Reflection On "Open The Door" Album

August 19th, 2007

Behind these songs, are 9 years of knowing the Lord and learning to walk in HIS ways. My life is a never ending pendulum swing between experiencing Gods grace freely and yet struggling with my own sin and its consequences

Truly His grace is the reason I am saved. There is nothing I did to deserve His unconditional, everlasting love. Of course, we all forget that at times and need to be reminded of our humble state. Why is it that we begin again to try to attain perfection here on earth? I wrote "He Didn't Die In Vain" because I need that constant reminder to walk by faith. It is no longer my old nature dwelling within me, but Christ lives in and through this vessel. If I lose sight of that, I am saying that His sacrifice meant nothing; a mistake I can't afford to make.

That's why the Lord has given me these songs. They are not just for you, but they are also for me. They become my own personal reminders of God's faithfulness. When the entire world caves in on me, the Lord is always there, arms open wide, waiting for me to crawl up in His lap. "Adopted" was written after I had a very deep realization that I can go to God just the way I am. Even the most loving of dads might be bothered when their child is needy for attention. I'm so grateful to have a perfect heavenly Father who said, "I adopted you, Johnna, you are my child". Nothing else brings me peace.

Early on, when I began writing my own music, the Lord gave me a song that didn't sound anything like it does now. "Dance With You" is the perfect example of what being a musician is like for me. It takes me up and down and all around. It's the Lord who gives me all I have and then molds things how He wants. My passions, my desires and my songs aren't my original ideas, they are His. What they become in the end is entirely up to Him. I'll just take hold of His hands and let Him lead me in the dance, and I'll get to see what it all meant when I'm with Him one day in heaven.

Oh the blessing of the trials we go through. You learn how sweet God's comfort is when you need it the most. You realize how amazing His grace is when you've messed up, and you taste how real His relationship is when you are hurting inside. It's so sad that we run from the Lord when things seem fine and we come crawling back when times are difficult. "I Run To You" captures that frailty we have. It was not too long ago, as I was reading through Psalms, that chaos set its foot in the door. Psalms helped me get through those painful times. I needed to hear those cries of agony, to know I was not alone. I also needed to know that God was "on my side". There were several passages that influenced this song, but one passage in particular became its foundation. Specifically the words, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me... The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever..." Psalm 138:7&8

Shortly after the storm, the clarity I needed came and "Harmony" came right along with it. I will never forget how loud I could hear the Lord during this period of my life. I would open my Bible and out would pop the answer I needed. Around every corner there was clear direction waiting for me. What happened to those times?

I got too "busy". My time with the Lord was compromised and I couldn't hear His voice as much. Not because He wasn't speaking but because I wasn't listening closely anymore. I'm still ministered to by the faithful promise, conveyed in the song "Unwind", that the Lord is with me despite my falling behind in schedule. Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. He's the One drawing me back to Him, moment by moment, even when I don't "feel" like coming back. He patiently waits for me to wind down and enjoy the rest that He offers.

And of course… there is "Forever". Only Jesus can cover over all our sin: past, present and future. He's taken them and thrown them as far as the east is from the west. Do you realize what that means? You cannot find a starting point for east or west because the earth is round. The distance between the two is immeasurable. In other words, your sins are gone! You know that feeling you get when you've sinned and you just don't feel right inside? I kept feeling that, but I didn't know what it was, until I realized it was plain old conviction! If we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us. What a relief it is to get it out on the table and watch it go.

You can see some of the many seasons of life that I have experienced. The Lord has brought me through them all. It doesn't matter what season you're in right now, He knows all about it and none of it is too big for Him to handle. Be blessed by all that the Lord has done. "Open The Door" to your heart, and let Jesus take over. Shout out loud for Him in this world, because He's coming back soon!

Pressing On In Him,