Mission

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 ESV)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Scarcity

by Macy Johnson

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
(John 10:10 NIV)

I stopped in my tracks and took a double-take. There, in the cereal aisle of a small-town grocery store, I saw a man pushing a cart stuffed with packages of toilet paper!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Nudges in the Night

by Macy Johnson

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”
(Jeremiah 32:27 NIV)

One night not long ago I tossed and turned in bed. As I leaned over to take a sip of water, I glanced at the clock. Red numbers, large and bright enough for me to read, displayed 12:34.

I believe God speaks to me through numbers. So, I silently answered back, “Cool, God! 1234! Are you reminding me that you are with me? Well, if so, then please do it again. Wake me at 1:23 and 4:56.”

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Purple Martins

by Macy Johnson

“When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, ‘Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. Bring back some of the fruit of the land.’
(It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)”
(Numbers 13:17, 20 NIV)

Early one Sunday morning, during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, I slipped out onto my balcony to absorb nature’s unfolding beauty.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Thick Darkness

by Macy Johnson

“The people remained at a distance,
while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”
(Exodus 20:21 NIV)

God reveals Himself in darkness.

“Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.”
(Psalm 97:2 NIV)

I like waking before dawn. I like the peaceful sense of isolated seclusion as I gaze out my window into the black abyss.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Shortcuts

by Macy Johnson

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’”
(Exodus 13:17 NIV)

The Israelites were forbidden to take a shortcut to the Promised Land. God knew they needed to be trained and disciplined before they crossed over the Jordan River into their new home.

Did Jesus ever take a shortcut? I believe He knew the fastest way was not necessarily the best way.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Jake the Snake

by Macy Johnson

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16 NIV)

Jake is not a snake. He is our neighbor’s incognito black Labrador Retriever.

When he was a puppy, Jake would gallivant over to visit and filch whatever loose item he could find. Nearly every morning my husband discovered tools, gloves or shoes missing from our porch. We knew who the culprit was – Jake the Snake!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Fill in the Gap

by Macy Johnson

“And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill,
ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts.”
(Exodus 35:31 NIV)

God gave us skills to fill in gaps, to do needed work at the right time in the right place.

Aaron, high priest and Moses’ brother, stood in the gap to stop the impending annihilation of God’s rebellious children in the desert.

“He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.”
(Numbers 16:48 NIV)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Stay Out of the Trees!

by Macy Johnson

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.”
(Psalm 73:23 NIV)

Sarah Young wrote, “You must discipline yourself to live within the boundaries of today.”

During a ski trip in 1998 I read the fourth chapter of Proverbs in my Bible and penciled a note in the margin next to verse 25 – “Stay out of the trees!”

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”
(Proverbs 4:25 NIV)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Final Score

by Macy Johnson

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
(Psalm 46:10 NIV)

My husband and I watch college football and basketball games after they have been played. We record sporting events on our digital video recorder in order to fast-forward through commercials.

One recent game was played between intense, in-state rivals. The anxiety of the crowd and players unfolded before us on TV, although the score was already in the books. The fans had long gone home.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Destination Second Chance

by Macy Johnson

“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; 
make known among the nations what He has done.” 
(Psalm 105:1 NIV)

“Oh no!” was all I could mutter at the sight of flashing blue lights in my rear-view mirror.

“Pull over into the next side street!” the sheriff’s speaker blared. Shaking his head, the officer gently inquired, “Mrs. Johnson, where are you going in such a hurry? I clocked you at 42 miles per hour in a 25 zone.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Donuts and Keys

by Macy Johnson

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV)

On February 17, 2017, my husband and I drove from Georgia to North Carolina to celebrate our grandson’s birth.

When we arrived at the hospital entrance, our son-in-law appeared at the double doors. I rode the elevator up to our daughter’s room, while the men drove to Vortex Doughnuts for celebration delicacies.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bananas

by Macy Johnson

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’”
(Psalm 126:2 NIV)

Sunday morning worship concluded a few minutes early. The choir room emptied as I slipped out of my pianist robe and hung it on the hanger.

I exited the church alone, music bag in hand, and leather coat wrapped snugly against the wind. The needle on my car’s gas gauge was approaching empty and I needed to pick up a few items at the local grocer on my way home.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Release and Receive

by Macy Johnson

“He answered, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.’”
(2 Samuel 12:22,23 NIV)

David released his son to God so he could one day receive him again in heaven.

Through my window the last of the summer leaves precariously hang on our black oak trees. The wind furiously batters and shakes them in the sun, while the black oak tries to hold on to its vegetation longer than other trees. I wonder when new growth will eventually shove off its lingering leaves.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Curse of Blessings

by Macy Johnson

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.”
(Isaiah 45:22 NIV)

Blessings can pull me away from God. Struggles can push me closer to Him.

It is a constant tug-of-war. Oswald Chambers wrote, “Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Pioneers

by Macy Johnson

“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.’”
(Hebrews 2:10 NIV)

Jesus was the perfect pioneer, sent by God to suffer for us, help in our failing humanity, and lead us from ashes to glory.

My husband is an avid reader of pioneers who brought much-needed change into American society. One of his favorite biographies is Booker Taliaferro Washington, who was born in 1856 to a black, slave woman and white man from a nearby Virginia plantation. Mr. Washington was an educator, author, orator, and advisor to multiple US Presidents. He died in Alabama in 1915.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Postcards

by Macy Johnson

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him,
but to suffer for Him.’”
(Philippians 1:29 NIV)

A friend recently gave me a copy of his deceased wife’s book, Postcards from the Precipice – Reflections of a Christian Facing Death. The author filled this treasured collection with emails from friends and musings journaled in her last months of life on earth.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What's in a Name?

by Macy Johnson

“But now, this is what the Lord says – He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’”
(Isaiah 43:1 NIV)

Have you googled your given name to discover its origin, its meaning?

My name, Macy, is a variation of my maternal grandmother’s name, Macie. It is taken from an old French word for weapon and an old English word for hill. Looking out our second-story window, I am God’s weapon on a hill.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dreams

by Macy Johnson

“And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
(Matthew 2:12 NIV)

I watched a Netflix documentary on the human brain. The first episode was about memories. Although somewhat useful, I was more interested in episode #2 – Dreams.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Writer's Block

by Macy Johnson

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8 NIV)

“Lord, I’m empty. There are no words to write,” I complained.

For months the words, the ideas flowed. But now a desert, a dry, arid plateau settled in my mind. I reviewed jotted lists, thoughts, memories, but nothing sprang to life to write about. Instead, a still, small voice whispered, “Wait.” I don’t like to wait. I want everything now, neatly laid out on a computer screen.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Gather

by Macy Johnson

“And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”
(Mark 13:27 NIV)

January approached and I asked God what my word for the new year would be: Gather.

Merriam-Webster defines gather as “the most general term for bringing or coming together from a spread-out or scattered state. It often implies careful selection or orderly arrangement.”

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Leather Jacket

by Macy Johnson

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.”
(Matthew 7:7 NIV)

Georgia’s sunny, winter days call for light jackets, not heavy coats.

I wished for many years of owning a black, genuine-leather jacket, but settled instead for ones crafted out of vinyl. Vinyl jackets are flimsy, wear at the collar, peel apart, scratch my neck, and ultimately end up in the trash.

My dormant, leather-jacket search was awakened one Sunday before Christmas.