Sunday, September 28, 2008


“What do we see when we walk down everyday life paths, people and things to ignore because ‘they deserve it’ or chances to show mercy? What did Jesus mean when he said, “Go and do likewise?””

Jeff Johnson April 2008

Jews and Samaritans were not the best of friends during New Testament times. While the actual reasons for the hatred between the two groups is not known, it is known that the Jews believed the Samaritans were not pure from a religious viewpoint.
LUKE 10:
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other s
ide. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[a] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' 36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" 37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

This story has been told a million times. Sometimes the story brings up conjectures of prejudice, but I have a different slant. I want to look at what it took to walk by this man. Remember, this was not an age of 70 MPH freeway driving. I will not diminish the human nature of rubbernecking at whatever speed, but in this historical setting it would be at 2 ‘Mule Speed per Hour.’ Let’s look at the lesson here.

During this period in time the body was covered completely from head to ankle. Here is a man who is stripped naked—I am not sure anyone could ignore this. Maybe on some California beaches today we would ignore it, but not then. The man was beaten half to death. If you are anything like me, when I get a sore throat I am complaining to anyone who will listen—and even to those who will not listen. Being broken and bleeding one could infer a lot of pain, moaning and groaning, with sounds that could be heard at a distance. A person traveling at 2 ‘mule speed per hour,’ without an iPod, cell phone, or CD, will listen to the sounds around them for a long time before arriving at the scene. Once the scene is behind people will listen to the same sounds for a long time, only now it is associated with a face to the story. Three questions come to mind: 1) How many times could someone say to themselves without a ‘conscious’ heart weight being added, “I am not going to help this person no matter what?” 2) How much would a person’s heart weigh after walking away from this situation? 3) When would the cries for help, the moans, the look of terror or blood and dirt caked skin leave the thoughts of anyone? So, let’s rationalize this—I am not trained to help, I am not sure what I am getting myself into—Is it safe—and my all time favorite=The next person will assist. We surely could not use today’s excuse of, ‘I am in a hurry.’ So what is the point here! We all have a purpose in life; we just need to learn how to grow into helpers.

Every person lives their life on a pathway whereby we can be a Good Samaritan. ‘Helper growing’ is a skill we all have to develop and have already started developing in many areas. What if someone would have tossed the wounded man a blanket? What if someone else tossed the man a flask of wine or water or vinegar, and maybe someone else a few coins or a robe—see the point? The person with the donkey was a ‘full fledged helper,’ but the ‘helper growers’ could offer relief through their level of comfort. Jesus command of, “Go and do likewise,” is easier said than done with most of us. But, what if today we said, “Jesus, I am going to be a ‘helper grower’ and take a FORWARD STEP toward filling this command. I will do a little on my path today to help someone in need. Here are some steps to becoming a ‘helper grower:’ 1) Take a look at your heart, feel the weight of a person that you have walked away from just because…2) Think about your level of comfort in giving to this person, 3) Thank Jesus for allowing you to have the capacity to give ANYTHING to someone in need. 4) Now do it. You are now an official ‘helper grower!’ I have always wondered if the Samaritan had a ‘been there done that’ experience and that was his path of ‘helper growing?’ Maybe you are an Inn keeper, a neighbor, or maybe you are a traveler on the other side of the road—become a FORWARD STEPPER towards becoming a ‘helper grower.’ We have the pathway.

I believe in you BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH IT,


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Everyone knows I get a huge kick about kids comments. It not only makes me very happy, but I usually smile all week over these comments--ENJOY!

How do you decide who to marry? (written by kids)

(1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you

like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she
should keep the chips and dip coming.
- Alan, age 10
(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going
to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out
later who you're stuck with.
- Kristen, age 10
(1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person
FOREVER by then.
- Camille, age 10
(2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get
- Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)
(1) You might have to guess, based on whether
they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
- Derrick, age 8
(1) Both don't want any more kids.
- Lori, age 8
(1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to
know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long
- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)
(2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that
usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
- Martin, age 10 (who says boys do not have brains)
(1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the
newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
-Craig, age 9
(1) When they're rich- Pam, age 7
(2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to
mess with that.
- Curt, age 7 (good point)
(3) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should
marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
- Howard, age 8
(1) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need
someone to clean up after them.
- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)
(1) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
- Kelvin, age 8
(1) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a
- Ricky, age 10

Sunday, September 14, 2008


"The bread was broken and passed around--silence filled the room--everyone had their own idea of what this event would mean to them, but in the end--all except Jesus got it right." Jeff Johnson March 2008

Easter, the death of Jesus on the cross, the resurrection, all of this is so very important to us. But today, this HOLY DAY, I want to discuss three very important meals and their roles.

The first meal--the last supper in the upper room.
Luke 22: 19"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." Missing in the room was Thomas, one of the disciples and Judas. Oh yes, Judas was there in body, but missing in spirit and mind. He had his own agenda, bought and paid for! Judas was there to see his own plan through already leaving Jesus with money in hand. Thomas, was absent in body, but present in mind and spirit--wondering about the entire experience--living in fear of what it would mean in the long term message--scared to participate. Which one of these disciples resemble you and I. Are we on this HOLY DAY looking in our hearts and knowing Jesus is there, knowing Jesus is real, having HIM near us feeding us and we are either absent in mind and spirit because we are scared to participate in association with HIM, or absent in mind and spirit because we are participating in our own agenda? During the first of the three meals Jesus mentions "Do this in remembrance of me"--where are you as you remember HIM? The disciples, humans just like you and I, coming to Jesus, remembering HIM, following scripture, just like you and I in more ways than meets the eye.

The second meal is with Thomas. John 20:
Thomas is explaining to the other disciples about how he must see the risen SAVIOR before he believes. Thomas and the disciples are eating together in a locked room and Jesus just appears, 27"Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Talk about just passing through a neighborhood and dropping by--Thomas is face to face with Jesus. Jesus offers Thomas exactly what he needs to believe--all doubts are eliminated--all fear is gone now--conviction on which I stand was transformed from loose sand to solid steel and concrete. The problem with being skeptical is you must consider both sides. On one hand Thomas had to consider his friends view--the other disciples would not have a reason to lie about the resurrection, but on the other hand--he doubts. Where are we at this meal--HOLY DAY after JUST DAY BY DAY we walk the same walk-- we consider during life circumstances how Jesus fits in--is HE real or is there room to doubt. If we believe one word of the Bible--like Jesus died and rose again, then we must take Thoma's story and believe. Jesus said, "In remembrance of me," but in which direction are we going with Jesus as we remember? Both Thomas and Judas had purpose in their direction--do you or I have purpose in our direction with Jesus?

The third meal is found in Revelations 3:

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."
This verse is not time dated--it does not expire, and this meal would be worthless without the other two. This meal has no value without the cross and the resurrection--but with those two events IT IS THE MEANING. Jesus wants to sup with you and I--in our hearts--forever. The food is unlimited and filling to overflow. During the three meals--where are you and I with Jesus--near HIM but absent in some way because of agendas; doubting issues but considering both sides equally; or ready to sup with HIM, accepting HIS open invitation for a meal already paid in full? Just knock on the door--Ask HIM into your heart today--WALK 'TOTALLY' BESIDE HIM---YOU ARE A FORWARD STEPPER--do not walk alone anymore, Jesus is there waiting. Come--this year--this day--lets share a meal together! I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT, Jeff

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


"It is not always the easiest thing to do when we look at any change. Maybe, it is not even the right time in our lives for change to happen, but change happens, change is necessary, and changes make us stronger. "
Jeff Johnson March 2008

I am sorry this week has been light on postings---events have occurred preventing my keyboard time--however, I have had a lot of reflection time---It is all good! :-)

It is not hard to identify changes that we need to make in our lives. When we miss identifying some of the changes we need to make, others identify them for us--always with the right amount of tact. When changes are truly identified, plans are made to initiate steps in a new direction so the change happens, but what are we really willing to do? Willingness makes or breaks our plans for change.

Willingness is a combination of either needing to or wanting to do something versus the fight with the inner voice that softly says <<<identifying and owning" (must be together) the value of the change once competed. So let's put barriers in perspective---THEY EXIST! LOL O.K. now for the more subtle--Have you ever considered that the reason we are changing something has become a barrier in our life for some reason. I like to call barriers stepping stones of unfamiliarity. Becoming familiar with these stones makes them foundations to daily living. Becoming more familiar with something leads to a comfort level that allows us to feel safe and secure--thus we can or want to own it something safe and secure--now we have identifying and owning toge
ther. When these two components are together, this builds our bridge to willingness.

Find the stepping stones of unfamiliarity in your life and stand on them for awhile--slowly and softly at first. Get to know them by observation, touch, feeling them, and exploring their components--then walk on them until you are comfortable. Knowing the stones that lead to the changes you want--increases familiarity and with increased familiarity comes increased willingness. Step out forward steppers--build some foundations toward change today.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,