Let’s talk about faith. And prayer. And inclusivity. And strength. SASSY SUNDAY 12 of 52

JBL Trifecta March 2020 with St Pattys horseshoe hat and clovers

Hi this is Reverend SASSY SHORTS here!

I’m excited that it was last year on March 17 that I officially became a reverend at the Universal Life Church, same place where Conan O’Brien became a reverend. It was Saint Patty’s Day. This is all funny to me because I’m Jewish.

Please bare (or is it bear 🙂 ) with me as I share my experience. It’s still a little confusing to share. . . so I thank you for your patience.

In a deep sense, I have always felt a calling toward Spirit. However, there were no outlets for my spirituality that made complete sense to me. In every option, there was too much separation involved. Rather than inclusiveness.

I still struggle with the paradoxes.

I am Jewish and I really, really enjoy many of our culture’s traditions like challah bread and lighting Friday night candles and dancing to the Hava Nagila. However, I can’t share Jewish prayers easily with people outside of the Jewish culture in the same way that I can’t understand a Catholic prayer at the level of depth of someone who was raised in the Catholic tradition.

I love that the 12 Step programs offer a practice of believing in a Higher Power, and they say that you can define it however is best for you. It’s YOUR belief. However, again, just like with organized religion, you have to belong to a 12 Step program in order to be surrounded by others who are practicing with you.

Everyone needs a way to access the dimension of strength that comes with having faith. So that we can tap into the Wonder Awe and Magic available to us at all time.

We need a way that is inclusive to everyone. So that we can join together in practice. And we can share our strength and our wonder and awe and magic with each other.

We need vision to be able to see our futures together and step forward together. We need to imagine and use our creative imaginations in order to generate NEW possibilities. Especially right now, when we need to create NEW normals. Children are SO GOOD at this. We need to access this in ourselves and encourage it in each other.

We need to be with our feelings and we need to do this together in order to feel seen. For example, we need to grieve together. Grief heals best in community. Not in isolation.

We need to generate the feelings we want to experience and we need to do this without reliance on alcohol or drugs. We have all the power within us. It’s right between our ears. And in our hearts. It’s in of our faith.

These are elements of prayer.

Faith is a practice.

Faith is a choice.

It’s one that we make over and over again.

I want you to have that strength.

I want you to be able to access it and to share it with your loved ones.

It’s like having a PLUG for your phone. You’re the phone. The mystery of life is electricity. YOUR FAITH IS YOUR PLUG.

I have had atheists enjoy my most spiritual classes just as much as anyone else.

The people who consistently don’t appreciate my offerings are fundamentalists (of any religion), but that’s fine too. Everyone is welcome to join me in learning to connect more deeply with themselves.

Here’s my take on it: JBL is a religion of self-awareness, of contribution, of achievement and of love.


Let’s create Wonder Awe and Magic together in the next few days and weeks. Let’s be deliberate. Let’s be strong for each other.

Much love,


Debbie Happy Cohen, also known as Happy D!

Happy Debbie at JBL VillageDebbie Happy Cohen, author and coach, is also the founder of Joy-Based Living. Her Master’s Degree is in counseling, specializing in family systems, trauma and turning OY into JOY! She lives on Lookout Mountain in Alabama, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Debbie’s books include Reach Your Stars!, SANCTUARY and It’s All About Kids: Every Child Deserves a Teacher of the Year. Her friends have nicknamed her Happy D! and Reverend SASSY SHORTS! You can write to her at her blog at http://www.joybasedliving.com.



4 thoughts on “Let’s talk about faith. And prayer. And inclusivity. And strength. SASSY SUNDAY 12 of 52

  1. Well, GOLLY!!! That’s the most cool-and-colorful “church sign” I’ve EVER seen!!! And it ROCKS!! As did your Sunday “sermon” here… Way! 😉
    You, GO, Rev!!! 😉

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