1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Make a Practical Step Forward


Save Critique for Yourself (and Yourself Only, May I Add)

Even though there’s a theory blowing in the wind that constructive criticism actually exists, most critique that leaves one’s lips and floats in the direction of another soul generally manifests some sort of destruction.

There’s only one person who can handle your critique—you

Why?

Because you know when to give it, how to present it and when to drop it before you start crying.

It is not a courtesy you can promise to someone else, who might fall victim to your burst of opinions.

Critique has value when it is offered in the mind of one human, heard in the heart of the same being and set in motion within the soul of the identical person.

After all, three things are for sure:

  1. You can hear it.
  2. You will recover from the experience.
  3. You can change.

Now, this makes for great critique.

All other attempts are hidden forms of malice, jealousy, confusion, ignorance and selfishness.


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Sit Down Comedy … December 28th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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This is not a present.

This is a box which has been carefully wrapped in gorgeous paper, surrounded with an immaculate bow. Christmas present

We have no idea what’s inside.

We are led to believe that because it was wrapped so fastidiously that the contents are valuable.

But we don’t know. We can’t even guess. It could be a box of dog poop. It could hold nothing at all–or worse, it could be a juicer.

We have grown accustomed to calling things that are wrapped tightly and made to look attractive…

Well, we call them presents. Or gifts.

They are not. They are actually worthless until we tear them apart and find out what’s inside.

This, pictured below, is a real present:


As you can see, the paper is not impressive. The wrapping job is passable. But inside is value. Obvious value.

It might not even have been the first present you opened on Christmas morning, figuring because it was so bland or ugly, that it came from a long-lost aunt who picked it up at a convenience store on Christmas Eve to cover her butt.

So while you’re opening all the pretty presents bound up with bows, this one sits in the corner–containing the greatest quality.

Our society wraps us up, having no idea of the value of the people we meet.

We judge on appearance.

We evaluate on how concisely people have put their lives together.

We look at the things that surround them to determine their value.

We are often wrong. I will go so far as to say that more often than not we are wrong.

Then…

Every once in a while, we find that plainly wrapped gift, bound with twine. When we break our prejudice and decide to open it, we are astounded at the content.

So, I am no longer participating in the fashion show of human boxes we are required to climb into in order to be acceptable for a society that doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing.

I will do you a favor. I will not hide my soul. I will not disguise my talents. And also, I will not flaunt my humility.

But I will come… unwrapped.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 8th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Lunchtime

by Jonathan Richard Cring

If Jesus took me to lunch

What would we talk about?

As we sat down there to munch

Would I share my inner doubt?

 

For as much as I appreciate

The forgiveness of my sin

What would be truly great

Is learning how to win

 

I desire to have a lovely soul

Sparkling so sublime

But must the years take their toll?

A wrinkle in my time

 

I want to possess a mother’s voice

Tender, reassuring and kind

But also make a divine choice

In the lover and friend I find

 

The anthems that I raise

As I sing my songs of praise

Always make me smile

But only last a while

 

As Jesus and me break the bread

Will I allow him inside my head?

 

For man does not live by bread alone

And woman is much the same

Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone

To share a common name

 

So pass the salt, my dear Lord

There’s no one quite like you

For I refuse to become bored

Never aging, always new

Our guest reader is Lisa, a singer/songwriter living in South Florida with her two children

 

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G-Poppers … August 3rd, 2018

One of G-Pop’s children suggested that it be referred to as a “Pop-cast” since it was G-Pop doing it. Although terribly cute, endearing concepts like that often do not fare very well in the present marketplace.

But let us say that G-Pop’s children were thrilled when he started a podcast to share his humor and ideas all over the Internet.

Now, here’s the problem: The first question that comes out of anyone’s mouth when they discover you have a podcast–whether they’re interested or just polite–is, “What’s it about?”

Well, G-Pop’s podcast is on the most interesting subject on the entire planet.

People.

When dealing with people you have two choices. You can tell them what they want to hear, which opens the door to some popularity, or you can tell them what they need to hear, which has been known to empty many a room.

So when G-Pop started his podcast, “Good News and Better News,” he decided the key was to talk about the most practical things possible in the simplest, and hopefully, most humorous way, and perhaps, in so doing, Mary Poppins may be proven true–that a “spoonful of sugar” does “help the medicine go down.”

Because no human being ever begins their journey until he or she learns that there is the person you are, and there’s the person you want to be. If for some reason you decide to skip to the person you want to be, you have to lie an awful lot about the person you are.

And everyone knows what the problem is with lying: you get caught.

The minute any of us decides that we are not ashamed of the person we are, and do not walk away from the reality of our present situation, then we find ourselves in the position to negotiate–to seek and find ways to gradually become the person we want to be.

Because bluntly, you can’t save your soul until you find your soul.

So “Good News and Better News,” which is broadcast on Tuesday every week and available on all the major outlets, helps you to find your soul so you won’t be so frightened about the person you are and can keep a good sense of humor on the journey to the person you want to be.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 1st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Come, My Children

by Jonathan Richard Cring

Come, my children, let us greet

The rumble we hear on the street

Tear down the walls of religious tradition

Take a look at the human condition

Bring the drum, start the beat

 

Then let us dance to the sound

Of understanding spreading around

Love your neighbor is the scheme

Living out Brother Martin’s dream

May the blast of brass abound

 

Jimi arrives with his lick

Jesus comes and heals the sick

Love blends jazz to soul

A song celebration is our goal

 

Who am I in this holy jam?

An honest heart

I am what I am

In a climate of physical fitness

Can I get a spiritual witness?

 

Ease on down in the Muddy Waters

Bring your sisters and your daughters

‘Tis the season for the news

Race escapes into the blues

 

Gospel created the rhythm and rock

Join the festival on our block

Hometown boy is back today

His hair sporting a streak of gray

The shepherd seeking a groovy flock

 

So count your measures and blessings, too

The joyful noise is coming to you

 

This week’s reader is James, who lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, and shares his music, labor, love and ministry to everyone he meets.

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G-Poppers … July 27th, 2018

G-Pop is fully aware that upon reaching the thirtieth birthday, an assumption is made by the flourishing young ones that you are no longer viable. You are losing all relevance and heading toward a “grim meeting with the Reaper.”

There are those who try to keep up by pretending they are young, vibrant and athletic–just as fresh as they were before accumulating so many birthday candles. But no matter how much one thinks one might be spry, simply knowing the definition of the word “spry” eliminates one from the present generation’s vernacular.

There is a power in staying current.

There is an extreme blessing in aging gracefully.

And there is also an essential stubbornness that needs to remain with all of us over the age of thirty–simply to remind the younger generation of the filament that holds this old world together. Otherwise, it becomes not only posh, hip or cool to stay current with the numbering of I-Phones, but also makes some people think that all traditional values should be stuffed somewhere deep in Mississippi at a Bible camp.

So today G-Pop offers three ideas that must stay current–passed on by every generation as fresh thinking, fresh action and fresh life:

1. My life is my own responsibility.

2. It’s none of my business.

3. Good comes in all colors.

Because we have not been retaining these pillars of purpose, folks have started blaming other people for everything.

We stick our noses where they don’t belong, and judge the heart, soul and mind of every creature who only has one Judge

And we have begun to believe that culture (which is often just a masking for the color of skin) is so unique that we sometimes just can’t cross the lines to understand one another.

So in closing, be as young as you want. Go ahead and water ski with your grandchildren as long as you’re good friends with Ben Gay, but teach your children these three essentials of life.

Without them, we all become selfish, bratty, inconsiderate assholes.

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G-Poppers … July 20th, 2018

G-Pop was nine years old when Bobby moved into the village and started attending the little elementary school.

At first the parents thought he might be a Negro, since he had skin a couple of shades darker, and curly hair. But on careful inspection and tracking down some details, it was confirmed that he was Italian. This allowed him to be suitable for playtime and interaction.

But Bobby was different.

He wasn’t like all the scared children from our burg who were frightened to death to displease the grownups who held the key to play-time and candy. Bobby didn’t care.

When the teacher came into the room, the rest of the students fell silent–like attending a funeral. But Bobby just kept chattering, glancing up at the teacher and smiling back at all the other terrified third-graders.

He was the same way during recess. He played hard, rough and mean. But at the same time, he was sweet-talking to the girls, so they liked him. In no time at all, he developed a reputation among the teachers, staff and some of the parents of being a brat.

Yes. Bobby the Brat.

What concerned them most of all was that there seemed to be a breakdown of discipline across the board–because other students began to feel the liberty to be curt, selfish and overly aggressive.

There was so much pressure on Bobby that when the time to begin fourth grade rolled around, he was gone. His parents left town.

Bobby the Brat had departed, so things went back to being orderly. Even though we all denounce the blandness of being orderly, disorderly comes with a nastiness which spews out poison which has been deposited in our “mad hole.”

Yes. All God’s children got a mad hole.

It’s a space deep inside where we stuff all of our frustration, misgiving and prejudice, thinking it’s a garbage can–but really, it’s just a container where our bigotries decay.

And then one day, we reach a point of rage when this poison is vomited out of our mouths.

It’s a mad hole.

It’s never cleaned out–ignored.

People try to freshen it–try to put a lid on it, so to speak, but as long as it exists, it will eventually erupt.

G-Pop wants his children to know that the truth is, you can’t get provoked unless you’re already pissed.

Nobody pissed you off. They just provoked you until you finally spilled all the putrid contents of your mad hole.

Often all it takes is for Bobby the Brat to come along and tease us with the notion that we aren’t crazy and we should speak out our stupidities loud and clear, for everyone to hear.

So we do.

Civility dies, kindness is mocked, being nice is deemed weak and the only distinction we have seems to be in the horror of our mad hole.

Mad hole

In my soul

Take it in

Make it sin

First the hate

Of your fate

Rots your brain

With things insane

It’s begun

Load your gun

Me against you

Us against them

Don’t wonder if it’s true

Repeat it again

Mad hole

Leaves a space

For me to despise

The human race

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