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Blue Heron in the botanical gardens of Norfolk, VA

Christian Concourse
Newsletter of the Month

February 2013

 

Dear Friends, We usually do not make a lot of outward fanfare over financial donations because we know that God has said that what we do in secret He will reward openly. But, please accept this note as a token of our heartfelt appreciation for your kindness to this ministry. Your prayers, your thoughts and your financial assistance is a great blessing to us.

 

It is wonderful to us that we know most of you personally. Without doubt, each of you who support us do so because you love us and you appreciate what we do. Every contribution that we receive is a huge encouragement to us. Sometimes, we just stop what we are doing and bow our heads to humbly thank the Lord for your sacrifice. We pray His blessing on your life, your family and your finances. We pray your car keeps running smooth, your refrigerator doesn't break down, you have favor with your neighbors, and your roof doesn't leak. Why shouldn't we pray for you...so many of you pray regularly for us!

 

Most of all, we pray that your relationship with Jesus Christ will ever grow and deepen. We ask God that you will remain faithful to Him in the face of the tribulations that our Lord said would certainly come our way. We know you would agree with us that when we find ourselves struggling in some murky swamp of difficult circumstances and relationships, it certainly is a source of strength to know someone is praying that we will, by the undeserved GRACE OF GOD, make it through in victory!

 

We minister to saints who live in long-term care settings who never dreamed that they would be enduring the hardships and deprivations that they face every day. With human nature being what it is, it is so easy to get frustrated, even angry, in the midst of hardships and trials. The lesson is the same for all of us: we cannot cope in a godly manner with the injustices and agonies of life in our own strength. We just cannot do it...without a dynamic, ongoing, conversational, loving relationship with God!

 

BUT, as Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me" (Php 4:13 NKJV). And, as Peter writes: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (2Peter 1:2-4 NKJV).

 

There is no hope in this life and in our eternal destiny outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! This is what John 3:16 cries out for us to grasp with all the faith God gives us: whoever believes and keeps on believing on the complete sufficiency of the work on our behalf of the Son of God on the Cross, SHALL have eternal LIFE. We are constrained to preach this message in every way, at every opportunity, with all urgency, sincerity, and love.

 

The poem below was birthed in a time of surrender to this simple message of God's grace. We cannot approach the Throne of Grace with an attitude that puts God in debt to us. We are totally and hopelessly in debt to Him, and Christ Jesus paid the debt for us!!! We are free!!!

 

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph2:8-10 NKJV).

Sincerely, Blessings to You,

Jerry and Dar

Jerry and Dar Johnson

 

 

As Hard As I Scrub Myself

 

by Jerry Johnson

 

Take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin.  For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. Exodus 12:21-23

 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

 

And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. Mr 9:3

 

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev 1:5b-6

 

There is no merit in this house
That would stay Your hand from striking!
I know I only fool myself
To hope MY good's to Your liking.

 

Only guilt and condemnation
Are companions to my fate
If I'm depending on myself
The time already is too late!

 

I can wash and scrape and polish
Trying all my wrongs to right them,
But as hard as I scrub myself,
No fuller on earth can white them!

 

I tape my mouth, I close my eyes
I tie my hands behind my back,
I chain my feet, I stifle myself:
Somehow my sins still find some slack!

 

See the handwriting on the wall!
I must quit my foolish striving!
Surrender! I must deny myself!
I must let You do the driving!

 

Purify my heart with hyssop
Dipped in Your pure blood sacrifice.
I will invite Your washing hand
It's Your Love's work that pays the price.

 

Oh, Yes! To You be the glory!
May You rule in my life alway!
Let me not forget The Blood
That washed my hopelessness away!

 

Amen.

 

© Copyright 2013, Gerald T. Johnson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

 

 

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