G-Poppers…May 1st, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog



Grandson returned from Sunday morning church, moping around the house, barely touching his Sunday lunch.

G-Pop kept an eye on him but felt it was wise to let the little fella come around in his own timing. Sure enough, just about the time G-Pop was ready to take that blessed Sunday afternoon nap, Grandson arrived, full of energy, but confused, brimming with questions.

“G-Pop, I need to talk to you.”

G-Pop gauged the young boy’s temperament and realized he was about to hear a speech, so he nodded his head and the little guy commenced.

“Why does God kill people? The reason I ask is because in Sunday School today, the teacher told us that God rained fire down from the sky on some cities–I forget their names. Well, anyway, that He did it because they were sinful and He had to destroy them. So I asked my teacher why God killed those people and he said it was because they were sinful. Well, I asked, don’t we all sin? And the teacher said yes, but their sins were really, really bad and we should realize that if our sins get bad enough, God could do the same thing to us. This really bothered me. How can God love us and kill us at the same time? So after a while, it didn’t just bother me, it made me mad. And I felt stupid being mad at God, since that could be a sin–and the kind He would want to kill me for, if you know what I mean. So I don’t know if I want to go back to Sunday School to hear more about God killing, because it makes me sad for those He killed and also scared that He’s going to kill me.”

G-Pop waited to make sure the little boy was done. Also, he hadn’t heard a question, so wasn’t sure if it was the time to provide answers.

Grandson realized that G-Pop was quiet, so he said, “What do you think?”

“Well, I think there are many stories about God but only one God who creates the stories. And before you ask, what I mean by that is that we have to judge the stories by what we know about God. For instance, when Adam and Eve sinned, did He kill them?”

The little boy shook his head.

“How about when Cain killed Abel? Did God kill Cain?”

“I don’t think so,” said the Grandson.

“No, he didn’t.” repied G-Pop. “How about when James and John wanted to kill the Samaritans with fire from heaven? Did Jesus do it?”

Once again, the boy shook his head.

“When they brought the woman who had sinned to Jesus and they wanted to kill her, did he let them?”

“No,” said the grandson.

“Matter of fact,” said G-Pop, “Jesus told his disciples that people who want to kill other people are not acting in the spirit of God. So I don’t know why some stories insist that God kills. But it doesn’t mean they’re right. What if you went to school tomorrow and somebody told you that G-Pop was a killer. Would you believe them?”

“No, G-Pop wouldn’t kill anybody!” objected the young man.

“Exactly. But what if they told you a really good story and it sounded true. Would you believe them then?”

“I don’t know,” said the little boy.

“Exactly,” responded G-Pop. “I’m not trying to tell you that parts of the Bible are wrong. I’m just saying that when parts of the Bible contradict what we know about God, we need to quietly walk away from them and follow our hearts.”

“So why do they teach them?” asked the boy, a little bit perturbed.

G-Pop paused. “Well, because they think the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, those cities that were destroyed, is just as important as Jesus teaching the multitudes. They forget that Jesus came to fulfill all the stories through the example of his life. So if you didn’t see Jesus do it, or hear that Jesus said it, then it’s probably just a story.”

The little boy was greatly relieved, partly because he didn’t want to believe God kills…but mostly because he didn’t want God to kill him.



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I’m Looking For… A Content God February 4, 2013


handsGrouchy, grumpy and growling–three attributes we associate with being cantankerous and therefore, usually equated with getting old. Actually, teenagers can be just as grouchy, grumpy and growling as the retirement set, but apparently the younger generation has a better public relations agent.

I believe in God. I belive in God for three reasons:

  1. The world is too magnificent, too intricate and too well-devised to be an accident of a “Big Bang” idea.
  2. I need someone to love me as I find ways, through trial and error, to be more loveable.
  3. I am arrogant enough to desire immortality.

Now, you will notice that I don’t choose to believe in God simply because the Bible tells me so, that I am fearful of the power of His nature, or even because I’m frightened of a devil’s hell. No–I’m looking for a God who’s content–because I know that I’m better when I allow myself to be.

Unfortunately, that book called the Holy Bible presents at least three different Gods, if not more:

  • There’s the God who created the world, walking around like a proud papa, calling everything good and placing gold stars on daily assignments.
  • Then you’ve got the God who had some sort of faith crisis own and began demanding the foreskin from male children, the deaths of the Amorites and Philistines, the forbidding of shrimp scampi and the killing off of folks in Sodom and Gomorrah because…well, because they weren’t right in the head. We go through a season of this God, who seems to be enamored of blood, requesting that small animals be killed as confirmation of forgiveness, and relegating women to the status of cattle.
  • All of a sudden, some of the prophets from the minor leagues started sharing about a God who didn’t like killing animals and preferred mercy over sacrifice, and this carried through until we were given a live and in-person interview through the deeds and ideas of this fellow named Jesus. We were told that he was God. Suddenly back in our presence was a God who cared about people, told stories, condemned hypocrisy and welcomed repentance.

Recently I told a theologian that I was in search of a “content God” who was thrilled with the invention of fish in the ocean. He frowned and replied, “All the gods of the Bible blend into one God, who was all things and whose ways are mysterious. We will not understand until all things are revealed.” I looked into his dissatisfied face (which was grouchy, grumpy and growling) smiled and walked away.

You can feel free to boil down the entire Bible in an attempt to come up with a God who was able to kill children because they mocked a prophet but also heal the lepers because they cried out in praise. Not for me.

My God is a content one–because I know that I’m better when I am content. My God is the one who sat down on Friday afternoon, during his “week” of creation, and looked at man and woman, which He had just formed, and smiled in joy–with a tear in His eye.

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

God for Dummies … March 21, 2012


There are some people who read the Bible who have never read anything else. There are those individuals who read the Bible mainly to find contradictions and pieces of nastiness to confirm their own lack of belief. There are some who peruse the volume for moments of comfort and reassurance. And there are a handful who use it as a way to express their supremacy over assumed less fortunate infidels.

May I make something clear? The Bible is not a book about God. Matter of fact, it may be one of the most inefficient places to actually find God–unless you bring a heart that really wants to dig up the truth. The Bible is a six thousand-year journey, chronicling what men and women have thought about God in their present moment, commencing with Job, warts and all, and ending with John on the Isle of Patmos, having a funky vision.

So please do not think you can hand a Bible over to someone and assume you have done a magnificent job of leading him or her to God. If you will allow me, let me present God for Dummies.

The first thing I would suggest to anyone who wants to read the Bible and truly understand it, is that every time you come across the word “God” or “Jehovah or capital H for He, just insert the word “Love.” If after doing this, you discover that the passage doesn’t make sense–that love not could actually have performed the deed–then you have uncovered a juncture of time when people were evolving towards understanding instead of dwelling there.

For instance, “For Love so loved the world that Love gave His only begotten son.” You see? That makes sense.

It all makes sense as long as we have an updated definition of love. Love has three parts:

1. Committment. I am here and I’m not leaving, even if you have an ugly day.

2. Affection. I feel a connection with you and it has tenderized my heart to reach out and love you; and all my love does come with a hug.

3. And finally, honesty. If I see you doing something that is hurting you or destroying you, I will step in and try to help you get away from this piece of insanity. You see, if you don’t add honesty in, it’s not really love.

So I believe that God is committed to me. “Nothing can separate me from the love of Love (God).”

And I believe that He has great affection for me. “And Love (God) looked on what Love (He) had created in man and woman and said that it was good.”

But I also believe that God comes along and challenges me when I’m doing something stupid that is going to destroy my human experience. “And Love (God) chastises those Love (He) loves.”

So likewise, when you run across people who try to make God ignorant because He hates knowledge, or bigoted because He favors Jews over Gentiles, or mean because Sodom and Gomorrah had too many “queens,” or strict because the Ten Commandments weren’t suggestions after all, or vengeful–returning on a big, white pony to judge the quick and the dead and cast “‘dem bad boys into outer darkness” … you might just want to stop and realize that if He possessed any of those particular attributes, we all would literally be in a helluva lot of trouble.

Yes, in our understanding of God for Dummies, we must recognize that if a Supreme Being is picky at all, our chance for any kind of acceptance is dim. And honestly, do you really want to go and spend eternity with someone who kills little children, destroys whole races of people and thinks that certain clumps of humanity are abominations to Him and on top of that–doesn’t like shell-fish?

Sounds like a drag to me.

So as much as the fundamentalists would object to the fact that God is just love, I present to you that if He’s any other derivation, He is completely beyond our grasp or embrace. And therefore–what is the point?

Because if you think you’re reading the Bible and finding God, you are similar to someone who has completed Gone with the Wind and thinks they understand the Civil War, or someone who finished the Wizard of Oz and believes he is prepared to predict tornadoes.

God for Dummies is simple. When you see His name, insert “Love” in its place. If the conclusion of what is stated about Him in that particular passage doesn’t fall under the categories of commitment, affection or honesty, then let’s be candid–the writer just had a bad day.

Is it too child-like? Absolutely. I have never seen the process of complication transform any situation to a better status. Feel free to continue to read the Bible as long as you substitute the word “Love” every time you see “God.” It is not difficult to do and it will probably cause you to understand that certain verses, although important to the transition of discovery, have become obsolete–to be replaced by others that followed later with more understanding. Is the Bible divinely inspired? Count on it–because love inspires us on to greater realization, even when we’re going through dumb phases.

God for Dummies–just put “Love” where “God” is. For after all, even atheists need love.

And remember, where it doesn’t fit into being committed, affectionate and honest … just smile and turn the page.


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.


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.


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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