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Welcome to our blog! This is one of our nifty ways of letting those who partner with us in ministry know what is God is up to in our lives. It's not about focusing attention on us - instead its about focusing attention on the Father. Pray for us, partner with us and share the Glory of Father with everyone you meet.

If you would like to help support Mark & Jenny's ministry, you may do so through Westwood Ministries in Ingram, TX. Simply go to and click on "Make A Donation" then "Gifts By Credit Card"and then designate you special gift or monthly support as "Johnson Support".

"Only those who have risked everything can know how far one can go." TS Elliot

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Short-Changed Life

A Short-Changed Life

"For all have sinned and are falling short of God's Glory." Romans 3:23 (GWT)

     At one time or another, one way or another we have all stepped up to the line of "trying to pursue the best life" pulled back the bowstring and let the arrow fly. And we've all missed the point and the mark we were meant to hit. When it comes to pursuing the Life God meant for us to live we've all fallen short and we even continue to fall short every day. But the glorious Truth of the Gospel is that we don't have to. We don't have to miss out on God's Big Idea about Life. We don't have to end up with a bad trade or being short-changed when it comes to God's Best for us.

     My favorite thing about the great Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11, is that none of those folks ever deserved to be there. None of them consistently dotted all their "I"s or crossed all their "T"s. None of them were perfect in the way we would define the word. But they had been made perfect in every way God defines it. Pursuing God's Best is not about pursuing perfectionism. In fact, it means the exact opposite. Our definition of perfect requires a heavy hand of control on our part, whereas God's definition of the word requires a heavy dose of Healing on His. To embrace the Life God intended for us, to allow our stories to be written as big as they were meant to be, requires surrender and giv-ing up our control and all that comes with it.

     No doubt since our arrival on this planet as a member of the Human Race, we have all missed the mark, been found wanting and without share in the great-ness of Who God is and who He meant us to be. But the Good News is, we don't have to keep on going that way. Romans 3:23 which we usually apply only when we are "leading" someone to Christ, isn't just meant for the unbelieving or back-sliding. It's meant for everyone. When Paul writes these words, who is he talking to? The Church in Rome. The whole conver-sation that this verse is found in revolves around a group of God's People who thought they had everything figured out and consequently had everyone else fig-ured out as well. But Paul is quite clear that we're all in the same sinking ship and Christ is the only answer for Hope and only One we can call on to save us.

     So as you go pursuing Life, make sure it’s the biggest version available, make sure your story gets to be written as big as He meant it to be. Don't get wrapped up in stupid temptations and sin or petty attitudes that don't match the bigness of God's intent for our lives. Stop avoiding those places that need healing and pursuing agendas and purposes that aren't any bigger than your own self-focused Life. Make a choice and make a change to make sure your story is as big as the Author meant it to be.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Being The Body

"Don't we take into ourselves the body, the very Life of Christ? ...our many-ness becomes one-ness - Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather we become unified in Him. We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is."
1 Corinthians 10:15 (The Message)

Ever since I was a kid the idea that the Church is supposed to be the Body of Christ, but yet seems forced to meet in 50 different places, has bothered me. In a bad rendition of Rodney King my heart has cried out, "Why can't we all just get along?" That question still haunts me. Why is it that The Body of Christ has become so fragmented? When did we make the choice to trade in our passion for The Kingdom for a less-wild alternative of growing our own?
Shortly before Paul gives his now famous metaphor of The Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, he gives some instruction for the sacrament of The
Lord's Supper. He points out that we take in who Christ is & then go about ridding ourselves of that which hinders His image in us. "Our many-ness becomes one-ness". As His Body we must learn to reflect His image rather than our own. Paul adds, "We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is."
This week, this month, today make an effort to defrag the Body of Christ. Be willing to look at those things we cling to as "essential"&"fundamental" to OUR faith, which might not be so essentially fundamental to THE faith. Attend another worship service of a truly Christian denomination other than the one you currently know. Make friends instead of enemies and let Christ make Himself at home in your body and in your Church, living out His Life in us all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Humble King

"He gave up his place with God & made himself nothing. He was born as a man & became like a servant. When He was living as a man, he humbled himself & was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death-death on a cross. So God raised him to the highest place. God made his name greater than every other name." Philippians 2:7-9

Of all of the attributes of God that I cherish the most, one of my favorites has to be His humility. No doubt we can praise God for His all-knowing & ever-present nature with us, or His creative ability & His absolute sovereignty. But to praise Him for His humility is to see Him as the King Above All. Jesus had no reason to cling to the status that His Divine Nature carried with it, but He had every reason to give it up. Through His coming to us as a dependent human child, He bridged the gap that only He could fill. He came as King while also coming as a servant. That is no task that can be accomplished by a mere mortal. By putting Himself in our world & under its laws of physics & flesh, He shows that He stands above everything else. Undaunted by the pressures & restrictions of a flesh &blood existence, He pressed through to do what only He could do. And by His dying in our place, we are raised to stand with Him in His place. Let this holiday season be a time of celebration of all that Christ makes possible to us & for us. Celebrate Him as Divine King & as Divine Servant. As He served those who could not help themselves, we learn to follow His example & do the same. Meet a neighbor you've been ignoring, serve a meal to the homeless, give of your time & Self; all the while knowing that He did the same.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Ultimate Weapon

"We are born into a world at war" CS Lewis reminds us. A lot has been said about Spiritual Warfare and who the real Enemies are and where the real battlefields lie. But if we are not careful we will get so caught up in the combat and forget that Connection is Father's ultimate weapon in our fight against our Poser Flesh, the World System and Satan. Belts of Truth, Shields of Faith, Helmets of Salvation, even Swords of Truth aren't greater than our intended connectedness that God designed us to live in. The great and powerful weapon of Intimacy with Father is what ultimately vanishes the hold of all our Enemies' influence on our lives. The Poser Flesh that emerges from our False Heart of woundedness has no secure standing in a Life that has found its real place of meaning in connection with Father. All of the temptations the World's
System sets before us find no hold of satisfaction in a Life satisfied with a Father's great Love. And our defeated foe, Satan, the great serpent of old, cannot connive us with His deception when our hearts are connected with the Truth of who we are and whose we are in Christ Jesus. The great weapon of Intimacy trumps all other attempts to draw us away from our real source of Life.

But the question still remains: "Will we continue in a connected state or will we set out on our own to find our own meager means of making a Life on our own. Will we humble the Self we call ours in sweet surrender to Father's heart for us? Will we engage or will we disengage for the Life we were made for?

All of our Life depends upon how we answer these questions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer is officially here and that means plenty to do around Westwood and Living Hope Retreat. We have a full schedule this Summer for our minister's kids with Soul Pursuit and of course a couple of encounters offered through The Potters Institute. Jenny and I are adjusting to life back on campus, which has both its positives & negatives, but all in all we have enjoyed it. We have definitely both felt a stepped up spiritual assault on us as we have moved onto campus. We know that Father has His action and the enemy has his reaction and that its all part of being in the middle of what God is doing. Through that we are starting to learn to battle better and remember to fight the right battles. Pray for us during this time. It is widely apparent to us that God is doing something great and there are forces that do not like it. Ethan is doing great and continually reminds us how easy we have it with him as our son. He has started giving hugs which definitely has a way of melting a heart and is on the verge of walking. Darn that long torso and legs! Thank you for your prayers and continued support.
Needing A Quiet Place To Rest?
Westwood Ministries offers sabbatical rest opportunities through Living hope retreat in Ingram, TX. If you are a kingdom leader needing rest or a Christian family needing an affordable vacation spot, lhr may be the place for you.
Call to make reservations: (830) 367-5600
Or make them

Friday, February 6, 2009

Our Heart...His Home

"When your joined with me and I with you, the relation Intimate and organic…"
John 15:5 (The Message)

If you are anything like me, you have a hard time believing that your heart can be FATHER's home. Maybe we've heard that our "heart is deceitful" just one too many times. Maybe we look at the current condition of our heart and think, "There's no way that could look anything like Him." Who knows, it may be any of these or a whole multitude of other reasons that have crept in and caused us to believe the lie instead of the Truth. The Truth is our heart is His home. God steps out of Heaven and steps into our hearts. Our hearts were meant to be joined with His. Ever since He formed Adam and God breathed Life into our lungs mankind has soared in connection with Him or fallen because of our disconnection.

Our lives were meant for intimacy with Him and made to be a reflection of His image. That means our heart as well. God's choice to make His home in our hearts changes everything. Our sacred heart is His Home. That's why safeguarding it is so vitally important. We will thrive when we're connected in an intimate, organic way and struggle when we keep our relation with Him mechanical and "automatic".

So, what is He saying to you about your heart? What's He saying about His home? Have you tended His home well, or is a ramshackled place. Only FATHER can shape a heart and make it suitable for Himself, but its here He gives us a part to play. Make time this week and month to do a bit of housekeeping so that your heart can truly be His home.

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