Jackie's Journey "Can You Imagine!"

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Life had become routine in the Darien jungles of Panama. The sounds of Howler monkeys, the screeching of magnificent multicolored parrots and the beauty of the bright colored Toucan had become commonplace.  One morning we woke up to find two little spider monkeys on the front porch crawling on the girls bikes! 

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I still could not reconcile with: the colossal spiders, the over-sized scorpions, the copious species of snakes, the blood-sucking vampire bats or the jungle army ants!  Nor would I ever find harmony with the dripping humidity and the ever-present roaches, chiggers and mosquitos!  However, I did learn to appreciate the large Iguanas for their tasty eggs.

 Daily, the Kunas would greet us, early, looking for sugar or oil and a morning visit.  We had become part of the community and they had begun to accept us.  We had brought healing medicine, oil, and sugar after all! 

 The Indians had, somewhere along the line, become part of our family and we had become attached to them and their way of life.  We had learned so much from them and were amazed at their physical strength compared to their small stature.  Their ability to take one bullet and return with a deer or two bullets and return with two deer was uncanny.  We, also, learned much from their survival skills in the dense jungle.  But their openness to listen to the truth of God’s Word after a year and a half of total mistrust and resistance was the most astounding of all!  

 Watching the young mothers with their babies and the respect and trust these women had for the older women in the village was heartening.  We had grown to love these very special people and had developed a mutually fulfilling relationship.  As they came to know Christ, our hearts were full of gratitude for the privilege of serving the King in such a rugged border region.

 The women swept the village once a week during dry season and it was an opportunity for Sue Gunsteens, my partner, and I to listen to the women chatter and hear the community gossip. You didn’t want to miss the sweeping because you would then become the object of their conversation that day!   

 However, I was consistently on guard because of something my Uncle, an orthopedic surgeon, had told me while he was visiting us at Language School.  He spoke quietly: “Jackie, you carry the TB germ from birth; it lays dormant now but could activate in the right environment or as you get older”. I was 25 at the time, so I only had to focus on the environmental issue, I thought to myself!  Then, a year or so later, during a Congreso meeting, we knew we had reached a level of tribal acceptance when they offered us a gourd filled with “Chicha” and everyonedrank from that one rustic cup!  Needless to say, I did not want to offend by NOTdrinking from it!  

 But for me the sweeping and the common drinking gourd became an act of faith because the sweeping stirred up the tuberculosis germs and of course, the tubercular women would contaminate that communal cup! 

 The Lord had given me a promise while we were in missionary training.

 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,

plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future”.   Jer.29: 11

 The Lord used these powerful words of promise to banish my fear and sustain me as we swept the village, drank the “sugar cane-sweetened platano (cooking banana) drink” and treated the TB patients in their homes and the clinic.  

 He knew my future and had it planned. There was, therefore, no reason to be troubled.  My focus was not on my fear but the need to keep in harmony with Him, His assignment and His will.

 Are you ever preoccupied with the future and what it holds for your life?

 In a world full of uncertainties it is easy to “roll into” the pattern of helping God design your future, rather than simply submitting to Himand His plan

that comes with assurance and hope

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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 "Invisible...Who?... Me!"

I have been told that it is not how old you are, but how you are old.  I agree with Bernard Baruch who said, “To me – old age is fifteen years older than I am!”  My Dad used to say “Growing old isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative”.

 The Word is rich with wise instruction concerning our attitude toward the “old”.  

 My husband, Ralph with his sweet mother, Germaine, who lived with us her last 15 years.

My husband, Ralph with his sweet mother, Germaine, who lived with us her last 15 years.

Psalm 92: 14 gives us A PROMISE when speaking of …the advanced in age that bear the fruit of the righteous:

           “They will STILL bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,

                         proclaiming the Lord upright; he is their Rock and there is no

wickedness in them”!

 

Ø  Deut. 28: 50 mentions “a fierce-looking nation without RESPECT for the old”…(Respect should be expected…this nation was noted for its disrespect!)

 

Ø  The Third Commandment is devoted to the HONOR our parents are to receive from us!  (There is no designated age termination for this command!)

 

Ø  Joseph brought his father and his entire family to live with him in Egypt during the famine. (We are to be concerned for them and look for opportunities to meet their need) One of the biggest blessings of my life was when my mother-in-law came to live with us for the last 17 years of her life.

 

Ø  The Old Testament saints carried the dead bones (!) of their ancestors with them when God moved them to another country!   (Talk about reverence!)

 

Ø  Somehow the patriarchs of old, wisely led nations for generations before dying a “good old age”.  “1 Chronicles 29:28

 

Age does not define our relevance, but it often reveals our place of usefulness in our present culture.  All of us have the need to be connected.  You may be saying, “Well… my mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother (etc…) is not deserving of my honor and respect”. 

We do not choose our place of birth but we do choose how we allow God to use our circumstances to produce His life in us! 

 Psalm 39: 5 tells us what God thinks about age, spoken by David:

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth;

the span of my years is nothing before you.”

 Each man’s life is but a breath!

 Life is inordinately SHORT BUT there is always enough time “to heed His instruction”.  There are no exception clauses to obedience…just the command!

 “So be wise, my daughter, heed His instruction, leave that road that leads to destruction…hallow His Name, and don’t walk in shame…”

 

How do you wisely show honor for those who have gone before you?

Do your little princesses and princes see and hear

your reverence for

 “the aged”?

 Don’t hinder God’s work!

These “invisible” personalities are God-given with the divine purpose

of producing the character of Christ in us!

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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 "Grateful and So Blessed!"

 Meet my niece, Olivia celebrating God’s gift of Fall!

Meet my niece, Olivia celebrating God’s gift of Fall!

Were you wondering what we did when the doctors would not release me to return to our village?  We were desperate to return to the only “home” we knew in Panama…

BUT God had another plan

 Gratefulness is recognizing the benefits, which God and others have provided.

From the pilot risking his life to save mine to the missionary families who sacrificially opened their hearts and homes to us to see me recover, my heart overflows with inexpressible thanksgiving for their generosity toward our family during this conflicting time in our lives. 

 Gratitude is the memory of the heart! 

It is said to be the parent of all the other virtues. 

My gratitude for those members of the field

that picked up the slack and totally covered

for me is overpowering.

 Norman and Barbara Slaymaker were the “little dorm” parents at the time of my emergency flight and surgery and they took the loving responsibility of my babies for six weeks after our pilot, Scotty, and his wife, Mary, filled the gap in those first few days in Panama City.  After leaving the hospital, John and Ruth Jenkins, our very busy field leaders, “adopted us” for another six weeks (!) until the doctors would release us to return interior to our post!  What a tremendous weight we must have been…a family of 4 for months!!! 

 My memories are scattered and few.  I isolated myself into a survival mode.  I really thought I was going to die.  I had no time for tears and cannot remember even wanting to cry during those weeks, although I am sure I must have and those whose care I was under would readily attest that I did!  My heart cannot express the genuine gratitude that is flooding my eyes and consciousness as I write this!  I am mentally rehearsing the personal cost of the missionary families that encouraged me during those days and blanketed me with prayer and hands of intervention!

 Why this flood of overwhelming gratefulness?  Why now?  What is it about life that at unexpected moments God opens our awareness to the magnitude of His Sovereignty, Majesty, Grace and Mercy on our behalf?

 I am sitting here with a keen sense of:

Ø  My Unworthiness…and His Holiness!  

Ø  My Pretense of thinking I have any kind of control in this life (other than to choose to walk with Him)…and His complete and encompassing Rule and Protection!

Ø  My Powerlessness…and His Omnipotent Presence, faithfully accomplishing His purpose with my blindness to His silent footsteps all around me!

Ø  My Desperate Need to express my gratefulness and indebtedness to God and others! 

 Do you make it a habit of thanking God and others

for the many things in life that others take for granted?

 I would like to express my gratitude to you for joining me each Monday morning and for your encouraging words.  I am like Olivia…so blessed!

 Will you take time today to reflect glory back to Him

for His faithfulness to you…

the Author of every blessing? 

 Let’s take today’s opportunity to acknowledge those

who have and are benefiting our lives!

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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 "The Inspired by Angels Unaware!"

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“Give thanks in all circumstances (inclusive; no exceptions!), for this is God’s will for you…” 1Thessalonians. 5:19

 Recently a missionary friend posted a picture from our field’s Missionary school.  It was taken in what we called “the little dorm” in our early years on the field.  In the picture of about 15 children were my two daughters.  Christina was about 4 and in the foreground was a less than 2-year-old Kim.  The picture was not significant in itself but the fact that I could not recall when my girls could have ever been in that picture was significant!  I, literally, burst into tears!

 Christina, my eldest daughter, reminded me that they had spent 6 weeks in “the little dorm” after I was flown out of our village with a ruptured appendix.  There was unrest in Panama City (guns in the streets, riots, etc.) and the Military Police were closing the airport!  We were the last fight allowed to land or take off.  I was hastily loaded onto a gurney directly out of the plane and I watched our Cessna take off into the stormy skies with my two little ones inside! 

 I was unaware of most of what was transpiring around me but I knew my circumstance was bad.  I was rushed to the Military Hospital and was rapidly being moved down the corridor, when Ralph heard someone call his name.  He turned to see a Surgeon that we had recently met through our Pucuro partners.  She had been on duty for 72 hours when she caught a glimpse of Ralph in the hall and instantly turned to help us, never leaving our side until she had run tests, completed my emergency laparotomy and safely escorted us to the ICU hours later.  God had gone before us and sent her to us in His perfect timing…

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This is the posted picture!  Are these not the cutest missionary children…ever!!

 I am emotionally astounded that I was so desperately ill that I did not know where my two little girls were in those first days! My recovery was slow and I ran a low-grade fever for a year after this event.  Wanting to reunite our family as quickly as possible and return interior, which was our home, we found ourselves in a quandary because we could not get a release from the doctors to go back interior…! 

What could we do??

 As I’m writing this, my past and present merge and the surge of gratefulness is overwhelming!

 How many people can you think of offhand

who have benefited your life in the past? 

 

Whose name immediately comes to mind?

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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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 Journney "The World's Changed...Try to Keep Up!!"

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All of us have the need to be relevant in every generation.  Something in us wants to make a difference. The effectiveness of all advertising is based on this premise.  We hear the younger saying,  “The world’s changed…try to keep up!”

As a young missionary in my 20’s my children needed me, my husband needed me, the tribal people needed us, our ministry was consuming and fulfilling, etc.  I looked to those older than I was and saw the need to glean from their experiences.  I had an unpretentious sense of relevancy!

 For 5 years in our 30”s we found our relevance in…pastoring, evangelizing, teaching, mentoring small groups and “trouble-shooting” in our home church.

 We weren’t in that “older” group yet!

 Returning to the field, still in our 30’s, we were busy dorm parents to 15 young people at the Mission School.  We had the “big dorm” and we were blessed with students from five families.  Our need to “turn the hearts of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:6) and the ministry in the local Chame community kept us relevant…………... we were still viable!

 In our late 40’s our girls were in their teens and would soon start college.  Christina attended Biola and would bring her friends from school and church to meet us.

 We were becoming the “older” group that had more experience”!

 When asked to mentor a group of young college girls I excitedly responded believing God would give relevance through His Word.  Eventually a group of their prospective husbands took form, which my husband taught!  We were busy church-planting Spanish-speaking churches and over the next 15 years we saw God raise up seven young churches in Southern California, Mexico and Panama.                

 God’s was still using us!

 Still relevant to our culture and generation in our 50’s, even honored for our faithfulness to our God and His calling on our lives, we actively taught in English and Spanish. 

Now we were really in that “older” group and yet…

 God continued to open up opportunities to serve Him.  We had 7 grandchildren and they were magic!  Still church-planting, called to speak, teaching multiple mentoring groups weekly, trouble-shooting with young couples, and writing The Princess Parable Series were all welcomed responsibilities! 

 In our 60’s we watched our tiny grandchildren grow like my garden weeds (really fast!!) and they now stand taller than I do!

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Keeping relevant is an absolute pre-requisite to maintaining the open hearts of our grandchildren!  Finding that conversational relevance in a “generation time warp” is a prayer-filled occupation of mine!

 Now… here is the rub.  The world’s younger generation looks at “age” and determines its value.  Consequently, they, then, turn their attention to the more appealing relevance of younger mentors, pastors, and teachers, rather than the older generation.   

 We are, after all, each expendable to the more like-minded,

trendier, faster moving and thinking generation!

Can’t you hear it?  “The World’s changed…try to keep up”!

 God never changes…cultures do, ideologies do, and philosophies do…

 Relevance is a basic need to stay connected.

It is tied directly to an understanding of God and His inerrant Word!

 Scripture never changes!  It is always…relevant!

 Our present day cultural insurgence has been saturated in a declining morality of divorce, abortion, pornography, social-acceptance determined by social tolerance, adoption of the “acceptable sins” (you know…demanding personal rights, entitlement-I deserve this!, wrong attitudes, anger, deplorable speech, actions etc.).

 The young are bent on convincing their offspring to:

(1)  “Stand up for yourself; Be more aggressive” – disregarding God’s command to follow His example of serving others… first.

(2)   “Look for your own path in life” –disregarding the instruction in the Word to look for the Will of God…first

(3)   “Claim your rights; you are entitled” – disregarding God’s command to yield all your rights to Him… first.  No anger for your personal benefit.

(4)  “Be first “ at everything  - disregarding God’s command to make others successful…first!  

(5)   “Live in the Now” - disregarding kingdom teaching. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God….and all these things will be added unto you”. Matt. 6:33

 In a day when our culture is being eroded from within, our godly history is being re-written and the Word of God is being ripped of its inerrant integrity, we need relevance for our day if we are to present truth that promotes change.

 What can we offer that people need?

 We ask ourselves that question whether overtly or subliminally every time we come in contact with another person.  We are relevant when we discern the need of the individual we are speaking to and risk whatever it takes to meet that need for the other person’s success.

 It is not age that makes us relevant…it is His life in us as we aggressively stand up with Godly conviction and step into the space He puts us in… wherever, with whomever that may be!

 The purpose of relevance is to keep the truth of God’s Word

alive in us for the benefit of others!

 Will you make yourself relevant today in the life of someone who is in need?

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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 "Me...Invisible?"

          My youngest granddaughter, Megan and I

My youngest granddaughter, Megan and I

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long-life bring understanding?” Job 12: 12

 The “Mom Song” on Youtube is the voice of the ever diligent, often-unheard,

invisible Mother.

(www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lep8WE6bqwM)

 However, there is another category of individuals that are even more imperceptible…

 Regardless of our involvement in the lives of our children and grandchildren, they reach an age of development (if we have done our job) where their need for us lessens.  They now have their own friends and activities that occupy the time that was once ours!  Life is a whirlwind of academics, team sports, community outreach, horses, piano lessons, theater and musical practices and performances, tennis coaches and tournaments, swim practices and meets, church youth group activities, bible studies, revivals, camps, etc.…!

 Finally, one day… they get drivers licenses, go to college and get married!

 Keeping pace with all of this is a tremendous challenge…for all of us!  I am a grandmother of seven; my mother is a great-grandmother of 25 great-grandchildren! She lives on her own, cares for herself and is alert with a memory that would put an elephant to shame!  She gives new meaning to the verse in Job 12.  There are very few topics that have applicability to our everyday life, that if asked, she cannot wisely put in perspective, yet she often feels invisible and speaks of her sense of loneliness and need to keep relevant.

 I have thought about her statement and Job’s proclamation and wondered why in our 21st century culture the advanced in age feel they are being set to one side, listened to less and invisible in a large group of the younger generation.  

 These vital soldiers have earned their place among those that should be the most honored, respected and valuable in our culture. Titus 2: 3-5 admonishes “the older women to be reverent in the way they live and to train the younger..”  There is so much to be gleaned from these seasoned veterans that have gone before us, paving the way.  We will quickly step into the print they have left behind!

 Our local churches defer to the younger generation. The young fill the jobs in women’s ministry and teach the even younger.  They no longer turn to the older generation.  They have been replaced with quick and empty answers found in the latest technology, social media and their peers.

 BUT…“Is not wisdom found among THE AGED”?

 While in Panama, our good friends, the Jenkins, a couple with perfect pitch and harmony, put this definition below to music.  I have been humming it for years and sing it out loud when my natural inclination to think “I’m all that!” overrides what Scripture says should be the godly point of view!

 “Reverence is acknowledging that God is using in my life, people and events to produce the character of Christ in me”.  It is wisely looking at life’s situations (all of them!) from God’s point of view, not my own,

 THENthe warning:

Soooo… be wise my son (daughter), heed my instruction (instantly placing myself in harmony with Him and His will and directives), leave that road that leads to destruction, hallow my name (don’t walk in shame)…Proverbs 23: 17,18

 I want to be a wise mom, wife, grandma and whomever else I am purposed to be.  That means I am commissioned to look at all of life’s situations from God’s point of view and get out of His way. There is no way I can produce reverence and wisdom apart from Him.  He uses the people and events in my life to produce His character in me!  My job is to wisely yield all circumstances with a grateful heart, regardless of how it looks, seems or feels to me.  He knows what He is doing…It’s His plan…

The reward is Wisdom!

Will you join me in applying reverence to your life?

It’s a win…win.



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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 November 5, 2018 and filed under Character and Virtue, spiritual growth, Motherhood.

Jackie's Journey "Little Much Afraid or Courageous Warrior?"

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All of us want to be warrior moms, equipped to

alter the direction of our future and those little ones who follow us!

 

I am the least likely to be involved in foreign tribal missions or to author a series of Princess Books or anything else… because I am, ALSO…the one who crusades against her paralyzing fear.

How many of you have read, “Hinds Feet in High Places”?  Well, …meet little “Much Afraid”!  My fear has always been connected to my failing someone’s expectation …mostly God’s and of course, the fear of the unknown (as a young mom…raising my girls in the jungles, tribal people, isolation, vampire bats, huge hairy spiders, 13” scorpions…)!  

I have a recent testimony of a young mom who has lived the majority of her parenting life worried that she is failing, scared that she is not doing enough, being enough or giving enough!  Always comparing herself to the success of others…

 Do you ever fear failure… as a mom… a wife…?

Just the responsibility of equipping our little ones

to survive victoriously in this perverse culture

should strike fear in our hearts!!

 Coming to understand, that I need to fear only two things…has freed me to walk thru that door of dread…instead of running the other direction (my natural inclination)!!!

 Can you guess what those two things might be?

1. The fear of God, who faithfully brings me to a particular: point, place or circumstance…to mature me spiritually…

  2. The fear of the consequence of sin!     Not failure… !

 When you fear God you fear the consequence of sin!

 When asked, “If you are so afraid, Jackie, WHY did you go into the jungles to open up a work among an Indian group that had never been reached before?” 

My answer is simple… “That the lamb of God might receive the reward of His suffering!”   I was aware of the need…I was compelled to go…FEAR AND ALL!

 “To Him who knows to do right and does not do it to him it is sin!  Jas.4:17

 Focusing on “walking thru that door of fear with Him”,… allowing Him to live and lead through me was more scriptural and liberatingthan focusing on what happens, if I fail and bear the prideful guilt of thinking… I should have done better …or done nothing at all!  “The highway of fear is the shortest route to defeat.” Wm. L. Brownell

                     Fear is wrong focus!    Trust in the wrong person!

 One sultry day in the jungle I was sitting at my rustic desk crying when our partners walked in and asked, “What happened?”  I proceeded to pour out my heart and confess how I was a total failure as a mother, wife, and missionary. 

 To my astonishment, my friend just SMILED and agreed with me saying, “Jackie, you are a failure“!

 NOW, WHO SAYS THAT!!!    

He proceeded with…BUT the good news is: You are now in perfect position to receive the grace of God with its power to live victoriously!”  ONCE I GOT PAST THAT UNANTICIPATED SMILE(!)… I began to process the biblical truth and he was right.  I could offer God nothing.  Apart from His empowerment, on my own, “so to speak” - trying, striving, bent on achieving… 

I am a ROYAL failure!

 BUT THAT FAILURE has become my best friend over the years because I now had a recognizable signal when afraid and I could get out of God’s way so HE could do what I was unable to do! 

“His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in MY weaknessIn failure! 2 Corinthians 12:9  

My Husband, who calls it like it is… says “my weakness” is really “my strength in evil”!!  Whatever it is called…I was free…at last…I could surrender to His leading and allow His strength to be made perfect in my weakness.  I was finally at peace!

 Where do you find your strength?

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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 October 29, 2018 and filed under character and virtue, Motherhood, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "Are You a Wise Person?"

 "WISDOM CALLS ALOUD IN THE STREET..." PRO.1:20

"WISDOM CALLS ALOUD IN THE STREET..." PRO.1:20

Do you consider yourself to be a wise mom?

 We each hold value systems that form our basic philosophies.  These we purpose to pass on to our children through goals we set for them.  Our desire is that they wisely hold our most highly valued principles.  As caring moms, our goal should be nothingless than to produce wise children who are self-motivated to do good and hate evil. 

 Where do we begin...?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of WISDOM and to fear the Lord is to hate evil.

 I, Wisdom, hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior (rebellion) and perverse speech.”

Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 8: 13

What is a wise child?  How would you recognize one?

Foolish children are easy to spot!

 When Wisdom calls…LISTEN!

“Wisdom is seeing life’s situations from God’s point of view and acting in harmony with Him”. (ATIA)  We will recognize wisdom in our child through his or her attitudes, words, and actions!       

Knowing God and knowing our responsibility in life does not guarantee we will be successful in parenting!  If we do not know how or what to do…we are lost.  Most moms have teachable hearts that want to understand God’s instruction. Some even demonstrate a desire to honor God with a wise decision-making process regarding the manner of child development by adhering to God’s Word and voice of instructiion when He calls!

Children are to bring us REST and to DELIGHT our soul!

Discipline your son or daughter and he will give you PEACE;

he will bring DELIGHT to your soul”. Proverbs 29:17

Do your children bring delight to your soul?

Do they bring you peace and give you rest?

 Wisdom knows the right path to take.  Integrity is taking it!

We want wise children with integrity!

 When our girls were not bringing us “rest” or “delighting our soul” we knew WE were failing in our training.  My life was not that much different than yours…lots of activity and responsibility and never enough time!  We were convinced, as you are, that our success as parents would come from making our children successful.  If they weren’t, we weren’t!

When we take responsibility for our child’s behavior then we are in a position to change it!  This is called Discipleship…the key to training.  The goal of raising a wise child should be to develop godly character. 

“Godly character is developing right attitudes that produce right actions, habitually”. (RJ)

This involves the need for consistent “attitude training” which educates the spirit of a child, as well as the will. (Ask:  Was it kind? Was it considerate?).  It brings integrity back into focus by replacing the “action-response” teaching  (Mom said, “don’t do that! Don’t touch! Stop it, I said don’t touch…no…no”)!

Action-response” teaching has this sequence:

Ø  Warning

Ø  Warning

Ø  Elevated tone of voice

Ø   Threat added for emphasis

Ø  No consequence and no resolution

 This sequence cultivates REBELLION!  God hates rebellion…

“For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft…”!  I Samuel 15: 23

 Developing character in our little “prince and princesses” presupposes that WE are wise women of godly character!  “We are known and read by our children all the time…” I Cor. 3:2.  There is no hiding our true character…they read our spirit!

Do you know the test for measuring your own character??

 Character is revealed by what we do in secret and

Maturity is revealed by what we do with our free time.

 What do I do in secret?   What do I do with my free time?

 Abraham Lincoln said, “There is just one way to train a child in the way he should go

and that is to travel that way yourself!”

 We are an example or we are an excuse!!

Which are you?

 Children learn what we are first, through our attitudes; then, what we teach them.  Training is first discipleship and then learning! Our job is to cause that learning in our child by lovingly training them to submit to our authority so they can be taught. 

A child that is not under control of his/her authority is preoccupied

with resisting that authority and he/she cannot receive teaching!

The child that resists authority IS the teacher!!

When the course of action you are using has the goal of developing godly character through attitude, not action, training, the child will mature with wisdom, balance and will understand purpose in his or her life. 

 What course of action are you on?

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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 "Choosing to Live Courageously!"

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No matter which side we are on in this “journey of motherhood”

 it is nothing less than challenging, is it not??

 School is in full swing again!  My hats off to teachers! I have taught in three languages and was a home-school mom.  I taught my girls in the jungles of Panama with E-Beka, which, by the way, was the only curriculum available in the seventies (I actually think, I may be one of the original home-school moms!) and I have had the joy of teaching all seven of my grandchildren to read.  My girls survived every imaginable curriculum and school setting because our lives were itinerate. If it’s any encouragement, they both are college graduates and one with a Master’s Degree! All accomplishments are God’s, in spite of me!

“If you have a child, then you have an assignment from God.  Whether by birth or adoption, whether you go to work in an office, on the mission field or in the kitchen, regardless of your age or experience or natural talent for nurturing, God has called you to be a mom.  And it’s an unrelenting, heart-wrenching, beautifully ordinary, holy job.” Elizabeth Elliot   

In this journey called motherhood, we are “christened” names like, “mama bears” when our little ones need a voice, “over-protective” when they are in what we translate a pending danger, “independent; not team players” when we don’t fit the mold and choose a different path of education or disciplining…       We are "warrior moms"… "outside the box" moms, courageously seeking what is best for our child!  

No matter where you are in your educational excursion with your children, all of us desire to become “conquering moms” with the future of our children in full view.  We are choosing to live courageously in a world that is bent on destroying our every effort! I am standing on the other side of motherhood, yet still a fully engaged grandmother.  I have had the privilege of having godly counsel along the course of my journey and learning a few things through the hard knocks of life (called experience).  There are five life-lessons on this life trek that have changed my life.  

Those of you who know me would recognize me as a wife, mom, friend, mentor, former tribal missionary, Bush nurse, Spanish-speaker, Bible teacher and discipler, lover of character and attitude training and teaching and, in my later years, an author of a series of books for children. 

What you do NOT know is…I am also the least likely to be involved in foreign tribal missions or to author a series of Princess Parable books or anything else…because I am the one who crusades against my paralyzing fear!

Join me next Monday for life-lesson Number 1…!

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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 October 22, 2018 and filed under Motherhood, grandmotherhood, spiritual growth.

Jackie's Journey "Got Any 'Gray' Areas in Your Life?"

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What is your philosophy regarding those “gray “ areas of life?  You know…the amoral things we face daily that are so pervasive in our current culture… Think of all the areas that are presently acceptable in our Christian community; maybe not acceptable in your individual world, but rampant in this fallen world.  Let’s name a few…aggressive driving and behavior that demands the “right to the road”, “Christian” swearing, living with unresolved relationships, overuse of our current social media platform, concealed bitterness, body piercings, “tats”(tattoos), brunch with alcohol, drug use, pornography, divorce on unscriptural grounds…veiled sins of all kinds…

There are many decisions in life that are not clearly right or wrong and have not been explicitly defined in scripture.  Some of the above-mentioned choices are clearly defined sin, some are not.   However, the point is that each decision we make in life is based on whether it is good or evil for us (or someone else that is following our example!).  These are the choices that are left to our spiritual maturity and discernment.  Spiritual maturity is based on discerning good from evil…not human reasoning over “gray” areas.  As moms, our decisions are determined by choosing a life of selflessness for the benefit of making those little eyes watching us more successful than we could ever be.  “The path of the just is as a shining light…” Proverbs 4: 18”  

“This then is the message which we have heard of Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all!” I john 1: 5   God condemns any darkness!  “Gray” is a mixture of darkness and light!

 What does that tell you about “gray” areas?

“You know our foolishness, Oh God; our guilt is not hidden from you. 

May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of us?

May those who see you not be put to shame because of us…”

Psalm 69:5, 6

What we consider a “gray” area will ultimately be determined as good or evil by God one day.  He holds us accountable!  “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in her body, according to what she has done, whether it be good or bad.”  II Cor. 5: 10   We cannot lean on our own understanding and follow the crowd around us.  Our job is to “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil!”

A point in fact:  Those who taunt us with “gray” areas tend to be offended by those who would question whether something is right or wrong.  Recently, I was talking to my 15-year-old grandson who plays on a national all-star baseball team.  He is exceptional in every way and his high school teammates have been relentless in their rejection of him.   You’ve seen and heard it…the bullying, name-calling crowd…you’re “holier than thou” or you’re too “legalistic”.  When anger between coaches and players reached a high pitch during a game last season and the team got into a “knock down, drag out” fight on the field and my grandson chose not to participate, he was accused of not being a team player by the coach!!  Hardly a “gray” area to my grandson, but apparently, acceptable behavior for the coach and his young impressionable team! 

Defensive, argumentative, combative, contentious, competitive attitudes

are all warning signs of compromising in “gray” areas.

Can you walk in the light and have fellowship with those

who desire to live in “gray” areas?

 This, then, is the message we have heard of Him, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone that does evil, hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest her deeds should be reproved.  But she that does the truth comes to the light and her deeds will be manifest, that they are of God.” John 3: 19-21

 Where are the “gray” areas in your life?

Are you a stepping-stone or a stumbling block?

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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.