A New Season – Grandparenting

On Friday, November 1, 2013 my wife Jerilyn and I entered into a new season of our life. We became Grandparents to Chaucer Whitt Johnston born to our son and daughter-in-law Grady and Ann Johnston. We were excited to hear the news they were expecting back in the early part of 2013 and then to receive the news that our grandson Chaucer was born was wonderful news. Jerilyn and I have prayed for the baby since we first heard that Grady and Ann were expecting and now that he has been born our prayers continue for Chaucer, Grady and Ann.

Chaucer Whitt Johnston

 

 

 

 

Many years ago I met a writer, speaker and radio talk show host Irene Endicott who had a passion for Grandparents. I begin learning about the grandparenting season from Irene as well as learning from my parents and Jerilyn’s parents.  Irene Endicott and Ferris Jordan wrote a book Grandparenting By Grace. The following is adapted from them.

a. Grandparents ought to be teachers to their grandchildren about God’s love. Isaiah 12:2-6

b. Grandparents ought to tell of God’s faithfulness toward our family. Deuteronomy 4:9

c. Grandparents ought to share family history with grandchildren.

d. Grandparents ought to be intentional to have some play times with grandchildren.

e. Grandparents ought to be an encourager to their grandchildren.

f. Grandparents ought to provide a listening ear to their grandchildren and children.

g. Grandparents ought to be wise and note hold a critical spirit.

h. Grandparents ought to be a blessing to grandchildren.

i. Grandparents ought to be a prayer warrior for their grandchildren.    Matthew 21:22

I will pray daily for the role Jerilyn and I have in the life of Chaucer. My parents and Jerilyn’s parents were a huge influence to me as a father and tremendous grandparents to our sons. I pray that I can take some of their instruction to be the Papa J that God would have me be to Chaucer.

I am thankful for Bob Hostetler a writer, speaker and teacher that has influence my life. Bob crafted the following 31 Virtues to pray for children and (Grandchildren).  I pray daily for my family and I will use the following 31 Virtues to pray for Chaucer.

1. Salvation—”Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)

2. Growth in Grace—”I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)

3. Love—”Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them.” (Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:2)

4. Honesty and Integrity—”May integrity and honesty be their virtue 
and their protection.” (Ps. 25:21)

5. Self-Control—”Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.” 
(1 Thess. 5:6)

6. Love for God’s Word—”May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)

7. Justice—”God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do.” (Ps. 11:7; Mic. 6:8)

8. Mercy—”May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

9. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—”Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.” (1 Pet. 2:17)

10. Biblical Self-Esteem—”Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)

11. Faithfulness—”Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.” (Prov. 3:3)

12. Courage—”May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.” (Deut. 31:6)

13. Purity—”Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)

14. Kindness—”Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thes. 5:15)

15. Generosity—”Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

16. Peace-Loving—”Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)

17. Joy—”May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thes. 1:6)

18. Perseverance—”Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)

19. Humility—”God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Titus 3:2)

20. Compassion—”Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)

21. Responsibility—”Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)

22. Contentment—”Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)

23. Faith—”I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.” (Luke 17:5-6; Heb. 11:1-40)

24. A Servant’s Heart—”God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.” (Eph. 6:7)

25. Hope—”May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

26. Willingness and Ability to Work—”Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)

27. Passion for God—”Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee,’ one that clings passionately to You.” (Ps. 63:8)

28. Self-Discipline—”Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)

29. Prayerfulness—”Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” (1 Thess. 5:17)

30. Gratitude—”Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20; Col. 2:7)

31. A Heart for Missions—”Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples.” (Ps. 96:3)

In addition to praying for Chaucer I will look forward to the times we can spend together. While the distance is great at this time I am thankful for technology that provides opportunities for us to see him and communicate to him.

In closing I want to offer the following congratulations:

To Grady and Ann we rejoice with you in the birth of your first-born child.

To Jerilyn I am excited to share this season of life with you. You will be a wonderful Mimi to Chaucer.

To Steve and Linda Feaga the parents of Ann and grandparents to Chaucer I offer my congratulations to you and know Chaucer will love you and your entire family.

To Jody and Paul, congratulations on being an Uncle to Chaucer.

To Jayne and Faith congratulations on being an Aunt to Chaucer.

To the great-grandparents congratulations and thanks for loving Chaucer and encouraging Grady and Ann on their journey s parents.

To our extended family thanks for sharing and rejoicing with us in this new season of life.

With a Grateful Heart,

Papa J

Haiti Mission April 11, 2013

Haiti Mission April 11

The Lord God blessed us with a beautiful day in Haiti as we worked to build a home for the pastor of the Canaan Church and a Medical Clinic.

Our prayer is for this medical clinic to be used by medical teams throughout the world to conduct Medical Clinics for the people in Canaan. We are also working to secure a Haitian trained nurse to operate the clinic and be on site five days a week. If you would like to support this medical clinic by sponsoring a nurse or assisting with supplies please contact me.

We are supporting the work force of Haiti with this project by employing a team of Haitians to serve as Construction Manager, Foreman, Mason Workers and Assistants.  All of the men live in the immediate area of the church and clinic so it is a blessing to have them helping as they take great pride with the project.

The team from Louisiana and the Haitian Workers put in a full day under very hot conditions. The temperature was 96 and the heat index was registering 135 today. I praise the Lord for the safety and good health of everyone on the worksite today.

I shared with the team that while that it was a good construction day the greatest work done today was the time team members took to visit with the children at school and loving on the Haitian men we were working with today and sharing their own stories of Christian faith.

Please continue to pray for us as we serve here in Haiti this week. We will be taking additional teams to Haiti in the coming months. If you would be interested in coming with us please contact me.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Haiti Mission April 10, 2013

Haiti Mission April 10

Today, I am travelling with a team of men to Haiti! The purpose of the trip is to work along side Haitian men to build a home for a pastor and build a medical clinic in an area east of Port au Prince called Canaan. This is all under the umbrella of the Nouvelle English Church in Croix des Bouquet that is the mother church to many other churches throughout Haiti.

I Praise the Lord for the safe travel to Haiti today. We went through customs, claimed our bags and on our way within thirty minutes after landing. On the way to our lodging quarters we stopped at the Embassy Hardware Store because the pastor needed to turn in the order for the roofing supplies. This took some time because of some change in prices and having a clear understanding of the supply list. I am thankful for the way God used our interpreter Youdel and Teo who is from FBC Covington at the hardware store. It was simply one of those times that you marvel at God working out all the details!

After nearly two hours at the hardware store we departed for our place of lodging. Upon arrival we were issued our keys and had some time to unpack before we departed to see the land we are working to purchase for a Children’s Home, School, Medical Clinic and lodging for mission teams. We spent some time walking the land and praying for God’s will to be done here on earth as it is in Heaven.

We then returned for dinner and some fellowship before going to bed. It has been a great day and I am grateful for this team of men that have come to Haiti.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Haiti – A Day of Memory, A Day of Hope

Haiti – A Day of Memory, A Day of  Hope

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that resulted in over 300,000 deaths. It is estimated that over 1.4 million people live under tents or on the streets of Haiti. In 2011 a cholera outbreak occurred with an estimated 8,500 deaths and this number is rising.

Many of the people in Haiti who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life are fasting and praying today. They plan to end the fast with a March of Glory to celebrate God with praise and worship because of His gift of eternal life. They are going to praise him because they are alive and desire to live life for Jesus Christ. .

I am asking you to join me in prayer this morning for the people of Haiti. They still face great difficulty, poverty and starvation and hundreds of orphan children on the street. As I spoke with many of the Haitian people while in Haiti this past week they are believing God for a breakthrough, for a new Haiti.  Let’s agree to ask God to turn the hearts of Political Leaders in Haiti to Jesus and that they will confess and repent of their wicked ways and to see God heal the land of Haiti.

Today, many of the Haitian Pastors are preaching 2 Chronicles 7:14, My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land; and PSALMS 113: 7 – 8 vs.7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile vs.8 in order to seat them with nobles—
with the nobles of His people

If you would like to join in the work that God is doing in Haiti I first invite you to pray for the work we believe God is leading us to do in Haiti. You can also join in by being part of a Bible Club Mission Team, Provide Medical Assistance, Construction Team, or Evangelistic Outreach please contact me for upcoming mission trips to Haiti.

If you cannot go but could provide financial help that would be a blessing so we can move forward with building permanent medical clinics in the area of Canaan, Croix-des-Bouquet, Foret des Pins and other locations after established in these areas. We are praying and believing for land to purchase in or near Canaan to build a church, orphanage, school and medical clinic. The Medical Clinics will have a Haitian Nurse working six days a week and will provide a place for medical teams to go while on mission in Haiti.

Please feel free to contact me for more information by emailing me, calling me at FBC Covington, La. If you want to donate you can mail a check made out to the Louisiana Baptist Convention or FBC Covington marked Haiti Mission Fund.

Thanks for taking time to read and I trust you will respond as God leads you.

 With a Grateful Heart,
Pastor Jay
Jay Johnston, D.Min.
Associate Pastor
FBC Covington 

Louisiana/Haiti Partnership Missions Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!

Louisiana/Haiti Partnership Missions

Romans 10:15 How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!

On January 12 it will be three years since a devastating earthquake took place in Haiti. Louisiana Baptist churches were quick to respond to the relief efforts including Buckets of Hope, Disaster Relief and Prayer for Haiti. Two churches that were first responders to the earthquake recovery efforts were First Baptist Church of Covington and First Baptist Church of Lafayette. Since that time these two churches along with other churches from Louisiana have continued to share the love of Jesus in Haiti.

FBC Covington and FBC Lafayette took up the challenge by Wayne Sheppard of the Louisiana Baptist Convention to form a Louisiana Baptist and Haiti partnership. The LBC Haiti partnership currently involves work in Croix des Bouquets and Canaan in cooperation with the leadership of Haitian Pastors and the Haitian Baptist Convention.

These two churches currently have teams on mission in Haiti! They are working together conducting Medical Clinics and Vacation Bible Schools. They have already seen 468 patients in the medical clinic and had over 200 children in Vacation Bible School.

The medical team is seeing about physical symptoms but at the same time they are caring for spiritual needs of the patients according to Rock Kendrick who is coordinating the medical teams work. The pharmacy workers are dispensing medicines prescribed by the Doctors and at the same time you can find them hugging on the patients, praying for them and sharing smiles as they go over the orders prescribed by the physicians.

Dustin Lee who serves as the children’s minister at FBC Lafayette has led the Vacation Bible School efforts. The VBS team includes team members from both churches and is made up of teenagers, college students, young, median and older adults working together to God’s Word to the children. Dustin has provided great leadership, energy and passion to this effort and it has ignited the efforts of all team members even when the outdoor temperatures were soaring into the upper 90’s.

The Gospel has been shared through these efforts and the team trusts the Lord of the Harvest to bring forth a great harvest with expectations that one day Heaven will be expanded because of the Gospel story being shared this week.

The future of the Louisiana Baptist Haiti Partnership is bright but we need YOU! We need Medical Teams including High Adventure Medical Teams willing to go into the mountain region and smaller islands off the Haitian Coast to conduct medical clinics. We also need VBS Teams, Construction Teams, Prayer Teams, Medical Supply Donations, Financial Donations to purchase land for two permanent medical clinics can be built, along with an orphanage, school, and one home for a pastor and family who currently live in a tent behind a church.

Louisiana Baptist and Haiti Partnership Efforts are ongoing so make plans now to join this mission partnership in 2013 by going, giving and praying! If you would like to be part of the Louisiana Haiti Mission effort please contact Wayne Sheppard the with the Louisiana Baptist Convention or you can contact Jay Johnston, Associate Pastor of FBC Covington, La.

 

 

Finishing Strong!!! Part 5 of 5

I am sharing in five parts a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part five of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

You can go to www.jayjohnston.org to read the first four areas I covered in a challenge for Jody to finish strong.

Today’s post covers the fifth area that Jody and I discussed last spring. The fifth area that Jody and I discussed was character.

This is an area that my wife Jerilyn and I have attempted to live out before our two sons, family, co-workers, friends and neighbors. I am grateful that Jody and I can still have this conversation. It is a healthy conversation about who we are as Children of God, about who we are when no one else is around and who we are in public places. I am thankful that a discussion of character with our sons has never been about judging the character of someone else and we don’t measure ourselves by someone else’s character. The subject of character in our family is defined by who we are in Christ.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

Discover who you are as a follower of Jesus Christ!

Matthew 5:48; I Peter 1:15-16; I Corinthians 13: 4-8; Galatians 3:20

In closing, let me bring you up-to-date on Jody. He was to begin his final year at Liberty University on Monday August 20, 2012. However, he was on a mission trip to Uganda and will returned August 28. Check out his photos and stories at Instagram or Webstegram  @jodyjohnston. He will be back in class on the 29th of August. I am praying he will be healthy, strong and overcome the nine-hour time difference quickly. I know the people of Bethlehem Baptist Church will be excited to have him back on Sunday September 2. As a father I am grateful for the love this church demonstrates to Grady, Ann and Jody.

This past summer Jody travelled throughout the US with a college friend Ryan Carl as they sought to build community among Instagramers. You can read more by clicking on this link:

http://www.liberty.edu/news/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=61763#.UDZBcXni9Ws.mailto

Jody took our talk to heart as he has started off his senior year at Liberty University strong. I pray for a strong finish. I am grateful for a University committed to training Champions for Christ. For more information on Liberty University I encourage you to visit www.liberty.edu

Please take a moment and let me know your thoughts about this conversation.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

#Pilgramers, #Instagram @JodyJohnston #LibertyUniversity #trainingchampions for Christ

Finishing Strong!!! Part 4 of 5

** I miss posting yesterday because of Hurricane Isaac. Today I pick back up on the dialogue with my youngest son Jody.

I am sharing in five parts a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part four of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

You can go to www.jayjohnston.org to read the first three areas I covered in a challenge for Jody to finish strong.

Today’s post covers the fourth area that Jody and I discussed last spring. The fourth area that Jody and I discussed was the subject of friends. I told Jody how grateful I am that he shows himself friendly to all he meets. I expressed appreciation for his friends and for his openness to bring his friends around his mom and I throughout his life. We talked about how some of his college friends will be life-long friends, as will those he grew up with in Tennessee and even some of the friends he made during his short time of living in Louisiana before he left for Liberty. We also prayed for the person God would have for him to marry. This is something that my wife and I as Jody’s mom and dad have prayed for since the time we knew we were expecting him to come into this world. We continue to pray that God will bring forth the women he is to marry. I certainly look forward to meeting her one-day.

In wrapping up this part of the conversation I challenged him to live out his life before his friends not just the next year but throughout his life so he would never be ashamed of introducing them to his children or even his children’s children one day knowing that he never compromised his faith and convictions in Jesus because of a friend.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

Take time to invest in people!

Matthew 28:18-20; I Thessalonians 2:8; Luke 14:25-33

I will post later today the fifth part of our conversation. I hope this series is an encouragement to you.

Please take a moment and leave a comment on my blog at www.jayjohnston.org

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

 

Finishing Strong!!! Part 3 of 5

Everyday this week I am sharing one of five parts of a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part three of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

Yesterday, I covered the challenge for Jody to finish strong in his academics requirements.

Today’s post covers the third area that Jody and I discussed last spring. The third area Jody and I discussed was expectations and work ethic. I am thankful that Jody has a desire to work and that he is a hard worker. He has held several jobs prior to the start of college and throughout his college days including multiple jobs at the same time. While in college he has been part of the Music and Student Staff at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Dillwyn, Virginia where he has served along side his brother who is the Senior Pastor. He has worked as a retail sales person for a Sporting Goods Store, a handyman at the American Association of Christian Counselors office, landscape work, and a free-lance photographer.

Our conversation about expectations included both the acknowledgement of written and unwritten expectations that exist among family, friends, employers, co-laborers, roommates and yes-even spouses. We both agree that it is important to know or discover expectations and to give one’s best to meet them.

In our discussion about work ethic I reminded him that this means being the same person if you were alone or in the crowd of one hundred. We also discussed that as a leader this includes being on time if not early in attendance for classes, meetings and appointments. I encouraged Jody to be prepared for meetings, assignments, etc. in addition to being on time for them. Our conversation wrapped up with a discussion about completing assignments as a student, employee or whatever the occasion by the appropriate deadline.

As a part of this discussion on expectations and work ethics we discussed communication and its importance as a leader. Our communication discussion included the subject of response. This included responding to people in timely manner when they have contacted you via phone, postal mail, email or social media. We also discussed the importance as a leader to help team members prepare for whatever responsibilities they have by planning, communicating and equipping them so they can accomplish what has been asked of them. Some examples include daily responsibilities, worship service planning and project management.  I told him doing this does not mean you are a high performer in your work. However, it does bring to the table the best experience for everyone on your team to be and do their best for God.

Through the years we have had family discussions about work ethic. I have confessed to our family and reminded Jody that sometimes I have been hard on myself as it relates to expectations and work ethic but never have I intentionally tried to transfer my personal expectations on others including my family. I told Jody that while we may put high expectations on ourselves the bottom line is do we have a work ethic that honors Jesus Christ that results in one given their best for Him.

Here is how we prayed about this matter: Lord, we praise You for the gifts and talents You have given us. May we use them to glorify You and may we see others as You have created them. In the name of Jesus!

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

Be the same person behind closed doors that you are in public!

Leviticus 19:11; Romans 12:2; Proverbs 11:1

I hope this series of articles brings encouragement to you. I also hope that it opens a door of communication within your family. Leave a comment on my blog at www.jayjohnston.org

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Finishing Strong!!! Part 2 of 5

Everyday this week I am sharing one of five parts of a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part two of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

Yesterday, I covered the challenge for Jody to have a strong personal walk with Jesus.

Today’s post covers the second area that Jody and I discussed last spring, which are his academic requirements. I expressed appreciation for him continuing to be a good student and keeping his grades up. I urged him to not slack up and to give the remaining classes his best effort because it will improve his GPA and will help him as he begin applying for entrance into a Seminary Graduate School. I also encouraged him to take some elective courses that would help with life skills like Business 101 and Financial Management. He might not be the Valedictorian of the Class of 2013 but I believe he will be able to say he gave his best effort while at Liberty University and for that I am grateful.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

We must give our best at school, work or whatever we do!

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:23-24; Proverbs 13:4

I am grateful for the excellent education Jody is receiving as a student at Liberty University.

I hope whatever you have to do today you will give your best for the glory of God.

Tomorrow I will post a third area of the discussion Jody and I had last spring.

I also thank you for praying for us here in South Louisiana as we await Isaac.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

Finishing Strong!!!! Part 1 of 5

Today, I am sharing Part 1 of 5 post that comes from a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason this dialogue took place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks that was healthy for me and Jody.  My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part one of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

The first area that Jody and I discussed was in his personal walk with Jesus.

I told him how grateful I am that he has a personal relationship with Jesus and that it seem like only yesterday that we stopped on Interstate 65 heading southbound

at mile marker 43 where he personally invited Jesus into his life. I challenged him that he has an opportunity to intentionally prepare and mature in his personal walk with Jesus during his senior year that would launch him into the next season of his life.

We spoke of some specific actions including his private time with God and public times of service and disciplemaking. We also spoke of those opportunities God orchestrates like divine appointments, and he needed to be in tune with God so he would not miss those appointments.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

1. Accountability as a Christian is a must!

The Bible says God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12

A Christian is accountable to one another. 1 Corinthians 12

We must not see accountability as our enemy or a way to ambush someone. I see accountability as a backstop in life that supports and protects us from being found in an appearance of evil.

You might have read this and say well that works for them because the father and son both identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. So, what if a parent or child, teenager or young adult is without Christ what can I do to begin a conversation with them about Jesus. The very first thing I would do is pray for God to open a door for such an opportunity. We often try to go and do matters that are important with God without ever consulting Him.  Second, I would go to that person not with the intent to harm, but to share with them how much Jesus means to you. Let this be a personal time of sharing the story of Jesus and what God is doing in your life. Third, I would follow-up with that person and see how they are handling the conversation. Fourth, do not give up! Keep Praying and Asking God to bring that person to Salvation.

I hope you will take time to read and share your feedback with me by leaving comments at www.jayjohnston.org

I will post part 2 tomorrow. In closing, would you join in praying for family members who need a personal relationship with Jesus. I also ask you join me in praying for the preparations  and evacuation procedures taking place along the US Gulf Coast because of Issac.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

To Encourage Disciples of Jesus through Intentional Discipleship, Prayer, Bible Reading, Worship, Missions, Evangelism, and Service.