Category Archives: Biblical Wisdom

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

Time, Priorities or Responsibilities! Which one is it?

It has been five months since I have posted something on my blog! I have thought often about posting something along with a redesign of the site to include more visuals. I have a list of subjects to write about so it is not that I did not think about the blog and it was not because of a shortage of subjects to write about.

I could give the following reasons of time, priorities and responsibilities for not posting something on my blog for five months.

However, the real reason has been obedience. I believe the Lord did not want me writing over the past five months. The Lord had me on a different agenda and I did not want to miss His plan. You see, I could have filled some time, re-address some priorities and forsake some responsibilities to write but I would have missed what God was doing in my life.

It has been a time of searching my own heart, a time of growing deeper in my personal relationship with Jesus, a time of new growth in my relationship with Jerilyn, a time of character building, a time of sharpening some skills, a time of walking with some families through deep pain, a time of celebrating with our son Grady and his wife Ann over accomplishments in their life and celebrating with Jody over accomplishments in his life. One of Jody’s accomplishments includes some acting and photography. I encourage you to check out Pilgramers on YouTube along with with “Stuff Instagramers Say.” You can also see photos on Instagram @JodyJohnston or @Pilgramers. I still pray daily for the wife that God has for Jody and look forward to meeting her one-day. He enters his Senior Year at Liberty University this fall and we look forward to celebrating his graduation in the spring of 2013.

I am excited about the work God has and continues to do in my life and I look forward to writing about those things along with some others things in the day ahead.

Today, I can say that I am excited because I have a new sense of freedom in Christ and plan to exercise all of those freedoms for the sake of the Kingdom. I am excited that God has freed me up to write and while I may write from time to time I am committed to pursuing God.

You see my not writing was not about time, priorities or responsibilities. It was about my obedience to my Master Jesus Christ.

Thanks for taking time to read this post. If it has encouraged you or if you have some specific questions about your own journey in Christ or my journey please leave a comment here at jayjohnston.org or message me on Facebook or Twitter.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Thank You for Praying!

I am thankful people pray! I am thankful for those who prayed for me and those that travelled with me to Haiti last week. Your prayer support for the work taking place in Haiti is making a difference. The work is good, the people are appreciative and I believe bringing lifechange to the people of Haiti and to those helping make a difference in Haiti that will affect both Heaven and Hell.

I am also praying for those who are reading my blog about Haiti. Your prayers are at the very core of the work for Haiti that will make a difference. Your willingness to pray also opens the door of your heart and mind to be involved with helping to make a difference in Haiti by going with a team in the coming weeks, months or years to help fulfill the strategy, byy assisting with the gathering of supplies or by financially contributing to the work.

As you pray I believe God will reveal to you the part you are to be involved with in Haiti. 

In my next blog on Haiti I will lay out the strategy for the work in Haiti, how you can pray, go and give.

Thanks for praying!

With a Grateful Support,
Jay

A Christ-Like Attitude!

February 18, 2012

We hear the word attitude and often think of circumstances that occur throughout a person’s life.  Perhaps you may think that with a proper attitude your own circumstances might have a different outcome. I am uncertain about attitude changing outcomes in circumstances of life but I am certain that with a proper attitude or better defined as a Christ-like attitude the person is changed.

Earlier this week I received an email that one of our church members was diagnosed with lymphoma and would be undergoing more test to determine the severity of this disease. On Friday February 17, 2012 the church member and his family were informed that he has stage 4 cancer that is mantle cell lymphoma involving the b cells with a blastoid/blastic variant.  It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It is in his bone marrow.

I have been praying for this church member over the past two weeks because two-weeks ago today he shared with me that he was not feeling well and would be undergoing test on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. I had received some initial feedback from the family on those tests with an understanding more test would need to be run. I then received word that he was admitted to a hospital because he was weak and experiencing other symptoms that were not normal.  It was after he was admitted to the hospital that I receive word of his diagnoses. As I continued to pray for this man while waiting to return back from a mission trip I could think only of his attitude. His attitude when he shared with me that he was experiencing some health problems was an attitude of strength and peace. While you could see the concern of family members the man with this health issues was strong. Well, on Thursday of this week I was able to see this man for the first time since his diagnoses and even though he had just returned from a very difficult procedure his attitude was strong. You could see the peace upon him and I also witnessed that same peace upon his wife and adult children.

I saw this man today and this was the first time I saw him since he received the full diagnoses and again I saw a man with an attitude of peacefulness. I saw the same attitude upon the family. However, it is not just in the faces of this family it is in their voices and their entire demeanor.

I do not know what the final outcome will be regarding his medical situation but I can tell you that the attitude of this man and his family has changed me.

I do know this is a man who loves God, knows God and professes him as Lord of his life. I have watched this man for several years demonstrate his love for Jesus in his daily walk.

He exhibits the type of Christ-like Attitude we read in Philippians 2:4-11.

Philippians 2:4-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

 

4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, 
did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man 
in His external form, 
8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient 
to the point of death— 
even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name 
that is above every name, 
10 so that at the name of Jesus 
every knee will bow— 
of those who are in heaven and on earth 
and under the earth — 
11 and every tongue should confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What about your attitude? Might your attitude be one that allows Jesus to be Lord over everything in your life. Today, let your walk with Jesus be one that no matter your circumstances be used by Jesus to influence and change the lives of many or one.

Thanks Bill for allowing your attitude to radiate Christ and be used to change my life.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

You can follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston

 

A Haitian Pastor!

Feb. 16, 2012

Today, I want to tell you a little bit about Pastor Jean Odvald Louis who goes by Pastor Odvald. This pastor had a heart for Christ, a love for his family and a commitment to equip the people he is leading and working everyday to see the ministry is about multiplying with the hope of reaching one more for Jesus everyday.

Pastor Odvald along with his wife Jeannide Lafleur Louis, Daughter’s: Lmadnide, Marie Phoebe (baby) and son Bertsley  live in Croix-des-Bouquet (pronounced Creole: Kwadèbouke or English: quad a bouquet). Pastor Odvald and his wife love the local church and committed to reaching those around them for Christ and to disciple them.

I have found Pastor Odvald to be a man constantly seeking the heart of God. He is a man prayerful in his ways, strong in teaching God’s Word, visionary leader that gets things done.

The Louisiana/Haiti Missions partnership will be working hand in hand with Pastor Odvald and the churches under his leadership. I ask that you place Pastor Odvald on your prayer list as we begin working with him.

If you are interesting in serving on a Mission Team in Haiti please let me know and I will get you connected to groups that will be going every month beginning in May 2012.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

Follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston

David’s Blueprint for Personal Peace, Wisdom, and Tranquility!

Psalm 37: 1-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible

 1 Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.

 2 For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants.

 3 Trust in the LORD and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.

 4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.

 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act,

 6 making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. 

 7 Be silent before the LORD and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who

   prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans.

 8 Refrain from anger and give up [your] rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm.

David’s blueprint for personal peace, wisdom, and tranquility:

We are “to trust in  the  Lord   and do good.”

We are “to delight in the Lord.”

We are “to commit our way to the Lord.”

We are “to be silent before the  Lord.”

We are “to refrain from anger.”

I am personally grateful for the way God is teaching me through this Psalm. May we all be found faithful in trusting Jesus for our security.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay