10 surprising truths about Jesus.

About once a year, I’ll pick up a book about Jesus in search of fresh insights on the man and his mission. My personal preference is that these books not be tied to any specific dogma or religion, but that they explore the many mysteries and myths that surround Jesus and his life. And I found just such a book in Jesus, the Human Face of God by scholar Jay Parini.The author identifies himself as a Christian and a regular churchgoer, but he is decidedly a man who looks beyond the Bible for a … [Read More...]

An 8-step guide to living your life with gumption.

Are you actively engaged with life? Do you believe if you want good things to happen, you need to go out and take action? Or do you sit back and let life come to you, trusting that life will provide you with all you need?Last year, I wrote about The Surrender Experiment, Michael Singer’s absorbing story about saying yes to whatever life brings your way. It was Singer’s belief that we’d be better off if we stopped making our own major life decisions and instead accepted what “the flow of life” … [Read More...]

60-Second Inspiration: The secret to a happy, contented life.

“Why am I here?”“What’s my purpose?”“What am I supposed to accomplish in this lifetime?”If you’re like me, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions—and quite possibly do it on a regular basis. While I believe each of us has our own individual purpose or calling, life philosopher Jo … [Read More...]

Wise words from Canada—and the smartest guy you never heard of.

I’ve honored the deceased recently, including my buddy Terry, a good man who passed away at 55 from a sudden heart attack, and my wise expat friend from France, John, who passed away in April. Now it’s time to honor the living—a guy who I feared might have joined Terry and John.There’s a blogger … [Read More...]

Why Spirituality is a Better Escape Than Drinking, Sex or Drugs.

What’s your favorite form of “escape”? Personally, I’m a big fan of craft beers. In fact, I’m sipping a Flying Dog Mango Habanero IPA as I write this and it tastes pretty darn delicious. But I fully realize that drinking has a funny, often detrimental effect on some people.I recall once having a … [Read More...]

What Thomas Edison sees when he sees God.

How do you picture God? I was raised in a Catholic family and attended weekly Catechism classes for years. As a youth and young man, I pictured God as an elderly man with a long beard. He sat on a throne in the clouds, draped in bed sheets, watching over the Earth.It was not until I was well … [Read More...]

How to get the most out of your weekend. (Advice on chillaxing.)

BREXIT! TRUMP! ISIS! The headlines are enough to make you queasy these days, yet if you’re like me, you find yourself reading the stories, trying to make sense of things that are in large part nonsensical.But with the weekend here, it’s time to forget about politics, our jobs and anything else th … [Read More...]

“Jesus is just like you and me”: the radical message of R. W. Emerson.

Imagine graduating from one of the top religious schools in the country, entering the ministry, and after a few years deciding the job isn’t right for you. You find yourself troubled by public prayer, the act of communion, and most of all by the formality and stiffness of the church service i … [Read More...]

60-Second Inspiration: The Best of the Best 2016 Graduation Speeches.

Each June, The New York Times prints excerpts of about 20 of the top graduation commencement speeches from around the country. The speeches come from  actors and athletes, politicians and businesspeople, and each year I faithfully read them, looking for nuggets of inspiration or wisdom. This year, … [Read More...]

My wise 86-year old friend just passed away. Here are his final words.

I first met John Gray in early-2014. He was a reader of this column and we began a regular exchange of ideas via e-mail. I soon found myself collecting some of his choicest sayings and, to his great enjoyment, wrote a story about him titled Musings on God and Life from an 85-Year Old Expat Living in … [Read More...]

The “cat people” of Mayoruna want to know: What is your ca’ah?

There is a fairly obscure book by the name of The Encounter, Amazon Beaming in which the writer Petru Popescu tells the story of his good friend, National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre, and how he made contact with the elusive Mayoruna tribe in the deepest jungles of Brazil.In 1969, … [Read More...]

Norman Vincent Peale’s 7 life-changing words—and why some call them blasphemous.

Norman Vincent Peale may be best known as the author of The Power of Positive Thinking. First published in 1952, the book went on to sell 5 million copies and is still a Top-10 “religion & spirituality” book at Amazon today. It was one of 41 books Peale wrote during a distinguished life that inc … [Read More...]

NJ family wins $430 million Powerball lottery—claims “Divine Intervention”.

There was a recent story in the NY Times about a family in my home state of New Jersey that had just won the $429.6 million Powerball jackpot—and what made it interesting is the reason they believed they had won.Pearlie Mae Smith and her 7 adult children did not normally play the lottery. But on … [Read More...]

A 10-step guide to being “spiritual but not religious”.

In a few weeks I will be writing about the brand new book from Thomas Moore, a modern-day translation of one of the New Testament gospels, The Book of Matthew. But as I did a little research on that book, I was reminded of Moore’s previous release, the groundbreaking A Religion of One’s Own.If yo … [Read More...]


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