If God Were… August 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1977)

corvetteIf God were a car, I think He would be a Corvette Stingray with kid seats in the back and an extra-large trunk.

How about if God were a pizza? He would order the Garden of Eden “special”–many vegetables, extra cheesy, with unleavened crust.

A movie? Forrest Gump meets Edward Scissor Hands, The Empire Strikes Back and Meet John Doe.Edward

If God were a city, He would be the blend of San Diego, Toronto, Chicago, New York City, and Zürich. Perhaps Butte, Montana.

If God were a song He would choose a tongue-in-cheek America Bless God sung by Weird Al Yankovic.

If God were sex, He would be in favor of all of it. (Keep in mind, He came up with the idea.)grand canyon

A church? The Grand Canyon.

Book? I think The Little Engine that Could.

Music? Simple-dimple without a pimple. It would be joyful and noisy.

And finally, if God were a quote, I think He would reach into the works of Will Rogers: “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

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

A Petty Party… April 16, 2012

(1,486) 

Apathy, lying and envy.

They are like three homely sisters perched on their beds late at night, brushing their hair, gossiping about all the faults of their friends and neighbors until they are adequately convinced they are better than everyone else and can ease into their beds to snore the night away.

A petty party.

It begins with apathy. “I don’t care to become better.” The only trouble with the doctrine of self-esteem is that it often stagnates the human spirit into accepting the present status instead of improving the situation. We are just “better” when we’re trying to do better. We are happier when we don’t accept sadness as “our lot.” We are more spiritual when we don’t settle for religion.

Because after we become apathetic, lying joins the party. “I will lie and do whatever is necessary to deceive people so that I look better.” Once you accept the fact that apathy is going to be your profile for ongoing endeavors, you immediately face a difficulty. The world around us demands improvement, so if we’re not going to actually improve anything, we’re going to have to lie about it. And if we do decide to lie about it, there will be a challenge to our claims–which brings us to envy.

What is envy? “I will destroy what you are doing–which is obviously better–with my lies.”  For after all, the accomplishments of a dedicated soul can be devastated in a  moment of time by a careless lie told by an envious bystander. It’s what concerns me about our country. You see, “patriotic” I understand–loving the freedom, liberty and “justice for all” that sets this nation apart as a beacon of the possibility of truth. What I do not understand is the apathy that creates lying and a nasty bit of envy, causing us to replace “patriotic” with “pettry-otic.”

Yes, we have begun to tear down other people’s ideas, the endeavors of governments not our own and the accomplishments of individuals across our world simply because they’re not American. Rather than setting a higher standard for ourselves based upon the luxuries and freedoms we enjoy, we have decided to lower our standards and simply criticize the rest of the world.

I refuse to join this petty party. I feel the only way I personally achieve greatness is by utilizing my gift, enjoying the fruits, and simultaneously analyzing how I can do it better. I am astounded that both Republican and Democrat are guilty of pandering to the American public with a political philosophy of, “I’m okay–you’re okay” instead of challenging this great nation to greatness. There is no excuse for a country with as much financial possibility as we possess to either be in debt or to lack in the creative abilities to place us at the forefront. But because we’ve decided that we don’t want to get better, and no one can tell us that we should, we welcome the spirit of lying, which causes us to become envious of other cultures, attacking them and finding fault with their ways. Here is the definition of greatness:

“I will continue to do what I know to do until I am shown something better and then I will gratefully receive it and include it in my life–to pursue better.”

If that is not the mission statement of our country, then we have lost our way. In this election year, I don’t know if there will be anybody with enough guts to say that we Americans have become lazy and have replaced the pride over past accomplishments for the pursuit of present ones. Will anyone have the truthfulness to tell the American people that we JOINED the banks and Wall Street in a financial gluttony that has left us all a bit destitute? Will anyone have the audacity to say how ridiculous it is that we are still fighting racial issues in our country after nearly four hundred years of struggle? And is there any politician who will be willing to speak aloud that American productivity has dropped as we’ve allowed apathy, lying and envy to replace workmanship?

As I stood in front of the congregation in San Diego yesterday morning, I gazed upon a group of people who had so much potential, yet are told by their society that they need not concern themselves with transformation, but instead are given the constant message that “they are all right because they are Americans and Christians.” Well let me tell you, being American and Christian comes with a truckload of responsibility. Being an American means to give freedom to everyone else if you expect it for yourself, and being a Christian requires that you love your neighbor everywhere just as much as you love yourself.

There’s a petty party going on. Criticism, sarcasm and frustration have triggered apathy, lying and envy in us instead of challenging us to ask that most holy question:

“Thank you Lord, for blessing me. Now … how can I do it better?”

**************

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.

My First San Diego… April 15, 2012

(1,485) 

We live our lives peering into a mirror instead of occupying a small, glass box, viewed as an experiment by a great white Father, King of the Cosmos.

What we do matters. What we decide is our own and therefore generates our own conclusions. We are not searching for God‘s will for ou lives, but rather, pursuing a plan that helps us uncover the will of God. I learned this early.

Matter of fact, arriving in California yesterday, it brought back memories of the first time I made the  journey to the Golden State. I was thirty-four years old. Even though I had crisscrossed the country many times in my twenties, I had never actually made it all the way to California, only achieving Washington and Oregon–nearby touchstones.

It was a journey with my family in a green utility van that finally brought me to San Diego, California. We didn’t know anyone, so we set out to try to establish some contacts with churches that might be interested in having in some vagabond troubadours. We found such a place. Arrangements were made and we drove out into the countryside of San Diego County, arriving at the church about an hour ahead of time so we could set up and prepare.

Traveling with me were my three sons. One of them had been in a hit-and-run car accident four years previously and was incapacitated and needed to be carried from place to place. The other two boys were fourteen and nine years old, and had recently begun playing instruments, creating our family band. It was the 1980’s, and they were kids and wanted to dress like kids instead of Jesuit priests. So at first glance, they looked like adolescent version of the Bee Gees. I saw nothing wrong with it. They wore leather pants (which were really plastic, since we couldn’t afford real leather) and glitter ties, which certainly made them look like Hollywood pimps.

I was so accustomed to seeing them dress this way that I didn’t give it a second thought. But upon arriving at the church, one of the young men–a leader in the congregation–greeted us and apparently became upset with how worldly my sons were adorned. Matter of fact, he took it upon himself to talk to the minister about asking us to leave and refusing to allow us to present our program. You see, I didn’t know this because the pastor of the church, being a man of character, decided not to cave in but to pursue his original decision to welcome us to the fold. No, it was AFTER the delightful evening of sharing in music, word and ministry, while out to dinner with the pastor, that he explained what had transpired.

We became friends. Over the next seven years, I returned to that church eight times to give my heart, soul and care to its inhabitants. Every time we came, the fellowship was richer and the experience deeper. Matter of fact, the young man who originally objected to our first appearance, nearly nixing our efforts, found himself in a time of need during one of our visits and I was granted the privilege of helping him reestablish his faith.

As I drove into California yesterday and arrived in San Diego, that story came back to my mind. For if we begin to believe that we have lost control of our lives and must merely react to propriety or the whim of loud voices around us, we sacrifice the greatest gift that human beings possess–the free will to redecorate until we get it right.

Yet caution has replaced experimentation; following the rules is more important than creativity and trying to find the elusive will of God often leaves us stagnant–in an attitude of indecision rendering us insipid at the point of contact. Yesterday I thought about what would have happened if that pastor so many years ago had given into the pressure and fear of one member of his congregation. We would never have had the friendship, the countless hours of fellowship–and we even would have lost the chance to help our critic find his peace in his hour of need.

So I don’t know what’s going to happen in San Diego, but I know this–it will be a mission of my own making and desire rather than tip-toeing through the tulips, hoping to never disappoint the distraught gardener.

It’s my life. I thank God for it. I welcome God into it.

I am prepared to surprise His Highness. 

**************

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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