Bill Johnson

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

Let Your God Love You

Let Your God Love You (by Edwina Gateley) Be silent. Be still. Alone. Empty Before your God. Say nothing. Ask nothing. Be silent. Be still. Let your God look upon you. That is all. God knows. God understands. God loves… Continue Reading →

What if God Didn’t Really Need Our Worship?

Simple Sunday Sermons: What if God Didn't Really Need Our Worship?
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The Lion Who Believed He Was a Sheep

The Lion Who Believed He Was a Sheep. One day a farmer was walking back from the forest. He came across a little lion cub. So, he brought the lion cub back home, gave it milk, water, some food. Didn’t… Continue Reading →

You Belong Among the Wildflowers

Simple Sunday Sermons: You Belong Among the Wildflowers
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Caretake This Moment

Caretake this moment. (by Epictetus) Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit the evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation… Continue Reading →

The Messiah in Disguise

The Messiah in Disguise. A monastery had fallen on hard times. It was once part of a great order which, as a result of religious persecution lost all its branches. It was decimated to the extent that there were only… Continue Reading →

A Party for a Prostitute

A Party for a Prostitute.  (By Tony Campolo in “The Kingdom of God is a Party). If you live on the East Coast and travel to Hawaii, you know that there is a time difference that makes three o’clock in… Continue Reading →

A Verse That’s Worthy of Your Bathroom Mirror.

Simple Sunday Sermons: A Verse That's Worthy of Your Bathroom Mirror.
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Revolutionary Happiness

Revolutionary Happiness.  “The most revolutionary act one can commit in this world is to be happy.”  Patch Adams Change me O God into one who constantly chooses to be happy.  For joy is who I really am in you.  But… Continue Reading →

ACIM Prayer – Lesson 244

ACIM Prayer – Lesson 244 “I am safe wherever I may be, for You are there with me. I need but call upon Your Name, and I will recollect my safety and Your Love, for they are one. How can… Continue Reading →

Advice From a Tree

Advice From a Tree (by Ilan Shamir) Dear Friend, Stand Tall and Proud Sink your roots deeply into the Earth Reflect the light of a greater source Think long term Go out on a limb Remember your place among all… Continue Reading →

Embraced

Simple Sunday Sermons: Embraced (Deut. 33:27)
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Who You Are Not

Who You Are Not. We are not our stories Our thoughts Our personalities Our psychology Our judgements Our condemnation Our past Our future Our present Our wrongs Our sins Our pain Our mistakes Our bodies Our appearance Our face Our… Continue Reading →

Missing Love

Missing Love. This is an “oldie but a goodie” and one of my favorite songs.  I love the melody, the voice, the music, the feel of it. It summarizes a part of my journey and is also an invitation to… Continue Reading →

God Has Memory Issues

God Has Memory Issues. There was a Catholic priest who was a much-loved man of God who carried a secret burden of a sinful past hidden deep in his heart. He had committed a grievous sin during his days in… Continue Reading →

“Forgettory”

Simple Sunday Sermons: "Forgettory?!" (Psalm 103:10-12, Micah 7:19, Jer 31:34).)
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Half Life

Half Life (by Stephen Levine) We walk through half our life as if it were a fever dream barely touching the ground our eyes half open our heart half closed. Not half knowing who we are we watch the ghost… Continue Reading →

Ruin and Hope

Ruin and Hope. “Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”  Rumi I’m so struck by this quote.  It’s about resiliency. I have often felt ruined.  Ruined by what’s happening in my world.  Ruined by my thoughts, my… Continue Reading →

It’s Good to be Dull

It’s Good to be Dull. I watched this video recently and smiled, laughed and chuckled all the way through.  So, I think it’s worthy of making my website as a spiritual reminder.  Always note when you laugh and smile –… Continue Reading →

Beyond Forgiven?!

Simple Sunday Sermons: Beyond Forgiven?! (John 8:1-11, Rom. 8:1)
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A Prayer of One Who Is In Constant Physical Pain

A Prayer of One Who Is In Constant Physical Pain (by Joyce Rupp) God of oneness, wholeness, I hurt and am in pain and I dream of a day when I no longer feel continual distress in my body. I… Continue Reading →

Pete the Duck

Pete the Duck. One morning there was a duck named Pete on the side of a path quacking. A professional singer walked by. Upon hearing him she said, “How nice of you to sing me a morning song, Pete.” A… Continue Reading →

From Blossoms

From Blossoms (by Li-Young Lee) From blossoms comes this brown paper bag of peaches we bought from the boy at the bend in the road where we turned toward signs painted Peaches. From laden boughs, from hands, from sweet fellowship… Continue Reading →

Struggle Is Not Required

Simple Sunday Sermons: Struggle Is Not Required. (Matt. 11:28-30.)
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To be Relieved of God

To be Relieved of God. It’s not about being relieved of the true God, but of the false God.  The God we make up in our minds.  It’s about overcoming our distorted and false images of God.  For we have… Continue Reading →

The Summer Day

The Summer Day (by Mary Oliver) Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass, the one who is… Continue Reading →

The Struggling Butterfly

The Struggling Butterfly (Attributed to Henry Miller) One day in India, a young boy walked up to a Guru or wise man, and asked what the man was looking at. The Guru responded “I am looking at a Chrysalis, and… Continue Reading →

Dead Things Don’t Struggle

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Dead Things Don't Struggle (2 Cor. 5:17).
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Why Were You Not Zusya?

Why Were You Not Zusya? There is a tale of a Hassidic rabbi named Zusya. He was a timid man, a man who concealed more than he revealed. One day Zusya stood before his congregation and he said: When I… Continue Reading →

As If to Demonstrate an Eclipse

As If to Demonstrate an Eclipse (by Billy Collins) I pick an orange from a wicker basket and place it on the table to represent the sun. Then down at the other end a blue and white marble becomes the… Continue Reading →

Better is One Day AND Thousands Elsewhere

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Better is One Day AND Thousands Elsewhere. (Psalm 84:10).
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The Ride of Life

The Ride of Life.  “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up,… Continue Reading →

Meditation: Why and How?

"Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It’s called meditation. " Jonathan Haidt

A modern day scientist in the quote above seems to give credence to the wisdom of Psalm 1 that says that when we meditate we are:

The Vacation

The Vacation (by Wendell Berry) Once there was a man who filmed his vacation. He went flying down the river in his boat with his video camera to his eye, making a moving picture of the moving river upon which… Continue Reading →

The Invisible Message Without Words

Simple Sunday Sermons: The Invisible Message Without Words. (Rom. 1:20).
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Relax

Relax (by Ellen Bass) Bad things are going to happen Your tomatoes will grow a fungus and your cat will get run over. Someone will leave the bag with the ice cream melting in the car and throw your blue… Continue Reading →

Your Breath

Your Breath. An average person takes 16 breaths a minute, 960 an hour, 23,040 a day, 8,409,600 a year. How many of those do we take for granted? Someday we’ll take our last. What an important reminder to be aware… Continue Reading →

Real, Raw, Unreasonable Trust

Simple Sunday Sermons: Real, Raw, Unreasonable Trust. (Job 13:15).
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Humor Isn’t for Everyone?!

Humor isn’t for everyone?!  “I realize that humor isn’t for everyone. It’s only for people who want to have fun, enjoy life, and feel alive.” Anne Wilson Schaef. Walking through a shop in Saugatak Michigan. My wife saw a card and… Continue Reading →

Why I Wake Early

Why I Wake Early (by Mary Oliver) Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who make the morning and spread it over the fields and into the faces of the tulips and the nodding morning glories, and into the windows… Continue Reading →

Peony Buds

Peony Buds. “‘Peony hugging,’ I think to myself as I move from clump to clump. Each place I become more aware of the hard and heavy buds. Their weight has already begun to bend the stems toward the ground. In… Continue Reading →

Remembrance

Simple Sunday Sermons: Remembrance.  (Rom. 5:5).
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Let Down Your Bucket

Let Down Your Bucket.  It seems that there was a party of sailors who were shipwrecked and drifting in the Atlantic Ocean in an open rescue boat. They’d been drifting for several days, had run out of water, and were… Continue Reading →

When Grieving the Loss of a Dog

When grieving the loss of a dog – poems and reflections to help you grieve well.  I put this together for those I know who are grieving the loss of one of their best friends.  It’s a hard truth to remember… Continue Reading →

Our True Home is in the Present Moment

Our True Home is in the Present Moment (by Thich Nhat Hanh) Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is… Continue Reading →

No Peace? Know Peace?!

Simple Sunday Sermons: No Peace?  Know Peace?!  (Col. 3:15).
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A Harvest of Quirkiness

A Harvest of Quirkiness (by Bruce Sanguin) Gracious God, how can creation sing your praises, except with the red wings of blackbirds flashing across blue sky, and the croak and splash of frogs playing hide-and-seek in the ponds? How can… Continue Reading →

Reflections About a Sunday Morning Worship Service

Reflections About a Sunday Morning Worship Service. I went to Church on Sunday! Sometimes that’s a hard thing for me to do. Why? Because I find the theology of the songs, emphasis on performance and preaching often depressing. So, why… Continue Reading →

An Alternative to Bad Billboard Theology (Part 3) – Even The Last Word Is Love.

Simple Sunday Sermons: An Alternative to Bad Billboard Theology (Part 3) - Even The Last Word Is Love.  (Hebrews 9:26-28).
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Becoming Myself

Becoming myself.  “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.”  Soren Keirkegaard Perhaps we think that we have to become like someone else, or be someone else in order to be accepted or approved.  Sometimes we don’t like ourselves very… Continue Reading →

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