Praise the Lord for his gracious gifts

Dear Friends,

I am writing to let you know what the Lord did for me yesterday. I am writing from the CCU of one of our local hospitals. That term will give you some clue what I am writing about.

Yesterday afternoon I was walking out of our local Walmart (i’m sure there’s no correlation with this) when I suddenly began to feel very unwell. As I walked I debated whether or not the pain I was feeling was really chest pains or not. (they say the denial is part of the normal experience when you’re having a heart attack)

I sat down to rest, thinking that surely this would pass and I could go into Starbucks to get the coffee I was contemplating. The feeling didn’t pass but I didn’t know what to do. I started walking again and ran across an old friend, someone I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. He greeted me and all I could say was “I don’t feel very well.”

He said, “you don’t look very well, do you want me to call 911?” I agreed that he should and then said I had to sit down. In short order, the ambulance was there and I was on my way to the hospital. As I came into the coronary unit, I was actually greeted by my own heart doctor. In less than two hours from the onset of symptoms, I was equipped with a life-saving stent. And so I am here today to tell you what happened. Apparently there is still work for me to do for our Lord.

I am writing this so that I can have something to refer all my friends to when they have questions about what has happened. I believe that I am here simply by the grace of God. All praise his name!


  1. Don

    What a joy to hear that the Lord has more in store and the unique circumstances of your cardiac emergency. May the Lord accelerate your recovery.


  2. Wow, Don. I’m glad to hear that the Lord spared your life and you are still with us. We will be praying for a speedy recovery!

  3. Pastor Tod Brainard says:

    My prayers are with you. Our Lord has been good to you in giving you more time to proclaim his Word!

    Just think how wonderful it will be to have new bodies to serve God for all eternity.

    Be well and have a full recovery!

    Pastor Tod Brainard

  4. Fred Moritz says:

    Glad you are recovering, Don. I have been praying for you.

    Fred Moritz

  5. Good to know you are OK – praying you recover quickly and are back home with family and friends very soon.

  6. David Barnhart says:

    Don, I just heard about this from Jim Peet at SI. I’m glad that God hasn’t taken you yet! I love reading about “coincidences” like you coming across an old friend at just the right time, and that your own doctor was in the coronary unit. God must indeed have a plan for keeping you in this life yet. I’ll be praying for you and your family. Regards.

  7. Larry says:

    Don, So sorry to hear about your heart attack, but glad to hear you were able to get the help you need to fix it. Hopefully you will be back to full strength soon and back at the work of ministry.

    • Hello one and all

      Thank you for the kind comments and prayers. I just arrived home from the hospital. My WordPress app on my phone would let me see your comments but not approve them. Sorry about that.

      But they were gratefully received nonetheless. I am thankful to God for his grace, I know it is always there and we walk and live in it, but as I think about this experience, the way things worked out, I can see clearly it is simply by the grace of God that I am still on earth today. Thank the Lord, I still have the opportunity to serve him here.

      I was preaching this passage Sunday afternoon:

      Acts 20:22 “And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. 25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.

      My situation is not an exact parallel, of course, but my philosophy of ministry needs to be exactly the same. I need to be one who does not count my life as dear to myself and one who is innocent of the blood of all men. All for Jesus. The things we pursue in this life really don’t matter all that much in light of the end for which we live.

      Thanks again for the comments

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

      • judy and neil pyne says:

        Thrilled to see the Divine orchestration of people in
        sustaining your ability to serve the Lord. Hugs and prayers
        from Houston Texas

  8. Don,

    I’ve been meaning to post something here ever since I heard. Thankful that you are able to be up and around again so soon. Not exactly the way you planned to spend the days leading up to Christmas, I’m sure…

  9. Dave Byford says:

    I am thrilled to hear that you made it through this potential threat on your life. I pray for you regularly and our church also prays for you. Thank you for all you do for the Lord.
    Dave Byford

  10. d4v34x says:

    Don, sorry to hear this, but very glad you’re still here to tell it! Be well and take care.

  11. Don,

    So this is what it takes to get you to write a blog post. I saw your proclaim and defend article posted at news for Christians. I hope your heart gets right. I learned a lot about having a heart attack and felt sympathetic chest pain for you. Hope everything gets cleared up.

    • Well, the whole experience has been very interesting. I am allowed to go back to work (!) tomorrow, although in reality I only slowed down a little. A dear friend, Dr. Tom Nieman, came up and preached for me a week ago, I preached one message today and should do the full slate next week. Can’t drive yet for another two weeks so my wife gets to be my chauffeur.

      All in all, I am doing very well. Pray for my friend, the fellow who called 911 for me. Had coffee with him yesterday and discovered he has been investigating Mormonism. I hope he will let me preach the gospel to him! (I’m using your terms, thinking of your recent posts on evangelism. I appreciate what you said there.)

      But as for me, they got me to the hospital so fast that I have had very little damage to my heart. Praise the Lord.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  12. Don, how are you doing? Any updates?

    • Hi Jon,

      I’m doing very well. The Lord blessed me with very speedy treatment that resulted in minimal, if any, heart damage. I am back to a full-time schedule, just can’t drive till Monday. Planning on arranging my affairs to “start my engine” at the stroke of midnight!

      Thank the Lord for his grace!

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  13. T. Pennock says:

    Hi Don,

    I know this is late, but I just heard of your heart predicament today. I’m praying for you and will continue to do so. But it does sound as if you’re making speedy recovery. The Lord bless you, my brother. Continue on for Him. Indeed, it appears He has more for you to do.

    T. Pennock

    • Thanks! Yes, doing well, back at full schedule. Last week I was driven to my side-job by my son with my truck. Got off at 11:30 pm, waited till the stroke of midnight, then drove myself home. Free at last!

      We are so dependent on our wheels…

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  14. Don,

    I just read this today. Sorry to hear about your heart attack, but praise the Lord for His protection. I am sure this is much more that God has in store for you. Will be praying for your complete recovery.

    In Christ,

    Frank Sansone

  15. Sandy Edgar says:

    Dear Don,

    I was shocked to read of your heart attack. Thankful for the Lord’s will in healing and restoring you to health as well as your humour/spirit in recovering from it (I imagine I could hear the car start)