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...

“GREATLY ANNOYED” AND “PITIFUL PRAYERS”

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GREATLY ANNOYED

 

Paul and Silas in Philippi Drive the Devil Out of A Woman Possessed by a Spirit of Divination,             Pieter de With (c. 1650)

Wanda Alger in a message on false prophets said, “It’s time to be annoyed.” It is worth listening to! See it at WandaAlger.me  She writes about Paul’s irritation with the slave girl who had a spirit of divination in Acts 16:18.

It’s time to be GREATLY ANNOYED.  There are plenty of annoying issues today. I will not give them time or attention here, AND I ask each of those who receive this email to arise and take your stand.
The body of Christ is attempting to rise but we are distracted and often too busy to penetrate the darkness.
Paul too was doing the work of the gospel as he knew he must and this demonized girl was following him calling out, ” These men are servants of the Most High God.” Now consider what that might look like if she was following you? What would your reaction be?

Last evening at a prayer meeting someone got stuck on the issues (probably watched the news before coming) it was instantly heavy, dark and hopeless UNTIL someone called him out. Declaring Christ has a better answer and we must be believers and do what He said.

I confess I was upset (annoyed) and wondered about the lack of true spiritual awareness. We must stop letting the darkness take over.
Another person came prepared to worship and pray with purpose, and specifically. Nobody took up her lead.   We can not let that happen. Even if it is a leader, an elder, a big wig etc. Jesus Christ was unintimidated by the powers of this world. May we so represent Christ that we are unafraid.
Jesus certainly has said to stand our ground, be unafraid and speak what He gives us. Now please do what He says, Be who He tells you to be and let the chips fall where they may!
50 years ago this month I graduated from High School. ( I know I don’t look a day over 45!)  I was remembering a few things that annoyed me way back then.
Three boys in our high school were really kicking up the dirt around school and town. They were loud and rebellious and disliked that I was a “Jesus Freak”. They had a few slang handles that were grating to hear and their disrespect for any authority was obvious every day at school. For many years I prayed for their souls. God gave me many opportunities to share the gospel through those High School years, some were truly miraculous and God breathed. Just a few years later all 3 of those boys were saved and followed Jesus Christ.
Did I enjoy the shaming, being the brunt of their jokes, etc? No, I did not! And after I left that community I received calls from several classmates regarding their conversion. You see they all knew who was the Light in that school. I’m glad to say He uses imperfect people and His Love is stronger than the grave, His power working in even the little ones.

They were annoyed that I was upending their dark behavior with the love of God and the gospel of salvation. There was no question which annoying person had the greatest effect!

Get Annoyed.
Love, Pam

 

 

“STOP PRAYING PITIFUL PRAYERS!

Joshua Commanding the Sun and the Moon to Stand Still, by Raphael

 

In 1980 I had a class in Clinical Pastoral Care. That’s where I discovered Pitiful Prayer. The class met at a local hospital. After class time we did rounds seeing patients and played at being chaplains.

In retrospect I’m not sure my professor and most classmates were believers. The psychological thoughts of the day guided the process more than Biblical truth. Some of the things we learned were genuinely useful. Other things subtly diluted the power of Christ’s message. It was there I learned how to pray pitiful prayers. They go like this:

“Lord, be with Sarah during this difficult time.”

“Grant you comfort as Angie goes through this treatment.”

“May your grace be with Peter as he faces this surgery.”

 

The unspoken attitude was, “God, if you are around and listening…we know Your not around much… We know you don’t typically answer prayers… but if you’re there and listening give this person just “a touch” of moral support, perhaps some useful psychological insight to make this situation the tiniest bit more bearable.”

Prayers for “healing” were euphemistically given, hoping in the doctor’s skills rather than a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God.

Prayers were to give a sense that the chaplain cared about them, and some artful words of incantation might give a dash of comfort. Pitiful prayers know nothing about healing, overcoming, prevailing, hope, future and transcendent good!

Have you learned to pray pitiful prayers? They are very useful.

Pitiful prayers make people think you are spiritual and sincere.

They fill in time if you are bored and you can’t think of anything to do.

Pitiful prayers may make some feel that another person cares about them.

There is a fractional possibility the person may receive hope that God might be hiding behind the farthest star, and a wisp of his distant presence might be felt.

 

When you’ve seen the dead rise you can never be satisfied with pitiful prayers!

I’ve come to be annoyed with pitiful prayer. I repent of the many I have prayed. I know stretches before our great God will result in great answers, even great signs and wonders!

Moses stretched out his rod over the Red Sea and it parted.

Elijah called down fire on his enemies.

Joshua commanded the sun and moon to hang tight until he had destroyed his enemies. It is said, “There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.“ Joshua 10:14.

Of course, those guys were part of a lesser covenant so more is possible for us. Solomon requested that God answer prayers prayed toward the temple.

When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.1 Kings 8:35-36

Because of the projections of food shortages and famines I’m praying that God will forgive our national sins and change the weather patterns. There are areas where there is too much water. Other areas are in drought. See the US DROUBT MONITOR

We were passing through Yakima, Washington and stopped at a fruit stand. Disappointment. The cherries were 18 days late because of rain and cold. They expected a 40% harvest. They were concerned for the Walla Walla onions because the moisture and cold could make the harvest rot in the ground. Other farmers in our country have opposite problems. I’m not going to let that stand. By the grace of God, I’m going to help the farmers, and our nation, by shipping moisture where it is needed, and leveling out the temperatures.

Over the years I’ve seen striking answers to prayer for weather. I’m seeing answers today.  I’ve been looking at 10 day and one day forecasts and praying the movement of moisture and temperatures. I have prayed up our temperatures and prayed for moisture to move on where it is needed.

Over the past week I’ve see predictions of weather for our area “go wrong” as five days of rain predictions have become three. I’ve seen actual temperatures come in warmer than project. When they decrease I pray with greater determination for stabilization because I am concerned for the food welfare of our neighbors and those in other nations, and I know God is forgiving and mighty to save!

Our eternal, powerful, wise Creator and Savior is not a pitiful God, so we will not pray pitiful prayers! I’m serious about praying for our nation’s weather. I may pray many times per day on this project. Perhaps you’d like to join me. There are many other issues of concern in our nation and around the world. Pray big!

Pray Big or Go Home!

We’d like to know what King-Sized prayer projects you are tackling. Let us know.

Steven C Johnson

Landing Strip Enterprises

MASS SHOOTINGS: BEATING AT THE LEAVES

 

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“We don’t mind shootings one by one but mass shootings irritate us because we must act either full of grief or indignation. We must pretend we care. The irritating thing is that we must put on the performance every time a mass shooting happens, and they seem to happen more and more frequently. It’s exhausting to pretend at those levels.”  (Undisclosed quote)

I’ve noticed that reporters have virtually stopped using the expression, “random acts of violence.” The notion never made sense. There is nothing random.  I groan or laugh when a shooting happens and reporters say, “Investigators are looking for the motives for the shooting.” This is not to say there are never motives. Of course, there are. But motives and contexts for acts of virtue, or vice, are typically deeper than we can probe. “The thoughts of a man are deep waters.

Delicious, healthy fruit and noxious, poisonous fruit both come from seeds planted in soil, watered and under the influence of sunlight.

Things booth good or bad spring from:

Soil – the nutritional context of the culture

Seed – a truth or falsehood

Water – our desire for outcomes

Sun – the attention or highlights we give our plants

Here is an example:

Into the soil of permissiveness, inattention and self-absorption seeds of resentment, self-pity, and self-justification are planted. The seeds are watered by unresolved pain or lust, and get expose to the radiation of false media, gossip, and slander.

No one is surprised when a seed grows. Paul was a master gardener. He knew about selecting the best seeds. “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life”  Galatians 6:8.

We prefer trimming weeds over pulling. Our approach to getting rid of wickedness should be the same as the Lords. Go for the root. John the baptizer told the crowds, “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire”  Matt 3:10.

I get exhausted with conversations recommending limiting gun rights as a solution for crime. It is beating at the branches. I admit I run out of patience with folly.  The scripture says, “There is a way which seems right to a man which ends in death.”

There are financial “solutions” which cause economies to die.

There are ecological “solutions” which cause environments to die.

There are cultural “solutions” which cause societies to die.”

 

True solutions go for the root. This is a much harder than beating at branches.

Every honest soul knows that hands are not responsible for strangulations, matches are not responsible for arsons, knives are not responsible for stabbings and guns are not responsible for shootings. We must accept responsibility and take ownership!

 

A sign read, “84,999,987 gun owners did not shoot anyone yesterday.”

A few dozen did.

What is the difference between the two groups?

 

There were two strong men.

One strangled a woman to death.

The other helped a woman rototill her garden.

Both men had power for action.

What is the difference between the men?

 

STOPPING VIOLENCE IS HARD WORK

The hard work is getting to our children’s hearts and shaping their character from the inside out. I know some would like to substitute this hard work with measures like outlawing scissors, gasoline and rope. Easy fixes sound appealing, but like overnight miracle health plans to get trim and fit, they don’t work. Our efforts from earliest childhood must be to shape hearts. Did I saw this was easy?

Legislators merely putting print on pages does not work. Chicago proved this with the strictest gun laws.  When parents take ownership of raising godly children, and society supports their efforts, we have largely stopped the problem of violence.

I know some immediately say, “It’s too late. We missed our opportunities to shape children.” But is that a copout? Parents should always encourage their adult children to be people of integrity and upright character, caring for the welfare of others. We need to restore the notion that people are precious and valuable because they are made in the image of God!

 

RESTORING RESPECT FOR PEOPLE

I remember days in my youth when the waitress gave more respect to the customer, and the customer gave more honor to the waitress. Where did we slip in our values for people? When we consider people are made in the image of God we are inclined to be interested in them and honor them as special.

It is said, “Diminish life in one of its aspects and you diminish life in general.” If we dishonor or diminish the elderly the value of people in their teens is also diminished. If we devalue the tiny child in the womb we devalue the life in thirty-year-olds.

Restoring respect for people is a real solution! Did I say restoring value for people would be easy? It may be hard labor requiring decades to accomplish. I’m not aware of shortcuts. But I am aware of the truths which will have to sustain such reconstruction.

 

RESTORING REVERENCE FOR GOD

The fear of the Lord, the respect and worship of our creator, is what makes respecting and honoring our fellow creatures make sense. Many would like to say morality can be sustained without religion. Our American founders saw this is as nonsense.

President Washington in his farewell speech said,

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens…

And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Reverence for God is the foundation on which morality is built. Belief in the goodness of God and in our accountability to Him sustains good moral principles. There is no other foundation. Remove godly religion and morality will coast to a stop. Morality will fade over a generation or two when we exclude God from our schools and purge him from government and social discourse.

Restoring reverence for God is key to ending violence. Did I say it is easy? It would be “easier” to ban guns than to cultivate reverence for God. Of course, banning guns has backfired dreadfully in every nation before us! Restoring reverence for God is a hard work which may take decades, although I hope by the power of the Holy Spirit it may be Hastened!

 

UPGRADE PARENTING

Dog owners are responsible for the brutality of their animals. A violent dog is typically destroyed, the owner is responsible for injuries and must suffer consequences.

The Bible clearly says, “A father is not to be put to death for the sin of their children” Deut 24:16. But parents do have a weighty responsibility for raising their children. We know parents can’t be coerced to be good parents, and many parents don’t have the knowledge or skill they need. Most parents want to do their best. It’s hard work for them and hard work for those who would help them. We can do hard things!

There are food shortages but a more grievous deficit is the father shortage. Fatherless children are missing essential social vitamins. The vast majority of mass shooters are in this group. Fatherless children pact our penal institutions. The young man who abducted our daughter was in this category.

Did I say forging good fathers and mothers is easy? It may take years of hammer and anvil to raise a generator of good parents. Parenting is work we must own to have a healthy society. We honor America’s founding fathers. We are looking for leaders who have father-hearts.

 

RESTORE EDUCATION

The goal of public, private and home-school education should first be the formation of godly character, built, as president Washington said, on “religious principle.” Then we can learn the three “R’s.” Pretend this section is written three miles long! Most of you could do the writing.

Society’s values and manors don’t turn on a dime. Unlike a little speedboat huge steam ships, like societies, take time to turn.

 

MEASURES TO TAKE WHEN SOCIETY HAS FAILED TO SHAPE ITS CITIZENS

Now, because the above hard work has not been done we must make efforts to frustrate the mischief of undisciplined, rogue citizens. We have failed to do the hard work, now we must face the consequences. Last-ditch efforts must be employed.

We must convert schools and school grounds into hardened bunkers with locked and supervised doors.

Students must be frisked and their bags searched when they come to school

Children’s mandatory coursework must include self-defense training.

Armed guards must be employed.

School staff need to be armed.

Local police services need constant tactical training and communication systems need to be enlarged between class rooms, administrative offices, security, staff and parents.

Perhaps body bags should be stored in schools in case there is a breach.

Prosecutors must do their jobs. Some prosecutors have deliberately failed to prosecute. The luxury of this permissiveness cannot be sustained. Isaiah 26:9-10 tells us,

When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
But when grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness

Our nation has gone so far in permissive policies toward criminals I fear it will swing to the other extreme. If the government cannot hold the center the public will insist on harsher penalties which may become gruesome.

When the government fails to discipline its rogue citizens others apart from our judicial system will take it upon themselves to do so. Our judges and government leaders must hold the center!

 

WE HAVE FAILED TO DO THE HARD WORK

We have failed to do the hard work of planting godly character in the hearts of our children. The weeds have taken over. A state of crisis forces us to trim weeds and beat at branches! The consequences of our neglect have caught up with us. We must take emergency measures.

When a rampaging, mentally ill murderer is at the door it is too late for childhood character lessons. It is time for last ditch efforts. If the dog was never trained and turns violent it must be put down when it attacks. How tragic that mass shooters, most so young, must be killed to stop them, when they might have been stopped as four-year-olds.

Makers of guns do not glorify violence. Creators of violent songs, games and movies do. How dare we suggest prosecuting gun makers before we prosecute these polluters of society! How wickedly tragic when young people practice the evils they have ingested! We have laws about spilling deadly chemicals or sewage. These polluters should be prosecuted!

 

Use deadly force to stop drug dealers. All of the perpetrators of mass shootings for the past 20 years “were either actively taking powerful psychotropic drugs or had been at some point in the immediate past before they committed their crimes.” Stopping the drug dealer would have stopped the carnage.

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Several years after our daughter was abducted I met one of his classmates. This man said, “We mercilessly teased him [the abductor].” As this man spoke I thought to myself, “I am talking to an accomplice to the crime.” Don’t you think the people who are responsible for violence should be held accountable?

OK, let’s get personal. Are we able to own our responsibility?

Were you praying for your community the day that crime happened?

Did you confront that unruly child for their folly seven years before the crime?

Were you cultivating positive relationships and activities with that neighbor child?

Were you tolerant of abortion reducing the value of life?

Did you think the drug problem was not your problem?

Did you insensitively tease?

Were you inattentive, lost in your screen?

Are you and I not accountable as accomplices to crimes of violence?

There is very practical repentance we can do. It boils down to the chief commands our Lord Jesus gave us. Love! We can pray for that couple who is on the verge of breaking up and leaving wounded, aimless, fatherless children! We can befriend and mentor lonely children. There are many inconvenient things we can do.

We can again choose the hard work, the heart work, to turn our culture back to godly Christian character. It may take a few decades. Are you willing to pitch in?

Steven C Johnson

Landing Strip Enterprises

Front view of an aeroplane taking off

 

You might want to read My Winchester.

 

 

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WHAT DO WE NEED TO SEE IN THE UNSEEN WORLD?

“What do we need to see in the unseen world?” 

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This question was posed in my morning Men’s Group. What is your answer?

There are so many things we should know which we don’t! There is missing wisdom, solutions for problems, cures for diseases, and directions for success. We may not sure of what we are wanting, but there is an achey longing for things which seem to be missing. They are hidden from us, undiscovered as of yet. 

John the revelator saw visions which stretched his knowledge of the glory of God, his heart and plans. The things he saw met needs!

Although we may have profoundly staggering revelations of our Father’s goodness we realize our knowledge is scant and fragmentary. We still long to know more of the throbbing, phosphorescing glory of God. We also need solutions, presently unseen, for fixing the garage door and broken relationship.

A man in our Men’s Group shared a story of listeners who call themselves the Sky Walkers. These saints are given challenges for listening. They pray for revelation and solutions. A large building had a water leak which could not be found. The owners did not want to destroy the building searching for it. The group was asked to pray for the location of the leak. Using several thoughts and images from the group a single spot in the building was highlighted. They broke through the wall in that spot and found the leak. Unseen things are findable when we consult with God.

How willing is God to share revelation with His kids, and what are we missing because we fail to seek Him?

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,

but on what is unseen, 

since what is seen is temporary,

but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor 4:18 

How are invisible things to be seen?

 

 

We are unaware of Most of reality. Our limitations for seeing are restricted to the tiny parameters between infrared and ultraviolet. We see a narrow band of wavelengths from 380 to 720 nanometers. There are an infinite number of wavelengths on either side of those boundaries. What are we missing that bees and angels see?

 

Our human hearing takes in a thin slice of sound vibrations. We hear between 20Hz and 20000Hz. There are infinite things to be heard – below as infra-sounds and above as ultrasounds. What are we failing to hear that our dog and the cherubim hear clearly?

Our senses are wonderful gifts but we should be humble enough to say, “We see in part and prophesy in part.” God’s bandwidths are wider than ours, like the span between earth and the highest heaven! This knowledge inspires us to search for more.

The Lord gave us human equipment for sensing. There are things to be sensed and known beyond our sensation faculties. Our Father wills to reveal them! Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us God is willing to take us above and beyond! 

Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

God is willing, even eager, to share with His tiny children things yet unknown to sight, sound or imagination!

No eye has seen, 

no ear has heard, 

no heart has imagined, 

what God has prepared for those who love Him.

But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit.  2 Cor 9:10- 12

It is possible to see unseen things. Paul said this is what saints do!

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:18

How crazy-amazing that God wills us to peer into the unseen and discover things hidden there we need!

It is God’s will that we seek and find His face. Yes, we are meant to see and fellowship with the unseen God! He also wills for us to find in the unseen word everything we need for life and godliness.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

Why would the Apostle Paul urge us to earnestly seek spiritual gifts, especially prophecy, if there was not much more we need to see and hear?  See 1 Cor 14:1.

Who knows the extent of wonders our Heavenly Father would reveal to those who seek Him; things we need to know! James said, “We have not because we ask not.” What would you like to seek and receive from our generous God today?

Seriously, what is on your list? What do you need to see in the unseen world? We’ll join in prayer for you as you venture into the invisible for what you need!

 

SHARE THE WEIGHT OF THIS LONGING WITH ME

Dear Father,

I’m so grateful for all the things you have shown me, yet I long for more! Open my eyes to see the things I have never seen before. My eyes ache to see You, Your heart, Your purposes and plans. Show me what You are pleased to reveal. Show me what I need to see.

Dear Lord, my ears long to hear Your voice, they pull like a vaccum to hear what you are saying. This is the day of Your revelation, the day of Your disclosure. I long to hear Your sweet voice and vital words. They are my daily bread!

Lord, I know I cannot bear the full measure of Your voice and the weight of Your words but give me all I can possibly bear!

Unseal Your books for reading. Upgrade my vision and discernment. Turn up the lights.

I’m longings to see You and hear You in ways I have never before. Share with me all the wisdom and understanding I can bear and apply for good.

Help me train my spiritual senses. Show me how to cultivate them.

Share your rebukes and corrections. They show me you care for my safety and success.

Share the assurances that I am on the right path. Lead me in the ways of righteousness for I want Your name glorified.

Share your truths with me. I will take them like seeds and plant them for a harvest of righteousness.

Dear Lord, you see and understand all. You share all good things with me. I give you my reverential devotion, for Jesus Your Son lights my path!

Friend, add the particulars of the unseen things which you need from our Father. Tell us what new windows open and the revelation the Lord shares with you.

Steven C Johnson

Landing Strip Enterprises

Fighter jet preparing to take off

 

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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

 

Airplane

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