Merry Christmas from Justapreacher Ministries and the Johnson family!

May the Light of the World shine on you!

John 8:12  Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
As you celebrate this Christmas season, we pray that Jesus' love will illuminate your heart. May you and your family come to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of how wide and high and long and deep is the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge! (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Merry Christmas! 
Jim, Becky, Nicole, Elise, and AJ

A message from Jim:
Years ago, when I was a  pastor in Chicago, right around this time of year, I learned a powerful lesson.  I had just shared in one of my sermons about some of my flaws and struggles, and about a mistake I had made.  My two young daughters had excitedly shown me the Christmas tree they had decorated.  Instead of complimenting them on a beautiful job, I had said, “It’s crooked!”  Needless to say, my daughters were disappointed with my reaction.  And I shared how I was disappointed with myself, too.
As soon as the service was over, an older lady approached me and thanked me for being open and vulnerable with the congregation.  She said it helped her to hear that preachers struggle and make mistakes too.  I learned that being honest and transparent was the best way to let people get to know me.  Too many preachers try to create a façade of having it all together.  They think that people will not follow a man who isn’t perfect.  I learned that day that openness and honesty will serve me better than trying to create the impression that I am perfect. 
With all that said, I want to let you in on something.  I struggle with this time of year.  Not Christmas.  I love the Christmas season.  Our house has been decorated since before Thanksgiving.  Christmas music plays at our house all throughout the day.  No, what I struggle with is the end of the year when it comes to asking for donations to this ministry.  I want to be a man of faith.  I want to always have faith that God will provide, and He has, for over 10 years!  We have never lacked a thing.  But, for those who may not know it, this time of year has been very vital to Justapreacher Ministries. 
We thank God every month for those who give monthly.  Your monthly donations are such a continual encouragement.  But the monthly giving rarely, if ever, covers the monthly expenses in this ministry.  It is the generous end of year gifts that have given us the cushion to handle the monthly expenses that are more than the monthly income.  So, I want you all to know how much both groups are appreciated, and I ask you to pray about what God would have you do in this area.  Your generous gifts have made it possible for me to travel to churches who feel they can’t afford to pay for my travel and meals, and to be a blessing to pastors and their families instead of being a drain to church budgets.  Thank you all for being a part of what God is doing through Justapreacher Ministries.  There is a balance between letting people know when there is a need, and trusting God, not man, to meet the need.  This is still something I wrestle with, but letting you know that has helped a little bit.  I hope you all have a great Christmas season, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2017!   
 In Christ’s Overwhelming Love,   

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