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 [Read More…]

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“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 itself. Well, if you’re [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 [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 included [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 [Read More…]

The Mystics Who Discovered God’s Hiding Place.

At some point in time, how many of us haven’t wondered if God really exists? We may have even echoed the voices of those who have asked God to show us a sign, any sign, that he or she is real—that our prayers aren’t going out into an empty void, that our faith isn’t a [Read More…]

A Priest and an Atheist Walk into a Bar: A Story about Faith.

What is the nature of faith? Why do some of us believe that there is a God that watches over us and impacts our lives, while others believe we are alone in the world and left to our own devices? These are questions I have been pondering since I wrote my last Patheos story on [Read More…]

Does God have a plan for your life? Ralph Waldo Emerson has a compelling answer.

God’s plan for your life isn’t a map you see all at once, but a scroll unrolled a little at a time, requiring faith. ~Rick Warren, pastor and author In Christian circles, it’s common to believe that God has a plan for your life. It’s an idea called predestination (aka religious determinism) and, as hinted [Read More…]

Musings on God and Life from an 85-Year Old Expat Living in France.

His name is Johnny and in his daydreams we meet regularly in Washington Square Park, not far from where I work in New York City. He spent a few months in the city in 1968 and has fond memories of his visit. But, this being 2014, we actually meet online. Johnny commented on one of my Wake [Read More…]

Finding Meaning in the Silence of God.

Some books and authors try to define the nature of God and Lord knows I have tried this futile exercise myself. But in reality I believe God is undefinable, beyond our ability to be adequately explained. Albert Einstein may have described this best when he was asked to provide “the ultimate explanation of the world”. [Read More…]