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...
Several years ago the Lord gave me the word, “Spiritual Shopping Spree.”
Perhaps there is someone in the universe who looks down on shopping sprees. “Sure they sound nice but shopping sprees can be exhausting. You’re given a few thousand dollars to freely spend but you still have to push the cart up and down the isles, make decisions about what to get, then push that heavy cart out to your car.”
I’ve found similar attitudes when it comes to prayer. “Sure Jesus says, ‘I will do whatever you ask in my name’(John 14:13). But you still have to push the shopping cart, make the decisions about what you want and load up, and haul it home. And besides, what if you load up your cart just to find God won’t let you out of the store with it. It’s better not to pray, that way you will never be disappointed.”
Religious Lawyers come out as we pray to make sure we don’t ask the gracious Father too much, or expect too much from Him. They don’t want us to be disappointed when prayers are not answered.
They warn us that there are many qualifiers to Jesus’ generous offers. They go through lots of tiny print which no one else can find in the scriptures. They assure us that God answers prayer occasionally, and they have personally heard of it happening, but just don’t expect too much. They protect God from requests which are too big, and protect us from disappointment.
God has been slandered and portrayed as a miserly father, either unable or unwilling to keep His promises. “He plays bate and switch with us. Since he can always find fault in us He doesn’t need to keep His promises.”
O, that His name would once again be hollowed as the generous father, so faith will again find His promises realized! The Father of Lights is the generous giver of gifts. Awakening to Fresh Faith!
I was at a flea market and came by a booth that was selling puppies. They were cute little things in variegated colors and shapes. Some were actively sparring and wrestling. Some were sleeping, even while being stepped on by their siblings.
The lady at the booth had cupped one in her hand and was kissing its tiny head. I said, “God’s creatures, great and small.” She said, “Yes, they’re my babies and I love them.”
I walked away with this impression. What if God is taking the same tender delight in us, his tiny creatures? What if God has a case of puppy love toward us and he simply desires to cuddle us and kiss our little noggins?
What if God actually found us dear and darling rather than seeing us as a pile of stale, dirty, unwashed laundry? What if God could look past our poop and see us as cute?
We know from scripture that God is very serious about sin. But He is even more serious about caring for the creatures he has conceived. The puppies were going for $200 each. But our loving Savior Jesus really splurged, and paid quite a lot more for us. He did it because he found us precious. Perhaps he was overcome with puppy love.
This morning I found and listened to a song by Ron Kenoly; “I will Dance.” I played it – swinging, swaying and stretching to the joyful music! It took me back 25 years when Anna and Claire were little. I took one in either arm and swung and spun with them getting us dizzy in the living room. What delightful moments!
I’m thinking many of us are lacking vitamin “D,” for Dance. Kenoly introduces the song by saying laughter and singing are signs of joy. And a third expression of joy is dancing! If we each took a lab test to discover our joy levels what would we find? Malnutrition or abundance? Perhaps medicinal doses of laughter, singing, AND DANCING are just what the Doctor orders.
It’s important to have good theology. But if we are missing joy perhaps our theology is defective at the most elementary level. With all the exhortations in Scripture to rejoice in the LORD perhaps one of our greatest doctrinal errors is joylessness. Some dour souls warn too much joy may reach toxic levels. If joy can reach dangerous levels I suggest we stay just under the redline!
May Dance be added to your day along with Gui-Dance and Abun-Dance and Ascen-Dance!
I was talking to a friend today who said they were dreaming, a lot!
I asked, “Do you record your dreams?”
She answered, “No, because they’re just about things I’ve been doing with my baby.”
I believe we should be mindful of all our dreams, even pizza dreams!
Funny how we discount dreams because they are outlandish, weird and bazaar.
We also discount dreams which are ordinary and “every-day.”
What if I decided to ignore dreams where people were speaking English, because that is my every-day language? What if I decided to ignore dreams with people I know, because they have an every-day place in my life?
Certainly, dreams can come from too much pizza. In fact, this reality is found in the bible.
“…a dream comes when there are many cares….” Ecc. 5:3
Things which occupy our thoughts during the day, often do the same at night.
This is the gift of God.
Be aware, for the night may show the every-day in a new “light.”
I’ve had dreams at night where I was exhausted, and our dog Tucker was part of the action. It was a reflection of the day. I was working hard,stressed too much, and it was showing up in dreams. Tucker was there as an emblem. I was “tuckered” out!
I’ve had undeniable “God” dreams. I’ve also had wrestlings with real demonic powers in the night.
But many of my dreams are from the Pizza genre. Still, if I take time to write them down, I get lessons, like:
Don’t eat a lot of pizza before going to bed.
Don’t overstress about things. Get your rest!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Every night before I go to sleep I set my pen and paper at the head of the bed. I pray, “Lord, in the night with dreams, and in the day with visions!” The Lord has answered that prayer thousands of times, often with pizza dreams.
The lights flashed, the big polls would fold down and the bells would ding! A train was coming! We would jump up and down on the back seat (before seatbelts) shouting, “A train, a train, a train!” Count the cars. Look at the shapes, and letters on the side. What’s inside those cars? Where is it going? We were full of awe and wonder! What happened to that magical delight?
Adulthood sucks out of us the capacity for astonishment. The downgrade attitudes of “Been there, done that, seen that,” demonically pillage us of the capacity for amazement. The evil spirits whisper, “The train is boring.” Demons may even shout, “This train is an offense to the god of hurry!”
“The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy” the entrancement we find in steam coming off the soup, water ripples in the bathtub and curtains wrinkling in the breeze.
Wonder is the springboard into worship. We live in stark poverty without it. Who will save us and restore the wonder? The answer comes from Isaiah 11:6: “… a little child will lead them.”
Only a child can rescue us! Jesus, of course, was never plundered of His wonderment. Even as an adult He was able to be fascinated by the birds and flowering grass. He warned adults we would be hopelessly lost without child-likeness.
The prescription is to find a child to teach us the amazing world of flashlights in dark bedrooms, the enchanting fragrances of spices in the cupboard and the way a spider weaves a web. These are things every adult should learn! With remedial help from qualified children we can recover wonderment.
Every good father knows how to play Hide and Seek with his child. He hides in such a way that his child will be challenged to find him, but not so the child will be exasperated.
We train our children to love the prize of discovery. We also coach them to add endurance to their inquisitiveness.
This is why Jesus coaxed his disciples to develop their searching capacities, by saying, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7)
Seekers will be finders! Take courage. Those secrets are findable. Those mysteries are discoverable. Persist in asking, seeking and knocking and the perplexities will be found out!
In fact, every hidden thing will someday be discovered, or uncovered!
All the devious things will be unearthed. Ultimately there is no “perfect” crime because all Heaven is watching us. Our Creator even monitors our thoughts and motives!
There may be “unsolved” murders presently, but not for long. God has it all on video. Not only so, the victims of murders will someday rise up and point out their murderers!!!
See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling
to punish the people of the earth for their sins.
The earth will disclose the blood shed on it;
the earth will conceal its slain no longer. (Isaiah 26:21)
Can you imagine the day of resurrection, where out of a secret, hidden grave a victim arises and reveals their murderer?
Not only are bad things revealable. So is the good.
Jesus said our secret acts of worship, would not forever be secret. In fact, He said that the virtuous things we do in secret will be openly rewarded! The secret prayers, fasting, giving, kind words and clandestine acts of good will are all to be manifest, and rewarded!
“FOR NOTHING IS HIDDEN, EXCET TO BE REVEALED, NOR HAS ANYTHING BEEN SECRET, BUT THAT IS SHOULD COME TO LIGHT.” (Mark 4:22)
And, not only are works of darkness, and light, about to become patently obvious, every other secret in the universe is about to collapse!
The cures for every disease,
The riddle of the gnome,
The mechanics of the atom,
Unseen realms of heaven,
Enigmas, mysteries, hide-outs don’t have a chance
So don’t give up the game. Seekers will be finders. Set yourself a great hidden thing to search out, and don’t give up till you find it!
An old, slender gentleman with a bent knee and a cane had slowly been working around the stations of the gym and now stood beside me. He wore the cap of a marine.
“Sir, I see you had a marine cap. Have you served our country?”
“I was a Marine from 1942 to 44.”
“Sir, that would put you in your 90’s.”
I suddenly found myself on holy ground, there beside the latt machine.
“I’m 95. I was at Okinawa.”
“There must have been half a million men fighting there.”
“I also fought at Guadalcanal and was part of the occupation in Japan.”
I was overcome with a sense of homage and reverence.
“Thank you, for your service, Sir.” There were 16 million men in boots during that war. Now less than a million remain.”
“Is that right – less than a million?”
“Yes Sir.” I have a high regard for that generation, the generation of my father and uncles.”
He told me how he had gained a purple heart and other metals, with no trace of boasting, but matter-of-fact innocence. His knee had been broken in a bayonet battle when a man fell across it. He had two surgeries in a battlefield tent. He had lived, but seen men he knew have their heads blown off.
Here was a treasury of story, with so few still living to tell it, and I had stumbled on it! I felt unworthy as the smoke of holiness filled this uncommon chapel. This man had truly seen, “active duty.” 200,000 died at the battle of Okinawa. It was the bloodiest we saw during the war. 26,000 died at Guadalcanal. And Clovis walked, or at least hobbled, away alive.
Most of the WWII generation has gone to their reward. There are just a few stragglers, a remnant, left on this half of eternity. Just a handful who can report first-hand the monumental battle against global tyranny. Sixty million casualties world-wide were part of that conflagration. So much of our security and prosperity comes from that story!
I told the Being standing before me – perhaps an angelic apparition, “The generations that follow you appreciate what you have done for us.” As I said it I hoped that it was true. But I know how history and its significance fades into the oblivion of cultural forgetfulness. In fact, I had almost forgotten, at least in part to be thankful for my father’s generation.
Lord help us remember and appreciate the gift given us, the legacy of a fading, great generation.
Steven C Johnson
A post script: Listen to John William’s “Hymn to the Fallen.” Moving!
Five years short of 400 years ago the English Pilgrims left their temporary refuge of Leyden, Holland.
Nathaniel Morton chronicles their departure
“So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.
When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.
The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other’s heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears.
But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.”
There were many setbacks, and a long dangerous voyage, but they reached their promised land, with thankfulness to God.
Three months after their arrival half of the 102 pilgrims were dead of malnutrition and sickness.
Here the amazing thing:
Rather than having a shake-your-fist at God protest rally they had a day of thanksgiving.
Rather than seeking professional therapists to help them through grief and trauma, they had a day of thanksgiving.
They proclaimed a day of thanksgiving!
We live in a historical amnesia that cannot comprehend the depth of Christian faith, the resolve and commitment of those daring souls.
Our nation is broad but shallow, when those lives were narrow and deep.
Gary Bergel says, “There is perhaps no sin of great consequence in America than that of thanklessness and ingratitude toward God and His goodness.”
Let us take a lesson from men and woman who 400 years ago took their lives in their hands to risk a great venture – with determined faith in God, and an ethic of discipline incomprehensible to a society bent on instant gratification.
Let us, like them, give thanks, regardless of the hardships.
This morning [Friday, June 26, 2015] our Supreme Court made an equivalency statement declaring there is no distinction between the marriage of a man and woman, and that of a man and man.
I feel shame and disgrace, fear for our nation, as well as indignation and resolve. This is not an issue of homosexuality, it is about the undermining of our constitutional integrity. Don’t get sidetracked by talking about homosexuality.
In a sweep the Supreme Court has overturned the timeless consensus that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life. The marriage referendums of our states have been overturned in a stroke. The decisions of the people are negated. I am angry with the systemic virus drawing us from God, pillaging our nation, and making dark, light – and up, down.
What will be the progressive outcomes? I wrote the following prior to the first election of Mr. Obama. The reality of my prediction is manifesting.
“A few weeks from now what I am about to say may be a hate crime so I feel I need to get it off my chest; ‘I get queasy and sick to my stomach on roller coasters’. There, I said it!
Senator Barack Obama said, ‘I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepherd Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Act.’
A few weeks from now if I say that I get sick to my stomach and nauseated when my homosexual friends talk about their practices I may be prosecuted for hate speech. If my church refuses to hire a staff person because they are homosexual they will be prosecuted.
I wanted to say this now before a lawsuit impoverishes us or my family misses me because I was doing time.”
Decisions have consequence. If you haven’t already asked the “If…then” statements about this Supreme Court decision, now will be the time to anticipate the next steps of corruption to our constitution and nation.
I talked with three men at the gym over the Court’s decision. All of them made glib statements of acquiescence: “It was inevitable.” “I figured that would happen. “What a shame that this is happening to our nation.”
Rise up, O men of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength To serve the King of kings.
It is high time to become contenders, not weak benders! We must appeal to a Higher Court and take activism to a new level! For the sake of our constitution and nation and the God we once reverenced.
May our nation not acquiesce one more time! May this be the turning point of defiance -by refusing to comply in our States and Cities. It is time for civil disobedience! Let us take them to court, the Highest Court!
“Don’t tread on me!”
Steven C Johnson
SEE STEVE’S NEW BOOK, “Riverfront Property: Connecting at the River of Life” here! http://riverfrontpropertybook.com