Thursday, January 28, 2010

How I can FIX The Problem

I am a problem-solver by nature.
My personality is one that never sees a problem I don't think I can solve.
While I might be willing to admit, grudgingly, that there are some things out there beyond my control, it is hard to accept.

I am a mom. Moms fix things. Mom can do anything.
I am a wife. I can make the problems of the day disappear for my husband.
I am a preacher's wife. I can teach any class, that no one else wants to that is. I can settle down a disgruntled member. I can help a hurting person see the solution to a problem.
 I can fix lots of things.

Sometimes, I feel like all I am doing is problem solving. Fighting battles, some that are not mine. Using my energy to handle things that simply put, I am not called by God to fix.

What am I called to do?  There are many things, but as I was meditating on scripture this morning and really asking for wisdom, this is what I found.

Rom 12:16  Live in harmony with each other. Don't be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don't think that you are smarter than you really are.
Rom 12:17  Don't pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble.
Rom 12:18  As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone.
Rom 12:19  Don't take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God's anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, "I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord."
Rom 12:20  But, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed."
Rom 12:21  Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good. 

There are somethings I think I need to fix or battle for, when in reality, God is calling me to
Live in harmony with others. (vs 16) I am to live in peace with EVERYONE. (vs 18).

Most importantly, and I must admit, this is where I really get hung up,
God is telling me NOT to take revenge or try to handle wrongs done. (vs 19)
God alone will handle it! It is HIS church. It can protect it, defend it and see that wrongs against her are avenged.

He actually asks me to love and care for those who are wronging it. (vs 20) This is how God is asking ME to FIX a problem.

Wow, who would have thought, that care, love and living peacefully was an answer to so much?

That's why He gave us His Word.
To see His heart,
so we could chase after it.

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Monday, January 25, 2010

Having And Being A Mother-In-Law

April 1, 1983. Yes, April Fools Day. I became a wife. It was wonderful!
I also became a Daughter-in-law.  Which means I also acquired a Mother-In-Law.

(No, that IS NOT my mother-in-law!) ;)

And a very interesting journey began.

May 29,2004. My son got married. It was....difficult.
I became a mother-in-law. I acquired a daughter-in-law.
My journey took on a whole new meaning.

(No, this is NOT myself and my daughter-in-law) ;)

 This is an invitation to contribute to a book that I am writing. It is all about..that difficult subject....


I have a mother-in-law. I love her dearly.
I am a mother-in-law. I love my daughter-in-law dearly.

I would be a liar if I said that both of the those relationships did not go through some rough spots. There have been easy times, and some times that have been a little more challenging.

I have observed in my walk through this life that this tends to be one of the most difficult relationships for women.

My book is a journey through this process of two women sharing a man and how to hopefully make this a more joyful trip.

" I Just told your Mother I welcomed her advice!"

I find humor and tears as I walk this path. I also find true joy!

So here is what I need from you. Below are a couple of questions. Please answer them. I assure you it can be done totally anonymously. I will not quote any names.  You can respond either by copying and answering the questions in the comment section (not anonymous) or by copying the questions and putting them into an e-mail with the answers. (Totally anonymous, pinky swear!)

Most all ladies that are married have a M-I-L . Some of you are one.  Give me your insight. Share your struggles and share your joys!

Thanks for your help.

Highlight the following and copy it. Paste it into either the comments section or an e-mail with your answers.

1. How long have you been married?
2. Do you have a son or daughter that is married? Which one? How long have they been married?
3. Did you know your M-I-L before you were to be married to your husband? Did you know your future s-i-l/d-i-l before they married your child?
4. Do you currently have a good relationship with your M-I-L? D-I-L? S-I-L?
5. What do you think is the main reason your answer is what it is in #4?
6. Would you be interested in filling out an entire questionnaire on this subject?

Thanks for help.
Let's chase HER heart together!

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Long Way To Go

The are days I wake up and all the problems from yesterday crash down even before I put my feet on the floor. Then almost immediately, the problems I anticipate for today collide with with those of yesterday and  my attitude is in the toilet, before I ever even make to the bathroom.

I will bet that some of you are the same way. Why do we put ourselves through that? Not only ourselves, but how about our husbands, children, friends, coworkers, and everyone else that comes across our path?

Our attitude affects them all.

I cannot control all the situations around me. That is a hard realization from the
"Control Freak Queen"!

I can however change my responses.

I saw a video that made me feel ashamed. Then, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes as to what I needed to change.

The video was of the Haitian people singing praises to God. That might not seem so life changing, except that it was the very night, just a couple of hours after the huge earthquake last week.
Even more amazing is that they did the same thing the next morning, the next evening, and continue to do so.

They did this amidst total devastation, death, and a very uncertain future. Also, while aftershocks continued on a regular basis. And are still continuing.

Humbling to say the least. Life changing.

Do I have problems? Yes.
Are some of them devastating? Yes.

Can I sing and praise God each morning?

The only right answer is YES!

This is the song I have been singing each day.

I am trying to remember that there is nothing yesterday, today or tomorrow, that God does not know about, or is not in control of.

To me, that is


I have a long way to go, to a faith like the Haitians. I desire to chase God's heart like they do!

Will you sing with me today? Tomorrow?

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson 

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Day Too Late

For the last 26 years I have been an insurance medical examiner. "What is that?", you may ask, well let me explain.

If you have ever applied for life insurance, disability insurance, or long term care insurance chances are you have had to have some medical requirements completed.  Maybe a medical history, or vital signs checked, blood and urine sample collected, even an EKG done. That is what I do. Usually in people's homes, sometimes at their place of business, or at one of our offices.

It really is a job I enjoy. I meet a lot of very interesting people. I get to practice medicine in a "no sick people" environment.  If you live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and this sounds like something you would like to do, e-mail me. I have plenty of work.

Anyway, I want to share a story about one of these exams with you. You see, I always call the day before to confirm the appointment. On this day as I was confirming, I had something happen that has never happened before in 26 years. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello. may I please speak to Mr. ____?
Man on The Phone: May I ask who is calling?
Me: This is Glenda calling from the insurance examiner's office to confirm his appointment for his medical exam tomorrow for his life insurance policy.
Man on The Phone: Ummm...Ma'am, this is his son. Umm.. he died today.
Me:Oh. (long pause and total silence) I am so sorry for your loss.
Man on The Phone: Thank you.
Me: Goodbye. (Hanging up phone, and very shook up)

Wow. A day too late for that life insurance exam.

Really got me to thinking. We have no guarantees for tomorrow. We do not even have a guarantee for later today.

The people of Haiti can be a witness to that right now. As I watched a video that my son shot in an orphanage just minuets before the earthquake hit, I was really moved.

Those people had no idea that their lives were about to be changed.

The truth is we don't know either.

Is there something that you need to do today, that you think can wait until tomorrow?
Maybe you need to call your mom, maybe a friend you have been needing to contact.
Maybe you need to write a note of encouragement, or a thank you note for something that someone has done for you.
Maybe You need to make peace with a person that you have estranged from.
Maybe you need to make a meal for or visit a widow who is lonely.
Maybe you need to tell your children you love them and you are proud of them. fill in the blank.

What needs to happen today, so that YOU WON'T WAKE UP TOMORROW, A DAY TOO LATE?

I saw a saying that is attributed to Joan Rivers, this is what it says:

Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a Mystery,
Today is a Gift from God,
That is why it is called the Present.

Do not return your gift from God today. Accept it, embrace it, use it, re-gift it!

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes No Words Are Better

Silence is awkward. We just have to say something. So we say what we think should be said. And then, once out of our mouth, we cannot take it back.

Job made a statement that has really touched my heart.
Job 3:26  I have no peace! I have no quiet! I have no rest! And trouble keeps coming!"

I have realized this so acutely, since our family's personal walk in this crisis in Haiti.

To most, it is just what you see on the news.  And we have been there too.

To most, if you turn off the TV, or sign off the internet, the images go way.   Not so for those who have been there and have seen, touched and smelled with their senses.

To most, you would really like to hear first hand from someone who has been there, to hear the STORY.   It is not a STORY to those who have experienced it.

Sometimes, trite, thoughtless comments are extremely hurtful.

In case you have no idea what those are, let me share just a few:

I bet you missed simple things like showers and a bed inside.
I can't wait to hear all your awesome stories.
I am sure you have a lot of sermons and sermon illustrations now.
How are you adjusting to being home?
You are a hero.
I am so glad this crisis is over.

So what can I do for someone and their family who has just returned from Haiti?

Give them TIME to process the incredible things they have just experienced, and that people they love are still living every single moment.

Allow them space to share WHAT they can ,WHEN the time is right.

Remember that the crisis is still going on. It will continue to be tragic and impact lives on a moment by moment basis.

Pray. Pray. Pray.
Give sacrificially when it is asked for.

Love. Agape love. Sometimes love is very quiet and just listens.

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hostages And Surrender

There is a hostage situation.
It can be resolved only one way.

What is really going on is that I have taken a hostage. And I am being asked to surrender the hostage and myself to the proper authority. I have actually been in this hostage situation for 4 days. It is becoming critical. The one in authority keeps telling me to surrender my hostage and myself to him.

I am at an impasse. I can go no where. I cannot keep my hostage. It is not good for me or him. The only way to help us both,
is for me to surrender.

You see, I was holding my son that is in Haiti hostage. Hostage from the will of God. Hostage from what I insisted the will of God BE for my son.
In doing so, I have held peace and blessings from myself, that God is waiting to give me.

So I surrendered my son to God.

The only thought I can have and believe is this:
My son will either COME home soon, or he will GO home soon.
Either is victory for Jesus.
So below is my heart song for now, for this moment, for peace.

I surrender all, including my son, to Jesus!

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Is there anything in your life you are holding hostage from God?

Surrender. Peace will come.

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

TheHardest Day Of My Life

I would like to share an article that I wrote almost 6 years ago that was published in a local newspaper. I was living in Richland, MO, and this article was written as I processed my feelings on what I could only describe as

"The Hardest Day Of My Life"

The door opened, a very charming gentleman was on my arm, (he was half my age to boot,) and the music playing led my eyes to the front of the flower filled room. I was about to do the hardest thing I had ever had to do in my 40 years of life. As I was guided down the isle, I was confident on the outside in a gorgeous sage gown and wonderful hair updo that I wore, but still… would I make it through this day without losing it on the outside like I was losing it on the inside? Our eyes met, and the tears began to flow, but I smiled and he smiled too, through tear filled eyes and we both knew things were about to change forever. I looked for my solid rock, my husband who was always there to make everything ok for me, to work through the hard situations, and where was he? Could he stop this before I lost what I felt I couldn’t possibly give up? Oh there he was, I found him, he was also in the front of the room and was getting closer with each step, but my heart and my mind knew he couldn’t and wouldn’t stop what was about to happen, because he was actually in charge and his signature in a few minutes would make it all official. As I reached my spot, smiling faces looking at me with knowing smiles, my eyes left my husband, the preacher, and met once again the tear filled eyes of my son, who assured me he loved me with his words and expression and I knew my destiny was sealed. In a moment I would officially be a Mother-in-law.

All the emotions that surrounded my son’s wedding actually started the day my son was born. The little red premature rat stole my heart. This was a little being that only a mother could love. Until now. As the little rat stood there all grown up, not in a hospital blanket but in a tuxedo, I realized that all these years as I loved him, and helped to teach him how to love, I was preparing him for this day. No longer was my little boy standing there, but a grown man, who has dedicated his life to preaching the gospel of Christ, and now will be a husband. I had felt I was losing my son to another woman. It was painful and scary. Until now. You see, as the music changed and the wedding march began, I know a beautiful woman came in the back door and started down the isle. I’ll have to wait to see that on the video however, because I didn’t see that part. I was intently watching this boy, become man, as he watched his bride coming toward him, and in that moment, in that glance, I knew he had found someone to care for, to love and to cherish. That glimpse into my son’s heart was so powerful, I knew in a drop of a tear, all was ok. I also realized that I had been wrong. I was not going to be a mother- in –law, but a Mother-in love.
(Glenda Johnson is a preacher’s wife, mother of 7, and now a mother-in-love who writes from her heart on issues that reach out to other women’s hearts. She resides with MOST of her family in Richland, MO)

I have always told everyonethat the day my son Billy got married was the hardest day of my life. And it was.

Until 1/12/2010 and an earthquake trapped this same son in Haiti.
Now each day that he cannot get home, is the hardest day of my life.
Now each day I watch his wife cry, is the hardest day of my life.
Now I just wait . Still look to my husband the rock, for support. Only this time, his eyes are not assuring me it is ok.

But my God assures me I am not alone.
Hebrews 13:5-6 Be happy with what you have because God has said, "I will never abandon you or leave you."
So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can mortals do to me?"
Just like the day my son got married, I cannot stop the situation around me. But I can know that as I go through the "Hardest Day Of My Life" today, I am truly not alone.

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Friday, January 15, 2010

Road Construction Ahead/Standby

Ever been frustrated because you had to wait for road construction? Me Too.

Picture this:
Running a little late. Get in your car heading for a very important appointment. You must not be late. There will be a huge party if you can just get to your destination. Traffic slows from 60 to 45. From 45 to 30. From 30 to a.....complete.....S....T......O......P  As you peer around the stopped cars (about a million of them) you see the dreaded ORANGE VEST!  That vest is holding your trip in their hands on the end of a 10 foot , rotating, 2-sided signed POLE!


But I have somewhere to be! So many people depend on me getting there! Did they HAVE to do road work HERE, TODAY?

The answer is yes.  You see in that road ahead there is a huge cave in that happened during the night. It has already swallowed up 3 cars this morning in the dark. Lost 3 lives.

Did you know that in the time the Book of Proverbs was written that it was common practice for men to go ahead of a noble person, or king or the like's chariot and fill all the hole in the road, remove debris, and smooth out the road. SO it could be traveled safely. In the light of that, read this:

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.

God makes sure we are safe by fixing and smoothing the road ahead of us to keep us safe and get us to our destination.

My son who is in Haiti, caught in a devastated, demolished, area, needs to get out NOW. It is becoming unstable in Haiti. Supplies will run low. Danger is increasing.

We want him home NOW! We need him to be safe. We NEED to hold him, see him, NOW.

We cannot continue to wait.

But we will. God is smoothing the road. God is filling the holes. God is removing the dangers.

I will Trust in Lord with all of my heart. I will not lean on my own understanding.
And God will keep His promise and get my son home safe. 

Chasing Their Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sitting By A Well

It is no secret to those who know me that I love the ocean. The water has such a soothing sound.

The pool during the summer months brings such a welcome retreat from the heat.

The hot tub is a relaxing, therapeutic haven for sore muscles in it's swirling awesomeness.

A cool drink of water. A pot of water for coffee. Sweet tea, the drink of the south.

A shower or bath. Brushing your teeth or washing your face.

Laundry. Dishes.

Watering plants. Mopping the floor.

As you read this, how many times today have you already used water?

Clean water. Safe water.

Did you think about your clean, safe water as you used it today?

I have thought about it constantly.

You see my son is in Haiti. (see yesterday's blog)

Yesterday, sitting in the middle of a totally destroyed mission compound, they still had a well with clean, safe water.

This morning, due to aftershock on top of aftershock, the well is compromised.

No more safe water. What does that mean?

Dehydration, dysentary, loss of the ability to fight disease, to even get clean.
My son said to his wife in a very precious one time only conversation this morning " Man do I stink!"

This changes his situation dramatically. Water. Who would have thought that water could change your life so instantaneously?

Jesus did. Listen in on a conversation He had with a woman;

John 4:6-15   Jesus sat down by the well because he was tired from traveling. The time was about six o'clock in the evening.
  A Samaritan woman went to get some water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink of water."
 (His disciples had gone into the city to buy some food.)  The Samaritan woman asked him, "How can a Jewish man like you ask a Samaritan woman like me for a drink of water?" (Jews, of course, don't associate with Samaritans.) Jesus replied to her, "If you only knew what God's gift is and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him for a drink. He would have given you living water."
  The woman said to him, "Sir, you don't have anything to use to get water, and the well is deep. So where are you going to get this living water?
  You're not more important than our ancestor Jacob, are you? He gave us this well. He and his sons and his animals drank water from it."
  Jesus answered her, "Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again.
  But those who drink the water that I will give them will never become thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give them will become in them a spring that gushes up to eternal life."  The woman told Jesus, "Sir, give me this water! Then I won't get thirsty or have to come here to get water."

Jesus knew water could make a difference in everyone's life. He alone is the living water we can draw. We can be sustained. Our lives overflowing with Him.

So today, this is what I know:

The well in Haiti is compromised. Jesus is sitting there. He is offering my son, his mission team, and every Haitian family there, "the living water".  Clean water or not, the "the living water" is there and flowing abundantly.

Every time I turn on a faucet today, I will not just see water that sustains and cleans the physical life we have. I will pray to the One who is the "the living water". He will sustain me today and beyond today. I will claim the promise,
John 7:38  As Scripture says, 'Streams of living water will flow from deep within the person who believes in me.'"

As I was writing this morning, one of my prayer warrior friend's FaceBook updates said something that touched my heart. I hope you are as inspired as I was:
Sandy wrote:
We are praying for all of you. God put on my heart while I was in the 'shower' to have a water fast today so I can keep Billy and the people in Haiti in my prayers. I have to start over, (again), I have unconsciously used the water twice already today after my shower. Love to all the Johnson family! PS I have never done this before --

Water for the living. Required by the living. Will you partake?

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shaking But Held

Has your life ever been shaken so hard that you can barely keep your balance? As of 5:40pm, 1/12/2010, I have been shaken to the very depths of my soul. I am struggling to get my feet on the steadied on the ground and help those around me pick themselves up as well.

You see, my son is in Haiti. There was a 7.0 earthquake there just about 5pm on 1/12/2010. We got the news via Facebook at 5:40pm. I have not stopped shaking.

I know that God is in control. I know that God has put my son there for just this very purpose. I know everything will be ok, even if it isn't.

That's what is scary.

My heart promise for this year (chosen in December) is this:

2Co 9:8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

So today I claim this verse for me. To get through the worry and concern.

For my son. To do what God wants him to do. to keep him safe.

And while my world is still shaking, at least I know who is holding me, my son, and both of our circumstances.

So, this song is getting me through today. I've included the lyrics and a video. Maybe it will help you if your world is shaking.

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down
for the joy of the lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying them down
for the joy of the lord

we say yes lord
yes lord yes yes lord!
yes lord, yes lord
yes yes lord
yes lord yes lord
yes yes lord amen

I'm pressed but not crushed,persecuted
not abandoned
struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his
promise will endure
that his joy's gonna be my strenght
through the sorrow may last for the night
his joy comes with the morning!

And even as I was writing this, we heard from my son. His compound has be demolished and they are trying to make it to the airport. Please pray for God to continue to guide them safely to the airport.

Chasing Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Friday, January 1, 2010

My New Years Resolutions

These are my TOP TEN New Years Resolutions.  Take a peek.

1Pe 4:7  The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.
I will be self-controlled this year so that I am able to pray with a clear mind.

1Pe 3:15  But dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord. Always be ready to defend your confidence in God when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect. 
I will strive to make sure that every answer I give to all will be with gentleness and respect. I will never use the Word of God or the guise of truth to beat anyone up.

Psa 119:30  I have chosen a life of faithfulness. I have set your regulations in front of me.
I will keep God's Word forefront in my mind. I will be faithful to Him in my words and deeds.

Psa 27:13  I believe that I will see the goodness of the LORD in this world of the living. 
Instead of looking for the negative all around me,  I will choose to see the goodness of the Lord all around me.

2Ti 2:1  My child, find your source of strength in the kindness of Christ Jesus
I will find my strength only in the kindness (grace) of Jesus. I will stop trying to find it within myself or others. 

Pro 25:15  Patience and gentle talk can convince a ruler and overcome any problem.
 I will have more patience with people. A little time will help solve problems instead of demanding immediate changes from those around me.

Psa 62:5  Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. 
If I want peace, I can only get it from God. There are no worldly circumstances that  can produce the peace I am craving.

1Th 2:20  You alone are our glory and joy! 
Only God can be what I glory in and what I can have true joy from. Nothing I can do or experience aside from Him can truly be glorious or joyful.

1Pe 4:8  Above all, continue to love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. 
I will choose to love deeply. In choosing to love, I will be able to look past some sinful things to be able to show the love of Christ to those around me. And pray that others choose to view me through that same lens.

2Co 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have disappeared, and-look!-all things have become new!

I will remember every moment of every day that I have been made new! I can live a new life for Christ. The old life with all of it's failures and pain and sorrow can be behind me. I AM A NEW CREATION!

Any of these sound like a resolution you need to make? You too can be new!

I also should add, out of total disclosure, I have resolved to lose 50lbs to be more healthy!

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson