Peace be Still!
Were you shaken during the earthquake on Tuesday? Listeners to WGTS 91.9FM called and it was as serious as a terrorist attack, while others thought it was as simple as construction outside. During the earthquake and even hours afterward the overall feeling for many was one of fear. The disciples went through a similar situation when they were on the boat with Jesus. As the wind and rain came their boat rocked back and forth much like our earthquake. We need to understand that we serve a God who is in control and that even the winds and rains obey him. Whether it is the fear of the impending hurricane this weekend or an impending hurricane in your life, Jesus says, “Peace be still!” Know that the heavenly father is in control, always, no matter how chaotic things get.
Where I Found Hope
Saturday night, the Sheraton Premiere not only provided an escape from the unbearable heat from the week, it was not only a shelter from the rain that fell all day, but it was a refuge from an economy crumbled around me.
It was a sanctuary where I could forget for a moment that my boss wants to fire me and the mole on my chest looked worse this morning.
Saturday night, the Night of Hope at the Sheraton Premiere was a shield protecting me from the fear that I’ve already suffered from.
It was a retreat where I found God again.
It was a retreat where I found myself again.
Where I found hope again.
I think we can connect with God through music. I saw that happen right in front of me when Heather Williams and the WGTS Gateway Praise Band shared moments of worship on stage. And in those moments everyone in the room came together in way I’ve never seen before.
I saw the same thing happen at the prayer stations, while Chaplain Terry Johnsson shared a few thoughts and even when people dropped of school supplies for Backpacks of Hope.
I hope you can share in those moments too through the videos below and the pictures here.
In the second grade, I was told by the school system I would never be able to read. They told me that I had a mild case of retardation.
Thank God for the prayers of a mother. Thank God for hope.
My mother did not give up on me. She asked God for a miracle!
The power of her prayers and the power of Hope helped me to go on to serve three presidents of the United States as an Air Force White House Honor Guard. And now, I will be graduating with my doctorate.
Are there people in your life reminding you of your limitations? Are there circumstances crushing your spirit and your freedom?
I want you to share in the hope I found.
I invite you to a special evening we like to call Night of Hope to remind you nothing is impossible with God!
Building hope can be a difficult process. With all that’s going on with you and around you, how can you possibly have hope? Well, knowing God and knowing the plans he has for you is a good start. Build your relationship with him and he will give you hope, he will show you reasons to have hope.
Take some time out of your busy day, even 5 or 10 minutes; talk with God and read some of the things he had written just for you. Read the story of the Israelites fleeing Egypt, read about Joseph, Daniel, Job and many others in the Bible who faithfully grabbed a hold of God’s hand and began to have hope of a better life on earth, and an eternal life in heaven.
Take advantage of the positive people in your life. Ask them how they do it, how they remain hopeful in times of stress, unemployment, sickness, and death. There are people all around you going through things just like you. So reach out your hand. Reach out to family, friends, and God. I guarantee you will be given the gift of hope. Then you will see the difference in your life, and the positive difference you can have in the lives of those around you.
Go, with God!
WGTS Chaplain’s Office
When I think of the word hope, a popular hymn and praise song comes to mind: My Hope is Built. Read the powerful words and understand why God is the perfect rock, the only rock, upon which to build your life.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand
As the song says, your hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ name. He is the solid rock; everything else in this life is sinking sand. You can’t build hope on things of this world. If you try building your life through money and banks, or your health and hospitals, or your knowledge and schools, you will surely sink. Those things are unreliable and will fade. “When all around [your] soul gives way, He then is all [your] hope and stay.”
I John 2:17 says it best. “And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”
So stand on Christ the solid rock, wholly trust in Jesus’ name, and have hope. Hope that will not fade, will not break, and will not sink.
Fearless in the Shadow of Death
“…Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me…” Psalm 23
Oh yes, there is no doubt. We are indeed walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Take a look at the world around you. Watch the news for 10 minutes. People died in wars today, overseas and on our streets. Tornadoes rip through towns, taking with them schools, businesses, families, and lives. Your neighbors are losing their homes, their jobs, and their health. The valley of the shadow of death is not a place, but in fact it is reality, it is life. This is the world you know, the life you know.
But you are promised the life you know here won’t last. There is hope for a better place, an eternal life with God in heaven. And until that time comes, know that God is here with you, walking beside you every day. In faith you must trust Him and have no fear of the evil going on around you. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Yes, hope of eternal life and certainty of the Kingdom of God coming to fruition. This is the truth, and the reason faithful believers can live this life, fearless in the shadow of death.
Give God Your All
Jesus performed many miracles throughout his travels to help those in need. And we should remember that all the characters and aspects of each story are important and included for a reason. One miracle that I find myself dwelling on at length is the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus took five loaves and two fish, and in addition to his spiritual message that he presented that day, he physically fed all those in attendance. How often do you look at the beginning of the story?
The little boy is often pushed aside but his importance cannot be forgotten. While his mother stayed at home, he chose to make the journey to see Jesus. He knew he would be part of a very large crowd and had no idea if he would even see Jesus. Think of yourself at that age. If you had made the long journey that day, at any age, would you want to give your food away? He was approached and asked to give his little lunch to Jesus. The boy was willing to give all he had to Jesus. He and everyone else in the crowd had no idea what was going to happen.
The five thousand were then fed, but the other miracle preformed was by the young boy himself. The boy was willing to give his all to the Master. We need to daily seek Christ regardless of whether or not he will call on us. We need to be in the crowd! We need to answer the call. What little God has blessed you with you need to be willing to give all back to Him! We often try to hold on to the little we have when God can use it not only for us (remember he went home with more food than he came with!) but can also be used to help others. Decide today and right now that you will seek Jesus daily and give Him all you have.
Prayer for the week: Dear God, I am searching for you today. Give me the faith to give all that I have so that you can use it to be a blessing to others. Amen.
You Can be Free!
There are some things that we all can question when it comes to holidays, Santa, Easter Bunnies, even leprechauns. But this weekend is different, because you and I know for sure that this was the actual weekend Jesus died and rose, because of the celebration of the Jewish Passover. We will be celebrating Easter, the resurrection of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago, Jesus overcame sin and death, so that you could have abundant life and be free! This single act is the culmination of his love for you, being so selfless as to give his life so that you can have life eternal. Because of Jesus, you have victory over anything that would try to hold you back! So No matter what has held you captive in the past, this weekend, you can be free!
I want to meet you in person this weekend and pray with you. We will be having a powerful pre Easter sing a-long with the music of Michael W. Smith. This service could change your life! Please come out and join the WGTS Gateway Family, this Saturday evening at 6:00PM as we celebrate.
Aim High! Always!
Chaplain Terry Johnsson
P.S. WGTS Gateway Fellowship invites you out for a time of worship with new artist Jeremy Horn, Saturday, April 30th at 6pm in Takoma Park, Maryland. To read Jeremy’s story, find out more about the concert or let us know you’re coming, please go to our website: www.mygatewayfellowship.com
Share forgiveness today.
So often in life you forget the little lessons you learned when you were a child. I’m not talking about not putting your elbows on the table when you eat or not picking in your nose, I’m talking about forgiveness. Forgiveness seems to be one of those things that never gets easier the older you get. As adults we are so quick to hold a grudge, talk about the situation behind someone’s back, and brood the situation over and over.
You might be saying, “Chaplain Terry, I forgive all the time! I forgave my loved one the other day for something they did!” That might be true and that is definitely an achievement but how often do you take the time to forgive those that you don’t love? Those are quite often the one’s who need it most. The person who cuts you off in traffic, the co-worker who gets on your last nerve, even someone who has wronged you indirectly by wronging someone you love. All these people need forgiveness.
I was reflecting on the life of Christ the other day and thought of what a forgiving spirit he has. Never holding a grudge, never quick to anger, and always, always, loving those that didn’t deserve it. You have to realize that forgiveness is a two way street. You have to be able to give it AND receive it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes and all we can do is try harder the next time and with faith, prayer, and following in the steps of Christ you can do it! Don’t be afraid, it feels good to forgive! Call or tell that one person who needs your forgiveness today.
Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, I am a sinner. I am not perfect and you have been just and merciful to forgive me of my sins. Please work on my heart and work with me daily to forgive those that have wronged me and need forgiveness. Amen.
Aim High! Always!
Chaplain Terry Johnsson
Through Jesus Christ you are More than a Conqueror!
If you are like most other people, chances are your day can change at the drop of a dime. You may wake up feeling refreshed and positive, but by the time you get to your lunch break the smile is long gone. This change can be caused by so many different factors which include but are not limited to; family, work, meetings, driving, co workers, deadlines, etc. In other words, life has a funny way of reminding you that you are not in control. For some, as you read this letter you find yourself at a great place of peace and productivity. For others, you feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Well, regardless of where you stand today, let the word of God speak to your life ” I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13.
This passage is power packed with life changing truth! It teaches us that whether you are in want or in need, the solution and key to making it through any and every situation is Christ! In this life there will be high’s and low’s but regardless of where life takes you stand firm on in the power of Jesus. For indeed, on your own you may be weak, but through Jesus Christ you are more then a conqueror!