Archives For calling

Bob Goff Typical quote graphic

© 2014 Connie Davis Johnson

Advertisements

Bob Goff succeeding at doesn't matter1

Visit Jill Savage’s site to learn more about Hearts at Home’s Compassion International trip.

Sponsoring a child is an amazing way to make a difference in a child’s life and possibly save them from exploitation and poverty.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

You may also like:

Desire To Be Weak

A Scary Yet Amazing Trip

Does God Shop at Garage Sales?

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

“I can do it Grandpa, I promise!!”  My argument continued to fall on deaf ears as I tried to convince my grandpa I could indeed jump off the dock on the lake and not drown.  He continued to silently rock back and forth on the porch swing that hung from the big, shady oak tree by the lake.  This was one of his favorite spots on his property.  But I was destroying the peace he loved so much.

144286011

Maybe he didn’t hear me.  “GRANDPA!!  I’M ABLE TO SWIM, I PROMISE!”  The desperation to take that coveted leap may have made me embellish my 1 lesson in the water that barely consisted of introductions and instructions to never talk your grandpa into allowing you to jump off a dock into a deep lake until all water education was completed.

However, I was a very busy 8-year old at the time!  I had rocks to skip, tadpoles to catch, trees to climb, grandparents to manipulate.  There was no time for this silly nonsense of actually learning before leaping.

Besides, my cousin, Shelley, 5 months my junior was always allowed to jump off the dock into the lake.  When my grandpa tried to explain Shelley had taken several months of swim lessons in the very lake by which we argued, he was met with a scoffing sound.  I looked around for the rude person who would have the nerve to be so disrespectful to my short-tempered grandfather.  Unfortunately, I realized I was that person.

My irritated and exasperated grandpa, tired of the fight, decided it was pointless to continue to argue with a stubborn child who insisted in learning things on her own.  “Go jump in the lake!” he yelled.

I bolted from the swing before he could change his mind, ran straight onto the dock, and splashed through the puddles left from the many flying leaps my cousin had already taken from the “stationary diving board.”

As soon as my toes touched the end of the platform, I jumped and sailed through the air, arms outstretched.  Feeling the wind in my hair, I closed my eyes and enjoyed my moment of victory and took pleasure that I was doing something my parents would surely incarcerate me in my room for later.  But right now, I was free and I was going to squeeze every bit of pleasure I could from this adventure.

Relishing the moment a bit too long, I forgot to take a breath before plunging into the dark, murky water.  Only taking into consideration how to get into the water, I had not given thought to how to get out.  It was then I realized the wisdom in the advice to learn to swim before leaping.

It seemed like minutes as I sank deeper and deeper underwater.  Wondering when I would stop, I suddenly felt my feet sink into the squishy, gooey mud at the bottom, leaving nothing hard in which to push off.  Already feeling as if my lungs were on fire, I began to flail my arms and legs in an attempt to reach the top that felt 100 feet above.

Disoriented, I could only wonder if I was traveling upwards toward that cool breath of fresh air or if I was just spinning in circles.  My lungs screamed for air.  I couldn’t hold out much longer before my body would instinctively gasp for air only to take in dirty lake water.

Realizing I couldn’t save myself, I knew I needed Jesus!  Nothing else mattered in that moment.  Schoolwork, the fight with my sister, my cousin being able to do things I only wished I could, all of it went away.

It was just me and Jesus.

92095389

I prayed for Jesus to save me.  It was in that moment my hands escaped the pressure of the water and felt the freedom of fresh air.  Finally my mouth and nose broke through the surface and I was able to gasp for air.  I choked and sputtered while thrashing around, trying not to be swallowed by the water again.

Suddenly, I felt strong hands grab me under my arms and pull me to the safety of the dock.  My grandpa stood looking down at my face as I lay on the dock, sucking in as much air as humanly possible.  We stared at each other too shocked to say anything for a full minute.  When I finally stopped choking up water, he said, “I told you!” and walked away.  Gotta love a softhearted man.

Do you feel as if you’re drowning because of choices you’ve made?  Are you flailing trying to save yourself knowing it’s futile?  Call on Jesus!  He can bring you back to the surface and provide a breath of fresh air.  Give Him your mistakes.  He’s the Master at taking our ashes and turning them into something beautiful.  Ignore the “I told you’s.”

Nothing else matters at this moment.  It’s you and Jesus.  Call on Him.  He’ll save you.

“…..He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…. to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes….” ~ Isaiah 61:1,3

You may also like:

Are You Insignificant?

Desire to be Weak

Perfect Mom? Hardly!

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

buds smile little 100_5064 100_5076 100_5509 100_5658 100_5762 100_5765 100_5788 100_5864 100_5871 aplaceaftermyheart DSC_0341 DSC_0520 DSC_0529 DSC_0852 IMG_445811 IMG_517611 IMG_520311 IMG_527611 IMG_528911 IMG_529311 IMG_533411 IMG_539811 IMG_561511 IMG_579911 IMG_591811 IMG_598311 IMG_642211 IMG_666611 IMG_671111 IMG_673511 IMG_675111 IMG_680611 IMG_726911 IMG_786111 DSC_0238 DSC_0267

View more pictures at Susannah Cushman’s blog here.

You may also like:

“Chau” or “Adios”

And We’re Waiting….and Waiting……and Waiting…..

3 Surefire Ways to Live Your Priorities

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Afraid to Obey?

June 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

Frances Chan Power Quote

You may also like:

But I Don’t Wanna

I Can’t Change the World But I Can Change Me

Burned

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

Desire to be Weak!

June 18, 2013 — 5 Comments

91300442Today begins our long journey to our final destination in Ecuador.  We left at 5:30 this morning.  We will experience 3 planes and 2 layovers, one of which is 8 hours long.  If all goes well, we should arrive tomorrow at 10:30 AM.  Sleep deprived, we will hit the ground running with orientation, lunch, a quick tour, and then beginning our work project in Portete, a long drive from where we are staying.

Today and tomorrow, excitement will mingle with nervousness and sleepiness.  Meaning there may be times when we will be silly, emotional, confused, groggy, and comical.  We will likely feel quite weak when we arrive.  How will we find the strength to actually work?

Saul (later called Paul) was brought to a point of weakness during a life-changing moment on a road he was traveling.  Saul had been breathing out murderous threats toward Jesus’ disciples and His followers.  He hated Jesus’ ministry and was determined to crush it.  He was a man who struck terror in the hearts of the people.

However, on this day on the road, a bright light suddenly appeared that made him fall to the ground.  It was Jesus wanting Saul to answer for persecuting Him.  Jesus told Saul to go into the city and he would be told what to do.

Saul was then struck blind.  He didn’t eat or drink anything for 3 days as he waited for instructions.  All the power given to him by man did him no good during this time.  All of the strength he had built within himself failed him now.  He was brought to a point of utter weakness.

Finally a man named Ananias showed up and told Saul Jesus had sent him so he could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Saul’s sight was restored and he began eating and drinking which gave him strength.

He then began preaching telling others about Jesus.  (Acts 9:1-22)

It’s quite remarkable for a man who once hated Jesus to become one of His most effective leaders.  By making him weak, Jesus was able to change Saul’s heart and use him in many powerful ways.

Although each of us on this mission trip have followed Christ for a while, there are times we, too, must be brought to a point of weakness.  We must be completely emptied of ourselves and our own agenda so He can work effectively through us.

So even though it may seem disastrous to begin a mission trip so tired, we are being brought to a point of weakness for a reason.  We are trusting God to fill our weakness with His strength, fill us with His power, and do what He desires.

Please be praying for us!

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Other posts in this series:

A Scary yet Amazing Trip

Does God Shop at Garage Sales?

God’s Going to Fail Me!

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Disclaimer:  These blog posts and other social media activity contain my own personal views & opinions and may not represent the views, beliefs, or ideas of my teammates or the church I am involved with currently or have been involved with in the past.

 

Donation quote

You may also like:

10 Ideas to Show Love to a Stranger

Don’t Shut the Shades on Life

Christmas Tradition – Giving

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

Strategic placement

 

You may also like:

3 Surefire Ways to Ensure You Live Your Priorities

Shopping Cart Joyride

Overlooked

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

But I Don’t Wanna!

May 13, 2013 — 3 Comments

157113311

I’m a Christian Women’s Speaker.  God called me to this profession 17 years ago but I argued with Him for 14 years before agreeing.  I tried to appease Him by teaching Sunday school, bible study, kid’s clubs, and emceeing events but it wasn’t exactly what God had in mind.  So I finally threw up my hands and said, “Fine!”

Desiring to be “real” I share much that makes me extremely vulnerable.  Opening up and sharing personal stories can be scary and sometimes gets the best of my emotions, making me nervous.

So was the case when I spoke recently.  After speaking the first night of a retreat, I became so nervous about speaking again the next day, I made myself sick.  So I did what I always do when I’m scared.  I called my husband, Craig.

I informed Craig that I had no idea why I was doing this speaking thing and I must have heard God wrong.  After all, He wouldn’t call me to do something I hated so much.  And I just wasn’t going to do it anymore after this weekend.  My emotions were obviously in overdrive.  Although I felt the need to share my feelings with Craig, I think he got the idea from the shaky inflections, short and breathless words, and just general panic in my voice.  Continuing on, I filled him in on my plan of calling and cancelling all speaking engagements on my calendar and removing my speaking information from my blog.

Craig’s response?  A very flat, “Uh huh.  Whatever you think God is telling you.”  He’s obviously heard this many times before and doesn’t realize just how serious I am.  This time!

After saying goodbye to Craig, I picked up my bible hoping God would calm my heart enough to be able to sleep.  I just opened my bible and it fell to Psalm 40:8-10;

“I delight to do your will, O my God, and your law is within my heart.’  I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O Lord, you yourself know.  I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart; I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your loving-kindness and your truth from the great assembly.”

105643580Seriously???  This bible roulette thing wasn’t working out too well.  I was tempted to let it fall open again.  However, I knew God had already said what I was supposed to hear.  He really knows how to rain on my parade and my plans.

I texted Craig the verses I read.  He wrote back, “So I guess you won’t be cancelling any speaking engagements then?”   My response?  A very succinct, “Well, duh!”

By the end of the weekend retreat, I left extremely blessed meeting so many wonderful women, hearing their stories and what phrases touched them, and filling my car with the gifts of chocolate (there are definitely some benefits to this speaking thing).

So I continue to speak.  Unfortunately, I’m sure I will quit many more times in the future but these verses are ingrained in my brain now.  God is in the business of stretching us.  And although I may threaten my husband with quitting, he will not listen, God will continue to speak, and I will continue to obey.

Am I alone?  Are you scared to do something because it will stretch you out of your comfort zone?  I would love to hear about it if you’re willing to share in the comments below.

Blessings always follow obedience.  Be sure to visit on Thursday when I share the unmistakable blessing that followed this particular time of obedience.

You may also like:

And We’re Waiting…..and Waiting…..and Waiting……

Does Prayer Work?

I Can’t Change the World but I Can Change Me

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Perfect Mom? HARDLY!!!!

February 4, 2013 — 7 Comments

Before leaving on a vacation to Walt Disney World, our favorite vacation spot, I researched the new rides since our last trip to see the famous mouse.  However, on this particular trip, there was a new ride called Dinosaur that I didn’t bother researching.  My kids were 11, 8, and 6 at the time so in my mom heart, I knew they would love this ride.

153172096After boarding the Dinosaur ride located in Animal Kingdom, I immediately regretted not looking into this ride further.  We were transported into a dark and creepy, prehistoric forest that put is in the midst of dangerous dinosaurs.  The all-terrain vehicle took us past dinosaurs, each scarier than the last.  All extremely life-like.  I should have expected nothing less from Disney.

As we turned a blind corner, we came upon an enormous dinosaur with a deafening roar that towered over the vehicle.  It was then I realized my six-year-old son had the worst seat on the ride.  The dinosaur’s mouth was headed right for him.  Since I was behind my son on the other side of the vehicle, I could do nothing to comfort him.  Fortunately, the ride quickly diverted away from the dinosaur and moved on.  From where I sat, my son seemed fine so I breathed a sigh of relief he would not be traumatized for life.

When we finally reached the end of the ride, my son bolted from the vehicle.  Thinking he was excited about getting to the next ride quickly, my husband ran after him to avoid losing him in the midst of the crowd outside.  Meanwhile, I made my way to the area where our ride picture awaited viewing.

As soon as I saw the picture, I realized it was snapped at the point when the enormous dinosaur “threatened” my son.  My son’s face was one of sheer terror.  The impending doom he felt was obvious.  The picture showed a boy convinced he was about to become the dino-lunch special.

I suddenly realized my son had sprinted from the building to get away from the danger.  Now a perfect mom would have immediately left the area to find her son and assure him there are no longer any dinosaurs.  To sooth his fears and let him know he was safe because mommy would never let anything happen to him.

However, I’m not a perfect mom.  Being imperfect, I took one look at the picture and dissolved into a fit of laughter.  I yelled for my husband to come back because “you have to see this picture.”  He dragged our son back into the building that held the threat in order to look at this classic picture.  Being an imperfect dad, he doubled over with laughter.  We snorted, chortled, guffawed, and laughed until tears were streaming down our faces and our stomachs hurt.  Needless to say, we bought the picture.

dinosaur1

Proof of my imperfect mom moment. Our two daughters are also pictured as they hide their eyes from the terror of seeing their brother eaten by the dinosaur.

This is only 1 moment of many where my imperfections have stood out.  To be perfectly honest I’ve also shown I’m imperfect when…..

……..my kid’s behavior is so mortifying in public, I want to pretend she’s lost and I’m merely trying to help her find her mommy.

……..my smoke alarm announces supper before I can.

……..vacations have sometimes felt like a prison sentence with 5 smelly, selfish, surly inmates and I’m the ringleader.

……..my bathroom has been so dirty, I’m relieved everyone is up-to-date on their shots.

……..I look at my reflection in horror in the morning and wonder if there was a gravity surge while in the shower.

Recently, I had the opportunity to read Jill Savage’s newest book, “No More Perfect Moms.”  Her honesty and willingness to be “real” made me realize I’m not alone in my imperfections.  Although we have high expectations for ourselves and others, we need to realize nobody is perfect.

NMPM coverJill issues a call to action in this book.

  • A call to change our expectations.
  • A call to accept ourselves and our imperfections.
  • A call to accept others and our differences.
  • A call to drop the perfection infection and enjoy life as it is now in all its imperfect glory.
  • A call to end all mommy wars.

As moms, we do our best to give our kids the best lives possible.  However, there will be mistakes.  There will be things we wish we could “do over.”  And even times we wish we would have researched a dinosaur ride better.  But be encouraged.  Our imperfect moments can become great memories.

The infamous “Dinosaur” picture is a family favorite.  Even for my son who is now 11.  It’s picture-proof of my imperfections.  But after reading this book, I can now say, “I’m an imperfect mom and I’m okay with that.”

Buy “No More Perfect Moms” during the week of Feb. 4-9 and you will receive over $100 in free resources.  More information can be found here.

You may also like:

6 Ideas to Produce a Video for Family Night

An Imperfect Home is One Of Life’s Greatest Gifts

Cherish Every Moment

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson