• published a newsletter

    ReadYour Keys

    December 3, 2021


    John 14:6 New International Version

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

     


    There are many people that have a misconception about Christianity.  They think that it is the religion of the narrow minded, but in reality Christianity is not about religion.  It’s about having life and living it to the full.  Think about this.  There are about 1.4 billion vehicles on the roads across the earth today.  Each car needs a key to unlock the door and start the car, and each car has a different key.  You cannot use your neighbors key to start your car even if you have the same exact car.  That is not a hard concept to grasp.  It’s a reality that we have experienced for years, and it’s really no different from Christianity.  Eternal life can only be found in Jesus.  He is the only way to the Father.  He is the key.  There are over 4,000 recognized religions in the world, but if you want to enter the Kingdom of God and live Kingdom life now there’s only one way in.


    That’s not narrow minded, that’s just truth.  God loves us.  He made a way for us, and He left us the key so that we can be where He is and experience His kind of life.  Many people don’t want life on God’s terms so they don’t use the key He’s given them.  In Matthew 16:19 Jesus said that He was giving us the keys to the Kingdom.  Everything we need for life has been given to us through Jesus.  It is now up to us to use what has been put in our hands.  Spend time this weekend thinking about who Jesus is.  Meditate on the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Take hold of the keys you’ve been given and truly live this life.



    Thank You Jesus for giving me access to the Father and the Kingdom.  Open my understanding. Help me to know what that means.  Improve my way of living and my quality of life.  Teach me to use the keys you’ve given me, and use my life to accomplish Your will.  In Jesus’ Name...




    Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

    Pastor

    1. published a newsletter

      ReadLife for Christmas

      December 2, 2021


      John 14:6 New International Version

      Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.



      If we don’t understand that Jesus is life, then we don’t understand the gift of Christmas. For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)  The King James Version says we will have everlasting life.  And then, in John 10:10 Jesus says that He came so that we could have life and have it to the full, till it overflows.  Christmas is all about us having the choice to move from death to everlasting life.  Jesus is the gift that makes that possible.  He is the Way to living that kind of life, and He is the life itself.


      It is impossible to experience life the way God created it without Jesus, but with Jesus, it is possible to live with every advantage of Heaven here in this fallen world.  That is the gift.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 8:9 that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is that He became poor so that through His poverty we might become rich.  Now enlarge your thinking and imagine for a moment.  Think about becoming rich as more than just money.  Think about all the ways sin has plunged humanity into poverty.  There is poverty in spirit, and poverty mentality, and poverty in health and then just having nothing at all poverty.  Jesus became poor in all of these ways to make us overcomers, more than conquerors, rich.  Jesus didn’t just give us the promise of life in Heaven.  He suffered, bled, died on a cross and rose from the dead to give us life that starts now AND is everlasting.  Jesus did all of that to change not only the quantity of life for us, but the quality.  Life in Jesus is not Him giving you crutches to deal with your afflictions in this life.  It is Him overcoming the troubles and afflictions so that we can enjoy life in Him now and then for all eternity.  


      Thank You Jesus for the gift of life.  Open my understanding.  Help me to see past what I’ve been taught and what people say, and help me to truly grasp what You have done for me.  I want to receive everything that You are so that I can truly live.  In Jesus’ Name...



      Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

      Pastor

      1. published a newsletter

        ReadThe Truth

        December 1, 2021


        John 14:6 New International Version

        Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


        I’ve heard people say things like “I’m going to live my truth” as if truth is something that can be personal or can be possessed.  Today people think the way they see things is their truth.  There are not different truths out there.  We cannot pick and choose what we think is the truth and what is not.  There is only one truth, and Truth is a person.


        Jesus said that He is the truth.  There is no truth apart from Jesus.  People may have a different point of view.  They may see things differently or have different opinions.  People may even choose to live life a certain way, but that does not make it truth.  Truth can only be found in Jesus.  His way is the only way to life, because He is the only one that defeated the devil, sin, and death.  He is the only one that possesses all power and authority.  He is the only one that was moved by love and rescued us from the kingdom of darkness.  He is the only one that gets to determine truth.  The devil is a deceiver, and he works to convince everyone that the truth is a lie while believing that lies are the truth.  This Christmas, ask the Lord to reveal truth to you.  Ask to know Him better so that you can see truth in every situation.  Live in Him.  Live in Truth.


        Thank You Lord for all You’ve done for me and all You’ve given me.  Holy Spirit, lead me into all truth.  Help me to know Jesus better.  Open the eyes of my understanding so that I can Truth in every situation.  In Jesus’ Name...




        Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

        Pastor

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadThe Way

          November 30, 2021


          John 14:6 New International Version

          Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


          As we explore who Jesus is, let’s take some time to think about His words. His first statement is “I am the way.”  To truly understand what Jesus was saying we need to start at verse 1 of chapter 14.  In this passage He is explaining to the disciples that He’s going to prepare a place for them so that they can be where He is.  In verse 4 He says, “You know the way to the place where I am going.” and Thomas says to Him, we don’t know where You’re going, so how can we know the way.  Jesus’ response is “I am the Way.”


          Now why does that matter to us today? Well we know that God has prepared good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  We know that God always leads us in triumph in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:14).  We know that Jesus came so that we can have life more abundantly (John 10:10), but we don’t always know how these things are going to happen.  We don’t always know the direction to take or how things are going to come together for our good.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says we walk by faith and not by sight.  That literally means we cannot see where we are going, but the reason we can walk by faith is because we know the Way.  The Way has nothing to do with directions or GPS, and everything to do with the person of Jesus Christ.  When we know Jesus, we know the Way to everything good in life.  All we need to do is stay in Him, abide in Him and we will know the Way.  He will lead us day by day, moment by moment to get us to the opportunities, the places, and the blessings He has for us.  Get to know Jesus and you will always know the Way.


          Jesus, help me to expand my understanding of who You are and who You want to be in my life.  Help me to see past the manger and the cross, so that I can see all the things You came to earth to be in my life.  Teach me to know You as the Way.  Lead me into the good places You have provided for me.  In Jesus’ Name...




          Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

          Pastor

          1. published a newsletter

            ReadPreparing for Christmas

            November 29, 2021

            John 14:6 New International Version

            Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


            It is Christmas time!  I do believe that this time leading up to Christmas is where all of the excitement is.  We truly experience the most joy during the journey.  Christmas Day is a wonderful day of celebration, but it is all of the things that we do to prepare for that day that create the spirit of the season.  Whatever you do, you prepare for it.  For some of us the joy is found in  the decorating or the shopping.  For some, the joy is in the baking or preparing surprises.  We know that the reason for the season is Jesus, so let’s spend this season discovering who He is.  As we celebrate in His honor and give in His Name, let’s remind ourselves of why we celebrate this Jesus.


            If I were to pick a scripture of introduction for Jesus, today’s verse couldn’t get any better.  Jesus literally tells us who He is.  According to Jesus, there are three main things that we need to know about Him.  Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. If we can renew our minds to these truths, it will transform our lives.  This week we will look into this verse.  Begin to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you.  Ask to know Jesus in ways you never have before.  Expect to have your eyes open to deeper truths about Jesus.  One thing we do know.  With Jesus, we have access to the Father and all good and perfect gifts come from Him!


            Thank You Lord for revealing Yourself to me.  I ask You to open my eyes and my understanding.  Give me a deeper revelation of who You are.  As I prepare to celebrate You this season, help me to know You better.  In Jesus’ Name…




            Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

            Pastor

            1. published a newsletter

              ReadHappy Thanksgiving!

              November 25, 2021

              Philippians 4:4-9  The Passion Translation

              4 Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let your joy overflow! 5 And let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near. 6 Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, 7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. 8 Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God,praising him always. 9 Put into practice the example of all that you have heard from me or seen in my life and the God of peace will be with you in all things.



              Happy Thanksgiving!  Today as you give thanks remember that thanksgiving and praise gets you through the gate and all the way into the presence of God.  However you choose to celebrate this day, live the Word.  Make up your mind that today you will keep your thoughts just like verse 8 instructs us.  Fix your thoughts on what is authentic and real, what is honorable and admirable, what is beautiful and respectful, things that are pure and holy and merciful and kind.  Don’t allow your thoughts to jump into worry or anxiety.  Resist depressing thoughts.  Reject the thoughts that say anything that is contrary to the Word of God.  Today is the day to practice living with the peace of God in your life.  Fix your thoughts on Him and enjoy your day!




              Thank You Lord for life and everything good that You have given me in it.  Thank You for the opportunity to grow in the grace and the knowledge of who You are.  Thank You for this day where I can live in Your peace.  In Jesus’ Name...




              Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

              Pastor

              1. published a newsletter

                ReadPreparing for Thanksgiving

                November 24, 2021

                Philippians 4:4-9  The Passion Translation

                4 Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let your joy overflow! 5 And let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near. 6 Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, 7 then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. 8 Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God,praising him always. 9 Put into practice the example of all that you have heard from me or seen in my life and the God of peace will be with you in all things.



                Today on Thanksgiving Eve I want to just share this scripture for you to think about today.  Read it again.  Read it in different versions.  And then live it.  I love this scripture, and today on National Let’s Get EVERYTHING Done For Thanksgiving day I want all of us to not only keep this in mind but put it into practice.  Today, if you are hosting Thanksgiving you probably have a lot to do.  Today if you leave your house you will probably experience traffic. Today, if you only have to fix one dish and one dessert, you probably have work to do.  Today, if you have to go to work, you will have things to do and things on your mind. Today, if you have someone that won’t be with you this Thanksgiving, because they’ll be with Jesus, you are trying to get your mind together so you can give thanks.  Remember, don’t be pulled in different directions.  Don’t worry about a thing.  Just keep praying throughout the day and live in the peace of God.  As you encounter things today, remember to give thanks and enjoy your day.  



                Thank You Lord for the power of Your Word.  I put my focus on You today.  I thank You for the opportunities You are giving me today.  I invite You to guide my day.  In Jesus’ Name...




                Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

                Pastor

                1. published a newsletter

                  ReadThankful for Our Rights

                  November 23, 2021

                  Hebrews 12:28 The Passion Translation

                  28 Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe.


                  This process that we’re going through, this sanctification, is all about us receiving our rights to the unshakable Kingdom. We are being made like Jesus so that we can operate like Jesus, and as we graduate from level to level, growing in grace, we receive more rights to the Kingdom. We operate with more Kingdom access. Having things happen for us on earth as it is in Heaven becomes more and more normal. We really believe. The signs really do happen. We speak the Word and the world around us responds. That’s what our rights do. They enable us to expose the Kingdom of God. 


                  How do you give God thanks for something as wonderful as this?  You thank Him with your words.  You thank Him with your worship, and you thank Him with a life of absolute surrender.  Just think about that.  The God of the universe is giving you access to live like Him.  You can operate like Him.  You can think like Him.  You can live above the natural order of this world like He does.  These are the rights He is offering us if we would simply live a Kingdom life following Kingdom principles.  So seek the Kingdom and give thanks!  


                  Thank You Lord for Your plan to give me access to this unshakable Kingdom.  Thank You for the power that You have made available to me.  Thank You for the troubles You’ve already overcome for me.  Thank You for giving me the privilege of exposing Your Kingdom on this earth.  Help me to live for You more and more.  In Jesus’ Name...



                  Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

                  Pastor

                  1. published a newsletter

                    ReadContinue to Follow Him

                    November 22, 2021

                    Colossians 2:6-7  New Living Translation

                    6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.



                    You do not have all the benefits of eternal life if all you did was accept Jesus as Lord.  If you want to participate in all the life that is in Christ you have to continue to follow Him.  You have to continue to build on that initial conviction and repentance.  You have to grow in the knowledge and understanding that you have in Christ.  If going to Heaven is good enough for you, then your life on earth will just be one trouble after another.  In order to live like more than a conqueror or as an overcomer you have to continue in Christ.



                    If you want to test yourself to see if you are continuing and building your life in Him, check your thankfulness.  If you are still overjoyed by the victory you have in Christ and you are shouting your thanksgiving, you are probably continuing to follow Him.  If you are still moved to tears when you thank the Lord for saving you in the first place or for answering your prayers, you are probably continuing to follow Him.  If you can spend your whole prayer time just taking time to say Thank You, you are probably continuing to follow Him.  See, when we get content or we begin to feel like we’ve done enough or come far enough, we don’t give thanks the same way.  So, if you’re asking God for more than you’re thanking Him for then go back to how you were when you first accepted Christ, and then continue to follow Him.  



                    Thank You Lord for this life that You have given me.  Thank You for every answered prayer.  Thank You for being so faithful to me.  Help me to continue in You.  Help me to keep my focus on You and to continue to learn Your ways and obey You daily.  In Jesus’ Name...



                    Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

                    The Thankful One

                    1. published a newsletter

                      ReadWhat Time is It?

                      November 19. 2021

                      Luke 4:18-19 New Living Translation

                      18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”


                      The Word of God tells us so much about time.  It lets us know how God operates in time and how He tells time.  Galatians 4:4-5 says, “4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman,born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” And in today’s verse, Luke reminds us that when Jesus began His ministry He told everyone what time it was.  From the moment the Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus’ human body, it became the time of the Lord’s favor.  


                      We need to learn how to operate in those times. As believers we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us tell time.  He will help us discern the season we are in.  Everything that has to do with the Lord is not about judgement and condemnation.  There is a time when we will stand and answer God for the things we did in this body, but it’s not that time.  This is the time that we can receive adoption into His family and operate in the Lord’s favor.  This is the time that we can speak those things that are not as though they were.  These are the times that we can actually live like Jesus.  It is not time to live in fear or to constantly look for what will go wrong next.  It is time to live and live in such a way that we bring God glory.  Living broken hearted, blind, and oppressed does not bring God glory because Jesus came to heal and remove those obstacles that keep us from this life He has for us.  It’s time to believe God for a better quality of life here on earth.  It’s time to live in God’s favor. 



                      Holy Spirit, the Word of God says You are here to help me.  I ask You to help me tell time the way You do.  Help me to discern the seasons I am in.  Help me know when it is the appropriate time to act and speak, and help me live in God’s favor.  In Jesus’ Name...



                      Deidra B. Johnson, PhD

                      Pastor