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Published on August 6, 2013, by Rich Johnson

“How long, O Lord, must I call for help?  But you do not listen!” 

Habakkuk 1:2a NLT

 

I’m not sure there was ever a human being who didn’t utter this question of God at least once in their lifetime.   It’s a question we ask of God when we get impatient or weary in waiting for His  answer when we pray.  It’s also a question that quickly identifies our human weakness and finiteness when coming to God.  We are simply powerless and unknowing in our approach to know more from our God who is all-knowing and all-powerful.  We are totally dependent on Him for everything, whether we want to admit it or not.  Robin and I do know, all too well these past couple of days just how powerless we are when coming into the presence of our God.  We cannot change even a moment of what our present or future.  In fact, we’ve been praying, like so many of you for healing and relief from our pain and suffering.  We’ve cried out, “How long, O Lord must we call for help?  Are you listening, Lord?”  I love this discourse between Habakkuk and the Lord, because it shows a genuine desire of a man who wants to see answers to questions beyond his understanding.  And the Lord gives answers, although He is not obligated to.  I will admit… we don’t understand what God is doing in our journey entirely.  We’ve seen people touched by our testimony, people come to a deeper relationship with the Lord as a result of seeing how we handle our own trials, and for that we are eternally grateful, but we are wondering, “How long, O Lord, must we call for help?”  Last evening I was awakened at 3 am to the sounds of my painful Robin expressing the pain and crying out for help from God to alleviate her pain.  After a call to the hospice nurse, more pain meds, and a call to a great prayer partner and friend in another state, Robin was able to whimper her way back to sleep.    One thing all this suffering and pain has done for both of us is, we have grown closer to our Lord in an intimate way like never before.  He has become the One we run to immediately to worship before we sleep, and go to when we have a concern or burden too big to carry.  We don’t carry very much these days!  

We are believing God for healing.  Total and complete healing, but I must tell you… the agony is in the waiting.  Robin is becoming more and more dependent on the pain meds to help ease her pain, and I too have had my share the past week or so, as my abdomen, right side and stomach all feel as if I have been worked over in a boxing match on a daily basis.  We are not complaining.  It’s just the way it is for us now, and we wait.  We wait for our Lord to touch us and relieve us, as we know He is capable of doing.  We will not blame God for any of this…ever.  We know we live in a fallen world, and we are dealing with the results of that fall.  But we also know miracles take place in spite of that fall.  We’re holding out for that miracle.  Please continue to pray specifically for our pain to subside as we face each new day. We are ever so grateful to all of you who are praying for us.  

 

We are also grateful to so many friends and family members (children) who have come alongside us to help with housekeeping chores, food, etc.  Robin and I have both been down at times this past week, and neither one of us had any energy to help each other, but one call was all I had to make, and friends were on the scene!  What an example of the Body of Christ in action!  We are so very thankful, and we lie in bed at night recounting these things, and tearfully thank God for each one!  We are blessed, and would never take advantage of His goodness.  These examples of love in action show us how much He cares and loves us through His Body…The Church.  

 

If you haven’t ordered your copy of our book, “Through the Valley” we’d love to get a copy to you!  We believe and have been told by those who have read it, that they have been encouraged and strengthened in their walk with the Lord.  I know it will encourage anyone going through a relevant “valley” experience in their lives.  Perhaps you’d want to buy several copies as gifts to give people you know who are going through difficult times.  I promise you, it will be uplifting and encouraging.  We do have a 5-pack discounted price on our book and you can order them securely at our book tab above on this blog.  Thank you so much for helping us spread the message of hope through our book!  

 

Maybe your at a juncture in your life today that causes you to ask, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help?”  I would encourage you to grow closer to Him, listen to His heartbeat, and know the  answer IS on the way!  He will answer.  It’s not always in our time or the way in which we want to see it answered, but He will answer!  Hold steady, and wait for Him.  

 

Waiting and Believing,

Rich and Robin

 
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Published on July 31, 2013, by Rich Johnson

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

2 Cor. 12:9a  NIV

 

We’re still here!  No, I have not quit blogging!  It’s just been a couple of difficult weeks physically for us, and I’m now just coming back to a point where I even feel like going beyond Facebook to write anything that would require more than a few lines.  

It has been some of the most difficult times for us since this journey began back in 2007.   Robin has been in what seems to be constant abdominal pain nearly on a daily basis, and her strength is all but gone in just walking from room to room at times.   She’s losing weight, and she really can’t afford to lose any.  I have become the stronger of the two to be able to care for her on a daily basis, although there are times when that becomes a challenge for me.  It is my honor to serve my Robin and help her conserve her energy and see to it she gets her medicines to help alleviate her pain.  My heart aches for her, as I see her struggle with the pain.  It is without a doubt the most helpless feeling I have ever felt in my life.  The only thing I can do is pray for her, administer her meds, life sustaining food and be here for her to help in any way I can.  We are both believing God for a healing, but there are moments when the reality of the situation comes in like a flood, and causes our faith to wane just a bit.  Unless you’ve ever been in a situation like this, it’s difficult for anyone to understand the depth what I am saying.  

Two weeks ago, I could not keep solid foods down, as the tumors in my duodenum were impinging into the duodenum and closing off the opening, thus not allowing food to pass through to my digestive tract.  My gastroenterologist had to put two duodenal stents in to open this area, but when he had finished, he emerged from the procedure room to inform Robin, that it was so tight in there, that even the stents were not open very much, and I would remain on an all liquid diet for the remainder of my life.  Strained soups, broths, protein drinks, jello and the like have been my fare now for the past two weeks, and it’s not easy to eat like this!  In fact, I feel like I’m starving!  I’m just now beginning to experiment with different foods in a blender that I may be able to keep down and get some nutrition from.  I’ve had  some great friends coming alongside to make different soups and foods that I may be able to tolerate, and I’m grateful for them.  Last week was a very difficult week for me, as I had a very high fever on Weds., and it came for no apparent reason.  As I prayed through it that day, the Lord helped me  and the fever left never to return!  I was blessed to see the Lord’s hand in this!  

 

Our son Rich and I went to Pratt, KS last week to preach and re-kindle some relationships we had with that great congregation.  I was not certain I would be able to go earlier in the week, as the physical difficulties seemed to be pressing in on us, but the Lord gave me a deep resolve to trust Him, and would give me what I needed to go.  His grace was sufficient, and His power was made perfect in my weakness!  I was blessed with an absolute supernatural strength, as I went to Pratt by faith.  He gave me an incredible strength to travel and preach.  I knew when I came away from Pratt on Sunday afternoon, that God alone had touched me in a powerful way.  I am convinced now, that sometimes we just have to pray, believe by faith He will help us, and go.  I have no strength in myself, but have to fully depend on His strength to sustain me and uphold us.  I have never been more dependent on Him than I am right now in my life.  It’s a great place to be!  This is where He wants all of us to be!  We’ve not only had to trust him for our physical needs, but every need we have.  His grace has been and continues to be sufficient for us.  His grace is enough!  

 

I’d like to commend our family (children) and families for helping us in our hour of need.  They have helped with laundry, meals, cleaning, etc. and for this we are most grateful.  We have also had some dear friends and Life Group family help us with some of these tasks, and we are forever grateful to them.  God has been our help, strength and provision, and He never fails.  Many thanks to all of you who are holding up our arms in this battle in prayer support.  We know you are praying, and cannot express how much that means to us.  We are blessed!

 

Our book, “Through the Valley” has done well, but we’d like to see it do better.  We have a God story to tell, and it’s ongoing!  Our journey is not unheard of, but it is a journey that is unique to Robin and me, and the story is still being written!  We feel our book will encourage anyone who may be going through any valley, and our hearts yearn to be a blessing to others through our story.  If you have not read it, you can order your copy(ies) through this blog securely on the book tab above, and we will promptly get it out to you.  Thank you for your support!

 

May His grace fill your life today, for you’ll find the more you place your trust in Him, it will be enough to sustain you.  As we grow in Him, we find His power is made perfect in our weakness!

 

Blessings!

Rich and Robin

 
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Published on July 13, 2013, by Rich Johnson

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered  me from all my fears.”  

Psalm 34:4  NIV

 

I am in the fight of my life tonight.  It’s been for sometime actually,  as many of you know of our journey over the past five-plus years.  But I am at a place of utter desperation.  I am pleading for my life.  Literally.  You are reading the pleas of a dying man from man’s perspective.   I know, from man’s perspective, I do not have much time left here in this life.  I cannot keep solid food down, down as I am partially obstructed, and I can only eat liquids and protein shakes, etc.  The pain in my body is becoming much worse and the vomiting didn’t help matters.  I am not writing for sympathy tonight.  I simply pouring out my heart in a fashion and laying the groundwork for what I’m about to say…

I lay down for a nap today as has become the norm for us now (Robin included), and as I did, my heart became very heavy for a desperate touch from the Lord.  I began to plead with God for more time and availability to proclaim His Word.  I have been living in the sovereignty of God (which I don’t fully grasp), and proclaiming the will of God as if it’s a “whatever will be, will be” attitude when dealing with the issue of sovereignty and willing to accept that for Robin and me.  I have desperately called out for healing in many other people’s lives and was privileged to do so, but have I swung so far to the sovereign side, that I’ve missed out on the healing side?  I don’t feel like I’ve sought the Lord to a great degree for myself and the healing that flows from the Cross and His stripes.  I’ve become unbalanced in my approach to healing for fear of becoming too far the “other” way.  Am I making sense here?  Is healing just for a certain few?  I know miracles are an intrusion into the natural order of things, but I also know this God who can heal and does heal!  That healing is available for Robin and I.   Can we turn the tide in prayer?  Moses did as he stood in the gap for a people, and they were spared the hand of an angry God.   Hezekiah got an additional fifteen years added to his life.  Lazarus raised from the dead.  A woman with an issue of blood for twelve years…healed by one, desperate touch.  Friends, God has not given up on us.  I’m not giving up on Him and what He can do.  Robin and I have many, good years left in us to proclaim the message of hope and the Cross to a lost and dying world.  We feel like we have much to contribute, and I’m not just going to lie down and die without a desperate plea for our healing.  I’ve known of great men who were called home at early ages.  It didn’t make sense then, and still doesn’t now, but if I go home in the next month or two, it won’t be because I didn’t seek His face for healing and proclaim it with my mouth.  The above passage is from David who sought the Lord in desperation, and the word “sought” literally means, “ to resort to, seek, seek with care, enquire, require.”  It also means to tread or basically make a path to the Lord.  Seek!  Keep coming until you receive your answer!  I’m going to be seeking, asking and inquiring of the Lord as never before.  I’m already on a forced fast, so I might as well take advantage of it!  

Here’s where you can help.  Will you join us in seeking Him for our healing?  Not just His will but healing?  Robin and I have already resolved in our hearts to proclaim the message of healing and hope from sea to shining sea in an RV if He touches us miraculously.  I’ll be preaching revivals and healing services as far I can travel!  There is much to be done for the Kingdom, and we want to be a part of it. Now, having said this…if after we’ve sought the Lord and pleaded with Him for healing, we still go home…I’ll be willing to accept that.  At least I sought desperately for His hand of healing.  Will you join us?  Will you stand in the gap with us?  Many of you are praying and have prayed, (for which we are most grateful) but have you ever prayed like your life depended on it?  Ours does.  We are literally at a place where this is life or death here now.  We must seek His face… cry out like never before and make our home a place of desperate, treading to and from the throne room of grace.  

Thank you for hearing my heart in this post.  I don’t want to be guilty of “having not, because I asked not.”  I’m pulling out every spiritual weapon in my arsenal and “going for it.”  Will you join us?  

You can let us know but responding here or Facebook.  I know of a two men (one in our home recently) who recently came off of their  deathbeds twenty-four hours before they were supposed to die by seeking God and they are completely healed for , they sought the Lord, and he answered them.  Let’s seek, ask, knock crawl to the feet of Jesus if we have to for just one touch!  

 

Robin and I would be pleased to sign any book(s) “Through the Valley” you order from our blog.  Just to let you know, a portion of the proceeds we get from our book are going back into world missions projects to continue planting good seed in places we could never go.

La Junta friends, Jenny from The Lighthouse called me today, and she will be getting our books in about a week or so with signing plates with our signatures.  We would appreciate it if you would let others know there, and support Jenny.  She is a blessing!  

 

May You Bask In Every Good Gift From Above!

Rich and Robin