Bill Johnson

A collection of spiritual reminders, reflections on going "beyond churchianity" and simple, Sunday sermons

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Spiritual Reminders

It all speaks to me of God – all of life, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

The Way it Is

The Way It Is (by Lyn Ungar) One morning you might wake up to realize that the knot in your stomach had loosened itself and slipped away, and that the pit of unfulfilled longing in your heart had gradually, and… Continue Reading →

Who You Are Not

Who You Are Not (by William Johnson) You are not your stories Your thoughts Your judgements Your condemnation Your past Your future Your present Your wrongs Your sins Your pain Your mistakes Your body Your illness You are not what… Continue Reading →

This Too Shall Pass

This Too Shall Pass. During the festive Passover meal with his ministers, King Solomon teased Benaiah son of Jehoiada, his arrogant Chief of Army. “Benaiah, I was told that there is a special ring that has a special power. It… Continue Reading →

Notice

Notice (by Steve Kowit) This evening, the sturdy Levi’s I wore every day for over a year & which seemed to the end in perfect condition, suddenly tore. How or why I don’t know, but there it was: a big… Continue Reading →

A Prayer – May I Know Who I Am

A Prayer – May I Know Who I Am (by Debbie Ford) Dear God, On this day I ask you to grant this request – May I know who I am and what I am, every moment of every day…. Continue Reading →

The Prisoner Who Was Free

There was a prisoner who was held in a cell for many years. Every day at a certain time the jailer would come and open up the door, set down a plate of food, close the door leaving the prisoner… Continue Reading →

What the Living Do

What the Living Do (by Marie Howe) Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the… Continue Reading →

My Brilliant Image

My Brilliant Image (by Hafiz) One day the sun admitted I am just a shadow. I wish I could show you The infinite incandescence That has cast my brilliant image! I wish I could show you, When you are lonely… Continue Reading →

What to Remember When Waking

What to Remember When Waking (by David Whyte) In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small… Continue Reading →

You Are Beautiful

As you watch this video, you’ll see some that can help but smile, you’ll see others that find it hard to take in, and you’ll see others who don’t know how to respond.  What if this statement was deeper than… Continue Reading →

Those Winter Sundays

Those Winter Sundays (by Robert Hayden) Sundays too my father got up early and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, then with cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one… Continue Reading →

Frost

Frost (by Arthur Sze) Notice each windowpane has a different Swirling pattern of frost etched on the glass. And notice how slowly the sun melts The glaze. It is indelible: a fossil of a fern, Or a coelacanth, or a… Continue Reading →

On “Bad” 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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