Getting in Character … June 15th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2613)

cryingFrom Act II: Scene VII of As You Like It, Shakespeare asserts that “all the world is a stage,” and all the men and women, “merely players.”

Scribbled in the margin of the script was a note from the director: “This scene requires real tears.”

The actor stared at the instruction and was immediately struck by two words: “requires” and “real.”

In other words, this was a non-negotiable situation. It was required.

The director had already decided that based upon the construction of the scene and the characters involved, that the emotion would demand some weeping.

Then there was the word “real.”

For after all, nothing is more displeasing to an audience than someone sprouting crocodile tears which obviously are being dribbled by force.

So what to do? How does one tap the real heart of the matter, and find the deep-down growlings that generate the kind of energy that fosters tears?

The actor thought for a long time and finally came to a conclusion.

Tears are the release of our fears.

Our apprehensions lie within us, trying to hide in corners and disguise themselves as temporary apparitions until we finally break down and admit that we’re scared to death, and allow the tears to flow freely.

Matter of fact, it’s impossible to get in character without tapping the sadness of your role. Every human has fears. Masking them turns us into chilly lumps of flesh or causes us to concede that belief is a joke and never really offers any lasting solution.

After all, most people do not become atheists because they don’t believe there’s a God. They become atheists because they hurt and don’t believe that God gives a damn.

Without tears our fears remain.

And when our fears remain, we are defensive to the world around us rather than optimistic about the possibility of relationship.

We all need comfort. But there’s no comfort given to us unless we mourn.

How would anyone know? Are they supposed to read our minds? Should they anticipate that merely because we wear human flesh, there’s some devastation within?

Without the comfort, the fears remain, taunting our talent and making us believe that our ability is never enough. But when real tears are required and we feel the freedom to weep … we are suddenly afforded the healing of comfort.

 

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The Faith We Earn … June 9, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2258)

ant“Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

A statement from the Good Book.

Many times, people fail to understand that it’s a two-part presentation–a faith which is the substance of things hoped for, and a faith that’s the evidence of things not seen.

It is true for each of us. There is a faith we are given.

Even if you weren’t raised in a religious home, morals, principles, ideals, precepts and conduct were infused into you and have become alloys in the steel of your soul. It is an inherited conscience, steering you, influencing you and on occasion, deterring you.

Unfortunately, most people’s faith stops right there. They cling to traditions planted into them in early years, or they reject them in some fit of rebellion, feeling that it makes them appear autonomous.

But faith doesn’t stop with what you’re given. We gain our individuality by how we earn our own faith. Somewhere along the line, we become responsible for our own dealings, our own decisions and our own soul.

It is the evidence of things not seen.

  • We don’t see them because they are not part of our past.
  • We don’t see them because they are fresh opportunities, or trials in our lives, demanding that we make personal selections.
  • And we don’t see them because often a loneliness settles into us because of the pressure of needing to make a decision.

Earned faith breaks down into three categories:

1. Here is less. What will you do?

Some human beings lose their way simply because they are frightened by the prospect of poverty and diminished by lack. We earn a faith by deciding to remain industrious and optimistic during hours when it seems that our personal needs are in jeopardy.

2. Here is more. Who will you be?

Yes, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, there are times when a bit of bounty comes our way and we have to decide whether we believe in generosity or if we’re just going to open an extra bank account which will eventually be eaten away by need.

3. Here is silence. Where will you go?

It is part of life–to find ourselves absent friends, devoid of human contact and appreciation, and even feel orphaned by a Heavenly Father, our Creator.

It’s not that we should relish the vacuum. It is a test, to see whether we continue to pursue our dreams without the applause and affirmation of the surrounding earth.

There is a faith we are given–the substance of things hoped for.

And a faith we earn–the evidence of things not seen.

And the latter is when we know what to do when we have less, we choose who to be when given more and we can still continue to go forward in the chill of silence.

 

 

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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

 

 

Human Seeings … July 26, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1955)

eyesI’m not sure what the origin is.

Someone apparently came along with a clever sound bite which has now caught on—as they often do—which states, “We are not human DOings. We are human BEings.”

Of course, it has gradually seeped into our society. Any chance for us to remove our own responsibility and celebrate the value of just being born, will be a pleasing opportunity for the average mortal.

Here’s the problem: like so many ideas we tout, it never follows through to a realistic conclusion. Because we DO judge each other by our fruits.  Matter of fact, Jesus said we should. We are not unique and beautiful just because we occupy space. It is actually what we choose to enact that is the most revealing.

But I also do not believe that we’re the sub-total of our accumulated efforts.

I think we’re human SEEings. Yes, I believe our eye movement determines our ultimate quality.

Some people cast their eyes to the heavens. They’re optimistic, always wanting to believe that good things will come. Often they are oblivious to the moment, favoring the future.

Other people cast their eyes to the earth. When they don’t see an immediate solution to the problem, they become cynical, angry and frustrated. They can’t control through manipulating circumstances, so they look for evil to be the source of their detriment.

I just don’t feel that either one of these groups have the power to bring love, human tenderness and God’s mercy to the world.

  • I don’t think we need to look up.
  • I don’t think we need to look down.
  • I think we need to look  AT.

Make eye contact with both your angels and your demons. The angels won’t look quite as heavenly, yet the demons won’t look quite as sinister. Look at what you’ve got. You’re not really a human being. You’re not merely a human doing. God has called you to be a human seeing.

Blessed are the poor in spirit—for they shall see God.” They begin to see God in everything, because the light of the body is the eye, and if we’re not afraid to look every situation head-on, deep into its soul, we gain the confidence and power to both BE and DO.

It happened to me yesterday. Having completed my first night in Springville, Iowa, I launched on my morning activities, which led me to a Hy-vee Drugstore in Cedar Rapids, some twenty miles away. Lo and behold, there was a delightfully energized, beautiful woman who had been at the performance the night before.

What are the chances? Not only were there very few people at the performance, but Cedar Rapids is a town of over 100,000 people, not to mention countless stores—and taking into consideration that I apparently needed to get something at a pharmacy. But there was a blessing, looking right at me.

I came back to my motel and there was a phone message from a man who had seen me perform in Texas, who happened to be in Cedar Rapids, and read my Jonathots yesterday. He wanted to know if I might be performing again because he wanted to come out and get re-acquainted. I got the chance to look right at a dear friend.

And then I returned from last night’s show—where two and a half times the number of the previous night’s audience came out for a second dip—and there was a message from my daughter-in-law, who has just lost her mother. She has the chance to speak at a convention of her company in front of more than 3,000 women. She asked me to edit her speech.

I realized what a blessing it was to be part of such an adventure, and that my words would be literally “looking at” three thousand folks I would never meet.

I am not just a human being, treasured because I was born.

I’m not just a human doing, the sub-total of my deeds and accomplishments.

God has called me to be a human seeing—not looking too much up to the heavens to solve my dilemmas, not looking down to the earth in desperation and disgust.

Rather, looking at what is before me, realizing that it is the embodiment of God’s grace … which is sufficient for me.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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