Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Newest Grandchild

On January 8th, Leah Gabriell Johnson was born to our son, Jeremiah, and his girlfriend, Kate. Leah weighed in at 6 lb. 8 oz. and was 20 inches long.
Joanne stayed in the room during the birth, along with Jeremiah and Kate's mom. I stayed in the room for a bit, but I bailed as soon as I heard Kate yell,"I'm gonna push, I can't help it!" I was a blur leaving the room.
I thought I'd have time to stroll to the cafeteria and get some supper. I stopped for awhile to talk to a guy who had worked in x-ray when I worked at the hospital. In about 15 minutes Jeremiah came out and gave me the all clear sign, it was safe to return. Supper would have to wait. (until morning)
This is Leah about two weeks after birth. She has gained back to her birth weight, plus an ounce or two. She seemed to be more intent on sleeping, but we did catch her with her eyes open for a little while. Jeremiah is a hoot to listen to and watch with the baby.
Joanne and I have now been blessed with 5 grandchildren; Thomas, Taisie, Levi, Lila, and Leah. We thank God for each of them and rejoice in their health and well-being. We pray for our Lord's hand to be on them, that He will guide and protect them all their lives.

I think it might just be part of God's plan, that as we get old he brings babies and children back into our lives again, so that we remember our youth and feel young again. Ain't God good!

Live The Light

Last Sunday we started a five week study of the book by Pastor Larry Davies of Timberlake UMC. We handed out a copy of the book for each family at Republican Grove UMC, Providence UMC, and St, Andrews UMC. I assured everyone that it was now "their" book and they could keep it. I would not be asking for them back. Several got an extra copy to deliver to those members not there that morning. There is a reading for each day of the week and that week will be the focus of the next Sunday message. I encouraged them to share the book in their homes, write in the book, use a highlighter, read it daily, and do the exercises at the end of each reading.

I'm really excited that we will be working through this during the Lenten season. My hope is that it will help us refocus on the season and the call of Jesus in our lives. That we will, not only as a church, but as individual members be that light that bring the lost safely home. Please keep us in your prayers as we do something that will stretch and grow us in Jesus.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Gratitude Campaign

It's almost like a salute. Check it out and get a tissue. This is great and it connects.

From the website:
For the past several years as I've been traveling around the country, I've been approaching soldiers in the airports and thanking them for serving for us. On several occasions I have noticed that it felt a little awkward for both of us.

There are several reasons, some of which I am even just now learning as I produce this film and talk to more soldiers.

But they have always appreciated being thanked, and I have always felt better having expressed my gratitude.

I started to think that it would be nice if civilians had a gesture or sign they could use to say 'thank you' quickly and easily without even having to approach. I did some research and found the sign that we are now using.

Is this limited to the military? Not at all. If you look around you I'm sure you'll find lots of people who are serving their communities, from local to global. If you appreciate their service, give them a sign. Say 'thank you.'

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family Christmas

This Christmas we were blessed to have both of our children, Courtney and Jeremiah, and their families with us. This was the first time in about 5 or 6 years we've all gotten together. We had expected Courtney and Dave to arrive with the kids in the afternoon, but our doorbell rang at 9 in the morning. Thomas, Taisie, and Levi were hiding by the door, with Courtney under the porch taking pics of my reactions.
Jeremiah had Lila enthralled by his beard. She wasn't quite sure what to make of him.
We gave Thomas and Taisie Nintendo DS Lites. They each had different games and played all morning.
They apparently enjoyed them because they hardly set them down for the next 4 days.
Levi got his own, unbreakable, digital camera. He ran around taking pics of everyone and everything. The camera has games on it and will also let Levi take videos.
I got to hold the baby some, which was a good present for me. Lila just kinda took it all in and watched everyone acting goofy. She opened her collection of rubber Disney Princesses and wasted no time chewing them. Can you say "teething"?

Levi got a dragon costume from Uncle Jeremiah. He had gloves, shoes, head, and a cape with scales. You can only imagine his ferocious roar.
Courtney had received her Christmas gift early. Family members sent funds to Dave and he presented them to Courtney so she could buy an exceptional digital camera.
Jeremiah was right in there with the kids. Throwing paper everywhere. He did the uncle thing very well.
Dave kept getting the one things kids dread at Christmas, books! But, it didn't seem to bother him much.
Taisie was flooded with Hanna Montana clothes, dolls, games, jewelry, and of course plenty of Disney stuff.
We all had a lot of fun and really enjoyed our time together. Christmas is so much more when there's family there to enjoy it with you. I hope you all were as blessed with your Christmas day as we were with ours.

Christams Eve Candlelight ervice at Providence UMC

On Christmas Eve we had a candlelight service at Providence UMC. We used the program "9 Lessons and Caroles" from the UMC Book of Worship. Members of the congregation read the various lessons.
Brian Daniels, accompanied by Joanne Johnson, sang "Mary Did You Know". This was the first Christmas Eve Service held at Providence UMC, according to the congregation. It was the perfect way to move into Christmas day.

It seems like we work up to the day before and we're rushing here and there to get everything for everybody. We forget who and what its all about. We really need to make ourselves "in the mood" for Christmas. Have you ever looked forward to Christmas being over? If you haven't, well you've been blessed. I have to make myself in that holiday mood and a Christmas Eve service is just what I need.

Candlelight Service at St. Andrews UMC

Christmas Caroles by candlelight, something about it is just right and makes you feel the like you know you should at Christmas.
On the Sunday before Christmas we had our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at St. Andrews UMC. We used the program "9 Lessons and Caroles" found in the UMC Book of Worship. Anita Adams and Joanne Johnson accompanied the caroles on piano.
Our Youth read the 9 lessons. Each reading told part of the Christmas story, starting with the Old Testament prophecies.
The readings carried the story through the manger birth and the coming of the Magi.
Bill, Billy, and Wesley Wyatt sang "We Three Kings". 3 generations, pretty cool,eh?