My Uncle Pete was the most spiritual man I knew. He talked about God all the time.

“Hey, you G**d***n kids, get in the G**d***n kitchen and eat your G**d***n breakfast, G**d***n it!” he’d yell.

We weren’t part of a church but we visited my Uncle pretty often so that was all I knew about God. In an ironic way Uncle Pete helped me begin my spiritual journey. I often wondered why Uncle Pete wanted God to damn everything. Then I just began to wonder about God.

Later I thought the best way to be spiritual was through mind-altering substances. Dumb got dumber. One night, loading into the back of Albert Shade’s ‘58 Ford pickup after a Led Zeppelin concert, some long-haired Jesus Freak handed me a religious tract.

“Thanks,” I slurred. It felt strange as I held the tract in my hand. I was afraid to read it. It was as if God handed me his business card. I was not ready to do business with God. I think I accidentally let the wind grab it out of my hand as we flew home down Interstate 25.

Soon after that, I went to a Christian camp up in the mountains, where a fire and brimstone preacher yelled at us about going to hell. Maybe God does damn everything, I thought.

Somehow–though I don’t really remember how ‘cause my mind was probably still altered–I also heard about Jesus. Jesus didn’t damn stuff. He loved.

The final morning, I was sitting with my back to a pine tree, thinking about all this. Was I loved? Or was I damned? I picked up a twig and nervously peeled the bark off. Underneath the bark was a tiny, smooth, naked cross.

That was forty years ago and I’ve been on a spiritual journey since. I still have that cross too.

This year–2012–I have this burning desire to see God in every facet of life, breathe him with every breath, experience life as a spiritual gift. That’s what “The Year of Living Spiritually” means.
What’s your story? I imagine it’s very different from mine. I’d love to hear it and have you join me in this scary project of living spiritually.

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I’ve been married over 30 years and have 3 children a granddaughter and a grandson.  I love my wife and family, Colorado, Dublin Dr Pepper, Bruce Cockburn, Van Morrison, Stella Atrois beer, hunting, fishing, the mountains, and the outdoors in general–and in all times and places–reading and writing.

I am a writer and not just a blogger.  I’ve published a short story called “Last Rites” in Bugle magazine, and articles in Rev!, Youthworker Journal, Leadership Journal, The Vail Daily, and many orther publications.  I also write for a blog called A Daily Bible Coversation.

I’ve been a pastor for over twenty years and am starting a new church called The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, CO.  Before becoming a pastor, I was a youth worker, carpenter, greenhouse worker, custodian, package sorter, fire fighter in the Navy (briefly), and pretty much adrift.