Monthly Archives: March 2012

Our Prayer For You

Here is the prayer by Kendall Payne (one of our favorite singer/songwriters) which we read today at our commissioning service.

It is our prayer for you…would you pray it for us.

Kendall explains how the song/prayer came to be and sings it in the beginning of the this video.


I will pray for you now, for you have been my faithful friends
While the road we walk is difficult indeed
I couldn’t not ask for more than what you’ve already been
Only that you would say these prayers for me
May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strength all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head
May they all fall, come crashing down around your feet
May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater every stride
May your company be of humble insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride
What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the One who made us
And see Him smile when life is through
May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they’d be
And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see
May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you’d learn to trust the plan He has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true
I have prayed for you now all my dear and faithful friends
But what I wish is more than I could eever speak
As the way wanders on I’ll long to see you once again
Until then, would you pray these prayers for me?
Oh, that you would pray for me

Categories: prayer | 1 Comment

Our Bags Are Packed & We’re Ready to Go!

Here’s what we’re taking with us to Mexico!

Now all we have left to do (sorta)  is Fiesta it up with our family and friends!

Categories: Family | Leave a comment

One Week Left…What do we do?!

With only one week left you may be asking yourself what are those crazy Johnsons up too?! Well here it is…

We work off our steam…

Trying to stay sane…

Smiling all we can…

While we eat lots of ice cream…

With good friends…

Categories: Family | 2 Comments

Party, Pack, Prepare, Panic, & then Peace Out!

If you’ve been wondering what we’ve been doing this month here is the short of it…

We’ve been partying, packing, preparing, panicking, and praying all in an effort to peace out at the end of the month!

One of the many ways we’ve been preparing has been by ordering items we need (or think we need) in Mexico such as educational materials for our kids as well as books for ourselves.

I was excited today because some books came in the mail that will help us learn about the culture.  I’m planning on reading these books over the coming year while I’m (Pete) in formal language school and Emily is furthering her language development through intentional language coaching.  I’d recommend any of them to you yourself if you want a deeper insight into Mexican culture as they were recommend to me by people who have worked in Mexico and Latin America.

The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World

This is by Carlos Feuntes…remember that author and ambassador you might have heard us talk about…this is him.

Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans

The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Categories: Mexico | Leave a comment

March Newsletter Activity!

We thought putting our main article with links to youtube videos might be an easier way for parents/grandparents, etc. to enjoy our kids’ newsletter articles.  It takes out some of the work involved in typing youtube site addresses into your computer, so here you go!  (If you’d like to receive the print version to print out for your kids, leave us a comment with your email and we’ll send you one!)

What Does Commissioning Mean?

There is a big word that you might hear when your church sends a missionary to the country where he or she lives and works.  That word is “commissioning.”  But what does it mean?  It’s actually a cool word, because it means that it’s not just the missionary who’s doing the work alone.  It means that you, your parents, and the church you belong to are sending out your missionaries, giving them a task to do, and pledging to do it with them.  The missionary has a “mission” to share God’s love and truth in a particular place, but you are helping them do it…by praying, by encouraging, by giving money, by letting missionaries borrow cars, by going to visit them and help them where they work!  It takes everyone helping to do what God wants all of us to do all around the world.

Here’s an example to show you what it’s like to do something together.  Do you like to listen to music?  If you have ever heard a symphony play, it’s really amazing to hear how all the different instruments blend together to create a single beautiful song.  With your parents, spend a few minutes watching this performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Then you can listen to individual instruments that make up an orchestra.

What do you notice about how the instruments sound when playing all together versus when they are playing by themselves?  The instruments are all beautiful on their own, but all together, the instruments can create a more powerful, more complicated song.  God want us to be like a symphony…bringing our unique abilities together to glorify Him and share His love with others.  You and your parents are already helping us do that as we are “commissioned” and sent to Mexico.  But we also want to help you.  How can we pray for you as you look for ways to serve God and love others?  Email us and let us know!

Mexican Birthday Song

“Las Mañanitas”

We had several birthdays in our family in the past few months.  We had a lot of fun celebrating.  Who has had a birthday in your family lately?  What did you do to celebrate?  Did you sing “Happy Birthday”?  Guess what?  There is a special birthday song that is sung in Mexico.  It is called “Las Mañanitas” and is usually song to the special person in the morning to wake them up and again before they cut their birthday cake.  With your parents, you can have fun listening to a version of the song at the following youtube site. Let us know what you think!

Translation of Lyrics

This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint’s day (birthday) we’re singing it for you
Wake up, my (NAME of birthday boy or girl) wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn.

Categories: Church, Family, Mission | 1 Comment

The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing

We are about to depart for Mexico in less than a month and as such I’ve been reflecting on what God has been teaching me over the past year. He has certainly been teaching me many things but one major and continuous thread has been one of God ruthlessly tearing away the idols of material possessions that I continually place in my life.

Over the past year we have sold or gotten rid of the vast majority of our material possessions and have been seeking to live as simply as possible. We have been minimizing, simplifying, and selling…the buzz words of our times…especially for the cool young latte drinking Christians.

However, God has been teaching us that “minimizing”, “simplifying” and “selling” our idols (material possessions)  is not the same thing as freeing ourselves from them.  Whether you possess hundreds of idols or simply one idol…one idol is one too many in our hearts before God. Materialism is not dependent on the amount of items you have. It is not an external condition but an internal condition of the heart.

This past week I decided to reread The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer (b/c its a great book and FREE on Kindle Books!) I want to share two quotes from the second chapter entitled, “The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing.” I pray you chew on these a bit as I have this week…they pretty much summarize what I’ve been learning and experiencing over the past year.

“The way to deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things. The blessed ones who possess the Kingdom are they who have repudiated every external thing and have rooted from their hearts all sense of possessing. These are the “poor in spirit.” They have reached an inward state paralleling the outward circumstances of the common beggar in the streets; that is what the word “poor” as Christ used it actually means. These blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things. They have broken the yoke of the oppressor; and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering. Though free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things. “Theirs is the Kingdom of God.””

“Let us never forget that such a truth as this cannot be learned by rote as one would learn the facts of physical science. They must be experienced before we can really know them…The ancient curse will not go out painlessly; the tough old miser within us will not lie down and die obedient to our command. He must be torn out of our heart like a plant from the soil; he must be extracted in agony and blood like a tooth from the jaw. He must be expelled from our soul by violence as Christ expelled the money changers from the temple. As we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging, and to recognize it as springing out of self-pity, one of the most reprehensible sins of the human heart.”

Would you consider praying with me as Tozer prays at the end of the chapter…

“Father, I want to know You, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from You the terror of parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that You may enter and dwell there without rival. Then You shall make the place of Your feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for You will be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ”


Categories: Family, Mission, prayer | 2 Comments

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