PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 11th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Every Winner

by Jonathan Richard Cring

Don’t look for me down the road just yet

I’m reveling in this particular spot

Don’t insist my feet need to be more wet

I’m really learning a lot

The race you run is exhausting to me

I like to stop–enjoy what I see

So speed on, dear friend, just let me be

I’m enjoying the power of free

I really lost my single soul

Trying to be the “Best in Show”

Teaching the old dog takes its toll

Yes, the bite is worse than the bark

I’m not a philosopher, nor a king

Not a possessor of all that’s wise

I want to wear simple shoes

And avoid the nasty lies

My feelings were raw and full of hurt

Frightened to make a start

So give me time to sense again

And open up my heart

God means nothing if I feel small

So I relax, peaceful, awaiting my call

There is no hurry, there is no worry

No need to toil and spin

Slow down the race and find my place

Perhaps I still can win

For today has come to keep me busy

Making my logical case

For every winner is still a sinner

Pursuing amazing grace

Today’s reader is Jerrod, who lives in Florida and works as an executive technician at 3G Productions, residing with his wife and two daughters

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Ask Jonathots… September 1st, 2016

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I have a friend who is not a believer. He loves people, is kind-hearted and generous. In other words he acts like a believer who follows Jesus. How can I convince him that Jesus is the way? P.S. I have done my best to “shine my light” before him, but he doesn’t seem to budge.

I assume you’re talking about the standard Plan of Salvation:

God sent His son in the body of Jesus of Nazareth to come to Earth to give himself as a human sacrifice for the sin of mankind, so that if anyone accepts him as Savior, they can be redeemed and guaranteed a home in heaven.

I will tell you that if your aspiration is to see your friend follow this step-by-step procedure to attain eternal security, you probably will be greatly disappointed. The amount of anger, disaster or devastation that comes into one’s life before reaching the “end of the rope” that is required to comply with this particular enacting of salvation is not very common–and not something you would actually wish on your worst enemy.

So let me offer you a different insight.

Your friend has the power of knowing where the switch is, to turn on the lights. That’s pretty special. What he doesn’t have is the awareness of how that light works or what to do if the switch is broken.

Once we understand that God is not only our Father, but is the Creator of Earth, and therefore the Initiator of science, technology, atmosphere and logic, we have a much better comprehension of the mission of Jesus.

Jesus basically grants human beings two things they do not have without him:

  1. Don’t worry about life.
  2. Don’t worry about eternity.

He made it clear that we should not sit around “taking thought” about what we shall eat, drink and wear because it is all built into God’s system if we keep our eyes open and pursue opportunities.

And Jesus made it equally understandable that eternity was prepared for us, and that he would be there to meet us.

The rest of the Gospel is merely explaining how the juice gets to the lightbulb–so just in case our light switch stops working, we can ask the “Master Electrician” to join us in reconnecting.

Is there truth to the Plan of Salvation about a human sacrifice?

When mankind was given the freewill choice of accepting the teachings of Jesus, and rejected, murdering him, God chose to use it as a means of forgiving us for our shortcomings.

Pretty powerful.

So what should your profile be? Make sure that your friend is fully aware that the Creator is also the scientist, philosopher, musician, technologist and free thinker that he requires in his everyday life.

Remember, Jesus wanted to be known for his words.

The religious system honors him for his blood.

But the average person is not nearly as intent on finding a sacrificial lamb as in discovering someone who can understand and show compassion.

Case in point:

When Zacchaeus gave his money back to those he had cheated on taxes, Jesus said, “Salvation has come to your house.”

Zacchaeus didn’t confess, he wasn’t baptized and Jesus had not yet died. But salvation was there because Zacchaeus welcomed the wisdom of awareness and mercy for others.

Stop being in a hurry to get your friend to sign on the dotted line, and instead, give him more “lines” of appreciation to his Creator.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Good News and Better News … March 14th, 2016

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Saint James Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Realizing that you may never include this sanctuary as a stop off in your pilgrimage of American churches, I will attempt to relate my experience of enjoying the fine folk I met there.

The pastor is John Locke, who has the noble name of a great English philosopher, the inspiration to such American forefathers as James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. (Thomas, by the way, used much of Locke’s language in penning the Declaration of Independence.)

That said, I will tell you that I enjoyed the present incarnation of John Locke of Fayetteville equally.

The congregation was inspiring, and therefore capable of being inspired. Although there were certainly individuals who were curious about my pedigree and what my theological background was, most of them just relaxed and allowed me the chance to share my talents and my heart.

They arrived having survived a week of bitter political struggles and angry candidates, generating a climate threatening mayhem. Let’s be honest–most of us feel rather insignificant when we are viewing the 24-hour news cycle and realize how meager our simple efforts may seem.

But that’s the purpose of the church. It is supposed to be a safe zone–a place where you come to escape social pressure, politics and even religion, and spend an hour or so finding reasons to still believe.

It is a sanctuary where we can proclaim:

1. We’re human.

And then we can ask God, “Is that what you expected?”

We’re not perfect, because in striving for such a position, we would look both prideful and foolish.

2. We’re more “child” than “angel.”

So heavenly Father, enchant us.

Any God we serve who expects us to become more than we are is a charlatan. We are God’s children, and therefore definitely require a certain amount of entertainment with our enlightenment.

3. We need a safe place to come.

The world is full of tribulation, and even though we understand that Jesus has overcome the world, we require a reason to be of good cheer.

It is up to the good folks at Saint James–from leadership all the way through nursery–to provide such an atmosphere.

If they do, they will become viable and powerful in the community, offering an option to the raging storms of those who follow the present wind-blowing.

If they insist on being religious and trap themselves in the drapings of their faith, they will not only be an anachronism to a former time, but will find themselves gnawing on each other out of frustration.

So there’s the good news.

We’re human, we are more like children and we need a safe zone.

But here is the better news: on top of all that, we have this quality–just a bit of sweet, creative divinity placed within us by the breath of God, hinting that we also can surprise you.

We are capable of being gentle and powerful.

So watch us.

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Cracked 5… June 2nd, 2015

 

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Names Given by Different Professions for Putting On a Few Additional Pounds

A. Launderer: “Ring around the Collar Bone”

 

B. Economist: “Inflation”

 

C. Baker: “My Little Jelly Roll”

 

D. Philosopher: “Weighing My Options”

 

E. Retired Spanish Explorer: “Paunch is Me-Own”

 

 

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WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

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G-39: Plan B … August 29, 2014

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bigger crosses

An avid teacher. A lover of humanity. A son of man. A soul of good cheer. A practical philosopher. A lifestyle coach. A marveller of faith.

Yet a healer by demand. A reluctant debater with cynical adversaries. A frustrated cleanser of the temple.

A trusting friend, now betrayed by a companion.

And…a very beleaguered savior.

“Let this cup pass from me.”

“Please believe me for my words.”

“If not, accept me for the healings.”

“Receive me as a shepherd.”

But please, don’t murder me to sanctify your religion.

Still, of love, free will and mission, mission lands a distant third. Love will be needed to survive the free-will choice of destroying our best God-opportunity ever.

Is it payback for banishment from Eden? Revenge for the Flood? Or is it just years of stone ignorance, crushing all new possibility?

“Your will be done.” But it’s not really Your will. It is Your will to grant free will.

They are going to kill me. I must have a plan. Salvation by my life’s blood. Cross that when I get to it.

Since it is going to happen … I might as well save the world.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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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

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Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Jesonian: Making Better Humans… February 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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drawing of jesusWhat would it be like to spend one day with Jesus?

Would there be a lot of prayer involved? Or would it end up that he was being honest when he said he did most of his praying in a closet by himself?

Would you get lunch, or would he be in the midst of fasting? Actually, the religious leaders criticized him for not fasting, and called him a wine-bibber and a glutton.

Would there be a lot of preaching and studying of Old Testament scrolls? Word has it that when he was around folks he just told stories, inviting them to interpret and therefore involve themselves in their own spirituality.

Would he be critical of the weaker members who surrounded him? I’ve read stories in which he was willing to forgive even adultery, if there was a heart for transformation.

Was he a good Jew? Jews sure didn’t think so. Matter of fact, it was against their law to kill one of their own, but they had no trouble putting a hit out on the Nazarene.

Was he a theologian? A deist? A philosopher? A manic healer? Or a humanist?

This is what we know for sure–he marveled at two things: people who had great faith and people who had no faith.

He believed his mission was to make better humans, not to make people dependent on either their faults or some vision of God.

He was delighted when he saw those who broke through their own insecurities and frustrations, to believe there was more. And he was equally as surprised with those who decided to ignore the evidence of blessing in their lives and take the road of doubt.

This I know–Jesus wanted to make better people.

It’s why the religious people didn’t like him. They wanted a quick work of salvation that got them off the hook through the shedding of blood through sacrificial lambs.

He asked them to be involved in their lives and take responsibility for their actions. They left him hanging, on the bad side of town.

If you’re not grounded in a place where Jesus is being taught to you, with the aspiration that you will continue to grow in your love, appreciation and creativity, then you’re just at the mercy of a gaggle of religious fanatics.

And all religious fanatics have one thing in common–when they run out of enemies on the outside, they start killing off each other.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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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

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