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

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Heaven to Earth

 by Macy Johnson


“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

(Luke 2:7 NIV)

 

On Christmas Eve I pondered the astonishing fact that the Creator would become the created. Why would He do this? Max Lucado wrote, “If God was willing to wrap himself in rags and drink from a mother’s breast, then all questions about his love for you are off the table.” He was motivated by love for us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Little Red Truck

 by Macy Johnson


“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, “God with us.”

(Matthew 1:23 NIV)

 

I needed a gift for an ornament exchange party during the Christmas holidays. Miniature gingerbread houses and little red trucks at Hobby Lobby caught my eye. I wrapped the gifts in a festive bag, picked up a friend, and drove to the party held in a beautiful home in the country.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Stay Sharp!

by Macy Johnson


“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

(Proverbs 27:17 NIV)

 

My husband and I acquired a set of Global knives when my brother, Robin, owned a high-end kitchen emporium. These knives have served us well for more than a decade. After my husband hand-washes each knife, he sharpens it before placing it on the magnetic rack over our kitchen counter. My favorite kitchen tools are always ready to carve meat or chop vegetables with ease.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Unlimited

by Macy Johnson


“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

(Philippians 4:13 NIV)

 

It was time to change out the refill in a thingamajig so the house would smell nice. Osteoarthritis in my thumbs prevented me from performing what should be a simple maneuver. I had to ask my husband for assistance. That is a humbling gesture for me, because I am proud of all I think I can accomplish.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Close Call

 by Macy Johnson


“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.

They will call on my name and I will answer them;

I will say, ‘They are my people,’

and they will say, ’The Lord is our God.’”

(Zechariah 13:9 NIV)

 

I felt the pull of the camper behind my Highlander for the first time as we looked forward to our camping excursion. A car suddenly came around the corner into our lane on a winding, country road. It over-corrected, slid down into the ditch, then leapt out like a rocket aimed at us! I gripped the steering wheel and braced myself for impact. Then miraculously the driver corrected the out-of-control vehicle inches from my bumper. That was close!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Sister, Sister

by Macy Johnson


“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven

is my brother and sister and mother.”

(Matthew 12:50 NIV)

 

I woke up one Saturday morning before Thanksgiving to a message on the Ancestry website: “Hi Macy, I haven’t visited Ancestry in a while and now see that you may be my half-sister!”

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

How Great Thou Art

by Macy Johnson


“How great are your works, O Lord,

how profound your thoughts!”

(Psalm 92:5 NIV)

 

Lake Martin Community Church was located about a mile from the lake’s dam in the village of Red Hill, Alabama. It was on the same street as the cabin we rented from 1999 to 2002. We spent every weekend there. I was the church pianist at LMCC and as active as a part-timer could be while living and working in Birmingham.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Slip Sliding Away

by Macy Johnson


“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”

(Romans 7:18 NIV)

 

It was a stressful week. Everything seemed to fall on top of me at the same time.

-      A six-month checkup at the doctor, bloodwork, and the annual flu shot

-      A memorial service where the pastor sang a solo with my hodgepodge accompaniment

-      A piano concert for a church luncheon

-      A large branch speared our roof

-      A fever blister on my lip

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Critters!

 by Macy Johnson


“I will prevent pests from devouring your crops,

and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit.”

(Malachi 3:11 NIV)

 

After my morning walk, my husband called me over to a tree in our garden. A large rat snake had climbed into a bluebird house to keep warm on that chilly October morning. We are quite fond of George – he helps to keep the rodent population on our property under control.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

No Fear in Love

 by Macy Johnson


“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made in perfect love.”

(1 John 4:18 NIV)

 

I recently received an email from the committee of our upcoming 50th year high school reunion. Instructions included a nudge to connect on Facebook for updates. I slowly passed over that suggestion. Should I reactivate my Facebook account?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Pectus Excavatum

 by Macy Johnson


“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,

so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

(2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV)

 

“Look at my bone!” I exclaimed when, as a toddler, I revealed the noticeable dent in my chest.

 

“Pectus Excavatum is a condition in which a person’s breastbone is sunken into his or her chest. While the sunken breastbone is noticeable shortly after birth, the severity typically worsens during the adolescent growth spurt.” (Mayo Clinic Family Health Book)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Possible Perfection

 by Macy Johnson


“When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined

so that we will not be condemned with the world.”

(1 Corinthians 11:32 NIV)

 

We found a painter in April to paint our decks and doors. Promise after promise disintegrated. Six months later the Lord suggested I contact the painters who originally painted our new house. They came and did a wonderful job, not perfect, but very good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Once in a Lifetime

by Macy Johnson


“When Jesus reached the spot,

he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately.

I must stay at your house today.’”

(Luke 19:5 NIV)

 

Before handbells rehearsal one Wednesday night I visited with a fellow ringer. She told me about how her family was selected to appear in “Family Feud,” a popular TV game show. After beating out the competition of over 500 families, they were swept off to Atlanta where they were honored in all ways possible. She ended the story by saying, “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Not Odd, It's God!

by Macy Johnson


“Lord, you establish peace for us;

all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”

(Isaiah 26:12 NIV)

 

I entered receipts into the computer one morning and abruptly stopped myself. The amounts on two gas purchases caused me to jump up from my desk and take them downstairs to my husband. Jeff was carrying a bucket to the dock to retrieve four catfish he had caught the day before. It was fish-cleaning time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Splinters

 by Macy Johnson


“The man of integrity walks securely,

but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.”

(Proverbs 10:9 NIV)

 

“Be sure to wear shoes on the dock!” I called out as my grandchildren ran toward the water. “Some of the boards need to be replaced soon!”

 

It wasn’t long after my warning that my son carried Noah to the house to remove a splinter from his big toe. As I watched Alex deftly free the tiny sliver of wood, I was reminded of an incident that occurred many years ago.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Good Health

 by Macy Johnson


“Long life to you! Good health to you and your household!

And good health to all that is yours!”

(1 Samuel 25:6 NIV)

 

Long ago I created a spreadsheet, like a good accountant, for all my medications, medical procedures, diagnoses, vaccinations, and various reasons for visiting my physicians. I take this medical spreadsheet with me to every appointment, whether it be medical, vision, dental, or other.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Jury Duty

 by Macy Johnson


“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities,

for there is no authority except that which God has established.”

(Romans 13:1 NIV)

 

I received the dreaded jury summons in the mail and dutifully appeared with eighty neighbors one Monday afternoon in a concert hall. With Gary Sinise’s book, Grateful American in hand, I read about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as I watched struggle and animosity brew before my eyes. Where was God in all of our messes?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Ring

 by Macy Johnson


“Many are the plans in a man’s heart,

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

(Proverbs 19:21 NIV)

 

My family arrived home in the early evening, after a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. I was the first one in the door and ran straight for the bathroom. At eight years old, I still couldn’t quite judge the size of my bladder after many glasses of sweet iced tea.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Righteous Fruit

 by Macy Johnson


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Against such things there is no law.”

(Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

 

John Cawood’s hymn, “Almighty God, Thy Word Is Cast” was written in the early 1800’s. It is to be sung by the congregation immediately after the sermon is preached. The reminder of God’s Word sown as seeds on receptive soil fits perfectly in the worship service after a pastor’s exposition.

 

Almighty God, Thy word is cast

Like seed into the ground;

Now let the dew of heaven descend

And righteous fruits abound.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Back Relief

by Macy Johnson


“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

he will quiet you with his love,

he will rejoice over you with singing.”

(Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)

 

Packing up the camper one Wednesday morning I strained a muscle in my lower back. I turned and twisted the wrong way as I lifted the heavy, plywood cover off the seat compartment. The ride home was excruciating, but I managed to doze off a few times. The next day I chose to endure the pain and keep a lunch appointment with a dear friend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Secret Desires

by Macy Johnson


“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan

that can succeed against the Lord.”

(Proverbs 21:30 NIV)

 

It was time again to cash a check so my husband, Jeff, would have bills in his wallet. I wrote a check for $100 and attached a post-it note to it that read, “May I please have five twenties?” As I drove to the bank’s drive-through I considered asking for a few five-dollar bills to hand out to anyone in need, but didn’t alter my request. I received the envelope from the teller, stuck it in my purse, and forgot about it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Divine Appointment

 by Macy Johnson


“Like cold water to a weary soul

is good news from a distant land.”

(Proverbs 25:25 NIV)

 

I recently babysat for Dahlia and Carver, who relocated with their parents back to Birmingham, our former home. It was a joy to spend a week with my grandchildren as we watched “Charming” and a variety of anime movies in between games, crafts, walks, and other outdoor activities.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Lexi's Journal

 by Macy Johnson


“If you see your brother’s ox or sheep straying,

do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to him.”

(Deuteronomy 22:1 NIV)

 

My husband and I drove through Siloam, Georgia on the way to Costco Wholesale in Augusta one July afternoon. When we turned the corner to get on I-20, I noticed an ice machine on the left. We like to have a cooler filled with ice in case we buy items that need to be refrigerated for the hour-long drive home. “Why don’t we stop here, instead of a store?” I asked Jeff. He turned into the free-standing kiosk’s parking area.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

God Bless America!

 by Macy Johnson


“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people he chose for his inheritance.”

(Psalm 33:12 NIV)

 

I woke up early on the Fourth of July to watch the sun rise on America’s 245th birthday. The United States flag unfolded in the sky before my eyes – red, white, and blue, with stripes of clouds across the air! It was a gift from God straight to my patriotic heart.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Scratch the Surface

 by Macy Johnson


“Jesus did many other things as well.

If every one of them were written down,

I suppose that even the whole world

would not have room for the books that would be written.”

(John 21:25 NIV)

 

My husband, Jeff, and I sat on the dock with my cousin at her lake house late one evening. While we watched the almost-full moon rise over the trees across the water, she told us of an encounter many years ago. As a young teen on her bike with neighborhood friends, she was stunned when something unusually bright skipped across the clear night sky. She scratched the surface of the unknown.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Blip on the Screen

by Macy Johnson


“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.’”

(Ecclesiastes 12:1 NIV)

 

My husband, an Air Force “brat”, is enamored with military programs on television. One of his favorite channels is the American Heroes Channel (AHC). I only glance at our TV screen filled with fighter jets or soldiers climbing an impossible hill in battle, because I was not raised in a military home. But I think I know what a radar screen is.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

It's Your Birthday Cake!

by Macy Johnson


“Then David gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins

to each Israelite man and woman.”

(1 Chronicles 16:3 NIV)

 

Have you noticed the dessert selections that sprawl on freezer shelves at grocery stores? It’s like the manufacturers are at war, trying to beat out competition with the most bizarre flavor varieties. I am on a mission to discover my very favorite ice cream flavor. Some people prefer to churn their own creations and listen to the ice crunch as children dance around in anticipation. Not me. I want it now!

 

My very favorite ice cream flavor, hands down, is anything that tastes like cake batter, preferably a birthday cake – a white cake with white icing and bright, colorful roses, and maybe a few sprinkles here and there. I am always on the lookout for the best ice cream confection and have sampled quite a few.

 

One morning before my birthday I received an email from my favorite grocer gifting me a carton of their premium ice cream. I dutifully headed for the frozen sweets aisle, resolved to settle on Vanilla for my selection. Then I saw the most beautiful sight! Squeezing my way between an elderly man’s cart and the freezer case I spotted a potential favorite. I opened the glass door and reached in to get a carton of “It’s Your Birthday Cake!” from the top shelf. It was a gift from God.

 

When I tasted the new ice cream that evening after dinner, I was very pleasantly surprised. It was by far the best cake ice cream flavor I had ever eaten! I could hear God whisper, “I know exactly what you like. I made you and ice cream for you to enjoy!”

 

I will celebrate God’s revelations and rejoice in His presence. I hope you will, too! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Best is Yet to Come!

 by Macy Johnson


“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands.

Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’”

(John 20:27 NIV)

 

I felt the nudge to stop doing something I had been doing, mostly by rote. Several signals were pecking at my brain to remind me that God prepares us for all that He is preparing for us. We need to be ready for something new. We have to be available and flexible and all the things I am afraid of. I like routine - doing the same things over and over.

 

I received an email that said something I was participating in on a regular basis was going to change. Would I continue work on that project, or was this a signal to move on to something new? What could the something new be? Should I wait and trust God to reveal His will? Should I remain in my routine?

 

My sister needed a place to live. Her landlord announced that the house they were renting would be put on the market in a few months. Houses in her neighborhood were selling like hotcakes and the owner wanted in on the windfalls. Then, an unexpected, unsolicited email appeared in my sister's inbox. A house down the street was available for rent in a few months for the same price she was currently paying! My sister recognized it as a God-thing, an answer to prayer.

 

When things stop, slide across the floor, burst onto the scene, or creep around the corner, we can trust God to be in the middle of them. We can know He is in complete control of our biggest messes, making beautiful masterpieces. The best IS yet to come!

 

I will look forward to all the wonderful things headed my way. I hope you will, too!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Into Me See

by Macy Johnson

“He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name.”

(Psalm 147:4 NIV)

 

A loose definition of intimacy is “into me see.” Merriam-Webster defines intimacy  as “the state of being familiar; something of a personal or private nature.” When I think of God, I think of my personal, private relationship with His Son, Jesus. It is a relationship of surrendering my mind and heart for Him to clearly see into me as He lets me see into Him.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Raised with Christ

 by Macy Johnson


“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,

set your hearts on things above,

where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”

(Colossians 3:1 NIV)

 

 

Songs were written over many centuries to help believers recall scripture. The lyrical words guided worshippers to think about God and how the Holy Spirit works in their lives. As a teenager I sang popular Scripture Songs while driving, walking, and working through my day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Mother's Day

 by Macy Johnson


“May your father and mother be glad;

may she who gave you birth rejoice!”

(Proverbs 23:25 NIV)

 

My husband, Jeff, and I drove to South Carolina the day before Mother’s Day. His sister flew there from San Antonio to celebrate their Aunt’s ninety-first birthday and visit with cousins. Our daughter drove down from North Carolina with her children to join in the celebration. We laughed about times gone by as we enjoyed everyone’s favorite submarine sandwiches on the warm, sunny deck and mouth-watering cake in the air-conditioned home.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Grass and Flowers

 by Macy Johnson

“The grass withers and the flowers fall,

but the word of our God stands forever.”

(Isaiah 40:8 NIV)

 

My husband mowed the grass in our yard one spring morning while I walked my regular route near our house. The fragrance sent me back to childhood days of tumbling in the front yard with friends. I love the smell of a freshly mown lawn.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Crawfish Boil

by Macy Johnson


“His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes,

and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.”

(Job 1:4 NIV)

 

On the first weekend in May our son, Alex, and four high school friends gathered at our home for a Crawfish Boil. It was a joyful, fun reunion for everyone.

 

Jeff, my Louisiana-native husband, has dreamed of hosting a Crawfish Boil at our house for a long time, but could never quite get it together. God made it happen in a better way by having our son and his friends bring it to us. We could never have laid it out as well as they did and been able to relax and enjoy the festivities. It was God’s perfect plan.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Islands

 by Macy Johnson


“The high mountains belong to the wild goats;

the crags are a refuge for the coneys (rock badgers).”

(Psalm 104:18 NIV)

 

There is a large island nestled close to the dam in Alabama’s Lake Martin. When the lake was formed in the 1920’s goats were stranded on the island, so the locals named it “Goat Island.” You can cruise around the island in a boat or on a jet ski and look up its steep, rocky landscape in search of goats. Some vacationers pull their boats up on the island’s sandy shores and pitch a tent for a holiday weekend or afternoon picnic. There are no bridges to Goat Island, no ways for its original inhabitants to escape.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Puzzle Trays

 by Macy Johnson


“A time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away.”

(Ecclesiastes 3:6 NIV)

 

Life is like a puzzle tray. We come across things to do or create from our experiences, then toss them into a tray, a schedule of sorts. Once all the pieces for a project are collected, we gather them from the mental trays and form a picture, a plan to complete the task.

 

Often we have to search our minds for the best next thing. Sometimes we possessed the item already, but it slipped away. 


Jeff’s favorite, expensive clippers were lost. The last time he remembered using them was when pruning a plant in the front yard. After hours or searching, he gave up. Later in the day while raking in a flower bed, the clippers magically appeared from under a pile of leaves.

 

Some people organize puzzle pieces by color, like the Goodwill store’s layout. I like to arrange them by items in the picture: a house, the water, groups of people, etc. I used to separate pieces by the grid sections of the puzzle, allocating them evenly.

 

Puzzle trays can be like chapters of a book. I gathered information from a 2007 interview with my aunt. After tossing facts around for weeks, I decided to categorize them by person and tossed facts into unique family chapters.

 

After not playing Bridge for over a year, my friends are back together for our weekly fun time. During the pandemic, we experienced a time to give up, to let our desires go, our relationships go, but we held on to hopes of gathering again. Yesterday we played bridge in person again for the first time!

 

I will strive to put my plans into appropriate mental trays according to my heavenly Father’s perfect will. I hope you will, too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Scavengers

by Macy Johnson


“‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall

from their masters’ table.’”

(Matthew 15:27 NIV)

 

I was startled from a deep sleep by the sound of empty cans banging against the tall aluminum pole at campsite #69 in Mistletoe State Park near Augusta, Georgia. Rocky Raccoon, balanced on his hind legs, exposed his big, white, furry belly, and clawed on the large, hanging, garbage bag.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Chronological Bible

 by Macy Johnson


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.”

(John 1:1 NIV)

 

During a Bible study Zoom meeting the participants discussed how nice it would be to read about Jesus’ life sequentially, as it unfolded. I discovered a chronological Bible exists, complete with historical and other archaeological data.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Living Water

 by Macy Johnson


“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God 

and who it is that asks you for a drink, 

you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’”

(John 4:10 NIV)

 

“My wife was taken to the emergency room last night,” a friend told me. “She forgot to drink enough water yesterday and became dehydrated.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

2020 Visions

 by Macy Johnson


“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;

He enables me to stand on the heights.”

(2 Samuel 22:34 NIV)

 

On my way home from church one Sunday, I was startled by a lone doe at the highest curve in the road. She greeted me with her head held high, then bounded off into the woods.

 

God used isolation and changes in plans to bring new visions in 2020. Did we pay attention?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Color Blindness

 by Macy Johnson


“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Honor one another above yourselves.”

(Romans 12:10 NIV)

 

My husband is colorblind. He has a mild case of deuteranomaly, a form of color blindness in which the green cones in the eye detect too much red light and not enough green light. As a result, reds, greens, yellows, and browns can appear similar. Jeff’s dreams of becoming a Navy pilot crashed with a tell-tale medical exam. In 1974 it was unacceptable for a pilot to be even slightly colorblind. He has learned to be content with his aberration.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Macy Mouse

by Macy Johnson


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 

I will strengthen you and help you; 

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

(Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

 

As an Amazon Prime member, I receive monthly emails with new eBooks’ selections. I choose one to download for free and most often select a mystery or historical novel. This month I scanned the entire list, down to the children’s book. To my surprise it was “Julius and Macy – A Very Brave Night” by Annelouise Mahoney.  

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Off Balance

 by Macy Johnson


“Honest Scales and balances are from the Lord;

all the weights in the bag are of his making.”

(Proverbs 16:11 NIV)

 

I opened my sleepy eyes on day eleven after receiving the first COVID vaccine. The curtains on my windows spun around me – vertigo! That dreaded sense of imbalance forced me to keep my head straight and level in order to function through the day.

 

I walk daily to strengthen my legs, as well as my heart. Running is not in my genes. My legs ache to move slowly, steadily on a solid path. Walking poles help to keep me steady and balanced.