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”.

Remembering … Junior High Years

REMEMBERING  …  JUNIOR  HIGH  YEARS

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.   (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Remembering Peer Pressure Testings  during Junior High Years,  in Reisterstown and Wards Chapel, Maryland

When I think back, on days gone by,

Such as my years, in junior high:

Peer pressure dares, and snobby sneers;

God’s grace my guide, not foolish peers

Rich victories won, as time hiked by.

This limerick begins a “Pilgrim Geography” series, recalling how God has providentially blessed me in various places, along life’s journey as I trek about this earth as a “pilgrim” belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ.

During my junior high years I was confronted with a lot of ugly peer pressure (i.e., opportunities to sin), which repulsed me and nudged me toward the more-independent pathway of “daring to be a Daniel”  —  when peers mocked my teen-aged piety (as if I had a loser lifestyle, as a “jerk” who would never become “popular”) saying NO to opportunities for immorality.

(Although one doesn’t always know who is watching  —  https://wordpress.com/post/leesbird.com/95265   —  personal moral integrity is often showcased when “no one” is watching.  Besides, it’s never true that “no one” is watching, because God always observes us, even when human eyes and ears don’t.)

Needless to say, I have no regrets that I repeatedly refused “dares” to compromise my personal integrity for the fleeting comfort (and false “value”) of peer “acceptance”/approval.

For a few Old Testament Scriptures, that inform God’s children of their privileged calling as “pilgrims”, see Genesis 47:9; Exodus 6:4; and Psalm 119:54.  In the New Testament, see especially Hebrews 11:13 and 1st Peter 2:11.

By God’s grace, since becoming a Christian (during autumn of my 6th grade year), my earthly pilgrimage (which has included a lot of Providential geography) has been an ongoing mix of life experiences that provide character tests and opportunities to grow in serious loyalty to (and fellowship with) Him, always being enabled by His indwelling Spirit’s all-sufficient grace and guidance (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30), spiced and seasoned with a generous sprinkling of surprises, learning, adventures, joy, and abundant life (John 10:10).

Thank You,  LORD,  for being with me — and shaping my young life then —  through those precious years.