Jackie's Journey "Who Do We Think We are Fooling?"

 

As women, it should startle us to realize our power of influence.  Even though we are more than acquainted with the call to “walk our talk” and not be an excuse for bad behavior in our little ones (and big ones!), we should sense the intense obligation.

My very observant Grand-niece, Olivia, enjoying Fall Harvest…

My very observant Grand-niece, Olivia, enjoying Fall Harvest…

  We never know who is watching!  Pressures to “walk our talk” are those continuing opportunities for others to observe our true character.  (II Corinthians 4: 17)   A hypocrite willfully lives in conflict with his or her mind, will and emotions.  He or she is motivated by a desire for the appreciation of men rather than the approval of God.  (Proverbs 27: 21)  It is an incredible responsibility when you stop to think about it!

 Can you pass the test for a “Walk your Talk” mom?

 1.     Do you get in the Word of God daily

2.     Do you keep a record of the things God brings to your attention, as He teaches you, so you are continually fresh and ready to share with others?

3.     Do you understand how to maintain a consistent “walk in the Spirit”?

4.     Are you presently witnessing to someone who is in need of our Savior?

5.     Are you mentoring at least one person at this time?

6.     Do you know you are born of God…no doubts?

 How did you do?  

 Our Western culture is consumed with an attitude of “I deserve this”, I am entitled to this!”   “Gimme, gimme!”.  The quality of spiritual life we are going to address in this blog is rarely experienced because we are so busy demanding personal rights.  We have learned to call “our rights” by acceptable, “politically correct” terms.  

But rights, nonetheless, are the separators of us from authentic spiritual reality.

 Here are some acceptable signs (oops, sins!) that tell us our “best” has been compromised and our “walk” may need some attention:

  1. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1Thess. 5: 18   

   Do you give thanks in everything? Or are you selective in the area of gratefulness…maybe you’re a complainer or worrier…?           

·  2.  “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.” Rom. 12: 3 

             Are you proud of YOUR accomplishments, YOUR talents, and YOUR family?  

         Do you fail to see others as better than yourself, more important than yourself, in your relationships in the body of Christ?  Is your goal the success of others?         

·     3. “Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”  Eph. 4: 31           

         Do you find fault, carry a grudge, anger easily, hold people to your expectations and speak unkindly about people when they are not present? 

             Do you enjoy listening to gossip?  Do you pass it on?

     4. “Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds.”  Col. 3: 9  

         Do you ever lie?  Exaggerate? Do you tell things the way you want them rather than the way they are?  

 5. “Even so, you outwardly appear righteous to men, but within, you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”  Matt. 23: 28        

        Do you smile self-righteously during the sermon on Sunday but live in your bad attitudes all week?  Are you the same person in your home, as the one who is trying to impress people outside your home?  

          We are fooling no one!  We are a book… known and read by all men …

especially, children… they read our spirit!

               How authentic are you?         

       What is your demonstration of truth?

       What is your fruit?        

      Will your young knight or princess say you 

       are an unpretentious, genuine mom 

       that “walks her talk”? 

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

Jackie's Journey "Where Do You Keep Your BUT?"

In the Princess Parable Series Princess Hope is the oldest of the five princesses and carries the responsibility of setting a good example and leading the way for her four younger sisters who are watching and learning from her.  She experiences first-hand what it takes to “count the cost” when she sees her grandmother’s priceless ring in a store window in the village. She has to get it back…but how…and at what cost?

Meet Princess Hope

Meet Princess Hope

How many of us understand what it means 

to “count the cost” 

for someone or something 

that is so important 

that we will not hesitate to boldly step up to the plate?

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Before leaving for the shores of Panama I was cognizant of the cost it might take to leave the U.S. and live in a foreign country.  But it was not until Christina, my first daughter, was born that I became acutely aware of the expanse of what it might actually demand.  I was leaving my homeland with my parents first and only, two-year-old grandchild. After arriving in Panama, it would take us two days by three different means of transportation to land on the muddy banks of the river Pucuro.  It would include living in an “off the grid” bark-walled house with no running water, no electricity and an outhouse that screamed “unfriendly”. 

 Would the cost be too great?

 Our jungle house was located in an extremely dense and remote area of the jungle. There was malaria and T.B.  There would be hairy eight-legged creatures, not to mention venomous insects and reptiles of every kind the imagination could conjure up and worse!  We would be called to cook, eat and drink unidentifiable “chicha’s”, mammals, reptiles and even rodents!  It would be on the Colombian border where drug runners passed through our village routinely.  My neighbors would speak a different language and have a strange culture.  There would be no privacy, no hospital, no urgent care facility, no contact with the outside world, except for an often-unreliable two-way radio!  On top of that, on our first trek in, I would have two little girls.  Christina had just turned three and our second daughter was a tiny three-month-old nursing baby on my lap…

This is an aerial veiw of our house with the tin roof in the foreground

This is an aerial veiw of our house with the tin roof in the foreground

 I would be the first to admit that life brings serious unknowns, struggles, doubts, fears, and temptations from the enemy, even if you have “counted the cost” in all the light you have.

 On one of the many rainy days in the rainforest, I began to share my heart and woes with a seasoned missionary who was listening intently.  To every comment of comfort, she gave me, I responded,BUT you don’t understand; I know GOD says that BUT what about…?”

 When I paused to catch my breath, she asked me if, “I thought God’s grace was sufficient enough for me for today?”   

 What!???… I’m a missionary living in the jungle…I could hardly say “No”!  Of course, I answered, “Yes!” 

 She followed up with, “Then… would His Grace be sufficient for tomorrow?!” 

 She had firmly and graciously admonished me to keep my BUT on the appropriate side of the word GODNOT, “Ok,GOD, BUT…” (we always have a good excuse for not trusting Him); rather, this is my situation, BUT GOD is more than sufficient and faithful.  He has proven Himself over and over again, when I keep my BUT on the right side of God.

 Is living for God, demonstrating genuine Christianity

and claiming Christ as Lord and Master of my life

for His glory… too much?

 If I can trust Him for today; then, I can trust Him for tomorrow!

 A wise woman counts the cost… 

 Princess Hope’s recapturing a stolen ring and me moving into a dense jungle do not, on the surface, seem comparable; yet, the point is ,what do we treasure enough to pay the ultimate price to achieve?  What is important enough for us to “count the cost” and plunge into whatever sacrifice it takes to see it accomplished?

 There was no call to the jungle; BUT GOD did call us to respond to the need in that jungle…to open up a work among an unreached group of people who had yet to hear His Name spoken, even once, or to hear the news of His wonderful redeeming message.

 “The house of the righteous contains great treasure”! (Pro. 15:6)

 

Moms…your house is full of eternal treasure…

treasure that will spend eternity somewhere.

 When all is said and done and we have reached the end of this life…what will be said of us?  Did we choose the most important?  Did we succeed in our calling?  Did we “count the cost” for what was on His heart in His perfect will for us or did we do our own thing and hope for the best?  

 How does the fruit of your commitment look so far?  

We only pass this way once!

 

It WILL be worth it all…!

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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 "Crying Out!!"

We live up a narrow gorge that stretches from the valley floor with its ocean and sandy beach to the top of the hill over-looking the harbor.  Watching the birds ride the currents is a regular preoccupation. This spring I was watching a hawk sweep down across the pool in our backyard.  As he ascended high up into the sky above the valley below,he screeched loudly, over and over.  I watched this magnificent creature ride the current up and down, back and forth.  A short time later he swooped down into our yard again…only this time… he was silent... 

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He had a snake dangling from his talons!

It brought to mind what I had been reading earlier in Psalm 147:9:

 “God provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens…WHEN THEY CALL”! 

 I am that helpless raven that is found “crying out”, totally dependent on God, placing my faith continually on His promises and unfailing love! Whether with no communication with the outside world in the jungles of Panama or here, in the U.S., with way too many ways to communicate…the most important line of communication to keep open is that with the “King of Kings”!

 While in Bible School a young missionary student told me to allow the Word of God to “dwell richly”in me.  Not just read and journal…but dwell richly!  

In our book, Princess Faith’s Mysterious Garden from The Princess Parable SeriesFaith learned the importance of crying out to God, even though she didn’t understand why things happened to her. She learned God uses perplexing things to talk to us and to grow our hearts, making us stronger and a benefit to others!

 Taken from the Parable of the Sower in Matt. 13, Faith learns she can trust her heavenly Father to deeply plant His truth in her heart.  She learned to accept with joy the trials her garden brought her, plus every other circumstance that came her way!

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We mom’s live in a hurricane with endless noise and activity.  Distinguishing between our “little chicks” that are “crying out”, needing our total presence and immediate attention… is a learned skill.  Daddies struggle with it!  Hearing the voice of God “crying out” to us is a cherished and coveted practice because He whispers in the quietness of our consciousness, as we read His Word and it , dwells richly in us.

 While writing Princess Faith, we were mindful of the desperate need moms have for those quiet teachable moments with their little knight or princess. We included in her personal journal in the closing pages of her story in the Parable Thoughts, the lesson Faith learned through her facing trials of various kinds.  It is clear that Faith learned to “cry out” and to see her prayers answered.

 Most of us get lost in the harried busyness of one day swallowing up another.  Our hearts yearn for that quiet moment when our little one looks up at us with total trust and silently cry’s out to us for our undivided attention. That moment when we take time to read and respond to their spirit, tells us, as hard as it is at times, to stop the train… this nanosecond of oneness, peace and complete harmony is worth it all!   

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Time is short!  

 Will you hear His silent whisper and 

allow the Word of God to daily “dwell richly” in you?

or

Will you miss the opportunity of His faithfulness being formed 

in you

and your little one?

 Faithfulness is not allowing busyness or adversity

 to cause us to be unfaithful to God’s Word and His calling

 or to be disobedient to His purposes.

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

Jackie's Journey " It's My Choice!"

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“It’s quiet.  It’s early. My coffee is hot.

The sky is still black.  The world is still asleep.

The day is coming.  In a few moments the day will arrive.

It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun.

The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day.

The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace 

Of the human race.

The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met…agendas and schedules…

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands.  

It is NOW that I must make a choice. 

And so, I choose…”

 

I CHOOSE LOVE…

No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness.  Hatred means to love less.  I will give love freely with my motive to receive NOTHING in return.  I choose love.  Today I will love God and what HE loves. (I Cor. 13:3)

 I CHOOSE JOY…

I receive JOY when I give Love away.  Joyfulness is the spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when I am in fellowship with God. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.  I will see interruptions as opportunities in all the chaos around me.  I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…the tool of the lazy thinker.  I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God.  I will refuse to see any problem or situation as anything less than an opportunity to see God. I choose to get in harmony with HIM and HIS will.  (Psa. 16:11)

 I CHOOSE PEACE…

I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live. I will allow peace to govern me today. Great peace have those who love His law and NOTHING will offend them. I have no excuse!(Psa. 119: 165)

 I CHOOSE PATIENCE…

I will overlook the inconveniences and conflicts the day presents.  I will accept any difficult situation from GOD without giving Him a deadline to remove it.  Rather than complaining that the wait is too long or chafing at an unexpected response from someone, I will thank God for a moment to pause and for a reminder to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at my current obligations, I will face them with gratefulness and courage. (Rom. 5:3-4)

 I CHOOSE KINDNESS…

I will be kind to the unkind because HE was treated unkindly and I deserve no less.  I will be kind to the poor because they are alone. I will be kind to the rich because they are afraid.  I will invest whatever is necessary to heal the hurt of others. Kindness is an act.(! Jn. 3: 17)

 I CHOOSE GENTLENESS…

Nothing is won by force or coercion.  I choose to show personal care and concern in meeting the needs of others.  If I raise my voice, may it be only praise.  If I clench my fist, may it be only a prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. Gentleness is an attitude or manner.(I Thess. 2: 7)

 I CHOOSE GOODNESS…

I will see the goodness in others when it is hard to find.  I will confess before I accuse. I will walk in humility, which is the gas tank for the other qualities.

 I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS…

Today I will keep my promises.  My spouse will not question my loyalty.  My children will never fear that their mom will not be there for them.  I will visualize God’s future in each life.  I will use difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those HE has called me to serve.  (Jn. 15:13)

 I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL…

I am a spiritual being.  After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.  I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal.  I choose to be instantly obedient to the initial promptings of God’ Spirit.  I choose God-control. (Gal. 5: 24-25)

 To this I commit my day…understanding that my choice indicates that either I have ALL of these qualities or that I have NONE of them. This is not a smorgasbord!  God-control means His Spirit is producing all of these in me. If I succeed, I will praise HIS Name and give thanks.  If I fail, I will seek God’s face in repentance, with the reminder to keep shorter accounts with HIM. 

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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 September 23, 2019 and filed under womanhood, motherhood, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "It will be OK...Stop Screaming..!!"

Throughout the Word, we see God doing mighty works through ordinary people.  Imperfect people…weak individuals…slow to action…reticent to respond initially, because there is always someone more qualified, eloquent or skilled than you or me.  Then, too, there is always the battle to walk through that door of fear that often stymies us.  

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While on the mission field, Sue Gunsteens and I ran a medical clinic.  Sue was qualified and skilled and did the job well.  On the other hand, I was just a simple “bush nurse” with basic training and understanding of the human body.  Yet, on every occasion that Jay and Sue and their family were NOT in the village, there would be some catastrophic event that I was called upon to “fill in”.  For example, the 8-year-old girl that fell out of the mango tree and the entire village came screaming through my front door holding her arm with the sharp bone protruding through the skin!!  In my panic, I could hear my husband, Ralph, saying, “God could use a stick, Jackie, but He’s chosen you!”

My youngest daughter, Kim and my medical mentor, Sue

My youngest daughter, Kim and my medical mentor, Sue

Taking a quick glance, I realized no X-rays were needed…or available!  Setting that arm and casting it was excruciating for both this little girl and myself!  Stepping up to the plate …because there was no one else, and I guessed that I was one step up from no help at all…I proceeded to cry out to God, first, with all my inadequacies… and then through my fear, took the arm in my hand and pulled it quickly toward me to set the broken bone.  To my amazement the bone snapped right back into place!  That was God!  The astonishment could be read on both of our faces!  Together that little girl and I, repaired the damage and fashioned a cast that would keep that arm immobile for a few weeks to heal.

 Years ago, I was given a list of simple people called to do extraordinary things.  It was sent my way to encourage me to “keep on keeping on”.  Consider these:

 Moses stuttered!

Jacob was a liar.

Noah got drunk.

Abraham was too old.

David had an affair. 

David was too young.

Solomon was too rich.

Jonah ran from God.

Sampson had long hair.

Elijah was burned out.

Naomi was a widow.

Esther was a hiding Jew.

Gideon and Thomas doubted.

Moses, Peter and Paul had short-tempers.

Lazarus was dead!

Peter was fearful of death.

John Mark was rejected by Paul.

 Because God is God, He does not need to rely on you or me.  Actually, we have nothing to offer God!  His power made perfect in our yieldedness to Him is all we have. I was reading the book of II Corinthians this morning.  In Chapter 12, I read, “My grace is sufficient for you, Jackie, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  I certainly qualify!  

 SOOO, then, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power can rest on me.  That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong”!

 Are you encouraged?

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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 September 17, 2019 and filed under spiritual growth, motherhood, womanhood.

Jackie's Journey "Who says I Have To...Why?"

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I am Seventy-six years old and have seen ¾ of a century of life on this planet.  I have observed the ebb and flow of my culture and Christianity over the years.  While reading through the Bible again this year and rehearsing the walk of (mankind), specifically the plight of the Jews in the early century, I got to chapter 17 of II Kings.  I found myself lost in this verse:

 “Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols.”

 Thisverse is included in what I call a “summary or review” Chapter.  The Israelites had begged for a King.  God was their KING,  but the people insisted on an earthly king.  God gave them their desire and what they deserved in Saul.  A man who proved that earthly kings are fallible and are blind to the reflection of our God, as KING, perfect and infallible in comparison!  The evil heart of man revealed itself over and over as the kings came and went. With few exceptions, they were bent on their desires, unrighteous, disobedient, idol worshipers, murderers of their own children on heathen sacrifices to false gods of stone, rebellious to God’s ways, resistant to God’s Purpose, His Wisdom…

“…they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked

me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt

until this day.” (vs. 14, Chapter 21)

 The nation divided and fought each other and the surrounding towns.  The kings were competitive and combative.  They strayed from God’s will, purpose, desires, wisdom, and righteousness. They rejected the true God, lost the blessing of the covenant God had made with Abraham and David and in its place, experienced the penalty and its replacement…the curse of disobedience.  

 In Chapter 17 the culmination of many years of rejecting God and His ways are realized by the King of Assyria.  God sent lions to consume the ignorant generation…! 

 “The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthuh, Avva, Hamath and

Sepharvaim (remember this group…they burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Drammach!!) and settled them in the town of Samaria to 

replace the Isrealites.  They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.

When they first lived there, they did not worhip the Lord…

so HE sent lions among them…” (vs. 25,26)

 When the report that the people were being killed by lions came to the King of Assyria, it was noted that “the people that had been deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE GOD OF THAT COUNTRY REQUIRES.”  The lions came because the people DID NOT KNOW WHAT HE REQUIRES!  Sooo, what does this heathen king do?  

 “Have one of the priests who had been exiled from

Samaria come and live in Bethel and teach them how to worship the LORD!!” (vs. 28)

 We are that heathen nation that has rejected our LORD God!

When we gather with our family on Sunday nights or when we meet with couples or small groups, we are the old guard…the exiled priests, called by our living God to teach the newer generation how to know and worship our GOD.

 Hence the title… a royal priesthood…

Are you busy living and teaching your prince and princesses God’s will (not their own),

 God’s purpose for their life, God’s Desires (no entitlement…what’s on HIS heart), 

God’s Wisdom and Godly righteousness???

What’s your plan…?

What’s your plan…?

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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 September 9, 2019 and filed under spiritual growth, motherhood.

Jackie's Journey "The Journey Goes On..."

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“Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it”.

I Thessalonians 5: 24

 How many years have you been married?  

This past week was our wedding anniversary.  My 100-year-old mother was married 72 years and my husband’s parents were married 47 years, so 54 years does not seem inordinately long to either of us…but, on the other hand, it has certainly been the proving ground for our developing our loyalty to God!

 I met my Prince at the University and if you were to ask our college friends, they would be astounded that we are celebrating 54 years together. Most did not give us two years! Ralph and I are polar opposites in almost every way.  However, we had the one element in marriage that will guarantee longevity…we were both individually committed to “burn out” serving God wherever He led us. My husband’s godly zeal and spiritual leadership in our home has been preeminent and a constant for the past 54 years!  

I have been blessed with a man who has loved me unconditionally and when he said “for better or worse” he meant it.  We have weathered the storms of life with near death experiences, more than once, and his loyalty to God and me is noteworthy.  Ralph and I continue to learn and grow together.  Choosing to live in deference is a necessary key to our taking our two strong wills and finding harmony in God’s will.

 Ralph’s name means “bold counselor” and that he is! He is, also, a man of motion and direction.  He was once told he is an” afflicter of the comfortable and a comfort to the afflicted!”  I could write a book with all his wise one-liners, biblical formulas and scriptural definitions.  His capacity to see things in Scripture and interpret them from the inside out to give a total new look to a familiar verse is uncanny!  

 We were told in our early married life regarding missions that “Christian missionaries are people whose passion is to make the Lord Jesus known to the whole world.  They are completely under the command of King Jesus (Ralph often rolls out of bed, stands at attention and salutes heavenward, committing his day!), and they will go anywhere, under any circumstances, for no pay, with poor living conditions and food, even though no one ever notices. They know their Sovereign God is watching every minute, and that is the only reward and joy they seek…a true missionary is someone who will risk everything for the sake of the lost of this world…this is my husband!

 We have a precious heritage that is a loving reminder of our loyalty to God and our responsibility into the third and fourth generations.

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Our lives are based on Proverbs 3: 5,6.  Trusting the Lord with all our hearts and allowing Him to direct our paths and Matt. 6:33: “Seeking first the King of heaven” and allowing Him to supply everything we need for life and godliness.

 We are convinced that He takes the weak and confounds the mighty.  We are proof of this truth and His faithfulness…I Corinthians 2: 1-2 speaks my heart, like Paul’s, when he says, “…I did not come to you with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling.  My message was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but God’s power”.

 If we had these 54 years to do over again, we would like to serve more… and better, as we were bought with the price of His blood.  Romans 6: 16-18 says, “We were slaves of sin and now are slaves of righteousness”.   We work daily on being better slaves!

 Have you found your marriage to be a proving ground

for your faithfulness to God?

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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 "Instagram Caption's"

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Two of my granddaughters are away at college and I miss them terribly! The Princess Parable Series has an Instagram that I have just learned to access.  My 7 grandchildren opened up a personal one for me one evening after dinner…it took them less than 5 minutes!  Look what I found written by Catherine, my oldest granddaughter…

“I am definitely not one to write a book for an Instagram caption, but I was thinking today about how important it is to step back from this crazy life every once and a while and look at the bigger picture. I get so caught up in school, and my grades, and friendships that sometimes just having a safe place where I can be quiet and reflect on my day can make a huge difference. I was reminded of this beautiful moment from this past summer.  We were exploring Lake Tahoe’s hidden castle, Vikingsholm.  

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The island in this picture actually has a tiny “Tea House” at the very top which was a place for the lady who lived in this castle to drink her tea everyday and enjoy the spectacular view.  When I hiked to the top with my family, I was overwhelmed with how amazing our God is and I was so grateful to be able to stand there at the top reflecting on everything He has blessed me with.  Today, I came across this picture and was reminded of my favorite verse: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will not run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).  Another version replaces the word “hope” with “wait” or “trust” and I thought that was interesting.  This verse is a reminder to me to step back from life when I am feeling anxious and to put my trust in the LORD (especially with midterm season…) and sometimes this requires waiting, but it is during the wait that we can hear God’s voice and direction for our life.  If you actually took the time to read this, I hope you are feeling encouraged to take on whatever this week throws your way!”

 Thank you, Catherine for these words of encouragement…

 Have a great week, Everyone!

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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 "Have You Ever Eaten a Rat?!"

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There have been many things I have thought, and sometimes verbalized, that I never wanted to do in life.  Like:

 Ø Never again will I lose my temper…

Ø Never again will I let my fear control me 

Ø Never again set a bad example in speech, attitudes, actions… (everyone would be watching! I can’t protect Hisreputation that way!) 

Ø Never again be a complainer (life is complicated and challenging…get with the program, Jackie, think opportunity!)

Ø Never again think “my first” (followers of Christ can’t be selfish!)

Ø Never again put anything before my time in the Word… (I know how a normal day rolls and there simply has to be time!... Right?!)

 What are the “I said I’d never_________” in your life?

 While living in the jungle we learned to cook with what was available in the jungle! The Kunas would bring us meat in rainy season in exchange for the use of our rifle and three bullets. They rarely failed to take those three bullets and bring home enough to divide up among the entire village!  We welcomed the protein from any and all forms of meat that they offered us.

 One day they returned the rifle with a quarter of white meat that looked unfamiliar, but proved to be sweet and delicious.  Curious, I asked what it was and when could they find it again!  They called it a Neki.  “What does a Neki look like?”, I inquired.  From the description I thought it must be some form of very large rabbit or small deer???  Years later, while visiting the San Diego Zoo, I met the Neki… it is called Capybara…and is a member of the rodent family! 

 As moms, we know we should never say “never or always”!  Those promises just don’t pan out!  We don’t even hear it when we say it!  We do it to our children:

 Ø  I always tell the truth (You cannot have that cookie until after supper ….)

Ø  I never discipline in anger… (I told you …for the third time!)

Ø  I never use a condescending tone of voice that belittles (What’s wrong with you?!…)

Ø  I will always be a mom who encourages first,before I correct (Uh, huh?) 

Ø  I will never make excuses for my disobedience or my child’s (“I’m sorry…I was up with the kids and didn’t sleep last night…I don’t mean to be cross!”  Or “She’s fussy because she needs a nap, diaper change, food…she didn’t mean to do it” ….)        

 We are forever in a theater of war with what we know to be true and what we want others to think of us.  Moms are the leaders in the march through the attitudes and activities that make up our day in the home.   We are giving it everything we’ve got, after all!

  Finding authenticity with God and within ourselves is an exercise worthy of our time and attention.  While we have good intentions and are committed to a standard of personal integrity, we often are deceived by a lie and self-imposed expectations (and our failure to meet those expectations).  Realizing the absolute necessity of living transparent before God and man is our only hope of escaping the “Nevers and Always” in our lives.

 Children are the most susceptible to our expectations and they listen to our, ‘Never do that again!’; I told you to “always put your toys back! “They want to see the Christ of the bible we teach alive in us.  The balance of acceptance, loving discipline with firm admonishment, encouragement, forgiveness, instruction with understanding of consequence and right and wrong…keep us alive in Him…totally dependent.   The opportunities are unending.

There is always the guilt when we fall short.  We don’t aspire to set ourselves up as “pack leader”, but there is no denying its reality when we see our little ones doing and saying exactly what we do and say! They are mute to our verbal instruction but alert to reading us and becoming carbon copies….

 Christina, my first daughter, giving her doll a firm admonition

 that came right out of my mouth!

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 Have I faced the “Always and Nevers” in my life successfully?

My children and grandchildren will totally answer that one honestly!

What kind of influence am I?

 How about you?

Are you the leader He is looking for to guide your children into truth?

Or are you the excuse your children use to do as they please?!

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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 Calling of Princess Grace"

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I love the name “Grace”, don’t you?   I have a granddaughter named Grace.  I love it so much we wrote a book about a Princess named Grace who was willing to walk through the danger of the Black Forest and face her fears because of the value she placed on the life of her lost little kitten!  Phil. 2:13 gives us the definition of Grace.  It means the desire and power to do what is right.  God blessed Princess Grace with the willingness and power to keep in harmony with the instruction of her authority…even in times of trouble. This is my prayer today for the prince and princess in your life.

 “LIFE is a stewardship, not an ownership; a trust, not a gift!

With a gift you can do as you please; but with a trust 

you must give an account”!

 “Nothing in all of creation is hidden from God’s sight!  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before HISeyes and to HIM we must give an account”! Hebrews 4:13

 Personally, these have always been “call to action”words to me! They have been a strong motivating force in my life.  Those of you who know me, know I am the “little much afraid” in the book ,Hinds Feet in High Places…I am the person who forces herself to walk through the door of fear to find God’s GRACE and freedom on the other side!

 The fact that God is holding me accountable has driven me to take the stewardship of my life:  as a woman, author, missionary, pastor’s wife, mother, and grandmother very seriously. This God of love is going to hold me accountable one day…and there will be no excuses, no escape!

 Scripture tells us children are a gift to us that come from the Lord with stewardship.  They are a trust given for a short time and our responsibility for that life is enormous!  Our failure to take that trust and do it God’s way, not our own way in our strength, (which is our natural inclination) will, of course, result in total failure…

 I hate failure!  I am afraid of failure!  I am a failure…apart from Him!

 We, moms, are commissioned by God to guard our every word, thought, action, attitude and motive.

 WHY???  Why can’t we just be “ourselves” and say and do what we want?  

After all, we are thoughtful and mature women!  Right?

 Could it be because we are bent on evil… apart from him?

We are NOT full of Grace… HE is!

We are to: Watch our Thoughts, they become words.

  Watch our Words,they become actions.

  Watch our Actions,they become habits.

  Watch our Attitudes,they become character.

  Watch our Characterfor it becomes our destiny!

 Children are the seeds of all our finest hopes in this life.  They are our heritage. Moms…our children are watching, listening, and learning…we are the first book they read…all the time!  We cannot allow the enemy any entrance into their lives. They deserve the opportunity to grow in grace and to become all that He has predestined them to be for His glory and purpose. 

 Are you a godly steward of the trust you have been given?

in the life of your child?

 What are your children observing?

We all fail… but what is yourpattern??

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I still have the privilege of looking into the face of the most precious Mother that ever lived and I see her responsibility for me wasn’t just those first years until I went away to college…she still “sets the bar” for me at 100!  I continue to watch her words, actions, habits and observe her character… and I listen and learn!  Christina and Kim, my two daughters, are still holding my “feet to the fire” and looking for an opportunity to use me as an excuse for their wrong choices (It’s always moms’ fault, isn’t it?!).  And my seven grandchildren are watching their grandma to see if her God is real!

But most importantly, God has His eyes on me and is listening

 and He is holding me accountable!

 Grace is an attribute of God.  All God’s attributes are active, not passive!

     (Love – gives; Joy- refreshes and is the reward of giving; Peace- governs, etc.…).

 Grace IS NOT:

 God’s passive indulgencein letting us do what we want! (Our present cultural philosophy – everyone is entitled and we are the exception to every rule!).

 God’s removal of consequencewhen His laws are broken! (We reap what we sow!  No escape!)

  Freedom to rejectGods commands!  (God’s laws are NOT a “Smorgasbord” …I like this command; it works for me; I’ll keep it! That one does NOT work for me…throw it out!

 Grace IS:

 The desire, willingness and power to do what God wants!  It is ACTIVE!

 “Be strong in the grace

that is in Christ Jesus.  2 Tim. 2:1

 Is God’s grace ACTIVE in you?

 Have you taken stewardship of your life?

 What about the life of your child?

 When God calls you into account…will you be ready?

 My prayer for you is that, like Princess Grace, you will fulfill your calling, take the stewardship of the trust God has given you in your children, keep in harmony with the instruction of your heavenly authority and lastly, that your little prince and princess will follow your godly example.

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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.