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So two years ago today was my last blog post…I vowed to keep it updated….but I didn’t. Not sure if I will do a better job in 2012, but I had the urge to try my hand at it – again. We’ll see.

So much has happened in the past two years that I could fill the pages of a book, and maybe I will…someday. I have some goals for 2012. More on those tomorrow…maybe.




Getting back into the swing of this blogging thing is going to be tough…part of my goals for next year (we’ll see).

So in good ole’ fashioned tradition – I will share some of my THURSDAY THOUGHTS…

  • Excited for the possibilities in the new year. Excited for the changes too….More on that later (I promise).
  • Owen likes to sit on our porch when one of us leave. He will wave and then start to yell “bye daddy! bye daddy!”… today I kept the window down longer than usual and when I got to the end of the block I could still hear him screaming “BYE DADDY!”…That is pretty cool.
  • Planning on reading the Bible through in a year – but mixing it up some…reading it in chronological order…Looks like Cody Knutson is too..I guess we can keep each other accountable.
  • Ran across this today. It’s pretty cool/clever.
  • I got Wisps in my stocking this year…from my wife and my mother…are they trying to tell me something?
  • I got Chicken in a Bisket crackers too…I like those.
  • It’s weird when a person walks up to your porch and then leaves…maybe he realized he got the wrong house…I hope.
  • You know something else that is weird? THIS – no that is NOT his hair, it is a tattoo.
  • My wife is blogging…visit her page often and tell her to write more stuff…she is good at it.
  • This band is good.

Wishing you a happy new year! You guys rock!


So – here we are…almost to the end of 2009. It is most definitely a year that both Rachel and I will never EVER forget. We definitely have a lot to celebrate together and we are both very excited to start a new year. We have new goals, expectations, hopes, and dreams. We have learned a lot both about faith and about life in general.

Our kid talks, he carries on conversations, and he has developed a very unique personality – a very good mix of both Rachel and I. He does his business on the toilet like a normal person, knows his letters, numbers, and is starting to spell and read.

There are some changes starting in January that I am excited about. There are some challenges too.

Thank you for being our friends. For your kind words through all that we went through this year. For your prayers. For your jokes. For your food  (which you can still bring over if you want).

So from all of us at the Johnson house – we are praying that this new year will be one of favor and prosperity for all of you!


So for those of you at GracePoint this morning, I told you I would post the 40+ New Testament verses that talk about this idea of “one another”. If you didn’t get the chance to join us this morning or are one of my friends from outside of the “GP NATION”, I will post the link to the video when it is available…

Also, if you are looking for the Fall 2009 Small Group Directory, you can find it on the website under CONNECT.

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
John 13:14

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another
John 13:34,1 Peter 1:22, 1 John 3:11 (etc)

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves
Romans 12:10

Live in harmony with one another
Romans 12:16

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law
Romans 13:8

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way
Romans 14:13

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God
Romans 15:7

I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another
Romans 15:14

Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Peter 5:14

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought
1 Corinthians 1:10, Phillipians 4:2

serve one another in love
Galatians 5:13

bearing with one another in love
Ephesians 4:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you
Ephesians 4:32

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
Ephesians 5:19

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ
Ephesians 5:21

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you
Colossians 3:13

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another
Colossians 3:16
with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing
1 Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:25

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness
Hebrews 3:13

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
Hebrews 10:24

Brothers, do not slander one another
James 4:11

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble
1 Peter 3:8

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling
1 Peter 4:9

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
1 Peter 5:5

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin
1 John 1:7

Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other
Mark 9:50

so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other
1 Corinthians 12:25

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other
Galatians 5:26

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
Galatians 6:2

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you
1 Thessalonians 3:12

Therefore encourage each other with these words
1 Thessalonians 4:18

Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other
1 Thessalonians 5:13

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else
1 Thessalonians 5:15

Keep on loving each other as brothers
Hebrews 13:1

Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door
James 5:9

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective
James 5:16

(HT: Jason Bedell Online)

30 years ago today.

Today is my 30th birthday. I never really thought of being thirty before until today. It doesn’t bother me at all, I still look like I am like 21-25, if I looked like I was 30, maybe I would be more upset. I received a text from my mom today –

“Happy Birthday. You were born at 10:59pm on a Saturday and you were 6 weeks early. I did not have any clothes for you yet so you were garage sale clothes for the first month of your life and Kmart and Montgomery Wards clothes after.”

My mom is pretty cool. While she will always be my mom, she has become more like a best friend. Rachel and I hang out with my parents a lot. I never thought I would do that, but then again – I don’t know if I ever thought I would turn 30 so quick!

Thanks mom and dad for having me! I have enjoyed the first 30 years of my life!

Rachel 1, Cancer 0

The plaque removal surgery was this morning, it went great (and fast). Rachel and general anesthesia really don’t mix well, so it was a longer morning of her trying to recover from the anesthesia. She says her eye feels better, but there are still stiches in there which I am sure she will feel after the drugs wear off some. The doctor said the surgery went good, but he would like to do some laser work on her eye (more as precautionary) on our follow-up appointment in November. He wasn’t able to tell much from the biopsy this soon, but will be able to give us more information (the info we need) in about a month. We are meeting with the “eye team” tomorrow morning to go over questions, concerns, and follow-up info.

We will be in and out of appointments over the next year or so, but it should be calm compared to the last two months. Within the next month she will go back to the eye doctor in Wichita to find out progress and to possibly receive some “comfort” medication (possibly including something for her eyelashes to grow back quicker).

The overall recovery process is kind of unclear right now – everyone is different. Because Rachel’s right eye had already been compensating for the loss of vision in her left (unknowingly), we’re hoping she will be able to function somewhat normally and similar to what she is used to.

We are grateful for our friends and family during this time, this is the outcome we were expecting and we are excited to push forward with Rachel’s healing. I will keep you updated periodically on this process. Our hope is that the small number of other people that have been affected with this form of cancer can read our posts, hear what we went through, and know that, although it sucks, there is someone else that has gone through it.

Thanks everyone! We are excited to go home tomorrow. To see our son. To sleep in our own bed. To be able to leave the room and walk around. To enjoy life. And…like this series of posts started out with – be still.

Terry and Rachel

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Hospital Thoughts [from Rachel]

Rachel's big smile (and little eye)

Rachel's big smile (and little eye)

Rachel posted some thoughts on her Facebook page tonight, so I thought it would be better to have her share tonight than me. We go into surgery to remove the eye plaque at 7:30 in the morning…We are very hopeful that the plaque has destroyed the tumor and we will anxiously await for the test results on the biopsy that was taken when the plaque was inserted. The biopsy itself was an interesting procedure that we haven’t talked much about. The doctor essentially cut a flap on her eye and was able to remove a small piece of the tumor via needle. The flap was then closed and the plaque was placed on the eye. This could not take place before the surgery as it would allow the possibility for the tumor to spread rapidly. It is better to do it at the time of the initial surgery because immediately after the biopsy, the tumor and exposed area from the biopsy would receive a pretty high dose of radiation. So, in the words of the radiologist, “if the little booger wanted to spread, it was going to have a pretty tough fight to do so.” Anyways, we should receive some very preliminary results tomorrow or Wednesday, but will have to wait for about a month to recieve the information that we really are looking for.

St. Louis trip- August 2009- worst vacation ever.
(Although- Terry is probably the best person to be with to keep me entertained.)

I miss Owen- a lot. His birthday is Friday. He will be 3- and can have anything he wants.

To describe my eye- it is very pokey. Like having a bunch of thorns or splinters in it. Not comfortable at all. And it is like the worst vision ever when they take the patches off.
I have a lead shield on top of the eye patch- it is very bulky and keeps blocking my breathing.

I am not nervous about surgery #2 to remove the plaque (tomorrow 8/18 @ 7:30am)- I want it out now! But pray it all goes well- we are praying for a good report on the biopsy and are not sure if we will know much tomorrow or not. And a fast recovery would be nice.

I have watched a lot of Food Network & HGTV this week- currently watching A&E- I might take a long break from TV very soon.
A room down the hall has two big flat screen TVs- ours has two 9″ and the one by my bed is so blurry. I think the medical staff is messing with me since I already look like a pirate.

I think the hospital staff comes in just to look at me. The radioactive signs on the door are intriguing. I would want to look.

I am a big supporter of good nurses- we have had a few really awesome nurses.
I am not a fan of bad nurses- how did you forget my pain medication? I told you I was in pain. (I guess if I stand in my doorway nude- they might pay better attention).

If you didn’t already get the memo- the specialist we have here sends his assistant- a much younger doctor- to check in every day. He talks to us as if we should already know all of the information regarding this treatment and then tries to dumb it down for us. He has bad bed side manners. A warning before you rip tape off someone’s face is always appreciated. If I could- I would to sew bobbed wire into his eye socket and then put duct tape on his face and rip it off without warning for my exam. I would also trim all of his eye lashes off and then reassure him they will grow back just fine. That is just me. And I don’t think it will happen.

We are at the end of the hall- and are basically low maintenance. Just vital and pain meds every few hours- so it kind of bothers me to think that if there was an emergency that they might actually ignore me.

Terry is very interested in the bed pan shower thingy discovered today in our bathroom. I think I might find him trying to use to wash his clothes or something.

I have been Christmas shopping for my family this week. Well actually- Christmas looking. I mean- how awesome would it be to be done with Christmas shopping before the end of August. It would also be nice to get everything shipped to my house and not have to actually go shopping. The only problem- I never know what to get anyone. Suggestions welcomed.

I have the best In-Laws ever. They offered to take Owen the day we got the date and have made this trip easier. I even got a bag of goodies to keep me busy.

I also have the best life group (huge goody basket), friends (best bag of magazines, loaned DVDs, and goodies like socks & hand sanitizer), and caring Dinner Swap group (gift cards and meals this month and I didn’t have to make any). And a few churches around the world who are offering help, encouragement, and prayers- specifically GP, AUMC, & CRFBC. A big shout out to all of the people who have surrounded us with love and prayers- including our family & friends from around the globe who have sent their encouragement.

Oh- and to Mike & Tim- Revelation Remodeling- they built a deck on the back of our house. Seriously- a deck- just like the one we wanted for our landscaping plan- just to say they love us. Thanks to them and their awesome families. We will have you over sometime when everything settles down. How do you really say thank you for that?

(Wow- this turned into an Academy Award speech- we just have so many people who have lifted us up!) So to all of our fans…THANK YOU!!!!

I will be very ready for my own bed and to see friends and family. It is weird being away from everyone. When Owen was born we had an unhealthy stream of visitors. I would like that now…it is lonely after a few days.

Please keep praying. We will be back in STL every 3 months for follow up appointments. At this point we are praying that this treatment is successful and that the tumor is destroyed. We are also praying that the melanoma is not an aggressive form and that with continued screening we will not have to deal with it spreading at any point. And for my vision- to be restored.

We do believe God is with us. And although it is hard to not have questions and doubts- we believe God will lead us through this. There is a reason right? I mean I would not have even gone to the eye doctor and known about this- but I did and now we are praying for God to move.

My thoughts turned mushy- not as funny as Terry. Just know- Terry gets some of his from me!

MUCH LOVE -*Rachel

Terry is excited to be home soon.

Terry is excited to be home soon.

Owen's excited for his parents to be home...and to turn 3 on Friday!!!

Owen's excited for his parents to be home...and to turn 3 on Friday!!!

First 3 days in pictures…

[just fyi – you can click on the picture for a brief description]

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Be Still…

Sometimes the hardest thing for me to admit to is the fact that I don’t understand something. When I don’t understand I feel like I have done something wrong, or didn’t pay attention to the instructions and need them repeated again. When I don’t understand something I will research until I can figure it out – if I even can. When I don’t understand something I get frustrated.

My wife has a tumor on her eye and I don’t understand it.

So in my effort to understand it I have tried to place blame and fault in many places. I have tried to examine my own life and see what I did wrong, or where I didn’t pay attention to the instructions in life. Is this a result of sin? Is this a result of choices that we made as a couple? Is this God “teaching us a lesson”? I don’t understand.

We have many good friends that are praying for us. I work at a church so I have many people there praying for us. In fact, we have many churches praying for us. Some of these friends offer simple condolences. Some of our friends offer advice and tell us what we should be doing. Some of our friends even tell of personal battles with sickness and disease they went through – which makes me not understand.

In these incidences, I think through the many times in my life that I have had to deal with something major or when I went through a season in my life and didn’t understand what God was doing. And the way I dealt with this was to isolate myself for a short time, to quiet my spirit (a song I learned in kids church – quiet me lord!), and to NOT pray, but to just be still…

to stare.

to see if the wind was blowing every single blade of grass or just a few.

to time how fast a cloud was moving across the sky.

to observe an ant at work.

to listen.

to just get away and to “be still, and know that HE is God.” – I love that passage – Psalm 46. It tells us that we should fear. It reminds us that crap is going to happen in this life. It gives us a command, with really no return on our behalf except that we will know that God is God. No amazing outpouring of blessing in return. No moments where God will speak. No instant healing.

I learned something about that word – “still” – the other day. The Hebrew term for that word is “raphah”. It means to sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened. God is commanding us here to just drop our hands, to relax, to “chill out”, turn our struggle over to God. God is calling us to realize that He is infinite, and we are not.

I am beginning to understand that God is not calling me or Rachel to figure out how to fix things. He is not calling us to figure out what we need to do to change our circumstances. He is not calling us to say a special prayer – but He IS calling us to quiet ourselves. Relax.

Be still.


Watch the grass.

Watch the raindrops fall.

Listen to the crickets.

And to realize that as soon as we do this – God will no longer be still – but move in our lives.


  • I start Summer classes on Monday…I am trying to get through this as fast as I can. I learned that practice as a kid.
  • A great friend of mine is leaving for Costa Rica today. He is checking out a missions organization stationed there and to make the decision whether or not to move his family there. Please pray for him. They are amazing people who have a strong calling on their life. They are hoping for a CLEAR YES or a CLEAR NO. Either way they are called to be missionaries to a spanish speaking country but with something as big as this they want to hear God’s voice. I know you all like to pray – so pray for them. You can check updates on his blog.
  • This is simply hilarious.
  • I posted on my twitter that my new favorite thing to do now is watch my son chase our dog with a stick. He likes to play outside.
  • Went to the Tulsa Zoo over Memorial day. We went to see the Polar bears. One died so they had closed the exhibit. Would have been nice to tell us that that, the aligators, and half of the other exhibits were closed. Anyone else know of any other great zoos within a day trip?
  • Can I have you pray for something else? Please pray for my wife, she is looking for a job teaching middle school social studies. She is actually pretty passionate about the subject and would be an awesome teacher.
  • If my friend Jim ever became a TV preacher – I could see him being like this.
  • Another friend is hosting a cool CD giveaway. The lead singer is in our worship band at church and totally rocks. You should enter.
  • AND thought I would leave you with this…seriously more than ever I feel like God pushing me to challenge the process in society and do something to break the cycle of poverty. Especially with kids. I know that this can take place within a church. I think the church finds itself merely helping people and not breaking the cycle of poverty. Maybe the church is not the place to do this, maybe the church is not called to do this….but for whatever reason I am feeling more called to it. It’s an itch I will have to describe later.

Have a great week. Love on your family. Love on Jesus. Get some rest.