Friday, December 31, 2010

Hope...and A Brand New Year

So it's a brand new year...almost. Just a few more hours until 2011. Will it be full of that you dream of? Most likely there will be good times and challenging times--that's life. But maybe, just maybe, it's time to "wake up" to some things in our lives.

In the quiet of a winter day, think about what you really want in this next year, your big dreams and your little ones. They all matter. Then BELIEVE that things could be different. We do our part; God does His part and amazing things can happen.

Your dreams of the future may seem to be asleep now, but they can arise. And like you stir and rustle and finally get outta bed...your hopes and dreams can get up and get going too.

It's a new year, and it's time for some things in your life to wake up. I'm hoping they will in mine.

Snowfall on tall pines,
Sunrise and stirring
Of quiet and big dreams
As a new year awakens.

Dark-covered winter with
Dormant believing
Leads joyfully into
Spring’s hope-filled returning

When flowers and faith
Resurrect from earth’s slumber
Alive and reminded
Of God’s faithful goodness.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Path Will You Choose?

So the new year is only a few days away. You may still be reeling from your Christmas sugar hangover. You may be back at work. Either way it's coming: 2011. What will you do with it?

Do you want things to be different? Do you long for significant changes in your life? I do. On one hand I am supremely happy for my friends and their blessings. One close friend just heard news that her adoption is coming through. After years of longing, fulfillment. Another friend in a warm state has a fantastic boyfriend who loves and cares for her in ways that are startlingly kind. I am amazed. She is almost engaged.

To be sure, I am not bemoaning my own life. I am thankful to have published two books, with a third on the way. They have boyfriends or babies, I "birth" books.

I guess all this end of year stuff has me thinking. I am grateful for what I have, but what do I want to change in my life? How can I actually get there?

If I have been following a certain path, how can I get on the one that leads to lifetime love? Maybe that's what all this mulling is about. We have career goals and weight goals and all sorts of goals. What about love goals? Weird, perhaps. But maybe necessary if the trajectory of life is to ever change.

I want to "live a life of love." You know, be kind to others, help people, give them grace when they mess up, really listen, and truly care. But I also want to receive love...give and a good volley in tennis--back and forth so both players are satisfied.

Hmmmm. My prayer for this new year, 2011 and beyond is that you would walk forward on the path that makes your heart soar. Take a step, take the hand of the One who loves you most, Jesus Christ. Ask Him to lead you into all He has for you in this life...and not to miss it.

I plan to.

I don't want to miss love...of all kinds.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Merry Christmas to You!

It's that time of year, and I wanted to share this holiday poem with you. It is, to me, about the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas. Enjoy! May your heart be merry and may you take the time to help someone else's heart be merry too.

What is Christmas?
To some it is Santa and snowmen and toys,
To some it’s the shopping, bright wrappings and noise,
To others it’s family and everyone’s home,
To me, it’s much more. Let me share in this poem…

Christmas is where it all began,
An infant child who became a man.
Eternity came down so we could understand,
The child of Creator, the true Son of Man.

He was not unexpected, for the prophets foretold
The events that had happened would surely unfold.
Four hundred years later the miracle came,
The star over Bethlehem shone where He lay.

They came to attend Him from near and from far,
The shepherds and wise men who followed the star.
All were rejoicing that first Christmas night
At the child of a virgin, a humbling sight.

So what is the meaning of that first Christmas night?
Simply, He came to make everything right.
For the Child had a purpose in coming to Earth.
He came as a light and to give us new birth.

He gave us forgiveness and paid with His life.
What kind of love would pay such a price?
For death could not hold Him; He rose from that grave.
And freedom and life were the gifts that He gave.

No longer divided, no longer alone,
Because of His love the wall had come down.
Live free forever! O, what a gift!
Both now here on earth and forever with Him.

Wise men and angels followed Him then.
Wise men still seek Him, again and again.

-- Jackie M. Johnson

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flirting with the Best Man

Flirting with the Best Man

Staring at the bridegroom
Stands a radiant, stunning bride.
Draped in silk and taffeta
And yet her vision slides…
To the man standing beside him
With a grin a mile wide.

Looking handsome as he can be
Is the bridegroom’s own best man.
The bride looks down and clutches hard
The bouquet between her hands,
Wondering how this new distraction
Will affect her wedding plans.

The best man tries to woo her,
The bride becomes confused.
She thought the bridegroom was The One,
Yet now she has to choose.
Will she pass the tempter’s test?
What does she have to lose?

Though lured for just a moment
Her heart cries out, “No, wait!”
For the bride could see the look of love
Upon the bridegroom’s face.
How could another ever take
Her dear beloved’s place?

A test, indeed, for we, the bride,
The Church, have often spurned
The One, True Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
O, how our hearts have turned!
We try to seek and find true love,
But lessons must be learned:

No flirting with the best man.
Don’t let the feelings start.
For the best man is not always
The best man for the part.
The Bridegroom is the Chosen One,
And He must have your heart.

-- Jackie M. Johnson

Monday, December 13, 2010

a winter poem

A Wintry Day in a Pine Grove

I stood alone in woods
Of pine
With head upturned
Toward winter’s sky,
And found refreshment
For my soul
In pine boughs laden
With new-fallen snow.

And stopping there I
Paused to ponder
God’s creative wonder.
And thank Him for
The forest green
Amidst the stark, white
Wintry scene.

Walking on, I turned
To see the branches
Waving back at me,
As if to say, “Come back
Again another day
To laugh and dance
And dream and play.”

- Jackie M. Johnson

Thursday, December 9, 2010

When It's Hard to Wait

A Time for Everything

When waiting seems hard
And things seem to be slow,
When the stoplight says, “wait”
And you just want to go,
Here’s a lesson in timing
For your life and mine:
God is not slow.
No, He keeps perfect time.

Can you say to a newborn,
“Get up and run?”
Or make the moon rise
In place of the sun?
Can you order a rosebud
To open up now?
Or hurry a calf
Being birthed from a cow?

To everything there’s a time
And an hour,
For our lives to unfold
And for roses to flower.
There’s a reason and purpose
For every delay,
And with patience and timing
We’ll get there someday.

For the work of waiting
Is finally believing
That it all comes from God
Who delights us in giving.
And His power will bring forth
What is best, and we’ll find
That deliverance will come,
For He keeps perfect time.

-- Jackie M. Johnson

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Watching Wild Geese Fly

Watching Wild Geese Fly

Pepper in the sky
Flying south, flying high
Little black dots swaying
Back and forth
Specks that soar
Above earth’s golden treetops.
A whisper of wind
And they’re gone again
Leaving a blank azure sky.

Waving goodbye to summer,
Watching wild geese fly.

-- Jackie M. Johnson