3 Things… August 2nd, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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You Want to Teach Your Children

1. Being kind is not weak, but rather, the strongest emotion that most people will permit.

 

2. Work makes more sense when you finish things up.

 

3. Most things you want on Monday will still be there on Friday if you still want them.

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Jesonian … February 10th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are two distinct types of abuse.

There is physical abuse, punctuated by an attack against body, heart or mind. It leaves cuts, bruises and scars. It is nasty, evil and inexcusable.

The other form of abuse is neglect. Being commissioned to perform a responsibility, someone decides to set it aside in favor of other pursuits, leaving that which was meant to be cared for destitute.

Although a case could be made that the religious system continues to physically abuse Jesus of Nazareth by crucifying him weekly in sermons, attempting to stimulate some sort of passion from the congregation, I shall step aside from such discussion in favor of presenting the true abuse.

We preach a Gospel of salvation which includes emphasis on “one time only, better do it today, this could be your last chance, hell is hot, Jesus loved you so much that he bled, and don’t you want to go to heaven” rhetoric in an attempt to frighten hearers who have already heard this many times before.

Meanwhile the real message of Jesus–the one that makes him our intimate, elder brother, and also affords the planet an opportunity for peaceful cohabitation–is often read aloud with the energy of reciting last week’s grocery list.

If you’re going to be Jesonian, you need to love Jesus. If you’re going to love Jesus, you’re going to get to know what’s close to his heart. And when you get to know what’s close to his heart, you will no longer be satisfied with a crucified Savior, but instead will become a disciple, pursuing a dynamic lifestyle.

You don’t have to go any further than the first three beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount to see what Jesus was all about. Matter of fact, I could spend the rest of my life elaborating on that trio and never run out of material.

It begins with the reality, follows with a challenge and culminates with wisdom.

The reality: we are happy because we are poor in spirit.

The reason that makes us happy is because we can stop trying to be spiritual instead of human. Once you find your classification, it’s so much easier to compete. Not an angel, not a saint, not a theologian, but rather, a human who is impoverished in the realm of spirit.

First realization: I am human and it is good.

God said so when He got done creating us. I don’t think He lied. Sure, we’re unpredictable, but since He’s not afraid of that, why should I apologize?

This is followed with a challenge. “Blessed are those who mourn.”

I have emotions and this is good.

Although we try to suppress them, these feelings continue to pop to the forefront, churn up our throats and waggle our tongues. Rather than deny them, we should use them to feel, to laugh, and most certainly, to mourn–to escape being uncaring bastards and instead, weep over the loss and pain in the world around us.

This climaxes with a bit of eternal, precious wisdom. “Blessed are the meek.”

Although there is a campaign to promote the notion that the more we brag, the stronger we are, the human race actually has a tendency to cut the stilts out from under those who try to walk too tall.

We honor humility. We are geared to destroy pride, even when it dwells within us.

Humble: “I am weak and it is good.”

In these three statements Jesus establishes a Gospel which is not only able to be mastered by humans, but can also be passed along as the living bread of truth that we all desperately need before we starve to death emotionally and spiritually.

I am human and it is good.

I have emotion, and it is good.

I am weak, and damn straight–it is good.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … October 21st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn October 21st

Even When

I want to be a light

But often in the dark

I yearn to win the fight

But find I’m stuck in park

I dream of changing the tide

Of shining a better way

But joining the wrong side

Absent the words to say

At times I am a witness

Evidence of good thought

Then lazy, devoid of fitness

To complete what I sought

My failure makes me cry

Weakness tempts me to lie

Faith encourages the need to try

And pride wants me to die

I refuse to understand my appeal

Possessed by selfish zeal

To some I am a solution

To others, living pollution

But to each I bring my story

Filled with pain and glory

Yes, even when I am weak

My heart has a message to speak.

 

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The Alphabet of Us: C is for Cunning… December 22, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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Baby block C bigger

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

Three pushy forces bully us to conform to the pattern of what is now considered, in this short-sighted season, to be normal.

  • “I must be better”
  • “I must be popular”
  • “I must be smarter”

Human beings were never meant to be consistent. It is within the spectrum of our unpredictability that we create our learning curve and our charm. When we deny this vulnerability, we place ourselves in a position where we must defend our “better,” our “popular” and our “smarter.”

Unfortunately, this leads to lying. And even worse than lying is the misconception that we can actually pull it off. This is cunning.

Cunning is the contention that “because I am better, very popular and smarter, I can trick you into believing whatever I desire.” It is ugly, selfish–and worst of all, it is doomed.

To escape cunning you have to counteract the three pushy bullies and speak the truth about your own inconsistent journey.

1. I am not better. I need to fail. I need to admit I fail. Failure is my only hope for escaping the disaster at the end of repeated stupidity.

2. Although I love human beings, I don’t need to be popular if such notoriety comes along with sacrificing my character and my soul.

3. The only way to become smarter is to learn from people who know more. This requires that I admit that I am less intelligent.

At the root of every drama which ends in defeat is a character who contends that he or she is better than others, popular for a time and smarter, which enables them to use cunning to produce the backdrop for their demise.

You will never be destroyed by being weak.

You will be destroyed by acting strong and ending up weak.

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Neutral … January 16, 2013

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Jon SigningIn the often-comical pursuit of trying to create  dialogue and social interaction that does not offend anyone, we have actually ended up being one of the most offensive generations that has ever walked the face of the earth. By the time the commentators finish parsing words, studying body language and playing video tape which has been edited to reinforce their points, they are able to turn almost any conversation, speech or private moment into the abomination of desolation or an obvious affrontation to some beleaguered and misunderstood portion of our society.

So everybody is heading for the low ground.

There was a time when we actually did try to climb the mountain of wisdom in order to find the high ground where we could see better. But now it seems more prudent to those in control to find the lowest point of disagreement and camp there, hoping never to be challenged or questioned.

It happened to me yesterday. Some dear soul who had caught my show requested that I come to present my ideas, music and creativity in front of another audience of her organizing. The lady was thrilled with what she had seen, and wanted to make sure she could include all of her friends in the experience. I told her I was more than willing to go anywhere and for her to let me know how I could be of assistance.

Well, less than twenty-four-hours later she called me and said that she had talked to the “powers that be.” They were more than willing to invite me to come to their auditorium to perform–if I would comply with a few simple rules. (Honestly, friends, I don’t know how the words “simple” and “rules” ever got hooked up. It is not a good marriage–because rules are never simple and simple rarely demands many rules.)

Basically, the main concern by her  fellow-workers was that they wanted to be assured that I would come in and offer a “neutral” program. Many of the people in their constituency are of different political persuasions, faiths, ethnic backgrounds and general dispositions. They needed some guarantee that what I would share would not be offensive, but “in the wheelhouse” of everyone’s comfort zone.

Let me tell you something about neutral. Neutral by definition is a decision not to get involved and neither go forward or backwards. It is not exactly where anyone desires to be, but rather, a profile thrust upon us by fear of being overly passionate or too advanced.

I don’t mind being neutral. I just don’t know whether I can offer the same package of potential and emotional explosion by carefully removing all the meat from my offering, only to display the remaining skeleton.

But as I said, it’s not hard to do. The United Methodist minister, for instance, is more than willing to sacrifice miracles, supernatural events and any controversial subject that might have been brought up by Jesus, in an attempt to create a faith which can be intellectually absorbed through the pores from the hymn book.

On the other hand, the Southern Baptist will gladly and almost reverently take away any of the compassion, open-mindedness and non-judgmental approach of Jesus in favor of the bleeding savior who died for the world’s sins because “we’re all so very rotten, you know.”

It seems to me that the problem with religion is that it chooses to either be weak or to be mean.

So what I told the lady I would do for her gathering is simple. I’ve already found a neutral message. It’s not, however,  neutral in its energy and impact. It’s neutral because it is the only message that cross-sects all of humanity–simultaneously making sense and also convicting the hell out of all of our souls.

That message is “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

It is not obtuse to the atheist OR the pentecostal, yet individuals within those groups may find it humorous or implausible. I am willing to work with any philosophy, political party or clump of clods who will accept that the only way we’re going to get along on this planet together is when we stop feeling either superior or inferior to each other.

It’s not so much a neutral message as it is the only message.

So if my Buddhist friends have trouble with it, I offer them the platform to give me a more concise and on-point directive.

If the agnostics think it is irrelevant, I’m all ears to their findings.

And if the Muslims, Jews, Republicans, Democrats, atheists and “whoevers” wish to banter with me about the specifics of this holy sound bite, I am prepared to be instructed and informed–just not deterred.

So there is my neutral message: NoOne is better than anyone else.

I’m sure someone on MSNBC or Fox News could find fault with it, and if they couldn’t decimate the content, they could certainly delve into my character and find reasons why I am unworthy to front the notion. I don’t care. I will not play the game.

I learned a long time ago–the only way to become a fool is by participating in foolishness.

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Are Human Beings Basically Bad? … February 23, 2012

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It was Trent’s fourth birthday. As excited as he was about the presents and the upcoming party at  Chuck E. Cheese, what was really revving his emotional engine was the prospect of going to the park and being allowed to go to the playground on his own. Dad would be nearby–but Trent would finally be allowed to play to his heart’s content without a parent hovering over his shoulder.
 
Independence. Trent was thrilled. Arriving at the park, he leaped from the car and ran towards the playground, with all of its contraptions and possibilities. Dad perched himself on a bench nearby, reading a newspaper and sipping some coffee. It was less than ten minutes later that a woman came running towards Papa, asking him if he had a little boy on the playground. She explained that his son, Trent, had just knocked down her little daughter for no good reason.
 
Dad immediately ran over to the location of the accosting and asked Trent what had happened. At first he would not respond. So Dad threatened to take Trent away from the playground–to punishment at home. Finally, with bitter tears drizzling down his cheeks, Trent replied, “She knew how to make all the stuff on the playground work and I didn’t! So I knocked her down.”
 
Dad suddenly realized what the problem was. Even though Trent was old enough to be on the playground, because he had never used any of the equipment on his own, he was unfamiliar with how to do it right. So instead of admitting his need or watching other kids and following suit, he decided to strike out.
 
You see, friends, that is the birthing of all “bad.” Even though there are many religious people who contend that human beings are born with original sin, Jesus disagreed. He said that little children were the citizenry of heaven.  He compared them to angels. No one is born bad. No one is flawed from birth with any permanent predisposition to anything–unless they relent to it.
 
That may not be a popular view, but the alternative philosophy renders us at the mercy of either a juggernaut of genetics or a religious doctrine of human depravity. The difference between good and bad in human beings is really quite simple. If people don’t know what they’re doing and they’re not humble enough to admit it, learn from others and appreciate those teachers, they will eventually do something to hurt the folks around them–and even themselves.
 
Here is what makes human beings bad:
1. They become angry because they don’t understand. The predominant motivation for anger in our lives is a lack of comprehension about how things really work without the pursuit of a greater insight on the issue. Just like Trent, we are thrust on the playground without adequate instruction. In other words, it’s easier to be pissed off than it is to acquire knowledge.
2. They don’t understand because they refuse to imitate. I don’t know about you–when I’m baffled about something, I just look around for anybody who’s been there before and try to copy off their paper. I don’t want to look stupid and end up angry. Yet there is a silly and sappy notion in the hearts of human beings that appearing vulnerable–in need of input–makes us look ridiculous. Just for the record, I am a man, but I always stop and ask for directions. If I need help carrying something, I will not strain my legs or break my back to do it. Bad and evil enter the human heart when we refuse to honor our need for aid.
3. And the reason we don’t imitate is that we were taught that it’s weak to do so. I cannot think of any greater reason that evil flourishes except that people are frightened of appearing less. It’s how Hitler controlled Germany. They were a country beset by difficulties after World War I and he taught them that they were a super-race that needed to rule the world, and dispelled all notions of need. It doesn’t do any good to preach a gospel that says “the meek shall inherit the earth;” “when we are weak we are strong;” and “confess your faults one to another,” when the brunt of society is screaming “self-esteem” and “self-reliance.” You can take perfectly good people and ruin their lives by convincing them they should be angry because they don’t understand, and see them continue to misunderstand because they fear imitating others–because the imitation of others would be a sign of weakness.
 
Can it really be that simple? Absolutely. All “bad people” are angry because they don’t understand; they don’t understand because they don’t want to imitate, and they were taught not to imitate because it made them look weak.  So are people naturally bad? Are they born in original sin? No. It is an outgrowth of a foolish rendition of pride in one’s work which leaves out a learning curve and garnering knowledge from others.
 
Here, on the other hand, is how you make good people. Teach them to:
 
1. Watch for winners. Look out for folks who are doing it right and get to the business of studying their procedure. It would be  wonderful if we actually would follow “what would Jesus do”–if we would first study the style of Jesus. But instead, we assume that Jesus would react like the typical American. He doesn’t. If you want to be a “good person,” you’ve got to start watching for winners and turning your back on the losers.
2. Appreciate and apply. When you come across a winner, make sure you walk up and congratulate him or her on the discovery and then honor the effort by applying it in your own life. I am not a rock–I am a sponge. When I see good things happening, I absorb them. When I read the scriptures and there’s something in there that is tender-hearted towards humanity, I own it. I appreciate and express thankfulness, and then I apply it in my own life as a tribute to the beauty. There is no goodness in life without imitating powerful ideas.
3. And finally, be grateful to your brothers and sisters. Not every meaningful experience in your life will happen in your own family or genetic lineage. You will need emotional and spiritual boosts from many travelers. So when you meet people for the first time, instead of treating them as strangers, be prepared to receive fresh spirit from their journey. Be grateful for your brothers and sisters.
 
So are people basically “bad?”  No–they have to be taught to be angry because they don’t understand, and to refuse to understand because they don’t want to imitate, and that imitation makes them feel weak.
 
But as for me and my house, we’re going to watch for winners, appreciate those champions, apply those precepts into our lives and be grateful for all of our brothers and sisters. The choice is ours–as it should be.
 
People aren’t bad; ignorance is bad–especially when it’s backed up with arrogance and cemented by reverence.
 
So that’s the first step in our I.G.P.–evaluating our society on intelligence, growth and progress. So what’s the next question? What shall we talk about on the morrow? How about this one:
 
Is God mean?
 
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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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