My Books Available Now on Amazon ebooks

Amazon Kindle books now have some of my books. Please keep checking for more titles as they become available. Thanks!

Thursday, March 28, 2019


As a person who has a long trail of solving, overcoming, untangling problems, there are times my usual skills do not apply. It is a bit disorienting. Even as a child I frequently heard from my friends, "you are a lifesaver."

I'm in one of the major crevices of my life, and have been for over 5 years. How I speak of it to myself defines it and leads me to different places. Sometimes I am an observer, watching in fascination. Sometimes I am accutely aware of profound spiritual lessons. On occasion I am distressed, angry, feeling helpless. There are moments I feel imprisoned by my decreased options.

"How does one overcome the powerful who hold the strings of my assets?" "Is there anything I can do?" But there doesn't seem to be something in my toolbox for life that applies.

Mostly I align with the idea that I will not give them my mind, my heart, my participation in life. I will keep on being me. I will keep on sharing and caring the best I can. Some days I drag myself into life, oh so weary, but I go out and do what I can.

Daily for months now I hear that tomorrow or Monday or some for sure day is the day I get it all back, including compensation for what they've done to us. It is sort of torture. Isn't torture illegal?

Surely any moment I'll get to climb out of this crevice and back to my full speed. I think of Paul often, "This too shall pass."

When we find ourselves in a crevice, we can remember it has a shelf life and so will end. We climb out wiser, stronger, more in tune with God and ready to soar into life. Climb with me.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


It has been one of my calls and passions to do something to lift the people who are homeless. The title I am considering is The Homeless Project. My thought is to encourage groups to get together and brainstorm, eventually arriving at one or more brilliant ideas. Then we would do a pilot project of each to determine effectiveness and do some adjustments.

Last night I dreamed we were in the process of testing one of the ideas. It began so well. Volunteers entered the program, getting help in whatever ways they needed - health, mental health, addictions, etc and then job skills, jobs, apartments, etc. But I was distraught when I saw paid and volunteer workers not able to be in integrity. They worked against the program in ways that profited them, such as procuring drugs for recovering addicts. It was all so sadly real in my dream.

Integrity evaporated. I awoke with tears in my eyes. I realized integrity was on my mind partially because of our multi-year struggle to get our assets back, with hundreds of empty promises from high up people, and also because of the crazed attack on the President by the left and the vast majority of the press, even now after the Mueller report exonerated him.  Or the false attack by some of the press on the school boys and which then tried to destroy a 16 year old boy. On and on examples tumbled out of my mind.

Where oh where has integrity gone? Where is it to be found? I was brought up that my word is my bond.  How did so many get an opposite value? Anything goes, emotions are better than facts, the end justifies the means they act out. I say No, No, No.

Somehow, if we are to live out our spiritual center, integrity simply has to be back in favor. Accountability has to be encouraged. I don't see how we can actually solve our many problems without integrity and its companion, accountability.

Oh Divine Presence, guide us to live as You would have us live. Keep us close. Encourage the best in us. Lead us to live in integrity and to be accountable for our thoughts, words, and deeds. Inspire us with great ideas to solve problems and help create a better world. Give us a hearty dose of courage and persistence. May Your Will be done.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Religion - Received or Taught?

An age old question has been which version is valid - do we go with our spiritual experiences or do we learn the creeds and codes put forth by others? Or, perhaps we accept a hybrid, a smathering of both. There have been heated and sometimes violent debates over this during the course of human history.

Paul was very much in the side of his own experience. In Galatians he said, It pleased God to reveal His Son in me. In 2 Corinthians he wrote, God who said 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shined into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God the face of Jesus Christ. Paul had numerous extraordinary spiritual revelations and experiences. He did not sit down and reason out a consistent and cohesive theology, rather he "received" a series of insights. He believed his experiences so much that he argued with James the brother of Jesus and Peter the apostle. He followed his own experiences and set The Way on a different path than the one that would have developed if James and Peter would have won.

Most of Christian theology  relies heavily on Paul's writings. Creeds and codes came along, written by men without such experiences who tried to interpret (without the ability to know directly) what Paul meant or tried to frame it to control others for profit or power. Think Council of Nicea for example where a small minority of bishops worked with Constantine to unify his empire by standardizing acceptable beliefs. Don't get me started on this and countless other good old boy conflabes that twisted Jesus' teachings into unrecognizable distorted shapes.

On the other hand, less than mentally healthy men have had delusions and hallucinations that led people in ugly, hideous ways. Think Jim Jones or David Koresh in the 20th century, for example.

So how do we discern the difference between genuine divine experiences and mental illness, either our own or those of others?

For me, it is an evolving hybrid. I read and reread, and have done so since childhood, the words reputed to have been from Jesus or at least paraphrased by the late first century writers of the Gospels. I study great thinkers in a wide spectrum from Marcus Borg to Meister Eckhart, from Bart  Erhman to Hildegard of Bingen, from Richard Rohr to Thomas a Kempis, from Aldous Huxley to Augustine. I have read the thoughts of hundreds, maybe thousands, of thinkers on Christianity and on other religions too. It is my passion to quest for knowing, and has been for as long as I can recall. It really calls to me.

And, since childhood, I have had numerous experiences of the Divine. So, I measure my spiritual experiences with the words of great thinkers, thinkers also on a quest. I run from the self-satisfied know it alls. The Infinite cannot be totally known, hence Infinite. It is an ongoing journey of awakening with twists and turns for sure, but it can only be walked by the sincere, the open, the humble, the genuine seeker.

I hope and pray that you too are on such a quest. This weary world needs you.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Other

In even a quick scan of history we see persecutions and all manner of violence against outsiders, those unlike us, the "others". No time, no culture that I know of has been exempt from this pattern.

Sometimes those called "other," and therefore subject to attack, don't seem to really be "other" to the onlooker. In my lifetime it might be the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland (both supposedly Christian), the southern whites and blacks (both southerners and supposedly Christian), the Middle East constant crisis (peoples with the same roots), our seemingly endless political disputes and attacks (Americans vehemently against each other, often involving lies and even violence), and others.

Historically there have been millions of strife-laden years caused by somebody fighting somebody else because they were different. Of course, there are additional causes, such as greed, power, fear, mental illness,  etc. But I think it is rare to see a group defined as "us" to be attacked.

This week our hearts are heavy laden for New Zealand. Immigrants, legal immigrants, were slaughtered by a madman who labeled them as invaders, who wanted to forment more division here in America and who admired a totalitarian regime. His "other" label in his mind made it okay to his thinking to be a mass murderer.

I think we need to address this "other" mindset. Spiritually speaking there is no such thing as "other." As I understand it, we have the same Ground of Being, offspring of one God, brothers and sisters all. We can learn to listen to, discuss and even accept various points of view, various interpretations of this or that, without violence, without going nuts. What if we just said that everyone is us, not "other"?

As long as no hatred, no violence, no ugliness are involved, let others see things from different vantage points without having a temper tantrum.

Lord, lead us to embrace one another with love. Help us to realize we all come from the same Source. Help us to remember that for each one of us, our task is to learn to love. Help us to remember that we are responsible for our own lives, our own thoughts, our own actions. Lead us to be the best possible version of ourselves. Today I drop the idea of "other."  I welcome my family, the human family, into my heart.

Monday, March 11, 2019


Yesterday at church I was filled with joy as I experienced the embrace of community. There were warm hugs. There was sharing and caring. There was the joy of group worship and of quiet time. I was with people I care about and who care about me. It was enriching, and I appreciated it maybe more than usual because I've been ill and unable to go out for several weeks (except for hospital and doctor visits).

My mind went back to the first century and how the loving community of followers of The Way made an immense difference in their lives too. Community has been a distinguishing characteristic from the beginning.

In this busy, sometimes frantic world of today, community is incredibly important. In the world of impersonal social media a person needs deep personal sharing and caring. Church offers community in unique and wonderful ways. I appreciate being a part of our ⛪ church. Thank You,God, for leading us there.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Paganism Zero - Christianity Winner

There are quite a number of theories and perspectives on how in just three centuries Christianity grew from a small (20-30) group of peasants, to about 3,000 at the end of the first century, to convert almost all of the huge Roman Empire by the end of the fourth century. Of course the big turning point was Constantine's help in the 300's, but there were also other factors.

One perspective is focused on how different paganism was from Christianity. Pagans were inclusive, the more gods the merrier. Christians were exclusive, to join you have to let go of pagan gods. There is no evidence for pagan evangelism. Christians were constantly sharing their teaching, heavily weighted with apocalyptic zeal - the world was going to end soon and people were not risking annihilation but eternal torture. Pagans had ethics, but not because of their religion, but rather because of philosophy and cultural norms. Christian teaching was ethical in many ways, especially the mandate to love everyone and to live as Jesus lived.

One example of Christian love was dramatically shown during epidemics. Pagans were afraid of catching the disease and often threw the sick out on the streets. They had a high mortality rate. Christians tended to the sick and had a low mortality rate. This got people's attention.

History shows Christianity spread primarily by word of mouth. Each person shared with their circle of friends, family and acquaintances. And on and on it went.

Interestingly, Paul kicked it off as the first missionary. The whole concept of evangelism was strange to the people of the day. No other known religious group actively worked for converts. In fact, there are only a few named missionaries in the first four centuries: Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours, and Porphyry! This supports the current understanding that word of mouth was key.

So we come to today with a decline rather than growth. We come to a time when many are hesitant to share spiritual thoughts. We come to a time when people are busily engaged in other things and often don't have deep, personal experience of God.

I keep pondering how we can turn this around. With my spiritual life so essential to me, I wonder how can I help others to find that precious connection? This blog is one tiny way I try to encourage thinking and spiritual growth. I hope you share in your own way how wonderful it is to be Awake and Aware in The Presence of God.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

How Many Christianities?

This morning I began reading Richard Rohr's new book, The Universal Christ. It downloaded on my Kindle during the night, just released, and I had preordered it. I am certain many insights await me as I savor his words.

The prelude and the beginning of chapter one already confirmed some of my experience and also gave my mind a few stretches. Right now though, I want to consider a "fact" he mentioned that keeps shocking my thoughts.

He said that there are approximately 30,000 different varieties of Christianity!!! Let that sink in.

First I thought no wonder there is so much religious turmoil. Then I felt slightly amused by the varieties that teach they are the only way. Then I was stunned that the Galilean from Nazareth's message was so poorly understood that it fractured into so many shards. Then I thought about the thousands upon thousands of thinkers who laid their own ideas, even opposite ideas, upon what we know of the words of Jesus.

Is it even possible to peel it all back to the original? Can we find solid ground without any first hand writings? Paul wrote in the 50's. He knew a couple of apostles, but not the historical Jesus. And, there are only copies of copies of copies of his letters. The Gospels were written after 70 ce  to somewhere near the end of the first century. They were circulated as "Memoires of the Apostles," and not named until sometime between 150 and 160 ce, plus there exist only much later copies. The authors are unknown. But at this point in time, that's the best we have.

Scholars have variously tried to discover or bury whatever the original might have been. I've spent most of my adult years studying, contemplating and seeking. In my own life, I put the most weight to  what my experience has taught me and how that resonates with anything I read.

If you look over my writings, you can see my current understanding. In a nutshell, live as lovingly, authentically, kindly as possible. Spend daily time in study, prayer and contemplation. Live as if all I do and say is done in the Presence of God, for it is.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Age Old Problem

The ancient Hebrews fought the prophets of Baal and their temple prostitutes. The Greeks promoted the male form and single sex liasons. Some religious people threw themselves into celibacy and some into orgies. Sex has been at the center of religious controversy seemingly for all time.

It still is an issue today. A leader in the evangelical movement turned out to have a gay lover a few years back. It was quite the scandal. The issue of gay clergy and bishops split the Episcopal Church not long ago, with some churches reverting to the Anglican Communion. Now it seems the Methodist Church is taking its turn. It was decided this week to keep excluding gays from clergy, from marriage, etc.

I really wish EVERYONE would stop fussing so much about sex and start addressing the real problem, or as they say, the elephant in the room. Churches are declining because of speaking in ancient and medieval ways about deep spiritual truths. People who know science, philosophy, and history don't buy the ridiculous and superstitious. The sun cannot stop in the sky. There is not enough water to cover the whole earth. Creation is billions of years old, not thousands. The development of theologies took a strange and twisted path, often violent path. They are not Truths, they are men's ideas about this and that, some pretty twisted men and their twisted ideas at that. Mental illness has nothing to do with demons, etc. etc. etc.

We can deepen our spirituality by not trivializing it. We need sanity, authenticity, truthfulness and the courage to speak in new ways about the most deep seated yearnings of humankind. We need to peel away layers of nonsense. We need spiritual direction that feeds our souls and does not offend our intellect.

Let it be so.