Author - John Johnson

1
Life with the Black Swan
2
Getting to the Heart of Real Praying
3
Week Two in the Belly
4
Learning How to Pray During a Pandemic
5
In the Belly of the Fish
6
One Way to Contain the Virus
7
Facing Those Life Markers
8
Time to Rethink How We Are Doing Church
9
Becoming Lost in a Virtual World
10
Rethinking Ambition

Life with the Black Swan

All of us find ourselves coping at the moment. We do so in different ways—walking, painting walls, reading books, binging on Foyle’s War for the third time. Part of how I cope is writing, processing. Working on a book I am not sure will be published, but giving eight, ten hours a day to it.[…]

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Getting to the Heart of Real Praying

In P.T. Forsyth’s The Soul of Prayer, he writes, “Prayer is where our thought of God passes into action and becomes more certain than thought.”  This is what I find in Jonah’s prayer—his prayer in the belly of the whale, a.k.a. his quarantine. In this period of divinely enforced social distancing, where there was no[…]

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Week Two in the Belly

There are two things getting me through this extraordinary season. And no, it’s not putting up lights and pretending it is Christmas. The first is relationships. Family. My prayer group on Sunday nights. My band of brothers on Monday nights. We Zoom in and share what we are learning— -focus on what cannot be shaken![…]

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Learning How to Pray During a Pandemic

There are lots of ways to react to this pandemic. Become obsessed with it, watching the news 24/7 and keeping up with the articles that pop up every few minutes. Or find some form of escape, be it watching Foyle’s War or reruns of the Twilight Zone (especially the apocalyptic episodes).  Prayer may be our[…]

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In the Belly of the Fish

In all of this strangeness–in truly uncharted territory–one cannot but wonder if God has suddenly imposed upon the world a necessary Sabbath rest of sort. Stores, restaurants, and services are closing by the minute. Could it be God is inviting us to replace hurry and activity with needed sanctuary and silence? It feels a bit[…]

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One Way to Contain the Virus

I am reading Erik Larson’s new book, The Splendid and the Vile. Each chapter grows more ominous. It is June 1940, and a German invasion of England seems imminent. Defeating France, Hitler is now able to position his Luftwaffe to strike England with massive force. There is every expectation he will soon launch an invasion[…]

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Facing Those Life Markers

A couple of nights ago, celebrating with others, someone asked me which birthday stands out above the rest. Turning 70, I confessed that most are a blur. What I do know is that with each decade, with each marker, the questions have changed. -when I turned 20, things were rising. I was in San Diego[…]

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Time to Rethink How We Are Doing Church

Does personal presence really matter? Is physical proximity an issue? Is virtual enough to satisfy your soul?  Ministries are asking these questions. Who would have imagined a day when worship services are online, viewed from our smartphones? Since the internet campus was introduced fourteen years ago, technology has equipped the church to bring its ministry[…]

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Becoming Lost in a Virtual World

I’m still thinking about the young woman I met in Beirut last Fall. She was taking my class in pastoral theology, and she mentioned in passing that she and her husband drive eight hours each way to church every Saturday. She is from Saudi Arabia. It may be that they lack the technology to provide[…]

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Rethinking Ambition

I’m guessing there is an ambitious streak that runs through you. Most of us have lived with our eyes on a challenge. A goal that gets us out of bed. A passion that fuels our lives. Some may push back, assuming ambition is tantamount to being ruthless, cutthroat, and into power. But consider the alternative.[…]

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