Steve and Pam’s Bio

Like you, we are glory seekers. We have wonderfully, “Tasted and seen, the Lord is good!” The greatest prize is in the pursuit of the fame, splendor and radiant beauty of our Sovereign! We came to Yeshua in the days of the Jesus... Read More...

Riverfront Property in Audio

I am so grateful and pleased to share freely the whole audio book of Riverfront Property: Connecting At The River Of Life! I’m confident you will receive a delicious drink! As you find your thirst quenched please recall those you know who would also love a drink, and pass the cup! Read More...

A Miracle Story

Thursday July 30, 1987, started out as just another hot summer day in Ellensburg, Washington, a town of about fifteen thousand souls in a picturesque valley a hundred miles east of Seattle... Read More...

PREPARING FOR FOOD SHORTAGES

PREPARING FOR FOOD SHORTAGES

One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.  Acts 11:28-30

In my last blog I wrote a story reflecting back after 75 years, on the famine of 2022-2023. I am writing today so that story will remain in the fiction category. There are many in the food industry chain predicting world-wide food shortages for this year. Note the links below. What can we do to prevent their predictions from coming about? How should we prepare?

Pam and I have been “preppers” for many years. Perhaps I got the inclination from the Scouts’ motto, “Be prepared.” We have always had first aid kits, extra beans, jugs of water, matches, plastic bags and things which might be handy for emergencies.

By the way, people might call you a “prepper” if you have a spare tire in your car, a flashlight, some extra cans of tuna, and a fire extinguisher.

There are all kinds of emergencies we may prepare for:

Technological – power and internet outages

Natural – tornados, earthquakes, floods, wild fires, ice storms and droughts.

Accidents – work, play and transportation.

Bad-guy problems – home break-ins, terrorism and war.

Our focus is on preparing for potential food shortages.

I must tell you, our first go-to is our Heavenly Father. He is the source of life and peace. He is the wisdom and power. Prayer will always be our first step toward solutions. To rely merely on reasoning, planning and activities without prayer is humanistic presumption. To pray alone without acting and preparing is spiritual presumption.

One of the wisest statements I have heard is, “Make your preparations, then don’t trust in them. Trust in God!”

By the way, Pam and I are not preparing food to ride out an apocalypse. Our spare tire is to get us through a momentary crisis so we can get back on the road and back to life. Having extra food resources can get us through a food-shortage window, so we can get back to life. We are not holing up, but preparing ourselves so we can stay on the road and move forward into higher purposes!

Two approaches for preparing for food shortages.

#1  GROWING UP. Growing, raising and storing up your own food.

#2  STOCKING UP. Stock up your pantry from existing suppliers.

 

#1 GROWING UP

Food shortages may be prevented or diminished by producing your own. This may be done in collaboration with others.

It typically takes an acre of land worked intensively to produce enough food to keep one person alive. Doing this is impractical for most folks. But you can garden small scale to supplement food you get from other resources. Even in a city you can grow vegetables in planters, and rabbits in cages, and whole gardens in community areas. Take note: A vegetable garden may benefit you more than a nicely manicured lawn. 

Pam and I have many raised beds, some fruit trees, blueberries and raspberries. We also raise chickens and quail. We live near rivers with fish and in a land of eatable creatures. There is also lots of land for foraging. We have had friends let us glean their orchard after the harvest. We have picked blueberries at a local farm.

 

In WW 2 the government encouraged families to have “Victory Gardens.” This was to make sure the soldiers and whole nation would be adequately fed. Millions of Americans had victory gardens. Just a little more nutrition from the home gardens, along with food rations, sharing and making due was the difference between national success and failure. 

Gardening may require a little education but you don’t have to be a genius. You just have to have some will and industry. Working with your own hands and getting dirt under your nails is good for the soul and the soil. Planting a seed and seeing it grow has always brought wonderment.

Gardeners gain a greater sense of community, security, independence and self-worth. And the better prepared you are to care for yourself the better your position to help other.

 

#2 STOCKING UP

We buy beef from a rancher in our church. We just bought a couple lambs from other friends who are raising them. We keep a stocked freezer. Pam does lots of canning and food drying. We buy bulk items from Azure Standard. They have great quality and decent prices.

Have a list of items for your pantry. A list allows you to do your personal assessment of your family’s needs and reminds you of things you might otherwise overlook. (Note the links below)

When we shop we typically get a few more items than we need; perhaps a bottle of shampoo, olive oil or trash bags, dog food or laundry soap. In time we outfit our pantry. When you do your weekly shopping put it in the back of the pantry and move the older stock to the front to be used. Buying food now may save you months from now when the food prices have inflated.

Some will not face the possibilities of food shortages soberly. How easy it is to be sleepy, unaware, or presumptuous. Facing up to the potentials is a first step. Growing and storing up even a few weeks of food will bring you a greater sense of confidence. And if you find shortages are not as severe as some scenarios predict you will have done no great harm in preparing. It’s ok not to need the fire extinguisher, first aid kit or extra food, but it is a security to have them. Seek the Lord, create a plan which is doable for you, and be at peace!

We are people of confidence not cowering! Our confidence is in our Lord Jesus and the covenant made with blood. Don’t let food shortages, or the wind and waves of our time, cause you to lose your sight of Jesus, or forget your mission to shine your light!

Steven C Johnson

Landing Strip Enterprises

 

            THE REAL POTENTIAL OF FOOD SHORTAGES

SIX MONTHS TO COLOSSAL FOOD SHORTAGES: Attacks on Food Supply Chain

PERFECT STORM HITTING US CROP PLANTING AMID TALK OF SHORTAGES

 

CREATING YOUR OWN VICTORY GARDEN

YOU CAN GROW IT: CREATING A VICTORY GARDEN 

WHAT TO PLANT IN A VICTORY GARDEN

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU STOCK IN YOUR PANTRY?

40+ FOODS YOU CAN STORE FOR A YEAR (OR LONGER) IN YOUR PANTRY 

PANTRY STAPLES: A MASTER LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED 

 

FORAGING RESOURCES

THE 12 BEST FOODS ON FORAGING AND WILDCRAFTING

THE FORAGER’S GUIDE TO WILD FOODS

 

PRAYER POINTS FOR OUR FOOD SUPPLY

 

REMEMBERING THE FAMINE OF 2022 AND 2023

A PREFACE: The following is not a prophesy. I pray it will not become reality. The story is fiction but it paints possibilities based on facts around our food infrastructure. I have for many years prayed for farmers, food processors and truckers that they may be safe and prosperous for the sake of our nation. There are things we can do today to keep this story confined within the fiction category.

 

REMEMBERING THE FAMINE OF 2022 AND 2023

Although it’s been seventy-five years there are still people who remember. The famine of 2022 and 2023 has been the subject of books and documentaries. This is only a historical footnote and perspective based on one man’s remembrances. Jim Farris and ten-year-old son Jerry ended up surviving, but his wife Sally and five-year-old Jessica did not.

Most famines are man-made. Historically corrupt governments have been behind them. In the early 2000’s Socialist orientations and top-down federal decision-making limited free enterprise, innovations and initiatives. Once again, hunger rather than bullets would kill the majority. Best estimates put the loss of American lives at 69 million.

Jim Farris (101) of Buckeye, NY tells us his story 75 years later:

Until late in 2022 my wife Sally and I lived a version of the American dream. I was a successful engineer and Sally did well as an online marketing agent. We lived high on the proverbial hog. It showed a bit over my belt and Sally’s plus-sizes. We had a gym membership and Sally tried diet programs.

The last months of 2022 we dropped the gym membership and dieting. We began looking for accessible and affordable food with lots of calories. So did our neighbors.

In church we learned Jesus predicted, “there will be famines in various places.” We pictured it happening in Eastern Africa or Eastern Europe, not Buckeye. We never considered Jesus words, “Woe to you who are well feed now, for you will be hungry.”

The prosperity we enjoyed vaporized seemingly overnight. It really had been a slow roll down a mountain, till it reached the edge of the cliff. Most were not aware of the threat. The media did not think the staging was news-worthy.

We were drunk on abundance. We had unlimited food options, fast food and cooking videos. The obesity epidemic and weight-related health issues got news. Only muscle-building weight-lifters wanted to gain weight.

Sally and I had great jobs and money set aside so unlike a lot of people we did fine as food and gas prices went up. There were lots of explanations for prices going up. Sometimes we thought we were getting the straight story, and other times not. We knew fertilizer prices went up 400%. Farmers and shippers had trouble getting fuel. Dozens of food processing plants were destroyed by arsonists. It was crazy to see droughts in some places and floods in others.

As food availability went down prices went up. People started to sell off property in desperation. We bought a guy’s $40,000 boat for $3,000. We had the boat for 6 months then sold it for $600. Of course, those were inflated dollars.

I lost my job. Sally marketed cosmetics and hair products. People stopped buying. Sally kept working at one quarter of her income.

Two families we were close to lost their houses and came to live with us. Cars were parked and bicycles brought out. Wheel barrels and kids’ wagons became almost more valuable that cars.

We took our money out of the bank and bought food for friends and neighbors until we realized we were in danger of not having enough ourselves.

Stories of starvation didn’t happen much until the winter of 2023, mostly in the cities, especially with people on public assistance. Gas rationing saved fuel for farmers, food processors and truckers. Food trucks always had armed escorts. The national guard also kept watch. The government helped until they were out of resources. With staggering unemployment government lost tax income and fiat currency was no longer trusted. The government ended up seizing accounts with over $10,000. They raided retirement and pension accounts as well.

Most people had trouble heating their homes, and because it was cold people wanted to eat more food to stay warm.  We were on the edge of the suburbs just a day’s walk to a farm. I started working on the farm along with our ten-year-old Jerry. Once a week we walked home with a bag of corn or wheat for Sally and Jessica. I hated to see how thin they looked.  No one wanted to look at themselves in the mirror. I remember Sally coming into the house with a weak smile. She had looked through the car and found a bag of cashews beside the spare tire. I never thought I would punch more holes in my belt. It was for the kids.

We hated hearing the news about the deaths. Somehow it wasn’t so bad when you heard of families dying in the cities but it got too close to home when they were in the neighborhood.

Early on some desperate people would raid homes. Sometimes they were shot but most of the time they didn’t find anything. After a while those desperate for food didn’t have the energy to walk to someone’s home to rob it. In fact, we ran out energy to dig graves. We piled the bodies in an abandoned house.

Hunger brought out the worst and best in people. There were some marauding gangs looting people’s food stocks. We killed most of them. There were instances of cannibalism but most of that happened after people had already died.

Our culture had been drunk with food. Hunger brought back our sobriety. The biggest cultural swing was this; people began calling on God! And lots of people in Churches sacrificed and served one another. It was funny but in the worst of times it seemed that God was very close. He kindly spared many of us.

Early on most people pitched in to help one another. Neighbors watched out for each other. Although we wanted to share our food, and did it at first, we later kept our food to ourselves. It tore us up to see neighbor children shrivel to skeletons.

There were lots of amazing acts of sacrifice. Our neighbors two houses over, the Zaleskis, were both in their eighties. They brought out their entire pantry and shared it with the neighbor children. They said they knew Jesus, and had lived full lives. The children needed a chance. Later, after we recovered, we honored them a proper burial.

It may not sound like much but there was a big movement for victory gardens, just like they had in World War II. Just a couple hundred more calories a day from the gardens made the difference between life and death. Those gardens, plus food rations, which were never enough, and sharing, and gleaning, and foraging helped most of us make it.

Those raised by farm people with a custom of having large pantries thought of having stock at home as normal practice. They were sometimes called “preppers.” Most of the population didn’t stock food or store up. They relied on weekly grocery runs.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Now for the amazing stories many today wonder about. This was the most painful time of our lives but it was the most glorious because we felt God was with us!

Sally and Jessica both died. But here is the thing – Before Sally passed she opened her eyes and said, “Look, I see Jesus coming. He’s coming for me.” Sally had a beautiful smile but I had never seen her as beautiful as at that moment. [Here Jim Farris choked up for a few moments]

Jessica passed two weeks after her fifth birthday. She was trying to say something. I put my ear to her mouth and she whispered. “Angels, daddy. See?” [This time Jim Farris sat quietly for several minutes while his caretaker got him a glass of water. Then he continued.]

We saw miracles. Real miracles. A prophetic woman talked to our neighbors saying she saw a vision of a bread truck flying over our street and dropping loaves of bread. The next day and for three weeks more we woke with flaky white stuff on the grass and trees. We ate it. I’m convinced it was the same manna that Moses ate in the wilderness! After those three weeks the gardens and farms began producing again. The manna stopped. I don’t know why it didn’t come for Sally and Jessica, but it came for Jerry and me and others.

There’s a story of the last cup of cereal being multiplied to feed seventy people. And it wasn’t just a story. My uncle was there and told me first-hand how a band of Christians prayed for it and it happened!

There were many wonderful stories of miraculous supply. I only wish there had been more of them. My sister and her family were gleaning in a potato field in Montana. It had been gone over by machinery, but they kept digging day after day and found enough to live seven months till the early harvest in the spring of 2023.

Those were the wonderful stories. But there were heart-wrenching stories where people we knew tried to live on dried grass and tree bark. It wasn’t pretty. I think what wrenched my heart the most was when parents decided not to eat their rations but gave them to their children, hoping a relative or neighbor would take care of them. But sometimes the relatives and neighbors didn’t make it. I think that’s enough.

[We asked Jim Ferris if he had any concluding thoughts. He said again,] “No, I think I’ve told you enough.”

 

AFTER THOUGHTS FROM STEVE

I am the eternal optimist, especially regarding God’s great, generous goodness in Christ our Savior. I believe He wishes to wildly prosper countries who seek Him out and honor Him. The realist within me speaks, “Even so, we cannot presumptuously assume upon His grace. We must be aware of potential problems, seek His wisdom and prepare.”

My next blog will come with practical suggestions for creating stories with happier outcomes. In the mean time I encourage you upgrade your peace in Christ, have extra food and water on hand, and start your own “victory garden.” A wise man said, “Growing food is literally like printing money.”

I URGE YOU TO TAKE THE TIME TO SEE THIS VIDEO

SIX MONTHS TO COLOSSAL FOOD SHORTAGES: Attacks on Food Supply Chain

Steven C Johnson

LandingStripEnterprises.Com

 

 

THE SECOND COMING OR THE RAPTURE?

“The Last Judgment” by Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel

 

LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE!

 

What I am about to share may offend some. My goal is not to offend but to share a piece of perspective and encourage saints in persevering for purpose.

As a young believer I was taken with the powerful reality of the Second Coming of Jesus. This intelligence was a precipitator of my conversion. My senior year  of High School my friend Mike shared that Jesus was coming back. His words hit me! They resonate ever more loudly today. I thought at the time, “Wow, the same Jesus in the Bible! If he is coming back that means he is real, that the stories about him and the things he said are true.”

I was stimulated for I had just started to read the Bible and was seeing Jesus as an awesome figure. I had mixed emotions. What would it be like to see him? Would I be ready? How could anyone to ready enough for such a heavenly Dignitary? Our name, Landing Strip Enterprises, is a Second Coming theme. The mission is to prepare the way and make a welcome runway for our Great Lord’s return!

There is no greater event to look forward to than the blessed hope, the return of our Lord Jesus. There is no greater event to prepare for than the Day of the Lord, the King fully come with His kingdom, the Wedding of the Lamb, the consummation of the Bride and Bridegroom!

A popular book came out as I was in diapers in Christ called The Late Great Planet Earth. It taught that Jesus was going to come before seven terrible years of global tribulation and extricate his believers from those troubles. At the end of seven years Jesus would appear again to judge the earth and establish his kingdom. Many adopted this teaching and I was among them.

Later I was at a Christian college where the professor shared a different view. He taught that Christians go through tribulation. I was alarmed! I thought he was a great Christian scholar but I started to think of him as a false teacher. I looked at my classmates as he spoke. I thought, “They are all being led astray!”

I took it upon myself to be the defended of truth and show the professor and class that the pre-tribulation rapture was the truth. I dog-eared my bible going back and forth to gain ammunition to confront his “heresy” and set things right with my professor and class. My only problem was that my studies lead me to believe, I had been wrong, by siding with a modern, popular teaching which was not rooted in Scripture.

Without going into a prolonged study let me share the basic points which took me back to the millennia-old view of Christ’s second coming.

 

THE BIBLE OFFERS NO GET-OUT-OF-TRIBULATION FREE CARDS

Tribulation is part and parcel with true Christian experience. Christ suffered and so do His followers. Jesus did not erase tribulation but brings His presence into it. He said, “In this world you have tribulation, but take heart, for I have overcome the world. Paul said all who live Godly in Christ will suffer. You may find many promises for suffering in the Scripture. If you’d like you may clip them out and put it on your refrigerator.

The word “overcome” is often found in Revelation as well as the expression, “the perseverance of the Saints.”  Perseverance is a virtue only necessary in difficulty.

So many Christians have died at the hands of totalitarian regimes. Chinese Christians were told by well-meaning Western believers that they would not go through tribulation. Many of them were disappointed as they died or suffered among the millions during the Chinese cultural revolution.

Suppose America suffered horrendously the loss of half of its population because of an asteroid, nuclear war or remarkable calamity. Suppose now you are a survivor in the wreckage. What comfort would it be if someone came up to you and said, “Millions of us are dead and millions more in ruin, but the good news is that Christians will not go thought the great tribulation?”  

 

SOME ARE “TAKEN” AND SOME ARE “LEFT”

We know that good Bible study requires context. Many have taken Jesus’ prophecy “one will be taken and the other left” as if this taught a great taking up of the saints, and a leaving behind of sinners.

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Luke 17:34

Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”  Luke 17:35

But consider the context.  The story which sets the pattern a few verses before is that of Noah and the flood.

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. Luke 17:26-27

A few verses later we read of the destruction of Sodom

But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  Luke 17:29

Jesus declare this is a pattern which will be duplicated. One group is destroyed and the other group saved, left alive.

It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” Luke 17:30

Concluding from this pattern the “one taken” is the one destroyed, and the “one left” is the one who has been saved from the destruction.  This is polar opposite of the pre-tribulation notion.

 

DATING THE ORIGIN OF THE PRETRIBULATION ESCAPE THEORY

The pre-tribulation rapture theory is a new doctrine on the block. Pinpointing its beginnings is challenging but it first shows up about 1800. If this teaching was not known today it would be very unlikely it would appear because some biblical scholar stumbled upon it in their study.

Robert Cameron gives an historical footnote. “Now, be it remembered, that prior to that date, no hint of any approach to such belief can be found in any Christian literature from Polycarp down…. Surely, a doctrine that finds no exponent or advocate in the whole history and literature of Christendom, for eighteen hundred years after the founding of the Church – a doctrine that was never taught by a Father or Doctor of the Church in the past – that has no standard Commentator or Professor of the Greek language in any Theological School until the middle of the Nineteenth century, to give it approval, and that is without a friend, even to mention its name amongst the orthodox teachers or the heretical sects of Christendom – such a fatherless and motherless doctrine, when it rises to the front, demanding universal acceptance, ought to undergo careful scrutiny before it is admitted and tabulated as part of ‘the faith once for all delivered unto the saints.’” (Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lord’s Return, page 72-73).

 

THE QUESTIONABLE FRUIT OF THE TEACHING

The pre-tribulation rapture theory seems to make our goal to be getting to heaven rather than getting heaven to earth. The early Church orientation was to prepare the way for the Lord so that the King with His Kingdom would overcome the world. Remember, we have been praying 2000 years for the kingdom, the will of God, to come and be done on our planet! Jesus taught that the good leaven of the Kingdom would work its way through the entire lump. Saints were meant to be trailblazers preparing whole nation as disciples to be ready for the Lord’s return.

My general sense of those who have adopted the pre-tribulation theory is they are waiting for their ticket home and out of conflict rather than engaging in fulfilling the great commission.

Certainly, there are wonderful Christians who hold to the pre-tribulation rapture theory. I can’t blame them for wanting an exit from trouble. But I am seriously concerned they are being oriented to exit and escape rather than labor and fight for Christ’s kingdom and so to prepare a royal welcome.

Jesus taught we will have tribulation. This is a given. In Moses’ day there were two trubulations in Egypt. Pharaoh brought tribulation on the children of Israel, and God brought tribulation on Pharaoh and Egypt. I believe there is a similar template for our last days. Although Christians may experience tribulation from the ungodly, men at their worst cannot dish out tribulation like God.

Be of good cheer. You have been given the privilege of being a  soldier of fortune to pillage hell to populate heaven. Don’t look for escapes, hiding places and retreat. Light is meant to be put on a stand. Be engaged in God’s warfare on behalf of mankind. And lift up your head for your Redemption is coming!

 

YOUR THOUGHTS ARE WELCOMED

 

Steven C Johnson

Landing Strip Enterprises

 

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BOOKS FOR YOUR EDIFICATION AND THE GLORY OF GOD!

 

 

 

 

LOSS AND OTHER UNCOMFORTABLE SUBJECTS

LOSS AND OTHER UNCOMFORTABLE SUBJECTS

Pamela C.G. Johnson

 

Greeting a friend-to-be, I was taken back by their response to my question, “How many children do you have? “

“I have two children. A son died a few years ago. I also have my living son.”

The losses people are dealing with are personal and leave a lasting imprint on their hearts and minds. We must step up in hearing them out. As awkward as it is to hear, the reality is that person loved someone who is now gone from their life. They are left with the haunting and real memories of their face, their memories, and their inability to love them as they once did.

The last 2 years have forced many losses upon us. It seems no-one is exempt. So how can we be present with one who has had loss and honor the life of the individual lost?  (We can apply other types of loss as well)

I suggest we learn to be self aware of our losses and understand so we can help others.

As a nurse I have had the privilege and pain to walk with so many suffering physical loss.

When a labor ended in the death of the baby I was holding the parent and the infant as they grieved the loss of new baby, what was not even thought of. I helped them hold their little one and touch her hair, her skin, as they spoke of her tiny fingers, exploring and coming to grips with their loss. Truthfully, I could hardly breath and wept openly with them. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life and I’m so glad I was able to die to my sense of right and wrong and let them live fully in that moment. It looks hours and they spent it holding her little body and speaking of what might have been and what was before them. It was almost perfect pain. Hard to describe, and if allowed I wanted to run from it, yet we let that grief wash over us all by staying in the moment.

I’ve attended at the bedside of hospice patients, holding hands, praying quietly, allowing family time and assisting them in overcoming fears to touch and speak their heart in that very significant hour. Sharing suffering with another is not an easy place to be. Suffering loss marks us for life. Some for better and some not. It’s absolutely appropriate to speak of the loss, it affects the living every single day.

In times past we allowed our aging and ill to die at home with family around them, sharing the memories of their life, laughing at the sweet past and the hopes of the future.

As a pastor I was part of celebrations of life.  One that stands out was a gentleman in his 90’s, suffering from liver disease. He was a lovely hue of yellow. While he was still living and alert we had a large circle of friends arrive and set up worship on his lawn. We  shared stories of how his life had impacted and changed ours. With humor and joy we sang his favorite hymn and simply loved on him and his precious wife. It was such a powerfully meaningful time. He was unable to stay till the end, but we who loved him didn’t want to leave as the unity, love and harmony, worship and holiness of that time was imprinted on our lives. The loss was so imminent, yet we pushed it away to celebrate his life.

I suggest when you find yourself in that awkward moment when someone shares a loss you were not expecting, that you press into it. Ask a few questions that pull out the value of that loss.

“Thank you for sharing that intimate detail.

“Is there more you would like to say about them?”

“What is a sweet memory you keep regarding your son?” 

“How are you living with your remaining son in light of the loss of your first son?”

“How rich you are to have shared that precious time with him.”

So many can sympathize and mourn with you in light of the last 2 years. Thank you for sharing with me.”

If it seems particularly fresh you might ask how they are making each day count with the uncertainties of this life. As people mention their loses I hope you will NOT just stand there as if a brick hit you, or move on like their words never reached your ears. Identify as a human and respond in compassion.

One very powerful experience I was a part of took place in Jerusalem, Israel. Steven and I were renting a room from a woman who lived in a high rise apartment. Down the hall from her another apartment was celebrating the life of someone who recently passed.

The door to their apartment was open all day, every day for 30 days. 30 DAYS

Any and everyone was invited in to hear the widow tell her story. Pictures of the man and their family adorned every table and wall. A prominent one was draped in black. The widow, to wore black. Family and friends were present sitting, sharing, and attentive always for the widow’s needs.

They soaked in their sorrow and grief every waking moment for 30 full days with strangers, family and friends. No one was turned away and everyone was respected as a guest to give honor to the lost one and their family.

I was so affected by this focus and honoring of the life of one person.

At the end of 30 days the door is closed as any home would be. The widow continues to wear black for 12 months. And the community acknowledges her as his widow. Perhaps we could value others’ loss in that way. Helping them unpack their loss and re-experience the immense thing we call life.

Our Heavenly Father felt it so valuable to experience life He sent His son to share it with us! 

In life there is suffering and sorrow. We are greatly enriched by every opportunity to weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh.  All of life is worth feeling, experiencing – giving way to our emotions and being with another in the moment.

Pamela C.G. Johnson
LandingStripEnterprises.Com

LIBERTY: A PARABLE IS BORN

Yesterday morning our daughter Theresa gave birth to Liberty. She was hard fought for and so is prized! “Giving birth” is too lightweight an expression. This was a serious battle well fought and won. Theresa was the champion “point-woman” in the fight. We are proud of her!  By her side was a team of “operators.”

 

Her warrior prince Darrell was faithfully contending with her. Her mother, the ultimate mother/baby nurse, was as well. The team was larger still.

 

From Pam:

Such hard pushing, … and one thing after another until IVs n meds n 14 people about to take her to OR n then she pushed enough to get the vacuum on n w episiotomy she came at 7:43 n is now nursing.

She started sucking her fingers n latched right away. 7.1 n 19”

Theresa was exhausted but keep saying afterwards, “This was worth it! This was worth it!” Our Lord reminded us,

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”  John 16:21

Our Lord was not just talking about the challenge of bringing forth babies. He was in labor to bring forth something colossal, anticipating his own cross as well as being sensitive to the grief of his dear disciples.

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” John 16:21

Our new granddaughter Liberty Grace is a parable for us all. It is a fight to gain LIberty. Because of this she is prized!

Our Son Brian reflected on the birth of his niece; “Liberty is a desperate fight. At times it does not look like it’s going to happen. But inch by inch, sometimes backwards she will come for those who are persistent.”

Yes, we own that today and are determine to fight, as God guides and helps us, to the victory! May it be our inner unshakable resolve!

SEEING GOD’S MERCY AFTER THE FIGHT

So often after a fight we realize the gracious hand of God has helped us win the day. We recognize our strength, skill, knowledge and resolve were insufficient to win the day. In every virtuous hard-fought battle God ultimately gets the glory for being our helper and our Sufficiency!

My heart goes out to the heroes and heroines of our Great Cosmic Story who contend to bring forth LIBERTY! They also will say, “This is so worth it!”

I am certain I hear the Lord Jesus saying it!

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.”  Hos 11:4

Steven C Johnson

Landing Strip Enterprises

 

Despising the Shame and Keeping our Eyes on Jesus

My wife Pam takes her turn at a blog. It seems all painters of Jesus’ crucifixion feel obliged to garb him with a loin cloth. But just as Adam and Eve found themselves naked so did out Lord Jesus. He refused to let shame cling to Him. In fact, the cross was His way to cover ours!

Chew on this for good nourishment!  Steve

Crucifixion Of Jesus

 

Hebrews 12 leads us through some of Jesus’ darkest and most determined moments.  As I read the first few verses my mind paused to consider what he may be asking us to despise and endure.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Heb 12:1-2

Challenging times are increasing in the western world. Western Christians for the most part have not really experienced persecution and by choice have become silent even in the face of devastating intimidation and limits placed on us. 

If we look back across Jesus’ earthly life we can easily see times of difficulty. Consider His 40 days in the wilderness. Would he ask you, me, to suffer unrelenting difficulty and in our darkest most devastating moment, allow Satan to test us?

It was difficult enough to fast 40 days and nights but the testing beyond seems cruel. Perhaps we need to relook at the discipline of the Lord? Can we begin to challenge the soft and self-focused life we accepted as normal? These are my observations and questions as I ask Abba to lead me through this passage, in light of today.

When I don’t get what I want or think I need, or when others are credited or lauded and no one notices me, how will I handle it?  Have I become so full of self-pity that I cannot lift my eyes from childhood pain or lack, and waddle about with a broken wing dragging behind me.  These are shames, hostilities, making us weary. 

Yet we are reminded there is a circle of beings watching from heaven. So cast off the weight-wearying burden, lift those cast down eyes and shrug off discouragement.

Jesus is our example. He looked to the one who wrote his life script and completed it before any of it was lived. We too must ‘count it all joy’ realizing our life is lived in a sinful world with lawless and sinful people trying with all their determination to get their way, all trying to be a god.

Perhaps we would agree we have been asleep and ill-guided by allowing someone else to tell us what is true. Most people have not studied out their beliefs but simply followed a speaker they prefer. This is an error. Luke shows us to be like the Bereans who searched the word of God “to see” if what others say is true.

While our brothers and sisters suffered persecution and the ultimate sacrifice by giving their own lives we slept and shook our heads and clicked our tongues.  Now we see our liberties and values being squeezed in the vise of globalism. The very hand of evil and it seems the symbols are everywhere in plain view. 

Our preoccupation with “poor me” with the litanies of past hurts and trauma cost us.  Jesus experienced our every “hard knock.” He is offering us a victorious solution.

He’s not denying the pain or struggle he’s simply overlooking it, “despising the shame.”  What a huge realization. He was fully human to experience everything we have in a sinful world, yet spotless.

How do we despise our shameful, sin laden life, the exposure of our self-nature? How, when alone, and we feel the lack of positive supporting “ata’boys,” “Got your back honey” and “You can do it?”

We look into the face of our elder Brother. We consider Him, who overcame. We humbly walk in that mercy and grace, looking to his example.

We must spend more time in the secret place to rise in the hour of need. We will not fail if we believe like Caleb, repent like David and hold a heart of gratitude like the returning leper.

I find such richness in Hebrews 12, as it examines my heart. Let it train us to be the children of God. Despising the shame and embracing the Joy set before us, we endure for our prize.   

Kindly, Pam Johnson

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the [c]chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;

For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.   Hebrews 12:3-11

FIND ANSWERS TO KNOTTY QUESTIONS! An online group with Steve and Pam Johnson starting Tuesday, Feb 15th.

Listen to this blog here!

 

How exciting to ask Father God a question and see Him graciously and generously answer! Today I have an invitation

Pam and I are leading a connect group called: Finding Answers to Knotty Questions. It’s really a class on learning how to inquire of God. This is an online class using zoom so you can easily join us from home! We begin Tuesday Feb 15th AT 7pm (PST) and meet weekly 10 weeks. You can find the link below.

 

Rebekah becomes pregnant! There is a tremendous jostling in her womb. She can’t get an appointment for a sonogram. So, she goes to inquire of the Lord.  God answers her seeking!

“Two nations are in your womb,
    and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
    and the older will serve the younger.” Genesis 25:23

So history proves it out!

 

Daniel was pondering the desolation and exile of the Jewish nation while captive in Babylon. When will this be over?  

He pours through Jeremiah’s prophecies and finds the prophet declare, “This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”   Jeremiah 25:11

He looks at his wrist watch. “O my goodness! It’s one minute to 70 years!”

He and his friends go into deep prayer. An angel shows up. The captives are released and free to return to Israel! Daniel searched and got liberating answers!

We all have questions. Some are personal like Rebekah’s

Should I marry Bertha?

Invest in bitcom?

Move to Baltimore?

Where did I lose my phone?

Some quests are global like Daniel’s.

How in the world can we disciple nations?

Restore righteous government?

Overcome evil in education, the media, and science?

Prepare the way for Christ’s return?

We invited you to join us! Together we will learn how to ask, seek and knock – and so – receive, find and have doors open?

 

Joining is easy. Show up at 7pm (PST) on Tuesday nights starting Feb 15th  by clicking this link!

 

Put it in your calendar. We’ll see you then!

 

10 WEEKLY SESSIONS

1          INQUIRING: The generous, entreat-able God.

The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.   Gen 25:22

2          SOLUTIONISTS: Becoming a resource for others

A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word!   Prov 15:23  

3          THE FACE OF GOD: Our greatest quest

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Ps 27:8

4          PROVISION: Asking, seeking and knocking

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Luke 11:9

5          FINDING LOST THINGS: Recovering the stolen and lost

Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?   Luke 15:8

6          GAINING WISDOM: Our most valuable commodity

But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?   Job 28:12

7          RELATIONSHIPS: With whom should we connect?  

And Barnabas went forth to Tarsus, to seek for Saul.  Acts 11:25

8          LOCATION: Is my geography important?

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south to the desert road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”   Acts 8:26

9          MINING GOD’S CREATIVITY: Finding our full expression

Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.   Exodus 25:40

10       DREAMS, VISIONS AND PROPHECY: Places we get answers

God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”  Gen 46:2

 

Joining us 7pm (PST) on Tuesday nights starting Feb 15th, by clicking this link!

 

Steven C Johnson

LandingStripEnterprises.Com

 

 

HOW WE BURY OUR DEAD

 

The Funeral of the Late Mr C H Spurgeon. Illustration for The Graphic, 13 February 1892.

LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE

For a short time, I worked for a funeral company in Knoxville, TN. It was short for one reason. I can handle dead bodies and truly find it meaningful to comfort the bereaved in Christ, but  I could not stomach the business.

Of course, the company and those who worked for it are not here to defend themselves. There were good things about the company, and many good people worked for it. What I could not stand was what I saw as pretense and money grubbing.

In the back-room with staff and sales people there were often conversations about how much money could be made in the funeral business, and how to go about making it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful in a job or business. Businesses may have mottos which say, “You are our number one priority” but we know it is often slogan. People who come to bury their dead are in a more vulnerable place than those shopping for a dishwasher or pair of socks.

In the funeral business we met people in shock, numb with pain, afraid for their future, feeling like orphans, lonely and unsure, in an environment and place of decision-making they had never been in before. And there is no leisure for making decisions. Choices need to be made immediately. I was grieved and sicken by the subtle pressure on the survivor to “properly” care for and “honor” the memory of their loved one.

“This will be your last great chance to honor your Dad. I’m sure you loved him deeply. How would you like to show your appreciation for him – the way he cared for you, the fun times you had, all the things you owe him? He certainly was a valuable person to you. How would you like to show how you valued him?”

Today most people who bury their loved-one embalm the body so it will last 4,000 years, put it in a water-tight casket, and put the casket in a concrete box buried underground. There are other little things like the flowers, obituary notices, a cleric to conduct a service, the meeting room, piped in music, and such. The average funeral cost $7500. Of course, that is only if you love the deceased in an average way. “I’m sure you’ll want to go all out and buy the bronze casket with ‘the lifetime-warranted pillow.’” 

Most people who came to the funeral home were not rolling in cash. Today the “bare bones” cremation is about $1000. The price is typically considerably higher. It seems most who cremate are seeking economy.

“You don’t need to worry. We do accept credit cards. Every time you make a payment you can remember your dear old Dad and how much you own him.”  I lasted about two months in this atmosphere.  My conclusion, “Let the dead bury their dead.”

I visited Mount Angel Abby in Oregon in my college days. When a brother in the monastery died, the others would dig the grave, wrapped him in burlap, and pour the dirt back on him. I’m confident this cost less than $7500. This seemed so faith-filled and authentic. It lacked a lot of the outward forms of most funerals but seemed to have plenty of heaven’s content. I wonder why more people don’t follow this practice.

In former days families would invite loved ones to come see the deceased laying in the bed or on the kitchen table to say their goodbyes. Someone in the family might build a box. Friends would dig the hole, lower the body and cover it up. This was done without paying for cosmetics. They might cover the grave with stones or place a wooden cross at the head.

Did you know that in most state you can bury a loved one in your pasture or back yard? You must wait for the coroner to show up and submit the death certificate but then you can handle the body according to your wishes. If you consider doing this check your state laws. The funeral industry has made this practice harder in some places. If you sell the property you must inform the new owner of the burial.

I’ve often thought I’d like to buy a pasture for goats and sheep and let people bury their dead there. I’d call it “Potter’s hill.” Perhaps I’d charge $100 if the family was not able to dig the hole themselves. That would be one way to get rich. 

I’ve conducted many funerals and memorials. It is impossible for us to prevent the truth, “Dust you are, to dust you shall return.” We Christians don’t look at visible things which are destined to perish but to invisible realities which never end. How grateful we are to the One named, “The Resurrection and The Life!” When it is time to bury our dead may we do so with Heaven’s perspective and peace.

Steven C Johnson

LandingStripEnterprises.Com

 

SECOND COMING CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS 2.0

LISTEN TO A SECOND COMING CAROL MEDLEY HERE!

 

“Will we still be singing Christmas Carols after the Second coming of our Lord Jesus?”

Now, I love Christmas Carols, but when the dazzling, bowl us over and raise us up second coming of Jesus is history past, and we look backwards on the Great Return of our glorious Savior, and we are walking with Emanuel face to face, will we sing songs yearly recalling that Ultimate Great Appearing – just like we sing songs about the first coming?

Perhaps Christmas 1.0 will be superseded by Christmas 2.0. Perhaps we will take a month a year after Jesus returns to live with us and rule the nations to sing Second Coming carols.  

LISTEN TO A SECOND COMING CAROL MEDLEY ABOVE

Let me know what you think.

Steven C Johnson

https://landingstripenterprises.com/

Get Steve’s newest book at Amazon!

 

PAM SHARES A RIVER TESTIMONY

A very joy-filled Gratitude Day! You each are reasons to upgrade our Thankfulness! 

This run Pam shares a recent testimony about our river. You’ll be encouraged!

LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE!

AND SEE THE VIDEO BELOW.

 

Hearing Ana Mendez Ferrell and watching the testimony as she shared asking forgiveness of the African Elephants was so impactful for me.So much so that I actually dreamedabout it the following night.

In the dream Ana came to me and said, “You can do this.”I was thrilled and not sure what that might look like.

As soon as we began looking at the riverfront property (we now own) we heard the accounts of the river flooding and the death and destruction that followed it.

We knew this was our property and beganapplying, “I will give you the land you step on.” and began to speak to the river.“You will remain within the boundaries God has given you, and will not flood while we own this land.” We also blessed the forest, hills and mountain range and the moisture, rain and snow.

During this summers drought we prayed daily for the right amount of rain. We always blessed thearea. Its a big thing to me to bless the area we live around.

When we lived in agricultural areas we prayed often for the right amount of rain, snow, wind so that the farmers could get the best harvest. Mostly it was praying for the drought to end and the rain to come and it always did.

We have seen the river drop to the lowest level the community has seen this past summer and now the news sources were telling us the rivers of western WA. had not been this high since 2015. Truly flood stage. Communities beyond us were being evacuated, as homes were in jeopardy,some under water.

Our closest neighbor called Steve and I could tell from his side of the conversation our neighbor was fearful.Steve offered to pray with him and led out, and then something unusual happened. The neighbor prayed, OUT LOUD. He had never done that, in fact he’d been a stinker at times and a bit of a trial for us.So humbling himself to ask for Gods help was a big deal.

Ihad complete peace yet kept praying as we watched the river rise, coming nearer and nearer to our riverfront yard.

Our neighbors started coming down (we live at the lowest point on our cul-d-sac) watching the river and parroting the past scenarios.Loss of houses, land, bridges and deaths that ensued.

Steve had gone down to measure how far the river had risen and how close it was to flooding our property, within 2 feet.

The rain had been pouring downnonstop for a few days and my weather app was indicating there was 100% rain for the next few days.

I had been watching and praying but now I sensed I was to go visit the river. With peace in my heart I told Steve, “I think I’m supposed to go to the river.”

I put on my rain gear and walked outside. I was greeted by a neighbor talking about moving his RV and another couple who were fully engaged in the fear and worry of the first guy.

They walked up to me and began to share fully.

I listened and gently but firmly replied, “Thats not going to happen today.”They shared more.I took a breath to reply and felt a shift and instead of disagreeing I agreed with them. ‘Yes, in the past these things had happened andthis may even be a perfect time for more of those things to happen again”, BUT… I let them know we had prayed over this river and I was certain this time was not that. (In my heart I was surprised as I heard myself, I was so confident, so at peace) I encouraged the neighbors to do what gave them peace patting one gentleman on his shoulder.

I walked on down to the rivers edge noting the huge beach, we enjoyed most of the time we had lived here ( 2 years), was gone. I walked along on the last rocks left above water and talked to God.

“God did you hear what I said. I sure hope you back me up. I don’t usually talk like that. Those people don’t know You and we have been gently loving them and sharing who we know.

What am I doing here?”

I sensed I was to place my feet in the water. So I stepped into the water and stood there watching the angry, brown water churn around my boots.

Looking up at the expanseof the river I spoke.“ Tilton River I release you from death and destruction and I realign you to agree with Gods plan for you, to bring forth life and that abundantly.”

That seemed to be it. I waited, but nothing more came and I worshipped with the rivers new identity, and walked back up to my home.

The rain slowed, Steve took another measurement and the river was 8 inches lower than previous.Later that day it was 2 feet lower and the rain was a light drizzle.

(I had not addressed the rain.)

The rain slowed and actually stopped for a while. Our neighbor stayed up all night watching the river.We went to bed and slept well.He called us as soon as our lights went on the next morning telling Steve, “God heard our prayers, and I’m going to bed now.”

The rain stopped for half of the day and the river has continued to go down.

And I am so excited about the life that will begin on these banks, for families and this community.

God is so good to back up my faith and my words and with Ana I learned I can partner with heaven to bring that realm to earth.

WATCH THIS VIDEO AS OUR RIVER COME CLOSE TO PEAKING

Steve and Pam Johnson

LandingStripEnterprises.Com

DEATH IS ICKY, AND JESUS IS WONDERFUL!

LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE!

 

Pam and I just got back from visiting Theresa and Darrell in TN. She has a project going on in the inner sanctum, “Liberty Grace” is due March 7th !

While back east we also visited Claire, Carson, Savanna and Elenore in KY! We learned that Claire is blooming with another child. We are calling the child, “Young Mister Fields” for now. The due date is April 9th !  

 

DEATH IS ICKY, AND JESUS IS WONDERFUL!

“Daddy, what happened to the kitty?”

I’ve always maintained that death is icky. I’ve never changed my mind. We began our acquaintance with death as tots when we saw the dead cat in the road and the fly on the window sill.

When I was about eight my grandfather died. There was an open casket at the funeral. I went up to the casket with my mom at the end of the service. Grandpa looked bad, really bad. Mom said, “You can touch him if you want.” I had no desire to touch him. It was icky and scary!

They took grandpa in the box and put him under the ground in a country cemetery. We drove past the cemetery whenever we went to visit grandma and other relatives. I did not like driving by that cemetery. I did not like thinking of grandpa underground in that box. Other relatives were there in boxes under the ground. It was icky and scary.

A childhood friend shared a “helpful” superstition with me. He told me, “If you can hold your breath when you drive by a cemetery you will live a year longer.” It was challenging if you drove by larger cemeteries. But, you know what? It worked! But what it didn’t do was change my attitude that death is icky and scary.

Beyond the thought of being in a box under the ground was the wondering about life after death. Could there be something ickier after death? Rotting flesh is icky, but what if there were ickier, scarier things in an afterlife?

I attended church as a youth and learned that Jesus was sweet and kind. In retrospect I think there was more about “Jesus was” than “Jesus is.” I never got the message that Jesus gave death a royal trouncing. Because of this it seemed death was bigger and more tenaciously powerful than the “was” Jesus.

Finally, as a Senior in High School I read the New Testament for myself. I developed a love and respect for this marvelous, wise, virtuous, powerful Person. Eventually I came to call Him, “My Lord.”

I found Jesus really is the Resurrection and the Life! The grave, death and the powers of hell are helpless before Him. His promises gave me victory over the great-granddaddy or all fears, death.

I came to see that not only can we be free of the fear of death, we can vaunt over it, mock its weakness and celebrate its destruction – all because of the victory which our Redeemer gained for us at the cross, and through his resurrection and ascension. We are able to spurn, diminish and despise death! Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:

Where, O death is your victory?

Where, O death is your sting?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Our powerful, loving God sees death as icky too. It is totally out of order with His kingdom of vibrant life, and unbecoming his children. So, He dealt with it, and made a way out for us all!

I’ve walked through cemeteries and been overcome with tremendous confidence and boldness as I’ve sited Isaiah 26:19;

But your dead will live; their bodies will rise – let those who dwell in the dust of the earth wake up and shout for joy – your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead!

You will think me daffy but once as I was walking through a cemetery quoting this verse I heard death under harassment say, “Stop doing that!”

The tables are being flipped! Death is afraid of believing Christians. What thrilling resurrection reality! Dust reconstituted! Lost things recovered! Grief and tears wiped away by the Hand of the Loving One! Old renewed! Reunion!

Death is a weakling compared to our “Stronger One.” What comfort, what rest, what exhilaration and delight! We flaunt over death because of Jesus!

Every fear – spiders, falling, financial loss, rejection – is connected to the great granddaddy of all fears, the fear of death. “He delivered me from all my fears.”

My Christian brother and sister, no long allow yourself to be intimidated by death. You are built to intimidate it! Death has been given a mortal blow!

 

How grateful are you that Jesus tasted death for us that we might taste His life?

What can you do today to put the fear of death in its place, and embrace the wholesome, regenerating fear of the Lord?

Do you have a testimony of overcoming the fear of death?

 

STEVE’S NEW BOOK, COMPOUNDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT IS NOW AVAILABLE!!!

Read it and leave a review at Amazon

REVIEWS OF COMPOUNDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT 

I highly recommend this book, especially for men who want to up their game as encouragers. The articles are brief, upbeat, tender, and tough. During the past two years, almost weekly, I’ve been in prayer rooms and men’s meetings with Steve Johnson—I’ve never encountered a person anointed as much as he is with the gift of encouragement (Romans 12:8). And with his comprehensive writing, Steve continually captures his reader’s attention with vivid, creative lines. Read this book, one chapter at a time; and if you can, find a way to meet this man!

                                                                                                 Geoff Pope

I found your book to be very encouraging. It calls us to a higher ground. I heard God speaking through the words he gave you to write. I appreciated having his Word to read throughout the book.

I especially enjoyed the lessons on wonder, amazement and creativity. I wrote down a quote to pray for friends and family: “May our friends and family who are distant from Yeshua be hit hard by his overflowing kindness, bringing them to true repentance.”

Also, having a background working with special needs children, I was touched by the pool story about Cain. Thank you for giving me the privilege of reading your book!!

                                                                                                        Liela  Cuglivan

 

Steven C Johnson

LandingStripEnterprises.Com

 

THE VIRTUES OF NARROW-MINDEDNESS AND THE SINGULARITY OF JESUS CHRIST

 

LISTEN TO THIS BLOG HERE!

Open-mindedness is one of our highest values. We encourage growth in knowledge, discovery of new truths, free thinkers and think tanks. Narrow-mindedness closes the door to new insights, exiting discoveries and fascinating new vistas.

Among the narrow-mined are the bigots, the mentally blind, the stagnate and fools. But, could it be, that on occasion, the narrow-minded approach is the way of the wise while others are so open-minded that their brains fall out?

Jesus of Nazareth said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it” (Matt 7:13). Jesus tells us we should narrow in.

Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded. The charge really needs to brought to our Lord Jesus.  His claims, “I am the bread of life,” “I am the light of the world,” and “I am the door” seen singular and exclusive. What do you do with a guy who says in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am He [God’s chosen One] you shall die in your sins?” You either put him in an asylum or you follow Him as your Master.

The musician does not say, “Any note will do.” The doctor doesn’t say, “Any medicine will do.” So what nonsense overtakes us when we say, “Any religion will do?” My teacher said, “Children, put your thinking caps on.”

“Narrow-minded” Christians for the past two millennia have been confessing, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:2).

Many profound religious leaders of all types have come along. They have said, “I’ll show you the way. I’ll teach you the truth. I’ll instruct you in life.” But Jesus says, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6). Pretty audacious wouldn’t you say? Who is this Jesus anyway? Glad you asked!

Some would like to make Jesus out to be a philosopher, political activist, or one of the “ascended masters.” Jesus claimed to be none of these.

Jesus claimed to be the only Son of God (John 3:16 5:16-18)

to have the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7)

the power to raise the dead (John 5:24-25)

and the authority to judge mankind (John 5:27).

You may accept it or reject it but the Bible clearly teaches, “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim 2:5-6). Had Jesus thought that other religious would do the Job He would certainly have avoided Jerusalem and passed up the cross. He died there convinced that He was God’s ransom to set us free from sin and judgment (Mark 10:45).

Many are offended with Jesus’ claim to be the only way to God. But the drowning person doesn’t complain  that the life ring is the wrong color. I have never heard anyone protest that oxygen should not be an essential element. Still, many would like to think of following Jesus as an optional religious hobby. Some say what is really important is sincerity. “

“It’s not what you believe, it’s that you believe it sincerely.” Does that make sense to the horse? What would you say to the mechanic who says, “You don’t need oil in your crank case.” Use sand, water or flower petals. The important thing is to be sincere.” Sincerity is certainly desirable but it only functions in tandem with truth. “Faith is like a rope,” says Dr. Michael Green. “”It matters enormously what you attach it to.”

Whoever heard of someone phoning a friend and thinking in their “open-mindedness” that any number should do the job? How can what is nonsense in everyday life suddenly become profound wisdom when dealing with religion? Witness some open-minded folks who say, “All religious are basically the same.” On the surface this seems tolerant, humane, conciliatory. But attempts at harmonizing religions produces ear-jarring cacophony.

My friend, all religions could be false but they cannot all be true.

Try to harmonize the views of God: One? Many? None? The god of self?

Check out the views of the afterlife:

Oblivion?

Disembodied spirits?

Reincarnation?

Merging with the cosmic whole?

Resurrection to hell or to heaven.

When someone says, “All religions are basically the same,” are they thinking of religions which cripple the feet of women, sacrifice children, eat their enemies, force children into “sacred” prostitution, or practice “honor” killing? It just won’t mix. The discrepancies between various religious systems are irreconcilable. Although we may find things of value in a number of religions there is a lot of rot that passes as spirituality.

When Jesus comes again in the glory clouds of heaven with an innumerable host of angels, some religious folks will be upset! But they will not be able to protest, “Leave me alone, Jesus, I’m trying to tap into my god-self” or “ Jesus, how dare you break my reincarnation cycle!” Every eye will see him. It will be the most colossal reality check!

Many religions pursue vaporous and intangible delusions. Real Christians eagerly wait for the substantial and concrete return of our crucified and risen Savior. The power of His indestructible life assures us that we will live with Him forever (John 6:51; 14:19). That’s why we call Jesus’ message, “Good News!”

If you are hunting for a nice religion you have literally hundreds to choose from. In fact, new designer religions are being fabricated every day. But if you are hunting for LIFE come to the narrow way that is universally open to all! Jesus invites in Matthew 11:28  “Come to me ALL  you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” I commend to you Jesus the only Son of the living God!

Where to from here? Anywhere if you don’t care about your destination. But if you are asking, “How do I enter the narrow road that leads to life?” I suggest the following:

Read the New Testament accounts of Jesus. You will find yourself falling in love.

Believe the far-out truth that God really loves you and proved it in His Son.

Own up to your own sins, your shortcomings and mortality before God.

Ask Jesus to forgive your sings, to be your Master, to come into your life and make you a new person. He will!

Be determined to grow in your new life by communicating with God every day!

Plug into a sincere group of Christians who strive to live out the truth of God’s word in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Horses are known for horse-sense. Keep your mind and heart open to the narrow way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Enter in the narrow door that leads to broad open places!

Steve Johnson, LandingStripEnterprises.Com

Front view of an aeroplane taking off

 

DIGGING WELLS AND REMOVING CAPS

Often engaging in the Holy Spirit is a breeze. The presence of the River of Christ’s is felt, engaging and ministering comes easy and everyone is refreshed, empowered, comforted, fortified, liberated and healed!

Then… there are other times… when God feels distant and we feel “parched.” What do you do then? When the River vanishes into cracked puzzle pieces people dig wells. There are times we must dig spiritually. It can be gritty, hard labor but joy is restored to the whole community when we find water again!

May this episode from Riverfront Property: Connecting at the River of Life, stimulate you to the noble task of digging wells for you clans.

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE AUIO HERE

Episode 5: DIGGING WELLS AND REMOVING CAPS

      OUR NOBLE WELL-DIGGING PATRIARCHS

The Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were regarded as honorable for many reasons. One is, they dug wells to provided water for their clans. Noble-minded people dig wells, water works which satisfy needs.

There were intense conflicts and grumbling over water rights. The Patriarchs came up with honorable solutions for the clashes and complaints. Most involved time-consuming, back-breaking labor. Answers to problems came with shovels attached!

What do we do when we discover our river bottom has dried into cracked puzzle pieces? Grab a spade!

      RESPONDING TO THIRST

Thirsty people grumble, naturally. Churches are not happy with water shortages. We moan and complain. “Where is God’s presence?” “This church is bone dry!” “Where did the love and power go?” “Someone drained the pool!”

Some of us church hop, looking for a place with dancing fountains. We hope for an easy drink. Others join a community, and when they realize water is needed, they do all they can to see their tribe gets it. Some complain, or leave. Others dig.

Responsible believers take ownership of problems and work on solutions.

Sometimes responding to the Spirit is a cinch. We cannon-ball in, swim and frolic! When rivers go dry, people dig wells. They think this is preferable to dying. If the river goes arid don’t despair, get to work! You remember Jesus saying, “He who believes in me, out of his inner being will flow ….” The work of faith produces flow. Digging wells is also done by faith.

I visited southern Israel near Beer Sheva, the well of the oath, and saw a hand dug-well. I could tell it was deep because the pebble I dropped took a long time before

it plopped. It must have been hard work. If you live in a place with a handful of inches of rain a year, you dig or die. Don’t whine if you don’t sense the presence of God. Get digging! Dig deep via hope and humility and intercession and gain water for your clan.

Do you want to see a party? Dig a well in a barren place where people walk miles for water. We were part of a well-drilling project in Kenya. What a party they had when the water started pumping!

Many churches do not feel like partying. Who wants a dehydrated fellowship? Some dread going to worship service, fearing the next one will be as dry as the last.

Our neighbors and people in faraway places are waiting for us to confirm that Jesus makes good His promise of living water. They try drugs, entertainments and wacked-out philosophies to satisfy their thirst. They despair that real drink can be found. You have their answer, but it may require digging.

      THE WELL AT BEER

During the wanderings of Israel, they dug a well. We get a snatch of the story in Numbers 21:16-18.

From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the LORD said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”

Then Israel sang this song:

“Spring up, O well! Sing about it,about the well that the princes dug,  that the nobles of the people sank— the nobles with scepters and staffs”.

      THE MARK OF NOBILITY

Those that accessed water for the community were not commoners; they were nobles! Many want a noble title – Duke or Duchess, Apostle, Evangelist or Pastor. Don’t expect people to think you noble because of your genealogy. It will come because of you noble lifestyle, the way you care for others.

Noble leaders realize their responsibility for providing water. They do not idly show up for church, turn on the tap and expect anointed ministry. They probe God. They augur into His heart. They burrow into his word. These leaders are to be honored!

Digging wells is the work of genuine monarchs, knights, barons and counts. They willingly get their hands dirtied and blistered, down in the gloom, for the sake of their people. Laboring in a murky well-shaft may not be your idea of fun, but it is a great idea for survival.

Nobility is gained by noble deeds. It is an expression of character. When water is found we celebrate, and the diggers are esteemed!

      CELEBRATING

Water in short supply occasions quarrels and contentions. Neighbors fight. When there is abundance fearful apprehension is washed away. We are friends again!

If you delve into the earth, boring into the unseen depths, you might stumble on diamonds, emeralds and rubies. You might discover natural gas, oil and coal, perhaps ancient fossils. You might also discover water. And if you, your family and flocks were really thirsty, you would bring them together, drink deep and throw a party!

Those about you are watching you dig. They hope for your success because they would love a big draught of water. In fact, they would take a water break and throw a party!

      JACOB GETS THE LID OFF

Jacob fled for his life. His brother literally wanted to kill him! He came to the distant land of Padan Aram where shepherd girls were waiting to water their congregation. These shepherdesses were delayed because those strong enough to remove the stone protecting the well had not arrived. When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, he manhandled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep.

Several people were needed to move the stone, but Jacob single-handedly removed it. Jacob was tough, the kind of guy who wrestles angels. By the way, he later married Rachel who was probably swooning, “My, he is so strong and handsome!”

      GETTING THE CAP OFF

Many believers have perfectly fine wells with lots of water, but their wells are capped. They cannot access the water because heavy weights block the opening. Those caps may seem so immense; it appears a herculean task to remove them. We can help one another get the caps off!

If you or your friend feels a restriction in experiencing the Father’s love and power, see if one of these caps need to be removed.

  • Unbelief—God is not interested in me
  • Fear—I dread the future
  • Pride—I must look important
  • Presumption—I can do it my way
  • Hard heartedness—Being vulnerable with God is for the weak
  • Grief—Nothing can remove this pain
  • Unforgiveness—I would rather have them punished than personally know God’s peace

Ask God for discernment. He may reveal blockages like apathy, self-sufficiency, false loves or distractions. He will show you how to remove the blockages and access the water. Remember, God’s plan to get the lids off may involve other brothers and sisters.

      PERSPECTIVE ON EASE AND HARD LABOR

We are grateful for times that accessing water is a breeze. This is the grace of God. There are other times where we need to dig, and the labors are difficult. This is also the grace of God! Look for the Lamb beside you in the well- shaft!

Out of a river, or out of a well, we access waters by faith. Whether it comes easy or with toil, we trust in God’s generous provision. There are times we must dig. May it prove our nobility!

      A GREAT BRIDGE!

In May of 1995 I had a dream that would get on my Top Ten. I suddenly found myself standing on a gangway one hundred feet over a large suspension bridge. The bridge was six lanes wide. No cars were on the bridge, but a group of about 8 people were in the middle, standing in a circle of prayer.

Interestingly, the bridge ran right down the middle of an immense river! As I looked, a wave lapped over the deck of the bridge, covering the people praying below. I was alarmed, thinking they were washed off the bridge, but they were all there after the water rolled away. I ran down stairs to check on the people, and when I got to the bottom I came to a large room where dozens of people were praying.

I believe the last-days Church will not bridge from one spiritual awakening to another. As we become the house of prayer, we will endlessly experience the river of life.

      SCANNING THE WATERFRONT

Our Inheritance in Messiah is a stretch of Riverfront Property! It is a delightful place of connection— connection with the Lamb and with His people!

I would love to go fishing with you at the Dead Sea. It may be renamed The Lively Sea. Are you anxious to sample the fruit there? The most delicious thing will be to walk with the Lamb!

Today is yesterday’s future. Since you live in the future, make the most of it. Make following the Lamb your daily habit. As you trust Him more you will experience more of the inner river.

May you draw from the river with ease! If you must dig wells, be of good cheer. Dirt under your nails means water for your tribe. You do a noble work!

Many have yet to learn that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Not only are non-believers in fatal dehydration, but millions who acknowledge Messiah live with a dribble when they might have a river!

Your neighbors and those at the edges of the world thirst for what you have. They desire an authentic demonstration of love, power, truth and righteousness. They are waiting for you, God’s delivery system!

May water flow from your buckets. May your seed have abundant water!

Steven C Johnson

LandingStripEnterprise.Com

I Hope you have received a delicious drink! As you find your thirst quenched please recall those you know who would also love a drink. Pass the cup!

Purchase Riverfront Property in AUDIO or EBOOK HERE!

Want it in PAPER? Go Here!

riverfront-ebook

Hold the book and your fingers get wet. Open the pages and water pours! Riverfront Property is a Biblically drenching, spiritually refreshing thirst-quencher. Soak in inspiration for dreams and visions, spiritual gifts, and the fruit of righteousness. Make connections at the riverfront!”

DISCOVER:

The Physical River which Springs from the City of Jerusalem
The Transformational Inner River
How to be a Conduit of the Holy Spirit’s Graces

 

GREAT REVIEWS!

“Steve Johnson is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met.  From the first time I met him I was drawn to the River of God so evident in him.  I am not surprised that his book is remarkable as well.  Steve writes from his own personal experience with the River Master and from the overflow of God presence flowing through him.  After reading the book and experiencing the seminar I am even more hungry for the ever-increasing flow of God’s presence in my life and in the city where I pastor.”  –  Chuck Farina. Pastor of New Hope Church, Abilene, Texas

“It’s the best thing I can remember seeing of its kind, which is a combination of thematic Bible study and Christian energy drink. Steve’s explanation of what the Bible says about rivers, water, and spiritual life is as good as it gets.”  –  Dr. Jeff Treder

“Riverfront Property makes me thirsty. The love of God and the river of life flow in these pages. Get a fresh drink here! Now I want to run through a rain shower, stand under a waterfall, and soak in the ocean. Come Holy Spirit, pour out on us!”   – Harold R. Eberle, President of Worldcast Ministry

“I just finished this book–it truly is refreshing with great revelation. I also enjoyed hearing about Steve’s experiences that back up what he is saying–this was refreshing in of itself and made me thirsty for more of the River of God and the Holy Spirit!” — Peter Spencer, The Elijah List

Purchase Riverfront Property in AUDIO or EBOOK HERE!

Want it in PAPER? Go HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FOR ATHEISTS

Many believers are seeking religious exemptions from taking the mRNA injection as their jobs are threatened. For fun I start with some different classes of religious exemptions.

A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FOR ATHEISTS

I am an atheist. The only one I worship is myself, and I do so devotedly. I make my own decisions without giving a damn for others. This is a free country. I own my body and will not be bossed around. My body, my choice. I’ll take a jab if I want to, and I’ll refuse it if I don’t want to. And the government has no right to know what I have decided. I’ll take the shingles vaccine if I want to, and won’t if I don’t want to. It’s that damn simple. I am a person of conviction and you have no right to be insensitive to my beliefs!

A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FOR JIHADISTS

Death to infidels! Allah is great and America will die by plague, famine and our swords. The mujahedeen will not submit to the injections of infidels. No, they shall be injected with our bullets! A thousand curses as the wrath of Allah brings calamity by disease, earthquake and fire on the corrupt. No medicines will save them from our wrath!

A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FOR AGNOSTICS

I don’t know for sure… Maybe there is no God and all of life doesn’t matter. Maybe life and death have no meaning. Maybe it doesn’t matter if we take a covid shot or not. Since I don’t know for sure, and don’t like injections, I think I better just save some time and discomfort and stay home and watch TV. You guys let me out of jury duty. The least you can do is let out of this.

A FOUNDATIONAL FLAW TO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS

How is it possible for an anti-God politician to make judgments on the validity of the faith decisions of those who reverence God and seek to please Him?

Someone at the top of the political food chain by whim or fancy decides the validity of a person’s religious faith. While denying God they place themselves in the god-like role of being the judge of religious authenticity.

Are we by submitting a religious exemption conceding our position of strength, and permitting non-religious “public servants” to have authority over our religious affairs. In essence we may be handing over ultimate religious as well as political authority to those who oppose our faith. Those elected to serve become those who negate the validity of our faith.

WA State Governor has said no religious exemptions will be accepted for State Troopers? Hundreds are facing termination. If Gov. Inslee can disallow the religion of believing Troopers he can disallow exemptions for dog groomers and computer techs. If he is not challenged how far will he go?

There was a document that came out a few years ago called The Constitution of the United States of America. In the very first amendment to that document we find these words:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There are many lawsuits going on around the country against employers and governments who are attempting to coerce employees to take an experimental treatment. Many companies are in danger of being slammed! Many are backing down!

I am not a lawyer, but my thought is this. If your job is threatened do not resign. Instead have a legal notice sent to your employer or government supervisors that you intend to sue them if fired. Many, many class action suits are in motion! This will be another tool to remove corrupt government officials. It is a rare day when I would advocate for pursuing a lawsuit but this is the type of leverage many will respond to.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories especially if you or someone you know is being threatened.

IF YOU STILL FEEL A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION IS THE WAY TO GO

I would use the whole situation to magnify my witness for Jesus! I would hammer the powers that be with my confidence in Christ. I would talk up Jesus a lot! Take advantage of a setting where interviewers are forced to hear your testimony! Get aggressive. There is no need to present your rational reasons for refusing the injection. This would simply send you down rabbit holes of debate. If you take the exemption appeal route be a fragrance for Christ, either of life or death. Your letter could be very different than what I drafted below.

MY RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FROM THE EXPERIMENTAL COVID INJECTION

I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love Him with all my heart, mind soul and strength. He died to save me and give me eternal life. He is my Companion in this life and the life to come. I serve and obey Him for what He has done for me. I owe Him everything. I belong to Him and He belongs to me. I seek daily to follow Him because of my love and reverence for Him.

He has taught me that my body is His temple. He lives within this body. Because of this I only want healthy things in my body so this temple is not defiled. I must be very scrupulous about what I put into my body to respect Him.

I am not debating, at this time, the benefits or dangers of what is called the Covid 19 immunization. Having studied carefully the potential liabilities of this injection I cannot risk defiling my body, Christ’s temple, with what has the potential to corrupt it. I wish to be a thoroughly clean vessel for the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

I understand I am presenting a religious exemption, not a medical one. Many will never understand my religious reasonings because they have never encountered Jesus Christ in His power. But I have!

Most Sincerely,…

 

AFGHANISTAN: FUMING ANGER, DEEP GRIEF, HUMILIATING EMBARRASSMENT AND ENDURING HOPE!

How are you doing with it? What are you praying and hearing?

 

IMPEACHMENT OR COURTMARSHAL?

Either Mr. Biden is a bumbling idiot with dementia, or a demented calculating mad man. I have no other categories to explain him.

I pray for him that he may escape the fires of hell but come to judgment in this world. I continue to pray for him and his cohorts as I would Jezebel, Athaliah, Absalom or Amnon.  

 

CRT

Einstein developed the theory of relativity. Who Theorized CRT?

How does CRT work in Algeria, Nicaragua and Romania?

If whites are naturally racists what are Asians?

Are there people in the world who are systemically infected with love and generosity?

 

JOINING JESUS’ GANG OF RUFFIANS

Jesus is the ringleader of a bunch of ruffians who are keying Satan’s car, slashing his tires, bashing his windows and knocking off his side mirrors.

Jesus and his disciples certainly like destroying things – that is things that need to be destroyed of course. What do you expect when He says, “The Son of Man came to destroy the works of the evil one!”

WISDOM FOR DEMOLITION

Prov 21:12 The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin.

Prov 21:22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

 

Steven C Johnson

LandingStripEnterprises.Com