The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament by Debbie Johnson

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Book Title:  The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament by Debbie Johnson
Category:  Adult Non-fiction 18 yrs +,  293 pages
Genre:  Memoir, Religious, Inspirational
Publisher:  Convenant Books
Release date:   2019
Format available for review:  print (USA & Canada) mobi (for Kindle)
Tour dates: August 10 to August 28, 2020
Content Rating:  G. No obscenity, violence, sexual content

“With the New Testament in one hand and Debbie’s guidebook in the other, you will experience the Christian journey to be an exciting venture–though not one for the fainthearted.”    
Dr. William W. Klein, Ph.D. Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary              

Book Description:

At a time of unprecedented crisis in our lives comes an inspirational book, THE JOURNEY: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament by Debbie Johnson, who has spent decades as a mission worker, and is the founder DenverWorks, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the unemployed find work. Whether you are a Christian, religious, or irreligious, Johnson’s contemporary interpretation of The New Testament will inspire all who read her book.Years ago, Debbie took a glorious six-week backpacking trip to Europe. Now she takes readers on a metaphorical trek through the New Testament, filling her backpack with a year’s worth of inspirational items. For Debbie, her destination is love, plus the sense of “mission accomplished” in her life’s work.“Maybe this is a time for homebound people (all of us) to read through the NT,” says Debbie who begins her journey as Christ began his, when he met two sets of brothers and said, “Follow me” and eventually there were 12 friends, the 12 apostles. Jesus was no longer by himself,” says Johnson and got to experience the strength of friends. “My best friends and I remind each other that we are never alone, even though some of us live hundreds of miles apart.” Here are some of her many useful and inspiring key insights:

  • Love of God versus Love of Money. In Matthew 6:19-34, she quotes Jesus: “you cannot serve both God and money.” Johnson explains that Jesus did not say you can’t be materially wealthy, as some interpret that quote. He just said you can’t serve two masters, so you have to choose which one wins your heart. Johnson explains further that you should be responsible with money. “I never saw a passage that says, “though shalt not make money,” “she says. “It’s all about what we love the most.”
  • Neighborliness Matters. Romans 13:8-14 tells us that how we treat our neighbors is essential to living fulfilling Christian lives. Half of the Ten Commandments address being a good neighbor. No killing, committing adultery, stealing, slandering, or coveting. We’re to love our neighbors as ourselves, meaning we need to love ourselves sufficiently enough to love them. If we can love our neighbors, even the unlovable ones, then we’ve fulfilled The Law as Christ commanded.
  • What to Wear Today. We’re to put on, says Debbie, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We’re to bear with one another and forgive each other. We’re to put on love. We’re to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.
  • We Are People of the Day. We’re people of the day, so we need to act like it, even in this long in-between time. We’re to be sober and faithful and loving and hopeful, encouraging one anther and building each other up. We’re to appreciate our coworkers and leaders. We’re to live in peace.
  • The Journey with Our Partners. “My best friends and I remind each other that we’re never alone, even though some of us live hundreds of miles apart. And for all of us who believe God is real and in a relationship with us, we’re never apart from him either. Our beautiful challenge is to understand that fact more and more, experiential. Life takes an enormous amount of personal strength. Jesus spent a lot of time in conversation with God to gain strength. And if Jesus needed that, how much more do we need it! But we can also draw strength, counsel, wisdom, and emotional safety from each other.” (Matthew 4)
  • Solid Foundations. Luke 5:12-6:49 is full of rock-solid teaching about building life on a firm foundation. Building a rock-solid life isn’t about sharing his words and then going about our business. It’s about acting on those words. Not intending to act on them, but literally acting on them. The words are powerful and life-altering, but not easy. Nobody ever said building a life on a solid foundation would be easy, just worth it.
  • The Gift. Romans 3:23-24 just might be the best gift in the whole wide world, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” In other words, we can lay our burdens down—our guilt, regrets, little sins, big sins. The reason? The gift. The gift of unmerited favor. Some people spend their whole lives striving for approval trying to be good enough, when all along, God has said all we have to do is have faith. All we have to do is ask God for the gift.
  • Practical Matters (1 Corinthians 16). Christianity is hard. G.K. Chesterton said, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” But we can do this. There is a way to follow Christ in good times and bad times, in heavenly matters and practical matters.

In trying times such as these, Debbie Johnson’s THE JOURNEY will brings readers daily inspiration and comfort for themselves and their families.

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

The Journey is just want it says, A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament. It is a unique Devotional for me because author Debbie Johnson uses a backpack to to put the major points of each section into the backpack. Things such as meaning, righteousness, Charity, and so many more important description words go into the backpack as you read your way through this book. And the best way to read this is reading the scripture first and then reading the devotion.
If you want to read through the New Testament, this is a really good book to have by your side while reading it. You can read the devotions that go with each chapter or selection of verses Ms. Johnson suggests to get a better insight of the Bible verses you are reading. I found some interesting analysis throughout this book, The Journey.
This book is for everyone. If you want another companion to your Bible Study tools, this is a really nice book for you. Or if you want a Devotional through the New Testament, you will enjoy this book.
A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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GUEST POST

By Debbie Johnson

MY LIFE AS A LATE BLOOMER

I really like the flowers of late summer/early fall, like mums. They bloom in colors I don’t see anywhere else. Have you ever noticed that? Well, anyway, I also like them because I relate to them. I’m also a late bloomer. 

I was slow to figure out my passion, career-wise. I was slow to get a boyfriend. (Of course, ALL the other girls had a boyfriend, said my teenage brain.) But truly, I was slow to wake up to a lot of things.  

Writing is one of those things. While my peers were becoming published authors and getting agents and selling a gazillion books, I was changing diapers and working full time, trying to survive. So I’m late to the garden party, but that’s okay. 

I find such joy in sitting at my laptop and thinking through my fingers. When I’m musing about something, especially if it’s heavy or painful or confusing, I just start typing and when I’m finished I say, “Yeah, THAT’S what I was thinking!”

My first book, A Pocketful of Seeds, is a collection of ideas for impacting one’s world. That career I was passionate about was in non-profit work, both locally and globally, so I came across a lot of cool ideas over the decades.

And man, after writing that book, I succumbed to the writing bug! A friend of mine has cerebral palsy but nevertheless, a fun and fascinating life, so I “ghost wrote” his story, now called Lessons Learned from the Bottom of the Stairs: A Story of Faith and Resilience.

After helping my friend, I became involved in telling another man’s story. His name is Raj and he’s a Dalit (formerly called an “Untouchable”) from India. My work took me to India seven times, but never long enough to do justice to Raj’s remarkable story. Providentially, a young woman from California spent a year there and became his scribe. I just got to help! That book will come out soon.

Most recently, I wrote The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament, which treks the biblical narrative with a daily “item for the backpack” such as compassion or forgiveness or community. I had it reviewed by a well-respected New Testament professor at Denver Seminary who also gave it a hearty endorsement. Another endorser called the book “deep, messy, humorous, fun, enlightening, and refreshing.” Those words capture my desire as a writer. I want to dig into tough subjects as a fellow pilgrim, not a judge or self-proclaimed expert.

Which brings me back around to being a late bloomer. Maybe writing this kind of material requires one to have been around the block a time or two. I’m quieter now. I ask more questions. I have fewer pat answers. I enjoy the journey rather than rushing to the conclusion. And…I take time to stop and smell the mums, which I highly recommend.

It’s never too late to become a late bloomer. 

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Author Debbie Johnson

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About the Author
Debbie Johnson is the author of two previous books, A Pocketful of Seeds and Lessons Learned from the Bottom of the Stairs: A Story of Faith and Resilience with Randy Milliken. She graduated from Ouachita Baptist University (BME, MME) and has done graduate work in social work at the University of Denver. In 1995, she founded DenverWorks to equip the unemployed in her community. She led the organization for ten years before engaging in international ministry, first as the vice president of Programs at the Dalit Freedom Network and then as executive director of India Transformed. She grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today she and her husband live on a farm in Colorado with two dogs and a bunch of chickens.

 

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Tour Schedule:
Aug 10 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 10 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Aug 11 – Over Coffee Conversations – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 12 – My Journey Back – book review / giveaway
Aug 13 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight
Aug 14 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 17 –Books for Books – book spotlight
Aug 18 – Books and Zebras – book review / giveaway
Aug 19 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 20 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Aug 21 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 24 –Confessions of the Perfect Mom – book review
Aug 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 26 – The Epistles Of Mark Paul – book review / giveaway
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