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Gregory A. Johnson: Christ follower, pastor, and author
Thursday, 30 June 2011
The good news of God calls all people, regardless of race, to obedience that comes by faith.  Concerning Jesus, Paul says, ”through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:5-7 ESV) “

Sad to say today, people discriminate.  You find discrimination all around you.  It’s in the work place.  It’s in school.  It’s even in churches and denominations.  A big issue right now in America is immigration.  You may have very strong feelings on immigration.  Let me share a perspective with you that you may not have thought about.  America was founded as a Christian nation or a “good news of God” nation.    God has made it possible for people of all races to come to America to have opportunity to hear about God’s good news and to see it lived out by example.  They think they are coming for a better life.  God is bringing them and placing them next to you in the work place, in the school house, in the market place and in your neighborhood so that you can share the good news of God with them through your actions and through your words. 

May we never close down a door of opportunity that God has given us.  May we constantly be reminded by the Holy Spirit that there will be those from all nations around the throne of God, worshipping Him for all eternity.  It’s a dream that Martin Luther King had that has now become a reality to him around God’s throne.  Let’s pray and live as Jesus taught:  “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

I have a dream for Loving God Fellowship.  In that dream, I see people from all nations sitting together and worshipping God together in cities across America and around the world.  Not a racially segmented fellowship of people that love God and others, but a united fellowship of people that love God and people regardless of race.  You can help make that dream become reality in your city and where you live.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 09:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 24 June 2011
You will be hard pressed today to pick up a newspaper, turn on a newscast, or surf the news feeds on the Internet and find any good news.  The world is in turmoil and local news is not any better.  In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, he immediately begins to talk about good news and specifically the good news of God.  Check out these powerful words:

(Romans 1:1-7 NIV)  "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- {2} the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures {3} regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, {4} and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. {5} Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. {6} And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. {7} To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

Four words continually jumped out at me in this paragraph of Scripture – “the gospel of God.”  “Gospel” means “good news.”  In the letter to Romans, Paul is writing about the good news of God. 

Beloved, when the problems of this world get you down, meditate on the good news of God.  When life’s problems get you down, meditate on the good news of God.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 12:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, 28 May 2011
While the heavens continue to tell the glory of God, the firmament today also proclaims sonic nefarious human handiwork -- smog, acid rain, an immense hole in the ozone layer.

- William Sloane Coffin, from his sermon "A Passion for the Possible: A Message to U.S. Churches"
We continue to reap the consequences of sowing years of abuse to God's creation - earth.

Beloved, we are to be good stewards of all of God's creation and what He has left in our care.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 02:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 03 May 2011
Upon the killing of Osama Bin Laden, there are a lot of emotions, and opinions circulating freely.  I was emailed a very good question yesterday evening that I would like to address in this blog post.

"Greg, what’s your take on the killing of Bin Laden which is another way of asking about the biblical support or non-support for such an operation? i.e., killing an unarmed man who apparently was ineffective to do further harm.

I suppose it parallel’s capital punishment, and if so, please speak to that."

When I heard the news yesterday, there was a part of me that wanted to rejoice in man's justice.

But, there was another part of me that was unsettled.

As a Christ follower, I must base my opinion, and learn to control my emotions, based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

It was under the Old Covenant Law that capital punishment, a life for a life, was instituted by God.

Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Deuteronomy 19:21 ESV)

But, what did Jesus say under the New Covenant with God that we are currently living under?

Jesus said that He came and fulfilled the Law.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
(Matthew 5:17 ESV)

Jesus fulfilled the Law in his life, death, and resurrection.

Jesus gave us a new commandment (Law) to live by.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." ~ Jesus 
(John 13:34-35 ESV)


So what are we to do when people abuse us?

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  ~ Jesus
(Matthew 5:38-39 ESV)


Based on the life and teachings of Jesus, I believe a "Christian" nation would have had a better testimony to the world if they would have protected the homeland without entering into two wars, and a ten year manhunt that has cost thousands of American soldier lives, and billions of dollars that could have went to help the marginalized around the world.

I have learned ministering to those in jail that, no matter what people have done in their past, as long as they have breath, God has opportunity to draw them to Jesus, and they have opportunity to repent of their sins, and become a Christ follower.

I have seen the vilest sinner, and offender of others, change by the grace of God.

So back to my personal feelings....

My daughter, Kelsey, sums up my feelings as a Christ follower on her post of a Martin Luther King, Jr., quote today.

"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 01:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 29 April 2011
Over the last quarter of a century, I have read everything he wrote that I could get my hands on.

I devoured the Pulpit Series Newsletter that I received from him in my mailbox every three weeks.

We have lost a great prophetic voice in our day.

I have lost one of my heroes in the faith.

Heaven has gained an obedient servant.

Reverend David Wilkerson is resting from all of his labor.

His deeds are following him.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!" (Revelation 14:13 ESV)

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Reverend Gregory A. Johnson AT 07:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Historians have proven that there was a historical Jesus that walked this earth teaching and doing good.

Often times, there are but two opinions of Jesus.

These two opinions separate major faiths around the world.

They have split nations.

They have split families.

They have split relationships.

They have split criminals.

In our work in jails, in prisons, to the homeless, within gangs and in transitional facilities, we have experienced this split firsthand as we have taken the good news of Jesus to the point of need.

Jesus experienced the same split of opinion at the cross.

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:39-43 ESV)

The one criminal was interested in Jesus only for an immediate fix to his problem saying, "Save yourself and us!"

In his mind, if Jesus was really the Christ, He would have to prove it through an act of selfishness that would have only saved three.

Jesus was all about saving, but He was not selfish, and He had no need to prove anything.

The other criminal had a different opinion of Jesus, realizing his own guilt and Jesus' innocence, desiring to be with Jesus, the Christ, in His Kingdom.

That criminal has been saved and is with Jesus today.

He had the right opinion of Jesus that led to salvation in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.

My opinion?

Jesus is the Christ. 

I'm nothing but a criminal who deserves punishment.

I long to be where Jesus is and choose to participate in His kingdom, which He is ruling over, both now and forever.

What's your opinion?

Know that you are loved,
gaj




Posted by: Rev. Gregory A. Johnson AT 09:58 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, 02 April 2011
People can be cruel with their words and actions.

This cruelity can come from unexpected or unlikely sources.  

I have personally found that those who claim to be in a relationship with Christ can be the worse offenders of others, but yet a relationship with Christ includes following his teachings, and allowing them to transform us.  

Many believe in Christ, but are not transformed by His life, teachings, and Spirit; they have no relationship with Him.

They offend while professing Christianity.

Sadly, true Christ followers may be stereotyped as being mean and cruel, as these offenders are who believe in Christ, but are not transformed by Him.  

These offenders, oftentimes, substitute relationship with a church or denomination for relationship with Him.  

We are not all like the pastor Terry Jones, and looking for a Koran to burn.

Some of us really do love God and our neighbors as ourselves.

That's the Great Commandment Christ left us with. 

Christ followers live by it.

Unfortunately, others just know about it.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
 
Posted by: Rev. Gregory A. Johnson AT 07:47 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Sunday, 02 January 2011
With a recent conversation fresh in my thoughts that I had with a close and long time friend in which I was introduced to the terminology of “class warfare”,  an article from an unlikely source, Money Magazine,  caught my attention.  I finished reading Income Inequality: The Real Problem Today.  The article is written by David Futrelle and is the documentation of an interview he conducts with Raghuram Rajan, a highly credentialed economist at the University of Chicago

Unlike many today, Mr. Rajan does not blame the financial crisis on housing, but instead says that “the real estate bubble itself was a bungled political attempt to deal with the real root cause: rising income inequality.”  He goes on to explain his conclusion: 

In the 1980’s we saw a widening of income inequality.  Typically the political reaction to that is to redistribute wealth.  But in the ‘80s and ‘90s there was a sense that we’d had too much redistribution, too much welfare.  So you had to find something else, and housing fit the bill for both political parties.  The Democrats thought it was wonderful to support home ownership for the poor, their natural constituents.  The Republicans figured property owners would eventually vote Republican.

Congress, of course, can’t make loans.  But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both enjoy this tremendous government subsidy, and politicians used that as a lever:  So you had a massive amount of money flow into housing.  Home buyers were told there was no risk of loss - that ever since the Depression we’ve never had an across-the-board housing price fall.  They were also told homes are a great way to build equity, and you can borrow against that equity.

The brilliance of the home-equity loan, which was a substantial feeder of consumption growth, was people could borrow without guilt because the rise in home values offset that additional borrowing.  What people didn’t realize was that some of this asset value was illusory.

When asked the question “What can government do to reduce inequality?”  He responds “In the long run, redistribution doesn’t work.  Focusing on improving the quality of the workforce - through education and skill building - is probably the only answer.”

The article concludes with Mr. Rajan’s comment “We need to worry about inequality not just because it upsets our sense of fairness but because it creates dangerous political dynamics.”

So given Mr. Rajan’s expert opinion and your life experiences, what are your thoughts?  Is Mr. Rajan offering insight that has been overlooked when it comes to income inequality?  Is the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession, government bailouts of Wall Street, and prolonged 10% unemployment caused by the real estate bubble or is the financial crises the result of a greater problem that is still overlooked and unaddressed:  Income inequality?  If income inequality is the problem, what is the solution?

I’m interested in a healthy, constructive and non offensive conversation on this subject.  Please comment and share your view and experiences.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Gregory A. Johnson AT 11:38 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, 27 November 2010
There is Black Friday and following that is Cyber Monday.  Black Friday is the day that historically retail stores break out of the red and into the black on profits for the entire year.  It's not the day that stores will sell the most for the holiday season as record selling days will be the days closer to Christmas day, but black Friday is the day that economists will use as the barometer for all retail sells for the Christmas season.

Many people enjoy getting up early and fighting the crowds on Black Friday for those once in a season bargains.  I'm not one of those.  I would rather sleep in and enjoy my coffee and piece of dark chocolate while reading the newspaper.

Austin and Kelsey had to both work so Becky and I spent Black Friday together.  I helped her carry in all of the Christmas decorations from the garage and after helping a bit with the tree and lights, sat down to watch some football while she scurried about humming Christmas songs and putting up decorations around the house.

We took a little break in the afternoon to get our Christmas shopping done without leaving the apartment.  We got it all done online within two hours.  That's my type of shopping!

While we shopped online, we were also helping the cause of loving God and people through using the Loving God Fellowship toolbar that we have downloaded on all of our computers.  Each time we made a purchase Loving God Fellowship got a percentage donated to them through GoodShop.

If you are going to do any online shopping this Christmas season, please download our toolbar and help with the cause of loving God and people.  It costs you nothing extra, but helps Loving God Fellowship spread the Gospel and love of Christ around the world.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
On November 16, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Arthritis Advisory Committee voted overwhelmingly (13 to 2) to recommend BENLYSTA® for approval as a treatment for the autoimmune disease lupus. If FDA approved, BENLYSTA would become the first new treatment for lupus in 52 years. While today's vote is a positive step, the FDA still must make a final decision to approve BENLYSTA in the coming weeks.



You can view the video at http://youtu.be/gz6u4ethB6o

This is great news to those who suffer with lupus and their families.  It's not a cure, but it's a start after 52 years.

Let's pray for a cure.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
On November 16, 2010, an FDA Advisory Panel will review scientific data on two late-stage clinical studies of an investigational medicine for the treatment of lupus, known as BENLYSTA™. This is a historic day for lupus as BENLYSTA could be the first new treatment approved for lupus by the FDA in 52 years, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States. In addition, BENLYSTA would be the first treatment ever developed specifically for lupus to be approved by the FDA for lupus. ~ Lupus Foundation of America



Watch the video.

I am running in honor of my sister, Ramona Runyon, to fight lupus and help raise funds for the Lupus Foundation of America.  Will you join us in the fight?

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 10:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, 07 November 2010
Thanks to all who have prayed for my tendinitis and those who have supported the cause of running for lupus in honor of my sister Ramona Runyon.

We are raising funds for the Lupus Foundation of America. I expect more donations for the cause to come in the weeks ahead and after taking some time off and letting the tendinitis heal in my feet, I'll be hitting the pavement again for the cause of fighting lupus. It is a terrible disease that impacts many people. Many are suffering. We need a cure!

I was up at 3:45 AM to begin my pre race routine of eating, drinking and stretching.  My pre race breakfast consisted of 2 peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches, 2 cups of coffee, 1 banana and a tall glass of milk.

I finished the 13.1 miles in 2:19:23 which is slower than my best time for a half marathon which is 2:02, but I'm pleased with the time since I was running injured with tendinitis in both feet.

It was 25 degrees when I started at 7PM and 35 when I finished.  The Lord blessed us with sunny skies.

Splits:
  • mile 1 - 9:56 - I ran this first mile faster than I planned to get warm quick.
  • 2 - 10:29 - Warmed up good and had a pretty good sweat going.
  • 3 - 10:33 - Tendinitis pain started in left foot.
  • 4 - 10:18
  • 5 - 11:08
  • 6 - 10:24
  • 7 - 11:11 - Tendinitis pain in both feet now and extreme in left foot.
  • 8 - 10:43
  • 9 - 10:33
  • 10 - 10:55
  • 11 - 10:43
  • 12 - 10:32
  • 13 - 9:32 - My fastest mile as I didn't want to leave anything in the tank at the end.
I'm thankful to God and the support of my family and friends.  I'm blessed to be surrounded with such precious people.

Keep pressing toward the finish line!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 ESV)

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 04 November 2010
Started training in July.

Logged 420 training miles.

Battled hot and humid conditions with over 40 days above 90 degrees.

Developed tendinitis in left foot.

But, now it's time to get it done.

Sunday morning, 11/7/2010, at 7 AM.

Running 13.1 miles.

A half marathon.

To fight lupus.


In honor of my sister.


Will you join me in the cause to stop lupus?

Together, we can make a difference!


Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 11:37 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, 23 October 2010
There was a great article today in the Lexington Herald Leader titled Why I've adopted a no-politics policy at my church by Pastor Paul Prather.   In His words:
Are you wrought up about how your tax money is spent?  Jesus had a solution "Sell everything you have," he said.  "Give all the proceeds to the poor."  Read the entire article...
Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 11:39 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 05 October 2010
Today there is much fuss about taxes.  I pay my taxes, but I’m no tax expert nor am I an economist with an opinion on what tax structure is best for people and the economy.  One thing I do know is that I would rather be paying taxes today than in Jesus’ day. 

In Jesus’ day there was much fuss about taxes also, but Christ did not get involved in the debate.  One thing He did do was go out of His way to befriend the tax collectors even though the taxes they imposed were oppressive and unjust.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 07 September 2010
The church in Florida that is hosting a "burn the Quran day" on 9/11 may be Christian, but it is of my opinion that they are not following Christ. Christ taught His followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) and to love our neighbor as we do our self (Matthew 22:37-40). Christ, from the cross, prayed for those who had violently nailed Him there and asked the Father to "forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:32-34).

It would be naive for me not to think that there will be some who read what I just stated and say that I am being judgmental, but I am not judging this church and it's leadership. I am simply inspecting their fruit as Christ encouraged His followers to do (Matthew 7:15-23, John 15:1-6). So, is this good fruit of a church or is this bad fruit?

Quran burning will not portray the love of Christ to the world and is not how citizens of the Kingdom of God are to respond. It is acts such as these that fuel the hate of America in other parts of the world which lead to extremist activity spreading death and destruction. Acts such as these also stereotype the Christian church and makes it harder for the numerous Christ following churches to make a difference in their community through displaying the true nature of God's Kingdom which includes love and peace.

I pray that this church and it's leaders repent, change their plans and react to those of the Islam faith in love and peace, praying for them and showing the world that citizens of God's Kingdom live recognizing that their allegiance is first to the Kingdom of God, and after that, to their nation.

I am glad that American General Petraeus condemned this church's plan to burn qurans. I pray that Pastors across America will have the same courage and do the same in their churches so that their parishioners will understand that this type of action is not Christ following.

May God bless the world.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 08:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, 07 September 2010
There is no such thing as an acceptable level of unemployment, because hunger is not acceptable, poverty is not acceptable, poor health is not acceptable, and a ruined life is not acceptable.

- Hubert Humphrey,
U.S. vice president 1965-1969


Let's pray for all those who are unemployed today.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 10:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, 23 August 2010
When we launched LGF Mobile this month, we gave people opportunity to submit their prayer requests on the go.  When these prayer requests are submitted via a mobile device, they go directly and immediately to either me or Becky.  Every request is personally prayed over by us and we send a response to each one.  I’m excited to tell you that we received our first two prayer requests submitted through mobile devices yesterday!

This functionality extends our point of need ministry potential from 1 Billion people who have access to the Internet and our online prayer ministry to the 3 Billion people who have mobile devices.  This is a great milestone for the worldwide ministry of LovingGodFellowship.org.

Our next move is providing the functionality that will enable people around the world to sign up to receive encouraging text messages from us on their mobile devices.  The cost of adding this functionality is $19/month for each 100 phone numbers who sign up.  As we are not endowed by any group or denomination and totally depending upon donations from those we minister to through technology, we can not add this functionality without financial commitment from those who desire to spread the Gospel of Christ around the world through the technology platform that God has given us in our day to reach more people for Jesus.  We are still awaiting the first monthly commitment of $19/month that will enable us to begin to offer this much needed and anticipated point of need ministry that will give us the opportunity of reaching 3 more billion people with the Gospel of Christ.  Will you invest $19/month in this ministry today at http://www.lovinggodfellowship.org/monthly_supporters ?

Thanks for partnering with us in spreading the Gospel of Christ around the world through technology!

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 13 August 2010
Many in our day are suffering.  Many are isolated socially and financially.  Some are not able to earn income, and some are able but can not find employment.  There are those who have been separated from family and friends.  There are those who are fighting sickness and disease, struggling just to stay alive another day.  In the midst of it all, I have hope.  My hope is in Jesus.  More and more suffering people must feel the touch of Jesus in our day.

Over the next several days I will be blogging on how more and more suffering people can feel the touch of Jesus in our day.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
While many non-profits have went under during this great economic recession, Becky and I are still committed to live by faith and obey what God has placed on our heart for Loving God Fellowship (LGF) while steering it through these difficult times.  Launching the LGF mobile site last week is testimony of this. 

I'm excited about taking LGF mobile because it allows us to potentially reach 3 more billion people with the Gospel of Christ in support of our point of need ministry model.  People will be able to listen to Christ Centric Bible Messages while they are on the go with their mobile devices.  Our potential on the Internet is 1 billion people, so this now raises our potential to 4 billion out of 6 billion people in the world.  I'm excited about this opportunity and feel that LGF needs to take full advantage of it.

Although our mobile site just has the basics now, more and better functionality will be provided as we go.  Please take a look at http://mobile.lovinggodfellowship.org .  If you like it, be sure and check the "like" button.
 
The next thing we need to add to LGF mobile is a signup for SMS texting.  To provide this functionality will cost $19 per 100 users that sign up to receive text messages such as Be Encouraged!  and notification of new Bible Messages on their mobile devices.   Would you consider a monthly donation? A donation of $19 per month will enable us to reach 100 people around the world through their mobile device.  If you desire to do more than that, each $19 will enable us to reach 100 people with the Gospel of Christ on their mobile devices.

Please know that all donations are an answer to prayer as we are not endowed by any group or denomination and we don't pass an offering plate in any church service.  LGF functions only on what is donated by loving Christ followers from around the world who believe in what LGF is all about.

Please click here to make a monthly donation today. 

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 10:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 11 June 2010
Africa Rising: A big day for football. A giant leap for a continent - http://shar.es/mkHel

VIDEO: New video of Haitian earthquake http://shar.es/mATqr

RED and YAHOO Launch Online Game That Fights AIDS in Africa http://shar.es/mkHcV

10,000 Haitian Farmers March Against Monsanto - http://shar.es/mkHCt

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 05:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 10 June 2010
We Must Respond to the Needs of the Gulf Coast - http://shar.es/mAJDD

Social Justice is a Virtue  - http://shar.es/mAdKi

World Cup puts promise of Africa on the map http://shar.es/mAdhB

New cash urged to curb poverty by 2015 http://shar.es/mAdZs

United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let’s Move. http://shar.es/mAJtP

Feds Target Undocumented Workers Cleaning Oil Spill  http://shar.es/mAJC6

Arizona pol wants immigrant 'tent city'  http://shar.es/mAJle

Immigration Fees Set to Rise - WSJ.com http://shar.es/mAJyn

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 08 June 2010
Will the BP oil disaster make us learn our lesson? 

If not, what will?

 




May God forgive us for our addiction to oil, our greed and for not being good stewards of His creation that He has entrusted to our care.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 06:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 08 June 2010
I am a Christ follower and I believe that immigration reform is a moral issue.

I have proclaimed to church congregations for 19 years now that God is bringing immigrants to America to experience the love that flows out of Christ followers as we love God and ALL people.  He is allowing them to be our neighbors.  Will we love them?

I pray that in these days the church steps up and does not act like many American white churches did during the days of slavery and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.  What a negative piece of church history that was.  Although we have made many strides towards racial equality in this nation, the church on Sunday mornings continues to be the most segregated place in America.  May God help us in our day.  And  may immigrants experience the love of Christ through Christ followers as we stand for faith and justice while loving God and ALL people.

Martin Luther King Jr. said that "bad laws are worth going to jail over". I'm sure that you would agree with me that segregated buses, restaurants, bathrooms, water fountains and schools were bad laws. Nevertheless, they existed in the 1960s and prior.  Dr. King and others took a stand against these bad laws and led the African American community in nonviolent protests against them. Dr. King was placed in jail many times over these bad laws, but as a Christ follower, he took a stand for faith and justice in his day and we must do the same in our day.  “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24 ESV)”

The Federal immigration laws need to be reformed to be more compassionate. Until they are reformed, states are left to do their own thing and each state could develop their own laws concerning immigrants like Arizona has already done. I believe Arizona's law is racist in heart and will lead to results in that state that will not be good.

Jesus said (Matthew 25:35-40 NIV) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, [36] I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' [37] "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? [38] When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? [39] When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' [40] "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Welcoming the stranger in our midst (Matthew 25:35) is the direction of Christ, the One we follow. 

I have created a group on facebook called “Christ Followers for Compassionate Reform of Immigration Laws”.  It’s a place where information can be shared and Christ followers who support compassionate reform of immigration laws can gather, stay informed and be encouraged as we stand for faith and justice.

I give you a personal invitation to click and join this group.  Invite other Christ followers you know and utilize the group for information and encouragement.

Let us take a stand for faith and justice in our day showing the world that we love God and ALL people.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
The church today should represent the ethnic and cultural diversity of the community.  When the church is segregated, the community becomes segregated and this breeds an unhealthy environment that bares the fruit of injustice and all of the racial, gender, economic and health inequality that come with it.

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 02 March 2010
We are entering into the March madness time of year when college basketball has their conference tournaments and then the big dance – the NCAA tournament.

You will hear coaches and commentators commenting on a team’s ability to play offense and defense.

During this time of year, I’m always reminded of teamwork and how championships are won by teamwork and good coaching.

Christ followers belong to a team.

They have been selected by Christ alone.

He is their coach and He is a good coach.

He simply asks them to deny self, take up their cross and follow Him.

He showed them how.

They don’t need a popular sports drink.

Their thirst is quenched by the Holy Spirit who empowers them to continue the point of need ministry of their coach.

A lot of defense has been played, but coach showed them by example how to play offense.

It’s time rise up as a team and play offense in our day!

Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear...  Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power.  Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Let’s play some offense!

Know that you are loved,
gaj
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 09:04 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, 24 January 2010
According to an article published by WebMD Medical News “Top 10 Causes of Death Worldwide” the top two causes of death is heart disease and stroke.  Doctors tell us that the main causes of heart disease and stroke are genetics, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and stress.  Genetics are out of our control, but we can eat healthier, exercise and guard our heart from the stresses of our journey.  We need to look at what the Bible says about guarding our heart from the stresses of our journey and specifically look at something Jesus tells us concerning this.

In John chapter 13, Jesus is spending time with His followers in an upper room just prior to His crucifixion.  Jesus predicts Judas’s betrayal and Peter’s denial and begins to prepare them for His death.  You can detect the heaviness in the room as these followers begin to try to comprehend such news.  They had left everything to follow Jesus – jobs, homes, families.  They left everything to follow the person they thought was going to set up His Kingdom and rule on earth and deliver them from the Roman oppression that in itself was heart wrenching and depressing. 

Jesus senses the heaviness, the depression, the anxiety, the worries, the stress and He ministers these words:  (John 14:1-3 NIV)  ""Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."  In these words, Jesus gives us the cure for a troubled heart.

Do not let your heart be troubled.
We live in troubling times.  There are wars being fought and genocide taking place.  There are terrorists.  There are famines.  There are earthquakes.  There are increasingly more severe and frequent natural disasters.  It is like Jesus said it would be prior to His return (Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21). 

Many things that are happening bring stress.  When devastation occurs in our day it is because of a destructive, life destroying devil and not a loving, life giving God.    Jesus said (John 10:10 NIV)  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."   

In the midst of all that is going on around us, we must not let our hearts be troubled.  It’s a command given to us by Jesus.  Jesus not only gives us this command in John 14:1, but He also gives us the methodology of keeping our hearts from being troubled.

We are to place all of our trust in Jesus.
Jesus said (John 14:1 NIV) "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me."  The only way we are going to keep our hearts from being troubled is to place our total trust in Jesus.  We must constantly remind ourselves that He is the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep.  Jesus said (John 10:11 NIV) "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." 

King David knew how to trust the Lord.  David said (Psalms 23 NIV)  "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. {2} He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, {3} he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. {4} Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. {5} You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. {6} Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

Beloved, to keep our hearts from being troubled on this journey that we are on, we must place our trust in the Lord.  Jesus will see us through whatever comes our way as we fix our eyes on Him and follow Him.

We are to forget the past and look beyond the present.
Some people allow their heart to be troubled by living in the past.  Others are so consumed with present trials that are overwhelming.  We must put the past behind us and look beyond the present in order to protect our hearts from being troubled.  Jesus said “(John 14:2-3 NIV)  "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

Beloved, no matter what you have gone through in the past and no matter what you are going through now, you have a bright future.  Jesus is preparing your eternal home and He is coming back for you.   That is the very next event on God’s agenda.  All Bible prophecy up to that point has been fulfilled.  Jesus is returning for the beloved.  God’s Word says “(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NIV)  "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. {17} After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. {18} Therefore encourage each other with these words."

Beloved, be encouraged with these Words today!  God is not against you.  He is for you!  Jesus is coming to rescue you!  Keep following Jesus on this journey from earth to glory!  Keep your eyes fixed on Him and keep your hearts from being troubled!


Know that you are loved,

@PastorGreg
Founder
www.LovingGodFellowship.org
Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 08:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, 15 January 2010
By Rev. Becky Johnson

I'm sure by now that you have heard, read, or seen the news about the earthquake in Haiti.  My husband Greg told me about it when it happened after seeing it on the news channel.  My heart is heavy and I feel totally devastated for the Haitian people.  This is such a tragedy in an already improvised nation.  But I must be honest with you, I have been even more devastated by the comments of so called "Christian's" blaming this disaster on God and saying the Haitian people got what they desired.  Yes you heard me right.  That is what I have heard from so-called Christian people.

According to Pat Robertson, the Haitian people way back in the day, and I truly mean way back in the day, made a pack with the devil that they would serve him if he freed them from the French. 

"And you know...something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, "We will serve you if you will get us free from the French." True story. And so, the devil said, "OK, it's a deal." And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor." ~ Pat Robertson on the Christian Broadcasting Network


You can watch his comments for yourself as he refers to the destruction of buildings (which fell on people and killed them) being a "blessing".




Click to watch

Of course the devil being against oppression (yea right) helped them to revolt and free themselves.  (I'm always humored by what people blame on the devil.  The devil in my opinion gets way to much credit and attention for things he doesn't even do.) Now all these years later God decides to send an earthquake to kill hundreds of thousands of people as punishment.  I DON'T THINK SO!  If we all got what we deserved we would all be dead, but God is love and full of mercy.

What amazes me the most is when I ask these individuals to show me in the new covenant where Jesus ever used natural disasters or violence of any kind to harm or kill anyone they can't, but they quickly take me to the old covenant, which by the way, Jesus came to fulfill.  I quickly remind them if they are going to live by the old covenant, they need to take an animal to church to sacrifice on the altar the next time they go.  Come on people, let's not pick and choose, cut and paste so that we can say and live by the rules we want.  The bottom line is Jesus came to give life and life more abundantly.  He does not kill, steal, and destroy.  That's what the word of God tells us the devil is doing.

As I ended my conversation with these so-called Christian's I ask them what makes you think the devil didn't send that earthquake to kill all those people; why did it have to be God?  After all the devil is the one who kills, steals and destroys. 

One day God in all his glory will give us a new heaven and a new earth, the Word of God will be fulfilled and we will live for eternity in His presence.  But until then we need to keep the two greatest commandments given to us by God himself; to love the Lord God with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.  Who is your neighbor you ask?  Anybody, anywhere regardless of gender, race, social statics, or sexual orientation; that's who your neighbor is.  And by all means live by the golden rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Please let's keep the Haitian people in our prayers.  I'm sure it will be a long recovery period for them.   May God's love, mercy and provision be poured out upon them at their point of need.

If you can help us help the people of Haiti, please click here.

Together, we are making a difference in our day!
 
Partners in the Faith,

Rev. Becky Johnson
Co-founder
LovingGodFellowship.org
Posted by: Rev. Becky Johnson AT 11:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, 08 October 2009

The number of casualties of the 7.6-magnitude quake in West Sumatra of Indonesia has reached to 704 and some 295 others are still missing, the provincial Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday. Also 102,646 houses collapsed and 1104,770 were damaged.

Many schools, hospitals and roads were also affected by the quake and are in a bad state. ~ Thaindian News
I am raising funds this week to help as many disaster survivors that we can in Indonesia, Philippines and Samoa, showing them the love of God.  With three major disasters occurring in the same week, we need the help of as many generous and compassionate people as possible at this time.

Will you demonstrate your love of God and people by clicking here and joining us in helping survivors? 

Know that you are loved,

@PastorGreg
Founder, www.LovingGodFellowship.org

Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 01:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, 07 October 2009
A massive quake and tsunami struck the Samoan islands on September 29, 2009, killing at least 500 people and trapping survivors beneath debris and rubble from collapsed buildings. Support is needed to get emergency aid to survivors.

I am raising funds this week to help as many disaster survivors that we can in Indonesia, Philippines and Samoa.  With three major disasters occurring in the same week, we need the help of as many generous and compassionate people as possible at this time.
 
Will you click here and join us in showing the survivors the love of Christ? 




Know that you are loved,

@PastorGreg
Founder, www.LovingGodFellowship.org

Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 01:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, 06 October 2009
Health workers fanned out across Padang on Tuesday to douse the Indonesian city with disinfectant over concerns about disease outbreaks six days after a deadly earthquake rattled Sumatra.

The rescue mission in Padang, a port city of 900,000, and in surrounding hills devastated by landslides has now turned to a huge relief effort to help thousands who have lost their homes. ~ PADANG, Indonesia, Oct 6 (Reuters)




I am raising funds this week to help as many disaster survivors that we can in Indonesia, Philippines and Samoa.  With three major disasters occurring in the same week, we need the help of as many generous and compassionate people as possible at this time.

Know that you are loved,

@PastorGreg
Founder, www.LovingGodFellowship.org

Posted by: Rev. Greg Johnson AT 01:37 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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