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A Memorial: Norman Johnson

My favorite uncle died this week and I am in Fort Myers, Florida to attend a memorial service. I was asked to read a scripture passage and say a few words about my uncle.

A reading from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians:

“We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. Therefore we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven” (2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1,6-10).

Norman Johnson was the son of Gustav Johnson and Emily Raposa. His father’s parents were from Sweden and his mothers parents were Portuguese. As a young child, he and my mother learned Portuguese from their maternal grandmother before they learned English. There is a story that my grandmother used to tell that my mother and Norman were left with their grandmother for a long period of time when she could not be with them. And Norman’s mother, my grandmother, was surprised one day when she sat them down to say their prayers at night that Norman and my mother began praying in Portuguese rather than English.

Norman lived in Tiverton, Rhode Island; Falmouth, Massachusetts and later the Boston area. He later moved to Fort Myers, Florida to be closer to his two daughters and several grandchildren. I am my Uncle Norman’s only nephew, he had four nieces, and four children, Lisa, Debra, Keith and Lynne. I grew up in Massachusetts and was very close to Norman’s family often spending weeks at a time with my cousins in Rhode Island and Cape Cod where they lived. We were all close since we were very young children. I have always believed that those early bonds cause you to love people even if you miss seeing them for years at a time as adults.

The scripture passage I read has to do with the resurrection. It’s a biblical passage that is commonly read at funerals. However, I chose this passage because I wanted people to know that Norman believed in the resurrection because he experienced it. Many people of the Christian faith have a testimony about their salvation. But it is unusual for people, especially men, to talk about a conversion that happened toward the end of their life. But people who knew Norman as their hair stylist or friend would often hear him speaking openly about this experience. I was surprised one day to hear Norman talking about what he called his “addiction to gambling.” Many people who join these 12 step self-help programs are encouraged to look to a higher power, but Norman decided that his “higher power” wasn’t a vague force or an idea about God, it was literally “Jesus Christ.”

Jesus Christ saved me from my addiction to gambling,” he told me. I was surprised at that because my cousin Keith and I had been members of an evangelical church for several years and I had never heard Norman speak about his faith so plainly before.

So this is the reason that I chose this passage to read. It speaks of the final victory of faith over death. Norman believed that God could save him from addictions and problems he faced. Even when he was diagnosed a with terminal illness, he believed he could overcome it. I am sure that at some point Norman told almost everyone he knew about what God had done in his life. He was not a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination or some kind of a super-saint — none of us are — but I know that he spoke to many people he met about his faith and the victory that Jesus Christ gave him over his sin. He didn’t do it in a preachy way, but only because he wanted to people to share the joy he felt in being free.

The resurrection is thought of by most people as a future event. Most people believe in some type of life after death. For Norman, the resurrection life was something that he knew was real because he experienced it during his life. And for that reason, the scriptures tell us, we are not discouraged, but we can have great courage to face any problem or illness, even death.

For me that is the most important thing about the life of this man that I can celebrate.

Your comments are welcome!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

Special discount prices:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

Special discount price:
(We accept PayPal and all major credit cards.)

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

Packaged in a double DVD case with the updated The Abortion Matrix DVD.

Special discount price:
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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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