An Absolute Masterpiece

You are God's masterpiece

Good morning!

“Nothing short of an absolute masterpiece…” I thought to myself as I looked out over this body of water and gazed at the mountains before me.  “But that’s what you do Father, you make masterpieces.”

It’s so hard to feel like a masterpiece isn’t it?  This world tends to make us feel like we aren’t measuring up to its standards… But who set those standards anyways?

When we dive into God’s Word it tells us in Ephesians that we are God’s masterpiece, His workmanship, created anew (new or different in a positive way) in Christ Jesus.

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As we enter into relationship with the Father, giving him our heart, we are no longer bound by our sin, our mistakes, our past, our “old self”; but created new through the blood of Jesus to do the good things the Father planned for us in advance to do.

We don’t have to run the race of this world, be good enough, or measure up to its standards in order to feel like we are complete.  We just need to press into our relationship with the Father and follow His lead.

God is making us a masterpiece…day by day as we yield to his ways, his words, his teaching.  We can walk in confidence today knowing that we are His masterpiece.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Finding Joy in the Little Things

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Good morning!

Finding joy in the little things…When I look at the smile on this boys face as he sips full strength juice it makes my heart smile.  As I sat on my bench watching him I began to think about all the things we already have, all that Jesus has already done, to bring a smile to our faces.

It seems that most of the time we tend to focus on the things we don’t have.  We plan, we strive, we set goals, and we work hard.  All good things!  It keeps us moving forward, but it also keeps our focus on things we don’t have yet.  And if we aren’t careful we become dissatisfied with where we are.

Let’s not forget to remember all the things He has already done for us.  It is so good to stop and look and think and smile.  Smile at the gifts He has given us.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Rest Assured

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Good morning!

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

It is so easy to become anxious on our journey… to want so badly to run ahead of where we are.  We want to

  • Run further from our pain
  • Run into a better job or promotion
  • Run towards children that sleep all night
  • Run to a time different from now

But from our experience God is never early, but he hasn’t ever been late either.  He uses each day, each experience to grow us closer into who He made us to be.

Let’s let go of the things we can’t control and trust Him with our days.  We can walk confidently in our path when we trust the One we know is paving the way.

Blessings!

The Johnston’s

 

You Are Loved

We love because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19

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Happy Valentine’s Morning!

This day can be extremely special for some but it can also be extremely hard for others.  But instead of focusing on the love of our earthly relationships, the love we share with others, I want to focus on the One who first loved us…

We can only love others to the best of our understanding of what love is.  The scriptures tell us that;

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV)

Very familiar verses…however if we truly understood them and put them into practice this world would be a different place.  But my favorite part of this familiar passage is the part that comes next –

Love never dies.  Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.  We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete.  But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.  1 Corinthians 8-10 (MSG) 

When Love arrives…we will be complete.  Only Jesus can complete us.  His love is incomprehensible… a love so deep we couldn’t even begin to understand it.  His love for us never fails.  Jesus loves us like no one else can and that in itself is worthy of our praise today.

So! Let’s feel as loved today as we truly are, right where we are, exactly how we are.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

A Confidence That Lasts

As I was on my way to work this morning I was thinking about confidence… a confidence that lasts.  It is so easy to have confidence when things are good, when they are going our way and all seems well.  But how do we get the confidence that lasts… the kind that is there when darkness grips us or when the unexpected comes.

Then a worship song came on the radio in my car that took me to a place of udder surrender and praise. (King of My Heart – Kutless)  To listen click here.   And all of sudden the Holy Spirit was speaking to me that when we open our hearts and praise the LORD for who He is and declare over and over that HE IS GOOD, “this is where you get confidence that lasts”.  From total and under surrendering worship.

You know that shepherd boy…David, that had so much confidence that he could take down the giant?  The one that believed His God was with him everywhere that he went?  That same boy sang songs and played his harp in complete and udder surrender to the LORD his God.

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Psalm 103:1-2

David knew where his confidence came from.  He knew it didn’t come from the Israelite people, it didn’t come from his family (his older brothers doubted him), it didn’t even come from within himself after he killed Goliath.  It came solely from the LORD his God…and he kept that confidence by worshipping and opening his heart to praise God for who He is and what He has already done and continues to do.

This is how we get confidence that lasts…by believing and declaring that God is good.  By knowing that He is working all things together for good.  (Romans 8:28)  And by surrendering all we have to Him, His plan and His purpose.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

Finding Confidence

Good morning!

Confidence.  I used to define confidence as “trusting in my abilities”.  Since I was a young child I grew up believing I could do anything I set my mind to.  I grew up roping and competing at rodeos starting at a young age.  The harder I worked at it, the better I got and I began to trust in that ability that I was developing.  The more I trusted that I could do it, the more confident I became.

It reminds me of a boy I’ve read about…a boy who tended to his father’s sheep and goats.  Day in and day out he was out in the fields watching over the flocks.  It was his responsibility to make sure they stayed safe, stayed all together and didn’t wander off.  The opportunity David had to protect his father’s flocks had developed his character and he had gained confidence.  So when the giant Philistine was threatening the Israelite army, he had no problem saying “I’ll go fight him!” (1 Samuel 17:32)  David had confidence.

But more important than his confidence in his ability, David had confidence in his God.  He didn’t hesitate.  He didn’t shrink back in fear.  He didn’t doubt when everyone else did.  He believed.  He believed he could and he believed his God would.  I love how the scriptures tell us that as Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. (1 Samuel 17:48)  Confidence.

Confidence has everything to do with trust.  We place our trust in people, in our abilities, but are we ultimately placing our trust in the LORD?

We fall short, people fail us, our abilities will fade but the LORD…He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)  And He is someone who we can be confident in that will never fail.  We can quickly run, just as David did, full of confidence in this life because we trust in his promises, his faithfulness, and his goodness.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

A New Kind of Confidence

Good morning!

I have been doing lots of thinking lately…thinking about all the time, energy and joy that doubt has stolen from me.  I have come to realize that doubt is actually the opposite of confidence.  When we doubt our identity, our abilities, our gifts, our goals, our call from God or whatever it might be, we lose a bit of the confidence that we started with.  And when we lose our confidence it can really slow down our progress or stop it all together.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

These verses keep coming back over and over in my studying.  Where have I placed my confidence?  In myself?  In my friends or family?  In a boss or someone I deeply admire?  Or have I placed my confidence in the LORD?  The One who holds my life in his hands… because if my confidence was in the LORD alone doubt wouldn’t have a chance to creep in.

I want that kind of confidence.  The kind only found in trusting the LORD.  I don’t want to wither and dry up when the heat of life comes; but stand sturdy and confident.  I don’t want to give in when adversity comes but stand in confidence.  I don’t want to fear when I fall short, but to stand confidently in the LORD.  I want to place all of my confidence in Him, because He cares for me.  He is for me not against me.  And He is good.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

 

Kicking Doubt to the Curb

Greetings!

After truly identifying where doubt comes from, the serpent, we are in a better position to combat it.  So how do we truly leave doubt behind and move forward in confidence with what God has spoken to us?

I have been pondering this quite a bit over the past few days as my husband and I have been walking through a situation that has not at all gone the way we had thought it would.  We were so confident in our decisions and just knew things would go the way we had planned.  And when they haven’t, we have been left with quite a few questions in our minds.

  • Did we move on something we thought God intended but maybe he didn’t?
  • Why didn’t this work out like we anticipated?
  • Where did we go wrong?
  • Now what?

Doubt.  All these questions allow doubt to creep into our minds and settle in our souls, if we let them.  Doubt can only have as much control in us as we allow it to.  So we are going to decide to combat it with faith.  Faith in a good God who keeps his promises.  Which is why we must combat doubt with the very Word of God.

When we begin to have questions about where God is in our situation, the best remedy is to open our bibles, spend time in the Word and spend time with the Father.  Lean in to who He is and what he says about us and speaks over our lives that is unchanging.  Cling to His promises and His truth.  When we do this, it restores our faith and it changes our focus from our situation to Him.  It brings back our confidence in Him and it will kick our doubts to the curb.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

When Doubt Creeps In

Good morning!

What do we do when doubt creeps in?  When questions start to flood our mind and all of a sudden we go from confident to confused.  What happened to the clarity of the word we had received?  It makes me think of all the way back…back in the beginning.

In Genesis 2 the LORD God had just finished creation and had placed Adam in the Garden of Eden.  He specifically commanded Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”  (vs 16-17)  And then God went on and made woman so Adam would not have to be alone.   So what does this have to do with our doubts you might be thinking…

In the very first verse of Genesis chapter 3 it says: Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  And in that moment the serpent injected questions into the woman’s mind.  How confident was she of what God had said?  She replied to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” (vs 2-3)

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  (vs 4-5)  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  (vs 6)

What had happened to the clarity of the word God had spoken to Adam?  The serpent lied to Eve, he deceived her and in the matter of a few minutes she went from confident to confused and led astray.  The same happens to us.  One little injection of doubt; a comment from a friend or family member, something we hear at work or a crazy busy day that tells us we don’t really have the time for that word God spoke to us.

Let’s not give way to the serpent and let him lead us astray…doubt and confusion are just a few of the crafty tools he uses to get us off track.  If you are pressing into change, determined to accomplish your goals, praying for something that seems impossible right now or taking steps to clean up your souls and move forward with Jesus…whatever it may be, stand confident. Stay strong. Let’s keep our eyes directly on Jesus and our hearts tied to his Word, his Truth, and know that with him all things are possible.  (Matt 19:26)

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

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