By Lane Johnson
“Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”
1 Corinthians 9; 19-22 The Message Bible
As I write this, Sandy is preparing another batch of “friendship bread”. This particular recipe produces a very tasty cake type treat that is excellent with butter and coffee. I have begun to dislike “friendship bread”, however, not for its taste but because its recipe requires that you end up with four “starter” packs that are supposed to be passed on to your friends. These friends then will, in turn, end up with four starter packs themselves each time they make the bread. This then requires them to find four new unaware friends to which they can then unload the starters on who will soon be looking for other virgin friends who have not previously been initiated into this baking pyramid, multi-level, pass it on nightmare.
By Lane R Johnson
I have a companion that travels in my truck with me wherever I go. It’s a small navigational unit called Garmin. This companion is not very chatty, but I have grown to trust it implicitly. I call it Gwendolyn.
In the beginning it was difficult to trust Gwendolyn. I was used to making all the decisions and seeing the end from the beginning. The concept of heading off in faith lead by someone I couldn’t control was very difficult.
I remember an appointment I had in Virginia. I left Richmond in plenty of time. Everything went as usual until 45 minutes into the trip. Then I noticed that the roads were becoming increasingly rural. I ignored my uneasiness as long as I could until I found myself trapped in traffic on a two lane road. Cars in front, cars behind, nothing moving and all indications were that we were headed straight into the James River. I was trapped and I was very uncomfortable. I had no backup plan. I hadn’t brought a map and I was hopelessly lost. Not only that, but my appointment was critical and I had no idea how I was going to keep it. I fumed in my truck and finally, out of frustration, I railed at Gwendolyn. “I trusted you! I put myself in YOUR hands and look where it brought me!” Gwendolyn didn’t answer. No matter how much I fumed she remained silent. I decided to attempt to figure out how I could extricate MYSELF from this mess. Obviously, Gwendolyn had proven untrustworthy.
By Lane R Johnson
I sat glued to the television. On the screen a 17 year old male, bare headed and determined, was perched on the ridge of a two-story roof overlooking a lower slope covering the first floor. He seemed focused, which was probably the right mindset, because he was standing on a skateboard.
Before I could gasp my incredulity, he had begun his rocket ride to the ground. The second floor slope went fast but successfully and he even negotiated the jump to the lower level, but somewhere about halfway to the end, he and the skateboard parted company and the balance of the ride concluded with him crashing abruptly onto the pavement below. The good news is that he survived this heroic feat and eventually was able to discuss it coherently with the interviewer that had hosted his moment in the sun.