Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Thanksgiving Heart - Barbara Johnson

Happy Thanksgiving!!! We are so excited to have our very own Barbara Johnson as our guest blogger today.  Barbara is the wife of Vic Johnson, Pastor of Cares.  She is the mother of three children...Adam, Andrew and Kara, and Gangy (Grandmother) to four precious littles.   If you haven't had the chance to meet her, you're going to want to find her and introduce yourself!! Barbara has a love for Jesus that oozes onto everyone she comes in contact with.  

A Thanksgiving Heart

I’m not a writer. I know and love really good writers. I’m (unfortunately) not one of them. But, OHHHHH, do I have a grateful heart. 

This past year GOD has brought so many blessings to my life for which I’m thankful. 2017 has been chocked full of the sweetest gifts from the loving hand of FATHER.  I could not possibly describe them all adequately.   

The end of 2016...not so much...

A year ago, this month, I survived: 

**An incredibly stressful new job start (3-weeks intensive training with 20 hour days...averaging 3-4 hours sleep each night.) 

**The difficult delivery of a precious new grandson that Drs. gave bleak hope of a full recovery. 

**Our daughter being re-admitted to the hospital with a serious infection brought on by this difficult delivery.

**And I’m beginning the new job where I fly all over the country for 3 days out of every week.

Anyone feeling cheerful yet?

But GOD....

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship GOD acceptably with reverence and awe,”  
Hebrews 12:28 (NIV)

This is one of the scripture passages for November that our precious Shannon has encouraged us to “write out.”  I had never participated in the “write out the scripture” thingy (thingy’s a good word.)  What a blessing it has been, to not only read and drink in GOD’s Holy Word, but write it out.  I’m hooked, now.

Let’s do some more “drinking”....

“Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before GOD.” (The Message)
I love the note from the Life Application Bible...
“Eventually the world will crumble, and only God’s kingdom will last.  Those who follow Christ are part of this unshakable kingdom, and they will withstand the shaking, sifting, and burning....No matter what happens here, our future is built on a solid foundation that cannot be destroyed.”

And The Teacher’s Commentary, by Lawrence Richards...
“And so the writer promises us that God will guide us into an experience of His holiness.  At times our way may seem difficult.  But so was Jesus’ way.  Through it all, we are assured of the Father’s changeless love.”

And, finally, Life Application-New Testament Commentary...
“Because we have this kind of kingdom, we should be thankful and worship God with holy fear and awe.  When we truly worship God, we do it all the time--not just in a Sunday morning worship service...True worship includes every action of every day,”

Thinking through Hebrews 12:28, and how GOD restored my November of 2016 “exceeding, abundantly, beyond all I could hope or imagine”, has left me ashamed that I ever doubted HIS great goodness in my life.  This Thanksgiving certainly holds new meaning for me.  

**Two days ago, a perfect, sun-drenched, fall day...not a cloud in the sky...I had the breathtaking view of GOD’s Grand Canyon at 30,000 feet.  The other flight attendants and I had taken care of our passengers, and were just gazing out the back galley windows.  I had to stop and silently tell FATHER “thank You” for His incredible creation.  Did I mention I was getting paid for this tough new job?  GOD really does bless and love me so perfectly.  

**There’s also a precious, gorgeous, smart, one-year-old; that all his doctors proclaim to be PERFECT....that I cannot live without.  I kiss him regularly and A LOT.  He has a mother that loves to worship GOD, and lead others to do the same. Both are perfectly healthy and whole. Thankful!!!  Soooo very, very, thankful.

2017 has been a year where my perfect FATHER has told me gently over and over how much HE loves me. How carefully HE cares for all my needs.  And that HE “never ever no not ever” leaves me alone.  

This December four big parts of my “heart” are moving to Boston when our son starts a new job there.  I will remain faithful to The ever faithful ONE...even in December. GOD can be trusted, and I choose gratefulness.

“FATHER, my prayer for all of us is that we may worship thankfully and faithfully no matter what tomorrow brings.  Because we are part of Your kingdom that cannot be shaken. Glory!!  Amen”

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