All posts by Jay Johnston

A Follower of Jesus Christ, Husband to Jerilyn, Father to Grady & Jody, daughter-in-law Ann. Jay is a Pastor, Preacher, Teacher, Encourager, Disciple-Maker and Witness for Jesus. http://www.jayjohnston.org

FInishing Strong!!!!

I will be sharing a post each day this week 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 both Jody and me.  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.

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. Those areas include: personal relationship with Jesus, academic excellence, work ethics and expectations, friends and personal character.

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

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

 

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

Happy Birthday, Jerilyn!

February 27 is the birthday of my wife, friend, encourager, mother of our sons Grady and Jody, mother-in-law to Ann and hopefully one day soon to Jody’s wife. She is the daughter of Al and Jeannie Gaspard and sister of Johnny Wade and sister-in-law to Pam, Jimmy and Mandy.

Jerilyn is a prayer warrior, piano player, and piano teacher.

She is a friend to many people! She loves being in the kitchen cooking and preparing meals. She certainly has the gift of hospitality.

Jerilyn is a person that runs after God’s Heart, She is a committed Christian who is committed to living out her life for Jesus no matter the cost.

I am grateful to honor and celebrate the life of Jerilyn Gaspard Johnston.

Happy Birthday, Jerilyn! I love you.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

You can follow Jay on Twitter@jaygjohnston

 

Louisiana/Haiti Missions Partnership

The intent of this partnership is first and foremost to announce the Gospel to the Nation of Haiti. The initial scope will be focused on working with Pastor Odvald and the association of churches he serves as the Senior Pastor of Nouvelle Eglise Evangelique Baptiste Church in Croix-des-Bouquet.  This includes currently the work in six churches and two church plants that have the potential to reach 1.5 million people among this association of churches.

The scope of the partnership will include but not limited to Prayer Walking Teams, Medical Clinics, Bible Clubs, Church Planting, Orphanage Support, School Support, Evangelistic Crusades and Building Projects.

The Louisiana Baptist/Haiti Partnership Missions will begin and continue through PrayGr8Commission. This is an opportunity to Pray Daily for Christ to give you daily opportunities to share the Gospel and make Disciples where you live while also praying for the work in Haiti.

The long-term goal is to assist these churches by:

Providing Prayer Support

Establish a permanent Medical Clinic at each church

Provide sponsorship to staff a nurse five days a week for 8 hours a day (discovery cost)

Provide assistance with church planting among this association of churches

Provide teams to conduct Backyard Bible Clubs

Provide for school support when appropriate

Provide Construction teams to build churches, Medical Clinics, Schools and an Orphanage

Provide assistance with the establishment of at least one orphanage and sponsorship of children

Provide Pastors to conduct Crusades at least twice a year

The target group for Mission Teams on the field is freshman in High School and above!

Encourage Children’s Ministries among the Louisiana Baptist Churches to adopt pastors and churches to support through prayer, offering and at least once a year conduct campaigns to raise supplies for churches, schools and eventually an orphanage

You might say I am unable to go because of many reasons and if that is the case you are the prime candidate:

To start prayer teams for Haiti

To financially support the work

To serve as an area Representative to secure donations for children’s school supplies

To serve as an area Representative for securing Medical Supplies

To serve however God leads you to support this work

With your gift of money, time and service you are meeting the physical, spiritual, educational needs of babies, children, youth and adults in one of the world’s poorest nations. In addition to meeting these most basic needs, you are helping foster a new generation of Christian Leaders for Haiti.

For more information contact:

Louisiana/Haiti Partnership Mission Coordinator

Dr. Jay Johnston, Associate Pastor

First Baptist Church of Covington

16333 Hwy 1085

Covington, La 70433

Cell – 615-260-4752

Office – 985-892-2149

Email: jjohnston@fbccov.org

 

To make a financial contribution:

The details of the foundation that will be handling the financial resources is being finalized. I will post details late next week about where to submit your donation. In the meantime you can submit them to FBC Covington clearly marked Haiti partnership and make it to the attention of Karen McKnight. You will receive tax receipt and we will posting on a quarterly basis where and how the funds are being spent.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

Follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston

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

 

Reflecting on Haiti!

Feb 17, 2012

I have just returned from Haiti with a team from Louisiana. The purpose of this trip was to identify needs of the churches under the leadership of Pastor Jean Odvald LOUIS in an area northeast of Port-au-Prince.

Here is a list of the churches and the pastoral leadership of the churches.

NOUVELLE EGLISE EVANGELIQUE BAPTISTE D’HAITI:

1- Croix-des-Bouquets……= 1 Church, 3 Pastors

Reverend Pastor Jean Odvald LOUIS

Pastor Christmas Dorilas

Pastor Polynice Jean Andrefly

2- Foret des Pins….= 2 Churches,1 Pastor, 1 Predicator

Pastor Lifaite Saintil

Predicator Pierrette

3- La Gonave…..= 2 Churches, 1 Pastor, 1 Predicator

Pastor Lamasse Odnice

Predicator Gethro Edouard

4- CANAAN………= 1 Church, 1 Pastor

Rev. Past. Jean Odvald LOUIS

 

As I wrote in my post on February 16, 2012 Pastor Odvald is a Visionary Leader and one who has a heart for people and a desire to be obedient to the Great Commission and Great Commandment. It will be a great joy to work with Pastor Odvald in helping to carry out the Great Commission and Great Commandment.

We did accomplish our objectives and I will be posting opportunities for ministry to meet those needs early next week. I encourage you to be praying about your part in ministering to the people of Haiti.

We had the opportunity to learn about the administration of orphanages, the need for pure water, needs of schools such as supplies, teacher supplies, church planting strategies and needs, church building needs and needs to help churches be effective in ongoing ministry opportunities.

While we did a lot of work to make sure the volunteers would have what they need for ministry to Haiti we also had many opportunities to share the Gospel. This included sharing Christ with people on the streets and I am thankful for the team taking advantage of the opportunities to share the Gospel.

Thanks again for praying and considering how you can support this ongoing work for the people of Haiti.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

You can follow me 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

A Love Story!

February 14, 2012

We took off for the town of Thomassin to visit a church plant and orphanage to learn more and see what we could take from this visit. We spent time first visiting a Church Plant that the Lord is blessing with people making life-changing commitments to Jesus. This was an encouraging time to the team to see and hear about the ongoing ministry of the church plant. 

We then went to visit a guesthouse that provides housing for ministry teams and for parents who are adopting children from a local orphanage. After visiting the guest house and having questions answered from the house mom we then took off to see an orphanage. The orphanage is currently renting multiple homes to care for the children while permanent construction is taking place.  We were able to visit two of the classrooms where the children are being taught. In one of the classrooms the children were in English class. The curriculum they are in requires the children to learn, English, French and Creole. The classroom had a great atmosphere and the children seem to be very happy. We had a great time visiting the children.

After visiting the toddlers and older children’s portion of the orphanage we went to visit the home where newborn to two year olds were cared for at the orphanage. The care and attention of the staff was impressive and the babies were precious. As we talked to the babies as they lay in their baby beds you could witness smiles of the infants and the team members.

The love that is being shown by the orphanage, which is part of God’s Littlest Angels Ministry, was outstanding. The children at the orphanage are not only being cared for but the staff is intentional about sharing the story of Jesus with all of the children.

The Guest House directors are Nikki and Brandon Jordan. This couple are from the United States. We were thrilled to learn that Nikki Jordan formerly Nikki LeBlanc is from New Iberia, Louisiana, The Jordan’s along with their children are doing a great work for the Lord through this ministry.

We also had time to eat a meal away from the Florida House during the late afternoon and spend a few minutes walking in a nearby town. During our walk around time the Lord provided us numerous opportunities to share the story of Jesus.

The day was truly about love that comes from God as we witnessed the love being shown in the orphanage and by team members sharing the story of Jesus with people on the street.

May the Love of Jesus flood your heart today!

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

You can follow Jay on Twitter @jaygjohnston.org

Four lessons from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel and back in one day!

Feb. 13, 2012

We had a wonderful day to learn from various sources today.  Our day was spent traveling to the town of Jacmel located in southern Haiti and is 49 miles from our location. Since road conditions are not the best in Haiti and we will cross the mountain this drive required three hours one-way. The town was founded in 1698 and has not changed much since the late 19th century. It is told that the houses in this town would later come to influence the home structure of much of New Orleans.

Lesson 1 of the day was waiting on our driver. We were to depart at 7:00 a.m. but the driver was 1 hour and 45 minutes so in the midst of waiting we learn to use the additional time God afforded to us to visit with others or read. I was grateful that not one team member was frustrated by the tardiness of the driver. The lesson learned here was not to allow circumstances affect your personal attitude.

The driver did make it and we departed for a beautiful scenic drive to Jacmel in order to spend time with Tommy and Joy Schwindling and Charlie and Martie Elgin who serve as host of the Alabama Guest House along with Tommy & Joy serving as Co-Directors of Children’s Hope Orphanage. 

We arrived at the Alabama House where we spent time learning about the functionality of the house, the ongoing ministry of teams coming to the Alabama House and Children’s Hope Orphanage a ministry of First Baptist Montgomery, Alabama. This time was invaluable to us as we continue to develop strategy for the work God would have us do in Haiti.

After learning about the Orphanage we had opportunity to go visit the Orphanage. We had a great time seeing the facilities and visiting with the children. The children at this orphanage are being well taken care of and very happy. The facilities are excellent being they are temporary. Under Mr. Charlie’s leadership and with the help of volunteers work has begun preparing land for permanent facilities for the children.

It was good to see the work being done by Alabama Baptist and the efforts of FBC Montgomery, Alabama.

Lesson 2 of the day was learning about the call on the life of Tommy and Joy Schwindling as a member of local church receiving a vision for a God Size Work and then joining God in the work. I begin seeing a theme for the day that involves watching, praying and waiting for God’s leadership.

Our trip back across the mountain went well until we neared Port-au-Prince where we found ourselves in a long line of cars because of a wreck about one mile in front of us.  We did learn that while the eighteen-wheeler truck was destroyed the drive did not have any life threatening injuries. After waiting for ninety minutes were back on track heading to the Florida House.

Lesson 3 of the day for me was about waiting when the road is blocked. You see the very location we were stopped prevented anyone from going around the wreck. You could not turn around unless you went back across the mountain and go around a northern route, which would make no sense because of the amount of time it, would take to travel. So the lesson was to wait, rest, pray for the victim and experience God during the stillness of the moment. I can tell you this is exactly what the Lord provided me through as a result of this roadblock. You see it was a temporary roadblock so perhaps you are trying to force something in your own life today but the word just might be to wait upon the Lord.

After taking some dinner our team spent time dialoguing and praying about next steps. This was a great time of fellowship as team members shared, clarity sought and truly a time of iron sharpening iron. It is exciting to see how a strategic ministry strategy is coming together. I will be sharing those with you early next week.

I ask you continue to pray for the people of Haiti and for the part God would have you play in the Louisiana/Haiti Mission Partnership. You might become:

A prayer warrior for Haiti and the Louisiana/Haiti Mission Partnership

One who collects supplies for schools, medical clinics or backyard Bible Clubs

One who goes with a team to serve in a medical clinic

One who will go and teach in Bible School

One who will go and be part of a church planting team

One who will Go and be obedient to God’s call

One who will financially contribute to the Mission Partnership

Lesson 4 of the day is about staying focused and committed to pray! You see we have seven strong individuals on this team that have developed a strategic plan for the ongoing work in Haiti. I believe the fruit of unity, focus and strategic alliances comes about because the team is committed to praying about the work God would have us do in Haiti. God has taken seven strong individuals and molded them and shape them into a team. The mission has become all about God and the focus on the individual has been removed. The work is a God size work so thank you in advance for praying that we will line up where God is at work and join Him.

Thanks for your continued prayer support for the people of Haiti and for us.

 

With  a Grateful Heart,

Jay

you can follow me on Twitter @jaygjohnston