Bill Johnson

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

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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 →

An Alternative To Bad Billboard Theology (Part 2) – Forgiven Forever.

Simple Sunday Sermons: An Alternative To Bad Billboard Theology (Part 2) - Forgiven Forever.  (Hebrews 9:26-28).
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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 →

An Alternative To Bad Billboard Theology (Part 1) – The Beautiful Presence of God.

Simple Sunday Sermons: An Alternative To Bad Billboard Theology (Part 1) - The Beautiful Presence of God. (Hebrews 9:26-28).
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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 →

Two Sparrows

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Two Sparrows (Matthew 10:29).
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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 →

How To Know What God Is Like

Simple Sunday Sermons:  How To Know What God Is Like (John 14:8-14)
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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 →

Do You Yearn, George?

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Do You Yearn, George? (Psalm 42:1-2)
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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 →

Laughter

Laughter (by Hafiz) What is laughter? What is laughter? It is God waking up! O it is God waking up! It is the sun poking its sweet head out From behind a cloud You have been carrying too long, Veiling… Continue Reading →

The Best Medicine for Life

Simple Sunday Sermons:  The Best Medicine for Life (Proverbs 17:22)
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Dr. Emoto’s Water Experiment

Dr. Emoto’s Water Experiment If thoughts can do that to water, imagine what thoughts can do to us? “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if… Continue Reading →

Chain Letter of the Soul

Chain Letter of the Soul. I had the wonderful experience this past Sunday of attending my first “Friends Meeting,” – a Quaker worship service in Mpls.  It was a semi programmed meeting with an opening and closing hymn and a… Continue Reading →

Life’s Greatest “Perspective Giver”

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Life's Greatest Perspective Giver (Psalm 90:12)
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For a Friend Lying in Intensive Care Waiting for Her White Blood Cells to Rejuvenate After a Bone Marrow Transplant

For a Friend Lying in Intensive Care Waiting for Her White Blood Cells to Rejuvenate After a Bone Marrow Transplant (by Barbara Crooker) The jonquils. They come back. They split the earth with their green swords, bearing cups of light…. Continue Reading →

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 →

When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God

Simple Sunday Sermons:  When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God. (Acts 17:26-28)
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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 →

As a Mother Comforts Her Child

Simple Sunday Sermons:  As a Mother Comforts Her Child (Isaiah 66:13)
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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 →

A Full Life Here and Now?!

Simple Sunday Sermons:  A Full Life Here and Now?  (John 10:10).
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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 →

Emmaus is Everywhere and Always Happening

Simple Sunday Sermons:  Emmaus is Everywhere and Always Happening (Luke 24:13-35). Facebook Live Video

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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

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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 →

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