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Ken Johnson


some of us go way back don't we Amelia said it and Evan said it twice in the last two sources and in kind words we are what we are because of them and I cringed it's little and those are kind words but obviously we are what we are because of Jesus and that most of the time they stayed out of his way and that's how I really that's what I really believe we love this church it's so good to be off probation to be able to speak to you today we just love this church we love it like we loved it when we let it I mean I just love the accent the pastor's its pastor Steve's hardest to join arms with the pastor's around the city not compete with any church or any pastor but cooperate and cheer for churches that's happening and that's gonna you're gonna be hearing more and more and more about that with the rivers flooding in Central Oregon a deal the passage of God's really melting the pastor's hearts together and it's awesome with a creation Church the new church and we just the the or orphans and what do you call them foster kids what we're doing they're just serving the city we just absolutely it is fun to go here it's fun to be here we love you and it's just so good to be here let's start with a story and my friend Tom and said he would take me scouting for elk over by Granite Sumter and he was a aerobatic pilot he's an aerobatic shows and stuff in his plane I should have been suspicious at first it's only about 14 feet long and you got a cram in there right behind him and anyway we flew over by mountain Ireland over by granite and flew around the mountain two or three times till I was sick and spotted two or three bunches of elk and then headed home and we came home through the OG coast and he was over big summit Prairie and they were about 30 up down there in the middle of Prairie and without saying a word time just went from this to this and man I feel I'm dying yeah and about what seemed like literally five feet must have been 50 feet from the ground he pulled it up and we went home and I puked so that was scary that was scary to my body it didn't feel right never fallen in a dream and actually felt the feeling of falling oh it's not right I want to talk to you about a different kind of nosedive just as dangerous and just as hurtful I want to talk to you about a mental collapse an emotional nosedive a couple of weeks ago at our Thursday men's Bible studies right out here if you want to come on 6:30 on thirsty it's Bible study one of the guys chased me down in the parking lot and said pastor Kent I just wanted to catch you day and tell you that my wife and I have been coming here for 25 years and we started coming because when we came you opened your heart you were transparent you shared struggles you were dealing with you weren't like you were perfect and it gave us hope that God could deal with our stuff too and I said you can't pay me a higher compliment that's the highest compliment you can pay so today I'm gonna share my heart with you and I'm gonna open up a little bit and I hope it helps you and hope you're able to help someone else because of it for almost 60 years in my life everything seemed to go up into the right high school college got into business I had a goal of becoming a millionaire by the time I was thirty at age 29 I was more than three-quarters of the way there God called me away from business SILS had some passive business interest but pretty much away from business and I went to take a Church of 30 people and we grew it to 12 within a year it was a hundred and four square I was pretty non-denominational maybe anti denomination I don't know but I knew Foursquare and Foursquare asked us to come under their covering and we said yes and we combined with the little Foursquare Church and Redman became juniper chapel and we grew from 200 to 120 very quickly under our gifted leadership but when we left it was three or four times 120 and and we had a great years I was there seven years to the day God called me said I've got something else for you we didn't know what we stepped down before we knew where we were going and God brought us here to what was then been fourscore Church now what's a church I was 29 years old when he called me out of business to be a pastor and we'd to experience so much fruitfulness I went on to become a pastor of pastors and got to see fruitfulness and now and everything just seemed to be up into the right better and better and better until nine years ago I went into a nosedive spiritual Eclipse and really went into dark dark season in my life and now looking back I want to share with you what caused the depression I didn't know at the time I just knew I've never dealt with depression what is this and am I ever gonna get out of this first it was partly physical causes I found out I had two eye diseases macular degeneration and glaucoma that's in the DNA from my mom and I was always proud of my site I can see okay you can't see look at those yeah I can't believe you didn't see that I was losing my sight part of it was relational Linda's dad died in a plane crash in Redmond he was my primary business partner and kind of a second dad to me that hit us really hard part of it was financial we were building the atrium at the time and expanding the children's ministries and renovating the building a multi-million dollar project when the Great Recession hit two thousand seven eight nine and ten and God blessed us through that but boy it was a tough tough time part of it was medical in 2013 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and it affects your speech a little bit and I went to the doctor and he said you suffer depression don't you and I said how did you know and he said Parker's is almost as onset with depression and so I came to understand a little about the medical causes of depression part of it was situational I was head of the Audit Committee chairman of the Audit Committee for Foursquare international and I was on the board of directors at Foursquare international and the president made some financial mistakes not thievery but some big financial mistakes and they called me from LA and said Ken you're the head of the Audit Committee this is on the audit committee that's on your shoulders we went through a traumatic six to nine months to the president stepped down and we were involved with all that the same time we were in LA so much and on the phone with LA up here there was a young man in the church that very very gifted man I thought probably he'd be the next guy lay hands on to be the head pastor and Russ said I'm gonna start a church in town and I said Russell would you wait one year he said you know you don't really believe in me I said I do I said I tell you why don't you talk with the church council the elders and deacons and I'll stay out of it and you take their counsel well they counsel them to wait a year because of a couple character issues we were dealing with and he said he'd wait a year and the next morning he called back said I'm not God told me I didn't need to wait a year I'm starting now and we watched it grow and blossom because he's a very very gifted guy and by the way he since come back and asked forgiveness so that's cool but we watched a girl and blossom then explode and collapsed as a foundation that had a crack in it we had too much weight put on it too fast it came down so I was dealing with that in LA and this up here and medical and certainly them spiritual not only medical physical financial situational spiritual spiritual because the enemy jumps on that how many know that demons run in packs boy don't they and they just surround you and come at you from every direction you're trying to defend here and you're getting not out here and it's just unbelievable spiritual and I love that Gary late Gary Larson his animal cartoons where he gives human characteristics to animals he's got to buck deer stand on their back legs leaning against two sides of a tree and the guy over here saying bummer of a birthmark how and this deer has just got this big target for a birthmark well I'm River birth I think Satan knows that if he can take out a spiritual leader he can take out a whole bunch of people and I think he works on that so I had all those things going on and I felt like my soul was where my body wasn't Tom's playing I just feel like I'm not gonna come out of this I don't know what this is how do I overcome this god help me I remember thinking things like does God care why won't God help me I'm not gonna am I gonna totally crash I did something I've never done before I came to the church for and asked for a summer sabbatical in 27 years I've never done that and 25 years at that time I'd never done that and they graciously said yes and I said I'll come back 110% because my thought was you know what guys do you just pull yourself out of any bootstraps you've been a tough stuff before you get through it and so they say the church graciously said yeah take this summer so as summer went on I went down further and further had time to relax I felt worthless I wasn't producing anything and it's a cut the family in the church said here you use our house down in Mexico I thought well that'll be good so we went down there and it was bright and warm 100 degrees and bright but three words that describe how I felt was cold and dark and alone now Linda was awesome she saw what was happening she was trying to help but no matter what she did I felt alone I felt like you're the one in this you're the only one I didn't feel God's presence that much I felt cold and dark and so I kept going down throughout the summer and near the end of the summer Linda came walking into the office at home one day and she saw me sitting there with tears coming down my cheek she's never seen that before and she said we're getting help and she called a friend named Stan who's a pastor in Montana who'd been through the similar thing and he went to a Counseling Center in Seattle called the center kind of a minute minnerath Meyer associated Christian counseling at least mostly Krishna most of the counselors are Christians and she talked me into going stan talked me into going and so i went there and i walked in the office in the seattle area of the center and they took away my phone they took away my computer I put my hands and say hit me with a straitjacket I guess that's what's next i I felt foolish and frustrated and alone and I felt I literally felt like a first-grader I can remember back to verse skating and scary going to school the first time I felt I'm back in the first grade who are you what's going on they said well we can't cure you God can only do that but we can give you some tools that will help you and they did and you know this thing about depression is a pervasive thing it's a common thing but it's it's it's ugly 26% of Americans said they feel in a recent survey that they're on the edge of emotional collapse 65 million Americans will experience clinical medical deep depression 65 million well pastors are immune aren't they no they're not 71 percent of pastors say they're on the edge of burnout and so here I was I'm supposed to be the guy the pictures abundant life and I'm looking like this and saying boy what a terrible picture I'm painting and I went to the center I checked in I signed up for one week and then at the end of a week I said I'm coming home and then they talked me into stay in the second week the church paid for both weeks very expensive and they were very very gracious that's the kind of churches instead of putting me down they said we'll hold you out I wrote I began a journal because I had my iPad so a night when everybody else was in bed I was writing on my iPad for the notes I've been taking all day and I started a journal and here's an entry early in that journal who stole your soul ken who stole your self-esteem your sense of adequacy self-confidence and self-worth how did you lose who you are why are you depressed depression leads to low self-esteem anxiety speaks negative things about who you are which leads to even lower self-esteem this is a deadly whirlpool a vicious black hole that's what I felt like I was caught in a whirlpool a black hole and couldn't get out I want to tell you three things I learned at the center first of all I learned that I had stuffed grief when Russ left there would be Sundays that I was standing up here saying I say oh that summer somebody else has gone now God told me to be quiet I never said a word he said don't say anything negative I had two families asked me what I thought I said I'll just be honest with you I said to them I think it'll grow huge cuz Russ is very gifted but it'll explode eventually because there's cracks in the foundation I didn't hope for that that's what and they they didn't end up going but every other 500 people left now you go i pastored him don't they even ask don't even seek counsel but anyway God said keep quiet so it's kind of like what they call it in the army no I do all God was they well Oh PTSD doctor said you have a simple Coast of PTSD every time someone criticizes you or leaves the church you revisit the moment when all those people left and what does that say about me anyway brining my beer here no not really I learned that I've stuffed grief that was a kid one time I bought our lawn and it had been watered not long before it was a summer day I took the back off the lawn mower and I made a pile of green wet grass about that high three or four days later I put my mint hand into the middle of pile almost burnt my fingers off there was gonna go on fire in there at least just-just-just what am I trying to say huh yeah spontaneous combustion farmers stack their hand it goes on fire because it has a little moisture and it gets hot in there well that's what it was I had stuffed grief so my counselor in 80 75 80 year old a woman of God licensed counselor said can I think you haven't dealt with some of the grief or some of the hurts in your life I said well how do I deal with it she said two ways riding and weeping so she had me write a letter to people that had hurt me and and write a letter to Linda and write a letter to God and I just poured out my heart now the weeping part she said get some Kleenex so I went to a little store and I bought some Kleenex I went down to the park there was people there I was embarrassed I found little um Patrice I could lay down on the sawdust and I started reading these letters and the tears just started flowing down my face just where did the paper and I just sobbed like never before you know you can't bury grief it's gonna come back as a depression or suicide or anger and you where did that come from that's been just smoldering there that was the word I was looking for smouldering there and so I just absolute like lancing a wound and all this poison and pus comes to the surface and I just lanced that grief and gave it to God and said so and then I wrote a letter to God another letter God's saying it's okay God will make good out of this so you can't stuff grief that's the first thing I've learned second I learned that I was thinking wrong I needed to retrain my brain and think right about God about life about myself I wrote this my room and at this at the center shared some valuable insight with me on thinking right Frank said as we think those thoughts make the path in our brains like an elephant crashing through brush in the jungle once an elephant moves through the foliage and breaks the trail it will tend to take the same route over and over and other thoughts other elephants also tend to take the same path the same is true with mental trails once the thought path is set the grooves tend to get cut deeper by future thoughts I was caught in a negative thought path grooving it deeper and deeper the average person they tell me thinks 60,000 thoughts a day well when 59,000 those are negative you can make a groove pretty fast in a rut is just a grade with both ends kicked out you're dying before you die in any way they said you got a you know the scripture says take every thought captive and I would literally start to thinking I say you're under arrest I'm not going there I know where that trail goes I've been on that elephant trail I'm not going there and then it says whatsoever things are noble and good and right think on these so not only choose not only arrest negative thoughts but replace them with positive thoughts and I learned to do that plasticity of the brain now with Parkinson's it tends to make you I can still run but it tends to make your steps choppy and short and your body is all contracted if you've seen someone at state they you can actually train your brain you these cells are all messed up over here but these sails Parkinson's is about involuntary action like you don't think about it when you walk you just walk comes natural but that starts getting fouled up and those those synapses go bad and these cells over here volunteers from a whole another part of your brain holding other function volunteer to take their place and so I learned to go out for long walks and even when I'm running take long strides and lift your feet and I retrain my brain to walk well we can retrain our brain and our thought patterns so you know I'm not thinking like that anymore I'm not gonna think like that and you got to have something to replace it you got to create new pathways new neural pathways and so I came up with some scriptures and some sentences that made some new neural pathways for me and I wrote this think write every time you begin to walk on a mental pathway that leads you to desperation replace the negative thoughts with your positive thoughts you know I know that sounds like New Age part of thing you know this was true I was anyway it's not enough to try not to not think negative thoughts you must go a step further by literally replacing these thoughts with positive thoughts here are some practical some positive statements I memorize I will come through this and we'll be stronger more compassionate more relational I get alone I had this on paper and I'd say this and you know what I felt like when I said you liar you do not feel like that you feel like you're not gonna make it through this but do you know what I learned to say have my spirit say to my soul straighten up there I don't care what you feel this is what I believe this is what I think God's Word take precedent I will come through this today I choose to focus on hope optimism and joy I choose to view life as fulfilling God created he God loves and values means statements like that and I love this one from a tasteful boater who was just here listen to this the gospel is a piece of terribly delightful news God is drunk with love and he won't get sober amen God is drunk with love and he won't get sober scriptures like this Psalm 71 20 though you made me see troubles many and bitter you know wrote that David I'm not the only one who's been through troubles you're not the only one who's been trouble I've seen troubles many and bitter though you've made me see them you will restore my life again amen I wrote a book called life squareness about Abraham and went from nothing to something from empty to fall from dark to light when I'm afraid I will trust you Psalm 56 3 be joyful and hope Romans 12:12 may the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God that's my prayer for you today but I actually said those statements because I learned I am I hold title to my brain and I can choose what goes through there I can arrest some thoughts and I can release some other thoughts and I have the ability to do that and I'm gonna do it by God's Spirit third thing I learned please listen to this most of all I found out that for basically my whole life even as a young boy in athletics in everything I had tried to discover or set my personal innate worth my value by my production in my performance what I could achieve and what I could accomplish and I could never achieve and a confident enough to feel like the house wouldn't fall down they tell you read me a story of the rental house here it is it's three services you know you're not ready here it is we first moved to bend we bought a house on federal Street and we had a carpenter going there and said fix this he said the doors don't close the walls are buckled the floor is cracked I can't fix this he worked for a day or two and said I can't fix this I said what is the house hopeless he said no you need to have somebody come in here put beams under your floor and Jack the whole house up and take out that funky lava rock foundation that's really no foundation at all I'm putting in a good foundation but we did it it cost us a third of what the house and property cost but then he went in he said I can fix the house God literally said to me you know what your view of yourself how you see yourself at value has been based on what you can accomplish what you can produce and how people approve of you and we're gonna take out that funky lab iraq foundation and i said what are we gonna put into place my love and if you never do another thing i'll love you if you never make another treatment all everyday man its shoes it wasn't in one day it was over a period of time arresting those wrong thoughts and learning thoughts and scriptures about God's love and exposing myself to those and so that was a process I want to ask you how do you feel about your own personal worth just between you and your heart and God how do you feel what do you base it on is that what you can accomplish is who you can please is that what you can do what you can produce those things God cares about and then we care about them but they're not what you base your personal worth on base your worth on the fact God loves me God loves me and so I couldn't achieve enough I couldn't produce enough I couldn't do enough to feel lovable and valuable so here's my challenge if you find yourself among the 65 million people that are experiencing depression or if you just think I'm losing altitude I'm not there yet but I could go into a nosedive at any time then listen carefully because I want to share with you four things you can do here's the first don't go it alone quite simply you know American meals we just take me work through it and keep it to yourself that didn't work this wasn't gonna work that way I'm glad that I had a friend couple friends that had been through something similar I'm glad that the senator was there I needed help from somebody now don't tell a blabbermouth but you know someone you trust and someone who understands maybe they've been through what you're going through second use radiation you know when you have a tumor in cancer you use radiation and they shrink the tumor well there's an anxiety depression suicide low self-esteem tumor that you have to literally radiate to kill that thing or a little growing to all parts of your life it'll spread and grow and so I learned to expose myself to radiation to the radiation of God's Word and get in the Bible and get in books that talked about God's love and I challenge you you get a concordance you can go to the Bible bookstore you can get one online in accordance the concordance lists the words in the Bible I want to challenge you to do the word study on the word love if you study love in the Bible you will come out with saying this book is about God is love God loves me not God is ticked that's not the message of the Bible god is love or do a study on life my theme verses John 10:10 the one I prayed at the beginning the thief comes to rob and kill and destroy but God comes to give life in all its depth and richness and fullness and longness and length and depth and Heights and widths an amazing amazing undeserved indestructible love and John is the one that they said who are you he said I'm the one that Jesus loves I literally been went to who are you well I'm not at the church it's probably going well which means they don't need me I'm not producing anything I'm not writing any books I'm not leading anybody to Jesus I'm not worth anything to who are you you know I'm the one Jesus loves that's a huge transformation that's a different foundation that is HUGE I can actually say I'm glad I went through what I went through there were days and I thought I'm not gonna make it out of this I'm gonna right in front of everybody and I'm not gonna make it out I'm glad I went through what I went through because God brought good out of it I got a new foundation somebody say thank you God here's another good one these two words became very important to me in my dark night of my soul after a 13-year nightmare of injustice Joseph saw God's purpose in his trials and told this betrayer after 13 years don't be afraid do I ask for God don't you see you cleanse evil against me but God used those same plans for my good as you see all around you right now life for many people God wants people to have eternal life and abundant life and he said God actually used me to save what maybe a million lies from starvation but it was terrible but God what situation in your life do you need about God what person you know that needs a but God here it is but God meant it for good Genesis 50:20 but God will redeem my soul Psalm 49 15 but God's truth is the strength of my heart Psalm 73 28 but God has the last word proverbs 16 one but God directs your actions proverbs 16:9 but God say it but God I'm in this situation but God I know so-and-so is but God Abraham I'm a hundred years old Sarah's 80 but God Isaac's on the altar but God provided lamb but god but God but God you changed your life do a study on that expose yourself there it's some positive things in the word third read a book about God's love to books that really help me were Albus child by Brennan Manning and Reagan muffin gospel if you struggle with your self-worth or your acceptance by God I can't recommend two books any higher Hobbit's child but Brennan Manning Greg Laughlin gospel man who was openly broken church leader great books signs of life that's my next books to come out in about a month it's everything jesus said about life in love in the book of john i love the book of john it's the first book I read when I was a new I read it every year John 10:10 the enemy comes to rob me to kill and destroy but God comes to give you eternal life and all its fullness but God John 10:10 but who am I am the one God's loves pastor Steve's recent book walking in the dark with some light that comes out of darkness a good comes out of bad there's some real epiphanies in that book I encourage you to take a look at it this book right here when it all comes down it all comes down to this get it online at Amazon books or today I was gonna sign at the table we ran out of books we've got a truckload I really didn't think we'd do that but you can go out there and sign up at the bookstore and they'll have it in a week but don't do this don't sign up if you're not gonna get it Tony told me that a lot of people have signed up in the past and they pay me to pay they don't come to get the book so we got to chase him down and gotta get the FBI involved and everything it's terrible so anyway you don't if you don't say if you don't sign up yeah if you sign up come and get your book if you don't sign up just go online and amazon books and when it all comes down to all comes down to this what are you doing - your book I'll tell you just a minute I'll answer that question because I know you're thinking that okay for spread the message of God's love tell people God loves you because of who he is not because of who you are every time you drive out here you gotta look today you have to see it again remember God loves you God loves you agape love is based on the love of the giver not the love of the receiver tell people God loves you God loves you no he doesn't love me God would love me if no he loves you even if his love isn't in if love it's an even if love and I share in the book 10 even if their mind you got your own I'm a workaholic God loves me even I'm gonna workaholic I'm trying to recover but God loves me even if I tend to be a people pleaser God love me even if I'm a control freak can I get one aim in there God loves me even if I sin even if I'm sinning even if I have deep soul wounds even if I base my value on my production even if I meal what are you you got Parkinson's you're supposed to be the picture felt even if blank doesn't you fill in the blank God loves me even if blank doesn't God love me even if I find it hard to leave that he does so what your even in even if I had an abortion even if I shamed my family even even if my family has rejected me yes God loves you even if he's not an if God he's an even if God so if you know someone a friend a brother or sister or father and mother the son or daughter a co-worker a Christian brother a Christian sister who doesn't feel good about themselves who doesn't really believe that God loves them just as they are he won't leave you there but they love you right where you are who doesn't who struggles with their own personal worth and self value tell them God loves them get up close to him and don't tell them what they're doing wrong tell them God loves them tell them that God loves him because when it all comes down it all comes down to this living God's love now let me talk just a little bit more about the book like I said we sold out and you can sign up for one get it in the bookstore in a week or you can go online and get one what are you doing are you hyping your book absolutely unapologetic let me tell you why for the first seven or eight years as a pastor I've accepted no salary I left off my savings from business I'm not in this or way you can get all the profits from this book are going to charity all of them yeah thank you even even more than that I had the privilege over 27 years as a pastor here but standing here and looking more than 6,000 people in the face I to Iowan others heads were bowed they lifted their head and look at me I too I raised their hands that I want to receive Christ or I want to come back to Christ more than 6,000 and I just I haven't retired I'm refire I just I just believed that God is going to use me to touch more than 6,000 lives with writing I think he I think he breathed that to me that's I believe that so I'm not apologetic and if you read the book and it helps you write a good review because more people get I want to get many people together as possible unapologetic okay we're gonna finish this way would you stand we're gonna say God loves me with conviction and we're gonna say it with accident on the three words first God lets me know I want you to almost yell God God loves me God loves me not yet not yet God loves me and God loves me okay one two three God loves me God loves me God loves me and I'll tell your neighbor God loves you too go ahead now get out of here I'll see you at the table you

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