Saturday, December 8, 2012

Merry Christmas from The Johnsons

Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you!

Hoping that you have an awesome Christmas celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Take time over the next couple of weeks to slow down and realize the true meaning of the season. Blessings from our family..

Doug, Rhonda, Ryan, & Hannah

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Lets Change the Words for TV

I was watching a movie on ABC Family and noticed something that appears to happen on a frequent basis. The actor says something and his lips express something different. It is obvious that a voice-over was edited into the movie as to allow a more "family-friendly" version to be shown on TV.

The movie I was watching was actually really good - even with the profanity edited out. This should tell anyone watching that the profanity does not make the movie and not having it in the movie does not break it either. So why do movie houses feel that it is necessary to add that "shock factor" into the film?

I think the reason is exactly what the phrase describes it as "shock-factor". Do screen writers believe that their scripts are not quality enough without adding that component? Do they feel as if the American culture is so conditioned and the film needs a little shock to keep the interest?

In either case, it is a sad state of our culture if we are so conditioned that we need a punch to make entertainment more interesting. What has happened to decency? What has happened to films that inspire? What has happened to the expression of love by words and actions. Ephesians 4:29

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Working in Ministry; Failing in Spiritual Growth

Over the years I have made plenty of friends who are in ministry. During that time we spent evenings around a table or at a restaurant studying and learning from the precious truths in the Word of God. Sometimes I miss those opportunities because life and even ministry get in the way. I know numerous people who have worked in ministry whether as a Pastor or in a support position and experience the "run of the mill" walk of life. Some have even gone as far as stepping down from ministry. You look at them and ask "why is there no excitement?" What has changed since the time they first started in ministry? I believe the answer is simple. They have lost the ultimate priority in life which can be broken down in these simple areas.

There is no daily quiet time or devotion in their lives. The fast paced world we live in demands time and energy. The ministry is no different in this respect. I believe there is also more of a demand by the general public rather than from an organization or a supervisor. Ministry is about people and those people have needs outside of the 9 to 5 time period. With the crazy schedules and demands, people have a tendency to get to bed late and sleep late. The alarm clock rings and before you know it we are on the road going back into work. What happened to the time we were going to spend in the Word or in prayer? Does that sound familiar?

Sometimes ministry requires being outside of small group Bible studies and we do not find another avenue to replace that small group time. Too often ministers believe they are okay without attending some sort of Bible study. I don't care how much you know, or how much you think you know, you need to be challenged and fed in a small group setting.

When I was a Youth Pastor I spent time with other Youth Pastors in small group devotions. Every other week we would meet together just for Bible study. We would rotate the leader of the study and it became one of the most filling times for ministry. It was really special because we were all in the fight for the same ministry demographic and we were facing the same battles and questions from parents and teens.

I just finished a non-traditional time of Bible study with some other guys. It was not only challenging, but also refreshing. Are you getting the routine fill of God's Word and Bible Study? This question holds true even if you are not in ministry. If you are not allowing the Spirit to pour into your glass then you just may be failing in Spiritual growth! We need to pause for the important things.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Roadblocks in Life

Have you ever been driving and found yourself almost late for an appointment? As you are cruising down the road you feel that based on your speed and distance you will make it with no time to spare. Next you turn the corner and the road is blocked. A detour to a new route will make you late for your appointment. Now what are you going to do?

The past couple of weeks have been a life of detours. Plans have been roadblocked, deadlines have not been met, and things have not ran as expected. Each time this happens I am faced with a question. When the engineer doesn't show, what are we going to do now? When family plans have to be cancelled, what are we going to do now? When equipment is back-ordered or is not going to make it on time, what are we going to do now?

This question has two potential results. We can panic and add a tremendous amount of stress in our lives or we can accept the fact and follow the detour. I prefer the second option. In John chapter 11, Jesus is with His disciples when Lazarus dies. He returns with His disciples to Bethany where Mary and Martha live. It is here the reader sees the sisters' stress due to their expectation of Jesus' presence before Lazarus' death. Notice before this event what Jesus says to His disciples in verse 15. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe [John 11:15, NKJV] I am sure this was a shocking statement to the disciples, however, there is a point to learn. 

If this event did not happen, the disciples would not have had the opportunity to have their faith strengthened. Seeing the power of Christ in one's life when everything seems hopeless can impact you forever. The disciples had a moment to realize just that. The next time you find yourself in a detour with some unanswered questions, allow Christ to teach you some essential elements of faith. Maybe your detour is a time to learn.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Being an Encouragement

As a part of the mentoring process, we must be willing to be an encouragement to others.

Acts 9:27-28 says "But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord."

The name Barnabas was a nickname meaning “son of encouragement.” Did he live up to that name? I would say yes because he stood up in defense of the young man, John Mark. He also persuaded the Jerusalem disciples to receive Paul (9:27).

Ananias was the first to welcome him into the church fellowship (Acts 9:17), but the Christians in Jerusalem were still too frightened to associate with him because of his past reputation. Barnabas was responsible for introducing Saul into the core group of church leaders (Acts 9:27–28).

If you felt like you were all alone in a situation, would you not want someone to stand up for you? When someone does, it is a great encouragement. Can you be an encouragement to someone today?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Double Portion

Our last post concerned mentoring and used the passage in 2 Timothy chapter 2 to illustrate how we need to invest in the lives of others. In this post, look at the passion of Elijah that attracted Elisha to want more of what Elijah had.  

1 Kings 19:19-21 states "So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him."

If you look at the phrase "cast his cloak upon him" it essentially means to pass one's power or office upon another. Elisha knew what this meant. So he said I want to go home and tell my family and I will follow. Elijah obliged.

Now think about the following passage in 2 Kings 2:6-10.

Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so

What does a double portion of your spirit on me mean? A double portion is the blessing of the firstborn. But Elisha was not wanting a physical blessing but a spiritual blessing. One in which only God could give.

Does your life exemplify God in such a way others want you have.. Are you willing to invest your time and resources so others can obtain it?

Doug Johnson

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Mentor Example

2 Timothy 2:1-2 says "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

This is part of a letter from the Apostle Paul to Timothy. Timothy was very special to Paul. Paul probably led Timothy to the Lord during his first trip to Lystra and then taught him the foundational principles of the gospel.

Paul asked the younger man to accompany him on his second missionary journey, and from that point onward began to invest in him as his co-laborer in the gospel. These two were ministering together from Macedonia, to Achaia, to Ephesus, to Corinth, to Asia Minor, to Jerusalem, and even to Rome during Paul’s first imprisonment. After Paul’s release, Timothy again traveled with him, but eventually Paul had him stay at the Ephesian church to take care of some problems. Their close relationship is verified by the fact that Paul names him as co-sender of six of his letters.

Paul’s challenge to Timothy is a commission for all of us who will be in involved in mentoring relationships. Are we investing in the lives of others? Have we decided to pour into one individual over a long period of time? I hope so, because it is an example presented multiple times in Scripture.

Doug Johnson

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

Today is election day! For kids it usually means a day out of school. For adults, it is a day of decision. Over the past four weeks I have made it a point to ask people in our community what they plan to do this election day. I know you are not supposed to talk about politics or religion, but I want everyone to break that rule because it is just silly. The surprising thing that I have realized is that everyone has an opinion but many will not cast their vote.

The simple rule of thumb is if you don't vote then don't complain. The complex rule is if you don't vote, you don't care about the direction of the country. As each year passes we see an increasing level of apathy. Outside of their own little world, people just don't care about others or their country. People don't know the sacrifices that were made so they can live in freedom. If we do not care enough to understand what is going on, then we obviously don't care if our freedoms are taken away.

In the last three decades we have seen two major shifts in direction. The first has been against freedom. Challenges have been placed against freedom of religion. Challenges have been placed against the 1st and 2nd Amendments. We have also seen a shift against life. We do not protect the unborn and it seems as if there is less concern placed on the elderly - all of this in the name of convenience. Actually, all of the challenges stem from the shift away from God and Christianity. This will take us from freedom to bondage.

I know there are issues of jobs and economy on the table. These are very important, however if we cannot see Biblical morality as an issue then we will never be able to satisfy the economy. They are tightly connected. Our current president has a worldview beyond national business and politics. It is what drives him to make the decisions he has made. We need to quit focusing on a verbal promise of a result and start looking to see if the candidates are like minded in the area of their worldview. This big ship called America needs to be turned back in the direction of its roots.

So today, talk about politics, and everyday talk about Christ!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hanging On With All We Have

Check out the guy in this picture!

He is working hard and he is hanging on. The bolts he is tightening are almost out of reach. He has to position himself in such a way that both hands can compliment each other for the job, while at the same time making sure that he does not fall from his position.

There are a few things that must take place for this to happen. First, his fear level must not be such that shuts him down from doing the job. Second, he must know how to complete the job, and third, he must have all if the tools to do the job.

This is a lot like sharing our faith. First, we must deal with our fears so they don't shut us down. The task can be daunting, but we have to be willing to take the first step. Next, we have to be prepared. When God radically changed our lives, He gave us a testimony. We need to be prepared to share it. Third, God's Word is the greatest tool that we have to introduce someone to Christ. Learn how to use it to make that connection.

Let's work toward the building of God's Kingdom.

Doug Johnson

Friday, November 2, 2012

We Have Lost Our Keys

Have you ever lost your keys? It happens to me about once a week. When I come into the house I usually put my keys down on the corner of the table. This process has become a habit unless I enter a different door then I can usually predict that my keys will be lost. At the time I do not think about it, however, the next morning I am turning the house upside down trying to find where I placed them.

Our Spiritual life is similar to the habits we apply to our daily lives. For example if we rise every morning and the first thing that we do is grab God's Word then we usually are satisfied with our routine. However, if we remove that element from our day, then we find ourselves turning everything upside down trying to locate that item that is going to get us to the next stop. We find ourselves stressed and unsure of the day.

Let me encourage you to start your day with the Lord. Develop that routine where you start it off with the creator of the Universe. You may realize that your problems are not so big after all. So, surrender your mind to the Lord each day, which essentially is an element of dedication.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. [The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 12:1–2.]

You will find that presenting yourself before the Lord every morning is the key to a better day.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31, 2012 Today in History

Sometimes I like to look at what happened today in history. History has always fascinated me especially the history of military conflict and the history of world religions. But as I look back today in history I see a few interesting points. Think about them as you read them.

  • Today in 2011, the U.N. Population Division stated we have reached 7 Billion people on Earth

  • Today in 2010, a large oil field was discovered off the coast of Brazil. They believe this can contain up to 15 billion barrels of oil (why do we have high gas prices??).

  • Today in 2006, Bob Barker retired from the Price is Right (now we have Drew...)

  • Today in 1989, the U.S. performs a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site

  • Today in 1968, the U.S. performs a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site (What is up with this happening on October 31? Are we trying to scare Mexico?)

  • Today in 1968, President Johnson halts all bombing in North Vietnam

  • Today in 1956, Britain and France begin to bomb Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal

  • Today in 1941, Germany torpedoes U.S. destroyer Reuben James 

  • Today in 1914, Great Britain and France declare war on Turkey

  • Today in 1517, Luther posts 95 theses on Wittenberg church - The beginning of the Protestant Reformation

Of course we all know in 834 today was the first observance of All Hallows Eve from which we have derived Halloween. It seems as if there is always struggle in the world. There is struggle with World Powers and there is struggle between good and evil.

As each day in history passes, we need to determine on which side we stand. We also need to make the determination to actually stand and not become passive. For if we allow the world to dictate our future, then we will side with evil.

Choose this day who you will serve, and act accordingly.

Blessings on Reformation Day,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Freedom and Persecution

Our freedoms in this country is what has made it so great. Has anyone noticed that those freedoms are starting to go away? Christian intolerance is also on the rise. Is it time to make a stand for what you believe in?

Read about Persecution in America

I feel one day soon every Christian in America will see some form of persecution.

Doug Johnson

Monday, October 22, 2012

By Foot

Every day I see people walking on the main road outside of town. Some are carrying grocery bags while some look like they're trying to get to work. This has increased over the past four or five years to the magnitude that I've never seen before. Does this reflect the state of our economy? Does this illustrate the hardship that many people are going through? How have we arrived to this position?

Some would point to a corrupt government while others say the corruption is in large business. I personally think there are a lot of factors that have influenced this situation. Even though there is obvious corruption in many different areas, we have missed the root cause of where we are. There is an eerie parallel between our national condition and our Spiritual position. As we have moved away from God and have turned our back His Word, we are reaping the results of our actions. We have anti-God and immoral leadership. We see much of the same in business and in our communities. Until we turn back to God and repent of our ways, I personally don't see much improvement in our future. What does our future look like? Rome followed the same path in their history and reaped devastating results.

We desperately need to return to God.

Doug Johnson

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Over the Top

Over the Top - September 30, 2012

Doug Johnson

Friday, July 27, 2012

Don't Cross the Line

Sitting on the beach in Destin Florida is always an incredible time for the family. In the past few years we have stayed at the same location and have been very happy with it. Each year, however, we have noticed something strange. There has been a dividing line between properties on the beach. The people who rent the properties go to great effort to show the borders of what they own. The picture illustrates a yellow caution tape that is the dividing line.

Right before this picture was taken, a family setup their chairs right across this line. Immediately the beach patrol told them they could not sit in their own chairs but had to rent from him. They folded their chairs up and then sat on the beach. I am glad I am on this side of the line. Obviously the property we are staying at allows you to bring your own equipment. It could explain why it is so crowded on this side of the line.

Why is it that some people feel that it is necessary to force others to act in ways that are outside of who they are? Never once did this family argue, threaten, or yell.
This is the same thing that is happening to the Chick-Fil-A. Just because the owner is founded in his beliefs (which I wish more were) doesn't mean that the world needs to change him. If you don't like his stand on homosexuality, then don't walk into his establishment. He vocalized his stand (allowed by the first amendment) and people need to accept the fact he is allowed to do that. However, people (homosexual rights activists, mayors, etc.) feel they need to make him change. Therefore, they do things like threaten to ban new Chick-Fil-A's from being built in their city, protest current establishments, and launch social campaigns against the food chain.
Honestly, people who do these things are performing their own form of censorship and refuse to accept he has the right to express his beliefs. Never once did the owner say that anyone would be refused service or they were not allowed in his establishment. It is time to stand up against those who want to take our freedoms away from us.
If you don't like it, you don't have to patronize the places you don't agree with. During the time it took to write this, the family who could not use their chairs left the beach. I'll bet they may not patronize their resort next year.
Mr Cathy, I support and back you, and thanks for the great chicken sandwich!
Doug Johnson

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Who is it for?

In a recent staff meeting John Griggs was in charge of the devotion for the day. In his devotion he illustrated the use of a word found in John's Gospel that is translated as "in behalf of". The Greek word is hyper.

Later that afternoon I decided to do a word study for this Greek term and was blessed by the results I found. Of course this word is found throughout the New Testament but I want to focus on its usage found in the Gospel of John. In this Gospel you will find the word used 12 times. In all but a couple of those times, the recipient of the action is you and me. For example Christ lays down His life on behalf of you and me (John 15:13). The actions of Christ is for our benefit and is the result of the great love He has for us.

One of the other usages found in the Gospel of John illustrates that certain events and actions should result in God's glory (John 11:4). Have we ever thought that being the recipient of God's mercy and grace should not be a one way street? Our lives should result in giving God the glory because our hope is found in the action of Jesus Christ.

Is the spotlight of your life turned in the right direction?

Doug Johnson

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's Your Motive?

I was picking up my daughter the other day from basketball camp when I noticed something interesting. The door to the gym entance was covered in padding. See the picture.

My first thought when I saw the door was "wow they don't want anyone to get hurt". That may be true, but for what reason? Was that the absolute motive behind their actions? Or, is there another reason such as avoiding a lawsuit.

Sometimes we do things for our good rather than the good of others. The result may look the same, but the motive can be entirely different. The motive behind the action illustrates the true character of the individual.

So, the next time you are motivated to do something think of the following:

People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. (Proverbs 16:2)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Out of Gas! again...

Yesterday was crazy! My agenda was full and I still needed to get my daughter to where she wanted to go and then take my wife's car to the dealership for service during my lunch hour. My wife asked me the day before if I would fill it up with fuel while I had it out. I agreed, and she reminded me that the fuel light was on. This morning when I left the house I figured that I could make it to the places I needed to go and get fuel sometime this afternoon after having it serviced.

I dropped my daughter off at her event and as I was leaving a friend flagged me down in the parking lot. I pulled next to his SUV and spent about 15 minutes talking with him while leaving the car running. As I was getting ready to pull out my car died. I quickly thought that it may be out of gas. I briefly tried to turn it over and realized my assumption was right.

The only saving grace was the fact that I was parked next to my friend on a slight decline.  I thought if I leveled the car up a bit I may be able to start it and get it to a gas station. I put the car in neutral and coasted down the small hill and then turned the wheel to change the direction of the car. Parking it on an incline allowed enough fuel to reach the pick-up in the tank to start the vehicle. I quickly waved at my friend and then headed to the gas station praying that I would make it. I did!

I have not ran out of gas since I was a teenager! This was a quick reminder to look at my day and see if I was actually running my life on empty. Has my warning light been on and I have been ignoring it? 

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30 ESV)

Sometimes we ignore the warning light and fail to rest and refill in the Master's arms. Some have never experienced the rest our souls desire from the beginning. Where are you finding your energy? Where are you finding your rest?

Doug Johnson

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Uncontrollable Reaction

Have you ever had one of those days where something went wrong and you did not know what to do? Many know that I, with help from some really great friends, remodeled my basement this winter. I expected the project to take about eight weeks, however, to this day I am still not finished (nine months later). The majority of it was completed after about seven months and the room became liveable. The only thing I have left to finish is the stairway.

This weekend, with all of the hot weather and the air-conditioning running more frequently, my basement drain couldn't handle the additional condensation from the air-conditioner and dehumidifiers. The result was water flooding the wood floor. If you don't know, water into a wood floor is a disaster. When I realized I had a problem, it was too late. All of the excitement over a virtually completed project immediately left me. Those feelings were replaced by discouragement. I didn't see this coming.

As we step into our days, we face new surprises and new difficulties. How we handle those says a lot about our foundation and where we place our priorities. James chapter 1 tells us that we need to seek wisdom from God. The trials we face demand wisdom. Life is full of trials, therefore, we need wisdom to correctly respond to those trials. We need to know how to respond that we do not give a false notion to others about what Christianity is. We need to know how to respond in such a way so we do not dishonor God. We need to respond in such a way as we do not discourage others. 

I was quickly reminded that this problem could be fixed and it did not matter against the truly important things in life. What are your trials today? How are they impacting you and others? Are you seeking wisdom from the Father on how to handle these issues?

Doug Johnson

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Discovering Prayer's Power

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to share with our church the message, Discovering Prayer's Power. Below is a video of that message.

Doug Johnson

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Theater

I love going to the movies, but I don't get to go too often. Every now and then there is a blockbuster hit that I have got to spend the money and see. But for the most part, I wait until a movie comes out on DVD and then rent or purchase it. Sometimes I even wait until it hits Netflix before I watch it.

Years ago the theater was a little different. It was not indoors and it did not have plush seats, air conditioning, and 7.1 surround sound. People had to sit on rock seats in the outdoors and listen to the live show or presentation from the ground level.

One of our first stops in Israel was Caesaria by the Sea where I had posted Herod the Great's palace ruins and swimming pool. In this same area is the theater that was also built by Herod the Great and its construction was probably 20-10 BC. This theater was well kept by the Romans and is still in use today after its excavation in the 1960's. Of course some remodeling had to take place.

Imagine the different people who have stood before an audience or found themselves within the audience of this old theater. We know that Pontius Pilot was there because an inscription was found near the theater where he dedicated a temple to Emperor Tiberias.

Caesaria was the site where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. As a matter of fact it was in this theater where the Apostle Paul stood and gave his defense. Caesaria was also the home of the deacon Phillip. It was also the place where the first Gentile was received into Christianity. It was in Caesaria where the Gentiles were grafted in. Praise be to the Lord.

Think about it,
Doug Johnson

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A House on the Beach

I have always wanted a house on the beach. If I was picking the beach I would choose Destin with the emerald water and blinding white sand. Not too long ago I looked at the prices of a lot on the beach and was amazed to discover it was over 1 million dollars. Note that I have not looked again since the economy crashed but I am thinking it is still way out of my reach.

People throughout time have desired the same thing. Herod the Great was responsible for much of what is known as Caesarea. On my recent trip to Israel I had an opportunity to view what was left of his palace that was built on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Notice, part of the ruins still exist. The large square section in the center was the pool which, I am told, was a fresh water pool. It is here that Herod Agrippa would have stayed.

Herod was an incredible builder. Some of the structures he built are still standing today. This one, however, has fallen to greater forces than he. After seeing the ruins, maybe a home on the beach is not such a good idea. 

Doug Johnson 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Public Profiled

It is not everyday one gets profiled. A couple of weeks ago I had an incredible opportunity to spend some time in Israel. On the journey there, I had to go through Israeli security in Newark, New Jersey. This proved to be a trying task. Obviously my dark skin and black hair draws some attention and created a long list of questions by the agent.

The questioning started with the normal questions one would hear when boarding an airplane. Did you pack your own bags? Have your bags been with you the whole time? Did anyone offer you any gifts as part of your journey to the airport? Did anyone give you anything to take with your in your luggage? Of course since 911 most anyone would be crazy to take anything not theirs aboard an aircraft. The questions, however, began to change at that point. The next question was "what is your lineage?" My reply was "excuse me"? I was not expecting this question. She asked me the same question again and I answered my nationality is American. Again she asked me to define my lineage. I told her I did not understand what information she was trying to obtain and then she asked "are you Muslim?" My answer was "no" to which she replied "are you sure?" I told her that I was very sure and then she asked me if I knew any Muslims. I told her I did not know any.

The questioning continued to deteriorate and shortly thereafter I found myself in a small 10 x 10 room somewhere in the airport. In this room I was asked for all of my valuables to be placed in a box. After that, a new series of questions and security checks incurred. The whole process took about an hour and fifteen minutes and ended with an escort onto the plane.

Did I care that I was profiled? No. Actually, it makes me feel that El Al security is one of the tightest in the business. Maybe America can learn a few things from Israel about how to take care of the people you call yours.

Blessings and Shalom,
Doug Johnson

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Message, Not The Medium

At the NRB Confention this weekend I heard that it cost 20 dollars to create the Doritos commercial with the dog in it for the Super Bowl. This commercial turned out to be one of the favorites this year. I don't know the validity of the comment, but in any case it was supposed to be very cheap to produce. This is an incredible piece of information. It is not the medium that is king but rather the message (or content). It was Bill Gates that coined the phrase "content is king". Well, second to Jesus Christ, I agree. 

Too often we are more concerned about the quality of the video rather than the message itself. Don't get me wrong, people love to see a great looking product, but I would rather see a fair looking video with an excellent message than vice-versa. If we need to be focused on anything I think we need to focus on developing the product in the following order:

1. The content - This is the most important. A video with no content is .... Useless.

2. The audio - Audio should be the second most important part of the project. Most people will put up with poor video if it contains good audio.

3. The video - Of course we have heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, however, if there is no message the video can confuse the audience. If the audio is bad, then no matter how good the video, the viewer will probably not watch the whole thing.

So the next time you put together a video, start with the message and develop it well. Remember, content is king..


Saturday, February 18, 2012

NRB Convention 2012

Pretty excited about the NRB convention this year. There are plenty of educational sessions as well as cool toys to play with here in Nashville. Today's agenda will include Guerilla Video Production, The Online Church, Filming Lives to make a Real Impact, and all types of broadcast technology training. This is not to mention the various booths that are setup connecting churches with technology, ministries, and missions. You can check out all of the schedule at NRB.

Church Media is a VITAL element that all churches should consider developing. We need to be thinking outside of the box connecting to a digital generation in the area they spend most of their time.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Carson Newman Communications

I spent some time this afternoon talking with Dr. Borchert's class at Carson Newman College on the topic of blogging. The assignment at the end of class was for each student to create their own blog and begin posting to it. Before the class was over many students had already setup their blogs and was working on their first post. There were also a few entrepreneurs who were already linking their blogs to Google Adsense to start working towards making a few dollars with their work.

It is exciting to see the enthusiasm of the students. I cannot wait to see some of their work and I hope to be able to share that with you as well.

We have an exciting generation in our schools today!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Media Bias

I am starting to lose patience with the media. Spending more than 10 years as a part of the media I have seen various changes that are detrimental to the industry. One of the worst changes that has taken place is the fact that it is no longer a neutral reporting industry. Today's media is biased and promotes their own agenda. Last night while watching Nightline, the reporter noted that Charles Darwin's journey to the Galápagos Islands led to his discovery of new species. Any student of Darwin should note the incorrect assumption of that statement. Darwin did not find new species but rather noted changes in the characteristics of certain species due to their environment. Darwin wrote in his journal that this discovery "seemed" to shine a light on the origins of species. My question immediately becomes "why does a journalist error with readily available information?" It is probably because they have an agenda. In this case it is to remove any idea of creation or a creator and therefore remove any of man's responsibility toward Him.

After the recent shooting of Senator Gabrielle Gifford near Tucson Arizona the media launched a flurry of articles connecting the shooting to the accessibility of guns in America. One news company even connected the Tea Party to the shooting. How could such irresponsible reporting be tolerated? It is obvious that there is an agenda to disarm this country and the media is throwing the pitches in the ballgame. Some who may be reading this article may not agree with my last statement which is okay with me. However, before replying about gun control, spend some time researching the subject rather than taking the media's word for it. A great place to start is the book by John R. Lott Jr. entitled More Guns Less Crime. This book takes a non-biased look at guns, ownership, and crime rates. It is a highly researched book that is packed with statistics presenting the relationship between gun ownership and crimes. Too bad the news media will not take an objective look at the subject but rather assume that an attempted murder is always the result of people owning guns. Ask yourself the following question, if the government disarms the people, will the criminals give up their guns as well?

We are fast approaching the 2012 elections which I believe is one of the greatest elections in our history. There is a lot at stake with this election. Depending on what news channel you choose to watch, you will get a different viewpoint about the issues in the upcoming elections. The bias is greater than it has ever been in our history. If we allow the media to dictate our actions by falsely representing the truth, then we are in error as well. It is time to become an informed people by going beyond someone else's word for the matter.

I look back on my commercial FCC license and note the supporting documentation which states that my actions are to be neutral in broadcasting, not giving favor to a particular group or issue. When did all of that change?

Doug Johnson

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mayan Calendar and 2012

Almost everyday I hear someone bring up the relationship between this year, the Maya Calendar, and the end of the world. It is usually quoted in a joking tone and everyone responds in laughter. However, if you have heard someone make reference to to the end of time I am sure there are thoughts and questions that plague your mind. Questions like "what if this year is the last year?" can create an uneasy feeling that can increase your blood pressure and lead to sleepless nights.

Understand first that the Mayans had plenty of calendars which were based on solar, lunar, and planetary cycles. Some of these calendars were short cycle calendars while a few others were very similar to the 365 day cycle that the modern Gregorian calendar uses.

In any case, one of the Mayan calendars is based on a long count cycle that spanned generations of people. It was considered a great event to live through the turning of a long count cycle. It is also believed that nothing was placed on this calendar beyond its current cycle which ends this year (2012). This observation has led numerous people to predict this year will be the end of time marked my great catastrophic events. The number of books that has hit the market predicting the end of time because of the Mayan calendar is amazing. Why are people making such a big deal about the end of the cycle of this particular calendar? University of Florida anthropologist Susan Gillespie says the 2012 phenomenon comes "from media and from other people making use of the Maya past to fulfill agendas that are really their own."

So, do we have anything to worry about this year? I don't know what tomorrow holds so I cannot answer that question for you. I do not believe the Mayan calendar predicts the destruction of the world so I am not worried about the end of its cycle. Our days can come to an end at any time therefore I would encourage you to ask the important questions now. What happens if I should die tomorrow? Only faith in Christ can offer you the ability to answer that question without worry or fear.

Doug Johnson