It Is ENOUGH

We have written much about our Mom and Grandmother Johnson lately. Obviously she had a good influence on us all the days of her life.  During the last couple years of her illness Mom shared with me often about waking up in the morning with a Christian song in her mind and heart.  Many times we would sing it together; sometimes it was such an old one from her childhood that I did not know it.  She even wrote those hymns or choruses down each day.  I am blessed with the gift of music in my head like Mom and her sister, Norma, sometimes so much that it is there in the middle of the night!

Piano keys and sheet music

There is a hymn we sang at church that has stayed with me the last two weeks.  One phrase in particular repeats over and over in my head…”It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.”

I know that those of you who are much younger than I, or that have not grown up in a church that sings the old hymns could not possibly know this song.  The new songs are great and I have them in my head and heart too, but most of the old hymns have so much good doctrine in the words that I am sorry you may be missing out on them!

Anyway, the point is today that we all go through difficult times.  Life is hard.  God did not promise life on this sinful earth would be easy.  God did promise that He would guide and direct us “through it all” (another great song by Andre Crouch). The point is that no matter what – it is enough, it is enough that Jesus, my Savior died for my sins, and that He lives and is preparing an eternal home for me.  How awesome and humbling is that?  No one, or no circumstance can take that away from me!!!

If you do not know Him and the power of His resurrection, I pray that as you read this you will ask Him to be your Savior.  It is so easy!  Our human minds try to figure out God, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  Don’t go there, it’s not possible!  Just accept that it is enough that Jesus died for you.

MY FAITH HAS FOUND A RESTING PLACE

1/ My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed; I trust the Everlasting One, His wounds for me shall plead. 

2/ Enough for me that Jesus saves, this ends my fear and doubt; A sinful soul, I come to Him, He’ll never cast me out.

3/ My heart is leaning on the Word, the written Word of God; Salvation by my Savior’s name, salvation thru His blood.

4/ My great Physician heals the sick, the lost He came to save; For me His precious blood He shed, for me His life He gave.

 Chorus/ I need no other argument, I need no other plea; It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.

Words: Lidie H Edmonds,  1891     Music: Norwegian Folk melody, 1891

Repost from June 2014

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We Are SALT

We have a little fish bowl that holds just one goldfish, but the water in that bowl becomes dirty and cloudy and must be changed often.

Goldfish

I was thinking about that one little fish, and my mind went to the ocean and all the myriad of fish that live in the oceans, and have lived there down through the centuries.

Yet, the water stays the same. Why?

Because it is salty, and salt purifies. No wonder Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” (Matt. 5:13)

The world is an evil, dirty place, and our hearts are often burdened with the events we see on television….but we are the salt….we are here so that, in our small way, and in our corner of the world, we may be a force for good, and for God.

Fish are not found in stagnant waters. No life can live there.

The person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells by the New Birth is not translated out of this world, but remains here to be salt…a purifying element.

This was written by Gladys on 11/12/2006 and a re-post on LWT

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When Heaven and Earth Collide

On Thursday I was worshipping during a corporate worship service and I felt as if heaven and earth were colliding. It was the feeling as if things of heaven were coming down to earth and all the saints were in one room together along with angels. The presence of God was so overwhelming in the room that I was flat on my face lying on my stomach on the floor.

While I was lying on the floor worshipping there was a presence of someone else worshipping with me. Yes, there were many other people physically in the room, but I felt as if someone was with me spiritually. It felt as though someone I dearly love who went home to Jesus about 6 years ago was with me. That presence was my dear Grandma! It was beautiful. I felt as though my grandma and I were worshipping our God together! I had tears of joy streaming down my face. She and I were laughing together and singing praises to our Savior. The moment was wonderful and I didn’t want it to end.

I know for a fact my grandma is in heaven and I believe God gives us gifts from heaven like visits from the ones we love who have gone before us.

This is not the first time my grandma has visited me. Almost exactly a year ago I had a dream that was so vivid I felt as though my grandma was in the room with me. She told me she was sent from God to bring me reassurance and hope.

Before my grandma’s visit last week, I was missing her and wishing she was with me. I want to talk with her so badly about all the things God is doing in my life. I want to sit down over a cup of coffee and have a conversation about Jesus. Even though I cannot physically see her or give her a hug, I was reminded on Thursday that she is with me. She is seeing all that God is doing in my life, and we shared a special moment together in the presence of God. What an incredible gift!

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Hillsong has a song called “Heaven and Earth.” The chorus is

Heaven and earth collide
The Savior for everyone has come
Bringing the dead to life
All for the glory of Your name

This is so true! The savior for everyone has come. He came to this earth and is alive in heaven. He brings the dead to life, which is true in many ways, but in this case, my grandma “died” on earth, but is alive in heaven with Jesus! And I was able to experience her being alive to bring glory to the name of Jesus. He is the only reason why I was able to worship with my grandma and see her in a dream.

I hope this is an encouragement to you! That you will experience heaven and earth colliding. Worship God, give thanks to him, praise his holy name, ask for an encounter with him, and you will experience the greatness and glory of the Lord on earth as it is in heaven.

 

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1: 18-19

 

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” Matthew 6:9-10

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As Your Day, So Shall Your Strength Be

Some days are easier than others.

Some days you feel great, the sun is shining, everyone seems to smile at you, you get paid, no bills come in the mail, you get your workout in, make a delicious dinner, and everyone does their “homework” and gets to bed. Nothing major happens.

Some days a huge, unexpected wrench is thrown into the mix, and your life story takes a turn. This happens to all of us – it is to be human. We receive a bit of bad news, or we have to deliver difficult news to another. Our schedule gets thrown off, we may exist in a state of shock for a day, or more, depending on the severity.

Some days come with an event or moment that has been planned and anticipated. There may be a huge buildup, and much preparation, sweat and tears put in to that day. These days are planned, but any number of variables may occur once the time comes. This still causes stress and requires poise and strength.

Such is life. We bring some of our “storms” upon ourselves…. and others just come because we live in an imperfect world.

Fortunately for us, God promises, even with the self-imposed circumstances, that He will never leave nor forsake us. Whether we are suffering through the consequences of our own actions, the natural valleys of life, or difficulties other people have imposed upon us, GOD WILL NEVER FAIL US.

Part of His promise is that we will have the strength we need for whatever we must face.

“May your bolts be made of iron and bronze, and may your strength be sufficient for each day you live.” (ISV)

“On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.” (NASB)

My dear Grandmother was born on January 15, 1919 and Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 just ten years later. These are two of the people I have most admired, and their words of wisdom have always topped my list of words to live by. We all just celebrated Mr. King’s life and contribution to our world this week. Imagine the days he faced, and the strength he needed to be so courageous and change the world. God gave him the strength he needed for each day. What an example of power and light even amidst great struggle.

I’ll conclude with a few words from a sermon titled “Weariness” that my Grandmother Gladys Johnson preached in the late 1980s:

“As your day, so shall your strength be. You may find peace in the Lord even amidst the bad day. He only gives us what we can bear. We can have joyful days regardless of circumstance. Use the Lord’s instruction and resources to have peace, strength and victory.”

Me with my Grandma on her 90th

Me with my Grandma on her 90th

Amen. And so, as you face what each day brings, may you always turn to Him, hold your head high, and draw on the strength that He gives to conquer what comes your way.

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I Have Learned to be Content

Today I was thinking: Hebrews 12:2 “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

What was that joy? YOU and ME … sons and daughters of Father God. he was an only Son… now, through His sacrifice, he was to have millions of family members!!

Rejoice… you are loved!

Some of the most miserable people I have ever met have been Christians who looked miserable. You couldn’t disguise the misery of their lives, for it shone on their faces and in their eyes, and when they spoke, Someone always had more of this world’s goods, or of happiness. I have found a scripture that will puncture their outlook, in 1 Timothy 6:6, and it simply says, “GODLINESS, WITH CONTENTMENT, IS GREAT GAIN.”

I believe this is a learned attitude, for Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever condition I am in, therewith to be content.”

Try it… your life will be happier and brighter!

(Originally written by Gladys on 1/7/2004)

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One-Liners and Fun!

(My Grandma thought she’d type out some “one-liners” to share with me on March 3, 2006. I wanted to share them with you today! She still uplifts me with her words, and she’s been gone from this earth for years! The photos are of her in my dorm room in college being her awesome, fun self, and of me putting my hair on her head for a laugh on her 90th birthday! She was SO FUN! I love you Grandma! Thank you for a heritage of faith, joy, humor and love! – Kristin)

Basketball Grandma 1996

Basketball Grandma 1996

GMA

Don’t let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.

It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn’t create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you wouldn’t belong.

God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So, why should you?

Some minds are like concrete. Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don’t know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye fishers of men. You catch them – He’ll clean them.

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts!”

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot, SWAP SEATS!

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given

(And at the very end of this email she wrote……)

I may not be perfect in this lifetime, nor do I expect to be, but that does not stop me from trying!

 

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There’s Still Grace

Grace

There’s Still Grace

When I fall so far I can’t get up,

He comes along as I lift my cup

He forgives and fills me

There’s still Grace.

You can’t fall so low but what He’s there,

If you will let Him, He’ll answer your prayer.

Your own failures don’t limit Him.

There’s still Grace!

Grace that will lift you out of your sins.

Grace that will give you His Peace within.

Because of His cross and the Price He paid,

There’s still God’s Grace.

This isn’t good…I know it. Just doodling around one day, and thankful that for all of us, He has unlimited Grace.

(Note from Tami: Oh, mama! We think this is just beautiful & we are so happy you showed us the way of grace and love with how you lived your life.)

There’s Still Grace was written 4/4/2005, when Gladys was age 86.

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Is God Here Tonight?

The sturdy little three-year-old shuffled along down the church aisle in front of his parents and was gently guided by the shoulders into a seat. He sat down, taking a good while to adjust himself. He shifted this way and that, looking everything over. When the ministers walked onto the platform they received his careful scrutiny. While everyone was bowed in silent prayer a small voice was heard to say:

“Mommie… is God here tonight?”

Mother replied, “Yes, of course, dear.” And the little fellow settled back – satisfied.

How aware he was of the fact that God should be there. Looking about, his mother began to wonder if those in the congregation, and indeed, those on the platform, were as aware of the fact.

First Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.Y., interior, 1950s. ELCA Archives image. http://www.elca.org/archives

First Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.Y., interior, 1950s.
ELCA Archives image.
http://www.elca.org/archives

There’s something child-like about the person who enters God’s house expecting to meet the Lord there. The person with this child-like faith is particularly blessed, for his faith brings God nigh and he does meet Him. No wonder Jesus said, “Except ye…become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

This is an age of skepticism…the “show me, and I will believe” cult is everywhere and has even crept into the church. If we really believed the scripture that says: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” how different would be our attitude in God’s house. Our minds would be upon Him in adoration and worship – for He has promised to be present. We would anticipate His presence and blessing.

I have seen the humble soul enter God’s house and come away refreshed and enriched while others asked, “was God there today? I didn’t feel His presence.” I think the secret lies in that word, “anticipation.” The Bible, in referring to Christ’s second coming says, “Unto those who look for him shall he appear,” and I am prone to think this is true also while He tarries.

If going to church has become a dull thing for you – try this simple formula.

This article, “Is God Here Tonight?” by Rev. Gladys I. Johnson first appeared in Foursquare Magazine in 1958. The inside scoop is that our brother Ronnie was the little boy in this story. (Tami & Karen)

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Learning to WALK

Today I read the book of Hosea, which is possibly my least favorite book of the Bible because it is about judgment.

Since I have read the Bible through every year for the past 30 years, I have read this book many times. Yet, today a “jewel” jumped out at me. No matter how many times we read God’s Word, it is always new food for us.

This jewel is in the last chapter, verse 3, where the prophet is talking about warfare, and says, “we will not ride horses.” The thought is that they would WALK.

So many of us want to rush through life’s experiences, when God says, “WALK.”

“The STEPS of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” (Ps. 37:23)

And again Hosea 14:9, “For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous WALK in them.”

The reason?

We learn SO MUCH MORE when we walk….even when it is hard and we would like to rush through.

Learn to WALK in the path He leads you.

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Written by Gladys for Kristin’s AndyBooks.com April 20, 2006

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Remember Me

I tucked a memory away into my heart, thinking I would bring it out often and re-live again the days so dear. Along with the memory of a dear face, I tucked memories of a personality, of loving ways, of all the little things that make a person dear. But I found memory to be a strange paradox that cut the heart like a sharp-edged knife, yet was very sweet. I longed for the day when memory would be less sharp, yet feared lest I lose the closeness of a loved one taken from our sight.

The years have passed; time has healed the dreadful hurt and the memories tucked away so carefully are still there, but with the passing of days they wander in and out of my mind with less frequency than before. But still they are free to wander and have become like a passing breeze that slips in and out of the mind at the mere mention of a word, the glimpse of a face, the sound of a voice, or the memory of a sight shared.

How wonderful a thing is our memory. How good it was of God to give us this faculty to use. How much pleasure we derive from the old scrapbook filled with memories, or the snapshot album of treasures irreplaceable.

photo-album-631084_1920

Photo: Public Domain via Pixabay @condesign

Jesus very definitely pointed out the place of memory in our worship of Him. When He sat at the table with His disciples just before He was to journey into that garden and drink the cup of the world’s sorrow and sins, paying the price to redeem us back to God, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, and said, “this do in remembrance of me.”

I have in my heart a memory book which concerns only One, and that is the Lover of my soul – Jesus Christ. He has asked that I sit at the Communion Table with Him; that while there, I remember His goodness, His sacrifice for me. I’m afraid that often our coming to the Communion Table is a matter of a duty to be performed – a ritual of the church, when Christ would have us come with reverence, with a feeling of entering hallowed ground.

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He knew how prone our minds were to let slip the most precious memories; to allow the former treasured thoughts to sneak into the dark recesses of our minds to be brought to the foreground less and less as the busy days pass by. And he asked that when we come to the Communion Table, we do so “in remembrance.”

Can we do less than honor our Lord in this manner?

(This article, originally titled, “This Do In Remembrance,” was originally published in The Foursquare Magazine in 1958.)

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