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!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Past vs Present

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
This quote from the novel "Go Between" just came to my attention this morning. I think it is profound. I was just sharing, a few days ago, with a discussion group I lead, how difficult it is to understand the first century. We cannot really go there sufficiently to see as those who were there saw. Hence, today we see widely and wildly divergent opinions of whatever we focus upon in the past. Even the recent past falls prey to this because things are changing so fast and are under the influence of dishonest spinners.

Try to imagine it. In Palestine there was something like 95% iliteracy, and about the same over the Romanworld, maybe up to 92% in some areas. It was less in Galilee. Modern logic had not been created. Science was primarily superstition. God or gods punished or rewarded with weather, health, prosperity, etc. Women's wombs were opened by gods or God to incubate the man's seed. Bare subsistence was the life of most people. The Romans ruled with no tolerance for resistance, think of the thousands upon thousands who were crucified for sedition. Life expectancy was in the 30's.

Such would be your life under Roman rule. You couldn't read or write. You were very superstitious, hungry, tired, worried and so poor it is hard to imagine.

Many people try to look at the first century, or any time past, by overlaying current knowledge, systems and values. This can only get a skewed result, even crazy theories. Some young people are so distorted in their thinking, primarily because of being taught spin and abhorance and distrust of discussion to find truth. Free thinking and logic are under attack in such a way that could lead to first century thinking returning, thinking that is stifled by not having logic, scientific method, or ethics.

The old saying comes to mind, my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts. 

Let us quest for truth in all ways, about all things, always. Jesus told us the truth will set you free.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Individual Spirituality

"A Religion of One's Own" by Thomas Moore is an interesting book. It got me to thinking about how everyone really does have some unique way of relating spiritually. Each of us who are sincere about our spiritual path somehow create our own variation, including those who are part of an established religion as well as those who are not. Some of us create a very distinct religion.

My understanding comes from a lifetime of study, external and internal experiences, touches from something More, serendipities, epiphanies, life itself.

My wounds have opened me in unique ways to beyond where I might have gone without them. My teachers are legion. My interior connections run deep. My creativity comes from something greater than me alone. I know I am a part of the More.

I must confess that I am bored, sometimes irritated, by those who have walked shallowly through their lives, missing the grand adventure of growing into Oneness. I am saddened by those who profess one thing yet live another. I am appalled by those who use their religion as a weapon.

I think a helpful exercise is to begin to clarify one's own religion by writing in a journal. Questions to oneself are a good way to start. What do you know about God from your personal experience? What spiritual practices are most dear to you? What spiritual questions do you have? Where do you feel most connected? Who are your teachers? What do you actually believe? Who are the people with whom you can discuss such things? Where do you want be in your spiritual life? etc....

I urge you to write about these and other questions.

Friday, September 20, 2019


We are always at a crossroads. Frost's poetry speaks to me, two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by...

It seems to me that we stand every moment at that crossroads. Each choice brings with it a different experience, a different world. If I turn right, I cut off what might have been on the path to the left. If I buy a house, it comes with its unique set of neighbors, for example, different from any other house I might buy. So I am not only buying a house, I am buying a particular and distinct life.

Here in this 21st century, we have a bewildering array of crossroads never before possible. With this Kindle Fire, I can write words that go around the world, inspiring and maybe confusing or even infuriating those who choose to read my words. Readers can take the ideas to heart or not, come back another day or not, read through my past writings of not, etc. Each choice creates something different for each person.

We not only have libraries, we have most of humanity's knowledge, philosophy, religion, superstition, myth and history in our handheld devices. We have choices about what to read of this vast storehouse and choices of how we interpret it
and use it.

What we choose depends on a number of factors such as: our values, our woundedness, our search either for truth or confirmation of our biases, and so forth.

It appears that there are quite a few choosing a way that is hurtful to self or others. Apparently there is a dramatic rise in addiction and death because of it; a rise in murders, small in size and mass, but both massive in size for the soul; huge amounts of abortions, killing off future generations by the milions; verbal assaults usually laced with half of no truths; loneliness and lack of genuine connection to others; wars and wars looming. And whatever it is, via media it instantly is known around the world, especially if it is negative. We have to dig for positive news for the most part.

Questions I ponder are many.  How can we help people make wise, life affirming choices??? Can we find a way through this modern maze to lives well lived and celebrated? Can we find our core, our spiritual kingdom within? Can we focus on beauty, love, wisdom and all things that lift and heal? Can we touch the soul wounded and be a healing being to them? Can we love as spiritual brothers and sisters?

What happens if we don't?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


The book I'm reading on first century Judaism fascinates me, "Reflecting On the Rabbis, Sage Insight Into First Century Jewish Tbought." As you may know, the first century has been one of my focuses. What happened and what didn't happen? What was life like? How can I understand these times?

One of the chapters in the book I'm reading is on Yeshua (Jesus). It seems he acted and taught as a Pharisee of his time and place, especially along the line of Hillel. At the time, there were seven different Pharisee schools, broadly in agreement and debating fine points only.

Yeshua's followers behaved much like the students of other Pharisee sages. They lived with him, ate with him, questioned him, tried to emulate him.

He  taught Torah, extended parts of it, such as thought and not just action was to be brought into alignment (love your enemy, don't think with lust). He used storytelling and parables to make points, just as other Pharisee sages did also.

He debated other Pharisees, as was common practice. He was not fond of Sadducees, nor were the other Pharisees. In fact Caiaphas, the leader of the Sanhedrin that condemned Yeshua and turned him over to the Romans, was not only a Roman appointee, he was a Sadducee. Yeshua numbered Pharisees among his friends, such as Nicodemus/Naqdimon and Joseph/Yosef of Arimathea. His followers are reported to have called him rabbi.

Yeshua's followers, after he left, called themselves followers of The Way, and continued to meet in synagogues. There are various estimates of when they split and separated from the synagogues. John Shelby Spong says 88 CE. The book I am reading right now states there are records of followers of Yeshua's in attendance at synagogues and participating at high holy days as late as 387 CE!

Yeshua was way more thoroughly Jewish than most people think. Perhaps we need to revise and update our thinking. Perhaps with broader understanding, we can stop the tide of antiSemitism that seems to be rising currently.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Peace or Pieces

Ever since I can remember, I've prayed and worked for peace. Sadly, it seems the world is fragmenting into pieces rather than coalescing into peace.

The values evident in my youth have frayed. In fact, it appears that all we have held dear is now under attack. Telling falsehoods to achieve a desired result seems to be in. It's the end justifies the means on steroids. Tearing down our way of life has almost become sport, a team sport at that. Unlikely teammates join to shut down other points of view, float ideas about how to drastically change our time proven institutions, flood our country with unchecked immigration, even open borders, and change our Constitutional rights.

Instead of thoughtful dialogue and debate, people who want to be our leaders speak with foul mouths and promote socialism, even communism.

Our freedoms, our Constitution, our traditions are important to me. I pray our people open their eyes in time.

Thursday, September 12, 2019


I'm reading an interesting book about first century Judaism. One of the points is that, if one entered a school under a rabbi, it was expected that the student would imitate his teacher in every way possible, even his idiosyncrasies.

That point seems to me to have been taken up by the early followers of The Way. They were not students who were working to be actual rabbis. They were a cross section of ordinary people who wanted to be like Jesus. In some form, this desire has continued down through these 2,000+ years. In fact, Sunday we sang, I want to be like Jesus...

Yet, as Jesus said, by their fruits you shall know them. As I look at history and today, I see only a small smathering of Jesus-like behavior. Do we follow with clouded hearts only? Where and why did the understanding of following Jesus stop being to strive to be like Him?

Can we recapture this Way? Can we say in all sincerity our love and life in God is paramount, coupled with our love of others? Can we say that we guard what comes out of our mouths more than what we put into them? Can we truthfully say we are kind and generous and forgiving? Can we claim to be a light in this world? If not, can we claim to be a follower of Jesus?

Lord, clear my heart from all cloudedness. Open me to You fully. Lead me in Your path. Guide me to be ever more like You. From the core of my being, there comes a fountain of desire to follow Your Way. I answer Your Call this day. Here I am, Lord...

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Creating God

Each religion, each subset of religion, and each person, each has a different version of God. There is a wide, wide array of thinking and believing about most anything, in particular about the Higher Power. Most people get their version from a combination of places and people, from Sunday School and Christmas pagents or their equal in all religions, from parents, from long dead theologians, from scriptures either understood or misunderstood, from occasional experiences, etc.

Some say God is in the high heavens looking down, some say God is present with us, some say in us. Some say God has all the human emotions, sometimes ferociously angry, sometimes loving, some say loving period. Some say God is constantly judging us, some say God is resting and this is the 7th day. Some say God has a triune nature, some say God is one, some say there are many Gods. Some say their version of God is the only true one, and others are dangerous, some say truth is scattered everywhere. Some say We create God in our own image. We could go on endlessly with this list, but let's not. I hope the point is made. We all put God, The More, in a box, often a well defined box. Let's open our boxes and with breathless anticipation walk out into the vastness of The More.

My version of God, my understanding of God you can read more thoroughly in my book, "Seed Ideas - This I Know About God." I want to discuss just a bit of my version here.

It seems to me that the word "God" is packed with meanings that may or may not apply now. Let us set aside for just a moment our myriad of definitions and try to come fresh to whatever God is and is not.

Let us consider God as Creator. We can see incredible patterns within creation, intricate, immense, tiny. These patterns are true to themselves, discoverable, and amazing. The Intelligence in this ongoing creation is staggering. This led me to believe that there is no God who would be offended by my intelligence and quest.

Let us consider God as Communicator. In all known history, people have experienced guidance, insight, inspiration that seemed to them to be Something More than human. Of course the Communication was/is filtered through our consciousness, culture, present level of understanding, etc. So there are variations across time and place.

Some common items include such things as: there is More, there is God/gods; we can have relationship, I can know a bit of God; God is safe to approach and is Love Itself; there is something like a constant signal calling us to God, a yearning, a knowing, a hunger for returning home. Meditation, prayer, time in nature and quiet help develop our consciousness and relationship with The More.

God calls us to a mature spirituality, one devoid of superstition, inconsistency, and rigidity. Let us walk together with The More.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Trust or Not

It seems to me most of the time we trust. When we trust, we don't worry, we just know it's okay. We don't worry about gravity working, about earth falling out of orbit, about our house flying out into space, about whether or not we will wake up tomorrow, about waking up forgetting who we are, etc. We trust so much, we don't actually even think about it.

We worry about little things mostly. Often we worry about tiny things such as, is my hair ok? Some people have actually big worries - is my child going to survive cancer? Or am I going to get a job? Or is my family safe from the drug epidemic?

When we strengthen our spiritual life, trust takes us through all of these things. I often think of Paul's assertion that all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.

I believe all are called, but all do not listen. Even so, viewing everything as a teacher, it all leads to good. We learn, we grow - at least eventually. Every event in my life has taught me something - how or how not to live, what works or does not work. It leads me to know I can choose wisely or poorly, and there are consequences. Do I want the consequences of this choice? If not, I can choose again.

I trust the process of my life. I can say, thank you for testing me and teaching me. I know I'm not alone. I trust God's presence and Guidance. What a ride it's been and is likely to continue to be.