What a blessed weekend Tania and I had. I asked for your prayers on Friday as I have a tough week ahead of me. I have a few TV specials and am off radio all week, then back on September 2 with a whole new season of great stuff.
This weekend we were so deeply touched. We spent time meeting with those who, on the surface, are very different than us.
We went to meet with the Archbishop of Los Angeles on Friday.
What a good and decent man. While we don't agree on everything, we do agree on this: Hearts are growing cold. We are a nation divided against itself and we must change that by working toward reconciliation. It will be found through service and love. A reconciliation with each other and the truth of who we are and who in the end we all answer to.
Then, we spent Sunday morning with our religion followed by a service at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston. I spoke with Joel and Victoria before and after the service. They are always so kind and gentle. While again, we might disagree on "religion", just as I might have with the Archbishop, we are in total agreement on faith. We all agree that revolution is not needed but instead a "servalution", as Joel called it.
Service to our fellow man IS service to God. Service will soften our hearts and in turn will turn our country and world.
Then tonight, fourteen friends came to my home back in Dallas to hold a gospel worship service. I am not even sure what "religion" they are. We failed to worry about that. :) We instead shared our mutual faith. Faith that tells us all that nothing is too big for God. He is a God that creates not divides and never wounds but always heals.
They sang and sang and sang, while I prayed and read and listened to them and Him. It was a night of songs of comfort, unity and healing. Wow.
How blessed we are. I will share a short video with you. It doesn't do it justice.
What great voices and friends. Coming to praise and comfort, sing and pray, and laugh and cry all in joy!
So many friends that love and serve God. All coming together. Each strong in their own religion and because of that fact, they are unafraid to stand with someone completely different than them in so many ways. As this white bread, damn near albino Mormon, sang with fourteen black and Hispanic (maybe two white people too) gospel singers, I realized how blessed we are as a people.
We are a nation divided by political interests but we are not a nation divided when we focus on principles and values. When we do that, it is amazing how much we find in each other where we are almost exactly alike!
We really have so much in common. This weekend in all of my conversations I found that we all feel like an outcast because those in or out of our own religion question our motives, or faith.
Yet, we all came together under the banner of love, service and love of God.
I figure, If everybody I know is in my religion or everyone I know loves Jesus, I just don't know enough people.
Let me share something really dynamic and true.
"Something has begun."
Something full of joy. Something bigger than you or I can imagine. Something born of God. There will be no one "leader." Instead, it will be millions of us coming together to help, inspire, lift up, love and heal. It is going to be amazing, if we "let go and let God", as us alcoholics say. :)
Good and God are coming in a big way. I have no idea what role religion plays. That is up to the churches, I suppose. But I know this, millions of those who attend those churches (and will continue to do so) will join with others who have deep faith and even those with no religion and we will, together, practice what Ben Franklin called the "American religion."
There is a God
He will judge us
We should serve Him.
The best way to serve Him is to serve our fellow man.
... And America will find herself again, she will be good again and we will save ourselves and our children from the hatred, rage and injustice so many feel tonight. All will be right and well.
PS: In between these incredible encounters, I had an amazing series of email exchanges about being a better man and better people with my favorite atheist Penn Jillette. Followed by a great hour with another friend who is agnostic about how we can help each other reach more people with the message of love, charity and decency.
I am sure many in their circle tell them the same thing. "How can you be friends with that guy, he is a religious freak etc." Just as some in my circle or the circle of the Archbishop, Joel, my Mormon bishop or the gospel group at my house must hear: "How can you be friends with (him/them)? (He/they) don't believe the same stuff."
Here is the first miracle: We all have so many friends that understand that we don't all have to believe the same thing. In fact, they almost all believe that the world wouldn't be as great of a place if we all had a uni opinion. There are no "loyalty oaths" in the land of the free I understand. What matters is how you live your life and how you treat your fellow man. The rest is up to you and God.
As I learned last night "there is no one greater than Him."