Posts filed under Motherhood

Jackie's Journey "Grateful and So Blessed!"

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

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

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

BUT God had another plan

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

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

 Gratitude is the memory of the heart! 

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

My gratitude for those members of the field

that picked up the slack and totally covered

for me is overpowering.

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

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

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

 I am sitting here with a keen sense of:

Ø  My Unworthiness…and His Holiness!  

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

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

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

 Do you make it a habit of thanking God and others

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

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

 Will you take time today to reflect glory back to Him

for His faithfulness to you…

the Author of every blessing? 

 Let’s take today’s opportunity to acknowledge those

who have and are benefiting our lives!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 God’s was still using us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

trendier, faster moving and thinking generation!

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

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

 Relevance is a basic need to stay connected.

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

 Scripture never changes!  It is always…relevant!

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

 The young are bent on convincing their offspring to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 What can we offer that people need?

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

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

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

alive in us for the benefit of others!

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

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

Jackie's Journey "Me...Invisible?"

          My youngest granddaughter, Megan and I

My youngest granddaughter, Megan and I

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

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

invisible Mother.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 THENthe warning:

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

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

The reward is Wisdom!

Will you join me in applying reverence to your life?

It’s a win…win.



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

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

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

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All of us want to be warrior moms, equipped to

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

 

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

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

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

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

Just the responsibility of equipping our little ones

to survive victoriously in this perverse culture

should strike fear in our hearts!!

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

 Can you guess what those two things might be?

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

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

 When you fear God you fear the consequence of sin!

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

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

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

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

                     Fear is wrong focus!    Trust in the wrong person!

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

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

 NOW, WHO SAYS THAT!!!    

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

I am a ROYAL failure!

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

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

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

 Where do you find your strength?

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

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

Jackie's Journey "Choosing to Live Courageously!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jackie's Journey "Culture Shock!"

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                                                                    Our Kuna Home

Have you ever been in a situation where your heart goes “into shock?”

 My life was totally surreal!  The storm had passed.  We had pulled the mosquito netting over us in the darkness to keep the blood-sucking mosquitos and vampire bats from attacking us as we attempted to spend our first night in our remote location.  The jungle noises were as foreign as our locality!  Night passed slowly…

The jungle had a different face in the morning light.  I slipped out of our king-sized plywood bed that was topped with a firm 3” piece of foam rubber and welcomed the possibilities of the day.  Two little faces popped up out from under the netting.  Both were happy, dry and VERY hungry!

 Don’t you just love it??

 I surveyed the barrels all around the open room of our new home…eighteen of them!  Which barrel had a cooking pot for oatmeal?  No toast…no electricity! 

I am paralyzed wondering where to begin.  But two little rested and hyperactive girls have me well motivated…they are REALLY HUNGRY!

First Barrel:  Rice, beans and dry goods,

Second Barrel:  Clothes…no oatmeal!

                                   Third Barrel:  Pots and pans…yeah!  But still…no oatmeal!

While opening the thirteenth barrel, a beautiful young woman walked through our front door offering us bananas and mangos!!  Since I did not understand her language or culture and not wanting to be aggressively offensive (I REALLY wanted to grab that fruit!), I waited patiently for her to put the fruit in my hands and graciously thanked her.  I lifted my head toward heaven, whispering,  “Thank you, Lord… for the kindness of my new neighbor and for a perfect breakfast!” 

I had heard the women stoking their fires in the very early morning before light.  They had already eaten cooking bananas hours before.  They were now filing into our house with an understandable curiosity and began pulling everything out of every opened barrel!

 All I could think was…PLEASE, LORD, LET THEM FIND THE OATMEAL!

The Kuna women seemed to have an inexplicable interest in my appearance.  Did they think I was a man? I was too tall, too skinny, my hair was too short and I was wearing jeans! I was a nursing mother yet I towered over every living person in the village at 5’8”, except for my 6’ 2” husband.

Being the strong, confident woman I am, I took it all in stride…NOT!

Not at all!   This was totally surreal!  Would my life always be like the

last 24 hours?

Would they ever accept someone like me?

Clearly…. "culture shock" had set in!

While in training for this mission, the instructors (who were seasoned missionaries) introduced us to this phenomenon.   I told myself I was not going to be the “weak” one who goes into her village and gives in to her fears…that was for someone else…I hated failure! 

There are certain undeniable signs of culture shock:

Ø  Screeching in the night for your kidnapped baby who has been abducted by near-naked, tribal people who are “way deep into what you once considered your comfort zone”

Ø  Crawling into a bed that has been drenched by the rain coming through your bark walls and adjusting to the misting on your face through the mosquito netting, but unable to sleep

Ø  Furiously tucking in the netting around every inch of your bed…not knowing what is already in there with you…its pitch black after all!

Ø  Listening all night to the critters scurrying under your bed and in the open ceiling rafters and visualizing the unthinkable!  What animals are nocturnal in the rain forest?  All of them!!! 

Ø  Having an intense desire to communicate with the women busily dissecting our belongings, yet powerless to do so…

Ø  Etc., etc.

The dictionary defines Contentment as freedom from care or discomfort!

 Genuine Contentment is avoiding the bondage of personal expectations and realizing God has provided everything I need for my present happiness.  Contentment understands that if I am not satisfied with what I have, I will never be satisfied with what I want!  I Timothy 6: 6-8

 Was I content?   What were my expectations?

                                      Where was the fruit of my contentment??

Here I was again, finding Him in that secret place of my learning heart.  God was waiting for me to enter into His presence with thanksgiving, acknowledge His authority and claim all that is mine, regardless of my personal failure and present circumstances.  “God wants me to be present where I am.  He invites me to see and to hear what is around me and, through it all, to discern the footprints of the Holy.”(Richard Foster)

Pressing toward the goal, like Paul in Philippians 4:11,  “…I have learned (I continue to learn) to be content, whatever the circumstance...”

 What is your level of contentment this morning?

 “Blessed is the woman who listens to me, watching at my doors,

waiting in the doorway.  For whoever finds me, finds life and

receives favor from the Lord”   Proverbs 8: 34,35

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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 3, 2018 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth, womanhood.

Jackie's Journey "Panic to Promise!"

                   Crossing our river Pucuro

                  Crossing our river Pucuro

“The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.”

Psa. 142:11

My introduction to our new life in the village Pucuro was a “shocker”.   My youngest daughters disappearance from my arms in those first moments after arriving on the riverbank caused my entire being to experience sheer terror!  

 Skipping that one-day would have been the loss of a life-lesson that changed my life!

Missionary Boot Camp training had been deliberate in preparing me for this crisis.  My mind was reminded of the reason why we had come and the promise I had claimed two years prior to the moment I was living now!  “…Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.”  The verse worked so well when we lived in the states!  This verse in Proverbs 1:33 is written by the “wisest” man that ever lived and it had always given me courage to keep on.

 Have you ever claimed a promise from God and then panicked when put to the test?

Two men from our mission had contacted these unreached tribal people two years earlier.  The Kunas had asked for someone to come and bring them the medicine and help they needed to keep their babies from dying at birth.  Some of the mothers were weakened by tuberculosis.  There were multiple infections and parasites of every kind…would someone answer that call?

Well…we answered…and they had taken my baby!

My heart sank as I scanned the agitated crowd in the dimness of the dark night.  Certainly no electricity here!  Pitch black, drenched bodies, dark faces, barking dogs, slushy mud path and no baby.  My heart pounding and unaware of my personal discomfort or how I must sound, I stood dripping wet in a downpour, screeching in a foreign tongue…calling into the wind for my lost child.

Completely overwhelmed by my loss I saw someone slip out of the darkness and run in my direction.  Stretching over people she placed my tiny girl back into my waiting arms.  I now had both babies against my breast and I breathed a sigh of incomprehensible relief, whispering a prayer of gratefulness to my God who keeps His promises! 

“He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those who walk blameless for He guards the course of the just and He protects the way of His faithful ones.” Proverbs 2:7,8

 Paul Little in How to Give Away Your Faith, wrote, “The statement that God is in control is either true or it’s not true.  But if it is true and we accept God’s revelation of Himself, our faith enables us to enjoy and rest in the certainty of His providence (will).”

 I stood up and turned to face my new reality and walked through the door of my brand-new jungle life!

It was good it was too dark to know who had inadvertently brought such distress to my spirit that night…but bless her, that same person had been used to quickly bring me to the throne of Grace for a thorough evaluation of my personal commitment to His “calling”! 

Gratefully, as a young mother, I was given the opportunity very early to place my heritage in the hands of an all-knowing God.  He had again asked me to “count the cost”.  I stopped wanting to “skip” life-lessons and began embracing them. I claimed those powerful promises in the Word that had always been applied to others and now…were all mine!

These are my grandchildren… my heritage…

that came from my two little missionary daughters many years later

…all seven of them!

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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 August 13, 2018 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "My Worst Fear Came upon Me!"

                                            Baby Kim and her sister, Christina...Jungles of Panama

                                           Baby Kim and her sister, Christina...Jungles of Panama

“…Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”  Proverbs 1:33

Hang on to your hats, girls…this was one day in my life I could have skipped! 

Ever had one of those days???

Dusk was cascading over the torrential waters, enveloping our dugout into the dark silence of the unknown jungle.  Along the mangrove-lined shoreline we could hear twigs breaking and see shadows of what appeared to be dark, naked bodies racing us to the remote landing in the deep stillness.

For eight hours we had traveled upriver unceasingly, pressing on against the rapid flow of the Tuira River through lighting bolts, thunder and rain.  The river had risen 8 feet as we fought the current in our long journey up the contiguously inaccessible jungle waters.  Our goal to reach this isolated Indian village on the Colombian border in Panama was now within our reach!

Underneath the makeshift tarp that protected us from the worst of the violent storm were two little girls.  One, just three, was exceedingly excited and could not wait to get out of the wet boat and the other, just a few months old, was securely wrapped in my arms.  Our piragua was piled high with everything we would need for the next six months!

The boat brusquely hit the bank and as I stood, dripping wet, to face all the unknowns that had brought us to this sandy beach, the warm little bundle in my arms was abruptly yanked from me and disappeared into the darkness of the night!!  I quickly grabbed my once excited and happy three years old by the hand.  She was now very confused.  Her contentment was exchanged for eyes full of fear!  I pulled her close to me and began calling for my baby…

In that instant, the crowd pushed and shoved us up a short trail that led to our mud-floored, bark-walled house.  My insistent calls for my lost child were ignored and unanswered. 

As I stepped over the threshold of our unfinished new home, the rats…at least I prayed they were rats!... scurried among the barrels that had been sent a month ahead of us and now stored our rice and dried beans in the very open tin-roofed room.  The sound of the rain on that roof was deafening!

My worst fear had come upon me…Job 3:25,26.  I screamed again into the crowd for my tiny daughter and again received no response.  I lifted my three year old into my arms and determinedly turned to walk back through the crowd down to the rivers edge!

Where had my baby gone?   Who had taken her?!

                                     Immediately, my panic turned to terror…

The familiar promise in Proverbs 1:33 eluded me.  “…Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

What was happening?  Why had God allowed this?

 There are three Biblical Principles that came to mind regarding trials:

1.     Trials are common to all of us.  No one escapes unscathed.  “No temptation has seized you except what is common to men.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  No excuses and no victims here! The real question is not why, but “Why not, Jackie, don’t you trust me?!  I will never leave you or forsake you…listen to ME, not your circumstances!.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

2.     Trials are given with divine purpose and will pass. “In this you may greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” 1Peter 1:6

3.     Trials are life-lessons NOT to be wasted!  “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4

C.S. Lewis wrote in The Great Divorce, “There are two kinds of people:  Those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your own way.’”

I was standing at the point of decision! My options were limited…

 What is your attitude toward the trials in life?

 Which kind of person 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. 

Posted on August 6, 2018 and filed under Character and Virtue, Motherhood, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "It's All About Me!"

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It takes faith to stand in Gods face and “do your own thing”. To have an absence of the fear of consequence is nothing less than perverted bravery.  “I want to do it…but my better judgment tells me NOT to, but I do it anyway!”  Choices are unremitting.  They never stop!

Have you heard this one?  “Yes, I have temporal values,

but I’m totally committed to God”,

or this one, “I want to walk in humility,

but I prefer claiming my rights…I want it done MY way!” 

What about, “I want to be honest, but I don’t want to tell the truth?”

Or, “I want to be a servant to my family,

but on my own time!” 

After all, it’s all about me and what I want,,,right?

What would you call this line of thinking?

 

A Preference is when “I want to do it but I have the right not to do it,

if I don’t want to do it”.

Preference, in this instance, is the polite term for its real name…rebellion…in one of its many forms.  Rebellion is even called witchcraft in I Sam!  We see it in an independent spirit that says, “my plans, my will, my way, my time” We see it when our little two year old stands in our face and demands exactly what he or she wants under no uncertain terms!

In Sally Clarkson’s book “Ministry of Motherhood”, she wrote:

“Children don’t’ need sweet platitudes of faith that will momentarily pacify their emotions.  They need the authentic strength that comes from the true foundation of a biblical worldview and a proper understanding of the real Christ who is worthy of their worship!  They need an unwavering, internal moral and spiritual compass that will help them weather today’s storms (and tomorrows) and will guide them for the rest of their lives.  They also need to see what a real faith looks like when lived day in, day out, so they will have a pattern to follow.”

As you moms know, we are in a battle as never before, for the hearts and minds of these entrusted to us…the leaders of this next generation…

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On the dock after a perfect day on the lake

with my grandchildren…leaders of the next generation…

Our family pulls away from the demands of a busy life once a year to celebrate “family”.  We have just returned from one of those unforgettable few days!  We have a habit of meeting in the evenings after supper to open the Word.  The thoughts expressed here were part of one nightly discussion taken from the book of Ezekiel. 

There is no separation of “sacred” and “secular” to the disciple of Christ.  We are living a real faith, continually, so that our children have a godly pattern to follow or we are leading our children with no compass that will ultimately leave them unprepared for life.

 Can your children recognize godly faith and conviction

from the pattern of your life

 or

 Does a pattern of rebellion against God, your husband and God’s ways

 fit you better?

 Life is NOT all about us

…”no man has a right to do as he pleases until he pleases to do right.”

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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 July 30, 2018 and filed under Motherhood, Character and Virtue.

Jackie's Journey " Where the Battle Rages"

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What area of need in your life do you least like to face?

That area is where the battle rages!  The Bible gives us markers of a woman who lives under God-control.  It also gives us fruit of a life lived apart from God-control.  For example: Many women do not have daily Bible study habits because they are really not dependent on God. The average mom is too lazy, not too busy, to study the Bible to be more effective in the lives of her children and the world about her.

These are moms who do not pray as though it makes a difference because there is doubt that much will be changed, if anything.  They are ever learning but not changing in their character.   The old patterns never seem to die.  The average mom is too double-minded to listen and obey the simplest commands of scripture.       

In the Book of John there are 49 imperatives to love God.

This woman is a taker; not a giver.  She goes to church to get something to meet her need rather than to meet the need of another person with what God gave her during the week from her time spent in the Word. The nominal mom is too selfish or self-centered to make herself available to care for others first.

These women are not involved in sharing their faith or the Word with others.  The average mom is too proud to be faced with this sort of reality or too cowardly to take the rejection!

 Do you fit into any of these “mom descriptions”?

 Compromise is selling out who and what we are for what we hope to get, BUT what we hope to get is not what we want because we’ve been destroyed in the compromise process!

I was recently asked, “Jackie, do you consider every seriously committed Christian a disciple?”

The call to follow Christ hinges on our voluntary yieldedness to His will and way,

not

 “Can I just sit on the fence?” or “If I have to…I’m backed into a corner!”.

The seed of loyalty or of being loyal is in every person.  If wrongly cultivated there is divorce, dissension, division, disharmony, distrust, and disrespect… all come with turmoil…

“Consider it all joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  IF any of you lacks wisdom, she should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given her.  BUT when she asks, she must believe and not doubt, because she who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That woman should not think that she will receive anything from the Lord; she is a double-minded (compromising) woman, unstable in all she does!” “ Jas. 1: 2-8

Disloyalty is double-mindedness…unfaithfulness.  What we are loyal to defines our personal convictions.  Living in a state of compromise is saying I am living for God’s will and ways but the reality is, I am living for my bad habits (anger, selfishness, pride, personal convenience, drugs, alcohol, porn,…) Living with godly convictions is a belief we will not change, regardless of the circumstance. They are formed when we are certain God requires it…and that settles it!

It is not something we discover; it is something we purpose.

In a day and age where our culture and society dictate a philosophy of “all things are relative and we make our own truth”, it is imperative we choose to live by scriptural conviction.  It is fundamental and compulsory!

“God hates those who are double-minded.” Psa.119: 113

Will you purpose with me to develop single-minded loyalties in your commitment to God, as a soldier of the cross and as an extended arm to prepare our children and “God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ is built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and we become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4: 12-16  

Our children and grandchildren are counting on us…

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