Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Good Conversation...That Left me Puzzled

I was having a conversation tonight with some of my teens and we were discussing what they would and would not invite their friends to. You know, church events. Well it got to the point where I started "encouraging" them all to invite their friends to a particular event. The conversation with a particular high school student, whose also a leader, went a little something like this:

Me: "So will you invite your buddies?"
Student: "No. Cuz that's not where they're at."
Me: "Um. what do you mean?"
Student: "I dunno, it just doesn't seem like it's something for them, so I don't like...wanna freak them out. You know?

We continued on but I was kind of blown away. This is also just one example of many similar conversations. I want teens to feel comfortable inviting their friends to church, but time and again I feel like I'm running into the "Church is not a 'safe' or 'good' or 'right' place to invite my friends." So are there some questions we need to be asking? Does the church, in general, need to take a look at itself and what it's doing? Are we about catering to those already 'inside' or are we about bringing 'outsiders' 'in'? Does it have to be an either/or system? To me, the first question has an obvious answer BUT, it seems like almost every church is having trouble anwering this question...and most of those church's are in a steady to sharp decline.

I love the events and traditions that my particular "denomination" has, BUT. I hope, that as a leader, I will constantly and consistently keep asking: "Is this working?" I don't want to be tied to a program/event/tradition. I want to be tied to winning souls...and no, I don't mean winning other church's souls. I mean winning the unreached/outsider/unchurched souls. It seems so easy in my mind, but even I get in a groove...and admittedly, enjoy just doing things. But isn't that what Jesus warned the Pharisees about? I know I have a lot of work to do...I just hope that those I lead will step out in faith with me and be brave enough to change, because it's easy to just do things. But what, in life, is worth-while, worth fighting for, and easy at the same time? I heard a qoute once that relates to this, "In life, change is inevitable. Growth is optional." Is our culture changing with or without the church? Is what attracts people changing with or without the church? Are we, the church, willing to grow enough in order to change?

Struggling, wrestling, thinking out loud, and being honest. What are you thoughts?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Has anyone heard that I'm going to be having a baby soon? A boy! Which means I, Josh Johnson, am going to be a FATHER?!?! Doesn't that scare you...cuz I'm pretty sure I have no clue what's going on. I know that in three months we're going to have a little guy running around, permanently! I'm honestly scared to death, and excited all at the same time.

What I'm scared of:
1. Changing Diappers...seiously and with a boy coming, I get the smell of poop AND a fire hose with no warning-Double Whammy!
2. Crying: Don't like any age, and when a baby cries for a reason I can't figure out, I'm certain I'll lose it.
3. late nights: I don't fall asleep early, but when I do, I want to stay asleep...I don't do interruptions well and learning is hard for me too.
4. Keeping a human alive: for a couple of years...YEARS this kid's survival depends on me! Scary thought, I barely keep myself alive...Is anyone else scared, I'm scared, and you should be too.
5. Fathering a Boy (Is that phrase correct?): I know boys are easier, I'm one too, but with flaws. I'm not wanting to raise a "perfect" boy/man, I just want to raise a good man...godly, self-sufficient, mature, brave, chivalrous, a leader, etc.
6. Being a Husband, Father, and Minister (surrogat Father to lots of teenagers) all at the same time!
7. Teaching my son to love himself and others.
8. Teaching my son to submitt to God.
9. Being a team player with my wife. I like the way I do things...most of the time. Neena and I are a good team with each other, now there's a kid and WEEEEEEEEEE have to raise it together.
10. Teaching my son to "be" better than me...
11. losing him too soon.
12....There are many more, but those are the ones that I keep thinking about, almost daily.

Lessons I know:
1. This is not my son, He belongs to God
2. life changes alot...and fast. I'll assume the same applies to parenting.
3. I'm the adult.
4. Love...always, no matter what.
5. Actions have consequences, both good and bad, and my son needs to know, beyond a shaddow of a doubt, If I do _____, _____ will happen.
6. As hard as it will be, I will let my kid fall so he can pick himself up (metaphorically).
7. Along with #6...I will be there standing beside him, at all times, showing him the way.
8. I will teach my son to tell the truth...but I realize that not everything he says will BE the TRUTH. I wish more parents would learn that one.
9. God has a sense of humor...and it will probably bite me in the butt.
10. Life will move way too fast, cherish each moment...TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES.

So yes I'm scared, VERY SCARED. I want to be a really good dad. I know God made this little guy, hand picked him, just for Neena and I, so we have what it takes. I also know that, "having what it takes" will require some learning. God help me, help my wife, help my son. May we be a GREAT family! Surround us, lead us...give us opportunities to have faith in your plan. THANK YOU for my son, this very precious gift. Thank you for finding me worthy to raise a man, part of your creation. Father, Bless him. AMEN!
In some cultures, instead of giving gifts, those who have "been there" impart wisdom on the expecting parents. What a concept. If there is anything you know about parenting a first child, a boy, etc. I'm all ears. Oh, and pray for us, my wife, my son...they have a flawed husband and dad, and could REALLY use God's help;).

More to come!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm a new man

Well not really, but I am now posting and working from a new mac book computer and I gotta say...I'M IN LOVE!!!!! It's crazy how much of a difference there is, BUT there is. I strongly encourage you to go out and get one...or have INSANELY cool people at the church you work out just drop one in your lap and say, "Here ya go! Have fun!" That's how it happened for me.


In other news, this summer has been fairly busy so far with LOTS-O-youth stuff, baby appointments, plus the other mundane appointments and regular 'ol life stuff that keeps you busy.

Neena is doing really well, she's GROWING...and Brodee is moving quite a bit now which is so exciting. Everytime he moves Neena tells me, I go running to where she is hoping to feel the little guy move, but then he stops...lil stinker already has stage he totally takes after Neena. We did find out that he's gotta little of daddy in him last doctor's visit. The doc was checking his heartbeat and Brodee decided it was time to bob and weave. When the doc finally caught up with him Brodee kung-fued the monitor. It scared the doc and laughed...HARD! That's my boy!

New pics coming soon of Neena.


Calling all iPoders: send me your top five songs/artists that you like to listen to. I'm looking to widen my listening variety. So lets have it.

This Josh Johnson, from mac land. So long PCers!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

table bgcolor="#ffffff" border="0" cellspacing="8"> My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Emperor Josh the Bovine of Nether Wombleshire
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