Bill Johnson

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

On 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 →

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 →

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