3 Things … November 28th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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That Gratitude is Thankful For

 

1. Gravy—to make the turkey hot and juicy

 

2. The return of “for granted,” since everyone keeps taking it.

 

3. The thirty-two seconds right after Thanksgiving dinner begins when no one speaks. We all just chomp away until someone moans, “U-m-m-m. This is good.”

And then we all laugh.

 

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The First Time… March 22, 2012

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The first time I saw the ocean, I cried–a bit of marveling mingled with the saltiness of the air.

The first time I saw a bee, I giggled–bouncing from flower to flower, suspended yet animated.

The first time I kissed a girl, my heart stopped; then every sense accelerated into high gear, yearning to race to the finish line.

The first time I got sick, I wanted to die, but was later thankful for the prudent delay.

The first time I heard applause for my work, I smiled all over, refreshed by the wave of appreciation.

The first time I made love, my body briefly left my soul, to revel in its moment of acceptance.

The first time I was baptized, I opened my eyes under the water to view the cloudiness that was my heart.

The first time I heard a choir, I rejoiced in knowing that harmony in the masses was not only beautiful, but possible.

The first time I saw a mountain, I wanted to perch at its peak, minus the climb.

The first time I made people laugh, I felt like God–right after He created the sun.

The first time I was granted a miracle, my soul gazed at the heavens in wonder, as my head remained bowed.

The first time I held my son, I was in Eden, dancing around the Tree of Life.

The first time I failed, I was in awe that the rising dawn was unaware of my inadequacy.

The first time I drove a car–honestly, I favored the brake.

The first time I ate Chinese food, I resisted thinking about our family cat.

The first time I sang, I felt as if I were whispering into God’s ear.

And every first time I have a first time, I am grateful for this time … to discover The First.

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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.

Tapping Tapestry… December 31, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

John Candy died. It rattled my soul to its depths.

It wasn’t just because I enjoyed his work or relished his comedic wit. More importantly, he was just about my size and my age. It made me think about my own mortality–especially when a mere two months later, I fell ill. I had been sick before–you know, where you cough, blow your nose, recover from a sprained ankle or have a headache that goes away with a few aspirin and a good night’s sleep.

This was different. This was a sickness that grabbed onto me and wouldn’t let go. It not only infested my body with pain and discomfort, but sent shock warnings through my mind of the seriousness of the situation. I tried to ignore it; I attempted to medicate it. I even tried to exercise it away. It got worse. There was a sense of ill will throughout every member of my faculties. Finally I relented to go to the doctor. I was immediately placed in the hospital, where I stayed for three days as they tested me, but failing to discover precisely what the problem was.

Meanwhile, one of my sons decided to brighten up my room by bringing in a Christmas tree–even though it was June. He knew how much I enjoyed the holiday. My wife brought in a boom box and a few musical cassettes for me to play. I really didn’t want to hear anything. I just felt … horrible. Half of the medical staff was convinced that some of the problem was in my head, while the remainder of them persisted in their examinations. Meanwhile, I flirted with depression, ready to have a full affair.

It was especially bad at night. During the day, I kept my chin up (both of them) and remained optimistic. But nighttime in a hospital may be the closest thing to solitary confinement that I ever want to  experience. The blinking lights on my Christmas tree, intended to cheer me up, resembled a warning beacon of the doom lying ahead. So one night I reached over, picked up a cassette, and dropped it into the boom box. It was Carole King’s Tapestry.I do not know whether I was just vulnerable, needy or finally open enough to hear the music, but as her album played, I just laid in my bed and cried. When she sang, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? I wept because I wondered if there would be a tomorrow.  Her song, Far Away, made me yearn for the freedom to be out of the hospital and back to my life again. Too Late, Baby caused me to hope that I wasn’t. Way Over Yonder gave me the promise that no matter what happened through the diagnosis, I still had a future. Even Smackwater Jack put a little feisty fight into my soul. I just kept playing that cassette over and over again, energized every time she sang Beautiful (…“you’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face …”) I even teared up over Natural Woman, although my manliness was completely intact. And of course, You’ve Got a Friend saved my soul from the desperation of giving up on possibility.

Carole King became my ministering angel. I recalled that some people didn’t like her, thinking she was a singer that couldn’t even win an audition for a glee club at a small junior college, but I didn’t care. Her songs were anointed with spirit, hope, humanity and tenderness and in that darkened room, with Christmas lights flashing, I found God through Carole King.

About four days into my ordeal, they discovered I had two large abscesses in my body that needed to be removed. I was so relieved to find out that I was really sick. They told me that the operation was serious and that I could lose the ability to take care of my own bowels–and maybe end up in a wheel chair. But I didn’t care. Because as it turns out, it wasn’t “Too Late, Baby,” and I was going to be “Loved Tomorrow,” and God’s grace was not “Far Away” and life truly, truly was “Beautiful” ,,, and “I Had a Friend.”

I will never forget that experience … when I had the opportunity of Tapping Tapestry.

And I learned that day something I know to this very moment–that prayers have value. Bible reading is intriguing, but until spirituality is released creatively through human talent and made into something tangible–something we can understand–it is merely a promise instead of a reality. Since then I have written songs, plays, symphonies and movies to try to dissolve God into an elixir that can be drunk deeply by humankind. We are not supernatural. But we are fully capable of receiving the natural in a creative, super way.

So thank you to Carole King for allowing herself to be a vessel, taking real emotion and passing it through her talent and delivering it to this pilgrim, who was broken and nearly defeated. Because Carole is right.

 People are gonna treat you better. You’re gonna find out–yes you will–that you’re beautiful … as you feel.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Make My Day… December 30, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

It all really boils down to three hours and where you decide to plant that 180 minutes of fertile possibility. Because even though there are twenty-four hours in the day, we all know that those passing moments are not within our grasp and care. Failure to realize this causes us to procrastinate and end up frustrated and fretful.

No, it ends up being about three hours. And I find that people make one of two choices on that matter–they either choose their three hours of sanctified time late at night or early in the morning. If they choose it late at night, kind of following the pattern of a college student, they usually wake up pretty groggy and a bit wasted until mid-day. If they choose it early in the morning, they may lose some of the glittering promise of the nighttime glitz, but wake up fresher and more ready to go.

Here’s how it breaks down for me (and I must caution you that my lifestyle is not yours, nor are my particular preferences perhaps to your liking. The goal of this particular essay is to just get both of us to agree that twenty-four hours do pass by, leaving us only a small window for our own personal use.)

I usually get up about six o’clock in the morning–so six o’clock to nine o’clock becomes what I call MINE. There aren’t a whole lot of people vying for appointments or interfering. I can get up, enjoy myself, write my jonathots, send out some personal emails to friends and family, plan my day, have breakfast and pretty well do what I want to without intrusion. I always start off my day by being silly. I do it on purpose. I sing silly songs, say silly things and even think about silly matters. I believe the brain needs a chance to flush out all of yesterday’s fussiness before it starts trying to take on today’s sufficiency. You may find that childish. (Of course, my morning habits are completely irrelevant to you unless you happen to find yourself hanging around my presence at about six o’clock in the morning.)

I have breakfast–not because I believe it’s the most important meal of the day–but because it’s a chance to eat, which I have never found to be unpleasant. I know that about nine o’clock, humanity will start teeming around me and I will need to be ready to interact with folks. So I refer to the time between nine and twelve o’ clock as OURS. Emerging from MINE, I proceed into OURS. My goal is to have enjoyed myself so much during my previous three hours that I’m ready, decent and welcoming enough to deal with my fellow-human-beings.

From twelve to three o’clock every day I enter a phase I call RESTFUL. I separate myself off, have a meal, talk to a few friends on the phone and even slide in a small nap. I have had six hours of private time and interaction with people and I would like to give my heart, soul, mind and strength a chance to absorb the blessings or survive the ordeal.

From three to six o’clock I RE-ENGAGE. I like that time of day–a second burst of energy, a chance to do a trailing project that didn’t end up making my early-morning list, and just a delicious opportunity to finish the day on a high note instead of a discordant one.

From six to nine o’clock at night, I RELAX. I try not to take on anything that’s too important unless I happen to be doing a gig. And even if I am in front of an audience, I find that the relaxed profile does me–and them–well.

And then about nine o’clock, as I’m moving towards bedtime (always before twelve), I enter a precious position of power I call THANKFUL. Too many people spend the last moments of their day upset over what has happened or worried about what will happen. I become thankful. It’s interesting–thankful always makes me sleepy, because as my heart opens up in generosity to the goodness of God and life, my tension disappears and rest comes easy. And that’s usually what I do–from about twelve to about six in the morning, I rest. Since I’m getting older, that solitude is occasionally interrupted by the need to trot off to a bathroom. Or an inspiration may strike my fancy about a jonathots I could write. But usually it’s a very restful time because I have ended my day with thankfulness.

And that’s how I make my day. I recommend portions of it to you, as you’re able to apply it, because trying to grab your private time late at night can make you nasty in the morning, and trying to squeeze some self-worth into hours after work can be hectic and unfulfilling. For me, six o’clock to nine o’clock in the morning is MINE. Nine o’clock to twelve noon is OURS. Twelve noon to three o’clock P. M. is RESTFUL.  Three  to six o’clock  P. M. is ENGAGED. Six to nine at night is RELAXED. And nine until I go to sleep is THANKFUL.

Time passes quickly, my dear friends, and when you really only have three hours a day to grab for your own, it’s a good idea to invest wisely.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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