I was in Israel on a summer trip with my youth group. There were about 30 of us, touring the country in a chartered bus, and overnighting in a high school dormitory.
On Shabbat, we were divided up into smaller groups so we could experience the Sabbath with Israeli families, staying in their homes.
Most kids were sent to stay with large suburban families full of chaos, rules and restrictions. I lucked out and was assigned to stay with a mellow newlywed couple in their early 20s and a newborn baby in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Since Shabbat is the day of rest, it is tradition on Saturday afternoons to nap and relax after synagogue and lunch. Being as we were in the Old City, I was more like a restless tourist and decided to go for a walk.
It was a short distance to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism; it is the last remnant of the Second Temple from the Biblical era.
Most of the time the plaza is bustling with black-hatted Hasidic Jews and sandal and shorts tourists, Jewish and Christian. At its most crowded, people jostle for spots against the stones, for fervent prayer and leave behind notes on folded up bits of paper, that God should answer these prayers.
When I got to the Wall, I was amazed that nobody was there. I had the Western Wall to myself. Serene and quiet. Just me and God.
It felt like I was the only person on the planet. I had God’s undivided attention. I remember feeling very emotional and appreciative in the moment although I do not recall exactly what I prayed for. Probably asking for a girlfriend when I got back home, my top priority at the time.
In the following years, there were moments when I felt spiritually close to God, but nothing close to that summer day 1990.
I longed to experience a personal encounter with the Divine, but I was not getting it through the structured formal nature of religious services and ritual practice.
The God of traditional Judaism felt too simplistic and rigid to me. I outgrew the teenage vision of God as a Santa Claus figure sitting on a cloud, rewarding the good and punishing the bad. I wanted to know the great I Am, the same Presence that birthed trillions of stars and planets, and life itself.
In 2005, I discovered and connected with the universal principles of God in New Thought teachings, from authors like Ernest Holmes, Howard Thurman and Joel S. Goldsmith.
Holmes sums up what God is all about best in his book “This Thing Called You”:
“The will of God for you is the will of a boundless life, flowing through you. It is the will of joy, of success, of happiness, of peace, of abundance.”
I also started regularly attending Agape Spiritual Center in Culver City, sort of a non-dogmatic New Thought megachurch led by Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith. He calls it “transdenominational.” The high energy music and powerful inspirational sermon draw thousands of people of all faiths, ages, races and sexual orientation each week in person and streaming online.
I was now in a regular habit of talking to God. But it took awhile from that day at the Wall until I was aware of God directly speaking to me.
Fast forward to September 2013
The first day God spoke to me was Yom Kippur. But unlike the religious Jews all dressed up fasting and praying to Him in synagogue or at the Wall, I was soaking up the sun in shorts and flip flops, devouring a maple glazed donut — with bacon no less — contemplating which movie to see at the mall that afternoon.
God wasn’t calling to say He was mad at me. Or that my sins would not be forgiven like the ones in the fervent prayers He was hearing at that moment from around the world. Instead I received a gift of pure love and joy so great that words can not fully express the supreme clarity and confidence with which I now move.
Why me? For now, my answer is “Why not me?” That may sound flip. But what I mean is God created all and is inside us all. He is omniscient and omnipresent. Nothing is impossible. He is ready and able to have a conversation with anyone at any time, to provide guidance and hope, ecstasy and abundance, miracles and wonders beyond what we can conceive.
Why now? God is alive in the here and now, every day, everywhere, for everyone, including the self-identified “spiritual but not religious,” who are growing in numbers faster than any organized religion. Researchers estimate that in the next couple of decades, this group will outnumber religious adherents of all faiths, while belief in God is at an all-time high.
Simply put, God wants the best for us regardless of what religion we practice, if we choose to practice one at all.
This is not a judgment about any particular religion, nor does it mean God is against religion. It is the opposite. God is for everyone, regardless of religion. God is not religion. Nor is God is into politics or dogma. God is into loving us.
I will be sharing some of what I received on this blog on a regular basis, as well as in my upcoming book. I will link to all the posts from this page.
I am thankful for the opportunity to present this to you. It is up to you to receive it as you will. If you are so inclined please share with others, and feel free to get in touch with me with any comments or questions.
Let’s begin with this:
I Am God, calling you in your consciousness.
I Am God, inspiring you in your dreams.
I Am God, shielding you from your enemies.
I Am God, protecting you from your storms.
I Am God, forgiving you from your sins.
I Am God, loving you for your thanksgiving.
I Am God, trusting you for your faith.
I Am God, believing in you, for your belief in my possibilities.
My possibilities are endless.
Nothing is impossible in my mind.
Nothing is unstoppable from my strength.
Nothing is difficult for my magic.
My love is eternal. I Am eternal.
My grace is pure. I Am pure.
My creation is holy. I Am holy.
You are whole. You are worthy.
You have courage, for I Am your courage.
You have time, for I Am eternity.
Help is always at hand, for I Am always here.
I rise with you. I stand with you. I walk with you. I run with you.
I Am peace. I Am beauty. I Am joy.
My hope triumphs over sadness.
My love conquers all evil.
My trust sustains all life.
I created all living things. I created you.
My creation is ongoing. Life is eternal.
I Am time, I Am space.
I Am wind, I Am rain.
I Am clouds, I Am sun.
I Am moon, I Am stars.
I Am possibility.
You are my possibility.
You are here to do great work and discover my magic and proclaim my message.
Answer when I call. I will never leave you.
Call and I will answer. I will never forsake you.
My promise is your happiness.
My knowledge is your clarity.
My heart is your peace.
I Am your possibility.
My possibility is endless.
My courage conquers your fear.
My magic demonstrates my power.
Eternal life is yours when you believe.
I believe in you.
Believe in me, and I will guide you.
Trust in me, and I will comfort you.
Follow me. Your unknown is my known.
See me. Your blindness is my sight.
Love me. Your prayer is always answered.
I Am everywhere you look.
Where you see beauty, I Am there.
When you feel love, I Am in your heart.
Be open and I will fill you.
Be gracious and I will bless you.
Be kind and I will provide for you.
Be willing and I will be able.
I Am always able. I Am God.
You are in me and I Am in you.
Together we are One.
Hunger and I will feed you.
Hope and I will astound you.
Believe and I will amaze you.
Lose your way and I will deliver you.
Create and I will cherish you.
Fear and I will protect you.
Cry and I will encourage you.
Love and I will open you.
When you close, I will free you.
When you are challenged, I will lift your burdens.
I Am The Way. All paths lead to me.
I Am The Answer. All problems are solved by me.
I Am The Light. All darkness is conquered by me.
I Am Creation. All There Is, and all there will ever be, is made by me.
You are made in my image.
You are beautiful to me.
Your dreams are my dreams.
Your power is my power.
Your wonder is my wonder.
Let me demonstrate my miracles. I will astonish you.
Dare to explore. I will guide you.
Open your heart. I will love you.
Share my magic. I will amaze you.
Proclaim my word. I will fill you.
Create in my name. I will inspire you.
Call out my name. I will answer you.
Cry out in pain. I will comfort you.
Grow tired and falter, I will strengthen you.
Close your eyes and ears, I will encourage you.
I Am in you. You are in me.
Together we are One.
My skies have no limits.
My beginnings never end.
My beauty never fades.
My wonders never cease.
My magic never fails.
My creation never disappoints.
My power never wavers.
My message is truth.
My favor is pure.
My love is everlasting.
My beloved is you.
Photo: Kool Cats Photography/Flickr.com