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Welcome to The Secular Gospel According to Jess! In this blog you’ll find everything from cartoons that make me laugh, to quotes that inspire me, to stories of my own personal experience when it comes to dealing with religion and pretty much everything in between. The title of my blog is intended to be ironic, as one doesn’t often hear the word, “gospel”, associated with secularism, but my intent is to preach, for lack of a better word, what I think gospel should really be about: love, rationalism, fairness, equality, human rights, science and truth. Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. -Max Ehrmann

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I can't find any words for my thoughts.

There's so much going on in my head that I wish I could pour out on paper, but as soon as I try to make sense of any of my emotions, words just slip away.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Pygmalion Effect.

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." -Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Gotta recognize...

My little sister is pretty smart for 22. You gotta know your own worth! When people's words or actions toward you reflect a lesser opinion of you than you feel about yourself -- recognize that these aren't friends. You are not going to be appreciated in the ways you know you should until you find the right people--those who are like minded and are light of heart like you are. Surround yourself with people who know their purpose, and are conscious of their goodness and pursuit of progress. These are the people that will love and appreciate you for doing the same.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Forgiveness is not something we leave up to God or Jesus.

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." -Lewis B. Smedes

Monday, September 5, 2011

So long [bittersweet] summer...

This is the first blog entry I've posted that has nothing to do with religion, but I wanted to share it anyway. In light of one of the more eventful summers in recent history and its coming to a close, I felt compelled to reflect on these past 3 months. Breathing in the first scent of fall on the wind, I find myself looking back on summers past, trying to accept that the weather has changed...and so have I. I heard it once said that: "Love does not begin and end the way we think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war, love is a growing up." For me, this summer was a lot like love is in that matter. A battle...a war...and a growing up. In one of the most emotional summers by far, I ended a year and two month long relationship that for nearly 10 months I thought would end in marriage. I rebounded from that relationship with a man I had known for years...a sensitive, intelligent and talented man....who ultimately had no idea what he wanted, and so I had to walk away. I got burned by someone who I had called a friend for 6 and a half years without even an explanation as to why she no longer wanted to be friends. These experiences left me filled with anxiety and self doubt. I spent much of the summer in alternating places of pain and numbness, questioning every action and decision I made. As as the summer continues to transition into fall, I find myself, too, in transition. I feel confident in my decision to end the relationship I thought would end in marriage, and I have no regrets about the relationship. I realized in retrospect that some things are born of necessity in any given moment, and we should embrace those things for what they can offer us in that time. Not everything is forever, and not everything needs to be. As for the rebound, I realized that ultimately, it was just that: a rebound. If anything, it taught me not to give away my heart so easily, and it taught me to be cautious with people who are reckless with the hearts of others, as he was reckless with mine. As for my friend, I've been trying to take this advice: "If you're worried about someone who dislikes you, first ask yourself whether they're an asshole. If you don't like them and they don't like you, that's not a problem, that's a mutual understanding." In the midst of my personal battles, I became aware of the loss of my own naivete. As much as I mourn the loss of the idea that most people are pure at heart, I have begun to embrace my newfound realism, as I look at the world as it really is and stop taking it so personally when people behave selfishly and cruelly. I still count myself lucky enough and honored to have some of the best people in my life I can ever imagine knowing. It took a lot of tears and conversations until 5 A.M. to get me there...but I'm well on my way. To everyone who helped me through this bittersweet summer: Thank you. I love you. I will never forget what you did for me. Xoxoxo.