Jan 21

Remembering King

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Books , Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

“I have an inner urge calling me to serve humanity” – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remarks prior to this ordination as a minister at the age of 19.

 Inspire others to excel through your character, work ethic, and integrity.  

In the Book of Genesis, chapter one, God reveals unto Adam that he is blessed and to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it.  God’s specific instructions are to be productive, raise the level of productivity of those around us, leave a deposit in the earth for the next generation, and to control our environment.  What an awesome responsibility that God entrusts us with!  It takes inspiration to be a productive person and to raise the level of productivity of others because our actions inspire them to do so.

            Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the world’s greatest inspirations.  He truly inspired all Americans to change an entire culture, custom, practice, and mindset – discrimination based upon skin color.  Dr. King is the only American-born citizen who has a birthday as a holiday in his name.  He defined greatness through the service that he tirelessly rendered.  From 1955 to 1968, he led peaceful demonstrations against evil throughout the United States, particularly in the south.  He inspired millions to follow his peaceful demonstrations.  This was partly because of his stance on not being afraid to die for a cause that is just, right, fair, equitable, and scriptural.  Tapped as one of the most important speeches in the 20th century, Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ is replayed every year as America celebrates the life and legacy of this great servant of the Lord on January 15th. 

            Having skipped two grades in high school, Dr. King began college at the tender age of fifteen.  He was such an inspirational leader that he led a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama in response to Rosa Parks’ refusal to needlessly abandon her seat.  During the 1950’s, the state law stipulated that she had to surrender her seat to a white person, even if others seats are available.  This law made no sense but the courage to challenge this was lacking.  God is no respecter of persons (James 2:9), and finally, under leadership, the state of Alabama’s decision to arbitrarily defy God’s Word was ignored.  Dr. King declared that “It is better is walk in humility than to ride in humiliation.”  It was a spark that caught thousands on fire to take an active role in bankrupting a corrupt state government system.  However, his compassion was equally comforting when he said that through nonviolent and peaceful protests, “We can turn any man into a friend.”

            Dr. King was so focused on his calling to be an inspirational leader that he only granted one television interview.  This was granted to Arnold McCalah.  Yet, he was arrested thirty times for taking a stand for justice, righteousness, equity, and fair treatment for all people.  On the eve of his assassination, April 3, 1968, Dr. King delivered his infamous ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech.  It was a night in which he was sick and had sent Dr. Ralph Abernathy to speak in his absence.  Instead, he arrived and delivered a powerful and inspirational address that is replayed every year for us to remember.  He described his mountaintop experience as if he knew that April 4, 1968 would be his last day as an earthen vessel for the Lord.  Most notably, at Dr. King’s home going service, one of his sermons was played and he specifically requested that no one boast about his life.  Instead, he requested that we remember him in the following way:

         He tried to give his life serving others.

         He tried to love somebody.

         Remember him a drum major for justice.

         Don’t mention his awards or his Nobel Peace Prize.

Thirty-five years after his assassination, He remains a model for all pastors. His impact on the church, particularly the African-American church, and the community it serves remains the standard against which all preachers are measured.  The chronology of Dr. King’s life is long and impressive, but several key accomplishments that changed America during his lifetime are worth noting:

1947                Licensed to preach and begins assisting his father, who is Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

1951                Graduates from Crozer with Bachelor of Divinity Degree.  He is the class valedictorian and winner of the Pearl Plafker Award for most outstanding student.  He begins doctoral studies in theology at Boston University.

1956

June 4             U.S. District court rules racial segregation on Alabama’s city bus lines is unconstitutional.

1957

September 9            Congress passes the 1957 Civil Rights Act, first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1959

February             Dr. and Mrs. King travel to India as guests of Prime Minister Nehru to study Gandhi’s techniques of nonviolence.

1960

May 6             The 1960 Civil Rights Act is signed.

December             U.S. Supreme Court declares discrimination in bus terminal restaurants operated for the service of interstate passengers is a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act.

1961

November             Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation on buses, trains, and supportive facilities.

1964January 3            Time magazine names Dr. King Man of the Year.1964

July 2              Witnesses the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon Johnson – the most far- reaching civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1964

December 10            Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway – the youngest person to win the prize.

1965

August 6            President Johnson signs the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

1967

November 7            Carl Stokes elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city.

1968

April 7 The President declares a national day of mourning for King.

1986                First National King Holiday celebrated.

 Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” (footnote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) 

“Let freedom ring…” are the concluding words from perhaps the most memorable speech in the history of the United States of America:  “Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York…the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania…the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado…the curvaceous slopes of California…But not only that…from Stone Mountain of Georgia…from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee…from every hill and molehill of Mississippi…from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King, Jr., pages 29-31, 1993,Anniversary Edition. “New issues have emerged as a result of rapid technological development, such as the fight to preserve the environment, and a woman’s right to reproductive choice.  These are being addressed all over the U.S. by non-violent protest, inspired by Dr. King’s message.  It is my conviction that as new technologies emerge, they often bring tradition into conflict with new values.  The tools which Dr. King has given us will enable us to confront each new issue as it arises.  The struggles may change, but the tools remain constant, and for that we are indebted.” Source: “A Remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Benedict J. Fernandez – www.kodak.com, January 15, 2001

 

Jan 02

Keep It S-I-M-P-L-E in the New Year

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Our family theme for 2008 is “SIMPLIFY.” In early December 2007, I told my wife that the Johnson family will focus and aim to simplify our lives in 2008. That means eliminating activities, emails, places and things that do not aid us in achieving our ultimate family goal: Giving God the glory that He desires and richly deserves!

The act of simplication is extracted from Genesis 1:1-5, The Spiritual Principle of Organization. It is one of the seven spiritual principles taught by Pastor John A. Cherry, From the Heart Church Ministries, Temple Hills, Maryland. Being organized simplifies our lives. I learned these seven principles over 12 years ago, applied them to my life, and have watched them work over and over again.

Our 2008 family theme is so appropriate at a time like this because publishing is a tough business. It is very competitive and driven by $ales, $ales and more $ales. Being focused and keeping things SIMPLE is a distinguishing characteristic that gets overlooked by most. On this past Sunday morning, December 30th, I heard three comforting messages from three of America’s most watched pastors:
(1) Dr. Creflo Dollar reminded me that Jesus always spoke the truth, although it was not popular, and to follow Jesus requires sacrifice,
(2) Dr. Robert Schuller reminded me about the awesomeness of miracles, and
(3) Joel Olsteen provided an inspirational message about how to deal with critics and undeserved criticism.

From each of the messages above (about 15 to 30 minutes in duration each), they confirmed that it is time to allow God to do a new thing in my life and ministry. – hence, SIMPLIFY.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
– Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

Dec 26

Merry Christmas

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity , Religion , Spirituality

Merry Christmas today!  As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I also think of why He was born.

He was born to die.  In His death, it is proven through God’s Word that He arose.  When Jesus rose from His grave site, it is symbolic of us being able to rise above the situations and circumstances that hinder us.  Hence, as Christians who believe that Jesus is Lord, we can rise and eliminate from our lives all of the following:

Low self-esteem,

Sickness & disease,

Sorrow,

Loneliness,

Affliction,

Poverty,

Nastiness,

Unkindness, and

Selfishness.

Aren’y you delighted that Jesus was born?  Celebrate Him during this advent season and know that He is the reason for this time of the year.

Oct 26

Our Families

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Uncategorized

I wrote my fourth book in the Give God the Glory! series a time in history when the family is under attack at an unprecedented rate. 

The first-ever rating of prime television’s portrayal of fatherhood was in 1999. It concluded that few fathers are to be found on prime-time television and those that are, usually are portrayed as incompetent or detached.  Of the 102 shows originally reviewed, only 15, or 14.7%, featured a father who has children under the age of eighteen as a recurring central character.  This study, conducted by the National Fatherhood Initiative, reviewed prime-time television on the five major networks from mid-November through mid-December, 1998. 

With each generation, a myriad of facts reveal the deterioration of the family unit.  Its current state is in a crisis mode, but has society considered what God has to say about it?  A Supreme Court decision on January 22, 1973 – Roe vs. Wade – is partly attributable to the more than 40 million abortions performed in America since that time.  That decision ruled that the right to personal property includes abortion. The USA Today newspaper ran a cover story on the front page on May 2, 2005 titled, “The Changing Politics of Abortion.”  The essence of the story centered on how political leaders voted relative to abortion rights – Is it or is it not legal to abort a child?  Up to forty-five percent of Republican lawmakers polled agree that abortion is legal in a few circumstances.  However, the middle verse of The Holy Bible teaches us that “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). 

U.S. News & World Report featured a special report on May 24, 2004, “The Rise of the Gay Family,” highlighting that more and more American children are growing up with same-sex parents.  Although this was not a cover story in this issue, its contents were spread prominently throughout five pages, and labeled as a “special” report, garnering as much attention as the cover story of the week.  In the August 2004 issue of The Vine, an Upper Marlboro, Maryland-based Christian newspaper, the cover story highlighted the anniversary of homosexual Bishop Vicki Gene Robinson’s confirmation hearing.  He was the first openly reported homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church USA.  Also, reportedly, there are 40,000 new HIV infections each year. 

Lastly, 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father and these children are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married (biological or adoptive) parents.  How has this affected you personally? What happened? 

God’s plan for the family is so important that He references family or families in The Holy Bible 285 times!  Moreover, references to father, mother, and child, and their variations, are found 963, 325, and 1,957 times, respectively!  In the first book of The Holy Bible, God reveals unto Abram “…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12: 1-3). 

So why has the world disregarded God’s instructions pertaining to the family?  I wanted to know why, so I studied, researched, prayed, observed, listened, read extensively, traveled, and wrote.  This is book #4 in the Give God the Glory! series of books and devotionals.  Let’s explore, together, what God’s plan was, and still is, for His family.

 

Together, let’s Give God the Glory!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Oct 24

Making a Difference

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity , Religion

“AND THOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment”  (Mark 12:30).             Our Christ-like conduct and character remain the strongest argument for our faith.   Our lifestyle is a visible manifestation of our conduct and character. To Give God the Glory!, there must be a distinctively different lifestyle that will cause others to inquire about (y)our source of peace, joy, love, and positive attributes.  If you honor Christ in your heart, He will be honored by your life.  Distinctively different  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”  (Matthew 5:13-16).             Jesus called His followers to be “salt and light.”  As salt, we are to act as a preservative, penetrating the culture to help sustain what is good and right.  As light, we are to counter the darkness and bring forth truth and righteousness to bear.  Jesus said that we are salt and light, but He warned against losing our saltiness and hiding our light (Matthew 5:13-20).  Here are two safeguards to prevent this from happening: SALT            Salt is used to preserve, season, cure, or save for future use.  It changes everything that it touches!  Hence, a salty Christian makes others thirsty for Jesus – the water of life.  Salt can be thought of as a fertilizer to promote growth and development.  It is used to purify, to correct to improve conditions in its surrounding, and as a laxative to clean up messes around it.             Salt as a seasoning is useless unless it is in contact with food and mixed into it.  Jesus calls us to “flavor” society in His name through close involvement with people. LIGHT             Light is defined as something that makes things visible or affords illumination.  Without the light of God’s spirit, we will be in the dark about God’s Word.  The Scriptures characterize light in many different forms but most importantly, it is meant to be visible.  Secret believers need to come out of hiding and be known as disciples.  Their profession of faith must become self-evident through their good works.             Make a difference today in the lives of boys, girls, men, and women.  Let your light shine so that they will see your good works and glorify God. Excerpt: Give God the Glory! Know God and Do the Will of God Concerning Your Life© 2001 by Kevin Wayne Johnson.

Oct 09

Pastor Appreciation Month

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Uncategorized

I often think about the 3 pastors who have been instrumental in my life since I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Saviour on May 2, 1993.  They are:1.                   Episcopal Pastor John A. Cherry, From the Heart Church Ministries, Temple Hills, MD (1993 – 1997 & 2003 – 2005),2.                   Pastor Patricia Webster, Shiloh Pentecostal Church, Inc., Christian Love Center, Somerville, NJ (1998 – 2003), and3.                   Pastor Robert S. Davis, Jr. (Robbie), Celebration Church, Columbia, MD (2005 to present).These ministries are/were impeccable, either through their preaching or lifestyles (or both). This is the month dedicated to the appreciation of our beloved pastors.  They work diligently on behalf of those with whom they have been entrusted, by God, to shepherd.  I believe that all pastors have a strong desire in their hearts for members of their respective congregations to come to know the simplicity of God’s Word.  To this end, carefully consider how you respond to these five questions: 1.         Will you spread the good news of Jesus Christ to at least 10 people this year, and each year, for the rest of your life? 2.         God is dependent upon each of us to spread the good news of Jesus Christ in the earth.  Can He depend on you to do your part? 3.         The Prayer of Salvation is simple and available to everyone.  Will you encourage someone with prayer?  (Romans 10:9; 13) 4.         What will you do today to help those who have a desire to know God? 5.         As Christ’s representative in the earth, are you an effective witness?(1Corinthians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:20)    

Sep 27

All About “Give God the Glory!”

By Kevin Wayne Johnson | Christianity

Give God the Glory! is a nine-book series with a focus on putting God first and foremost in all that we do each day – (1) In our personal relationships, (2) On the job, (3) Within our families, (4) In the local church, and (5) While at rest and recreation.  Each main title is accompanied with a companion devotional and gift book, about 54 to 60 pages in length.  As of January 2007, five of the nine books havebeen released and sold worldwide.

The next release in the series is scheduled for the Spring of 2008, followed by three titles through the Winter of 2010 that focus on how to Give God the Glory (1) In the
local church and (2) While at rest and recreation.  Future releases in the Give God the Glory! series of books and devotionals include a book series for children (ages 4-8), youth (ages 9-12), and teens (ages 13-19).

All books in the series are distributed throughout the United States, Canada, and internationally by:

STL Distribution of North America
522 Princeton Road
Johnson City, Tennessee  37601 USA
1-8-MORE BOOKS / 1-866-732-6657 (toll free orders)
www.stl-distribution.com (website)
custserv@stl.org (e-mail orders)

1 19 20 21