Archive for June, 2013

My New eBook: “The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life”

June 23, 2013


My new eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon. Click here to order it.

I wrote this eBook because I’ve heard so many people claim that it’s not logical to believe in God. I think the opposite is true!

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:

• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

Not believing in God because you don’t see evidence of God’s existence when you look at the surface events of life is like not believing in (more…)

“Through God’s Eyes” Wins First Place at the San DIego Book Awards

June 22, 2013

Accepting the award onstage at the San Diego Book Awards (photo by Ronnie Fearon)

Tonight at the annual San Diego Book Awards event, my book, Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, won first place in the “Spiritual and Inspirational” category.

It was a fun evening. There were a couple hundred people in the auditorium and the format was like the Oscars. For each category, three finalists were announced and then the winner. Winners walked up onstage to collect their award and say a few words.

Here was my acceptance speech:

Through God’s Eyes is a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. I didn’t choose to (more…)

Shanna Decker: Lose a Leg, Learn to Love

June 21, 2013

I wrote this profile of childhood cancer survivor Shanna Decker for what is now Caregiving in America magazine.Today, Shanna views her cancer and the resulting loss of a leg as a great gift. She is a remarkable young woman.



Shanna Decker

For one week, Shanna Decker hid under the covers and cried, not wanting to talk to anyone, not even her parents. If you were seven years old, just found out you had malignant bone cancer and were about to lose all your hair to chemotherapy, you’d probably hide under the covers and cry, too.

And yet, after just one week, a week that Shanna said her mother spent not eating or sleeping, the entire Decker family—father Jack, mother Sherrie and 13-year-old sister Melissa—found the peace and strength they needed. “We talked about it as a family and we understood that we were not in control, that this was happening for a reason,” Shanna remembers. “We said, ‘Okay, Lord, take us where you need to take us.’”

That act of surrender changed everything. “We decided that we were going to (more…)

Summer Solstice 2013 Update From Astrologer Laurie Baum

June 20, 2013

Laurie Baum

If you enjoy astrology, you will like this Summer Solstice update written by my good friend Laurie Baum, MSW, a psychological astrologer and psychotherapist in practice in Encinitas, California.

Laurie writes a free astrological newsletter about how planetary alignments affect our lives on earth. Click here to e-mail Laurie to subscribe at no cost, or visit Laurie’s website and click on “Free Email Newsletter.”

Laurie is a former newspaper and news magazine reporter who is profiled in the books Psychic New York and The 100 Top Psychics in America. She is the author of five books:

A to Z Acrophonology: Discover the Power of the Letters in Your Name

Everything You Need to Know About Your Astrology Sign

Whispers from the Cosmos

Sacred Mysteries of Egypt

Astrological Secrets for the New Millennium

Laurie also offers counseling appointments by phone. She will answer your questions about major life decisions and talk with you about the reasons you have incarnated, the lessons you are here to learn, where you are on the wheel of karma, and the psychological developmental cycles you have been through and are going through. She will look at current influences on your health, finances, relationships, career, and any relocation plans that may be necessary. She also will look ahead with you at the next seven years of your life. A reading with Laurie can help you take the next step in your life. Sessions, which are available via landline phone or Skype (audio or video), are digitally recorded.

To make an appointment, click here to e-mail Laurie or call her at (760) 753-7676. Click here to visit Laurie’s website for more information.



Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, arrives on Thursday, June 20—Friday, June 21. The changing angle of the sun at the solstice imparts greater energy than usual to your thoughts, affirmations, visualizations, and prayers. It is a law of physics that light is strongest when it bends, as it does at every season change marked by the solstice or equinox. This is a favorable time to pray for and visualize what you would like to create in the coming season. It also is a beneficial time to visualize peace and harmony across the planet.

A number of dynamic planetary alignments this summer will help you experience a greater connection to Spirit through your feelings and a greater connection to your soul through art, music, yoga, and meditation.

Jupiter, the planet of luck and spiritual expansion, enters the Sign of Cancer on June 25 for the first time since 2002. This celestial transit will cause home prices to temporarily rise until mid-2014. Make your real estate (more…)

Do You Choose to Live in Guilt or Joy?

June 19, 2013


Philip Goldberg, who was gracious enough to write an endorsement for my book, Through God’s Eyes, beautifully summarized the distinction between two schools of religious thought (the West versus the ancient spiritual wisdom of the East) in his terrific book, American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West.

On page 38, Goldberg wrote:

{Ralph Waldo Emerson’s views] were built on a Vedic foundation that flipped the prevailing religious assumption about human nature on its head—from original sin to original bliss, one might say. “Emerson took the revolutionary notion that (more…)

Preston and Liz’s Secretly Spectacular Wedding

June 18, 2013

Preston and Liz Palmer (photo by Jim Zurales)

Toss in a Hawaii beach, a scene from Braveheart, and the shortest engagement in history, and you have the secretly spectacular and spectacularly secret wedding of Preston and Liz Palmer. Watch the magic unfold for yourself in this fun four-minute video they put together a year after the fact.

Preston and Liz kept their April 19, 2012 wedding a secret from (more…)

Just This Once

June 17, 2013


Clayton M. Christensen, who has been called “The Number One Management Thinker in the World”

In a brilliant address titled “How Will You Measure Your Life: Don’t Reserve Your Best Business Thinking for Your Career,” Clayton M. Christensen, Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, advised his students how to apply his principles and thinking to their post-graduate careers. Here is an excerpt from that speech, which speaks to the heart of integrity.

Unconsciously, we often employ the marginal cost doctrine [a business theory that is unimportant to go into here] in our personal lives when we choose between right and wrong. A voice in our head says, “Look, I know that as a general rule, most people shouldn’t do this. But in this particular extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s OK.” The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this once” always seems alluringly low. It suckers you in, and you don’t ever look at where that path ultimately is headed and at the full costs that the choice entails. Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost economics of “just this once.”

I’d like to share a story about how I came to understand the potential damage of “just this once” in my own life. I played on the Oxford University varsity basketball team. We worked our tails off and finished the season undefeated. The guys on the team were the best friends I’ve ever had in my life. We got to the British equivalent of the NCAA tournament— and made it to the final four. It turned out the championship game was scheduled to be (more…)

My “Stage Left” Cartoons

June 16, 2013

I teamed up with Steve Mark, a cartoonist friend, to create a cartoon strip called Stage Left. Here are some samples. I hope you enjoy them!

Click here to see my cartoons for Strange Brew, a syndicated cartoon.

Click here to see my cartoons for Close to Home, another syndicated cartoon.


If this cartoon doesn’t make any sense to you, listen to this!

























My “Strange Brew” Cartoons

June 15, 2013

I wrote ideas for Strange Brew, a nationally syndicated cartoon. I sent my ideas to John Deering, the panel’s creator, and he picked what he likes. Here are some of the ideas he turned into cartoons.

Click here to see my cartoons for Close to Home, another syndicated cartoon.

Click here to see my cartoons for Stage Left, a strip I created with Steve Mark, a cartoonist friend.









Elizabeth Gilbert: Make Room

June 14, 2013

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, posted this brief essay on her Facebook page today. It is an excellent reminder that every individual is complex and multifaceted. Just as you would not like others to reduce the fullness of who you are to one or two characteristics, it is vital to honor others for the fullness of their humanity.

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Good morning, dear ones.

I went to bed last night—after a long visit with extended family this week—pondering this thought: The happiest people I have ever met seem to be the ones who are capable of holding two (or more) completely contradictory ideas in their heads at the same time.

They are able to look at a loved one and see how he is both marvelous and impossible (neither one nor the other, but absolutely both).

They are able to see their neighbors and friends as both generous and selfish, in equal measure.

They are able to look at a difficult situation and see that it is both painful and transformative, both a disaster and a terrific chance for a breakthrough.

They are able to regard their own lives as both noble and ridiculous.

They are able to see the world as both astonishingly benevolent and incredibly unjust.

The happiest people I know do not cling to one side of any duality, or draw firm lines in the sand.

They don’t render (more…)

Love and Shoelaces

June 13, 2013

I saw this on Quora and have to agree. It’s the quintessential description of true love.

old-persons-handsI heard it second-hand, but it still amazes me. There were many people talking about love, and what love meant. And this child says “love is when my granpa (more…)

Matthew Sanford: Heals on Wheels

June 12, 2013

I wrote this profile of yoga teacher, author, advocate and all-around amazing human being Matthew Sanford in 2009 for what is now Caregiving in America magazine. Matthew’s profoundly inspiring story is a must-read for anyone who has faced or is facing significant obstacles in life. In other words, it’s for everyone.


Matthew Sanford

Matthew Sanford

Matthew Sanford is an unstoppable force of nature, teaching, preaching, and reaching out to caregivers everywhere, urging them to wake up to the transformative power of the mind-body connection. “I’m working for a healthcare system, a rehabilitation process, where patients leave more connected with their body rather than less,” says Matthew, who lives in Orono with his wife and eight-year-old son.

Matthew is the author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, which recounts his recovery from a devastating car crash and his path back to wholeness through the practice of yoga. He now teaches weekly yoga classes at Mind Body Solutions Yoga, the Minnetonka studio operated by Mind Body Solutions, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization he founded in 2001. “Our mission,” he says, “is to transform trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential by awakening the connection between mind and body.”

Matthew’s passion for helping others was fueled by (more…)

A Rope of Hope

June 11, 2013

I can relate to stories like this. So many times I’ve felt guided to do some minor thing I ordinarily wouldn’t have done. I’ve learned to follow my intuition without questioning it because trying to make sense of it at the time is impossible. You just have to trust that everything will unfold (or, in this case, uncoil) in its own way in its own time.

This story was written by Sandi Sebak Bean of Bottineau, North Dakota, and featured in a Guideposts e-letter. Click here to sign up for Guideposts‘ free Mysterious Ways newsletter. You’ll also be able to download a free e-book, Mysterious Ways: 9 Inspiring Stories That Show Evidence of God’s Love and God’s Grace.

There was something in our church craft cabinet . . . something I’d never seen in there before

coil-of-ropeI walked over to our church’s craft cabinet, hoping to find some project ideas for kids. In just a few days my husband, Daniel, and I would be taking a mission trip to help the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota build a new church and we’d need some fun things to do with the families.

I’d barely opened the door when a long piece of thick rope (more…)

Brilliant Dance Troupe, Attraction, Wins “Britain’s Got Talent”

June 8, 2013
attraction-shadow-dance-troupe-hungary 19-14-25

Attraction, the amazing shadow theater troupe from Hungary

From the moment that Attraction finished their audition on Britain’s Got Talent, the black-light and shadow dance troupe from Hungary was the act to beat. In three minutes, with nothing but their bodies and a few props, they told an epic story of love, loss and rebirth that will move you to tears.


Their two-minute semifinals performance matched their first effort with a heartbreakingly tender reenactment of the life story of Zoltan Szucs, the troupe’s leader. No one with a heart will (more…)

Always Only a Prayer Apart

June 7, 2013

This simple prayer comforted the writer when she was a nine-year-old homesick camper and it continues to strengthen the bonds between her family members today. I love what it represents. Melinda Mallory of Southlake, Texas, wrote this story for the June 2013 issue of Guideposts magazine.

A child’s anxiety over being away from home is eased by a special Bible verse

girl-prayingWith my kids and husband out for the afternoon, it was a good time to go through the box of things I’d brought home from Mom’s house on my last visit. The old photos made me wish she lived close enough to see every day. I reached into the box and pulled out a scrap of paper.

Is this…? I unfolded it and gasped. “It can’t be!”

Written in faded marker was a verse from Genesis: “The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.”

At once I was nine years old again, watching Mom pack my trunk for summer camp. I’d never been away from home alone for so long before. “Please don’t make me go, Mom!” I cried.

“It will be fun, Melinda,” Mom said. “You’ll make lots of new friends. You can write every day and tell me all the fun things you’re doing.”

I dissolved into tears. Mom gathered me in her arms and rocked me. “I have an idea,” she said. “The two of us can (more…)

Marty Brown Rekindles His Dream

June 5, 2013

marty-brownI didn’t expect to be so moved by Marty Brown’s performance of Bob Dylan’s To Make You Feel My Love on America’s Got Talent on June 4, 2013. He has a good voice, but what brought me to tears was his (more…)