PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2812)

PoHymn Jan 13 Make Me

Make Me

Sunshine makes me glad

Rain makes me sad

Cold can make me shiver

Insults make me quiver

Work makes me tired

Especially if I’m fired

Love can make me grin

Jealousy makes me sin

Laughter makes me glow

Tribulation makes me grow

Generosity makes me a friend

But poverty has no end

Prayer grants great assurance

But mission promotes endurance

Confidence makes me believe

Humility helps me receive

Truth makes me bold

Yet mercy makes me unfold

Teaching helps me learn

Repentance helps me turn

Renewal makes me feel

While revival makes it real

The old ways are often true

But blessing must be new

So Father of All Serene

Come and make me clean.

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Good News and Better News … September 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sugar river

Many years ago, I sensed a voice within me, encouraging me to go out and share my heart and abilities with the world. Some people would say it was the voice of God, while others would probably insist that it was just me, declaring my own bidding. I don’t care.

I heeded the call, and that decision has taken me on an exotic adventure.

Verona, Wisconsin has a small church called Sugar River. I had the pleasure of being the guest artist for that congregation yesterday morning.

There is much good news to proclaim about Sugar River. First of all, they have the unique distinction of meeting in a former bowling alley, which honestly, unleashed the “demon” of pun and wordplay I felt had been dormant in my soul, culminating with me referring to the gathered as “a bunch of Holy Rollers.”

What was good about Sugar River?

1. They seemed glad to be there.

That in itself is a bit unusual in this day and age, when many people arrive at church with the passion level of a fresh recruit assigned to guard duty.

2. They kind of liked each other.

I know that may seem to be a silly statement, but merely attending the same worship facility does not necessarily stimulate friendship any more than arriving at a political debate causes all the candidates to hug.

3. They are weary of “old church.”

I’m not so sure that “old church” was ever a church. The real old church we often refer to was filled with compassion, energy and social awareness, but the old church that exists today is the back-slidden version of that former gregarious gang. Either way, Sugar River is tired of the back-slidden body of Christ.

4. But they all seemed a little afraid of the change they know must come.

Matter of fact, it’s causing many churches to cement their spirits and become advocates of certain doctrines, so as to protect themselves from the perceived anarchy that just might happen if the religious system was exposed for being a charlatan.

So I was happy to bring them better news. Matter of fact, Jesus often began his discourses with “be not afraid.”

No, Sugar River, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

The church that will emerge from the existing malaise now exists will only require that you bring your heart.

  • Not your soul, so you can pore through the scriptures to find obscure interpretations.
  • Not merely your mind, so you can draw psychological parallels between theology and the latest Hollywood movie.
  • And not just your body, to plop down and go through the formalities of surviving an order of service.

You will be required to be emotionally involved with your heavenly Father and with those humans around you.

You also will be unleashed to “be of good cheer.”

The only true enemy of spirituality is the notion that we seriously can figure out God. Discovering that we can’t and having a good laugh about it is the abundant joy that Jesus promised us in following His path.

The world has tribulation.

Heaven is beyond our grasp.

So be of good cheer.

Relax in your skin, love your life, and don’t get too solemn.

And finally, the last piece of better news for Sugar River is: be prepared to simplify.

Everything is complicated. Matter of fact, we are almost prideful in the pursuit of complicating things further.

In a world of unsolved problems, the genius in the room is the person who walks away from the problems and finds a place to be productive.

Simplify.

Get your faith down to two or three solid ideas, and then chase them down with all your heart.

I enjoyed my time at Sugar River.

And I’m so glad that I went to the former bowling alley with my spare time…and made a strike.

 

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NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

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Jesonian: Morning Person … August 9th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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sun rising

Jesus is a Savior because mankind decided to reject his first offer of Son of Man, and kill him off.

Jesus is the Christ because God ignored our verdict and raised him from the dead.

This is great stuff for Sunday. But my week has seven days.

So Monday through Saturday, I need the Nazarene to be something more than Jesus Christ.

Jesus is my Lifestyle Coach.

It’s really what he wanted. He desired us to believe in him for his words. That’s what he said (with his words, by the way).

So since my day begins with a morning–as does yours–it would be nice to know what Jesus felt about the morning, and how he suggested for us to become better “morning people.”

  1. Don’t be in a hurry.

The best way to ruin your day is to start off in a rush. Jesus hung around a lot. He escaped the crowds. The Bible says he “tarried” even when people wanted him to come quickly. Hurrying destroys us. It makes us lose our power while simultaneously taking ourselves too seriously

     2. Get rid of yesterday.

It is unlikely that we will be able to enter our time machine and go back and redo anything. So the power of refusing to think about yesterday, or as Jesus said, “Take no thought,” gives us the full capability of considering how we want to butter our daily bread.

      3. Ignore tomorrow.

People are only interested in the future because they believe it is beyond their control, and therefore they are victims to what will transpire. If you understand that the future does not exist until you craft it through your decisions, using your free will, then you will also comprehend the need to avoid crafting too soon.

Jesus comically told his disciples, “Today’s got enough problems of its own.”

        4. Be of good cheer.

  • I’ve achieved more in my life by joking than I ever did lamenting.
  • I’ve made more friends poking fun at myself than I ever have reciting my accomplishments.
  • And I’ve gained much more energy by smiling than by frowning.

Once you realize the world has tribulation, trying to stop the turmoil is fruitless unless you want to halt the insanity temporarily–with a good laugh.

      5. Be ready. It’s coming.

The next thing that needs to be addressed will become pretty obvious. You can make your lists, but sometimes, #16 bumps the 15 previous candidates out of the way and wins the debate.

It’s just the way things are. Flexibility makes us powerful. Stubbornness always makes us stupid.

So avoid the dastardly, useless statement that you are “not a morning person,” and instead, look at the direction your Lifestyle Coach takes you in dealing with the first fruits of the day.

 

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NEW BOOK RELEASE BY JONATHAN RICHARD CRING

WITHIN

A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

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Three Ways to Start Fresh… January 1, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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bread bigger

Dream and scheme.

It is the dual approach used in the United States by those who are pursuing success.

We are told to have “big dreams” and be prepared to scheme our way into the marketplace using cunning–everything short of illegality.

The pundits of this philosophy sit back and smirk at its ambiguity. In other words, how realistic are dreams and how proficient is it to scheme for what we want?

The “dream and scheme” tactic is not only inefficient but also dangerous–inefficient because it leaves us at the mercy of hope, and dangerous because we are tempted to cheat.

As we begin the New Year, we often have the sensation of wanting to improve our lives. But dreams put us to sleep, threatening nightmares, and scheming puts us in a competitive arena with those who may be more ruthless.

Here’s how you can start fresh:

1. Don’t fret over what you haven’t done.

There’s a reason for it. Don’t study the reasons so much. The past only gives you a certain amount of input before it turns into a nagging mistress.

2. Set your aspirations based on what you can do instead of what you want to do.

If you’ve never done it before, although you tried, your next attempt will probably be no more illustrious. Instead, winnow down your talents to those you can perform when sick, inspired, depressed, under pressure or handicapped. After all, these are your gifts. Use them well.

3. Don’t blame anyone.

That includes yourself. Circumstances always arise to bring tribulation. We have two defenses against such onslaught:

A. Count the cost.

In other words, don’t budget in what you don’t have. Only consider what’s available.

B. Be of good cheer.

And here is my definition of good cheer:

Nothing happens until I show up. Nothing is over until I give up.

If you will escape the “dream and scheme” apparition which is haunting our culture, you can begin a fresh, new life–working with your abilities, doing what you can do, and not taking things so personally.

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Jesonian: Carpenter Logic… August 31, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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carpenter's tools

Janice has a five-year goal spectrum which she has laid out, printed and shares with anyone who’s interested and quite a few who truly aren’t. Unfortunately, five minutes after Janice shared her sixty-month roll-out, she discovered that her mother had just passed away from cancer and that her services would be needed to assist her father in finding a new place of residence. Unable to muster the kind of logical profile to continue her dreams, she abandoned them in frustration.

Mark has a business plan and has filed corporation papers to start a company to pursue one of his adventures. In the process of gaining investors, he uncovered some unsavory facts about his helpers and was forced to walk away from the money because he wasn’t sure how to logically handle the adversity.

Even though planning is a terrific way of proving to yourself and others that you are serious about your aspirations, what really determines our success is the path of logic which we pursue when our “best-laid plans of mice and men” go ker-plunk, ker-plop.

It is unfortunate that religious people don’t study the life of Jesus. They would see that he spent thirty years as a carpenter’s son and only three years concentrating on his sonship with God. So the logic of the carpenter permeated his dealings and helped him get through many a tight spot and tribulation.

What was his carpenter’s logic?

1. What’s the job?

A powerful question. Because oftentimes we prepare for a job we have created in our minds rather than dealing with the actual task set before us. When we ask ourselves, “what’s the job?” we have time to get focused on the moment instead of finding ourselves discussing logos to adorn our five-year goal plan.

2. What materials are needed?

Even though we may be familiar with the old street phrase, “don’t show up to a gun fight with a knife,” there is great depth of wisdom hidden beneath that dark thought. Knowing what materials you will need in order to pursue your situation and keeping yourself flexible for changes and revisions proves that you have the kind of logic to get you through tight times.

3. How much?

Yes–count the cost. And then, if you’re smart, ask yourself the question of what happens if the budget doubles.

4. How long?

Since the philosophy of the carpenter was “he that endures to the end shall be saved.” what might be some of the obvious and tell-tale signs of where and when the end might be?

5. Build it to last.

Even though sand is on sale, it’s not a good deal because you have to keep rebuilding. The rock might cost more, but anything that’s built on it will remain.

And when you build things to last, you not only communicate the level of your commitment, but you have an obvious passion for your work which tells people you can be trusted.

Your plans in life only work if you are following a logic which survives pettiness, stupidity, and human frailty.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Populie: Is There a God? … May 7, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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worldIt is very popular to question the existence of God.

It is usually accompanied with the lie that in doing so, we, as humans, become more powerful and intelligent. Thus the POPULIE, delivered with a quizzical, doubtful tone: Is there really a God?

Politics favors this quandary because it promotes the notion of “us against them.” We can talk about culture wars. One party can be on the side of faith and the other on the side of knowledge. We can even present it in a dramatic form as “the saved against the damned.” What a great way to get people to the voting booth.

Entertainment pushes the concept by showing us through movies and television shows, that truly intuitive and mature people are always at least perplexed by the question of the presence of God, and usually in choosing disbelief, are proven to be more intellectual.

Ironically, even religion desires this discussion be thrust to the forefront because it provides the sense of being “persecuted for righteousness sake,” proving our devotion by defending the Almighty against His foes.

Yet the foolishness of the process leaves us stymied as human beings, without the ability to make quality decisions in our lives based on the truth that surrounds us instead of chasing dreams–whether they be in Bible learning or college classrooms.

Let me tell you what I feel. I do not have enough faith to accept the idea of a spontaneously spawned universe. When I watch a show like Cosmos, to follow through on the precepts presented by scientists about how all this began is much more of a fairy tale to me than accepting the potential of a creative force.

Yes, I doubt too much to be ignited by the Big Bang Theory.

There are three factors that scream at me that there is a divine reasoning in the universe:

1. An order in the chaos.

Even though the world is filled with tribulation, upheaval and ongoing evolution, there is always an order, sensibility and common agreement that steps forward to greet the next possibility.

If everything was chaos we would have to believe that luck was in charge, which is no different from believing that God is.

2. A respect for nature.

Since I believe God to be the Creator, He has put a team in charge of the maintenance of His creation. It’s called the natural order. And when you respect the rules of the system which flourishes around you, you set in motion the possibility of prospering. When you deny them, you are at the mercy of an evolutionary chopping block, which is not afraid to bring the hammer down.

3. A faith in progress.

The whole panorama of the law of physics points in the direction and favor of those who step out, try new things and acquire the instinct to go forward.

  • After all, the single cell had faith to become two cells.
  • The first fish emerged from the water to dry land, becoming the grandfather of the amphibians.
  • And dinosaurs, who learned to accept their surroundings, eventually became crocodiles.

There is a faith involved in what we do.

I guess I could be sympathetic to the agnostic or atheist if it weren’t for the fact that there are laws in nature which are immutable. We call it science.

It is just impossible for me to believe that laws can be instituted without a legislator. And to me, that legislator is God.

So even though it may be the populie of our day and age, to try to be cool by questioning the reality of a Creator, I cannot muster enough trust to believe that all of this around me … spontaneously came from the dust of nothing.

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Arizona morning

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!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

Click here to get info on the “Gospel According to Common Sense” Tour

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

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