Bill Johnson

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

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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.

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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