Bill Johnson

Spiritual Reminders and Simple Sunday Sermons from a "free range pastor"

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All Shall Be Well

“All shall be well. For there is a force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.” Julian of Norwich Beautiful words by a mystic from the 14th century.  In other words… Continue Reading →

Maybe

Maybe. A Chinese proverb tells the story is told of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they… Continue Reading →

Love Story

Love Story (by Wesley McNair) What was opening the door Those years ago to let our four kids One by one followed by the dog Into the backseat of the old compact car We’d parked in the driveway Next to… Continue Reading →

Pastoral Humor

Pastoral Humor. Some humor, jokes and stories about pastors – that, as a pastor, make me laugh and give me perspective. I think Jesus must laugh at a lot of the things that pastors do too. Going to Heaven The preacher… Continue Reading →

The Avowal

The Avowal (by Denise Levertov) As swimmers dare to lie face to the sky and water bears them, as hawks rest upon air and air sustains them, so would I learn to attain freefall, and float into Creator Spirit’s deep… Continue Reading →

My Heart is at Ease

“My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”  Sufi Prayer This beautiful prayer reminds me of Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord… Continue Reading →

Mindful

Mindful (by Mary Oliver) Every day I see or I hear something that more or less kills me with delight, that leaves me like a needle in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for – to… Continue Reading →

Eustace Scrubb the Dragon Meets Alsan

Eustace Scrubb the Dragon Meets Alsan (In the book, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis, Eustace Scrubb comes upon a dragon’s lair and in trying to take the treasure, turns into a dragon himself. He eventually is able… Continue Reading →

I’d Pick More Daisies

I’d Pick More Daisies (by Nadine Stair) If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I… Continue Reading →

Prime the Pump First

Prime the Pump First. There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance. He made his… Continue Reading →

When a Dog Runs Up

When a Dog Runs Up (by Hafiz) Start seeing everything as God, but keep it a secret. Become like the man and woman who are awestruck and nourished listening to a golden nightingale sing in a beautiful foreign language while… Continue Reading →

Just Coincidence?

Just Coincidence?  “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”  Albert Einstein The more I trust God, the more coincidences, synchronicities, serendipities and divine surprises seem to happen in my life.  Things that I never could plan or imagine or figure… Continue Reading →

Enough

Enough: A Prayer of Abundance (by Janet Conner) Dear God of the universe, creator of all life, hear me. This one prays. In the mirror. In the reflection that bounces from me to the world and back again, there is… Continue Reading →

Miracles

Miracles (by Walt Whitman) Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,… Continue Reading →

A Tandem Bike Ride With God

A Tandem Bike Ride With God I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was… Continue Reading →

Thomas Gets a Bad Rap, The importance of Doubt in a Life of Faith

Simple Sunday Sermons: Thomas Gets a Bad Rap, The importance of Doubt in a Life of Faith  (John 20:24-29) Facebook Live Video

Additional viewing option: Youtube

Lighten Up

Lighten Up.  “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”  Oscar Wilde Change me O God, into one who doesn’t take life so seriously. Help me to become like a little child who plays, laughs and enjoys this adventure of… Continue Reading →

Be Kind to Yourself

Be Kind to Yourself?! We’re pretty good at beating ourselves up, aren’t we? What if you were the one who was most in need of your own kindness and love? What if that was the key to the mending of… Continue Reading →

Ode To Gaiety

Ode To Gaiety (by James Broughton) Go gloom Begone glum and grim Off with the drab drear and grumble It’s time its pastime to come undone and come out laughing time to wrap killjoys in wet blankets and feed them… Continue Reading →

The Great Blondin

The Great Blondin. Can you imagine a tightrope stretched over a quarter of a mile and spanning the breadth of Niagara Falls? The thundering sound of the pounding water drowning out all other sounds as you watch a man step… Continue Reading →

Jesus Embarrassed by an Easter Service?

Jesus Embarrassed by an Easter Service? I attended church on Easter Sunday.  And if Jesus went to the church I did, I think he might cringe or weep, just like I wanted to. To my contemporary, consumeristic, American mind this service… Continue Reading →

I Thank You God for this Most Amazing Day

I thank you god for this most amazing day (by ee cummings) I thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is… Continue Reading →

Judas and Jesus Meet Again

Judas and Jesus Meet Again Throughout the centuries, we’ve all been Judas.  Betraying God in a multitude and myriad of ways.  If there is no grace, forgiveness and hope for him, there is none for any of us.  Based on… Continue Reading →

Reflections on the 4th Word from the Cross

A Facebook Live Video Reflection, a couple of quotes, a poem and a song for a Good Friday meditation. Reflections by Bill: Link to Facebook Live Video Reflection. Quote by Beuchner: MY GOD, MY GOD, why hast thou forsaken me?” As Christ speaks… Continue Reading →

I Have Learned So Much From God

I Have Learned So Much From God (by Hafiz) I Have Learned So much from God That I can no longer Call Myself A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim A Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of… Continue Reading →

Exhortation of the Dawn

Exhortation of the Dawn (by Kalidasa) Look to this day: For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course Lie all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth, The glory of action,… Continue Reading →

To Be Ourselves

To Be Ourselves. “May we free ourselves, from ourselves so that we can be ourselves.”  Rabbi Brian This week I met Rabbi Brian online through a quirky, divine, surprise syncrhoncity.  As we talked he shared this quote off the top… Continue Reading →

You Have Loved Us First

“You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing You have loved us first many times… Continue Reading →

Lazarus Laughed

Lazarus Laughed. In a sermon years ago, the great Southern preacher, John Claypool talked about a little known play by Eugene O’Neill entitled, “Lazarus Laughed.” In this play, O’Neill gives us a glimpse of the power of life without fear…. Continue Reading →

License Plate Message

License Plate Message “I remember sitting parked by the roadside once, terribly depressed and afraid about my daughter’s illness and what was going on in our family, when out of nowhere a car came along down the highway with a… Continue Reading →

If You Knew

If You Knew (by Ellen Bass) What if you knew you’d be the last to touch someone? If you were taking tickets, for example, at the theater, tearing them, giving back the ragged stubs, you might take care to touch… Continue Reading →

Healing Our Image of God

“How long will grown men and women in this world keep drawing in their coloring books an image of God that makes them sad?”  MEISTER ECKHART

When Does the Good Life Start?

“The good life starts only when you stop wanting a better one.”  Bertrand Russell I stumbled upon this quote this week that “hit me like a ton of bricks”.  I live a lot of my life in the future. In… Continue Reading →

The Other Seven Wonders

The Other Seven Wonders A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present “Seven Wonders of the World.” Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes: Egypt’s Great Pyramids Taj Mahal Grand… Continue Reading →

Don’t Expect Applause

Don’t Expect Applause (by Ellen Bass) And yet, wouldn’t it be welcome at the end of each ordinary day? The audience could be small, the theater modest. Folding chairs in a church basement would do. …Just a short earnest burst… Continue Reading →

The Black Dot

The Black Dot One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the… Continue Reading →

Saint Patrick’s Prayer

Saint Patrick’s Prayer Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in… Continue Reading →

Olly, The Tumbling, Bumbling Jack Russell Terrier

I want to live like Olly.  Thank you Olly for the spiritual reminders! To play, to dare, to fail, without a worry or a care! As the announcer says, of carefree Olly, "He's all over...

Tired of Speaking Sweetly

Tired of Speaking Sweetly (by Hafiz) Love wants to reach out and manhandle us, Break all our teacup talk of God. If you had the courage and Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights, He would just drag you… Continue Reading →

Soul Identity

Soul Identity:  “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” – George MacDonald

The Cracked Pot

The Cracked Pot A legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using two large pots tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders. One of the… Continue Reading →

First Lesson

First Lesson (by Phillip Booth) Lie back daughter, let your head be tipped back in the cup of my hand. Gently, and I will hold you. Spread your arms wide, lie out on the stream and look high at the… Continue Reading →

The Other Serenity Prayer

The Other Serenity Prayer God, grant me the serenity To stop beating myself up for not doing things perfectly, The courage to forgive myself because I’m working on doing better, And the wisdom to know that You already love me… Continue Reading →

What We See

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” Anaïs Nin (Also attributed to Talmud, Immanuel Kant, G. T. W. Patrick, H. M. Tomlinson and Steven Covey.) So if I am… angry fearful confused scared unloving… Continue Reading →

Can It Get Any Worse?

A poor man lived with his wife and six children in a very small one-room house. They were always getting in each other’s way and there was so little space they could hardly breathe! Finally the man could stand it… Continue Reading →

Blessing the Dust – A Blessing for Ash Wednesday

Blessing the Dust – A Blessing for Ash Wednesday (by Jan Richardson) All those days you felt like dust, like dirt, as if all you had to do was turn your face toward the wind and be scattered to the… Continue Reading →

The Serenity Prayer – God Grant Me…

The Serenity Prayer – God Grant Me… God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one… Continue Reading →

Love Cures

“Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” Karl Menninger

100 Years of Beauty

100 Years of Beauty: Aging Video. Every young couple, before getting married should watch this video.  It’s wonderful.  When we’re young we concentrate on the outward beauty, the skin, the form of the one we love.  But isn’t there something… Continue Reading →

100 Years

100 Years (by Five for Fighting). How quickly time flies, but we often don’t even notice it.  How we take for granted that we’ll have many more wonderful years to come.  How we so easily lose perspective and take all… Continue Reading →

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