in my mouth for a while. Don’t think you’ll chew very long on something bitter.
  2. I don’t mind being patient and chewing on it, because I know when it finally reaches my body, it’ll be good for me.

The main piece of success in my life is that I have learned to enjoy the chewing process. If you need instant gratification or immediate appreciation, you will never draw all the taste out of every experience, but will either become reluctant to bite anything off in the first place, or end up gulping, swallowing life whole, without tasting.

Can I be patient? Because after all, when the chewing’s done in the “dental of mental,” it comes time to swallow. What I have bitten off has now been chewed and no longer resembles anything of what I once took on. Swallowing is asking yourself the question, “Am I ready to evolve?”

Some folks believe that if their plans change, they have lost the integrity of the experience. Yet, plans changing IS the experience. Swallowing is what transfers food into energy.Change is what transforms “choice” into fruitfulness.Without change, we arrogantly begin to believe that everything we put into our mouths should remain there instead of being absorbed. How many evolutions will I have to absorb to get the full benefit of what I’ve bitten off and chewed? Well, let me swallow the next one and we’ll see how it goes. Am I ready to evolve?

Which leads to the final step in the dental of mental–digestion. Will what I have bitten off, chewed and swallowed produce the nutrient of even greater desire? There is nothing more discouraging than beginning a project and finishing it by saying, “I will never do that again.” Most people are not lazy–or vacant of purpose. They are afraid to bite things off because the last time the chewing and swallowing produced indigestion. It was dissatisfying and left them with a severe case of heartburn.

Yes. The heart, rather than being rejuvenated through the experience, is aggravated and disappointed.

So–will what I want be patiently evolved in me to end up producing even greater desire to do more? Because that is the essence of mental health. At the end of our experience, we should be fatigued, not exhausted. We should feel exhilaration, not exasperation. And we should want rest–in order to pursue again–instead of escape, to avoid contact.

If you don’t do what you want, you end up being on somebody else’s mission, which means that even if it’s successful, you lose the credit.

The dental of mental health: biting, chewing, swallowing, digesting.

  • Do I want it?
  • Can I be patient?
  • Am I willing to evolve?
  • Does it appear that it will produce even greater desire?

Don’t cheat yourself out of great mental health. Even though the world around you insists that you need to accomplish their desires, never sink your teeth into anything that you don’t really want.

  

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