Pastor Stan Johnson

Stan Johnson is the pastor for Kuna Life Church.

What will your headstone say?

Would you want your headstone to say “Spiritual Giant” or “Servant?”

My opinion is that God isn’t looking for more “Spiritual Giants,” He’s looking for more servants, daily working on their spiritual maturity. It’s easy to get discouraged in the struggle, when temptation wins and our faith seems to lose. It’s in those times that God proves to us that we can’t do it on our own, that we need His grace and strength. As a matter of fact, the people that bugged Jesus the most were the religious leaders whose attitudes were that they were good enough without Him.

I’ve said this before:

If God filled out a tax return, would He claim you as a dependent? It’s comforting to know that despite our failures, His desire is to claim us as a dependent! If you’re facing discouragement today, know that He loves you despite yourself. You don’t have to get “cleaned up” to come to God. You come to Him as you are, and then we work on improving. He knows you sometimes (or often) struggle to swim in the sea of life; that’s why He sent Jesus to us as a life ring to hold onto. Keep Him close today, for His desire is to hold you close if you’ll simply let Him.

The Danger of Distraction

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It wasn’t like I tried to wreck my mom’s 1978 Jeep CJ5. It just sorta happened. (Well, that would the “I’m human and I’m making excuses for what I did” side of me. It really was my fault.)

I was running an errand for my dad down the mountain on the narrow, windy gravel road that led from our house down to town. I made it to my destination, picked up some boxes, and headed back home with my little brother riding shotgun. Then I saw them. Three of the cuter girls from school. As I made a hard left out of the driveway onto our road, I looked back over my shoulder and waved at my “girl-friends.” The problem was, in my distraction, I never straightened out the steering wheel and found myself and the Jeep laying sideways in a ditch, little brother laying on top of me.

I asked my brother the obvious question: “Did we just wreck?” I shut the ignition off and crawled out, un-injured. Well, un-injured physically that it. When you’re 13 years old and you wreck in front of three girls you were flirting with, it has a way of injuring your pride. Ashamed, I called my dad, who was very calm I might add, and with a Caterpillar 518 Log Skidder and pickup winch, righted the Jeep and sent me back up the mountain toward home. Driving the Jeep up the mile long, steep and narrow road, I contemplated what had happened, and why.

Dad never did get mad, just told me I’d be buying a new soft top for it and that was that. I think he knew my embarrassment and humiliation was enough to learn to pay attention to the road. In a mountain town of 500, word travels pretty quickly. And having to see those girls again in class … well, let’s just not think about that right now.

There is danger in distraction. I tell people: “Get right with God, stay right with God.” If you’re married, keep your spouse your priority. You made a promise to them. Keep it. There will be many distractions out in the world, and if you take your eyes off the things you’re supposed to be looking at, you’ll end up in the ditch. Trust me, I know. The Good News is this: If you find yourself in the ditch, God will answer your call, get you out of the ditch, and set you back on the road. Trust me. I know!

 

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