Jackie's Journey "Arachnids...Scared But Not Defeated!"

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Washday in the jungle was an event, not just a necessity!  It required a trip to the river with two little ones in tow, a washtub (like great-grandma used) full of clothes, diapers, sheets, etc., soap and a washboard.  Finding a rock that wasn’t already being used was the next challenge after descending the 12’ bank!  The swirling river was the agitator and the most difficult part of the whole exercise was wringing the clothes tight enough so they would dry after being hung.

The Kuna women would laugh at me, while their little ones entertained mine by chasing, splashing and diving around us..  Those were the “good ‘ole days”.  One blessing, and their were many, was that my girls learned to swim like little fish very early, against the current!

If it was dry season, the wash would dry in 2 hours.  During rainy season we might hang the clothes two times or more in one day.  Most garments were mildewed and never really dried completely until dry season returned!

One spring day my clothes carried an unwanted visitor inside the house. We had open wooden shelves and as I lifted the last clean sheet, I caught something moving in my peripheral vision.  Now…let me be clearly understood…I will take a snake, any size, over a spider any day! 

 This particular spider was a creature of undeniable presence!  I screamed so loud that half the village came streaming through my front door.  One look at the intruder and my husband and Arturo, our closest neighbor, told us all to get out!  Apparently, this venomous arachnid was dangerous!  I could not understand their hesitation in just eliminating it.  I wanted that spider dead…I did not want him alive for an encore another day…

 Earlier that month our cat had found a huge, and I mean huge, scorpion under our bed.  I picked up my husbands size 14 army boot and squashed its 12” body dead, in one fell swoop, as our 8 month old daughter came crawling into the room!

Now, “hear me roar”…I’m not kidding…I REALLY wanted that spider dead!

Fear is our friend…it is an emotion induced by a threat, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior.  “Courage is being scared to death…and walking through the door of fear to victory”.  (R. J., my husband)  In the book “Hind’s Feet in High Places” I would clearly be little “Much Afraid”. 

Shortly after being challenged to carry the name of Christ to unreached tribal people, I read in Luke 10:19 where Jesus sent out the seventy-two with the promise, “I have given you authority to trample snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”!! 

That verse immediately came pounding into my consciousness and I claimed that promise, given to those who take the gospel into uncharted territories.  As jungle living became my daily experience, I would often return to those precious words that brought peace that day.  Over and over again during those years of the unexpected until today, I continue to claim its truth when I am tempted to yield to panic.

Whatever you are facing today…

let’s hear you roar…

take courage!

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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 April 23, 2018 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "Another Milestone!"

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My 75th Birthday Party!

Meet Alexandra Grace, my beautiful granddaughter, standing with me…

My Dad used to say, “Growing old isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.”

To me…old age has always been fifteen years older than I am…those more seasoned and accumulated wisdom years.  My mother, who is 99 this year, has always said, “Old age is not for sissies!”  I should have married an archeologist because the older I grow, the more he would appreciate me!  I guess I agree with the words above my bed that say, “Age is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”!  I’ve had a multitude of those moments…and look forward to many more, should the Lord tarry.  He has my days numbered.

I want to take this opportunity to pen the gratitude I have in my heart. Missionaries have the privilege of meeting people from all over the world and connecting with a common eternal objective. Whether on the foreign field, in local churches in rural and urban communities or in the highways and byways…friendships, fellowship and eternal connections soon follow. 

This blog is for those of you who have reached out for me from all over the globe on the many ways available to us in this day and age.  I recently found messages on the Princess Parable website and I am sure you have been wondering why I have not responded to all your kind words and encouragements.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, especially those of you who regularly take the time to encourage me, and tell you how much I appreciate hearing from each of you and to urge you to continue to communicate what’s on your heart.  I will do my best to check the different mediums to find you.  Thank you for your patience with me and…

Thank you for all the birthday greetings

and so many reassuring words!

"Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older.

 Keep me from being too talkative, and thinking I have something

to say on every occasion.

 Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

 Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible

that I may be mistaken.

 Make me thoughtful, but not moody, helpful, but not bossy;

for You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end!"

Anonymous

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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 "Bad Things Happen to Good People?"

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Why do bad things happen to good people????

My compassionate mother is 99 years old and she has asked this question on more than one occasion.  I always answer her the same way…

It only happened once and He volunteered!

“There is none good…no, not one.” Rom 3: 23

“The real problem is not why some pious, humble,

believing people suffer, but why some do not”!    C.S. Lewis

“We are not at our best perched at the summit; we are climbers at our best when the way is steep”.  John W. Gardner   Stretching, growing, struggling, striving, writhing, to become mature and to be equipped to be a benefit to others is at the core of trials and suffering.  After all, it is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.  John Calvin said, “We must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy”.

“He who fears to suffer cannot be His who suffered.”  Tertullian  Wanting to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering… Phil. 3:10 and entering into the insulated growth cocoon in good times…and bad (the difficult “saint perfecting” times) is the key to walking in His strength and the fullness of understanding true gratefulness.  Victory over whatever this life brings and seeing through His life-changing perspective makes suffering bearable and profitable, not depressing, disarming and debilitating.

Before this last Thanksgiving I fell coming out of the market and tore a ligament in my knee.  I was relieved to learn that it would not require surgery.  I used a walker and wore a brace for weeks; graduating to a cane and then after three months I was able to take off the brace.  Every step was painful and I began to think maybe the limp was permanent.  God saw fit to touch that knee.   I certainly do not consider myself a good person, however; most of my youth, the entire time spent in the humid jungles of Panama and the many years up to this date in 2018, I have had severe migraine headaches. 

Early in my Christian life, while in Bible School, I was exposed to the truth of welcoming trials and pain as a friend.  James 1: 2   It is God’s fastest road to patience, perseverance, joy, hope, gratefulness, faith and love… MATURITY!  Given with divine purpose suffering is a valuable tool for my personal growth and the success of others. 

“I do not believe that just sheer suffering teaches.  If suffering alone taught, then the entire world would be wise, since everyone suffers.  To suffering must be added mourning, gratefulness, understanding, patience, love, openness and willingness to remain vulnerable.”  Anne Morrow Lindbergh  

“In spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with joy given by the Holy Spirit.  And so you became a model to all the believers…”  Here we have the formula for growth and it includes trials and suffering.

Trials + acceptance with joy = Growth

What to others are disappointments are to believers intimations of the way and will of God.  Nothing demonstrates what we are more accurately than the way we meet trials and difficulties.

Are you struggling today?

“Afflictions are but the shadow of God’s wings”…George MacDonald

“When God wants to bring more power into your life,

 He brings more pressure.”

A. B. Simpson

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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 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 "Bunnies, Baskets, and New Beginnings!"

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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 Easter, 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…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 continue to celebrate our risen Savior, 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. 

Posted on April 2, 2018 and filed under Motherhood, Character and Virtue.

Jackie's Journey "How Observant are You?

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I have always loved the promise of Proverbs 14: 33.

“Wisdom reposes (rests) in the heart of the discerning woman”…

The word that stands out to me in this verse is “discerning”.   I want to be a wise, godly woman…a worthy disciple of the cross, don’t you?

Recently I had the opportunity to open my home to a young lady from out of state for a week or so.  Wanting her to be comfortable and open to talk to me I engaged her in multiple conversations regarding her spiritual condition and the condition of her marriage.  When the time came for her to leave I had grown to love her and I was encouraged.

My encouragement was short lived; however, when a few weeks later I received news that she had left her husband and had returned to her life in the world.  Had I missed her bottom line need or was she just bent on her own way and had no ears to hear?  “The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of our own ignorance”!  Charles Spurgeon

 I can hear you busy moms out there saying, “This is the problem.  Discernment is a word that is ethereal in my understanding and wrapped in what looks like a lot of time and work.  Don’t get me wrong.  I want the wisdom that comes from it.  I need the wisdom…I’m a MOM!“ 

 What is a discerning woman, anyway?

 As a mom and a Pastor’s wife I have had the opportunity of listening to a multitude of problems and needs.  Being objective is easier when it is not an unresolved issue in my own home.  Hearing the words spoken to me and knowing from whence the complaint is originating is often a conundrum that leaves me stammered at times.  Discerning between what has been superficially stated and recognizing the root cause to find a solution is the challenge!  Discernment is a God-given ability to understand why things happen.  I Samuel 16:7

“God never gives us discernment in order to criticize,

but that we would intercede.”  Oswald Chambers

“Discernment incorporates four important factors:

1)   Learning to operate within my aptitudes (abilities, skills, talents, gifts…) to look beneath the surface of a problem.  It takes time to find the underlying problem, as opposed to making a judgment on surface words and manifestations.

2)    Learning to detect the true wishes and feelings of others (and be brave enough to speak truth when rejection is on the other side of the door!).

3)    Knowing what to look for in assessing the needs of people, problems and things. The addict on the corner that thinks his need is money for a fix is blind to his real need.

4)    Knowing if God wants me to reach out and then, harmonizing with His timing to meet the need.  It is nearly impossible these days to engage in any conversation without sensing someone’s need.  It is important to listen for His leading.” (Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts with added emphasis)

We are known and read by almost everyone we talk to. (II Cor. 3:3)  We are reading facial expressions, attitudes and actions of others continually.  We are aware of the way people respond to us.  We are exceptionally self-sensitive.  We, women, are the observers in life…on the playground, in the park, in the grocery store, post office, Bank, Church, Bible Study, Child Care facility, school…. everywhere we go… we can’t help ourselves…

We moms are forever being called upon to discriminate between right and wrong, settling family issues with our husband or with fussing children.  We are particular with whom we trust our children when we are not present.  We know the safe places to walk our little ones and we are alert to dangers inside and out of every environment.  Need I go on…?

Discernment is not new to us.  What is new is taking what is God-given intentionally purposing to use it for the benefit of another person and the glory of God!  He says, “If we lack wisdom to ask of Him…

Will you pray this prayer with me?

Lord, I want to pray this promise of your Word into my life.  To be wise I must be discerning and your spirit must teach me how to use all my God-given abilities to become that woman of discernment for the benefit of others and for your glory.  Teach my heart, Lord…Phil. 1: 9-10

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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 "Be Careful What You Wish For"?

Another school shooting!  Numerous fatalities!  Can you believe that we live in a day when the world and our tumultuous culture are totally backward and upside down?  What was once considered foolish behavior is now considered acceptable conduct?  That acceptable behavior has produced overt rebellion, which has become the preferred response to life’s situations, over humility.  Bombings, bullies, road rage, militant marches, legalized drugs… need I go on…?

If you could make a difference and have whatever you wanted, which one of these would you choose?

Peace                                           Wealth                                        Knowledge

Friends                                       Long Life                                     Power

Honor                                          Fame                                           Happiness

Prestige                                      Popularity                                  Health

Security                                      Influence                                    Wisdom

Love                                            Achievement

Be careful what you wish for when you’re 20…you’ll have its fruit when you are 40!

One day God told a young man that he could have whatever he wanted. (I Kings 3: 5-15)  This young man “loved the Lord”.  He answered, “Give me, your servant, an understanding heart…that I may discern between good and bad.”  God was pleased with his request and not only gave him wisdom and understanding, but also, riches and honor!

While living in the jungles of Panama, we taught our two little girls to sing a great definition of wisdom.  It went like this: “Wisdom is seeing life’s situations from God’s point of view and learning to act in harmony with Him.  So be wise my son, heed my instructions, leave that road that leads to destruction, hollow my name, don’t walk in shame….” (IBYC)  Our good friends and fellow missionaries, John and Ruth Jenkins, put the words to music.   

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Our two little songsters in typical Kuna Mola dresses!

We are such opinionated women…we must think we are wise!!  In a world that gives no credence to being wise, why is it important?  How do we know if we are wise women? Mothers?  Grandmothers?  I certainly don’t feel wise!

“Wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s perspective.  This means that we are able to take surface problems that we experience in life to their root cause and take the necessary steps to correct them.  Those lacking wisdom don’t see any connection between cause and effect of their problems and therefore don’t understand what they are stumbling over, or if they avoid problems…why they avoid them.

It takes wisdom to collect facts and knowledge to come to correct conclusions.  Never before have there been so many conflicting philosophies on how to live! Wisdom is seeing how God’s truths are universal and non-optional.  Every civilization and every individual will succeed or fail in direct relationship to how they follow those principles. 

Wisdom understands human nature and how it is opposed to God’s nature.  It is the ability to see how our natural inclinations are the direct opposite to the principles of life taught in His Word.

We think the way to greatness is by becoming a leader.  But God’s teaching is that, ‘He that will be greatest among you shall be your servant.’  Matt. 23: 11

We think that the way to gain independence and “be free” is to rebel and get out from under authority.  But God knows that true independence and honor come by getting under the protection of our authority.  ‘…Before honor is humility,’ Pro. 15:33

We think to get ahead it is wise to hide and cover our mistakes.  But God knows that ‘He that covers his sins will not prosper; but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.’  Pro. 28: 13

We think that by dedicating our life to God we will lose it, when in reality we are losing our life if we try to keep it for ourselves.” (IBYC...emphasis added)     “For whosoever will save his life will lose it (in others!).  Matt. 16: 25

Would you consider yourself to be a wise woman?

What would your husband say?

Would your children call you a “wise” mom?

 Maybe you’re asking what Old Testament Job did.  “Where can wisdom be found? Where does it come from?  Where does understanding dwell?  Man does not comprehend its worth”!  Job 28:12    God said,  “He looked at wisdom and appraised it; He confirmed it and tested it” and then He gave to man in verse 28… the definition of wisdom! 

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The fear of the Lord (the fear of the consequence of sin)…that is wisdom…

and shunning of evil is understanding (discerning between good and bad and making consistent right choices!)”  Job 28: 28

 

The world could use a little wisdom.

Just saying…

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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 "Wise in Your Own Eyes?"

As moms we have the ultimate privilege of having little innocent ones look up to us, think us wise, copy our every move and watch our pattern of responses to life’s situations. 

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Our youngest, Kim and I in the Darien jungle in Panama

We nurture them and delight in the fact that we are so needed and well thought of at our young age.  To our little ones everything is new and learning about the world outside is an adventure we readily take with them, carefully exposing tiny hands to the beauty of flower petals, cautiously moving furry caterpillars and catching the wind blowing leaves.  We experience the joy of living through the eyes of these that see only the splendor…then reality hits!

We don’t live in that world anymore.  We are fraught with the truth of our own reflection in their innocent eyes.  We are in the adult theater of war with the manifestations of our self-importance!  The enemy has blinded us with a pursuit of self-recognition and self-exaltation and a desire to control.  We have become complainers; mothers who pass judgment on God (by judging others!); women of bad attitudes and angry looks; contentious; perfectionists; chatterboxes about ourselves; women consumed with what others think; unteachable; sarcastic; devastated by criticism; defensive; disrespectful to our husbands; self-sufficient; irritable; jealous; envious; full of self-pity…you know you best…you fill in the blank! 

All of these and more are marks of arrogance in the life!  Being wise in your own eyes!  Don’t give approval to your child with a lower standard than God gave us in His Word regarding pride.

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;

assuredly, he will not be unpunished.”  Proverbs 16: 5

 "There is one character quality that will enable us (to be the moms we are called to be) and all Christ wants us to be.  We cannot come to God without it.  We cannot love God supremely without it.  We cannot be an effective witness for Christ without it.  We cannot love our children or husband and serve others without it.  We cannot (be that model or) lead in a godly way without it.  We cannot resolve conflict without it.  We cannot deal with the sin of others without it.” 

"HUMILITY IS NOTHING ELSE BUT A RIGHT JUDGMENT OF OURSELVES."

William Law

In short, we must embrace and live out humility in order to truly live and be who God means for us to be.” (Stuart Scott…emphasis added) It is for this reason that God exhorts us through Paul:

Therefore, I the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner

worthy of the calling with which you have been called,

with all HUMILITY and gentleness…Eph. 4:1-2

 “We can have no power from Christ unless we live in the persuasion that we have none of our own.” John Owen We cannot be humble without realization of our areas of sinful pride; calling it by name, repenting in brokenness and reflecting glory back to God. As difficult as the battle between pride and humility seems, the provision to live triumphantly is possible only by His promise and delivery of grace made available to the humble.  “Humility creates the vacuum that divine grace fills.” (John McArthur)  Moment by moment decisively walking a life absent of self opens the door to all the grace needed for humility to grow.

God’s most powerful illustrations have been in the lives of men and women who knew their weakness, but who learned how to draw on God’s strength!

Charles Spurgeon taught, “Every Christian has a choice between

being humble or being humbled”!

Which will it be?

 

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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 WIN...What's the Prize??"

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The 2018 Super Bowl is history. Only one team could win.  The prize is enormous.  Monday nights are game nights on T.V in many homes across America. We put our children in team sports almost before they can walk, let alone kick a soccer ball!  We hear the competitive nature of the game as parents stand and shout encouragement at players and periodically yell at the officials.   We say, “Do your best and win!”  The philosophy of how a game should be played is wrapped in “the most important thing is winning”.

Sacrificing whatever it takes… integrity, tripping the kid in front of you…breaking the rules…winning is the objective.  Reaching the goal…first!  Teaching our children true fulfillment is by-passed on the altar of “me first” winners!  Losing is not an option.

Don’t misunderstand me.  Team sports are a part of our American heritage.  Just don’t miss the real goal…   “…Straining toward what is ahead.  I press toward the goal to win the prize…” (Phil.3: 13)  And how we get there is the key.

What’s the prize?

Do you want to be a winner in life?

Do you want your children to be real winners?

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?  (Pro. 20:24)   God has a plan for our success.  How can we think apart from His purpose??

God has called us “heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.  And if, on some point you think differently, that too, God will make clear to you.”  (Phil. 3:14)   Competitive sports show us the importance of focusing and reaching for a goal!  Binding ourselves to His eternal goal and plan and continually pushing forward toward Christ for His equipping as parents, mothers, grandparents, teachers and examples makes us winners.  His empowerment is the prize.  We are not programmed to get the job done apart from Him.

God doesn’t want our best. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet, not I, but Christ lives in me”.  I repeat…God doesn’t want our bestHe wants us!   Us…yielded to Him, so He can do HIS best in us and through us.

What is God’s goal?

What does He require of us?

“To act justly

To love mercy

To walk humbly with your God”.

Micah 6: 8

Humility necessitates complete yieldedness to Him, His plan and His Will.

“…Not I, anymore, but Christ who lives in me…”

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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 "To God be the Glory!"

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Our family, with the Jay Gunsteens family, opened up the work among the Pucuro Kunas on the Colobian border in 1972

In January 2009 a team of four San Blas Island Kunas from the First Baptist Church of Panama City traveled to the Darien jungle village of Pucuro to minister to our border Kunas.   During the visit to Pucuro there were seven first-time decisions for Christ and 14 baptisms.  We received a letter of a tape-recorded message of their exciting visit. 

As I read the amazing report of our Kuna brothers and sisters, I was reminded of God’s promise…

 ”My Word will NOT return unto me void,

but WILL accomplish that to which I have sent it”.

 This is the same tribe that took us into the jungles of Panama many years earlier.  It is the same indigenous group of people that a few years after we returned to the states, we learned of the three missionary men living in our village, who were kidnapped, captured and killed.  The current chief of the village was our nearest neighbor, a dear friend and one of the first converts in those early days. 

Needless to say, I read the report with passionate interest!  As the story unfolded, I was overwhelmed with thanksgiving.  It is an amazing story of God’s faithfulness. 

The island team ministers spoke of their prepared purpose to go to Pucuro to evangelize.  Upon arriving they realized there was no need to evangelize because “everyone was a Christian already!”  They had to change their tactics and teach.  The Kunas were hungry for God’s Words.  Even the little ones would sit quietly for 1 ½ hours or more.  They kept saying, “Don’t stop.  Keep sharing with us!” 

The Island Kuna teachers talked about how the people at the Kuna church in the city sang OK, but not with the enthusiasm of their brothers in Pucuro…”Wow!  You should hear them sing.  They sing at the top of their voices and with all of their hearts.” 

They were impressed with the amazing testimonies of the Pucuro Christians.  The chief of Pucuro shared, “I was talking to my people, I said, 'Look at us.  Fifteen years ago we betrayed the Americans (3 missionary men with their families living in Pucuro) to the guerillas.  They killed the men.  Four years ago one of our chiefs was killed and some of our houses were burned (by guerillas).  Other things have happened.  Look what we have done…at what we have become.  We are bad people.  We need to come back to God'”.

When the time came to leave the people kept saying,

“Please stay another week and keep teaching us.” 

The Congreso (a Kuna village could not function without a Congreso) has become their Church service and their giving and meeting the needs of one another is done as a whole body of believers ministering to one another.  This, in itself, is a miracle transformation for a Kuna village.

I’ll close this "Praise Letter" with Wilma Forester’s (Wycliff missionaries to the Paya Kunas) editorial note: “As I think of the wonderful harvest that is coming about in Pucuro, I am very mindful of the years and years of prayer that has been lifted to the throne on behalf of the Pucuro Kunas.  During the ten silent years when the fate of the three New Tribes missionaries (David Mankins, Mark Rich, Rick Tenenoff) was unsure, people (I venture to say thousands of people) around the world were not only praying for the men, but for their wives, their families, the guerillas, AND the people to whom they had ministered…the people of Pucuro.  God’s timing is not our timing.  His ways are not our ways.  Today we have a glimpse into His plan.  Truly we serve a prayer answering God.” 

I could not agree more…

To God be the glory…

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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 26, 2018 and filed under Announcements.

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.