Recalling Redemption in Browningsville, Maryland: Receiving Christ as my Saviour

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

“For God so loved the world [i.e., “thusly, God loved the world”, referring back to John 3:14-15], that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16, alluding to Numbers 21:6-9)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13, quoting Joel 2:32)

In the limerick below (titled “Born Again in Browningsville”), I remember how — as a boy 11½ years old — God called my forgiveness-needing soul to Himself, by exhorting me to believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as my personal Redeemer, upon me hearing the good news that Jesus died for my sins (Isaiah 53:6), and that He rose from the dead, proving that my sin-debt was fully paid off, plus that Christ, as victor over sin and death, is the Giver of eternal life — unto all who believe in Him as personal Saviour (Luke 10:20; Romans 3:23-25 & 5:8 & 6:23).

Because Christ is risen we too can have eternal life, as a gift He gives (John 11:25).

BORN AGAIN IN BROWNINGSVILLE

Christ died for me, and He is risen!

As a young boy, I faced decision:

The Gospel I believed;

So, Jesus I received

Christ died for me, and He is risen!

revisiting Browningsville, Maryland: Methodist parsonage, A.D.2019

CHRIST IS RISEN!  HE IS RISEN INDEED!

And how good it is to have received Him (as Saviour) early in life:

“But as many as received Him [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ], to them gave He authority [εξουσιαν, i.e., the rightful role] to become the sons of God [τεκνα θεου, i.e., God’s children], even to them who believe on His name.” (John 1:12).

Yes, as I once told one of Bob Webel’s grandsons, thanks to the Lord Jesus, I’m “one of God’s kids”.

Being Thankful About the Basics, including the Little Things

Being Thankful About the Basics, including the Little Things

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  (Luke 10:20)

John14.2-pic

Being secure for eternity, thanks to having the Lord Jesus Christ as my Redeemer, is wonderful (John 3:14-16; Luke 10:20).  Yet I would have no eternity, either good or bad, if God had never created me (to be me) in the first place.

In other words, the most basic gratitude, that we should have, is being thankful that God chose to make us as the unique humans we are (Psalm 102:18).

PaloDuroCanyon-Mastodon-with-JJSJ

JJSJ birdwatching / hiking in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas Panhandle, during spring of AD2018 (photo-shopped Mastodon inserted by my cousin Don Barber)

So here is a limerick about appreciating being a creature (whom God chose to make), plus being grateful for some of the simplest things in life, such as good food (Acts 14:17).

THANK YOU, GOD, FOR BLESSING LITTLE ME

(AND FOR LITTLER BLESSINGS TOO)

O God, thanks for making little me;

Thanks, too, for littler blessings I can see:

Little gifts, like cherries red,

Liverwurst, dark rye bread —

Thanks mostly, You chose to make me!

Cherries-wild


 

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES, INCLUDING EATING WILD BERRIES

cherries-wild

Childhood years, rural neighborhood,
Happy years, very blessed and good;
Picking blackberries,
Collecting cherries,
Glad I lived those years while I could!

COMMENTARY:  See Acts 14:17, as well as Romans 8:28.  By God’s grace I was given a wonderful childhood, living in rural neighborhoods of Maryland — with 5 of those elementary school years lived in a part of Montgomery County that bordered Frederick County — then very much rural farmland, with more wooded forests that a boy could ever exhaust, recreationally.   Blackberries and wild strawberries could be easily found (and eaten), and one forest hosted what was once (generations earlier) a cherry orchard, so the supply of wild cherries (in season) was inexhaustible.  Walking through (and playing in) the beauty-filled forests there, within a mile or two of my home (especially during the summer, when there was no school) was a continuing privilege of joy and happiness — a privilege that constantly reminded me of what a wonderful Creator our God is, and near the end of elementary school I confirmed my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior (Luke 10:20; 2nd Timothy 3:15).  It was such a joy then — and now — to have the life that God has given me (including the eternal life I have I Christ my Savior), so I am now one example of Psalm 102:18’s fulfillment.

EARTHLY FORTUNE, COMPARED TO TRUE TREASURES

luke10-41-42

Some things we like, just for pleasure,
Yet some good is good, beyond measure:
Our lives, God gave us,
And Christ, to save us;
This we know, from His Word, our treasure!

axiology-question

COMMENTARY: See Luke 10:20 & 10:41-42, as well as Deuteronomy 6:4-7. See also, regarding Biblical axiology (i.e., what is really valuable and good and worthy of prioritizing in life), “Competing, in Plain View, for a Ball of Dung”, posted at https://bibleworldadventures.com/2016/08/09/competing-in-plain-view-for-a-clump-of-dung/ —  as well as “Steller’s Jay:  A Lesson in Choosing What is Valuable”, posted at https://leesbird.com/2014/07/22/stellers-jay-a-lesson-in-choosing-what-is-valuable/ .

PERISHABLE, DO NOT DELAY

perishable-donotdelay-sign

On a box, the label did say:
“Perishable — do not delay!”
“Handle with care” — be fast!
Otherwise, it won’t last!
Because food, in the box, will decay.

On humans, a label should say:
“Perishable — do not delay!”
“Handle with care” — be fast!
Otherwise, they won’t last!
Because souls do perish, each day.

COMMENTARY:  See John 3:14-21 & Luke 10:20.  Ultimately, eternal lives matter most.