Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Want To Touch You

Last night at bible study, a new thought came into my mind,
that I have missed even all these years as I
read Scripture;

Luke 4:40
 40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.

The creator of all, 
the King of Kings,
the Savior of the world
took the time to touch,
physically touch
His creation.
He didn't have to touch people to heal them.
A simple word, from Him would have sufficed.
But He chose to touch each person,
He was saying,
"I want to touch YOU."
So, I am called to be like my Savior.
Who has He called me to touch, 
literally, physically, lovingly
touch today?
The power of a touch, could change someone's
Open my eyes, and my heart today Lord,
to be like You.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Where Are You Standing?

Ever had a time in your life when you knew nothing for sure?
Unknown job.
Unknown home.
Unknown future plans, beyond this very moment?
Me too.
I am there right now.
But I am at peace. 
This scripture is why; 

Psalm 77:18-20

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
   your lightning lit up the world;
   the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
   your way through the mighty waters,
   though your footprints were not seen.
 20 You led your people like a flock
   by the hand of Moses and Aaron. 

A path.
It is leading through a storm.
Lightening and thunder all around.
But it is lighting my path.
The path is leading through the mighty waters.
SO to stay on the path, I have to walk where only God can take me, 
in faith,
that He will protect me like a shepherd protects the flock.

It doesn't matter if I can see God's footprints. 
It doesn't matter that I don't know God's plan.
What matters is I am following His path.

Where do you need to follow today to stay on the path?
God is there.
He will never leave you alone!
Follow. Have faith. See the dry ground under your feet.

Chasing After Their Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who Has Your Back?

Guess what? 
I don't have to fight for my honor. 
Or the honor of my husband. 
Or the honor of my family. 
And neither do you!

Psalm 62:7-8
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
   he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
   pour out your hearts to him,
   for God is our refuge. 

God is my salvation and what I am, what honor I have comes from HIM! He is my refuge.
All I have to do is trust in HIM at all times.
All YOU have to do is trust in HIM at all times!

So today:
I will let my honor be in the hands of God.
I will trust in HIM at all times.
I will pour out my heart to Him, if I ever have any doubts!

It is freeing to know WHO has your back. 
No matter what.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Year Later

Today marks the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.
I woke up a year ago, and prayed for my son and his team that had just arrived in Haiti.
I made plans with my husband to go be part of a surprise birthday party for my pregnant daughter in love.
I continued along with my day until late afternoon when I got a facebook message from my friend Kaylee, who told me there had been an earthquake in Haiti, and wondered where Billy was in Haiti.
I called my husband over, it took about one minute to turn our lives upside down.
The information we found on the internet told us what we feared most.
My son was five miles from the epicenter of the quake.
We jumped into the car, called our daughter in love as we headed to her home, to break the new to her.
We were praising God because before we could make the twenty minute trip to her, my son was able to text message her he was alive.
We spent that evening realizing just how catastrophic an event this was, then we packed up my son's pregnant wife, and 3 toddlers and brought to our home until this crisis was over.

I blogged my daily journey while my son was in Haiti. I encourage you to read them to understand what I was going through at that time.
Shaking But Held  Sitting By A Well Road Construction Ahead/Standby The Hardest Day Of My Life Hostages And Surrender Sometimes No Words Are Better
Today a year later, this is what have I learned.

God is faithful. He always does what He says He will do.
God's plans do not always look like my plans. His plans are better.
Miracles are messy. There may have to be a big mess before the glory of God shines through.
I must be willing to sacrifice what is dearest to me if God asks. He won't always require it, (Abraham and Isaac), but I must be willing to sacrifice it.
God can see all situations, past ,present and future, all at once. I can't. Watching how God interweaves each life together is wonderful. Sharing that after the crisis, when my son was home, was amazing.
God answers prayer. Telling my son what we prayed for and when, then listening as he shared how God answered, was truly a faith builder.

For the people living in Haiti, the crisis is not over.
They are still living in tents.
They are still living on barely enough food to survive.
They are living, and dying, with an out break of cholera.
They still need help.

What has God led me to do as I have walked through this past year?
He has led me to be part of a massive fund raising effort to get food and supplies to those who need it.
He has placed in my heart a love for a people that my son loves dearly.
He has called me to go meet and serve these people with my son this April, all in the name of Jesus.

What I have learned most however, really doesn't have to do with the Haitian people at all.
It has to do with my relationship with Jesus.
1 John 4:17-19
17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 19 We love because he first loved us.
Earthquakes in my life will come.
Some will be catastrophic, some will be tremors.
God is always there, and God will always hold on, and God will never, ever let me go, even when the shaking stops.
The following songs speaks to my heart today and truly is what I have learned the last 365 days!
You Never Let Go- Matt Redman

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How I Know Today Is Going To Be A Great Day!

Psalm 118:1-6
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
      His faithful love endures forever.
 2 Let all Israel repeat:
      “His faithful love endures forever.”
 3 Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat:
      “His faithful love endures forever.”
 4 Let all who fear the Lord repeat:
      “His faithful love endures forever.”
 5 In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
      and the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear.
      What can mere people do to me?

Lord as I read this portion of Your Word this morning I am drinking up Your refreshment. You have reminded me:

You are good!
You are faithful!
You have set me free!
You are for me!
You have taken away my reason for fear!

SO, today I will sing
"His faithful love endures forever."
"Your faithful love endures forever"!

Today is going to be a great day!
His Love endures forever!

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Secret Life of a Preacher's Wife- Hospitality

The opening of your home to others.
Providing a friendly environment where people are put at ease so you can minister to them.
A meal. Planned. Or unplanned.
All this and so much more.

As a preacher's wife, I open my home on a regular basis. I have people in for a meal every week.  I have a Bible Study in my home every week.  I have my Bible Bowl team (  National Bible Bowl ) in my home every week. I have friends over to visit every week. I have one or two days a week my grandchildren come to my home. And there many other impromptu times that people come into my home.

Now lest you think I believe that a preacher's wife is the only one who shows hospitality, that is far from the truth. I actually learned how to be hospitable from older women in the church, long before I became the bride of the man in the pulpit. I have been shown by example what godly hospitality looks like.

As I look back over time, I see many times that I have very fond memories of, and that I was blessed that God used me and my home for His glory.

I would like to share a story of a time that my home was used to entertain His children.

My husband and I were in a ministry in the mid-west. Loving, awesome people whom we were blessed to serve. The parsonage was just across the parking lot behind the church building. It wasn't an extra large parking lot, but is wasn't an extremely small parking lot either. I would guess it would park maybe 100 cars, in four rows of about 25 each. Now that is plus or minus 5 cars per row.

Now I have 7 children. At this time, the 2 oldest were no longer living at home. One was away at college, the other had married and lived in another state with his wife. One of children is in heaven with Jesus. So that left four at home. Ages 19, 9, 7 and 5.

The setting was a typical rural setting, Safe to let kids play outside. Safe to let even my youngest three children walk across the parking lot to our home while we visited with people after the service dismissed. Safe enough to even not lock our doors to our home.

I know right now there is a momma out there who is freaking out at the thought of a 7 and 5 year old walking home alone. Really, I could see my house, and please know, I am a very serious momma. I would never put my children in danger.

Back to one particular Sunday morning.

My children had made some really good friends. It was nice since we had only been there for about 4 months. I was especially excited for my 5 yo, since he had 3 boys his age that he played with every week. On Wednesday nights, also during the weekly ladies Bible study, play dates that were scheduled, and of course Sundays.

My then 5 yo Noah, was and still is a Star Wars fan. We have at least a half dozen, if not more light sabers in our home at any given time. It was a common practice for Noah to run home right after church, get his light sabers, and for those 3 other boys to play with him in our front yard or in the now fairly empty parking lot. The adults were visiting, and boys had a blast playing. The parking lot had mostly emptied by this time, so there were always great battles between the young Jedi and the dark side.

On this particular Sunday, the other parents were ready to leave. The boys were no where in sight. I told the other mommas that I would send them back over since I was on my way back to my house.

I assumed ( you know what happens when you assume, right?) that Noah had invited them in for a drink or a cookie. That was acceptable. Learning to show hospitality early. As my husband and myself entered the house, we started calling out names. Looking for the young ones, who were NOT in the kitchen enjoying a drink and a cookie.

"Hey guys! Your mommas are ready to leave! Noah! Where are you? Come on out guys! Time to go!"

We walked to the back of our single level rancher, thinking that they were in Noah's bedroom. As we were just getting ready to walk into the bedroom on my right, which was Noah's, I caught a glimpse of something out of the bedroom on my left. That room was the master bedroom. Mine and my husband's.

I really liked this parsonage. One of the reasons was the spacious, large rooms, with large closets. Every woman loves a large closet right? We have room to store and organize many things.

AT this very moment, as three young Jedi ran past me, I realized just HOW BIG my closet was. Why? Because these guys has TOTALLY emptied it out to make a Jedi Hide-out.
Nothing left in that closet, except the top shelf they could not reach.
Every box.
Every piece of clothing on a shelf.
Every piece of hanging clothing.
Every shoe.
Every tie, belt and hat.
Everything now in the middle of my bedroom floor.

This verse came to my mind as I was standing there, looking at my pile, empty closet and watching the guys run back to their parents.

Heb 13:2  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Had I just entertained "ANGELS" without knowing it?
That is still up for debate.

My home was open the very next Sunday.
My bedroom door however was locked.

And to this day, those mommas don't know what happened.

After all, it is the secret life of a preacher's wife!

Chasing After (even) Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Are You Feeling Hurried Today?

I am leaving in a few minutes to go to the church building to worship with other believers. I am sure many of you are planning to do the same thing.

A typical day, for most people, in "churchdom" on Sunday, goes something like this:

10am Sunday School (if your church has Sunday school)
11am Assembly/Worship Service
12pm Head out the door for Lunch
1pm-5:30pm Football (Here, we will watching the Ravens)
6pm Evening service (If your church has an evening service)
7pm head home to get everyone ready for work and school for the next week.

On the average, on a Sunday, people spend usually 1 hour, some possibly 2 hours, a rare few 3 hours, (that are broken up by food and football) in congregational worship of God. These are the norms.

This morning I was reading in the book of Nehemiah. This is what I found.

Nehemiah 9:1-4
1 On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads. 2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3 They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the LORD their God. 4 Standing on the stairs of the Levites were Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Kenani. They cried out with loud voices to the LORD their God. 

The first thing I was struck by in this passage was the amount of time these people spent in reading God's Word, confession,and praise. I had to figure out just what a quarter of the day meant. This is what I found.
The Jewish day is considered twelve hours. So, that mean, according to this passage, they spent three hours reading God's Word. Then, after that, they spent three hours confessing their sins and worshiping God.
Math was my worst subject in school, but, that is six hours as best as I can add it up!
My husband is a preacher. There are people who get really fussy if we are still in the service after 12 noon. They have plans. This is supposed to be a family day! The Baptists are beating us to the buffet!

I must say as I read this passage this morning I was really convicted. I began to think about the following;
What would our churches look like if we spent three hours this morning reading God's Word? 
Would lives be transformed by the power of God's Word?
What difference would we have in relationships with each other and with our community that needs to know Jesus, if we spent three hours this morning confessing our sins (that were realized as we read God's Word) and truly worshiping God? Would the DNA of who we were as a church be changed? 
Would I be changed?
Would we be more effective in changing the world?

This passage is humbling. I know that a six hour church service is not really very culturally relevant.
I would like the opportunity to see what would happen, when a group of believers came together with the thought of six hours spent in God's Word, confession and worship, and an open heart.

Sounds like I need to suggest and plan an event. 
Even if it is just with a few brothers and sisters in Christ.
Maybe it is time.
To make time.
For God .
In a new, yet old way.

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Walk That Makes New Years Resolutions All Possible

Today is the fourth and final blog in my series on New Years Resolutions. If you would like to read the the other three, please click on the links below. Today's thoughts may make more sense if you do.

Requirements For The New Year
Just, Justly, Justice- How Do We Act?
What Do You Love?

As I really think about the upcoming year, and I think about the previous year, I know I must make changes. It is healthy, and I would be very arrogant to think that I am so right in everything that I do, that no change is needed.

My favorite quote is:
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten".
(author unknown)

If I want changes in my life but I do nothing differently, that is called insanity. How can possibly expect a change, simply based on a statement, "I want change."?
Let me give you a couple of examples:

I want to lose weight and be more healthy.
I still eat the same foods, in the same amounts, and do not exercise.
Can I expect to lose weight?

I want to keep my home more in order and be more organized.
I still continue to leave things lying around, and do not put things away, and push them into piles in the living room and on the counter.
Can I expect my home to be neat and orderly?

Now apply that thought process to the following:

I want to be the person God has created me to be, and to love Him and treat others the way He wants me to.
I believe that I am doing exactly that. I need nothing to be different. The problem is actually with others who just don't get it, and who just need to obey God more. Like me.
Can I REALLY expect that my relationships with people will change? Can I expect my walk with God to deepen?

The verse that I have been meditating on for the last few days tells me exactly what my issue is and what I need to change.
Micah 6:8
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God
When I shared my favorite quote from above, I had someone say to me, "But what if you like what you've got? There really is no need to change now is there?".
That statement really got me to thinking. There are many things I would never desire to change, such as;
being a wife to Larry. I like what I got.
being a mother. I like what I got.
being a granny. I like what I got.

Then it comes to my spiritual life. 
Such as;
being a child of God. I like what I got. 

But if I were to say: 
I am;
being a holy person. I like what I got.
being a godly woman. I like what I got.
being an effective light for the lost in the world. I like what I got.
so connected with God, everything is just like it should be. I like what I got.


I need to change my thought process about myself, if I want my behavior to change and my heart to change, and me to do what the Lord desires and requires of me.

to walk humbly with my God
If I want to deepen my walk with God, if I want to be in His will this year, if I want to do HIS WILL, I must know WHO HE is and who I am. 
He is God. I am not.
He is perfect and had NO need to change. I am not.

The answer for arrogance, is humility.
Humility does not mean lack of confidence. I know who I am in Christ.
Humility does mean I realize who I am in relation to God. And I know I will NEVER be equal with God. Even though I am a joint heir with Jesus, He is still God and I am not. 

The key to me being able
To act justly 
to love mercy 
 is simply this:
He has shown me, O mortal that I am, what is good.
I need to see that God alone is the giver of all that is good. He is good with nothing bad found in Him.
I need to
walk humbly with my God.
It is much easier to be just and show mercy when I see myself in the correct light of Christ.
I need to see that I will always have room to change and grow in His grace and knowledge.
I need to desire that change. For me. 
Because of what He has done.
And that is good.

Now I know what God wants of me.
Now I know what I need to change to bring that about.
I need to surrender my will to HIS, so He can mold and make my heart more like His.

Happy New Year. Be resolved to be more of what He requires!

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Friday, January 7, 2011

What Do You Love?

As I begin my walk through this New Year, I have decided that I needed to see WHAT GOD DESIRED for me. The last two blogs started this journey, and I encourage you to read them. Requirements For The New Year

Just, Justly , Justice-How Do We Act?

Today, I will look at my heart and see what I love. I must. Going back to Micah 6:8;

8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God. 
The last time time, I discovered God has desired me to act justly. To treat all people the same, and to desire the very best for them. Like one of my dear friends Sandy reminded me; We all want justice but it is hard to give it, like God does.
As I have meditated on this verse in Micah, and read other verses in the Word, I have come to the next thing God wants from me this year. 

To Love Mercy.
Interestingly enough, to love mercy, is the only way I can act justly.
The two go hand in hand.

 Over and over again throughout Scripture we see God described as merciful. As a matter of fact, our salvation vs our damnation is the perfect example of that. We deserved to be separated eternally from Him. We deserved to die. We still do.

But, because God is BOTH just and merciful, He chose to pay for our sins Himself, through His Son, Jesus, so we wouldn't have to.

Stop right there. Just think on that for a moment.
Right now you should LOVE mercy.

Now it gets a little more difficult. This is where I must allow God to change my heart, to be like His.

Romans 12:1-2
 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

In view of WHAT?
God's mercy.
I am to do WHAT?
Offer my body as a living sacrifice.
HOW do I do that?
Be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
WHAT will that do?
I will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For me.
And I will have a heart more like God's.
I will not only love mercy when it is shown to me, but,
I will love mercy so much, it will become part of my character,
and I will desire to show it, to whomever God puts in my path.
Regardless of:
Who they are.
What they have done to me or others.
Whether they are friends or self-proclaimed enemies.

With that changed mind set, I will will always act justly,
because I LOVE MERCY!

How does this look?

I think for me, and just quite possibly for you, it means:

When I am responding or reaching out to someone,
will be the FIRST thing that I think of.

Today I pray O Lord, that You conform my mind, and my will to Yours. I desire to merciful like You are. Please change my heart!

Next time, what it takes to allow God to change our hearts!

Chasing After Their Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just, Justly, Justice- How Do We Act?

Yesterday I began a look at what I needed to change to be what God desired me to be, instead of me listing my resolutions for the New Year.
I encourage you to read "Requirements For The New Year" from 1/4/2011 before you read today's blog if you haven't already. Just click on it on the right side bar.

The verse that sums up what God wants from me is Micah 6:8:

8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?   
To act justly and to love mercy
 and to walk humbly with your God. 
The Lord truly has shown me what is good. He is 100% goodness. There is nothing bad in Him or in anything He does. All He provides is good. 
Even when He must discipline us, it is good, fair and right. 
He treats everyone by the same set of standards. 
His standards are clearly shown to us in His word.
That my friend is being just.
Treating people in a fair and right way. 
Even more so, when they need to be corrected.
God is the perfect example, as always, of what justice is and how it is carried out on a daily basis.

Let's be real honest here. We all mess up. I mess up, ok, call it what it is, SIN, much more often than I should. People around me sin. God clearly says in Roman 6:23 what the justice is for sinning:
23 For the wages of sin is death, 
Death is what justice would be each time we sin. I deserve death. You deserve death. Our best friend deserves death.  Our worst enemy deserves death.  All, deserve death.

Romans 3:23
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
BUT WAIT! I can hear some yelling at the top of their lungs now. You didn't finish the rest of Roman 6:23. It says a lot more and that is where I am ok, and friend is ok and my family is ok. 

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We like the end of Roman 6:23 much better than the beginning. In God's justice we deserve death, but instead he gives us a gift. He gives us life. And who does He give that to?
We need to look at Romans 3:22-24 for that answer:
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

See that all in verse 24? It is the same all that is in verse 23. What does that mean? God does NOT show partiality. All are justified. Not given death. Not destroyed. For everyone. God looks at everyone the same way. He treats all people with the same love and heart. Some choose to reject it, but the same love and gift are offered to all.
That is acting "JUSTLY".

So what do I need to change to "act justly"?

I need to treat everyone equitably. That means the grace I show to my friends and people I like, I show to my enemies and people who have openly hurt me. That is the example God has shown. telling everyone the end of Roman 6:23, not just people I like and care for. That is acting justly.

I need to remember that the gift of life and forgiveness of sins has been offered to EVERYONE, not just those whom I care for and those people who have committed sins that I think should be forgiven.
If God has forgiven someone, I must treat them as forgiven, regardless of whether I think justice has been done.

I need to  treat people morally right. All people. I need to treat people as I would want to be treated. By them and by God. How I treat others, and the way I meet out justice will come back to me.
Matthew 7:2
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

This verse is what will help me act justly toward others. it is a reminder to me from God, on exactly what He desires. 

This is a picture of lady justice. She has a blindfold on, because true justice is impartial and the same for everyone. I believe God wants us to be impartial and love like He does. Only I need to do it without the blindfold. I need to look at people and treat them justly because God has shown me what is good. Because I know what is good, I will choose to judge others with that GOOD measure, and the benefit for me? That's how I will be judged!

I will take off my blindfold, look at everyone as the recipient of God's grace and love, and treat them as God does. 
That is to act justly.

Tomorrow, join me ad I look at the next thing that is required, and hint, it makes acting justly much easier!

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Requirements for the New Year!

The New Year is here. 2011. I keep reading about resolutions. Plans for this year. Changes people want to make in themselves.

Why do we do this? Why do we choose the first of the year to decide to make a change? 
People, myself included, tend to resist change. It is not comfortable, and yet, change is necessary for a healthy life. Your child's doctor always does a check on height, weight, and skill changes when you take your child to see them. If there are no changes then there is a problem.

We are either growing and changing, or we are dying. 
This relates both to our physical life and our spiritual life.

Since it seems that people from all over the world are deciding it is safe to make changes it is easy to jump on the band wagon. 
It's "ok" to make a change since "everyone else is doing it"!
This is also the very reason so many fail at keep New Year resolutions. They are made for the wrong reason, at the wrong time. A clear set up for failure.

I have spent the last two days pondering this very thought. There are many things I want to change and do for myself and my family. 
I want to make changes because it is God's will for me to do so. This verse spoke to the very core of what I have been searching my heart and pleading to God for insight to, the last few days.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8

The very question, "What does the Lord require of you, (ME)?" is answered so clearly here. 
No "maybe". 
No "if".
No "when".
No doubt, what God wants me to do.
No doubt why God wants me to do it.

God truly has shown me what is good. 
His love.
My salvation.
His grace.

My response to those things?  My response is what God actually REQUIRES of me.
Act Justly.
Love Mercy.
Walk Humbly before Him.

 I need to know what it looks like to do those things. 
What I need to change , in my life, to do what is required of me, by God.

The next three blogs will cover those thoughts and searching of God's word, and my application to my heart and life.

You are invited to join me as I chase after God's heart this year!

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson