Bill Johnson

Spiritual reminders and reflections on the journey from fear to love.

God Hates Nothing He Has Made

Simple Sunday Sermons: God Hates Nothing He Has Made. (Psalm 103:13-17)
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My Brilliant Image

My Brilliant Image (by Hafiz) One day the sun admitted I am just a shadow. I wish I could show you The infinite incandescence That has cast my brilliant image! I wish I could show you, When you are lonely… Continue Reading →

What to Remember When Waking

What to Remember When Waking (by David Whyte) In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small… Continue Reading →

Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself

Simple Sunday Sermons: Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself. (Matthew 9:13, 12:7)
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You Are Beautiful

As you watch this video, you’ll see some that can help but smile, you’ll see others that find it hard to take in, and you’ll see others who don’t know how to respond.  What if this statement was deeper than… Continue Reading →

God’s Desire to Ease Your Pain

Simple Sunday Sermons: God’s Desire to Ease Your Pain (1 Peter 5:7).
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Those Winter Sundays

Those Winter Sundays (by Robert Hayden) Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one… Continue Reading →

Trust

Simple Sunday Sermons: Trust (Deut. 33:27)
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Frost

Frost (by Arthur Sze) Notice each windowpane has a different Swirling pattern of frost etched on the glass. And notice how slowly the sun melts The glaze. It is indelible: a fossil of a fern, Or a coelacanth, or a… Continue Reading →

On “Bad” Preaching

On Preaching by Frederick Buechner “There is perhaps no better proof for the existence of God than the way year after year he survives the way his professional friends promote him. If there are people who remain unconvinced, let them… Continue Reading →

Why Not Settle This Issue Once and For All?

Simple Sunday Sermons: Why Not Settle This Issue Once and For All? (Mark 1:11)
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Beannacht

Beannacht (by John O’Donohue) Sometimes all you can do is bless someone and wish them blessing.  You can’t change what they’re going through, though you wish you could.  It’ difficult to figure out how to ease their suffering or bear… Continue Reading →

Two Giant Fat People

Two Giant Fat People (by Hafiz) God and I have become Like two giant fat people Living in a tiny boat. We keep Bumping into each other And laughing. Forgive me for being so politically incorrect by sharing this poem… Continue Reading →

Through You!

Simple Sunday Sermons: Through You! (Matthew 2:1-12)
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There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves (by James Kavanaugh) There are men too gentle to live among wolves Who prey upon them with IBM eyes And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon. There are… Continue Reading →

Where’s the Peace?

Simple Sunday Sermons: Where's the Peace?  (Col. 3:15)
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Release

Release (by Peter Friedrichs) I wish I were like the trees, Who let their leaves go gracefully, without regret. Or the tumbling stream that flushes silt to sea, Exchanging murkiness for blessed clarity. Or the dandelion, who bows its head… Continue Reading →

A Prayer We Never Have to Pray Because of Christmas

Simple Sunday Sermons: A Prayer We Never Have to Pray Because of Christmas (Phil. 4:5)
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White Wine in the Sun

White Wine in the Sun by Tim Minchin is one of my new favorite Christmas songs.  It might seem strange considering he’s an atheist, but an atheist who gets “it” and knows it’s all about love.  But the tune, melody… Continue Reading →

A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark

A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark (by Jan Richardson) Go slow if you can. Slower. More slowly still. Friendly dark or fearsome, this is no place to break your neck by rushing, by running, by crashing into what you… Continue Reading →

The Light of God Surrounds Me

Simple Sunday Sermons: The Light of God Surrounds Me (John 1).
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Believe It

Believe It. The seeker said to God: “Tell me, tell me something I can treasure and remember.” And God said “I love you. I love you. I love you.” The seeker replied: “Is that all? Tell me something else.” And… Continue Reading →

Love Dogs

Love Dogs (by Rumi) One night a man was crying, “Allah, Allah!” His lips grew sweet with the praising, until a cynic said, “So! I have heard you calling out, but have you ever gotten any response?” The man had… Continue Reading →

How God Breaks in to Our Lives?

Simple Sunday Sermons: How God Breaks in to Our Lives? (Luke 2:12.)
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Remembering God

Remembering God. There was a three-year-old girl who was the only child in her family. Her mom was pregnant, and this three-year-old girl was very excited about having a baby in the house. The day comes when the mother-to-be goes… Continue Reading →

Don’t Be Fooled By Me

Don’t Be Fooled By Me (by Charles Finn) Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear for I wear a mask, a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off, and none of them… Continue Reading →

Dissolving Fear

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Dissolving Fear (1 John 4:18)
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Connecting with God from the Heart

Connecting with God from the Heart There are not many worship songs that I can “stomach” lately, but this is not one of them!  “Here’s my Heart” by Lauren Daigle is a gem.  A beautiful song, a passionate song and… Continue Reading →

Pray Rain

Pray Rain (by Gregg Braden) Back in the early ’90s, I was living in the high desert of northern New Mexico. This was during one of the worst droughts that the Southwest had ever recorded. The elders in the native… Continue Reading →

A Wonderful Life

Simple Sunday Sermons:  A Wonderful Life
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Practice Gratitude

Practice Gratitude (by Steve Garnaas-Holmes) Gratitude, the yoga of the gods, may sometimes take a little practice. Eachday, select one thing to be grateful for: a cup of water, a wispof green, sun on stone, a friend’s memory, gravity, so… Continue Reading →

Poor or Rich?

Poor or Rich? One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to a farm with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and… Continue Reading →

Kind and Generous

Kind and Generous. I love this song by Natalie Merchant.  It’s simple and to the point.  And it’s one of the best “worship” songs of gratitude I’ve heard.  Yes, I’m sure it was written thinking about our human relationships.  And… Continue Reading →

If we only prayed this one prayer it would be enough.

Simple Sunday Sermons:  If we only prayed this one prayer it would be enough.
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Ode on Intimations of Immortality

Ode on Intimations of Immortality (by William Wordsworth) Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness, And… Continue Reading →

Break the Mold

Break the Mold. For God’s sake and your own, break the mold. Terry’s song by Bruce Springsteen is a song I sent to my friend on his birthday. Why? Becuase he breaks the mold by simply being his unique self…. Continue Reading →

Daymaking

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Daymaking.
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The World is not a Courtroom

The World is not a Courtroom (by Saadi) The world is not a courtroom, there is no judge, no jury, no plaintiff. This is a carvan, filled with eccentric beings telling wondrous stories about God. I met a woman and… Continue Reading →

On One Foot

On One Foot A rather eccentric looking young man wearing an old brown suit and holding a small, worn, stickered suitcase walked into the center of the city, spun around a few times in the middle of one of the… Continue Reading →

Accompanied

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Accompanied.
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Walking Home

Walking Home “We’re all just walking each other home.”  Ram Daas. What a beautiful and profound quote.  And what a wonderful spiritial reminder and perspective giver. This world is not our home.  But often we think it is.  We put… Continue Reading →

Stop It!

Stop It! I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”  It often amazes me how miserable I can make myself feel by what I think.  That’s… Continue Reading →

What Will Matter?

What Will Matter? (by Michael Josephson) Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten will pass to… Continue Reading →

A Cushion For Your Head

A Cushion For Your Head (by Hafiz) Just sit there right now Don’t do a thing Just rest. For your separation from God, From love, Is the hardest work In this World. Let me bring you trays of food And… Continue Reading →

Love Practically

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Love Practically.
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Rule #6

Rule #6. Two Prime ministers were sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: “Peter,” he… Continue Reading →

Gate C22

Gate C22 (by Ellen Bass) At gate C22 in the Portland airport a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed a woman arriving from Orange County. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles… Continue Reading →

Incomprehensible

Simple Sunday Sermons: Incomprehensible (Eph. 3:19).
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Your Light Matters

Your Light Matters. “Your task doesn’t matter, your light does.”  Caroline Myss It doesn’t matter what you do.  How menial or small the task.  What matters is the intention that it’s done with.  Through whatever we do, do we intend,… Continue Reading →

Change Your Mind

Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel. It’s all about changing our minds.  The thoughts that go through our minds can make us feel miserable.  And some of us have learned to be masters of misery.  Is that God’s intention for… Continue Reading →

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