Clarence Johnson

The Bucket List

If today were your last day on Earth, would you be satisfied with your life? Many people who have unclear answers to such a question create bucket lists. Making a bucket list has become a popular exercise to help define what constitutes a satisfactory life…

Unexpected Grace

Harry was one of those unforgettable characters. We were climbing a mountain during a thunderstorm when he said he needed to tell me something…

Distracted Living

A new year has begun, and new prospects are on the horizon. The Bible challenges us to spend our time wisely and avoid wasting opportunities: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because…

Christmas Bedlam

For many of us, Christmas is far from the “silent night” and “peace on earth” we sing about. Copious community events, school concerts, and church programs fill the season.

Do I Have To?

Do I have to? Those four little words frequently crossed my mind and sometimes my lips in response to my parents’ directives during the formative years of my life. The inevitable consequences and pressure to conform…

Hide-and-Seek

I recently heard someone sarcastically compare man’s relationship to God to a cruel game of hide-and-seek where God supposedly hides slightly out of reach and demands to be found. Man is “it”—seeking the ever-elusive God but never able to find or please Him.

Who is This Person?

What if you looked in a mirror and were unable to recognize yourself? Unfortunately, this type of thing happens. Sometimes traumatic brain injuries or diseases make it difficult for people to recognize faces, even their own. The condition is known as…

Open the Door!

Years ago, young people were always afraid of being picked last. The humiliation of standing alone while your peers pondered which team was going to be stuck with you was devastating. Even being picked second to last was…

God is Up to Something

The scattered stones and ruins of the ancient city of Philippi silently lay in the bright Grecian sun. Standing there, as I scanned the landscape around me, the organized rubble seemed to shout, “This is the place! This is the place…

Sirens of Silence

People stood shoulder-to-shoulder under the Jerusalem morning sun—still, respectful, and mindful of the solemn communication for which they had assembled. The only sound was that of…

Psalm 128: Our Source

A steady stream of families paraded across the stones and steps that marked the path to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. I sat nearby as they carried canopies, banners, and balloons…

The Long Arm of Grace

Reading the biblical account of Abraham’s life is like watching a tightrope walker who steps onto a thin wire to traverse cavernous depths. The slightest misstep can bring disaster. Counted as…