Sometimes We Need to Sleep with the Roosters!

I recently spent a week in Nicaragua with one of my daughters and some pretty awesome people from our church. Of course, there was no service on our phones. We couldn’t keep up with the current events in our world. And ya know what, we survived. We didn’t worry about who was offended by what, or what the latest outrage was. We had the opportunity to love like Jesus.

I wonder how our country would be if we did this more in our own backyards. If we didn’t run to social media overtime we were wronged, but instead, forgave. What if we made being the hands and feet of Jesus a priority?! We need to put down our stones and step out of our boxes. Get uncomfortable so that we can reach the “unreachable”. Sleep on the ground so that we can reach the ones in the beds. Eat food cold out of the can so that we can reach the ones cooking in the kitchen. Hike the mountain so that we can reach the ones in the house on top. Get sick on the airplane so that we can reach the ones in the other country.

I saw the kids of Nicaragua not care about the language barrier and smile when we rounded the curve and came back to the village. I saw a woman that had never seen us before be the first of the village to welcome us with handshakes. I saw the two students that went with us hug the kids like they were old friends. I saw a young man that went with us tell his story to young men of the village.

I’d say it was one of the best weeks of my life. When I feel like hiding in the corner I need to remember this.

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Seed Salesman

I know people that like to boycott things. They boycott businesses for one reason or another.
Boycotting is your privilege. I find it funny when we boycott something but use another business that supports the same thing.
Do your research and choose wisely.
Sure, you can grow your own food, but be careful of who you buy your seeds from to start your crops. They may support something you don’t agree with.
Also, be careful with being so nitpicky. You never know which of your friends have a different view from yours.

Sow love; reap love!

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7

Pick and Choose Forgiveness

I was sitting in Church, listening to this great Christian singer. He gave his testimony and told how he committed adultery and other things and how he is now back on the right track. I watched at how everybody was so accepting.

Why can’t we forgive and accept when it’s an ex president or a senator or a golfer? Why do we fell the need to do the judging and the spreading of information? Why don’t we stop and think how much the family is hurting and how we are hurting them every time we press play on a stupid video, or make a joke, or share a post on social media?

Do we not think that their children may see this? Or do we think that because their parents are in the spotlight that they automatically have this dome that lets nothing the public says about their parents penetrate?

Why can’t we allow “famous” people work on getting the plank out of their eye? We just keep jabbing it deeper and deeper without trying to remove ours.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe He said “only forgive the Christian singers” but instead “forgive others”.

Everybody does stupid stuff. If it’s not directed toward us, then why do we become so bitter and hateful. Use your words for good instead of evil.

I agree that we need to protect our little eyes, ears, and mouth. We need to shield our children. But are we really shielding them or are we letting them see a different kind of hatred?

Love others!

Fancy Conditioner

I have four daughters that are bi-racial.  They all have very curly dry hair. This means we use lots of conditioner. When shopping for more conditioner the other day, I decided to purchase the more expensive conditioner than I usually do. I like to pinch pennies whenever I can, so this was a little painful.

This morning, while drying my hair, I noticed how much softer it was.

Then I thought…
Following Christ is a lot like buying the more expensive conditioner. It’s painful sometimes, a lot of times it’s hard. We have to give up things that we think we really need, like money, or friends, or certain lifestyles. But it makes life bearable. Not easy, just bearable. We can handle tough situations with smoothness.

Yes, I know that a lot of times I don’t act like I have that peace, but when I really sit down and look and my situation, I have a sense of peace that only can be explained as Jesus Christ.

When Will We Stop Becoming Semi Trucks?

Today, I was trying to turn right at a red light.  The light was just after a railroad track.  To the left of me was a semi truck that had pulled up enough to clear the tracks.  To do this, he had to pull over the white boundary line.  So, of course, I couldn’t see around it to make sure there were no cars coming my way.

Sometimes we get so involved in what we are doing that we become like the semi truck, a barrier, for those around us. All they can see is me, me, me.

How often do I give God the glory? Sure, I do it privately in prayer. But what about the times when people say to me “Good Job”? Why don’t I ever stop and say “God did it. He used me, but it was all Him”?

Leaky Faucets, Ceiling Fans, and Water Heaters.

The last two weeks have been a little hectic at the Johnson house.  It all started when we ran out of hot water during my shower one morning.  With six people in the house, this is not unusual.  But when my husband called me that afternoon and said we didn’t have hot water, I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.  Three days later, we had a new water heater.  We also got the leaky faucet in the master bathroom fixed.  Yesterday, my husband came home with a new ceiling fan.  The light in our bedroom hasn’t worked in a month.  We’ve been doing everything by lamp light. So, we tackled the feat of installing the new one.  When we turned the light on once we were done, we were so amazed at how bright it was.

In some ways all these things relate to life.  Sometimes we get so used to doing things our way (the wrong way) that even thinking about changing things are hard to do.  But once we surrender ourselves to Christ and let Him be Lord of our life, it’s like turning on the overhead light after a month of lamp light.  We have to take the first step to have that personal relationship with Jesus; take down the old ceiling fan no matter how much you like it and don’t want to part with it.  The new one is so much better.

A Hermit Christian

As mentioned before, I want to build a tiny house and live off grid.  I have visions of traveling through the Blue Ridge Mountains with my tiny house in tow and my not so tiny family, just living in the moment and not worrying about outside matters.  How nice it will be to not have to worry about things I usually have to worry about (bills, tuition, keeping the family fed, keeping my girls safe, physically and mentally, lesson plans, leading by example).

But then I roll over and look at the clock and see that it’s 5:13am and I only have two more minutes until my day starts and I’m not in my tiny house.  Oh, how nice it would be to be a hermit Christian.  But what good would that do for God’s kingdom?  We were made to bring glory to God and we can’t do that when nobody can see us.  We must get out there in life and make disciples.

So,  I turn the alarm off two minutes early.  I bypass the jeans and tennis shoes I would love to wear and I put on my slacks and nice shirt,  a skirt if it’s Wednesday,  and I go about my day walking the dog, getting three kids to school, checking on another at college,  teaching high school kids math,  trying to teach fifth through twelth graders how to make beautiful music. And I try to do this with a smile on my face,  love in my heart,  and Christ in mind.  I do this because this is what I am made to do.

Maybe one day God will see that I get my tiny house in the mountains,  but for now,  I will travel this journey He has set before me.

And I am so very thankful that my husband feeds the rabbits and cats outside and I only have to take care of the dog.  I am still trying to convince him that we need chickens.   Six people go through lots of eggs!