Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spiritual Narcolepsy

This Sunday we will be examining the reaffirmation of the Covenant (2 Kings 23).  

Many of us have battles of what I call "spiritual narcolepsy"... it's most common feature is the victim's inability to REST IN JESUS.  

We love rules...

We love making rules....

Some of us actually love making rules about rules and the rules that govern the ruler's rule. (Seriously!)

Every believe needs, from time to time, to rest in the knowledge that no amount of rule making (or enforcement) will change the heart of a single individual.  They may comply... but they will not joyfully follow.  No, instead we must come to terms with what the Savior has published:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28


It may take some time, but learning to rest in Christ will be well worth the exercise (pun intended).

Be blessed brethren... be a blessing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sermon Video 08-29-10





Sorry about the abrupt ending... there was a problem with the video file. 


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Friday, August 27, 2010

7 Ways to Stop Gossip

PLEASE NOTE THAT WHAT FOLLOWS IS NOT A CHRIS JOHNSON ORIGINAL.


This article grabbed my attention, coming across my RSS reader a few minutes ago. 

HERE is a link to the original.

May you find this edifying and... if need be... challenging.

-----

...here are 7 suggestions for how to stop, or at least slow, the spread of gossip. Will you consider each and take them personal? If the shoe fits will you wear it? Together, perhaps we can help stop the deadly spread of this harmful virus!
  1. Don’t repeat something you don’t know is true firsthand…secondhand knowledge is not enough to justify repeating. You will get something wrong and it will hurt others.
  2. Don’t repeat unless its helpful to do so and you have a vested interest in the situation, the people involved, and permission to share…doing so in the name of a prayer request is not a good excuse…
  3. Don’t “confess” other people’s sins. Even if the wrong included you and you feel the need to confess, share your story, but not someone else’s.
  4. If you must tell, and have passed the test on the first three suggestions, tell only what happened and not your commentary or “I think this is probably what happened” or why you think it happened…
  5. Choose to pray for others every time you are tempted to tell their story…instead of telling their story…
  6. When someone tells you something you don’t need to know, don’t allow curiosity to be your guide…follow your heart. Stop the person and tell them you don’t want to know! Remember, if they will spread gossip about others they will spread it about you!
  7. Keep the circle of confession limited to the people involved or to no more than needed for accountability purposes. The wider the circle and the more the story is repeated the more likely things will turn into gossip.
If my tone seems intent it’s because I am…I have little patience for gossips. My desire is to see people who live in holy and healthy community together. Gossip is a betrayer of this becoming reality.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

5 MINISTRY KILLERS AND HOW TO DEFEAT THEM


I just finished Charles Stone's most recent work 5 MINISTRY KILLERS AND HOW TO DEFEAT THEM. What struck me as particularly refreshing was the fact that Stone did not use this work as a medium to vent his frustrations. No, instead the author seeks to be a blessing (go figure) and help move disgruntled or struggling co-shepherds to a place where they can be effective.

He covers everything from passive-aggressive behavior from shepherds who are hurting, to bullies who try to run the church from the pews.  It seems that the struggles and trials pastors go through are pretty similar across the board, albeit the intensity of the struggles vary. So... what are the FIVE MINISTRY KILLERS?

1. Head-in-the-sand mentality. (ignoring the struggle you face)

2. Misdirected emotional investment. (focusing our energy and investing emotional capital on issues that the Bible does not place high value on)

3. Unhealthy responses to ministry killers. (we must learn to respond to struggles in a healthy way)

4. An attitude that "God and I can handle this." (not relying on the Word of God or the God of the Word)

5. Lonely, hurting wives. (your marriage is not something the Lord delights in you sacrificing for ministry)

Stone offers some sage advice... which, of course, you will have to read for yourself.

I recommend this book to ALL pastors and those members/attenders of churches that want their pastor to thrive in ministry.

Be blessed y'all... be a blessing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

VOICE OF THE MARTYRS IN PDX...!


2 Kings 19


08 - 29 - 10 from Chris Johnson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simple... so simple

In preparation for this Sunday (08-29-10), I am awestruck at the simplicaity of the Lord's commands.

"Obey me and live..."  So simple... so profound.

But we should not think of this as a dictator demanding followership....

No, instead we read of a merciful Savior who has no choice but to act justly.  And (here's the best part) He invites us to enter into that justice by doing what is right. 

If we choose to follow our own lusts and desires... well... we can expect that we will not deliver ourselves from the mess we find ourselves in.

In short:

IF Jesus is in control... then you have nothing to fear.  He will do what's right and you can rest knowing that you are in capable hands.

If you are in control... well, I'd be worried too!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

From the Eastern Front


One of the great things about Florida is the beach!

Another great thing is the food!

And if you were to ask my children... nothing could compare with Disney World...!

So, since we were there last Sunday, my wife and I decided to visit a church in the greater Orlando area. I googled “churches in _____ (name of the town where we were)” and dozens of baptist and independent-charasmatic churches popped up. So... because we had never experienced it, and because I knew it would create some rather interesting discussion post visit... we visited a United Methodist Church.

This is not going to be a post about conservatism -vs- liberalism. Not is it going to take on the issues currently facing the UMC. No... I would rather like to address something that really, really bothered me. Daniela and I, from what we could tell, were the youngest people there.

- Maybe it's the music?

- Maybe it's the subdivision it is located in?

- Maybe it's the ______?

I don't know why... but I have my guesses.

- It could have been the dry religion we observed... the passionless hymns and the scripted prayers.

- It could have been the uninviting looking building. (I know I shouldn't use words that end in “ing” in triplets... but I don;t know how else to say that.)

- It could have been the lack of zeal in the pastor's voice or the bitterness we overheard in the voices of some of the parishioners behind us.

It could have been all of these or none at all. I don't know. But it didn't seem to bother them, so I guess it shouldn't bother me. After all... who wants young families coming to faith in Christ and parents training their children to be all that Jesus has for them? Who wants the biggest problem every Sunday to be that there is not enough space to hold all the people who are thirsty for God's Word?

Who?

Jesus... that's who.

Lord, forgive me where I have acted in or said things in ways that are not pleasing to, or glorifying, You.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Funnies

Have a wonderfully wonderful day!
(The last one is my favorite...!)








































 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Letter to Alaska Air: Praise... to whom praise is due!

Praise... to whom praise is due!

(Click on the picture of the letter to see a larger, slightly more readable, image.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

2 Kings 17


08-15-10 from Chris Johnson on Vimeo.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FRIDAY FUNNIES

A cheerful heart is good medicine,  
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22


:)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

While in transit. (pt2)

On my flight from Atlanta to S. Florida (a flight I almost missed because we arrived early... but deplaned VERY LATE), I sat next to a really cute couple in their thirties (?).

They hugged.

They kissed.

After the guy squirmed a bit, his girlfriend rubbed his back (which was a little awkward... but cute nonetheless.)

They are clearly in love and cherish their time together.

I am in no way writing with anyone in mind but myself but is it possible that we have, like the Ephesian Church in Revelation, forsaken our first love?

HEART-CHECK !

Monday, August 9, 2010

While in transit.

Flying clear across the country affords you the time to think,
sometimes rather intensely.

On the 5hr flight from Portland to Atlanta, I got the window seat. It
was so fantastically bright. I am so very grateful for the sunshine
(especially after the 9.5 month hiatus it took from the NW). I
couldn't but help reflect on the intensity of the glory of Jesus as I
sat there. The Word, in describing the reign of Christ, falls us that
there is no need for the sun... for THE SON'S radiance would drown it
out.

Amazing!!!


Be blessed... be a blessing!

Your son can never be you...!



I was flipping through the channels and came across this. 

Wow... This is what passes for entertainment. 

I AM GLAD I DON'T HAVE CABLE IN PORTLAND!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

What Hood you from?

In ATL

Hey there.

We have reached >10,000 ft, so I am writing this.

Currently, we are over Idaho and it is 3:30 PST, which is good. From the looks of it there isn't much to actually DO in Idaho.
(No offense to Idaho natives, residents, or representatives intended.)

Anyway, the device I wrote this on is set to send this the moment I reconnect to the web. So if you're reading this... I'm safe in Atlanta and sprinting to my next flight.

Be blessed... be a blessing!


Chris Johnson

(sent mobily)


.................

Eastward

This afternoon I fly out to meet up with my family back East. While I'm gone, I would really appreciate prayer concerning:

- Safe travel

- Making great memories with the FAB 5.

- Focus as I will attempt to knock out my novel this trip

- Refreshment from the Lord. This season has been particularly difficult on me.

Be blessed y'all... be a blessing!