By Andrea Johnson
Writing my last article as editor of the Message before I switch gears caused me to think back a “few” years. Open Bible College was my introduction to Open Bible Churches. Randall Bach was president of the college when I was a student. I was privileged to travel in musical groups for which he and Barbara, his wife, were sponsors. We got an inside peak into their private lives, which were led with the same integrity as their public lives. (On those trips I learned how to play Rook from Barbara!)
After college, when my life took some turns I had not planned on, Randall and Barbara lovingly reached out to our family. And then, throughout the last 26 years in which I have served at this office, they have been a major influence – on me and on my family. Even though part of that time they were serving in East Region, I watched them interact with all kinds of people in all kinds of situations rejoicing with those who were rejoicing, weeping with those who were weeping, and lovingly counseling and even correcting those in need. I love hearing Randall pray. He always seems to hear a person’s heart, not just their words. (I’m guessing that’s the Holy Spirit’s anointing!)
Randall’s message that has stuck with me most is called “The Sweet Spot of Anointing.” If you get a chance to read it, you should! [Read Article]. He would often say that your goal should be to stretch yourself, to aim for something beyond your own abilities to the point where you can succeed only through the Holy Spirit’s anointing, and then be quick to acknowledge that glory is due the Lord, not yourself.
His prayer at the end of “The Sweet Spot of Anointing” is this:
Lord, help me to hear and heed your voice, striding with boldness wrapped in humility. I acknowledge I can do nothing apart from you while thanking you that, through Christ, I can do all things! “Randall A. Bach
It was with that mindset that I accepted this position as Message editor when Randall offered it. Looking back, I’m surprised that I even attempted the task. I KNOW it was the Lord directing, giving me the “desire” to do it (Psalm 37:4).
Throughout my years as editor, God has always provided what we needed when we needed it. I have gotten to work with an amazing office family. And as Randall worked carefully to build a whole team for communications, I have had more fun than a person ever should have at a “job.” Collaborating with them has been the best! Have you ever been excited to get to work? I have!
I appreciate Randall for taking a chance on me, for his support, patience, and sound wisdom. I also appreciate Jeff Farmer, Open Bible’s former president, for encouraging me and giving me so many opportunities to stretch. Both have been incredible mentors to me in so many ways. I appreciate our proofreaders, who have kept us from many a blunder.
I am especially grateful for our incredible writers, busy people who have been kind enough to share through their teachings and testimonies the powerful ways God is working in their lives. We can have the tendency to be quiet about what God does through us or through our churches, not wanting to come across as boastful. But I strongly believe that we need to joyously share what God has done for us and those around us, not to praise a specific person or church, but to give God the glory He deserves. That is our aim for everything. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus” (Revelation 19:10, NLT).
I want to thank you, our faithful readers, who are kind enough to overlook our occasional mistakes and concentrate on the messages we are attempting to relay. And I certainly want to thank my husband, Denny. Without him I could never have followed this dream.
I am so grateful that my mom made every effort to teach us proper grammar and modeled a love of reading. (She also gave all five of us “kids” the initials A. P., paying homage to the Associated Press.) I appreciate having grown up in a small town, where my uncle published the local newspaper and featured a column called “Good Things.” I always read his column first.
Although Denny and I are officially “retiring,” we plan to continue many of the things we do now: spend time with family and friends, volunteer, travel, and write – just without rigid deadlines!
God has been so good to me, and I am beyond grateful. He is so faithful and so kind. When so much of our waking hours can be filled with disturbing news, I have been tasked with focusing on good things that are happening, and there are many!
And you know what? You do not have to be “in publishing” to spread joy. We all can, and we all should!
About the Author
Andrea Johnson, a credentialed Open Bible minister, is the managing editor of the Message of the Open Bible. A graduate of Open Bible College with a major in theology/missions, she has edited and co-edited several books, including Servants of the Spirit: Portraits of Pentecostal Pioneers, We Believe: Core Truths for Christian Living, and We Believe for Kids! Her goal is to reveal Christ to those who are searching for Him. In her spare time you will most likely find Andrea enjoying time with family and friends or hiking. She and her husband, Dennis, are blessed with four children, three of whom are married, and eight grandchildren.