Bill Johnson

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

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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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Unending Love

Unending Love (by Rabbi Rami Shapiro) We are loved by an unending love. We are embraced by arms that find us even when we are hidden from ourselves. We are touched by fingers that soothe us even when we are… Continue Reading →

The Eagle Who Thought He Was a Chicken

The Eagle Who Thought He Was a Chicken. A fable is told about an eagle who thought he was a chicken. When the eagle was very small, he fell from the safety of his nest. A chicken farmer found the… Continue Reading →

The Story of the Golden Buddha

The Story of the Golden Buddha. Many years ago in Thailand there is a temple that was called the temple of the Golden Buddha. And there was a huge statue of Golden Buddha. And word came to this village where… Continue Reading →

A Morning Offering

A Morning Offering (by John O’Donohue) I bless the night that nourished my heart To set the ghosts of longing free Into the flow and figure of dream That went to harvest from the dark Bread for the hunger no… Continue Reading →

Fellowship of the Unashamed

Fellowship of the Unashamed. The author is unknown, but is believed to be a young pastor in Zimbabwe who was martyred for his faith in Jesus Christ. It was found in his study: “I’m part of the fellowship of the… Continue Reading →

Life in Reverse

Life in Reverse by George Carlin “The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A… Continue Reading →

Sonnet 29

Sonnet 29 (by Shakespeare) When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries And look upon myself and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one… Continue Reading →

Christianity Is Not A Religion

"Christianity is not a religion. Christianity is the proclamation of the end of religion, not of a new religion, or even of the best of all religions. If the cross is the sign of anything, it's the sign that God has gone out of the religion business and solved all of the world's problems without requiring a single human being to do a single religious thing. What the cross is actually a sign of is the fact that religion can't do a thing about the world's problems - that it never did work and it never will." Robert F. Capon

What if being a Christian means no longer being religious? What if conversion to Christianity means stepping out of religion? What if Christianity is the end of religion? Christianity is n...

The Fisherman and Businessman

The Fisherman and Businessman. A vacationing American businessman standing on the pier of a quaint coastal fishing village in southern Mexico watched as a small boat with just one young Mexican fisherman pulled into the dock. Inside the small boat… Continue Reading →

Seeing with the Heart

Seeing with the Heart. “What is essential is invisible to the eye.  Only with the heart can one see rightly.”  Antoine de Saint Exupery A Prayer:  Change me O God to get in touch with my heart, to know my… Continue Reading →

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Birch Trees and a Blue Sky

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Birch Trees and a Blue Sky. All of these have something to teach me about finding purpose in purposelessness, meaning in meaninglessness and enjoyment in the simple things of life while living in the present moment. I recently… Continue Reading →

Wild Geese

Wild Geese (by Mary Oliver) You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body… Continue Reading →

The Game of Religion

The Game of Religion. A man arriving at the proverbial Pearly Gates is unsure what to do. Do I simply walk in? he wonders. St. Peter recognizes the look of consternation on the man’s face, approaches, and asks him if… Continue Reading →

Just Laugh, Walter!

Just laugh? Why? Because, laughter is the best medicine.  Or as Prov. 17:33 says, “A Cheerful heart is good medicine.” This scene from the “Money Pit” never fails to make me laugh.  Please watch it til the very end.  Do… Continue Reading →

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