Posts Tagged ‘Brenda Johnson’

Celebrating 47 years: To God be the glory

August 31, 2020
This photo was taken in 1973 in Washington DC during our first year of marriage.

Today is a special day that commemorates a special event occurring 47 years ago when my beloved Brenda and I exchanged vows. This anniversary is especially significant in that we have returned to live in Northern Virginia, just beyond the Nation’s Capital where we first met in 1971. Since moving back to the DC area, I have connected with the VA Hospital in the District as a patient where I worked as a staff pharmacist during the first two years of our marriage.

While driving to my first appointment at the oncology clinic, I drove through an area where I had a most remarkable experience that some might call a “prophetic encounter” where I envisioned the “woman of my dreams” whom I would someday meet. That experience occurred in 1970, and I met Brenda in 1971. Subsequently, we were married in 1973. Driving through NW Washington, DC brought to mind this poetic tribute of love inspired by an experience occurring fifty years ago:

Before I Knew You


for my beloved Brenda


I thought of you long before I ever knew you.
When through the mist I beheld your lovely face.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

I could not speak your name, yet somehow, I knew you
Would be all I could desire in style and grace.
I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

Alone, I saw the sunset, told myself you too
Needed a dearest friend to share this special place.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

Alone, I passed the time and asked myself who you
Were dreaming of, yet still longing to embrace
I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

I yearned to give my life, to share my soul with you
Who would make me feel whole and fill my empty space.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

God stretched out his hand, and then He gently drew you
To me with a true love that time cannot erase.
I thought of you long before I ever knew you.
Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

When Brenda and I met, we learned that she had been praying to meet the man of her dreams, just as I had been praying to meet the woman of my dreams. This stanza from another original poem “A Place Called Gilgal” reveals:

We each prayed and God answered, as I remember.
Before I knew you, I reached toward you in my heart,
Where I had prepared, set aside a special place.
Until we met, I had been patiently waiting.
Our lives were entwined, and we were forever changed,
As we vowed to walk in God’s love from that moment.

Indeed, our lives have been forever changed. We have been blessed beyond measure with two lovely daughters, Melissa and Angela, and their husbands, two mighty men of valor, William and Shajuan. Most amazingly, today is the first day of school for our first grandson, Kingston. Without question, the blessings of the Lord continue to abound toward us.

I close this entry with this song “You’re the answer to my prayer” by Skip Ewing.





Happy Mother’s Day–Queen of My Heart

May 10, 2020


For my beloved Brenda,
Not just on Mother’s Day
But every day,
You are Queen of my Heart

One of the joys of my life is preparing exquisite meals for people I love. As an expression of my love for my beautiful wife, here is the menu for our dinner, fit for a queen, which we will share with out daughter and son-in-law and grandson on this special Mother’s Day. I thank God that we are able to do this.

Mediterranean Dinner Extraordinaire

Greek Salad

Assorted Shishkabobs

Salmon-Chicken-Lamb

Savory Quinoa w/ Vegetable Medley

Selected Riesling

Mini-Hollywood-Two-tone Cheesecakes

Coffee/Tea

Happy Mother’s Day, BJJ

May 11, 2019

For Mother’s Day 2019 here is a special tribute to a special mother, my beloved Brenda Joyce Johnson, mother of Melissa and Angela and grandmother of Kingston, a reminder of my love for you on Mother’s Day and every day:

One Red Rose

tender
reminder
love
grows

only
God knows
all the love
behind

one
red
rose

Love always,

LJ

A song for Brenda

October 7, 2018

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day or some other variation, today’s blog entry is a special tribute to a special lady, my wife Brenda, as we celebrate a special occasion:

Through the ages, men have been inspired to write songs for the love of their lives. Often these compositions sing of the special lady by name. Thinking of my wife, Brenda, as she celebrates her 70th birthday inspired this expression of my love for my Sweet Lady:

A Song for Brenda

Celebrating her 70th birthday
October 8, 2018

Each man is inspired by his fair lady;
Many a man has penned a song or two:
For Molly and Dolly and Ora Lee
And for the love Nina never knew.

Some songs are written for the love that’s seen
In the eyes of the cutest girl in town:
Amy, Diana, Fanny, Gigi, and Jean
Liza, Delilah, and Sweet Georgia Brown.

Some songs are written to capture the grace
In the wide smiles that wile and beguile you:
Margie, Maria, and Nancy with the laughing face;
Laura, Louise, and don’t forget Sweet Sue.

Of all the lyrics composed for ladies
The finest words were omitted somehow.
There never was a tender ballad for Brenda
There never was her love song until now.

When Brenda and I moved to North Carolina the first time, from time to time we went to Myrtle Beach. While there we discovered beach music and the shag (we called it fast dancing or the bop or some other name). We loved to shag and still do. In fact, we placed first in the shag division in a dance contest when we were taking dance lessons back in the day. We have the trophy to prove it. On one of our trips to Myrtle Beach we heard what has become one of “our songs”: the beach music classic by OC Smith: Brenda:

or

Happy Birthday, Beautiful.

Happy Mother’s Day to a Special Lady

May 13, 2018

The second Sunday in May is a special day for special women in our lives—our mothers. On today, April 13, 2018, I express my gratitude to God for my wife, Brenda, the mother of our two daughters, Melissa and Angela and the grandmother of our grandson, Kingston. Happy Mother’s Day to a special Lady, affectionately called, Mom, Mommy, Mimi, —Brenda Joyce Johnson.

I love you on Mother’s Day and every day.

After 44 years, still more in store

August 31, 2017

As Labor Day approaches, once I again, I wax reflective, recalling a most significant event occurring on the last day of the month preceding—August 31, 1973. Ah, I remember it well, the day Brenda Joyce Warren and Lonnell Edward Johnson exchanged wedding vows. My heart continues to overflow with gratitude to God, as I once again croon in my heart the lyrics to our song “You make me feel brand new”:

In celebration of this joyous occasion are these words:

After these forty years and four

 He who finds a wife finds what is good,

gaining favor from the Lord.

 Proverbs 18:22

 

After these forty years and four there is still more in store.

We look back and then ahead after all is said and done.

Still standing before Him: one plus one plus one making one.

We have arrived at another triumphant place to some,

But to us we know that the best is always yet to come.

We were for one another the one we both had we prayed for.

God drew us together to love one another all our days.

After these forty years and four there is still more in store.

For countless blessings overflowing we give you the praise.

Striving to become one, unified in the bond of peace,

God’s favor will never diminish but only increase.

We stand again with open hands and heart that He might see

Our desire to serve and to be all you called us to be.

After these forty years and four there is still more in store.

 

Listen to “our song”: You make me feel brand new

Happy Mother’s Day

May 8, 2016
                     On Mother’s Day a special tribute to a Special Lady,
                                   My Beloved Brenda Joyce Johnson
                                      Mother of our two daughters
                       Melissa Dawn Simkins and Angela Renee Joyner
BJ photo
                           Our hearts overflow with gratitude to God
                         for all you mean to us and to so many more.
Happy Mother's Day

Straight from my heart

February 14, 2016

BJ photo

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016, when countless numbers of people think about love and all that it means, I think of the love of my life, my Beloved Brenda, and offer these words:

A Love Song Straight from my Heart

“This is my beloved. . .”

 

If I could I would croon a tune

That would make you swoon:

A ballad so tender

For my beloved Brenda,

A love song straight from my heart

That overflows with gratitude

Each time I remember

How God brought us together

And answered each other’s prayer.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, Beautiful.

With all my love,

Lonnell

Here is one of our favorite songs: “You Make Me Feel Brand New” by the Stylistics:

Portrait of My Sweet Lady

October 8, 2015

New BJOctober 8 is a special date to a special lady in my life. My wife Brenda, the love of my life, celebrates her birthday today. As I thought of her with gratitude to God that we met and our lives entwined, I wrote this poetic tribute to express how much she means to me. Happy birthday to you, BJ, “Brenda Joyce, the wife of my youth in whom I rejoice.” Here’s to you, cheers to you, painted with words:

For my Beloved Brenda

on her birthday

October 8, 2015

Portrait of My Sweet Lady

My Sweet Lady, much more than treasured fruit of the vine:

We both prayed, then we met by God’s divine design.

Portrait of My Sweet Lady reveals my love and even more.

My Beloved Brenda, our love abounds with more in store.

To celebrate our love: a medley of our songs–some old and new:

God bless you, you make me feel brand new, for God blessed me with you.

Every time I try but still can’t see why: If only you knew

That “It had to be you, wonderful you; it had to be you.”

But we are all alone, and I am singing this song for you.

We know God brought us together: this truth we cannot ignore:

Portrait of My Sweet Lady.

I sing, “Fill my heart with song and let me sing forever more.”                                                                                                       

Sung in so many ways, “The best is yet to come” and so much more.

So in other words please be true; in other words, I love you.

In this world of ordinary people, I’m glad there is you.

“Oh, Brenda,” my beloved Brenda, gift-wrapped in God’s favor:

Portrait of My Sweet Lady.

Listen to a recording of O.C. Smith singing “Brenda,” one of the songs mentioned in the poem, a song that means so much to us since we have moved back to North Carolina, where we were living when we first heard the song: