PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … January 31st, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3569) 

On The Pot

I sit on the pot

Trying to decide

Should I go to the other room,

Chilly and looming with shadows?

Or remain warmer, but totally unenlightened

The difference matters only to me

And I am indifferent

Listen to me, child of God

There is no such thing as writer’s block

Just writers

Who attempt to block out whiny ideas

Mostly because they don’t glisten

Yes, they sniff of trite

Grab the thesaurus

Meaningless, worthless, no value, vacant, without purpose, without…

Readers

Therefore without the honor of being deemed a writer

But it is the trivial that dances for us

Not the Austrian princess swirling to a Strauss waltz in a gala ballroom

But rather, your aging mother swinging her hips to the music

As she stares out the kitchen window, washing dishes

You see, there is no mundane

Unless we are all mudheads

If that be the case, then fascinate ourselves we will

By using the butterfly flitting across the babbling brook?

How ridiculous

After all, we are the babblers

Given life, but demanding LIFE

Yet living is always best experienced first hand

For now, I neither travel to the chilly space

Or return to the toasty surroundings

I am writing on the pot

Historical porcelain

The unheralded, magnificent seat of inspiration

 

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Confessing … November 7th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2745)

XXVII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

I was 23 years old, and already the father of two little boys. I had no regular job and was quickly becoming known for mooching lodging and meals off of friends and relatives.

My saving grace was that all the people of the town knew I had some musical talent.

I had proven this recently by winning a contest, and in so doing, being awarded a recording session with 100 free albums.

I was thrilled.

Every time somebody would ask when I was going to get a job, I explained that I was getting ready for the project. I was blessed to have a music group filled with friends who believed in my writing.

We went to do the record and ended up having a studio engineer who had seen us at the talent contest, and was very excited about working with us.

The first couple of songs went really well, but when we came to the third selection, I went into the booth to record my piano first, before we laid down vocals.

In the process of playing the tune, I hit a really bad note. It was isolated off by itself. I was trying to hit a Db, but my finger slipped and I ended up with a C included. Without going into too much detail, it sounded terrible and it was obvious I had made an error.

When I finished the piece, the engineer waited for me to request another go-through.

I didn’t.

I asked him to play it back and when the foul-sounding note came over the speakers, I pretended I had planned it that way. He even gently took me to the side and asked if I was sure I did not want to go back in to correct the note.

I told him I was fine with it.

Matter of fact, that note remained through the whole session, mix-down, and was pressed onto the final record.

I was so defensive over being a jobless dad that I did not want to admit I had made a mistake.

You see, my sin was not in being young, foolish and without money. My sin was being prideful and defensive about my situation.

I look back on that day in horror.

It is difficult for me to believe that anybody could be so stupid–and then I turn on the television set and listen to grown men and women in politics, defending their mistakes as if they had actually planned them.

Sometimes we hit sour notes.

Our only advantage is to point them out before others discover them, or at least change them … before they become part of the permanent record.

confessing piano

 

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Ask Jonathots … October 22nd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

I am a senior in high school and they want me to declare my major for planning my college career. I can’t make up my mind because there are too many things I like to do. I play piano and french horn, I’m very good with computers, and I also love to write. How do you decide “what you want to be when you grow up?”

If you don’t mind, I’d like to give you two parts to this answer.

First of all, it’s difficult to know, when you’re a senior in high school, that the reason family and adult counselors are trying to push you to discover your major for college is that they want to brag to other people about it.

It has little to do with you. The relatives want to say, “Well, Brian is going to be an attorney…a doctor…a professor…an engineer.”

It allows for the “oohs” and “aahs” which cause grown people around you to feel they have succeeded in raising you up to be a fine young person.

Yes, I’m asking you to be a little suspicious of people who are in a hurry for anything. You’re on the verge of making two major decisions which will determine your peace of mind and your sense of soul satisfaction:

  • How do I make a wage?
  • Who am I going to live with for the rest of my life while I make that wage?

Making the wrong decision on either of these proposals is the main ingredient in unhappiness.

So don’t be in a hurry. There are people who do not declare a major until they’re juniors or seniors in college, and as long as they’re willing to buck up to the course requirements, it doesn’t make any difference.

But as to the second part of your question, “What do I want to do when I grow up?”–that is a bit more intricate and a deeper issue.

It’s a good idea to peruse what you enjoy, but I believe there are three things that go into picking an occupation or answering a calling:

1. Can I do what I want to do for long periods of time without complaining, while still finding new ways to enjoy it?

Boredom is your worst enemy in life. It is the source of poorly timed accidents, and bad choices which can lead to all sorts of misfortune and sin. Make sure that what you choose to do evolves enough that it keeps you interested.

2. Is it going to help anyone else?

If you are able to make money and make blessing for other people at the same time, you will never have any trouble sleeping or have any misgivings about your choice of work.

3. Does it offer a branch?

Here’s a fact: if you go into a line of work that allows you to branch out into other aspects of your interests at the same time, it is most excellent.

So of the things you listed–music, computers and writing–use your great intelligence to find a direction for your efforts, where all three of those might come into play.

Just a thought.

But since you’re in the thought process, also remember: thinking, by its very nature, requires that you slow down and not be in any big hurry.

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Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

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G-Poppers … June 5th, 2015

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G-Popper

G-Pop just decided not to do so.

He was considering offering some insights for his children and grandchildren on the “Jenner-gender-bender” situation with Bruce emerging as Caitlyn.

He passed.

Why? Because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

It’s not that G-Pop thinks he’s ignorant, ill-informed or without some degree of wisdom. No–G-Pop contends that none of us know what we’re talking about.

So the question might be raised: why does G-Pop write books and post blogs if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? That’s simple.

Somebody who doesn’t know what he’s talking about needs to remind everybody that we don’t know what we’re talking about.

For truth is a mysterious mixture of understanding history and assessing the present, while including the chaos of the future.

Who could possibly accurately discern such things?

So what we tend to share is what we feel, believe and think.

Of course, the trouble is that what we feel is based on our preferences; what we believe can be contingent on doctrines of people who lived nearly 4,000 years ago, and what we think has an overly exaggerated sense of importance from analyzing some statistics and data.

Here’s the truth of the matter–nobody knows Jenner. He is known by God and his own heart, when he’s open to such revelation, just like the rest of us.

So G-Pop realized that what he feels, believes and thinks is insignificant. What he’s going to do is the only thing that counts.

So what is G-Pop going to do about the “Jenner-gender-bender” situation?

Absolutely nothing.

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant…February 11, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Feb 11

Nearly seven years ago I began this daily essay called Jonathots–2,500 entries. I would like to dedicate today’s offering to all the little voices I have cried out into the wilderness.

I Write

I write because I am wrong.

I am wrong because I am not right.

I scribble, searching for truth.

Truth scurries from my pen, mocking me.

I persevere because I require a mission.

I seek a mission to learn the power to persevere.

I question, starving for answers.

I want answers to justify my questions.

I believe in God because I don’t want to give up on people.

I study people. They are the breath of God.

I love my neighbor because hate is exhausting.

I am still exhausted because my love is incomplete.

I laugh to avoid crying.

I cry because the laughing fails to heal.

I have stopped judging because the blowback is ferocious.

And being ferocious only scares the infirmed, who need my gentleness.

I write to question the wrong.

I am wronged to have reasons to write.

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Boiler plate 

Come Out … May 1, 2012

(1,501) 

You are living in Paris, France, in 1942.

You have just finished your morning croissant and tea, and you step out of your house into a world filled with huge red flags sporting swastikas.The Nazis are in control. The Nazis are everywhere. The Nazis seem powerful–hell, invincible. The Nazis insist they make sense, so you are gradually lured into accepting the perceived sensibility. The Nazis … well, the Nazis are Nazis.

What should you do?

Move ahead in time. Conservative, liberals, Puritans, Epicureans, religious, atheist, Republican, Democrat, “innies” and “outies.” The world is determined to start a gang, get as many members as are willing to submit to the rules, and reign with power and intimidation as necessary, in order to achieve the agenda.

It never makes it right.

How about 1958 in Birmingham, Alabama? It was not only improper, but illegal for a black person to partake of a white person’s drinking fountain. The rule of the day was wrong–but that didn’t make any difference, because it was not only the law but also the custom, which was also the preference–which ended up being the acceptable. But it wasn’t really acceptable.

There is no way to be part of this world and ever find a path of righteousness. Simultaneously, you can’t hate the world around you and think that you are enacting the love of God. What is right? What can you do if you are living in Nazi-occupied France in 1942? How about Jim-Crow-Alabama in 1958? Vietnam War era 1969? Watergate, 1972? Moral majority–1985? Clinton and Monica, 1998? Weapons of mass destruction, 2003? Banks, finance corporations and lending institutions–2008?

Don’t you think these are good questions? Because it doesn’t make any difference whether the goal of your organization is to reestablish purity or if the aspiration or your particular clique is to push forward some more liberal agenda. In both cases a standard is being established which alienates human beings, and therefore will historically be foolish.

I have friends who hate the world. I have friends in the world who hate the church. I know churches who hate sinners. I know sinners who think they despise God. All of these friends make their cases, scream their arguments and at the end of the rant, are all wrong. Because here’s the truth: NoOne is better than anyone else.

Any movement, doctrine, philosophy or disposition that mocks and contradicts that concept is in itself going to be the source of ridicule within a generation. In other words, stupidity seems powerful until truth sheds light on its weaknesses and leaves it naked and barren of purpose.The only principle that remains steadfast–since the beginning of time– is NoOne is better than anyone else.

So if you’re sitting in some religious conclave, deciding that some individuals are inferior in God’s eyes because you have discovered the essence of doctrinal supremacy, you are wrong and will be left desolate. The only truth that has lasted since Adam started his gardening is that we’re all in this together and separating ourselves off into ANY kind of difference only creates conflict, which when resolved, makes the combatants look like imbeciles.

I love the church. I love the world. I love Republicans. I love Democrats. I love Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and anyone else that has human skin and a soul. And what do I mean by love?

  1. I will leave you alone to the evaluation of our heavenly Father.
  2. If you insist on being detrimental to humanity, I will defeat you by continuing to enact that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”
  3. I will use the greatest weapon available to achieve those purposes by instituting good cheer in my own life and allowing Jesus to overcome the world.
  4. I will come out and be separate, refusing to participate in any endeavor which targets human beings for scrutiny instead of embracing them as brothers and sisters.
  5. I will honor only one tradition–my space is sacred as long as your space is, too.
  6. I will undermine efforts to create any kind of super-race, super-cult, super-party or super-god which is determined to alienate instead of rejuvenate.
  7. I will outlast you.

I have friends, members of my family, acquaintances and notables in our society who all believe the best path is to give in to the present insanity. They are Frenchmen, devouring their croissants, and reluctantly–but still faithfully–saluting Hitler. They are trying to get by through giving in. They see a world that has gone crazy, and are assuming that some form of lunacy is necessary in order to maintain integrity. They are surrounded by tanks, flags and despots who really have no idea what to do next–yet they believe they are in the hands of the powerful.

The United States of America is one major disaster away from bankruptcy, yet we still continue to listen to our economists, politicians, intellectuals and pundits offer their predictable opinions with little revision. As Jesus said about the Pharisees, you should give them respect for their position, but for God’s sakes, don’t listen to anything they say.

Hear, hear. We desperately need some intelligent people of fortitude who will cease to argue with the world, but at the same time, will come out from among the confused horde and be separate. Is this a popular message? No. Quite the contrary. “Popular” is what gets us in trouble. This is a voice crying in the wilderness, saying, “Prepare the way of the Lord and make His path straight.” It is a voice that refuses to give into the voice of repetition simply because it’s so loud.

It is a voice that holds ONE truth to be self-evident: NoOne is better than anyone else.

 

  

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Fifteen Hundred … April 30, 2012

(1,500) 

In Los Angeles

Four years and forty days ago, we brought forth to this world a new website, dedicated to the proposition that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

Too pretentious??

Well, fifteen hundred daily columns IS an accompolishment. Just to give you perspective, fifteen hundred jonathots is the equavalent of ten novels, twenty-five screenplays, forty self-help books and six thousand personal letters informing you of the antics of your ever-expanding off-spring. I certainly did not anticipate ever hitting fifteen hundred–and I do recall that when I reached one thousand, I was convinced I had climbed Mt. Everest. (Obviously, I had not peaked.)  

What have I learned? Here it is: I need to constantly retrieve from my own being an awareness of who I am and where I’m going. Otherwise, I become predictable, socially and culturally amalgamated and devoid of fresh-bread inspiration. To escape such a dreary profile, I have developed four questions I ask myself each and every week. I would like to share them with you on this fifteen hundredth essay, for your own consideration. I will then tell you what my answers are. I would be very curious about your responses.

  1. What do I know?
  2. What do I want?
  3. What do I fear?
  4. What do I believe?

I think you will find that within that quartet of inquisitors, there is a good barometer for the atmosphere you have created for yourself. So on this fifteen hundredth jonathot, I am going to go ahead and answer those questions for myself–and hopefully, for your enlightenment (or at least, amusement).

1. What do I know? People and God are inseparable. Likewise, God and people. If you try to block them away from each other, you will find yourself gradually turning into a curmudgeon, convinced of your faith in the Almighty as you become more and more cynical about one of His favorite creations. It would be similar to going to Colonel Sanders’ house and requesting a roast beef alternative for Sunday dinner.

2. What do I want? I want to be prepared to matter in the present. The past is significant because it grants me insight on foibles. The future is completely up to me; so therefore, until I determine my own motivations, tomorrow is cloudy, to say the least. What I want to do is matter in the present. For instance, as I dictate this jonathots, I am driving on I-5 in Los Angeles, California, backed up in traffic–a condition which seems to be mandatory as a cultural experience from the Chamber of Commerce. So obviously, I want to talk to you about what’s in my heart, but I also want to pay attention to traffic–so that my heart can continue to beat. What is useless is to be frustrated that I am stalled or to wonder how long such a delay will continue. In fact, that’s why I saved my writing session for this drive–so I can stay busy with my mind so it doesn’t flip-flop on me and become my worst enemy. Yes, I want to be prepared to matter in the present. Otherwise, I will overlook my opportunity to touch your life and also rob myself of the benefits of such an experience.

3. What do I fear? I fear a piece of personal dishonesty being disclosed because I failed to be candid. It’s really our only danger, folks. If we have a pure heart and we haven’t tried to deceive ourselves or other people, we don’t have to go into the great press of humanity nervously twitching, wondering when we will be discovered for the charlatans we are. Now, the first time I said something about myself in candor, I was embarrassed, apprehensive and filled with trepidation. I thought the world was going to end because people would know how frivolous and weak I could be. Yet, rather than warranting ridicule, my confession was received with delight, understanding and a bit of reciprocation from those around me, who felt liberated to be equally as transparent. Fear is always born of a lack of love, and a lack of love is always birthed through not caring enough about yourself to be truthful.

4. And finally, what do I believe? Earth needs my attention and heaven is unknown, but by all reports seems well-staffed. Since God made BOTH heaven and earth, I just find it best to work on the turf that is beneath my feet. The only time I get in trouble in my life is when I start looking to the future, searching for destiny instead of opportunity and wondering whether eternity will afford me my due reward. What do I believe in? The joy, contentment, peace, understanding, compassion and silliness that I feel right now. If God thinks He can do better, let Him bring it on. I welcome the expansion.

So there you go.

I will continue to parade my thoughts and feelings in front of you, drenching them in veracity (as much as I know) and salting them with inspiration.I have found that trying to separate my heart from my soul makes me an emotional wreck. Divorcing my spirit from my mind causes me to become mentally dwarfed, incapacitated from achieving renewal. And disconnecting my mind from my body is like walking around in a continual human texting activity, oblivious to the world around me–about to run into a wall.

So here’s to fifteen hundred days we’ve had together. (And let me tell you–I’ve always respected you in the morning.)

And no matter how many more there may be, always realize that you can get in touch with yourself by finding out what you know, what you want, what you fear and what you truly believe. 

  

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