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A Valentine Tribute

February 14th, 2010 No comments

As if my pomegranate episode was not traumatic enough (see previous blog if you are completely confused), I found myself having an emotional meltdown as I pressed through my biography on the amazing ministry of William and Catherine Booth. For those of you who know me well, I have a lot of trouble showing emotion of any kind.

Okay, I lied. I’m a total softy, a romantic cream puff. Just ask my wife. Anyway, I’m reading about the death of Catherine, William’s life and ministry partner of over forty years, and tears are streaming down my cheeks. They shared a relationship marked by a passion for Jesus, a passion for souls, and a passion for each other. As I read through their life’s journey, I came to love and admire this great woman of God. Here are some of the touching scenes from her passing.

“Seeing her life ebb slowly away, they each kissed her and said their goodbyes. With her hand in his, William waited for the final moment, praying for the grace to endure. Sensing somehow that the time had come, he bent to kiss his beloved wife and took her in his arms. She breathed his name one last time as her life slipped away.”

Her legacy was profound. Fifty thousand people filed by her casket to pay their last respects to the woman who had been a spiritual mother to thousands.

At her funeral, William spoke tenderly of his beloved bride: “She loved the fight! Her great sorrow to the last moment was, “I cannot be with you when the clouds lower, when friends turn and leave you, and sorrows come sweeping over you; I shall no longer be there to put my arms around you and cheer you on!”

As my thoughts travel to my own beloved wife, Marion, half way around the globe on this Valentine’s Day, I thank the Lord for a wife who shares a passion for Jesus, for people, and for me. You are a priceless treasure from the Lord. May I forever savor each day we are able to share together. (Hey! Will somebody make sure Marion reads this blog!)

Happy Valentines Day!

A Taste of Home

February 11th, 2010 No comments

When you’ve been away for awhile, it’s nice to find something that reminds you of home. Today, it was a pomegranate. In case you just asked, “What’s that?,” let me describe one for you. A pomegranate is a chambered, many-seeded, globose fruit, having a tough, usually red rind and surmounted by a crown of calyx lobes, the edible portion consisting of pleasantly acid flesh developed from the outer seed coat. Got it?

Okay, those were not my words. Thank the Lord for Dictionary.com! Anyway, pomegranates remind me of my eleven year old son, Jayson. He loves eating pomegranates. We’ll sit around the table over a holiday break and enjoy breaking apart this many-chambered fruit. It’s really quite a culinary adventure.

Boy, is that an understatement! Sitting here in the hotel lounge I spied a whole bowl of pomegranates for the taking. I grabbed one, with warm, fuzzy memories of Jayson filling my mind, and thought I’d eat it while I worked on my computer. I began the process by biting into that “tough, red rind.” As I broke through, red juice exploded on my white shirt. That’s bright, blood-red, stain-your-white-shirt, juice I’m talking about! From there it went down hill.

I positioned the next bite strategically away from my previously white shirt. Bite number two launched a shotgun spray of juice all over my computer screen. So now I’m licking the white hotel napkin, which resembles a bandage from the emergency room, and delicately wiping the sticky juice from the screen.

The came Armageddon. I was working diligently to mine one of the chambers of “pleasantly acid flesh” when a bomb went off. A dozen or so fleshy seeds were shot into orbit only to land all over the beautiful hardwood hotel floors. Now I am trying inconspicuously to gather these little “blood bombs” so no one else gets hurt. My shirt is a mess, my screen is a mess, my napkin is trashed and the floor is now a minefield. Oh, I forgot to tell you about my beautiful rosey lips.

The Indian waiter must have noticed something was going seriously awry. He saunters over to the disaster site and precedes to hand me a table spoon! How is this supposed to help! How do you eat a pomegranate with a spoon??? I guess I’ll have to save that revelation for another mission trip. For now, I’ll lick my wounds and comfort my damaged ego with wonderful thoughts of my son, Jayson, and the rest of the Johnson Tribe back home.

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Building the Ship @ Sea

February 11th, 2010 No comments

Each time I head out on a missions trip I make sure I am well armed with an abundance of life-changing reading material. I especially enjoy reading the biographies of those who dreamed with Jesus and left a lasting mark on the world.

On my recent journey to India, I took along a great book by Trevor Yaxley called, William & Catherine, the Life and Legacy of the Booths founders of the Salvation Army. Wow! A must read for those looking for some fresh inspiration.

I loved what I read about their style of ministry. In describing many of the radical initiatives that were started, Booth said, “We had to build the ship while we were at sea, and not only build the ship but master the laws of navigation.”

Have you figured out the truth that in the Kingdom, God often calls people to do things they have never done before! Booth not only had to build while at sea; he also had to learn the art of sailing! While planning and preparation are always desirable, at times the Lord simply wants us to set sail. This helps us to avoid what as been called “paralysis analysis.” Sometimes we over analyze the dream. We are so familiar with all of the needs and challenges that we never actually do anything. The Lord wants us to obey first and then rely upon Him for the details and provision we need while in route. This keeps us in the role of the needy recipient and Him planted securely in the Captain’s seat. We get a supernatural life filled with answered prayers and He gets the glory!

So what is God asking of you? Pick up the anchors and set sail. The dream will take shape as the wind of the Spirit fills your sails.

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