G-25: Insulate or Isolate? … May 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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handsSo you found yourself in the middle of a raging feud with your brother and a festering jealousy exploded into a violent rage, ending up with you murdering your sibling.

When confronted with the facts, you lied and then got caught–and instead of being executed for your crime, you’ve been exiled to the Land of Nod, East of Eden.

Now what?

The truth of the matter is, life doesn’t stop with the latest happy event, nor does it cease at the conclusion of a tragedy, but goes on.

How? The immediate temptation is to insulate yourself:

  • Why did this happen and how can I avoid it ever happening again?
  • How can I improve my image as quickly as possible?
  • Going forward, how can I play it safe?

This is what happens when people are bruised, offended, battered or just intimidated by the sheer, brute force of responsibility.

They begin to seek protection instead of opportunity. They request a reprieve from interaction instead of gaining strength through fellowship.They lessen their workload, insisting that being overwhelmed was what caused the problem–only to discover that being underwhelmed leaves them bored.

It’s a tough decision, but the most crucial moment in our lives–when we realize that the next thing we do needs to be important –and also better.

There is another path.

Isolate.

1. What did I do?

Sometimes we don’t totally realize the magnitude or the insignificance of our deeds and either overblow them or downplay them, never having an actual assessment of the event. Without this, it’s difficult to repent.

Yes, repent–the magnificent blending of “I’m sorry” and “this is how I’m going to change.”

2. What can I do?

Even though a certain desperation and futility can follow a defeat, the sooner we start convincing ourselves that we can be fruitful and contribute to our own efforts and the common good, the better off we will be.

Yes, as we’ve isolated off our deed, now we need to isolate off the abilities that remain.

3. Where do I start?

I hope it’s not an overstatement to say that the greatest danger in life is to either try to do too much or too little. Too much puts us right back at being overwhelmed–which may be the cause of our deviation in the first place. Taking on too little causes us to feel inadequate and weakened.

Where do I start? Isolate off a beginning point–and get busy.

It is a true statement that there is no sin or action that cannot be forgiven, but even little mistakes can stall us forever if we insulate ourselves from the truth instead of isolate the mishap…and discover a reason to commence.

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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!

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The Caper Continues… September 30, 2012

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I did it again last night.

I sat down in front of a roomful of strangers and spent an hour convincing them we weren’t strange at all, just very human and common. All in all, though, my voice is very small. My lack of fame and fortune can make those who hear my witness believe in my insignificance. Because the big money, the large promotion and the overriding messaging in our society lies to the public by telling each and every one of us how absolutely unique we are.

It establishes an arrogance without the foundation of even five minutes worth of confirming proof. It makes us try to clot together in blood lines rather than for reasons to grope in the darkness for the light switch to avoid cursing our bleakness.

It tells us that we have a unique difference. Actually, all temptation is common to all men. What makes us special is how much we share in common with each other.

This propaganda flowing from the world’s view also tells us that we have unique values–but the values you revere are meaningless if you’re not bearing fruit in your life, especially showing up with a tinge of friendliness on your face.

Then there’s the concept of a unique birthright. “These people over here are better than those people over there because …” Well, often we’ve forgotten why. But God is the Maker and as the Creator, He tells us bluntly that He’s no respecter of persons and strongly suggests that we follow suit.

Then religion steps in a offers the precept that many of us have a unique salvation. The truth of the matter is, we all need to repent from time to time or we will find ourselves perishing just like the people we criticize.

Those same religious people suggest that Jesus was a unique human–but we’re told in the Bible that he was tempted in every way just like us, that he was touched by our infirmities and that he learned. Sounds pretty doggone human to me.

The scientific community energizes the theorem that there are unique species–preferred, if you will, by nature. Here’s the truth about that: whatever does not evolve will dissolve. That goes for organizations, ideas, fashions, spirituality and bio-chemical reactions.

Lots of folks believe in the doctrine of unique ability, but for everything I do well, there is a parcel of activities that I am very poor at achieving. Facts are, we all take our turn as weaker brothers. It’s what makes us feel empathy towards each other–compassion for other human beings. Without it, we start doing a bunch of speeches about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and wondering why the “bums on the street don’t get jobs.”

We also begin to promote the notion of a unique prosperity. “Some people just have the knack for making money.” But we forget–riches are a doorway to generosity, or else they’re a trap door to destruction. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What a powerful thought! Everyone needs to learn generosity–whether you have five dollars or five billion, it’s the same lesson. Find out what you need, and then give as much of the rest of it away as you possibly can before you depart the planet.

Of course,  one of the more popular ones is the comical presentation of the unique gender. “Men are better than women; women are better than men…” How powerful do you think we can be as a race when one half is fighting the other? That’s why the Bible says that “in the kingdom of God there is neither male nor female,” and since the kingdom of God is within us, all of those things occupy our human space and should give us a license to understand one another instead of pretending we have to travel from Venus to Mars.

And finally, there is a great patriotic shout, especially in our country, that we have a unique freedom. But it is the truth that makes you free. It’s not freedom that brings the truth. And the truth of the matter is: NoOne is better than anyone else. When you finally grasp that, your freedom allows liberty for others, granting you permission to have it yourself.

Do I think we’ll ever get over the fantasy of unique and embrace our commonality, develop a sense of humor about our journey and enjoy one another? I don’t know. But I do believe it is the only worthy pursuit for anyone who would want to repair the breach in our world instead of widening it.

So my caper will continue. I will traverse the country, sharing that “NoOne is better than anyone else,” and field these objections from my brothers and sisters, who are frightened that if they become too accepting, they will lose their power to be superior.

It is my mission. I don’t know if it will ever gain the wings to get off the ground, or whether it will just be simple, thought-provoking idea shared in a gathering of the local citizens. But I do know this–I have gained true humanity, power, intelligence, wit and spirituality by denying my uniqueness and accepting my portion in the human family.

It’s what Jesus did. He became totally and completely one of us so as to leave no doubt about the importance of common ground.

NoOne is better than anyone else.

Are you ready to sign up for the team? Or are you looking for your own unique way to be unique?

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D.I.A.–Dissing in Action… April 2, 2012

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Cold turkey–a street slang term for the process by which someone who is addicted to drugs escapes the imprisonment by removing the chemical completely and letting a series of painful reactions remind him or her of poor choices and the consequences. There are many symptoms, but among them are (1) irritability; (2) shaky health; (3) a sense of emptiness; (4) frustration; (5) and of course, a nagging temptation to return to the addiction.

Somewhere between the ages of forty-nine and sixty, Mother Nature gradually begins to snatch away estrogen from women and testosterone from men. The former feelings of supremacy and dependency begin to vanish, hinting towards a return to a more chilled-hood of similarity.

But here’s the problem: by this time, women have become unsure of themselves in a society that has relegated them to a subordinate position. Men have taken it for granted that they’re strong and dominant within the species. It is a game changer—and because it does alter the environment, men and women who are interacting in this era of forty-nine to sixty can get mighty cranky with each other because they see old age peeking its wrinkly face from around the corner. So they take it out on each other. A series of what I would refer to as “public-appropriate dissing” ensues. In other words, if anyone suggested to this couple that they were fighting, they would vehemently disagree, explaining that it was just their way of joking around and getting along with each other. And here’s another problem–unless you’re looking in the mirror, aging is something happening to your partner and not you. So when he comes close for that peck on the cheek, every single wrinkle is prevalent to her eyes. And when she walks across the room with a bit of a limp instead of a girlish bounce, memories of former lust seem to fade away.

Just as in the case of withdrawal from hard drugs, these D.I.A.’s (Dissing in Action) become irritable with one another. All at once, things that don’t really matter can become earth-shattering in importance. Simultaneously, some shaky health sets in, which makes them wonder if their partner is going to bring both sadness and financial ruin to the household. Also, the aging process produces a form of emptiness because merely reminiscing about exploits is not like packing your car and going camping. This lends itself to frustration. Discovering you are out of coffee can initiate a cranky rant which can last all morning long, indirectly targeting your roommate. And of course, temptation. Temptation can be one of three little monsters: (A) Why don’t I feel as good as I used to?  Maybe I need a jolt. (B) Let me go spend too much money on something I really don’t need to make me feel young again; and (C) He or she is too old for me. I need a younger model.

I don’t have all the stats, but I think you will find that many marriages that have survived the twenty-plus mark dissolve in this age group, because the disappointment of losing the chemical of choice causes the two parties to begin to blame each other and to diss and fuss. Compounding the problem is the fact that in their addled essence, they were not taught the ongoing equality of the sexes, and in the process of “kidding,” they became overly concerned about things that nature has pretty well in hand. And during the phase of Re-Spend-Ability, they were so shell-shocked by financial concerns and pending doom from attacks of the dollar sign that confidence in one another was eroded.

So when you remove estrogen and testosterone, what you have left is a confused man and a terrified woman, jumbled and jittery about becoming old.

So what should these former “drug addicts” do to counteract this change in their circumstances?

1. Share their feelings. Since men are becoming a bit more vulnerable and women a trifle aggressive, the balance should create an equal playing field for conversation. I understand that it’s hard to start becoming transparent with someone you love at the age of fifty, but what is more difficult is walking around all the time on the verge of a tizzy fit. Create a treaty. And the terms of that treaty are simple: I will allow you and you must allow me to share my present feelings without believing that they are either real or lasting.

2. Share your dreams. By the time one reaches the middle of the century mark , there are things one desired that need to be replaced by realistic alternatives. So you’re not going to get your Corvette, but you could save up your money, rent one for a weekend and go on a trip. You’re not going to actually write that novel about your life, but you could start a journal about what’s going on and what you think about it, so your children will later understand a little piece of your spirit. Dreams don’t have to die just because they failed to end up being complete. If you share your dreams, you can find ways to imitate them that will bring satisfaction because you did it together. Here’s a clue–go ahead and evolve–lest you just end up monkeying around.

3. Share work. You are actually becoming more alike. Use that energy to learn how to do things at the same time for the same purpose. Don’t garden alone. It makes you think too much about what you don’t have. Don’t work on cleaning out the garage without the other person being there. It’s much easier to work out your problems while moving boxes than it is in your own head, staring across the room at your lover, who is unfortunately becoming merely your roomie. Share work. It is a powerful cohesion and perhaps one of the greatest aphrodisiacs.

4. And finally, share wisdom. The only way I know to stay young is to be aware of what’s going on in your world so you can be compassionate to younger folks, on-point when you talk to them and not just some cantankerous, graying individual who pines for the old days. Share wisdom with those who are younger—and that wisdom must be the beautiful mingling of tenderness, humor and ideas.

“Dissing in Action” is something that happens because men and women who failed to learn to co-exist suddenly find themselves sharing rehab together due to their loss of “drugs.” What do you do then? How do you move to the next phase? How can you take the later years of your life and make them the productive celebration of achievement instead of a lamentation over one disappointment after another?

Because shortly after the age of sixty, human beings enter a final phase—one that is certainly misinterpreted in our society, and if they haven’t discovered how to stop “dissing” each other, this next stage will be an agonizing cruise ship trip through hell.

Because sixty-one until we’re no longer here is a return to our chilled-hood status—a phase which I call Eco-Quality.

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Listen to Jonathan sing his gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, accompanied by Janet Clazzy on the WX-5 Wind Machine

 

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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.

Part V: He Is the Same … December 4, 2011

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Charlotte, North Carolina

Jesus believes in the Father.

Yes–he abandons Jehovah. He vacates the mystery of Yahweh. He makes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob obsolete. He really even moves past the word “God.” He calls our creator, our friend and our benefactor and instructor–Father.

Actually, he rather insists on it. For you see, for those who had a good experience with an earthly daddy, the parallel is fairly obvious and expresses the generosity of the closeness. And for those who had a bad experience with their sperm donor, the yearning in their hearts to replace that encounter is achieved with a more heavenly realization.

Mostly, Jesus lets us know that the God in Heaven doesn’t respond any differently than fathers on earth. He is a proud papa. It’s valuable insight.

Jesus tells us that this Father is in heaven. That’s rather nice–it’s good to have a friend in high places. My Father made me … but He is also the ruler of the universe. Cool.

Our Father’s name is hallowed–not holy in the sense of religious, but whole because He has been tried and tested, proven to be trustworthy.

Here’s some good news–our Father has a kingdom. That means that within the spectrum of all His creation, He has prepared a place for me and for Him to dwell and fellowship. And He’s placed that kingdom within me. How intimate.

He has a will. (There would be nothing worse than a wishy-washy daddy.) He has an idea on what he wants to accomplish and how successful He wants me to be. He edifies me when I’m heading in the right direction and exhorts me when I make some bad turns.

And this Father of mine, even though He lives in heaven, has a complete understanding of earth. It’s kind of like having a dad who spends a lot of time listening to Beethoven but is also familiar with all the deep cuts from the Led Zeppelin albums. He knows both worlds.

My Father is practical. He doesn’t only give me scripture and prayers, but also provides my daily bread. He knows I have needs–even addresses my wants. And He knows these desires come in daily portions, not just once in a while or on my birthday.

My Father is a little tough, though–tough in a good way. He does withhold his forgiveness of me based upon how well I forgive my brothers and sisters in the household. He will not allow me to become spoiled or ever think that I can manipulate Him to my desires by praying more, fasting or reading more of His books. Yes, my Father is pretty clear. If I forgive people, I will be forgiven.

And you know one of the nice things I like about my Father? He doesn’t tempt me. He doesn’t taunt me. He doesn’t ridicule me. He doesn’t send me off into areas of temptation just to prove my ability and therefore establish what a good Father He is, but instead, He purposely delivers me from the evil around me. Does it make me soft? It’s not so much that as the fact that we don’t become strong by continually being beaten down by our own weaknesses.

So because I have such a good Father, I know that He and I share a kingdom. And in that kingdom He has power and is worthy of all the glory I can give Him. And because of all of that, my life hums along with a great “amen.”

Jesus believed in the Father. He believed that it was his mission to show us the Father. And he believed that the discovery of our Father is the end of us feeling orphaned, abandoned or just cast aside in a meaningless heap.

You can continue to persist, if you wish, in the terms and names of God listed in all the books of antiquity, but Jesus believes in the Father. Jesus teaches the Father. And he tells us that if a child asks for an egg, a father will not give him a scorpion. That means that if I ask my Father for guidance and wisdom, He won’t answer with more problems and difficulties.

This brings to the forefront a word called “trust.”

Without trust, relationship is a bondage instead of a bonding.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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