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Posts tagged ‘prayer’

Prayer and Authenticity

Hello Dear Friends!

So I’m in the midst of reading “Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible” by Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson, and it has encouraged me to write a post in response.

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my identity in many and various ways in the past, so I feel it should come as little or no surprise that I wonder about my boundaries and identity as a future minister (God willing) in the ELCA and, even sooner, an intern. I wonder about facebook, e-mail, cell-phone numbers, etc. in regards to how much to divulge and where to draw the line. Moreso, I wonder what my “identity” should be in these regards. In reading Drescher and Anderson’s second chapter which addresses this issue (thank goodness I’m not the only one conflicted!) they suggest an intentional presence and, above all, an authentic one. In speaking with my advisor, professor, former boss, facebook friend and an all-around awesome person, Susan had also told me to do the same. Be intentional about what you post and be authentic.

This got me thinking about what that looks like even more, and with the help of Elizabeth, Keith and Susan, I’ve realized that I’m already doing it. Who I am on Facebook and on here is authentic to who I am, and I’m (usually) intentional in what I post. Sure, I like to have fun and talk about gardening, cleaning, reading, weight loss, frogs and unicorns in addition to talking about God, but that’s because it’s part of who I am. I hope that others feel comfortable with that and feel free to respond authentically as well.  I also hope that my friends will challenge me when they disagree with me!

That being said, I hope that you (whoever you are) will feel free to share a bit about who you are with me. You can post a comment on here, e-mail me at pjohnson@wartburgseminary.edu , post on my facebook page, message me, send me a letter, or any other way you can think of to contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

I also want to let everyone know that I’d love the opportunity to pray for/with you. If you have a prayer request and you’d like me to pray as well, please let me know (again, by any of the aforementioned means) and I would be honored to pray. Please know that, unless directly specified by the person being prayed for, I will not post prayers or those I am praying for. I would like to respect everyone’s privacy, so unless you would like it specifically shared with others, it will be between you and me.

Thanks for reading, and God Bless! I hope to hear from you to chat about life, for prayer requests, or for any other reason. Have a good one!


Let me tell you a (Picture) Story!

Well hey there!
It has been great going home each month and worshipping with the people of St. John, having the privelege of sharing the Good News, and I’ve loved being able to write each month in the Newsletter to let everyone know what I’m up to. But in the midst of the fun, I’ve let something go for far too long. You see, I was asked to get some pictures of me. Pictures where I don’t look like a sourpuss. You see they wanted pictures that the church could use and hold on to so they remember me and can be reminded of what I look like while I’m away. It totally makes sense, but alas, I kept forgetting and when I did ask my friends for help (my camera broke) either they forgot or I did. But that time is now over, because I have sent some pictures to the church for their enjoyment.

Then I got to thinking… Why should they be the only ones who can look at my gorgeous face? Or what if one of the people from church needs a Paul fix but, woe are they, it’s ten thirty at night and the church is closed? So I decided it only fair to write a blog and tell a picture story at the same time with the pictures we took. A little fun now that the semester is over. I hope you enjoy!

So here I am, standing next to my good friend Martin Luther. We at Wartburg Seminary, being good buds with the man, like to call him “Marty” for short.

Me and my buddy Marty!

Here I am, chilling with Marty!

So what do I do during the week at the Seminary? That’s a great question. I start each day getting ready for class…

Getting Ready for Class

Getting Ready for Ethics

And we always have great discussions…

Talking with Classmate

Talking with Doug Dill. No doubt about the third use of the Law, Phenomenology, Christus Victor or some other scholarly subject.

And sometimes we work together in small groups, especially for projects or for brainstorming on paper ideas…

Peer Editing

Some Good Ol’ Fashioned Peer Editing

And of course, being future leaders in the church, we gather every day at 9:30 for Chapel.

Word of God, Word of Life

Today’s Reading… Word of God, Word of Life.

And sometimes I help out with the services…

All robed up!

Look at me, all robed up!

And we gather together in prayer…

Please Rise

“Please Rise for the Intercessory Prayers”

And silently reflect on our words and actions…

Silent Reflection

silently reflecting on the day…

Then after chapel and more classes it’s time to gather together again for a community and do what we do best. Talk and EAT!


Mmm…they always have delicious food for lunch!

Then it’s back to the classes and of course, some studying!

Looking Things Over

Group Study is quite popular here. Yay, bonding!

And we make sure to have some fun and goof off at times to keep things light.

Getting Interrupted

I am not amused at your jokes… nah, I’m just kidding, that was hilarious!

But sometimes you have to find I quiet place to study and read…

Gotta Study!

Gotta study, study, study!

But it’s okay, because it’s pretty cool stuff we’re learning here…

This is Good Stuff!

This is Good Stuff!!! Look at all that highlighting!

And after the studying is done, it’s nice to be able to sit back and relax. I enjoy crocheting dragons and taking care of my plants.

Dragons and Plants

Isn’t he cute?!?! And look at that plant behind me!

Well, that’s all from me!

Merry Christmas!

From all the people at Wartburg, Have a Merry Christmas!

Losing it!

Well it’s official, folks! I’ve lost it! But fret not, because not all of it is bad!

First things first, I think I’m losing it mentally in these last few weeks of the semester. I only have a few assignments left to finish, but they seem to be growing exponentially harder by the hour. Perhaps once my Hebrew Paper is finished I’ll be able to take a few cleansing breaths and start on the next assignment. Only two papers, a fieldwork report, two exams, one reading and a few translations left. I can do this!

The other part of losing it is absolutely fantastic! For those of you that don’t know, when I first felt the call to ministry in late December of ’09, I was 369lbs. Yes, you read that right. YOWZA! I’ve been working on eating healthier and exercising more and am happy to report that for the first time in my entire adult life, I am down into the 200s! I slipped under the 300 mark this morning and plan to keep going! When I looked at a picture of me from first semester at Wartburg, I could definitely see the difference! I’m hoping that by the time this seminary journey is done I’ll be a much healthier, much skinnier and hopefully much wiser person. As it is, I think I’m on the right track 🙂

I would ask for your thoughts and prayers in these next two weeks of classes and the next few months of holidays and food-induced comas. And for all you amazing people in the greater green bay area, watch out, because I’ll be home from the 21st of December to the 1st of January. I can’t wait to see you again!


Paul Johnson

From left to right: Mary, Deb, Me, Kelly
From left to right: Mary, Deb, Me, Kelly
Picture of me when my aunt and mom visited. I was making it rain!
Picture of me when my aunt and mom visited. I was making it rain!

CPE and Family

Well this past week has certainly been a wild one! I finished CPE last Friday, had my brother visit Saturday and Sunday, and my mom visit Monday through Thursday. Yesterday and today I’ve been working on re-organizing my room, clearing out books (I’m lending last year’s books out to those who need them and donated a big box of extra books for the school’s book sale this fall) and making dragons. Yes, you read that last line right. I’m working on crocheting dragons, something I’ve been doing for about a week now. To date, I’ve made four dragons and each one has had something new added to it. The first one, pictured here: was made with leftover yarn and stuffed with grocery bags. Right now it’s sitting proudly on my newly cleared off bookshelf. It cost me less than seventy cents since I had all the materials and only paid for the eyeballs. The second dragon I made was just like the first, only slightly smaller (I used a smaller hook to have tighter stitches) and filled with poly-fil. The third and fourth were made as gifts.

But anywho, that’s getting away from the original purpose of my post. As I mentioned before, I have now finished with CPE. WOO HOO!!! It was a really great experience and, while I didn’t have any on-call experiences (the only call received was actually an additional on-call which one of the students volunteered for) it was still an extremely formative experience. I made a lot of connections, quite a few friends, and learned SO much from everyone at that hospital. Oh, and I certainly learned where the good food was in the Quad Cities. I learned about many other religions, learned about our supervisor and the fellow CPE students, and a ton about myself.

It has certainly been a joy to see everyone slowly coming back onto campus and can’t wait to share more stories with everyone. We’ve even “CPE’d” others from time to time-often in gest, sometimes in sincerity. Mostly it’s just having fun asking the typical CPE questions/statements “say more on that” “I’m not sure I understand” “tell me what these tears are about” “how did that make you feel” “explain that to me” etc. But from time to time we have actually worked out different issues. I’ve been more open with others and have learned a lot about why I do certain things. Now only time will tell if this raised awareness will be maintained. I’m sure I’ll never be the same as before, but I’m hoping my mind is able to slow down at least a little bit between now and the beginning of classes.

As far as family, it has been amazing! Before CPE was done my parents came to visit me on the weekend and we had an amazing couple of days. Then the weekend after CPE, my brother came for a visit (no doubt leaving before daylight) and we explored the Wartburg castle and a good chunk of Dubuque. Then sadly 😦 he had to leave. But then mom came to visit from Monday until Thursday. Once again Dubuque and the castle were explored by Johnsons, and I do believe I won every single game of cards we played. But I did have the home-field advantage.

After mom left, it was time to enjoy time with more “family” by having get-togethers with the Wartburg family for the last two nights. Tonight I’ll be volunteering with St. Mark’s providing a meal in the community to those in need and then tomorrow I’ll be visiting a new church (well, new to me) with some more Wartburgers that just got back on campus today. Then Monday and Tuesday will be dedicated to making sure my room is organized/work on my Endorsement paper and then on Wednesday I’ll be returning to my beloved family and “church family” in De Pere! I’ll be there through Sunday and then it will be time to return to Dubuque and finish off my Endorsement paper and start classes!

It seems like a whole lot of craziness, but I couldn’t be happier with where I am in life. I’m following God’s call, growing so much in mind and spirit (and maybe shrinking a bit in body) and feel a strong call to this life. I know I’ll be able to get through it with the support of so many amazing people and thank God each day for everyone in my life. THANKS BE TO GOD!!!

Peace to You All!

Paul Johnson

A Prayer from a Patient

Well Hey There!

Last week I got a prayer from one of my patients who thought I could share it with others. I read it at my home church on Father’s Day and had several people ask for a copy of it, so here it is! I hope you find as much comfort from it as I have and the patient who shared it with me.


A Prayer for Healing


I come before you today in need of your healing hand. In you all things are possible. Hold my heart within yours, and renew my mind, body and soul. I am sad, but I am singing. You gave us life, and you also give us the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the path you’ve laid out for me. Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify those you’ve placed around me to help me get better. In your name, I pray.


I feel that despite it being a prayer for healing, it works incredibly well for everyday prayer. Maybe especially because it asks for healing. I think that, no matter who you are, there’s something in your life that still needs God’s healing touch. I know there’s definitely things in my life that need to be healed. I encourage you to take a moment and pray this prayer. If you feel like you really don’t have anything you need healing for, then pray it for someone else. The prayer is flexible enough that you can put someone else’s name into it if you wanted to as well.

May God grant you healing, comfort, and peace. God Bless!