Jackie's Journey "It's My Party...I'll Cry if I Want To...!"

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“Age is an issue of mind over matter.

If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain

It's my birthday this week…and it's a BIG ONE!  Fear of old age is the false assumption that I still have many years of life ahead of me!   We are to number our days correctly that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psa. 90: 10-12)   I’m not too far from being an antique or a legend.  However, my mother, who turned 99 January 2nd is even closer to claiming those titles!  My “young at heart” Mom gives new meaning to …“It’s not how old you are; but how you are old!”  Marie Dressler

Have I mentioned how grateful I am for my partner in life who is growing old with me?  For the last 53 years this journey has never had a dull moment!  For those of you who know us, you know that I was looking forward to growing older…not old!...with this wonderful man, thinking he would mellow with age…I’m still waiting! 

I was reminded of the advantages of aging.  You know, like…Leviticus 19: 32 that says my time has come that when I enter a room others will “stand (to show honor and respect) when (I, now qualifying as one of) your elders, enter…” and “Is not wisdom found among the aged?”(Job 12: 12)  Since I quoted Job…his three friends were trying to sympathize and comfort him with the thought, “Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.”  Quite an expectation…no pressure there!

An Almighty God who holds my journey in His hands has blessed me beyond measure.  “This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness.  Not health, but healing.  Not being, but becoming.  Not rest, but exercise.  We are not yet what we will be, but we are growing toward it.  The process is not yet finished, but it is going on.  This is not the end, but it is the road.  All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”   Martin Luther

I look forward to the future with this promise that comes with age, “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you, I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isa. 46:4)  

Sooo…

 Happy Birthday

To me and to all of you

 who are embracing this year as a…BIG ONE!

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Posted on February 19, 2018 and filed under Announcements, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "Lost Moments"

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For those of you “Uber-moms” who spend hours in the car commuting children to school, church, church events and recreational activities…this blog is for you.  Like many American parents today, we often drive with a sense of guilt (at least we should) because so much time is seemingly “lost” while we are ensuring the safety and future success of our children.

Out of curiosity, what do you do with the time-spent transporting your children?  Do you listen to music…Christian, of course…or is your adrenaline flowing because you are running late and the traffic is the present obstacle in your way?  How do you respond to other drivers who are in the same predicament you are…hastily rushing to one practice, lesson or pursuit after another?  What are your children observing as they read you and your reaction to happenings on the daily journey?

For the last ten days I have had three of my seven grandchildren with their regular daily schedules.  I might add that the “blow by blow” itinerary that I taped to the refrigerator door had been lightened for my benefit.  Yet, in its current state I spent hours in the car commuting.  My hats off to you moms!

We are all longing to make our time count with that “captive audience”, at least we should be.  What about that verse that jumped off the page that you read that morning or last night? Did you share it with them with the reason why it jumped off the page? Or after snapping at them in the house with those encouraging words, like…“hurry up, we’re going to be late” or “you don’t have time to eat that, just grab it and let’s go!”…We wonder why we find them bickering with each other in the back seat!

Legacies are that place where those who have gone before still make a difference.  Where values are passed on from one generation to the next and where connections create consciences.  Our purpose is not all about us; it is about playing our part in God’s kingdom.

When we stop to evaluate our state of mind, we recognize that it goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically the problem of priorities.  We all know what it is to go full speed for long hours, totally involved in the task at hand.  There never seems to be an end to the pile of unfinished tasks.  But is there a possibility that with all our effort, we have failed to do the important…that, which has eternal value?

If it’s too chaotic in the car to talk, I have a suggestion.  Take that verse we mentioned and begin praying it into the life of those sitting in the car with you.  Maybe you could silently pray that your children might seek godly wisdom (Prov. 2) and develop a craving for God’s Word (Deut. 6)...or that they would understand that sin has consequences (Num. 32:23).  Pray that they would recognize and listen to God’s voice (John 10:27) and not be swayed by temptation (I Cor. 10:13).   Ask God to develop a lasting love for their siblings (Psa. 133) that comes with a grateful attitude for everything (Phil. 2:14).

These have eternal value

See you on the highway…have a great day!

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey "What Would We Do Without HOPE?"

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Sometimes we moms and grand-moms have the sense that our life is full of empty endeavors and the monotony of it all seems meaningless…we are tired…we are just missing the point of it all.  Endurance is the inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best. (Gothard)  With all our demanding enterprises, we neglect the time it takes to get in the Word to nourish and energize ourselves and then, to open the Bible with our little prince and princesses.  We find time for activities of every kind imaginable…many of them worthy efforts, yet missing the point of building eternal purpose and destiny into our little ones.

If this speaks to you, this morning let me encourage you with these biblical facts!

“God does amazing things through people who are yielded to Him.  Throughout the Word, we see portrayals of God doing mighty works through ordinary individuals, imperfect people like you and me.  Consider this list from an e-mail message that came to one of our missionaries:

Moses stuttered.

Paul rejected John Mark.

Jacob was a liar.

David had an affair.

Solomon was too rich.

Abraham was too old.

David was too young.

Peter was afraid of death.

Lazarus was dead.

Naomi was a widow.

Jonah ran from God.

Gideon and Thomas doubted.

Elijah was burned out.

Samson had long hair.

Noah got drunk.

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?  So did Peter, Paul…well lots of folks did”. 

This is no excuse for us, but a challenge to be the example His provision has called us to be!  Let’s think this through for a moment.  Being God, He does not have to rely on people (He could use a stick!).  If God does not need you or me, why then does He give us opportunities to serve Him?  It is certainly not because we are such model servants.  Nor were any of those heroes of the Bible.   No, He puts ministries before us because He loves us.  These opportunities offer rewards from our Heavenly Father, and challenges to help us grow to be more like Christ.  That is the promise of Romans 8: 28-29. (Note the two qualifiers: those who love Him and walk in His will...requires obedience)

God continues to encourage us to be a part of the great works He is doing.  He takes ordinary people serving in extraordinary circumstances to demonstrate His Almightiness! 

 

Take heart

We can’t; but God can!

 

“Let us not become weary in doing good,

for at a proper time we will reap a harvest

 if we do not give up.” Galatians 6: 9

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey "Images from the Past"

An image of my nearest Pucuro neighbors, Luis and Micheala Tovar

An image of my nearest Pucuro neighbors, Luis and Micheala Tovar

"When you experience tribal life, you get a glimpse of an authentic New Testament community.  There are no booming high-tech worship bands, there are no coffee stations with donuts piled high and there are no folks sitting at round tables who only see each other once a week.

These tribal folks are born into this community, rarely venture outside the area,they grow old and pass away in the same community. This way of life is difficult and there are more lows than highs and yet, leaning on each other, they walk this difficult path together”. Our friend and fellow missionary, Macon Hare, shared these words this past week and it brought to mind a flood of memories from a huge part of my past.

When faced with leaving our village, because of my failing health, I realized that after living with the Kunas for years, I would possibly never see these dear people in this life-time.  However, I have permanent images captured in my memory and my heart. I remain hopeful that one day I will see these folks again, and that we will be worshipping together at the feet of Jesus.

Thank you, Macon, for the reminder of the “brown gold” still tucked away in the hidden places of the earth that remain untouched, waiting for the message committed to us 2,000 years ago!

“And He committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf:

Be reconciled to God.  God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.   II Corinthians 5: 20-21

       "Kuna Congreso"...a village church service   

       "Kuna Congreso"...a village church service   

Posted on January 29, 2018 and filed under Spiritual Growth, Character and Virtue.

Jackie's Journey "Motherhood...what a Glorious Calling!"

                                                          

                                                          

“Motherhood…what a Glorious Calling!”

“He makes the clouds his chariot and he rides on the wings of the wind.

He makes his messengers, flames of fire his servants.”

Our plane in Panama was called “Wings on the Wind”.  It was commissioned to take missionaries with the gospel into remote unreached areas in the jungles.  Being His messenger to an isolated tribe was a commitment that brought reality to my front doorstep!

Out here in California this past December we were inundated with consuming FIRES!  I had finished the Old Testament the end of November and had noted the means by which God chose to draw His people back to Himself.   He was looking for a God-consciousness with a repentant heart response that sought Him only with an undivided loyalty.  His people strayed from His ways and His will.  Fire was one of the four means God used to grab their attention!

“The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back

until He fully accomplishes the purposes of His heart.”

Jeremiah   30:24

This Righteous and Holy God who “has loved us with an everlasting love and has drawn us to Him with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31: 3) is the same God who shouts for our attention in these days when our culture has been corrupted and deceived, as it draws us away from Him and His ways.  Uncontrolled anger is common practice in our homes, on the road, in our schools and churches, at concerts, in protesting groups, etc.  It has exposed a generation of people full of socially acceptable sins.  

We have parents who do not fulfill their scriptural responsibility to win and disciple their children (looking to their local church and Christian schools to do the job!); mothers, who are too comfortable with the “It’s all about me and my needs” mind-set; and father’s, who are too busy, distracted or disinterested to meet the spiritual needs of their families.

I don’t deny that it takes daily commitment and it is hard work!  However, “we are called by God to direct and correct young human beings who are born sinners Psa. 51:5, who by nature chafe against the instructions of God (Rom. 8: 9; I Cor. 2: 14), and are obstinately focused on pleasing their own selfish appetites (Eph. 2: 3).  And yet, even from the youngest of years, this work to curtail, limit, shape and redirect young rebellious lives is precisely what God requires us to do.” (Eph. 6:4; Pro. 22: 15)  Mike Fabarez

Take heart, special moms, our consistent, firm (without anger) and loving discipline will reap a harvest of peace (that’s right…our children will bring us rest and delight our soul (Pro. 29:17) and the work will be rewarded (Jer. 31:16).

Locking into God’s will and His ways will set you apart from the culture you presently live in.  Going against the culture means we are mothers of godly conviction (not caught up with every new fad or philosophy…wind and doctrine); mother’s with personal integrity.  We are virtuous with Godly understanding and knowledge from time spent in His word.  We are God-confident (not self-confident and entitled). We are yielded to His way and His will, not our own. We are women of great joy and gratefulness (regardless of our circumstances).  We are transparent before Him and hide no sin.  We are bold in our identifying and bearing witness of His Name.  We walk humbly with one another, not demanding our own way.  These attributes are His character… and His Spirit produces these things, as we get out of His way and submit to His leadership!

What is your commitment to God and your child?

Do your little princes and princesses see a mom and dad

Dedicated to Him… a flame of fire??

The parents of a righteous child have great joy…

Proverbs 23: 23

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey "How Do Your Kids See You?"

                                                         "How Do Your Kids See You?"

                                                         "How Do Your Kids See You?"

Our children, whatever their age, have an image of us.  We think we are projecting a certain picture of who we are; yet, their perception of us may be, and usually is, totally different!   “At 4 years of age…mommy can do anything!  At 8 years…Mom knows a whole lot!  At 12…mother doesn’t really know quite everything and at 14…Naturally, Mother doesn’t know she doesn’t know everything.  At 16…Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.  At 18…That old woman?  She’s way out of date!  At 25…Well, she might know a little bit.  At 35…Hey, before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.  At 45…wonder what Mom would have thought about it.  At 65…Wish I could talk it over with Mom.’ 

If I were to ask you…

“What are the five most important needs of your child…

Would you know??

What an obligation we moms have to keep the line of communication open without needlessly hindering our ability to do so!  When I think back to the many positive influences in my life, I recognize that one of the greatest gifts I received was the way my mother worked to keep that communication line open so that the four of us could receive the discipline and correction we desperately needed to prepare us for adulthood.

There are, of course, common ways that parents use to hinder this process and cause children to withdraw their spirit.  

 Do any of these apply to you?

What if:

1)   The model is anger in the responses to life’s situations? Proverbs 22:24,25

2)   We are inconsistent in discipline or discipline in anger?  Ecclesiastes 8: 11; Psalm 6: 1; 38

3)   We have double - standards? Matthew 23: 1-4; Philippians 4:9

4)   We are not living in marital harmony. Gen. 2: 24

5)   We do not admit when we are wrong.  Mathew 5:23-26; Job 32:2; Jas.5:16

6)   We constantly find fault.  Job 32: 2,3

7)   We reverse our God-given roles.  Ephesians 5:22-24; Genesis 3:16

8)   We compare our child to others.  II Corinthians 10: 12

9)   We are not affirming our child. II Corinthians 2: 6-8; Revelation 2,3

10)  We are calling our child names. Ephesians 4:29

11)   We fail to keep our promises.  Matthew 5:37; Colossians 3: 9; Psalm 15:4

12)   We scold our child in front of others.  Matthew 18: 15; John 21:15-17

13)   We fail to take time to daily read the spirit of our child.  Ephesians 5: 18

14)   We’re being to strict.  James 3:17

15)   We’re giving too much freedom.  Proverbs 29:15; Galatians 4:1,2

16)   We are thoughtlessly making fun of our child.  Job 17: 1,2

17)  We’re not listening to our child’s opinion or his/her side of the story.  Proverbs 18: 13,17

18)  We are abusive physically, emotionally, verbally? I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7; Numbers 22

19)  We are having unrealistic expectations of our child.  I Corinthians 13:11

All of these (and more) cause our child to withdraw his spirit and to be reluctant to communicate with us.   Discipling (mentoring, teaching, nurturing, training, etc.) our children means more than just leading moral lives.  It means spending time with them so they see how we live out the reality of our Christian life.

Are we:

 -Offering Hope by our Godly Walk and Sacrifice

-Instilling Respect for Authority

-Teaching Personal responsibility (no victim mentality!)

-Correcting Fairly

-Modeling Forgiveness and Respect for others

-Being the Example (or being an excuse for bad behavior!)

-Spending Time cultivating Connections and Communication?

 What image of us does our child see?

 “…get wisdom, discipline and understanding.  The father of a righteous child (man) has great joy; he who has a wise child (son) delights in him.   May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice…” Proverbs 23:23b-25

Do your children bring you joy?

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey "Where Is My Life Going?"

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A NEW YEAR!  ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY!

When you get to the end of this year, what do you want to look back on and say you accomplished…Personally? Professionally?  Spiritually? Relationally?

Would you like to make this year your most successful ever?

How fruitful would you say you were this past year? 

Did you attain the goals you set? 

How did you do with keeping Godly priorities?

So often we think to be successful we need a sense that we are getting more out of life…more me time, vacation time, more quality time with our children, more opportunities to develop a more mature relationship with our husbands, more exercise, less weight…”its all about me”!  We are blinded by kids’ schedules (practices, meets, tournaments, tutors, recitals, award ceremonies and more).  We live in a maze of taxi driving (pick-ups and drop-offs), carpools, careers, vacations, parties, sleepovers, play dates, fears and circumstances that keep us from seeing the clarity of our designed purpose.  We are forever seeking balance…

This is the opposite of what God envisions for us.  We are to live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility… not as (women) who do not know the meaning and purpose of life, but those who do…making the best use of our time, despite all the evils of these days…not being vague but grasping firmly what we know to be the will of the Lord.  Ephesians 5:15-17

Fulfillment in life is not deciding what we want to do or become,

but discovering and completing the purpose

for which God made us! (Gothard)

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True Success in life is measuring what we are by what we could be (always seeking His purpose and meaning of life) and what we have done by what we could have done (by His grace).   “Faithful is He who calls us who (HE) will also do it (if we get out of the way, relinquish our will and yield to His!). It is achieving the full potential God planned for us. (ATIA) 

We are destined with His purpose on our life if we belong to Him

(Col. 1:28, 29)    …”its not about me”!

Are we focused on what God is focused on or are we hastily and thoughtlessly doing our own thing?  If we have not realized our life purpose and set eternal goals for this coming year, our present priorities to reach that goal are superfluous!  Our focus is blurred by the demands of the immediate on the altar of the permanent.

The key to a full and rich life is determined by our commitment to pleasing God.

 The alternative is failure…and I hate failure!

When I was a young Christian I was challenged by Betty Scott Stams declaration of purpose.  She was a missionary to China and was martyred by Communists in 1949.

“Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Your will for my life.  I give myself, my life, my all utterly to You to be Yours forever.  Fill me and seal me with Your Holy Spirit.  Use me as You will, send me where You will, work out Your whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.”

While at the University, I stapled that statement of purpose inside the flap of my Bible and it is still there today…a reminder of my commitment to my God, who gave His ALL for me, to “die daily”.  “If anyone would come after me (Christ), he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  Luke 9:23

 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die (to my will, rights, ambitions, entitlements, etc.) is gain.  Philippians 1:21   It has carried me through life and has been my comfort while serving in the jungles of Panama until this day…

 Where is your heart?

 What is your declaration of purpose?

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey "Where Do We Go from Here?"

                                          HAPPY NEW YEAR!

                                          HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Where Do We Begin?

Oh, no…can it possibly be this time of year, again?  Another New Year with welcoming arms drawing us back into reality!  No stopping the clock!  We have new responsibilities and new opportunities… We set new goals and evaluate how we did with last year’s resolutions. 

No…Really…what happened to last year!!

There is a slight anticlimax after weeks of traveling, company and celebrations.  The re-grouping of priorities, getting the house back in order, re-adjusting to school schedules after vacation and the need to get all that Christmas paraphernalia back into storage boxes are all activities demanding our immediate attention.

 Seriously, where do we begin?

“Our greatest danger in life is in permitting the urgent to crowd out the important.”

Charles Hummel

Life is a race against time.  Time is limited and irrecoverable.  It is no respecter of persons.  We are accountable for how we spend our time and God establishes the number of our days.  Life at the longest is amazingly short!

A converted Hindu who had been given a Bible and a clock said,

‘The clock will tell me how time goes, and the Bible will tell me how to spend it.”. Anonymous

The Bible uses several metaphors to help us visualize just how brief our life is.

“My life is wind Job 7:7 and my days are swifter than a weavers shuttle Job 7:6.” 

The psalmist compares life to a fading flower or a falling leaf.  “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes…for the wind passes over it, and it is gone”.  Ps. 103:15-16

Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. I Chron. 29:15

And Psalm 90:9 reminds us we spend our years as a tale that is told.

James 4:14 asks us… “What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away”.

“Life is so short that the wood of the cradle rubs up tight against

the marble of the tomb!”  George Sweeny

All of us are given an equal amount of time.  The only difference between us is in the way we spend it.

             We are given 168 hours each week.

             We spend approximately 56 hours for sleep, rest and recuperation.

             We spend approximately 28 hours for eating and personal duties.

             We spend approximately 40-50 hours earning a living.

We have 30-40 hours left to spend just as we wish!

 Really?…you could have fooled me!  The question is…how do we spend them?

 Is the bulk spent on:

Recreation and Entertainment

Devotions and Meditation 

Exercise and health

Family mentoring and fellowship

Regular worship of God

Personal Interests and Achievements

Conversations (FB; Twitter; Snapchat; Instagram; Blogging; etc. ) 

Time entrusted in the name of Christ (Witnessing…)

 Are we using our time wisely as good stewards?

Maybe we are very busy with good things, yet too busy for the best things; those things that have eternal value. 

That is where we need to begin…

Today is the first day of 2018!  A New Year is an anniversary and “the chief value of an anniversary is to call us to greater faithfulness in the time that is left.” William Manning  

Every hour that is lost is gone forever!

“So teach us to number our days that we might apply

our hearts to wisdom. Psalm 90:12

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Jackie's Journey "It's Christmas Day!"

                         Welcome to our Home...Won't you come in?

                         Welcome to our Home...Won't you come in?

It is unlikely that any of you will be reading Blogs this busy Christmas morning.  However, in the event that you are, I would love to just chat a few minutes.

By the time we reach this date in December, we are closing another year and 2018 is lapping at our heels!  Our time, up to this moment, over the last few weeks has been a blur and the beginning of a New Year seems almost inviting!  If we can just get through the next few days and events…

Many of you will be hastily pulling together and preparing a feast for family in your home or packing for a long drive or an aiport to join family and friends far away.  Some of you will be spending Christmas alone and some from a hospital bed; others will be generously serving food in shelters where hope and Christmas is wrapped in pain and difficulty.  Some of you are stressed; others, experiencing the “calm before the storm”.  Whatever your circumstance, this particular day is overflowing with the fulfilled promise of a Savior who entered time and space to meet us all just where we are…

Won’t you consider the reason for His coming and

the tremendous sacrifice and provision He made on our behalf?

We want to thank you for welcoming the message of The Princess Parable Series into your homes and hearts.  We have been so blessed by your response to the parable stories our five Princesses bring to your little princesses.  Last year, about this time, we released “A Royal Christmas to Remember”.  It has been a joy to be able to release our two newest books this year… “Daughter’s of the King Devotional” and “Princess Prayers”.

 

Join our five princesses this holiday season as they learn that giving is better than receiving

and that true joy comes from losing their lives serving others...! 

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We look forward to this coming year with you and pray God’s richest blessing on you and yours…

Merry Christmas

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Posted on December 25, 2017 and filed under Announcements.

Jackie's Journey "T'was the WEEK Before Christmas..."

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Well, here we are again…one week before Christmas Eve…in the throngs of chaos and deadlines!  The Nativity is center stage in every room, trees are dressed, the wreaths are hung, gifts are wrapped, the oven has not been turned off in days and music fills the house.  Friends and family are arriving from distant places, guest rooms have been readied and excitement is already in the air.  Expectations are high and time left is short and slipping precipitously by the nanoseconds.   The countdown has begun!  The blessing of fellowshipping with family and people we don’t have an opportunity to see all year makes it worth it all.

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays in full swing, we become acutely aware of our limitations.  Opening our home and believing God to use us to make others successful is the goal of hospitality.  It has been our joy over the years to have a home that is available to those God would bring our way.  Christmas is a lonely time for many who have not experienced the joy of His Coming. 

As moms, this time of year offers a multitude of opportunities to make ourselves accessible to others.   It starts in our homes with our husband and children.  The Christmas time of year offers the perfect training ground to introduce our children to the “real reason for the season”.  We, as parents, have the example of the One who left his home, and dwelt among us.  He set the standard…

 “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ:

Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God

to be something to be grasped,

But made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death

Even death on the cross”!

Philippians 2: 4-8

An open home means a heart that is wrapped in the needs of others before our own.  It is that life in opposition to comfort and convenience.  It is welcoming and finding joy in a life of servitude, humbly listening to His voice and instantly obeying.  It brings with it the blessing of experiencing His promise of grace with its power and the continual fascination of watching Him faithfully do it!  Philippians 2:13 and I Thessalonians 5: 24

The dictionary defines hospitality as the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of visitors or strangers providing food, drinks, etc. for people who are guests.  We are commanded in Scripture to be hospital women. To invite people into our homes is to respond with gratitude to our God who made a home for us!

“Be hospitable to one another without complaint”.  I Peter 4: 9

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,

for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it”!  Hebrews 13: 2

At our front door, we have the words “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”  As a mom with young children, it was a challenge to keep it all in balance when the house was already full of noise, continual movement and the regular activities that keep the ship afloat!  The joy of youth is that there actually is enough energy to do it all, if the attitude is that of an obedient and humble servant!

From our house to yours,

Have a Blessed Christmas!

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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights. 

Posted on December 18, 2017 and filed under Motherhood, Character and Virtue, Spiritual Growth.