G-5: Night or Light… January 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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brighter lightIn the Good Book, it states, “Work while it’s day, for the night comes when no man works.”

One might have a tendency to become cynical since that statement was written in a time where the world ran on “candle power.” Since then, we’ve become more advanced in the ability to light up the night incandescent. But the idea is not solely based on whether the night hours can be illuminated by bulbs. There is a night that has nothing to do with a light show.

I once told my children that nothing good happens after 10:00 P.M. They gave me the obligatory stare of disapproval, since all of them deeply enjoyed staying up late, attempting to be grown-up and independent.

There is a power to light.

There is an energy infused into our beings when the daily sunshine offers encouragement for the possibility of our scheme.

The absence of that particular brightness robs us of the chemicals to our brain which induce true creativity and welcome transparency.

I believe that.

During a very brief stint, I ran sound at a Blues Bar. Everything was dark–only partially revealed through colored lights, smoke hanging in the room. Eight o’clock at night at the Blues Bar was festive, exciting and filled with celebration. By ten o’clock, a new element was in the room, which brought less jubilation and more confrontation. By the time the bar closed, a darkness, misery and dismal cloud hung over the room, festering the occupants and making people irritable and fussy.

We need light.

We have convinced ourselves that the study of darkness is the evidence of our maturity and the scope of our receptivity. Hogwash.

Dark is dark and light is light, and when all is said and done, you will be remembered by how much light you brought into the world and how much darkness you dispelled.

Here are three things I know–a trio of ideas that I incorporate into my daily life and message which comfort me in knowing that I am becoming “the light of the world” instead of encouraging bleakness. I tell people:

  1. We can be honest. Yes, darkness requires deceit in order to function.
  2. We can do better. When we begin to accept the mediocre, what we actually achieve is destitution.
  3. We are not alone. To preach the absence of God, love or even a cosmic karma which returns our actions back to us is to turn the light off in the human soul, making us all blind.

There is a night that falls on our society, and it’s best to be tucked away in your home, safe and sound.

For truly, any New Yorker will tell you that Central Park is a beautiful place … until the sun goes down. 

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

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

click to hear music from Spirited 2014

M.T.M.B…. June 26, 2012

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She situated herself at the edge of the pool in a white deck chair, peering closely at her three young ducklings, splashing away in the water. Seeing us arrive, she apparently judged by our age that we were older and therefor cranky, and warned her children not to splash us when we entered the swimming hole.

I laughed. I told her that if we didn’t want to get wet, we probably should have stayed in our room instead of coming to the pool. She looked at me, a bit surprised, asked me if I was sure, and then returned to her vigil of supervision. Since the children were given permission to scream, they actually ended up screaming less. (I think that’s part of being a kid–if your parents want you to do anything, that’s a good enough reason to do it less or not at all.)

While I swam around, I observed her. I like to observe people–not because I’m nosy but because I’m trying to learn how to make better choices myself and the only way I’ve found to accomplish that is to learn from watching the decisions of others.

She yelled a lot. It’s not easy having three kids. I know–I’ve had them. You’re always concerned that they’re going to hurt themselves or do something stupid or annoy cantankerous folks around you, so you always come off a little over-protective and possibly overly critical.

She was having a bad day. No one should ever be judged–but certainly not when they’re having a bad day. Did I happen to mention that she was also pregnant? So there was going to be another young troubador joining the trio to form a quartet, with her being the underpaid and underappreciated maestro of the traveling troupe. What usually happens at this point is that people who think that they care or want to contribute something of quality resort to offering an opinion, or even worse, advice. It even can begin with the humble approach of, “In my experience … ”

If I could give one pearl of great wisdom to everyone in the world, it would be to avoid opinions and advice nearly at all cost. They are both useless. No one really wants to hear your opinion unless it’s favorable and your advice would require that they submit to your ideas, which human beings rarely do. We like to follow the thoughts that come from our own heads. Good, bad or ugly–it’s true.  So with that in mind I decided to contribute something of worth to this dear woman, who was obviously struggling under a burden beyond my present comprehension.

It’s all about good cheer. Good cheercomes in two forms. You can give it or you can be it. Sometimes the greatest thing you can do for another person is to just cheer ’em on. Take a moment, find something they’re doing well, and just give them a great big hoorah. I told her I thought she was doing a good job with her children and that she was smart to wear them out in the pool so they would get sleepy and have a good night of rest. She was a little shocked, but very appreciative that somebody was encouraging her instead of suggesting different parental approaches.

swimming pool

swimming pool (Photo credit: freefotouk)

I also used the other part of good cheer, staying in a great mood myself the whole time I was in the pool around her children. Humor may be the only answer to every problem–at least to get us started in the direction of resolution. (This is why we, as a race, are heading towards doom–because when confronted with conflict, we choose to become more serious-minded, and therefore, incompetent.)Yes, the two greatest things you can do for other people is cheer for them or bring good cheer in your own attitude.

I have experienced this my whole life. I was once stuck on I-40 in a complete stoppage of traffic because of a major accident. People got out of their cars and started to grump, complain and become fussy with one another. I realized it was going to be a dangerous situation unless some good cheer came in. So I let my sons get out of the car with their Nerf football and start throwing passes back and forth among the cars. Now, some people did complain, but most folks started tossing the ball along with them. In no time at all, the atmosphere changed from pre-Armageddon to “picnic.” All it took was good cheer.

The night that my son, Joshua, was in the hit-and-run accident, I found myself in the emergency room, awaiting the doctors and nurses to report to me, completely absorbed in my own tragedy. Sitting nearby was a mother and her nine-year-old son, who were also waiting for a report on an operation about her husband and his dad. They were tense, nervous and the little fellow was in tears. I didn’t feel like being generous. I was sitting in the ashes of my own devastation, but so was the little boy next to me. So I started up a game of, “I see something blue…” with him. (Honestly, it’s very hard to do in a hospital, considering that most things are beige and off-white.) He started to giggle, and for a necessary juncture, I forgot that my son was lying broken in an examination room. We passed the time together. About an hour later, the surgeon appeared and the little boy’s father had survived the operation. Good cheer won the night.

What we want to avoid are opinions and advice. Opinions are limited to our upbringing and advice has the frailty of being limited by our own personal experience. But good cheer comes from God, and sometimes only a gift from God will satisfy the human need.

My dear woman at the pool left in better sorts, I think. And I departed knowing that the best thing we can do is M.T.M.B.–which, by the way, stands for: Make The Moment Better.

   

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

Korny … March 23, 2012

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It’s what we decided to call it since we were in our early twenties and most of our smarts were south of our head.

The actual name was Kearney … Nebraska. And I was more than halfway there, crossing the Illinois border, before it finally soaked into my post-adolescent brain that we were driving too far to perform at a church with only fifty people.

But we were desperate. Now, there is a certain amount of desperation necessary to be twenty-four years old. But we had a rock/gospel group called Soul Purpose that had become a trio–nurturing a sound, writing songs and frantically trying to find people within a one hundred mile radius of our home in Westerville, Ohio, who had not heard us, rejected us, ignored us or were not already raving fans. (We originally were a quartet but soon discovered that it is chemically impossible for people of our age and maturity to co-exist in fours.) So the three of us were bound and determined to become famous for our musical abilities, writing talents and performance attributes, come hell or high water (whatever that means).

So when we were gigging at a coffee-house in Tiffin, Ohio, a young man from Kearney, Nebraska, invited us to come out to his church to share. Normal people would ask how far or how much. But we were musicians, so our only question was … “when??” It was set up, and through some careful budgeting we discovered that we would need twenty-five dollars to buy food supplies and gasoline for the journey there, which meant we would need twenty-five dollars to get home, and hopefully, if the people were generous, we could get an additional twenty-five dollars so we could languish in a motel one evening on the way back.

As you can see the plan was flawless, without error. There was only one hitch. We didn’t have twenty-five dollars. All we possessed was a birthday present one of the girls had just received from her parents, purchased at Lazarus Department Store. So with the agreement of my generous cohort, we took her present to Lazarus, returned it, got the cash and had the front money for “Tour Korny.” We went to the store and bought food supplies–baloney, bread, chips and candy (the basic four  food groups)–filled our van up with gas and launched. We were so excited. We were an American Band.

We arrived at the church and if possible, it was even smaller than our lowest expectation. There were thirty-eight people present–Nebraska farmers who stared at us a little bit like Three Dog Night had suddenly invaded their community. We sang our songs. We had some new ones. They were really good, even though I wouldn’t consider this particular group of people to be our target market. But they listened politely, kindly and even occasionally would applaud. The pastor seemed to squirm in his seat a little bit–because my hair was too long and the girls were not exactly dressed in normal Cornhusker fashion. But it was an era of greater tolerance–or perhaps simply better manners or just abundant fear.

We finished our program to an ovation minus the standing and prerequisite clapping. It was time for the offering. We needed seventy-five dollars to make the trip complete and to guarantee ourselves a nice motel room to sleep in and shower. I carried the offering plates out to my van and quickly counted the proceeds. $64.12.

We had suddenly moved to Plan B … or was it C? We had covered the cost of re-purchasing the gift at Lazarus, the money for eats and gas to return–and probably had enough left over to purchase some souvenirs to prove to our friends that we had actually left the state of Ohio. But we didn’t have enough for a motel room. I was tired, which by my standards today, I would refer to as totally exhausted. I knew we wouldn’t make it far on the road before crashing into a corn field. I didn’t want to sleep in the van at a rest area, so even though I was embarrassed, I walked up to the pastor and asked him if he would be so kind as to allow us to bunk out in the basement of the church for the evening, telling him that we wouldn’t be any trouble and would be gone before he arrived in the morning for coffee and morning prayers following hospital visitations.

He paused, wrinkling his brow. I wondered what he was thinking. I wanted to add further information, but really had none, so I just waited. He cleared his throat and then contemplated some more. Nervously, I interjected. “I’ll tell you what. We’ll even clean up the basement before we leave.”

It was so stupid that my brain wanted to run away in total humiliation. Finally he spoke.

“It’s not that,” he said. “It’s just … well, it’s just that I would want to make sure that you and the girls would not be in the lower regions of our Holy House–fornicating.” 

(To be continued)

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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.

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