Tag Archives: TRUST

Messages From Joe

Hello Interfaith Family,

If you have not yet been to a service during which we are graced with Joe Johnson’s words, then I am happy to be introducing you to him through our blog. ICSG got connected to Joe through a new member of our community, Holly Honig-Josephson. Holly works with an organization called Humanity for Prisoners that provides a variety of problem-solving services for incarcerated persons in Michigan to alleviate suffering beyond the just administration of their sentences. Joe is one of those people and Holly met him through this work.

During their communications, Joe shared with Holly some of his spiritual insights and expressed his interest in being connected to a spiritual community, which led Holly to speak with me. Since then, via the prison email system, I have been sending Joe the topics for Sunday talks and he sends his reflections to be shared during open mic. This has been a truly inspiring experience for me, as I am always amazed by his reflections. I often reflect that he should have my job! Recently, because of its importance and profundity, I included a part of his message during my talk on The Great Turning. Below are some of the powerful messages he has shared so far. Maybe one day we’ll make a book, Messages From Joe. Enjoy.

Introduction

Allow me this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Joseph Johnson, I’ve been incarcerated for 37 years for a mistake that I made as a teenager. I along with my codefendant robbed two youths who were pushing an Ice Cream cart selling ice cream of $27.50 and some ice cream. For this I was sentenced to serve a parolable life term. My codefendant was sentence to 6 Months county jail and 5 years probation. I do not give this information expecting sympathy because what I did was wrong and I’m being held responsible and accountable for my actions.

I want to first thank Pastor Lauren and Holly for making this opportunity to communicate with you all possible and I’m so humbled to have this opportunity to reach out to you from where I sit. It furthers my belief that the strong arm of the ALL is most powerful.

Continue reading Messages From Joe

Believe in Yourself

Yesterday, Dave Bell showed us how our own beliefs about ourselves (often old, subconscious beliefs, ingrained from childhood) create our experience. Isn’t it amazing that our  Divine soul’s expression is empowered, or inhibited, by what we believe? Yet it’s true. As Henry Ford say, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…. you’re right.

What if you allowed yourself to express your soul’s essence, right here, right now? Here’s a little encouragement from an unexpected source: neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor.

How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are

How can we deal with devastating disappointments without losing faith?

Yesterday, Associate Minister Annie Kopko shared how she was able to reframe a crippling childhood pattern to transform the pain and insecurity it spawned.

“At any moment, you can change your perspective,” she told us. But how?

The video below teaches us with inspired and uplifting examples. Reframing pain and disappointment is a characteristic of resilient people. This capacity honors our experience while reconnecting us to our innate divinity and restoring trust in the Creation.

Enjoy this profoundly uplifiting TED Talk by Andrew Solomon on “meaning making.” Then let us know what you think in the comment section.