Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Tag

Triumphal Entry

Scan_20150327

The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, Israel; photo taken in May 2001 while on a tour of Israel

He came with humility

to serve; not to be served;

He came to prepare for us a place

a home where His father and eternity abides.

Wherever He went, whatever He did

people came from all around

from towns and villages to the mountainsides

to hear His teaching and wisdom found.

He came in love, He came with grace;

He chose a donkey, not a chariot or steed,

 the Father’s glory shone about His face.

He was not sent to impress, or proceed

a following of men with clout or fame,

but with the twelve chosen walking beside

called Disciples, and with Him they came

to learn the ways of the One sent out

who carried our sin and carried our shame.

____________

Footnotes: The life and history, stories, miracles and words of Jesus’s teachings can be found in the first four books of the New Testament Bible known as the gospels. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)



AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED

AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED

Nestled snugly to her breasts the baby wrapped in cloth

was cradled in his mother’s arms, her voice comforting and soft.

The beating of her heart, her milk and warm embrace

left him feeling so content when he looked into her face.

Livestock gathered near to ward off wind and chill;

They shared their sheltered space quiet, cold and still.

Heaven’s glory filled the skies immersing them in joy.

Radiant beams of light gushed towards the baby boy.

The story of his birth was heard throughout the land,

“The prophesied Messiah is born in Bethlehem.”

People came from all around to see the child king,

“Where is he that is born those angels about him sing?”

There was much rejoicing as shepherds ran to see

the baby born to the world, the prophesied to be.

Magi heard the news traveling from places far

with gifts for the baby king guided by the star.

Kneeling before the Savior they stretched out hands in praise;

God’s unfolding gift of love, how awesome His wondrous ways.

Mary pondered all these things and marveled how, that He

from one; a virgin came the Son of God, Jesus, Majesty.

***********

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL!  

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

Footnotes: Although I published this post last Christmas I am re-posting it again with my wishes to all for a very blessed and wonderful Christmas and a happy new year in 2015.

Memories from Christmas’ past

My sisters and I one Christmas, a very long time ago. I am the youngest and smallest one.

My sisters and I one Christmas, a very long time ago. I am the youngest and smallest one.

 

Fudge cooking on the stove, hot steaming cocoa with floating plump marshmallows, taffy pulls, popcorn balls, caroling, recitals and Christmas pageants with new taffeta dresses, candles lit in window sills and trees with bright bulbs and multi-colored lights.  Sneaking around, spying in the attic for those illusive hidden presents I found. The memories linger like the smell of my mother’s fudge and Christmas cookies.

Listening for ‘sleigh bells’, thumps or bumps of Santa’s landing on roof tops and reindeer hooves touching down are the things I imagined, but never saw. Like any child I believed in Santa too. In the town I was from (Colorado Springs) there is a favorite popular Christmas place, North Pole. It is a magical Christmas village full of little cottages, toy stores, confections and the smells of all kinds of sweet treats, a real herd of reindeer, sleigh and of course a Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause. I loved visiting Santa there, but knew eventually that he did not really fly around the world in a sleigh on Christmas Eve. There came a day when I spotted Santa walking down Main street wearing a business suit, just like a scene from one of my favorite movies, Miracle on 34th St. I was older then, and knew the truth about his ‘job’ as the Santa at North Pole, but he brought so much happiness to children with his gentle nature, warm embrace, love and generosity to children like me before his death. Yet, ‘Santa’s legend lives on.

But, there is another one I came to believe in more as I listened to the story told and retold of a baby born to a virgin Mary in the little town of Bethlehem, Israel over 2,000 years ago. He became more real to me than any imaginative friend I could have dreamed of.  I learned how He loves me, lives on, will never die or leave me, and is always there for me. He sacrificed his life for us all so we could know him in a way that surpasses any imagined, or anyone who ever lived. That baby was Jesus, a Savior and Redeemer born to all the world. He is the reason I celebrate this Christmas, then and now, as I came to know Him, personally. His story is found in Luke, chapter 2, New Testament Bible, not a legend, but a truth, real, and God’s gift to us that lives on, continues to give and be received.

I wish all my blogger friends, readers and followers out there a very blessed and Merry Christmas, and a happy, prosperous year in 2015. Thank you for reading, commenting and following my site. It has been a wonderful journey as I traveled the country and globe with you through this site and yours.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Living Water

Boyd Lake, Loveland, Colorado

Boyd Lake, Loveland, Colorado

‘He who drinks from the

pool of living water will

never thirst again’

 

A woman came to a well to draw water when she came upon a man, a stranger weary from a long day who asked if he could have a drink.  She inquired as to why he had no vessel to use for water. But, he replied if she knew who he was she would not have asked why, but instead would have asked for the, Living Water. He was not a mere stranger, but one who knew everything there was to know about her and could read her life like a book. He was not a psychic, fortune-teller, spy or stalker.

She soon realized that it was Jesus she was speaking to, the Son of God who spoke with the authority and knowledge of His father in heaven. When he asked her to go share this news with her husband she replied, “But, sir I have no husband.”

He said, “Yes, that is true, for you have had five husbands, but the one you live with now is not your husband.”

She wanted to hurry home to share her news about the man who knew all their was about her and offered her the gift of Living Water. She only needed to believe and trust in Him.

____________

Footnotes: I love this story because it tells about the caring, loving, compassionate Savior who makes that gift available to everyone, whatever their background or ethnicity, if they will only believe in Him. This is a true story, and can be found in the New Testament Bible in John, chapter 4. The above haiku poem is just my own paraphrased interpretation of the gift of Living Water. 

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Christmases Past

scan0017

I am the little ‘angel’ on the left of the manger, in our church children’s program.

CHRISTMASES PAST

Trees that twinkled with shiny bright bulbs,

multi-colored lights and hanging tinsel.

Coloring books, crayons to pass the time

while waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Baby dolls scented like soft new latex

dressed in pink flannel pajamas.

Red and green ribbon we made into bows

draped from presents placed under the tree.

Sweet confections and peppermint candies,

with peanuts, apples, oranges; all wrapped

given to children in brown paper bags.

Popcorn balls, fudge, and sugar cookies

my parents made for us each year.

Christmas cards filled with tidings and cheer

mailed and received from friends far and near.

New taffeta dresses, black patent leather shoes

for Sunday services before each Christmas.

Soft white angel costumes and halos

I wore in school pageants and nativity programs.

‘Silent Night,’ and traditional carols

we sang under a cold wintry sky

‘Peace and goodwill to all the world,’

Are things I remember from Christmases past.

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2013

The Informant’s Agenda, Chapter XIV (14), ‘Jacob’s Story,’ continued (Part 4)

Chapter XIV, ‘Jacob’s Story’, continued (Part 4)

“After the war we didn’t know who we could trust again. Evil prevails in those with hate in their heart. It is not just with one kind of people, or one race, but with any. I believe there will always be those who choose to hate for whatever reasons.”

“I saw people who claimed to be Christians, but they betrayed us, or turned us away when we needed help. We were their neighbors, living side by side, but they were unforgiving of Jews who rejected the Messiah they preached about. There were some who turned their own gun on the Jews and shot them. But, there are stories of Jews who were protected and hid from their enemies, fed when hungry, clothed when stripped of their own. Some became martyrs and died alongside Jews when the Nazis came. I was young, but wise beyond my years.”

“Jacob, do you know if any of the collaborators; Romanians or Germans here involved in committing these atrocities were ever caught, or found?”

He shook his head, “No. I think most were never seen again. After the war, there was so much chaos, locating missing people, registering survivors, trying to treat and care for the afflicted I don’t think it was the thing that was foremost on people’s mind, until much later. I think the horrors of the war left everyone traumatized. There was some good that came out of it though like the Zionist movement and the birthing of the state of Israel. Their intelligence agency was born, and an army of trained fighters formed. I know they have hunted for the guilty involved in the deaths of the Jews. But, I don’t know if they have been entirely successful hunting them all down.”

“It seems hard to believe that there could still be any alive somewhere and walking free. How do you deal with all this, even now after so many years? Aren’t you bitter? Don’t you feel hatred for those who killed your family, and left you to die?”

“If I am to be the kind of person called by Messiah’s name to love as he loved, can I carry hate in my heart? He has called us to forgive, as he forgave his enemies. I admit it is difficult at times. But what is to be gained from hating? It is the evil of a darker force that walks among us, trying to destroy all that the Messiah died for. But, He was raised up, resurrected and lives so we would not have to walk through life with those shackles on, but be freed of them. That is the deliverance, the power we have as his children.”

“My Mother cried out to the Christian Messiah to help us, to save us from the soldiers who came for us. That is what changed us, Ms. Mengelder. No baptism, Torah, traditions or prayer shawl would have saved us from them. Out of our desperation we were given eternal life, and placed our trust in the one called Jesus, making him our Messiah. We prayed for deliverance, not just from the Nazis, but also for our soul.”

All I could do was nod my head in silent agreement and thank him for sharing his story. The park was still empty, no children on the playground, no one around to hear, or care what he had shared with me. Only the birds quietly perched on tree limbs as if with respect listened quietly too. We sat for a few moments just listening to the rustle of the trees, soft breezes blowing under a clear blue sky.

It made me shudder to think about the scattered remains and ashes of the thousands who died and suffered at the hands of their enemies, their graves we walked upon, the trees, flowers, parks, buildings and roads built above it all as if declaring that life does indeed go on, and one has to move forward.

It was hard to contain my own emotion, so didn’t even try. It was as if Jacob’s life was being replayed in slow motion before my very eyes like a repeat from a documentary on the History channel. His grandmother Magdalena, the sister to my great, great-grandfather Adam whom my family had tried so hard to locate could now be technically laid to rest, even if there was no grave we could find or visit.

_______________________

This is the end of chapter XIV, but the story will be continued with new chapters posted after Christmas.

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

He Came Like a Star

 

He came like a star

Piercing the darkness,

A radiant light

To a world that cannot cope

He came to be born

Alone to bear

The sins of all

That we might know

His incomprehensible

Enduring love

He came to serve

The homeless and hungry

Each seeking refuge

Waiting at his door

He came to redeem

The tiny babes ripped apart

From a nurturing place

That they might rest

In peaceful quiet,

And be rocked

In the cradle of grace

He came to seek the lost and poor

Offering shelter in outstretched arms

A tender embrace

And a compassionate touch

He came to be

The eyes for the blind

Ears for the deaf

Hope to the disabled

And the Savior to all

Called by his name

*********

Poem by: Joyce E. Johnson © 2012

%d bloggers like this: