Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baptism Day!

The Johnson Family - In more ways than one!!

Today, we drove down to the Outer Banks and went to our old church (Nags Head Church). We saw our friends and invited anyone who could come to go with us to the Sound after the gathering. Our good friends, Brenda, Pat, Linda, Gary, Nate, Trish, Gwyneth, and Sam joined us. We had almost postponed the baptism, because it was supposed to rain on and off all day. But the Lord held off the rain until we were on our way home this afternoon. Then in came down in buckets!!

Did you catch the huge smile on Dad's face with each one? It doesn't EVER get any better than this. To see your child begin his/her journey with Jesus is the greatest thrill in my life. That is what the parenthood is all about, as far as I'm concerned. I can read all the parenting books, watch all the videos, go to all the seminars, and cry all my tears...but until they come to know the Lord for their own, I've accomplished nothing. They may become successful, and useful citizens along the way, but if they don't have Jesus, they don't have anything. I can adopt 25 kids, give them every opportunity available to them, and love them to spoildem, but if I don't make the salvation of their souls my #1 priority, I'm wasting my time, energy, money, and efforts. I have done nothing for them. I might as well leave them where they are.

Thank you Jesus for putting us where you did and for putting us where we are. We aren't anywhere near successful by the world's standard, but you have blessed us beyond measure. I am the richest man on this planet. And because I know the hereafter and know that You will be there in heaven and that Pam and our children will be there to meet me some day - I have no fear of death.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Lord Has Smiled on This Family

Last night some of the kids were looking at pictures we have on our computer and they came across the picture of when I baptized Analyse. Zoe saw it and said, "Dad, I want to be baptized." So, I sat and talked to Justin, Zoe and Jaden about what baptism is and what it means. Then I questioned them as to what they believed about Jesus. Praise the Lord! Each of them was able to articulate about Jesus being the Son of God, about His perfection, His sacrifice for their sins, and His wanting them to go to Heaven to be with Him when they die.

Tonight I talked with them again, and this time I included Davis in the conversation because he wasn't with them last night. I felt comfortable with their level of maturity, their understanding and heard their confessions of faith. I then lead them in the sinner's prayer for their salvation.

Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!

Davis then asked me, "Dad can we get baptized now?" Reminded me of the Ethiopian who met Philip along the road. Interesting - mine are Ethiopian! I guess that make me a Philip, of sorts.

The Lord has smiled on this family. We were given seven little souls to care for. We wanted to be a blessing to them and they bless us continually. Pam and I had at one time prepared to be missionaries - yet the Lord brought these souls to us and has drawn ALL of them unto Himself.

Can a parent ask for anything more? Not on this planet!

Lord Jesus I bless your name! Lord I love your wisdom and strength! Lord you are power and majesty beyond the sun, moon and the multitude of stars. I can not fathom your love and patience. You have lifted my head and called me blessed. Help me to know how to disciple your children that you have put in my care. Give me strength to be who you want me to be for them.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's in a Name?

Each of our "chosen" kids were given a new name when we adopted them. They retain their birth names as their middle names so they don't think they have been completely scrubbed clean of their past. We've even kept their "last names" as a second middle name. What we call "last names" here in America are actually their birth father's first names. It took us awhile to figure this out. It also clarified why the adoption agency put "Juan" as their middle names...all six of them from Ethiopia. When Pam and I began this journey of adoption we didn't put a great deal of thought into the name we gave Dylan, a.k.a. Joey. We just wanted to be sure it didn't sound dorky, funny, hard to pronounce, eternally immature, or that the initials didn't give him a weird acronym.

Dylan is Welsh for God of the Sea. Okay, definitely not your typical "Bible" name. When we brought home our last three, he decided he'd liked to be called Joey. Joey was a nick name that Pam wanted to call him from his middle name Joseph. He was aware of this so I think this was Joey's way of being closer to Mom.

Leah is Hebrew for weary. This is name of the first wife of Jacob in Genesis. Recently Leah has requested that we call her Mimi. I like that, it's kind of hard to switch names, but I'm getting used to it. Mimi was a nickname that she had in Ethiopia, so I think it's her way of reaching back to something familiar.

Analyse is a combination of Hannah and Elizabeth. Hannah means Grace in Hebrew and Elizabeth is Hebrew for My God is a vow. Coincidentally, Analyse's birth name, Tseganesh is Amharic for Grace. She wants us to call her Anna. I'm not sure why other than it make her feel more informal.

Justin is Latin for righteous or just. We now call him JJ, because there is another kid on his soccer team called Justin and it cuts down confusion on the field.

Zoe is Greek for Life, and it's also a Greek letter. No nick name yet.

Jaden is Hebrew for God has heard. No nick name yet.

Davis is a form of David, which is Hebrew for Beloved. I love that! No nick name yet.

Occasionally they try out new nick names and see if they stick. I'm normally the one that bursts their bubbles on one that I don't like. Nick names tend to be earned for whatever reason, so some of them may be a long time coming. We'll see.


Monday, September 6, 2010



Having 7 kids in 3 different schools ALL with the "meet and greet" on the SAME night- I am not sure who thinks these things up- and I know that I am not the only parent with more than 1 kid in more than 1 school- what a nightmare! The schools are not right next door to each other either! We did it and all of the kids met their teachers and all seem to be happy about going back to school tomorrow.

Soccer started for 2 of the kids a few weeks ago and starts tomorrow for 3 more of them- 5 kids in 4 different age and teams. ;) (did I say that Leah (a.k.a. Mimi) will be getting her drivers license in the next week or so- yea!!)

We have turned the corner with several of our kids this summer- the break through has been just a miracle- Only God- and we are so thankful- It is definitely easier and a lot more fun being a parent when the child wants to be here and be part of the family!

Blessings, Pam