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This book was originally published as “What God Told Me to Tell You (Guaranteed Dogma Free).” I was never entirely comfortable with this title for a number of reasons, among them a fear that this might cause some to think I was preaching a message as if I had some kind of inside track on who or what God is and what God wants. I’m not, and I don’t. As you read this book I believe you will see this for yourself. But I did like the “Guaranteed Dogma Free” part, which I added to bring a bit of humor to the whole thing. I have carried this guarantee over from the original title.

I have added a second part to this book containing a number of transcripts of talks I have given in the years since the original book was published. I feel that the changes made from the original help to clarify the overriding message of the book. The book's message is simple and clear and despite the title, it does not require a belief in God. But it does help if the reader is willing to accept the concept of a power greater than one's own self.

Sometimes when people learn that I am a hospice chaplain they will ask me how I do it. They will ask me if I find it depressing or discouraging to see so much dying and death. It is hard. But the truth is I also see the better sides of humanity. I have witnessed the love and caring that is within people and the great acts of simple kindness that I believe is part of our true nature. It is good to be reminded of this. Especially when far too often our news and entertainment is showing something quite the opposite.

But there is another benefit as well. Doing this work reminds me that eventually I will also die. I have done my best to make friends with this. Having this awareness does not fill me with dread, rather it puts things in perspective. A clarity comes from this awareness and if I allow myself to face my own mortality I discover something deep and rich: what really matters. It's only by facing death that we learn to fully live life.

But I will admit there is something that does trouble me in this work I do. It is not so much the suffering I may encounter due to disease. It’s when I witness the emotional and spiritual pain people endure due to so many toxic and misleading beliefs about God, whether they believe in one or not. I am also saddened by the fear I've seen some wrestle with as the end of life approaches and they are so unprepared for what it may be like.

So, based on my years in hospice chaplaincy, I felt a renewed incentive to release an updated version of this book and to get this information to people before they are in circumstances when someone like me might be called in.


“…So direct and simple, smacking here and there of Studs Terkel, Carl Sandberg, Joseph Campbell, and Thomas Merton. Quite a load of wisdom from so slim a volume.” -Joseph Pelkey

"Once you start this book, you will have a difficult time putting it down, and you will leave feeling better about yourself, your true purpose, and about life.
-Rev. G. J. Little

“Down to earth, engaging and inspiring - there is a deep beauty surrounding his warm message.”
-Dave Goetz, Musician

"A great source for clearer understanding. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to go within and ask themselves 'What am I suppose to do with my Life?’ ”
-Rev.Brenda Casavoy, Hospice Chaplain