Good News and Better News … July 18th, 2016

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3006)

Lady Liberty hillAll the squirrels and sparrows in the woodlands of Pennsylvania did not seem to care.

As I drove through on my way to St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Valley View, these creatures were preoccupied with the pursuit of living–actually, rather excited and vigorous about it. They seemed unaware that political conventions were about to convene or that lunatic killers roam the earth, trying to prove that their god is better or that their lives truly matter.

I realized that I could either imitate my friends in the forest or the commentators on television, who bombard me with the command to be sad or mad.

After all, it seems appropriate to be forlorn or infuriated. Killing is deadly. Worse, it’s terrifying. (That’s why we call them terrorists.)

It seems irresponsible to follow the advice of Jesus and “be of good cheer” or “be not afraid” and “rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” Matter of fact, one of the better ways to be mocked in this day and age is to suggest that things will get better instead of worse.Valley View Map

So I was delighted when I arrived at the church and discovered that the human creatures emerging from their homes had decided to imitate the squirrels and the sparrows instead of the pundits on television, who continue to repeat the same information, hoping it will create greater nervousness and rage with each pronouncement.

Why do we need to be glad? Because we become emotionally unhinged when we’re mad, and mentally depleted when we’re sad.

Gladness releases the chemicals in our bodies which make us willing to go the second mile instead of complaining about the first one.

Gladness causes us to remember times of goodness instead of being partly cloudy with evil.

Gladness is the abiding notion that we still have something to contribute instead of being at the mercy of the people with the loudest guns or the biggest truck.

For I will truly tell you that yesterday the only place of satisfying sanctuary and hope was the church.

  • It’s not because it’s perfect.
  • It’s not because every issue is handled correctly by the clergy.

It’s because we serve a Master who insists on fueling us with good cheer instead of wearing us down with negative reports.

During the service, I watched the people bloom. They brought the seed, I brought the water and God gave the increase.

I watched Pastor Duane encourage it to happen without inserting reports of doom and gloom or trying to balance it out with an overuse of concern. Yes, concern is overused if it has no intention of becoming involved.

Here’s the good news: Jesus told us that even when we’re confronted by those who are persecuting us, we should “rejoice and be exceedingly glad.” Why? Because in the hour of need, our “smarts” might be our only friend.

And the better news is that the only way to tap the full potential of what we’ve experienced in our lives is to busy ourselves living instead of worrying about dying.

Valley View book table

 

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Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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PoHymn cover jon

 

The Rule of Croak … March 31, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2191)

bullfrogIf you want to be effective, start affecting what you can affect–or become a freak by freaking out about what you consider freaky.

The rule of croak–it’s very simple:

If it goes on after I die, I will stop worrying about it while I live.

I have sons with wives and I have grandchildren. They have lives of their own and will do just fine after I escape this mortal portal. All that will be left of me is a memory, so I should be about the business of making memories.

I know it is popular to believe that life is hard. I suppose if you decide to complicate it by involving yourself in matters that do not directly pertain to your field of activity and scope of influence…well, perhaps it becomes twisted.

But it is elementary when you school yourself on your field of expertise and you know exactly what makes you unique to life as we know it.

  • My family will go on without me.
  • The Dow Jones will not lose a point upon hearing of my death.
  • CNN and FOX News will have no controversy concerning my demise.

What will be affected are my writings, my music, my traveling, my heart, my humor, my ideas, my wit, my whimsy, and probably my business partner, who’s been working with me for eighteen years and may notice for a season that the “oom-pah” of her life has lost some “oom.”

So since this is directly in my field of play, it is what I will pursue.

It reminds me of the time when someone asked me if I wanted to play hardball or softball. When I examined the two balls, I saw that both would be rather hard if they hit you. What makes softball more pleasing is that it is pitched your way underhanded, it’s slower and it’s bigger, and therefore easier to hit.

There you go.

The rule of croak is like the game of softball–finding the pitches that come your way, keeping your eye on that big ball and doing your best to hit it out of the park.

True pride and vanity is any notion that we have power, influence or even consideration in any matters other than those directly linked to us.

I reject that vanity.

So to my children, friends, the US government and the rest of Planet Earth, let me tell you that I will give you a blessing–and myself one as well:

I will stay out of your business unless I know I have something that will help, and I will focus on what I can do and keep doing it better and better … until I’m no longer allowed to hop around.

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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.

We Are (The Jesonian Creed)… February 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2140)

We are blessed. holding hands

We are mourners, but comforted.

We are hungry and thirsty for better things, and end up filled.

We are merciful and in so doing, get our needful share.

We are pure in heart, which enables us to see God.

We are peacemakers and blessed to be called the children of God.

We are the salt of the earth.

We are the light of the world.

We are a city set on a hill for all to see.

We are not alone.

We are not even lonely.

We are loved.

We are possessed by love.

We are part of an ever-growing family.

We are perfect, even as our Father is perfect.

We are able to pray and be heard.

We can forgive and be forgiven.

We are given daily bread.

We can lay up treasure in heaven.

We are in no need of worrying.

We can seek first the kingdom of God and have everything added unto us.

We can stop judging, unafraid of being judged.

We are able to ask and be given.

We are able to seek and find.

We are able to knock and have the doors flung open.

We are given good gifts.

We can bear fruit.

We are able to bless the least of these.

We are known by God.

And we are built upon the rock, and even though the storms will come and the rains will pelt and beat upon us, we are not going to fall.

(Adapted from Matthew 5, 6 and 7)

 

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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

You’re Kidding… March 30, 2012

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“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be …”

So begins Jesus’ description of life on Planet Earth just prior to the end of the world. He lays out a visual example of a culture that has become preoccupied with “being married and given in marriage.” Does he really believe that the sign of the Apocalypse is matrimony?

No. There is nothing immoral, unspiritual or unnatural about falling in love and getting married. But when that experience encompasses your whole being, taking over your will, your sense of discovery and your vision for life, then it becomes a numbing sensation and a killing field.

Yes, along about the age of twenty-five or twenty-six years, the addled essence, who has failed to learn about peaceful co-existence between the sexes, starts getting the itch to couple, settle down and “start kidding”– in other words, having children. Maybe college didn’t turn out the way they had planned. Those first attempts at business didn’t bring in the million dollars. The trip to Hollywood to become famous just ended up becoming expensive. The parents failed to die and leave the life insurance. So as it turns out, these people in their mid-twenties suddenly discover they are going to have to live out this thing called life in full color.

But because they weren’t allowed to be part of a chilled-hood, which taught them to enjoy equality with the opposite sex; and were then ushered into an addled essence, where they became adversarial with the other half of the species, they arrive at this position in life poorly prepared for communication, lacking spiritual depth and too emotionally vulnerable to link up and be a contributor in a relationship.

So they find a mate, they convince themselves they’re hot for them, they get married and soon a child follows. They start “kidding.” And since they know nothing about  a chilled-hood from experiencing it themselves, they become overly protective of their children—worrying about health issues and frightened of finance.

I see them every week in my church programs. The woman carries the baby, hoping everyone will notice how lovely her genetic contribution turned out to be, as the man trails two steps behind, lugging stuffed animals and the diaper bag, with glazed eyes, as if he had been struck by unseen lightning. Where they should be coming out of a worship experience discussing the beauty of living waters, they stand in the vestibule in protracted discussions about baby formula and zwieback.

They feel noble to have continued the tradition of child-rearing, complete with all of its sighs and despair—and unfortunately, also a sense of vacating all original aspirations. It is a lost generation; a missing link of humanity–age twenty-five through thirty-six. They have lost their identity, their belief in what is righteous, and how it affects their daily lives, which has caused them to lose their perspective–and their ability to keep their cool and relax in what they’ve accomplished.

This causes them to lose respect—first for themselves, for abandoning their talent, and then for their mate, for hastening their retreat. Unfortunately, this leads to them losing their love. Because we all know when respect departs, love begins to pack its bags.

As the child gets older and realizes that he or she is able to manipulate the household through tantrums because the parents have lost all will to resist, we continue the dastardly process into addled essence, culminating with parents holding on with prayers and hopes for things being better tomorrow. Teenagers rule the world–a planet that needs more mature insight.

We lose the You’re Kiddings during this season of procreation. We have no contact with them outside of complimenting their children, discussing daycare, or the best places to buy rounded-tip scissors for pre-school. The weightier matters of justice, love, mercy, understanding and compassion are set aside, to spend most of the time festering over work schedules and who’s going to get up in the middle of the night to change diapers.

Yes, the time in their lives when they should have the most energy, optimism and generosity of spirit is completely encompassed by the idea of being married, given in marriage and “kidding around.”

What is the process of birthing children supposed to do for us? Well, our forefathers and mothers had children because it was cheaper than hiring farm hands. They expected these little ones to start working immediately—as soon as they finished nursing. Now, we might find this to be uncaring or even mean-spirited, but somehow or another we need to land between being completely overwhelmed by the action of making other human beings, and merely thinking of them as ranch hands. See what I mean?

Here are the four steps I think are necessary for this particular age group—IF they’ve had a chilled-hood, enjoying equality with the opposite sex, and have escaped an addled essence, where their future life partner is viewed as adversarial:

1.  (And I do mean number one) Honor your children by honoring your dreams. You do not do anything for your off-spring by returning to your home exhausted because you’re working a job that has no resemblance whatsoever to what you really want to do. One of the transitions we need to make in this country is to understand that local representations of our culture are much more effective than nationally promoted ones. What I mean by that is, maybe you planned on being a great business tycoon and flying off to New York to work with Donald Trump. But now two babies have arrived and trumped your plans. There is still no reason why you cannot stay in your home town of 75,000 people and entrepreneur an idea that is regionally successful, granting you satisfaction over the yearnings of your heart. You may not end up being everything you thought you were going to be, but you will certainly be a snapshot of what you always wanted. You will turn your children on with your enthusiasm.

2. We should be spontaneous in love, but solid in principle. That means sometimes our little geniuses, who came out of our birthing cycle, need to be disciplined. It doesn’t matter how cute they are. It doesn’t matter how good the excuse is. We express love best in our homes when we have principles by which we live that are followed through with–even in the difficult times. Most members of the You’re Kidding generation think their main function is to make their children happy. Actually, their job is to create a stable sense of ethics and provide a direction that will ultimately bring forth happiness.

3. Stop worrying. And that goes for all the impersonators of the process, including over-discussing, looking at the Internet too much, having conversations with other young parents who are equally as baffled as you are, or listening to experts who are more concerned with selling a book than they are with making your child a dynamic human being. How do you know when you’re worrying? When you have learned all you can on a subject, applied the better parts of it and still continue to think, talk and fret over it, you are worrying. The best you can do as a parent is learn, do–and trust God for the rest.

4. And finally, these youthful birthers of a new generation need to teach their offspring that lying is the only sin. I believe this with all my heart. As long as we make mistakes and own them, grace covers a multitude of sins. Yes, grace covers every sin but lying. Lying is avoiding the grace of God to pretend like no mistakes have happened. If you punish lying and reward truth, the truth will eventually make your children free. It doesn’t mean they won’t go through difficulty, but it does mean they won’t be afraid to come to you and admit their frailty. If we can take this generation of shell-shocked human beings who have stumbled into marriage and child-bearing, and free them to still be wide-eyed with wonder over their own pursuits, as they include their children in their lives instead of making those little ones their only focus, then the energy from these individuals can once again revitalize our country.

Because if we can’t take the You’re Kidding generation and allow them to escape the preoccupation of babies, birthing and bundling, then in no time at all, they reach thirty-seven years of age and enter the next twelve-year phase, when the new enemy becomes …  money.

I shall call this group Re-spend-ability.

**************

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

 

**************

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.

The Last Twenty… March 25, 2012

(1,464) 

I spent the first twenty years of my life more or less kicking my own tires and revving my engine to see what I had under the hood. I didn’t do anything to excess–except eating. I studied enough algebra to discover I would never use  it and I am always astounded that I actually received good marks in chemistry, despite a lack of any awareness of even attending class. I attempted to learn the Golden Rule but was never encouraged to believe it was plausible. I went from baby to child to young man to fully grown male of the species without breaking a bone, but spraining everything else available. I guess I was just normal.

That was my first twenty.

My second twenty was spent trying to learn how to eek out a living so people wouldn’t criticize me for being lazy and banks wouldn’t charge me overdraft fees. I also discovered sex, which opened the door to procreation, which forced me into a room–at gunpoint–of fatherhood. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy the experience. It’s just that I’ve never been so ill-prepared for anything since the day our teacher told us that we would ONLY be speaking Spanish in class for the entire period. Yes, in that second twenty years I tried to learn how to be a man, an artist, a husband, a provider and a father. Five things. (Something’s gotta give, right?) I did my best.

In the next twenty years, as my children launched out on their own, I decided to pursue my career. Normally one does that younger, but I saw no reason to be in step with society. In that twenty years period, I wrote three novels, eleven symphonies, seventeen screenplays, many songs, and traveled the country back and forth a couple dozen times. I also joined my dear business partner in starting a symphony, which ended up being both a creative and a philanthropic endeavor in our community. Exciting stuff.

But I woke up on Tuesday of this week and realized that I am probably in my last twenty. At first I tried to slide into some silly, melancholy sentiments–but then I realized how long twenty can be. Now I’m not saying that I have twenty more years left. God knows there are always little surprises for all of us. It may be only twenty minutes. Twenty days. Twenty weeks. Twenty months. Or I might win the jackpot and get the full twenty years. But whatever happens, I’d like to keep my mind on that idea of twenty.

Because I’ll tell you right now–if I only had twenty minutes to live, what I would do, knowing what I know about my heavenly Father, who will hopefully be my next innkeeper, I would be kind and smile at everyone.

If information was given to me that I had twenty days to linger on this planet, I would limit my projects, and instead of trying to look like “Mr. Busy Man,” I would finish them all instead of leaving a bunch of half-eaten doughnuts lying around.

How about if God whispered in my ear that I had twenty weeks to live? Well, I’ll tell you right now–I would make a weekly contact with everyone I know and love–with a special message from my heart.

If twenty months were graciously afforded me, I would be creative, making sure that in some way, shape or form, I left my own footprints in the sand.

And if by some stroke of mercy and grace, this old body of mine can muster up twenty more years, I would do everything aforementioned in great good cheer, without ever going to bed worrying.

I guess any way you look at it, at any age we are all in our last twenty of something. After all, what could be more sad than the last twenty potato chips in the bag?

We will never be judged on our longevity, nor honestly, on whether we were in perfect physical condition. But someone will bring up how we decided to use our time. Actually, they won’t even need to bring it up, now, will they? The evidence will remain–to either convict us … or make us free.

**************

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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