Jackie's Journey "Bunnies, Baskets and New Beginnings"

'The Princesses celebrate the Risen Savior

'The Princesses celebrate the Risen Savior

Ah…Spring!  Don’t you just love it!  Martin Luther wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

In Panama we had only two seasons…Dry Season and Rainy Season.   I used to miss spring in the jungles.  With the introduction of spring comes family Easter reunion, refreshing the garden and the promise of new life everywhere!  

  As Moms, we try to make every holiday one that will commemorate the occasion and create a family tradition.  We decorate and plan special family gatherings with a menu that is reminiscent of the day being celebrated… Christmas Dinner, Fourth of July B-B-Q’s, and Easter Brunch with Easter baskets filled with colored eggs!  Our homes become “show pieces” for enhancing the lesson of the season. Easter affords us one of the most amazing opportunities to rehearse again the enormous sacrifice of our Savior and His Resurrection that is our living hope after death!

  Easter reminds us of the Life the invisible Creator has given us. Rom. 1: 20  The barren ground exploding with magnificent splendor, as far as the eye can see.  The magic of new life bursting from the earth bringing forth flowers of every imaginable color and size…poppies, tulips, lilies, lilacs, daffodils… Tiny bunnies, fluffy chicks popping out of eggs, foals, fuzzy lambs and every other living being confirm the wonder of revival of life after a long winter.  

 Revival can also be personal and immediate.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit transforming God’s Word into our soul.   There has never been a need, as great as today for revived lives, revived families, fellowships, communities and nation. The desperate need is there but the realization of our personal need is not!  And revival starts with us!   

 “For revival is not a green valley getting greener, but a valley full of dry bones being made to live again and stand up an exceeding great army. (Ezekiel 37)  It is not good Christians becoming better Christians—as God sees us there are not any good Christians—but rather Christians honestly confessing that their Christian life is a valley of dry bones, thus qualifying them for the grace that makes all things new”! (Roy Hession) For the Christian… death is a promotion! New Life springs from our continual choosing to die to our pride and selfishness.

  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, 

to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, 

which is your reasonable service.” Rom. 12:1

 Some give Him a place; some give Him prominence; but what Christ wants in our lives is pre-eminence.  The fruit of His being pre-eminent in our life is a spiritual renewal that restrains the anger of God, restores our God-consciousness and reveals His continual activity in us.

 For those who have humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God at that place where sin is washed away, it has meant revival of their Christian lives in the truest and simplest sense of the word.

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As we look forward to celebrating our Savior in the coming days, let’s use this time to revisit our need for personal and continual revival.  His death and resurrection came with plan and purpose.  It was to give us life from death.  New life does not begin with someone else.  It begins in each of us! 

 Let’s exchange dry bones for New Life!

 “If you are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,

where Christ sits on the right hand of God.”  Col. 3:1

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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. 

Jackie's Journey "Thorns and Thistles!"

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“By His wounds we are healed”.  Isa. 53

 The cross is the center of our commemorating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His selfless and sinless sacrifice in our place is our reason to celebrate and praise His Name.  We call the holiday Easter and for a moment in time we stop and rehearse His ultimate sacrifice…His life for ours on that thorny and thistled  “old rugged cross”.  Not only did he die for us but also on the third day He rose from the dead and gave us the promise of a resurrected life after death!  

 This deliberate and divine act of love was to give our lives promise, plan and purpose.  We are destined and programmed to serve others first, not ourselves.   In our Easter release to the Princess Parable Series, “A Royal Easter Story”, we introduced our five young knights who present a challenge that draws our young princesses into a chariot race that reveals the truth of what the cross teaches.  

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead …” I Peter 1:3

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead …” I Peter 1:3

Do you live a life selflessly and sacrificially serving others?

 We cannot be consumed with a life that seeks its own and find life abundantly.  It is impossibility.  Local churches open their doors on Good Friday to give us the opportunity to take a personal account of our commitment to our first love and renew our loyalty to live as Jesus challenges us to live…Holy!  We are reminded to live serving others, as He did, with eternal values and purpose in view.

 As moms, we are dedicated to living and then, teaching the character of Christ into our little princes and princesses.  We focus on drawing their attention to the importance of serving, helping and caring for others.  That is why we find ourselves saying, “Can you comfort your little brother” or “Will you help mommy?”  Teaching by example, without excuse, is the most powerful tool in our toolbox!  We are “known and read” by these little eyes and ears.  They know if the cross is real in us, or not.  We don’t fool them but we do confuse them when our life message does not speak the reality of Christ in us!

Are your little ones confused?

 “Then said Jesus to his disciples, IF any man will come after me,

 let him deny himself, and take up his cross,and follow me.”

Matt. 16: 24

 The cross holds the hope of humanity.  Denyingself-life (our pride and selfishness in all its ugly forms)…and taking up His cross(His desires and His perfect Will for us)…  authenticates His life in us.  Living life consistently with no unconfessed sin and nothing between another person and myself enables me to follow Him.  “His crucifixion is the key; His resurrection the door…it is only by His death that we have the mandate to enter into the gates of eternal life.  His door is open always.  Christ is King.”  Isrealmore Ayivor

  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; 

yet not I, but Christ lives in me: 

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, 

who loved me, and gave himself for me.” 

Gal.  2: 20

“There are no crown-bearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

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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 "I Am Not A Fan!!"

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I have never been a fan of reptiles!

 Panama is the home to some of the most frightening snakes on the planet.  Our corner of the dense Darien jungle was full of boa constrictors, pit vipers, fer-de-lance (this snake bears 60 live babies at a time!), etc.  We were cautious not to poke under rocks or fallen branches, always scanning for any slithering menaces.  Behind our house there was a massive tree that extended its immense roots out into the river shoreline where the girls and I bathed and swam.  The thick mangrove swamp harbored snakes that would lie in the hollow places of the trunk of that tree.  

More than once I cried out Psalm 16:1

 “Keep me safe, Oh Lord, for in you I take refuge.”

 Fear is no stranger to me. I am habitually challenged to walk through the door of fear.   I was told during Missionary boot camp that courage was not the absence of fear, but the conquest of it.  Years ago, while reading “Hind’s Feet in High Places” I had no difficulty in identifying with “Little Much Afraid”!  

 “The highway of fear is the shortest route to defeat”.  William L. Brownell

 Ralph had built a screened-in back porch to the house.  It became home for our gasoline-run wringer washing machine.  The Indians thought the machine was the most ridiculous apparatus they had ever seen!  It was noisy, the water had to be carried from the river (or in rainy season, we could utilize the convenience of the rain barrels attached to the tin roof).   The agitator was a mystery…why would you jerk clothes around in dirty cold water when the river is running and clear? However; the wringer was another story…it worked really well.  Hand wrung clothes could not match that wringer!  I had to agree with them on all counts!  

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While I washed, Kim would play on a blanket or crawl around the porch.  The floor was slightly elevated, lined with wooden planks roughly cut and loosely fit together.  It was not quite finished and as I washed, I saw Kim crawling toward something moving under the slats.  I turned off the deafening machine, snatched Kim up into my arms and yelled for Ralph! Right under our feet, only a few inches away, was a 5’ venomous snake! He had quite possibly been a houseguest for “who knows how long” before we noticed him!

Let me repeat…I am not a fan!! 

 Arturo, our nearest neighbor had heard me scream and came running, He quickly surveyed our predicament, raised his machete and removed the head of that reptile with one swift blow. He held it up like a prized Marlin…its length was above his head and its tail draped to the muddy ground! 

 This story could have had a much different ending, were it not for our Sovereign God, His plan and the life-lessons He was busy teaching me!  School is always in session, if we have eyes to see it. The need to grow and mature will never end on this side of eternity. Fear has been my biggest challenge. I am to fear the consequence of sin, not snakes.  Easy concept until put to the test!

 “Be strong and of a good courage, Fear not, nor be afraid of them (in this case…snakes); for the Lord your God, He it is that does go with me, He will not fail me nor forsake me.” Deuteronomy 31: 16

 What do you fear?

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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 "Hey...What is Virtue?"

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While living in the Panamanian jungle I clung to a promise in II Peter that encouraged me to keep on regardless of my sense of failure.  It says, “His power has given me everything I need for life and godliness through my knowledge of Him who called me.”  Running the medical clinic, delivering babies at night, learning to clean and cook strange rodents, fish and meat, washing in the river, dozens of diapers and no dryer, learning a new language, meeting the needs of my husband and two little girls and acclimating to 90-degree heat with 99% humidity, etc., I found my level of spirituality severely challenged.  Exhausted daily I found the verses in II Peter to be a fresh breath of air on my dripping, overheated soul and with it came a promise I intended to claim!

I wanted to implement that promise He gave.  The provision was there to lead a godly life!  I needed to tap into “His power” and as I kept reading, I realized His very great and precious promises were attached to verse 5.  They were given with clear and present instruction IFI was to participate in His divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires…like giving in to my anger, impatience, frustration, and believing the lies regarding my inability to accomplish the task He had called me to.  

 “For this very reason, I had to make every effort to add to my faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if I possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep me from being ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.” 11 Pet. 1: 5-9 (Personalized)

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Always looking for a functional definition to put the “rubber on the road”, I found these marks of Virtue:

·    “Virtue is the moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God’s Word”.  II Peter 1: 5   It is learning to build personal moral standards that will cause others to desire a godlier life.  It is reproducing Christ’s character in my life first and then in others.

 ·    Virtue is the fruit of grace as we are given light. There is no excuse not to exemplify God’s character in my life.  I am to be an example, not an excuse! 

·    Virtue is the Godly influence my life has on others regardless of past failures.

The opposite of virtue is hypocrisy.

·     Hypocrisy is the practice of a person who is willfully living in conflict with their soul (their mind, will, emotions)”. 

Virtue is not made in crisis; it is only exhibited.  Crisis reflects our virtue.

Proverbs 24:10 says that we demonstrate what we really are spiritually in time of adversity,

not when things are going smoothly!

 

I was teaching a group of college girls in our home and one of the girls asked my daughter if she considered me to be a virtuous woman.  She hesitated…way to long, and I became acutely aware of my need to take another look at the qualities that comprise the virtuous woman in Scripture!

 Do I consider myself a woman of virtue…of Godly character?

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There is a thief that focuses on robbing us of the best. Time in the Word can be lost to the immediate demands of responsibility and the whirlwind of activity around us. Finding a “War Room” where we can read and pray, uninterrupted, is imperative to maintaining our walk.  Little things can begin to bother us and when people “bump” us, we react selfishly.

 Sound familiar?

 One day away from the Word and I am aware of my desperate need and its crucial impact in my life. Two days of skipping a time of allowing the Word to dwell richly in me and my husband and girls are intensely mindful of my desperate need! 

 What is my response when:

·      I am evil spoken of

·     My loyalty has been betrayed

·     My will is crossed

·      I am forgotten or neglected

·     My friends forsake me

·      I find compromise more inviting than maintaining claimed convictions

 My response reveals to me

 if I am a virtuous woman or a woman of hypocrisy/impurity.

(Impurity is ungodly contamination in any of its forms).

 Which are you?

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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 "Treasure...Really?...I Want Some!"

 

I love Fall and look forward to it every year.  It is a lesson on death of sorts, but it brings with it the promise of new life to come in the Spring.   “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies….it remains only a single seed, BUT if it dies, it produces many seeds” Jn. 12:24 My humble garden waves goodbye until spring and the fall leaves on the trees surrounding it burst into vibrant colors and then slowly brown and drop to the ground… waving their final farewell!  

 The reference refers to “death to self” for the benefit of others.  However, everything and every one of us faces physical death.  There is no possibility of escape.  It is an undeniable reality!  Godly obedience comes with the promise of long life…but death is inevitable and we are all dying a little each day!  

 What we do with the time we have here, short as it is, tells us what we value most and where our treasure is.  During the “Fall Season of Life” here on earth, we are more mindful to consider that our treasures being stored up are eternal, not temporal.  

Princess Hope’s treasure box that sits on my desk…her book teaches the true meaning of “eternal treasures”…

Princess Hope’s treasure box that sits on my desk…her book teaches the true meaning of “eternal treasures”…

In a society where our monetary treasures are on the cusp of being devalued to nil, the temporal world is feeling pretty insecure.  If we define our “treasure” by worldly standards we are in deep trouble!  

  I was reading in Proverbs 24:4 this morning and stumbled over:

 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

 Knowledge is familiarity gained by insight to (biblical) truth, experience and accumulated acts and reports.

 We are not to envy persons that “linger over wine and sample mixed wine” or to desire their company; for their hearts plot violence and their lips talk about making trouble.” Pro. 23: 30  By wisdom a house is built…by understanding it is established; by knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Prov.24:1 I do not think it is coincidence that these two verses follow one another.  Envy is a robber of the soul.  It is a greed that consumes time and swallows up treasured values. 

 So then, how do we get knowledge so we can acquire “rooms filled 

with rare and beautiful treasures”?

 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge…” Pro. 12:1

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Discipline is accepting suffering as God’s fastest path to growth and giving thanks for it! (Lam. 3:33) The realm of tribulation becomes the home of revelation and the resource of knowledge.

 What??  Who loves discipline???

 We had better love it, accept it, practice it and endorse it because scripture states, “he who hates correction is stupid!” Pro. 12: 1NIV  I already fight stupid!   So for me, it is imperative that I get biblical wisdom, understanding and knowledge because I want the fruit …those ”rooms filled with rare and beautiful eternal treasures.”

So, how does Scripture say I gain knowledge?

 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of KNOWLEDGE.

Prov.1: 7

I need to fear God!

       The present-day Christian cultural message is that there is no need to fear God…He’s a loving God.   Let’s let the Bible define what God means when He writes, “to fear the Lord”.

 “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance, 

evil behavior and perverse speech”.  Prov. 8: 13

I need to hate SIN!

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This means no “acceptable sins” permitted:

·     No Deception or rationalizations

·     No Covetousness

·     No Fearfulness

·     No Loneliness

·     No Stinginess

·     No Dominance

·     No Double-mindedness

·     No Disrespect

·     No Slothfulness

·     No Presumption

·     No Apathy

·     No Hypocrisy 

·     No Extravagance

·     No Wastefulness

·     No Anger 

·     No Rudeness

·     No Irresponsibility  

·     Etc.!!!

Are the rooms in your house “filled with rare and beautiful treasure”?

 Why not?

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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 "My Shadow Princess"

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Arturo, Luisa, their family, and their oldest daughter, Anita

 As the plane lifted into the sky, I caught a glimpse of the entire village…waving farewell.  There was one girl who stood in front of the crowd, crying.  I would miss her most of all!  

 That young girl was my nearest neighbor, pictured above…almost as tall as her dad. She quickly became my shadow.  When two-month-old Kim would cry, she would run quickly to get her and bring her to me.  I did not understand her kind action but I always thanked her and stopped whatever I was doing to receive Kim into my arms.  

 Later I would learn what a very special gift I was receiving. The Kuna’s were very accommodating and took turns caring for each other’s babies, freeing mothers to leave the village and go into the jungle to tend their fields for hours. When the baby cried, the first mom to reach the distressed child would comfort and nurse that baby! 

 In our village, some of the mother’s had tuberculosis and “my shadow” had dutifully protected Kim for those early months after our entering Kuna land.  Our permission to live in Pucuro was granted by the Kuna elders. It was specifically given for us to bring medicine to the women who were losing their babies during childbirth and care for the sick.  In those early days, we were oblivious to much of their culture, yet silently God met my “unknown need” through the loving heart of a beautiful Indian princess named Anita.  

 Like Jacob of old in the “barren and howling waste of the desert”, “He (God) shielded us and cared for us, He guarded us as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them on its pinions.”  (Deut. 32:10-11)  The eye of an eagle can detect a rabbit or fish from over a mile away!  How much more is the protective eye of God on those who walk with Him.   

 What is your understanding of God’s protective hand? 

                         Did you know it comes with a condition?  

 “Dear friends,if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him.”  1 John 3:21   Promises given in Scripture are generally followed by a condition.  

 Living under the divine protection of the Almighty God is a promise guaranteed, if we choose to walk by His standards and not our own.    Knowing He is invisibly working on our behalf when we are totally unaware of our need is a magnificent reality to comprehend when finally revealed in the light!  And it is a daily reminder to “walk our talk” so our heart does not condemn us.

  “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; 

                    and the Lord shall cover him all day long…”.  Deut. 33: 12

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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 March 18, 2019 and filed under motherhood, spiritual growth, character and virtue.

Jackie's Journey "What do You Mean... Double-Minded?!"

“A double-minded man is unstablein all his ways”! James 1:8

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Wait!...What??... Unstable…???…

 I am a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, missionary, pastor’s wife,

teacher, author, speaker, etc… BUT the last title I want is… Double-Minded!

 In the Princess Parable Series the story of Princess Hope comes from Matthew 13, The Hidden Treasure.  She is called to “count the cost” if she is to find the REAL treasure!  In her life lesson she learns to focus on God’s promises not the circumstances surrounding her.  Her single-mindednessand loyalty to her grandmother, not to mention her determination with a lot of active creativity, become her constant companions and ultimately bring her reward and blessing.  

 What are the undeniable marks of a double-minded person?  

Transparency reveals a:

·     Fear of examination; fear of being transparent with others; a need to protect reputation

·     Resistance to being vulnerable to the pain of exposure

·      Plastic coating of pride, usually masked under the guise of some form of spirituality

·     Hiding of sin, self and struggle

·      Protection of personal impurities

·       Secretiveness

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Are you double-minded?

 We are to be women of principle with loyal convictions, who cannot be bought and will not compromise.   Loyalty is demonstrated in times of temptation and adversity.  It is the first of 4 basic needs of mankind.  There is a seed of loyalty programmed into each one of us by God.  

 Double-mindedness is disloyalty and springs from an independent spirit.  An unbroken will is a cause of disloyalty and double-mindedness. The fruit is divorce, dissension, division, disharmony, distrust and …

 We listen to double-minded philosophies all the time:

·      I want to serve the Lord, but I don’t want to take responsibility for myself or my life

·      I want to be a disciple, but I don’t want to be inconvenienced or have any discomfort

·      I want to be a servant, but on my own time

·      I have temporal values, but I am totally committed to God

·      I want to be honest, but I don’t want to tell the truth, at least not the whole truth

·      I want to be loved, but I won’t love freely in return or be vulnerable

·      I want to be pure, but I don’t want accountability or to be corrected or examined

·      I want to live morally pure, but I won’t submit my body to my spirit…it feels too good the other way

·      I have a bitter spirit, but I don’t want to hear about it

·      I want to be loyal, but I don’t want to be single-minded!

 “A loyal woman is pre-eminently a woman of one thing.  It is not enough to say that she is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted and fervent in spirit.  She only sees one thing, she cares for one thing, she lives for one thing, she is swallowed up in one thing…and that one thing is to please God. Whether she lives or whether she dies; whether she has health or whether she has sickness; whether she is rich, or whether she is poor; whether she pleases man or whether she gives offense; whether she is thought to be wise or whether she is thought to be foolish; whether she gets blame or whether she gets praise; whether she gets honor or whether she gets the shame… for all this a loyal woman cares nothing at all.  She burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory…   This is what is meant when we speak of loyalty to the cross.”  Bishop Ryle, 1959

 When my life is over, will single-mindedness be my legacy?

 Will I be known as a loyal servant of my God?

 Will you???

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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 "Busybodies...?!

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Chapter 3 of James speaks directly to those who aspire to teach.  Mothers are teachers whether they aspire to be or not!  Our children look to us for direction, protection and instruction in what is right and wrong in life.  They read our actions, words, and attitudes…continually.  They listen to our hearts and they read our spirits!  

 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control the whole animal. Or let’s take ships, as an example. Although they are large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go. 

 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.   Here in California we are anually aware that raging fires that destroy thousands of acres are started by a small spark.  The tongue is a small part of the body but when misused, makes a great spark.   It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of life on fire and is itself,  ignited by the flames of  hell.

 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea have been tamed by man, but “no man can tame the tongue!”James 3: 3-7

 SeaWorld can control Shamu, a massive creature,

 but we struggle to control our own diminutive tongue!!

Scripture says “the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison!”

 With the tongue we praise God, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. This should not be!

 Do you know what I am talking about? 

Can you define a busybody…maybe you know one?

 Do you know what a gossip is?

How about a whisperer or slanderer?

I Peter 4:15 talks about a busybody who digs up evil reports and then spreads them through gossip, slander or whispering.  

 “Let none of you suffer as a murderer 

or as a thief 

or as an evil doer 

or as a busybody in other men’s matters.”

 According to this verse evil reporting is as wicked as murder or stealing!

 We enjoy listening to evil reports because they exalt us!  All evil reports involve false information or are a distortion of facts.  They are usually given with wrong motives and cause the hearer to form inaccurate conclusions.  One of the major causes of conflict among us is our receiving this information and our wrong response to an evil report.  We, then, attempt to resolve the conflict with unscriptural solutions.

 The Whisperer secretly or privately passes on evil reports to others.

 “All my enemies whisper together against me.  

They imagine the worst for me…” Psa. 41: 7

 Among Christians, a common example of a whisperer is in the area of prayer requests.  

       If the request comes with the disclaimer, “Please don’t share this with anyone, but… we

       need to pray about this….!”

       Our response should be, “Have you asked this person if you can share this request with

       me?  Let’s go pray with this person together.”

 In Panama at our Missionary School we sang a song called Gossip.  It went like this:

     “Gossip is sharing pertinent information with someone with anyone who’s not involved

       with the problem or with the solution.”  (IBYC Definition) The Gossiper loves to magnify and

       sensationalize rumors and partial information and pass it on quickly.

 Know anybody like this?

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The Slanderer seeks to destroy another’s credibility or reputation with damaging facts, distortions of facts and evil suspicions. In Numbesrs 14:36 the consequence for evil reporting exposes what God thinks about evil reports!

“So the men Moses sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community

grumble against him by spreading a bad report “ …

These men responsible for spreading that bad report were “struck down and died of a plague before the Lord”!!

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Next time someone approaches you with information regarding a third party…Ask yourself:

  1. What is your reason for telling me this? 2. Where did you get this information? 3. Have you spoken to those directly involved? 4. Have you personally checked out all the facts? 5. Can I quote you if I check this out?

Spiritualuality is not measured by how well we expose another person for whatever reason, but by how effectively we scripturally seek to see that person restored and made successful.

How does your husband and how do your children perceive

the amount of control you have over your tongue?

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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 "Jonah...HELP!"

 

If you have not heard the Story of Jonah told by the daughter of Lindsey Douglas, you are in for a treat!  Listen to the heart of a precious child who makes this blog very understandable! 

 

http://www.vimOeo.com/16404771  

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It was not the sin and corruption of the Ninevites, although those were great.  It was not the graft-ridden police force or corrupt politicians.  It was not the false cults and religions.  The biggest obstacle to the salvation of Nineveh was found in the heart of a pious, prejudiced man named Jonah!  There was no deceitfulness in all of Nineveh like the deceitfulness in Jonah’s heart. Jonah was the key to the salvation of Nineveh.  God’s people are the key to the spiritual climate of our nation and the world.”   George Sweeting

 Deceitfulness comes from a secret lust.  It is a result of a long sin pattern.

Jonah was foolish enough to argue with God!  He thought he could run away from God…

 Do you ever feel that way? 

 Jonah deceived himself! His prejudice against a people he was called to preach repentance caused his downfall.  His job was to take the message of God to Nineveh, the capitol of Assyria.  The Assyrians were old enemies of Israel and he was not fond of these people and did not want salvation for an enemy, among other things.  So he decided to run from God…

 Have you ever felt the call of God to do something that was inconvenient

or outside your comfort zone?

 Did you rationalize your situation and argue with God or did you instantly obey?

 Rationalizing the clear “prompting voice” away is difficult the first time, but gets easier as we pass the responsibility onto another person or time causes the prompting voice to almost disappear.  Rationalizationis nothing more than allowing my mind to find reasons to excuse what my spirit already knows is wrong.Rom. 2:21

 Jonah was disobedient to God’s request and he reaped the consequence.  His willfulness not only caused problems for him but for others…sin has a way of doing that!

Do these work for you?

Do these work for you?

It is obedience to all the Ten Commandmentsor none of them. 

If we disobey one, we disobey all!

 We only deceive ourselves by believing the lies that come with rationalizing our sin:

I will do it later…

I am too busy right now…

I will only eat one bite!

I can stop any time I want…

I can do it myself and I can do it my way…

I exercised poor judgment…

I made a mistake…

It was poor communication…

I couldn’t help it…

Nobody’s perfect…

I just can’t help myself… 

It wasn’t that bad!

I am a victim of my circumstances…vs. I totally take full responsibility

You fill in the blank…what excuse do you use most frequently…?

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Jonah missed the blessing by disobeying God.  He repented but his sin still carried a consequence.  

 How do you reply when God speaks to you?

Do you instantly respond to the initial promptings of His Spirit

or do you silently argue with God, rationalizing?

 Obedienceis following God-given instructions under the protection of God-given authority so the one being served will be fully satisfied. Like Jonah, God gives each of us a choice multiple times…daily.  

11 Cor. 10: 15  

 Do we answer God’s call like the little girl responded on the video?

 “I’m listening…I’m on my way!” 

Someone said “An intelligent person can rationalize anything, a wise person doesn’t try!!”

Jackie's Journey "Dry Bones!"

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If there was ever a day when our families, country and world call forRevival

this is the day!

 “Revival is absolutely essential to restrain the righteous anger of God,

 to restore the conscious awareness of God, 

and to reveal the gracious activity of God.”

 Ezekiel was a prophet, a priest and a servant of God who was sent to give God’s message to a wicked and rebellious nation, not unlike our own.  Chapter 37 speaks of his vision of a “valley of dry bones”.  Verse 11 cries out, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off”!  Spiritual deadnessis a frightening position. The absence of the fear of God reveals itself in our moment-by-moment life practice…

 Are we dedicated to comfort and convenience, 

claiming personal rights,

doing our own thing?

Or are we dedicated to Cavalry’s road and a God that calls us to holiness?

Our dedication determines how alive we are spiritually or if we are a mass of “dry bones”.  There is a quality of spiritual life that is rarely experienced among believers in the West because we are so busy…living in entitlements. Jesus says: Putting anything before me reveals spiritual deadness.

 Where are you living this moment?

 Stephen Olford in Heart Cry wrote, “O that God would teach us that it is just as important to be spiritual as to be sound in our approach to the Bible, just as vital to be obedient as to be orthodox, and that thepurpose of revelation is nothing less than transformation of human lives!”

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Revival is the power of the Holy Spirit transforming God’s Word in our souls.  While in Bible School a fellow student introduced me to a small paperback book, The Calvary Road by Roy Hession.  Revival’s clear definition and seeing my need for personal application has been a constant reminder of God’s promise to set us free from sin and self…continually!

 Revival is the result of:

·     A new experience of the conviction of sin

·     A new vision of the cross of Jesus and redemption

·     A new willingness to walk in brokenness, repentance, confession and restitution

·     An understanding of how to maintain a consistent walk in the light

·     A joyful experience of the power of the blood of Jesus cleansing us fully from sin and healing all that sin has lost and broken

The test for knowing you are cleansed…ask yourself:

1.    Do I have any unconfessed sin?

2.    Is there anything between another person and me?

A new entering into the wholeness of the Holy Spirit and His power and His own work in and through us

    A new “gathering-in” of the lost ones to Christ

 Revival does not begin with someone else.  It begins with each of us! 

Is revival stirring in your soul?

 “The fruit of revival comes only as we come to the cross and acknowledge our emptiness and failure apart from Him.  It is not good Christians becoming better Christians…but rather Christians honestly confessing that their Christian life is a valley of dry bones and by that confession qualifying us for the grace that flows from the Cross and makes all things new… dry bones made alive again!”  Roy Hession

                      

Understanding our desperate need initiates this promise: 

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Jesus did not come into the world to make bad men good…

He came to make dead men live

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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.