March 27

“I have spoken these things while staying with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage."
- John 14:25-27 (NET)
Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the absence of conflict, the peace Jesus promises us in the gospel of John is a peace in the midst of conflict. This peace, or Shalom in Hebrew, offers us a confident assurance in any circumstance that God is with us and we need not fear. With Christ's peace, we have no need to fear the present or future. When sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt, and other forces are at war within us, we can become agitated, angry, anxious, panicky, and stressed. Whenever the peace or Shalom of God moves into our hearts and lives, these hostile forces are restrained or eliminated. The peace Jesus gives us offers comfort in place of conflict and gives us the gift of "wholeness" or healing with a balanced unity of body, mind, and spirit. Jesus says he will give us this peace if we are willing to seek and accept it.
When Jesus became aware his time on earth was limited, he promised the disciples he would send them the Holy Spirit after he could no longer physically be with them. This "Advocate" or Holy Spirit would help them remember what he had taught them. We can be confident that this promise is also true for us today as we follow Jesus as disciples in our world. The Holy Spirit can help us in the same ways. As we study the Bible, we can trust the Holy Spirit to bring truth to our minds, show us God's will, and guide us in the right ways. The result of the Holy Spirit's work is not only deep and lasting peace but will also manifest wisdom, strength, and security by the power of God living in your life every day.
Holy Spirit, Thank you for granting me the Peace of Christ that passes all understanding. Amen.
Meditation For The Day:
Peace rejuvenates. Fear intimidates
Brief Devotions For Busy Lives: Daily Spring Renewal (Seasonal Devotionals) Paperback
– February 21, 2017

Used with permission of the family of the late Rev. Dr. Mary B. Johnson.

Mary phote - black white.webp

Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson, D.Min., (1942-2018)

Mary was Ordained in 1975.
She served both as a Parish Pastor and in multiple Specialized Ministry Settings.

She worked on the Clinical Staff of New England Memorial Hospital and Middleton Pastoral
Counseling Center in Massachusetts and was a Director of Green Pastures Counseling Centers in N.H.

She was a state Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor,
Nationally Board-Certified Counselor (N.C.C.), and Nationally Certified Pastoral Counselor (AAPC)
and held certification as a Clinical Member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (A.C.P.E.).

She received a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Psychology and Clinical Studies
from Andover Newton in Newton, MA.

Dr. Johnson also founded Good News Specialized Ministries, Inc.
This unique ministry provided education and Clinical Christian Counseling to thousands of people over the decades and trained numerous Clinical Counselors and Counseling Ministers while offering weekly non-denominational worship services to the community for more than 20 years.

Arnie-Mary (1) (1) (1).webp

I had the honor and privilege of working with Pastor Arnie Johnson
when I served as the pastor for the Richmond Community United Methodist Church in Richmond, NH from 2019 - 2022.
I personally have been deeply touched by Mary's writings. Her family has graciously allowed me to share them with you. - Pastor Sharon Sargent

"I always considered my ministry at Richmond as a shared ministry. Mary had the expertise that helped me function as well as I did. I received critiques on the way home after the services. I finally realized that I may have “arrived” when one day she was pleased with my performance with no critique! That took several years! So, I would love it if you would use the picture of the two of us and mention Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson as my spouse and partner in ministry, and she continued to be until the day she died, four days before the end of my appointment at Richmond." -  Pastor Arnie Johnson

Rev. Dr. Mary Johnson is the author of eight other published books including:

"Activating The Power Of Pastoral Care: A Team Approach";

"Brief Devotions For Busy Lives: Daily Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter Renewal"(Vol.1-4);

"Flying Free: Transforming Grief and Loss into Renewal";

Following The Angel Trail: In The Steps Of Jesus";

"Love In Action: The Healing Heritage Of The Counseling Ministry Of The Church";

"Visions Of Hope: Voices Of Americana";

"Healing Streams: Journeys Of Healing".

She has also been published in the AAPC professional Journal "Journeys" and in the Keene Sentinel.