Happy 4th Blogversary!

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I can hardly believe that my 4th Blogversary is here. How in the world haven’t I run out of lessons, musings, adventures, and news to share with you?

As I’ve said in the past, I will continue to write and speak as long as the Lord keeps giving me something to say.

I’m grateful that you continue to show up and read my posts. Quite a few of you have been with me since my very first posts. How lovely! Thank you!

I’m also thankful to those of you who took a moment to fill out my recent Reader Survey. I’m touched to hear that you are being blessed by my blog and my books.

A reader comment that stood out to me was:

Waiting on God Well gave me time to address a deep prayer request of my heart I had sort of ‘buried.” I took your book on a plane trip, underlined and prayed my way thru, even journaling some. Thank you for your encouragement!”

This kind of feedback helps to encourage me to keep writing and sharing parts of my faith journey with you.

I plan to continue encouraging you as you wait on God and believe Him for the impossible.

I want to encourage you to live your God-given dreams! I plan to do so right here on my blog and through my upcoming book and events. Please stay tuned!

There’s a lot going on at Abounding Faith! Don’t miss a thing!

I hope you’ll connect with Abounding Faith on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

If you’d like to get my blog posts emailed to you weekly for free, I hope you’ll subscribe right here. When you subscribe, you’ll get the NEW “7 Journal Writing Prompts to Help You Wait on God Well” PDF that I’ve created just for you!

Many blessing to you and thanks for being on this faith journey with me!

Do my blog posts encourage you? Click the image below to get your free PDF and to get my blog posts emailed to you for free!

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You might also enjoy reading:

7 Bible Verses to Boost Your Hope!

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Are you struggling to wait on God to fulfill His promises in your life? Are you afraid that you’ll never see a breakthrough in your finances, personal life, or ministry work?  If so, I’d like to encourage you not to give up! God is Faithful and will move in your life in His perfect timing and in His perfect way!

Here are a few Bible verses to help you be a prisoner of hope and weather whatever storm you are facing:

  1. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
  2. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”  (Psalm 62:5-8)
  3. “But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:24b-25)
  4. “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Romans 4:18)
  5. “Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” (Zechariah 9:12)
  6. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
  7. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

God will not let you down. Trust Him to work out your situation for your good as He promises to do in Romans 8:28!  God specializes in parting seas, raising the dead, healing the sick, and saving the lost. 

Be encouraged! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Which Bible verses help to fill your heart with hope? Feel free to leave them in the comments below. Blessings!

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Happy New Year & My One Word!

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I love the start of a new year! I enjoy when the year is filled with promise! I get excited about all that God has in store for the next twelve months.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I like to prayerfully choose one word to help define the upcoming year.

I’m delighted to share that my one word for this year is:

SOAR!

After many years of waiting and preparing, the Lord is releasing me and allowing me to live out many dreams that I have been hoping and praying for for a long time.

I believe God wants me to dream bigger and to reach new heights.

I’m reminded of the following Bible verses:

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Did you catch what happens to those who hope in the Lord? They will renew their strength and SOAR on wings like eagles. I love it!

Waiting on God is not in vain and it doesn’t last forever. There is a time and season for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Glory! As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

I’m looking forward to God surprising me and astounding me in 2017 and beyond!

What does this mean for Abounding Faith? It means you can look forward to my third book being released, God willing, in the spring! The book will encourage you on your faith journey and picks up where Waiting on God Well and Abounding Faith left off. I’ll be sharing more info in the upcoming weeks and months so please stay tuned.

I also plan to host and speak at more events. If you’re interested in sponsoring one of my events, fantastic! Please email me at info@aboundingfaith.com and I’ll send you more information. If you’re interested in inviting me to come speak at your upcoming event, awesome! Please click here to learn more.

I also hope to continue blogging and adding videos to Abounding Faith’s YouTube channel and items to Abounding Faith’s online store. I want to continue encouraging you and inspiring you on your faith journey!

God is moving and I’m grateful that I get to share parts of my journey with you!

We serve an Awesome and Mighty God!

So what are you dreaming about? What desires and goals has God placed in your heart?

What’s your one word for 2017? I hope you’ll share it below!

If you’d like help reaching your God-given dreams, I’d be delighted to be your life coach. You can learn more about life coaching by clicking here. And if writing a book is on your list of goals this year, you can learn more about my Book Writing Coaching program by clicking here.

There’s a lot going on at Abounding Faith. I don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are a few simple ways to stay connected with Abounding Faith:

Please invite your friends to connect with Abounding Faith as well! I appreciate you helping to spread the word! To God be the Glory!

Praying you have a wonderful year full of God’s love, joy, and peace! Blessings!

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Reflections on 2016

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You might recall that my one word for this year was NEW! As I look back on this amazing year, I am truly grateful for all the NEW experiences the Lord blessed me with in 2016!

I started the year by launching my second book Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! It was surreal to release one book, let alone a second. And what a joy it was to host my very first Abounding Faith Live event in the spring!

Entering the world of Periscope and shooting a few “Abounding Faith Today” videos was fun.

In the summer, I got to appear on a local TV station thanks to Ebenezer Productions.

In the fall, I made the transition to my new home church. I have felt so welcome at Times Square Church and already feel God’s favor upon me there! Praise God!

During Roctober, the Lord allowed me to realize a long-awaited dream of speaking to a group of Christians working at the United Nations! And then a few days later I got to briefly share my testimony at the evening service at Times Square Church. Glory to God!

God knew my dear Senior Pastor of more than a decade was getting promoted to Heaven in October, so I’m grateful that the Lord graciously has connected me with many new wonderful men and women of God to walk with me and help guide me during this next season of my faith journey.

The Lord saw it fit to allow me to work on my third book, which should be released next spring. I also launched my Book Writing Coaching program and added many new items to Abounding Faith’s online store including the Pray, Dream, Do, Repeat collection.

Has it been a perfect year? No way! But God is Faithful! I’m thankful that this year was another one filled with adventure!

I pray you had a blessed year! I hope you got to realize many of your goals and are reaching even higher and further in 2017. The Lord really does take us from glory to glory!

If this year was a bit rough for you, I pray that you will leave all your cares and worries at the feet of Jesus and trust Him to get you through your trial or storm. I pray you will expect great things in 2017! If you’d like help reaching your God-given dreams, you can learn more about having me as your life coach by clicking here!

As this year draws to a close, I plan to rest and recharge for all that awaits in 2017 and beyond! I keep hearing the Lord saying to dream bigger and that more is coming. Amen! I receive it!

I’m in praying and planning mode for next year. I hope to share more info with you in the upcoming weeks.

Many blessings to you and thanks for staying on this faith journey with me! To God be the Glory!

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“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Merry Christmas 2016!

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I love staring at this picture that I recently took of a gorgeous Christmas tree!

All I can think of when I look at this picture is how our Heavenly Father is the giver of good gifts! I’m not talking about gifts that you can wrap up and tie a bow around. Those are great and it’s a joy to give and receive those kinds of presents.

But I’m talking about how God gives us desires and meets those desires.

I’m referring to those gifts that He freely gives us such as the gifts of His love, presence, favor, grace, and His peace that passes understanding.

I’m thinking about those spiritual gifts that He gives to His children.

And I mean the ultimate gift that God gave us on the first Christmas when He sent His one and only Son to earth to redeem us. Yes, the gift of Immanuel, God with us! Jesus, the Messiah. The Lamb of God. The Prince of Peace. The King of kings and the Lord of Lords!

Jesus is the unspeakable gift that we treasure at Christmas. It’s His birthday that we get to celebrate!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

I pray that you have already accepted that gift of salvation through Jesus Christ! Receiving forgiveness of your sins through the blood of Jesus and eternal life with God in Heaven is better than any gift you’ll ever find under your Christmas tree.

If you haven’t yet asked Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior, I pray you will do so even now and discover the true meaning of Christmas!  You can accept the gift of Jesus by opening up your heart and saying a simple prayer such as:

Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the Cross for my sins. I turn from my wicked ways and receive your love and forgiveness. I ask you to come into my heart and to be my Lord and Savior. Help me to live for you all the days of my life. It’s in Your name I pray, Amen.

The Bible says all of Heaven rejoices when even one sinner repents of his sins. If you said this prayer and meant it, then there’s a party going on in Heaven right now for YOU! How awesome is that?

I hope you will prayerfully find a Bible-based church in your area. It’s time to go and meet your brothers and sisters in Christ and grow with them. It’s also great to start reading the Bible and to keep praying, or talking to God, on a daily basis.

You can learn more about some next steps here.

Inviting Jesus into your life is the best decision you’ll ever make! I’d love to know if you said, “Yes!” to Jesus. Please leave a comment below.

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Have You Taken Abounding Faith’s Quick Reader Survey?

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Happy December! I hope this month is your best one yet!

Today is the deadline to share your thoughts with me by taking Abounding Faith’s Reader Survey. Your valuable feedback will help me plan for 2017. Please take a moment to fill out this quick survey. I’ll be sure to share some of the results with you soon.

Thanks to those who have already taken this short survey! Blessings!

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You might also enjoy reading:

Give the Gift of Encouragement!

Happy Cyber Monday! As you’re shopping around online and looking for the perfect gifts for your loved ones, I hope you’ll give them the gift of encouragement!

That could include getting them my books Waiting on God Well and Abounding Faith (paperback and Kindle editions are available on Amazon).

It could also mean shopping at Abounding Faith’s online store! I’ve included a Christmas Gift Guide below. I hope you”ll enjoy the sales throughout the site!

I appreciate all of your support as I continue to live out the call of God on my life! Living by faith ain’t easy, but it’s worth it!

When you take a break from your shopping, please be sure to fill out Abounding Faith’s Reader Survey. The short survey will be live until December 5th. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Thank you! Blessings!

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Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You might also enjoy reading:

Please Take Abounding Faith’s 2016 Reader Survey

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As I count my blessings this year, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my readers, supporters, and online community for being with me on this faith journey! It’s a joy to share parts of my journey with you through my blog, books, events, and more!

I’m starting to pray and plan for next year, and I would really appreciate your help. Would you kindly take a moment to fill out this quick Reader Survey? I value your thoughts and would love to hear what is really blessing you and what you’d like to see more of in 2017.

This survey will be live until Monday, December 5th.

I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback! Thank you in advance for taking this short survey!

Many blessings to you and have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You might also enjoy reading:

God is on the Move!

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Sometimes God seems silent and it feels like He’s not really working. Other times, God breaks His silence and He shows up and shows off for His glory. That is the kind of season I’m in. Thank you, Jesus!

Within the span of two weeks, the Lord swung the door wide open so that I could speak to a group of Christians at the United Nations and then He allowed me to briefly share my testimony at Times Square Church at the 6pm service last Sunday!

I’m still in awe that the Lord would allow me to speak at all! To get to speak at the UN and Times Square Church is just incredibly wonderful to me!

Those who know me well know that I don’t need the spotlight. I’m happy chatting one-on-one with folks or being anonymous behind my computer. But when God opens up a door for me to speak about Him to groups (including on street corners here and abroad), I’m delighted to do so for my Heavenly Father.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will for your life!

Last Sunday evening, God saw it fit for me to speak in front of my new church family. It was a rainy, Sunday evening. I would have been content if just 20 people showed up. From this screenshot below, you can see that the church was packed on the main floor and balcony!

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What a thrill to get to speak to this beautiful and diverse group of people and to all those who were watching at the North Jersey campus and online! It was truly an honor and privilege.

I’m touched by how warm, friendly, and engaged the people were as I spoke. And from the beautiful comments I received from the Pastors, leaders, and others afterward, it seems like folks were blessed by what I shared. Praise God!

I’m looking forward to all that God has in store for me in this season. As I’ve said in the past, I’ll keep speaking as long as God keeps giving me something to say! If you’d like me to come speak to your church, school, conference, retreat, or outreach event, you can learn more by clicking here.

I hope my story encourages you that waiting on God and obeying Him is not in vain. I pray that God will give you the strength, grace, patience, endurance, courage, and faith to live out the unique plan He has for your life! Blessings!

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

You might also enjoy reading:

Reflections and Lessons Learned From my Late Senior Pastor

A Loving Tribute to Rev. Dr. Robert Johansson

My senior pastor of more than a decade is now in Heaven with Jesus after a long hard battle with cancer. I will miss Pastor Johansson dearly, but I am grateful that I got to see him earlier this year as he celebrated his 80th birthday and I am rejoicing knowing that he is smiling with Jesus now.

Pastor J had a great impact on me during my years at Evangel Church. He was a loving, kind shepherd. He was also one of the bravest and godliest men I have ever known! He was a beautiful blend of strength and grace.

I will miss his wise counsel and his bear hugs!

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But Pastor J is not the kind of person that just fades away from your memories. Many of his powerful sermons are etched in my heart and mind.

His Bible-based preaching helped draw me to keep going back to service week after week. I went into his church a guarded skeptic who was seeking to reconcile with God. Over the years, through solid teaching and many opportunities to serve, I matured into the minister I am today. Praise God!

I still remember how happy Pastor was when he saw me walk into the informational meeting to learn about the trip to the Amazon jungle in Brazil that the church was organizing. He lovingly sent the team off on our trip and gave us a hero’s welcome upon our return. That’s when Pastor and I discovered that we both could identify with Joshua from the Bible. We also both felt called to be missionaries in New York City.

Right before my other short-term missions trips, I’d make sure to find Pastor and ask him to pray for me and he would pray that God would cover me with His wings.

Pastor graciously spent time with me and prayed for me especially in 2011 when I was discerning God’s call on my life. Pastor supported my writing and at the end of our last meeting that year he declared, “God will write your story and you will tell it!” Amen! I love these pictures of Pastor holding my hand and proudly standing by my side at the release of my first book last spring!

He gave Waiting on God Well his seal of approval and said that everyone should keep a copy of it by where they keep their Bible as a reference because it has so many Bible verses in it. Amazing!

Over the years, I have taken lots of notes during Pastor’s sermons. Here’s just a glimpse of some of them! I guess I really was paying attention and soaking in a wealth of wisdom!

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In honor of Pastor Johansson, I’d like to share a few lessons I learned over the years. This is in no way an exhaustive list. It’s just some of his words that will remain with me probably the rest of my life. I’m sharing them in no particular order. I am writing this from memory, so if I get something wrong or if you feel like I have misrepresented something he said, please kindly let me know! (If you don’t agree with these teachings, please don’t try to enter into a debate with me about them. That is not the goal of this post. Thanks!)

I pray that these words will bless you! I’ve included some of my thoughts as well:

“If you know how much God loves you, you can trust Him! And if you can trust Him, you can obey Him. And if you obey Him, you will have joy!”  Pastor J preached this for a whole year. It may seem like a simple concept, but it is so profound!

“You can’t judge a whole pizza pie by just one slice. Don’t judge God by your current circumstances.” Pastor J liked using the image of a pizza because it’s so New York. He wanted to remind us that while we can’t see the whole picture, God can and He is working behind the scenes!

“Don’t bow down to the culture!” This is something I remember Pastor J preaching from my early days at Evangel until his last days! Pastor J reminded us that we are in this world, but not of it! He urged us to live for Christ and to not give in to the pressures of this world. He would always remind us that God is establishing His Kingdom on earth!

“The mystery has been revealed, it is Christ in us. The hope of Glory.” Pastor J referred to Colossians 1:27 often. He wanted us to know that we didn’t serve a distant God. Jesus lives inside of us.

“Salvation happens in a moment. Sanctification happens over a lifetime.” Pastor J would make sure that we understood that once we believed and received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our salvation was secure praise God! However, we still need to walk in obedience to God. When we sin, we don’t lose our salvation but we lose fellowship with God and we need to ask for forgiveness.

“Can God trust you with suffering?” That was such a challenge to my thinking. Yes, God allows certain trials in our lives not to punish us but because He can trust us. And those trials help to conform us into the image of Christ!

“It’s not so much about how much you love God, but about how much God loves you!” Pastor J reminded us that God is love and that He delights in lavishing His unconditional love on us. As it says in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Pastor J liked to refer to this as “The Great Uneven Exchange” where Jesus takes our sins, filthiness, and baggage, etc. and we get His righteousness.

“You can negotiate the timing with God, but not the vision.” Our timing is different than God’s timing. If we don’t see God’s promises coming through, Pastor J said we could ask God about the timing, but we shouldn’t compromise or give up on the vision God gave us.

“You can’t lose with the stuff I use!” Pastor J knew and he wanted us to know that we have the victory with God!

“The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) Pastor J mentioned that he would say this verse daily. No wonder he was so fearless! He would encourage us to mediate on God’s Word and to appropriate it, or apply it, to our situations.

“When you hear that I’ve died, don’t cry for me Argentina.” Pastor J said this many times over the years. He knew that Heaven is our true home. This quote helps me to remember that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:8. We’re just passing through here. Pastor is more alive now than he ever was here on earth!

I’m grateful for my years of sitting under Pastor Johansson’s teaching. Pastor J may be gone, but he is not forgotten! He poured out his life in the service of others. It’s our turn to make sure his godly legacy lives on!

If you’d like to share a favorite Pastor Johansson memory or quote, please feel free to do so in the comments section. Blessings!

Did this encourage you? Don’t forget to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts emailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement, read my books Waiting on God Well: How to Prevent Breaking Down on Your Way to Your Breakthrough and Abounding Faith: 30 Bible Heroes Who Will Inspire You to Believe God for the Impossible! To learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. Check out Abounding Faith’s online store here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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