In Gratitude for All of You

lily and me

My grand-daughter Lily and me.

By Charlie Johnston

A few years back at a family gathering, my son told me, “Dad, you’re great with Christmas, great with Easter, really good at Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. But when it comes to birthdays, you stink!” Everybody laughed.

I don’t know why, but I never really got birthdays. They make me uncomfortable and a little queasy – not because I am older, but because they are so relentlessly self-referential and don’t really celebrate anything except surviving another year. There have been many years when I just hid until it was over…and snickered with glee at the accomplishment if I was able to get through with no one noticing. Of course, with the rise of Facebook, that will never happen again.

On this birthday, I am deeply grateful for those of you who have written to say I have helped you find peace and calm in the midst of turmoil by reacting with an ever-deepening trust in the providence of Our Lord. For all the motives critics try to assign to me, the simple truth is I am a true believer, in every fiber of my being. If you understand that, I am very predictable. I prefer the good opinion of my brothers and sisters, but the only thing that really counts is the approval of my eternal Dad. I spent decades scared to death about the implications of what I have been shown…and decades trying to wiggle off the hook. But I made a fundamental promise to the Lord very long ago that if these things should come to pass, I would do my best to give the rest of His children heart to endure, to be signs of hope, and assurance that He was with us. It has been scary because the problems and disorders are so big and I am so little…but through all those years He showed me that, though I am indeed little and nearly helpless, He is big and has all under control – and will fill the gaps in whatever we do, no matter how ineffective, if we just do the little we can with steady resolve, always offering it up to Him. Now, I see a great army of the faithful rising, realizing the same thing and resolving to live it, come what may. The first real wisdom comes when we realize we can’t save the world – but we can acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope. That so many of you have adopted that simple way and found real peace and hope in resolving to live it, makes my heart glad, indeed.

The picture at the top of this article is from the first time I met my grand-daughter, Lily. I was tickled that she took to me so quickly and naturally. Somehow, the memory of that moment today recalls to my mind how so many of you have received me. I am glad of it. Thank you.

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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359 Responses to In Gratitude for All of You

  1. toddkrafty says:

    Interesting video share from a friend met on pilgrimage.

    About the 15 year old Jewish boy – ties in with the storm rather well.

    Sent from HAL Typos included


    Liked by 1 person

    • Petrus Romanus says:

      Mr Johnston

      You came to Texas and received envelope and something from Our Mother in white,,, you should look up refined Fatima Promised Peace Plan and many other Mystery’s,, Please Take time to Look me up as I

      Liked by 1 person

      • charliej373 says:

        I received dozens and dozens of envelopes along my way, Petrus. Some were very lovely prayers and devotions, some was local lore, some were just kind letters from people who have found hope at this site. Yet some was very dense and complicated speculation and prophetic musings. If what you gave me included any of the former, I thank you. If it was the latter, I remind you that the way I speak of and proclaim is a simple one – acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope. That is all. For some reason, many people who have gotten into major complicated claims of “secret” knowledge approach me regularly. I don’t know why, when I so emphatically insist on the ordinary and the simple way. It is just a modern form of Gnosticism.

        I don’t remember specifically the white envelope you gave. You can check in at for any private questions. But I must tell you honestly, if it is some densely packed speculative timeline or such, I won’t respond. We all have work to do – and it is simple work. When I say I won’t get caught up in dense speculative or theoretical “prophecy,” I mean it. It is a serious distraction from the simple work before all of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. zeniazenia says:

    Good Moring! Good morning — I found this 15 minute ‘Crash Course on Divine Mercy 101′ by Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, ’33 days to morning glory’ author. Listening to it this morning as I was confirming my morning schedule, I learned that the Feast of Divine Mercy is the only day of the year on which Jesus promises to us a plenary indulgence. 🙂 All other times we make the attempt, a plenary indulgence is contingent upon our being detached from all venial sin — which is very suspect for sure. That is a VITAL difference! WOW a guaranteed plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday.!!!! Love — ZJ

    Liked by 5 people

    • zeniazenia says:

      Lily is such a little doll in this picture. I wish she could sit on my lap next, after she is finished visiting with you. St. Therese of Lisieux –pray for us!

      Liked by 5 people

  3. SusanMI says:

    Happy 60th Birthday, Charlie! I’m arriving a bit late for the party, but absolutely couldn’t miss sending well wishes to you, your family, and all here!
    I am very grateful for your willingness, so many years ago, to accept that Divine apprenticeship, charged with the monumental task of faithfully guiding God’s people during a time like no other. I know the journey has not been an easy one. And in being a part of the NRS community over the years, we have been given a bit of insight that the job of heartening the faithful and defending the faith, is not all warm fuzzies and rainbows, but one that challenges our comfort (spiritual and otherwise) and demands that we ask difficult questions and engage in hard discussions, in order to solidify the foundation that will be so very important in the days and years to come.
    It has been a while since I poked my head in to say hello. All is well.. yes, life has it’s difficulties, however, we are blessed with the joy of having been given the gift of faith and the healing grace of the sacraments. The graces of the Year of Mercy are astounding. So many hearts are longing for healing and forgiveness.

    I am seeing Daniel Oconner’s observation about the year of Mercy unfold in real time through daily life. It is truly beautiful and astounding. I hope you don’t mind me including Daniel’s whole comment here and not just the link.

    “Call me crazy, but I really believe that just walking through the streets in prayer can now achieve what once took a Eucharistic Procession to achieve. I really believe that, if you live in the Divine Will and desire to proclaim the Divine Mercy, saying “God Bless you” to someone can achieve what once took a long sermon accomplish. I really believe that handing someone a simple Divine Mercy card (or even just placing it somewhere) can do in a soul what once required convincing her to read a long book. I really believe that, even if to us our attempts seem so inadequate, miserable, and meager, that nevertheless through our prayer in the Divine Will, we can be the greatest intercessors and missionaries in history. Should we therefore stop at the minimum? Of course not. But let us trust that even these tiny acts on our part can indeed be and will be multiplied a thousand fold, and let that trust determine the degree of our inspiration to be faithful and attentive to so great an invitation. It’s —from “And So It Begins”, December 8th, 2015;

    Our blessings to you Charlie, may God continue to fortify you for the rest of the journey. And may God continue His work in all of us here, so that we may continue to acknowledge Him in all things, take the next right step in our journey, and be a sign of hope to those around us.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. David says:

    This is in regards to the video pasted by toddkrafty on February 27, 2016 at 9:36 pm.
    I watched Nathan speak himself back in September. He claimed that this would happen within the next two weeks. He also claimed that President Obama was Gog and that Obama would be killed and Obama will be buried Israel.
    More details can be found here including the actual video by Nathan:
    Very weird stuff. I’m surprised Charlie has allowed this video to be posted on his blog.


    • charliej373 says:

      Hey David. I have not watched it. Thanks for the update. I get so many links that, if it comes from a trusted poster, I usually let it stand without anything more than a cursory glance at it. Sadly, if I vetted every one, I would have time for nothing else. I do check all the links from commenters I have not developed a strong trust for. But even if I don’t approve something, I let others who I respect who may have different emphases than me some real latitude. That is why I allowed links to the old LttW site if they appeared with a comment even though I made clear I did not believe them to be of supernatural origin.

      Several were interested in this. Given your update, though, I will not allow any further links on the matter. Thanks for helping keep us all grounded.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kris says:

        I do want to let you know that my husband and I also watched this video and found it interesting even with the strange claims about Obama. These types of experiences can have “truth” in them even when ,as you yourself Charlie have acknowledged , that the human recipient can misinterpret what they ‘saw’. There are other things about this claim that we found interesting. This boy had no religious training. He spoke of things in ways that he could not have known unless through a spiritual experience. There is another child who claimed an unusual experience know as Tatiana, I believe. She became famous for her paintings, one especially of the face of Christ that she painted that no child of her age could possibly have painted. But as she grew she began spouting very strange, ‘new age’ type things that turned me off . But I have no doubt this child did in fact experience heaven and created beautiful works of art depicting what she saw. Like this boy she was of a family that had no religion. So I wonder if we are meant to hear this story in a similar manner , not seeing it as ‘verbatim prophecy’ but as an indicator that the heavens are calling all sorts of people to an awareness that things are happening on a big plane and all faiths should take notice. Just asking

        Liked by 1 person

  5. little on in PA says:

    Happy Birthday Charlie!! I thank God for the gift of you. Birthdays are a celebration of God’s Will. He willed you to be! Your Yes to Him is beautiful and inspiring! And so necessary at this time in history. Every day something happens- there is such chaos and turmoil. I personally feel I’m in battle every day!! If I didn’t have this NRS family, I can’t imagine how I would manage.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Jacquie says:

    Happy Birthday! Charlie.
    Yes. You most definitely have been instrumental in my spiritual life changes. Largely, due to your insights and those of TNRS community. Thank you. A gift I appreciate.
    FYI I’m working on a couple projects that would not have been even slightly considered pre CJ days. (18 months ago)
    Do your birthdays always fall during Lent? My birthday is a few days after yours and frequently falls during Lent. When I was a little kid it caused no end of consternation!😩 (As parties and cake were verboten. ). I finally got over it a couple years ago. 😉
    God Bless You Charlie. And thank you for all you do for us!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. DanSouthChicago says:

    Sorry that I’m late to the party, but God bless you for all you’ve done. I agree that birthday celebrations are usually too self-referential (I am pleased when mine is overlooked), but you also need to let us have the joy of being thankful to Our Lord for giving us the gift of you and being thankful to you for cooperating with God. So, woo-hoo! And God bless!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. SanSan says:

    Little late coming Charlie, but I wanted to chime in and wish you many more happy birthdays’–especially with Lilly! Grandchildren, nothing better.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. El ingeniero de Tepeyac says:

    I’m not sure how appropriate this is here but it seems to me to fit into the general theme of this blog.

    There are warriors among us, Edward C. Byers Jr, a Navy SEAL in DEVGRU, will be receiving the Medal of Honor. Sr Chief Byers is a Catholic and always goes on a mission with a St Michael the Archangel patch on his back.

    This link from the Washington Post gives more about him. . It is interesting in this article that his beliefs were given so much press. the WP is not known for being Christian/Catholic friendly.

    News like this heartens me as the storm grows ever stronger.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Chris says:

    Happy Birthday Charlie.We are all so blessed to be in a family with you as our guide. Thank you, thank you and thank God for you.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. moomba1 says:

    A belated but sincere Happy Birthday, Charlie!
    May our Dear Lord always bless you.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Maria Smith says:

    I have found that thanking and praising God in the good and all the trial makes things much better. Also before I retire I tell God all the things that happened through my day. The good and not so good. It makes me feel so full of grace and love for my savior. I just want to thank you for all your words that in courage me through my days. In Christ Maria

    Liked by 1 person

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