Posts filed under Spiritual Growth

Jackie's Journey "Culture Shock!"

                                                                     Our Kuna Home

                                                                    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 "The Longest Journey"

                     "Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it."  I Thessalonians 5: 24

                    "Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it."  I Thessalonians 5: 24

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary.  Marriage is nothing less than the proving ground for developing our loyalty toward God!  My parents were married 72 years and my husband’s parents were married 47 years, so 53 years does not seem inordinately long to either of us…

I met my Prince at the University and if you were to ask our college friends they would be astounded that we are celebrating our 53rd Wedding Anniversary!  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 last 53 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 key to our taking our two wills and finding harmony in God’s will.

Ralph’s name means “bold counselor” and that he is! He is 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! 

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 forth generations.

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God's Faithfulnes...!

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 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 53 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?

                                                             Christmas...53 years later!

                                                            Christmas...53 years later!

 

 

Jackie's Journey "Passport: Darien Jungle"

                                                           The airstrip in our Pucuro village

                                                          The airstrip in our Pucuro village

 Our pilot risked his life for mine…the flight of my life!

“When you are flying over the jungle in a single engine plane and the prop shears off, ripping the engine out of its mounts, it’s a good sign you are in trouble.  The next indication is engine oil spreading across the windshield, making it impossible to see.  Then when the torn engine cowling begins beating violently against the side of the plane, your life flashes before your eyes”.  So writes a Boot Camp missionary friend, Macon Hare in his 2013 NTM@Work Newsletter.

Sound like fun?

There are many unknowns in jungle travel.  For those of us on a remote post, there are particular challenges that as a single person I would have found the risk challenging; however, when I became a mother and responsible for the decisions made for my two little princesses, I became more skeptical and less intrigued with the thrill of the ride.

Sitting next to me in our tiny one engine flying craft was my five-year-old daughter, Christina and her two-year-old sister.  Their trusting and smiling faces strangely comforted me.  Leaving civilization behind, I looked out the window into the vast unknown and as we taxied down the runway I bowed my head, placing my confidence in the One who had brought us to share the gospel with these isolated people and had promised to  “…keep us as the apple of His eye, to hide us in the shadow of HIS wings. He makes the clouds his chariots and rides on the wings of the wind.”  Psa.17: 8; Psa. 104: 3 "Wings on the Wind" is the name our field had given our plane!  

For those of us living interior the plane is a lifesaving connection to the civilized world.  The hour flight over the clear blue coastline waters of the Atlantic Ocean and then the twenty minutes beyond over a solid wall of 150 feet tall Quipo trees inspired me to again acknowledge His Majesty and control!  Our missionary pilot was required to hit a tiny band aide airstrip that the Kunas, my husband and our partner, Jay had carved out of this dense blanket of trees.   My caring father had sent hundreds of pounds of seeds from the states to this remote area and had turned that slippery, mud-sliding landing strip into a functional beauty to behold!  

Our brave pilot made his approach by flying low, crossing the river; but not too low, being careful not to crash into the 18’ riverbank on the other side.  He approximated the length he had to land with the 150 ’trees looming up into the sky at the other end.  He would clear the river and abruptly drop and land safely on a tree-lined ribbon of a very short runway!   Creativity is defined as “finding ways to overcome impossible obstacles”.  He had been a “crop duster” before entering missionary service and I cannot express enough gratitude for this pilot’s creativity! 

          On the other side of the river is the cleared patch of jungle for the bandaide airstrip

         On the other side of the river is the cleared patch of jungle for the bandaide airstrip

Our village had experienced an epidemic that affected almost every man, woman and child.   The small clinic we ran was open early every morning and the people responded well to the anti-biotic injections and after two weeks, we were beginning to “see light at the end of the tunnel”.  People were returning to work and life seemed normal again.

One afternoon I began to run a fever.  For two days I ran a 103 temperature and nothing would bring it down.  I was not responding to treatment.   It peaked one morning at 106.  I needed outside help!  It was a two-day trip by dugout and then banana boat if we made timely connections.

We had awakened to the “storm of storms” with thunder and lightning that morning.  The sky and clouds were black.  The wind was fierce and the air was heavy.  In those early days we had a two-way radio that gave us daily contact with our pilot.  I could hear my husband telling him our circumstance…that there was no visibility, the windsock was standing straight up and it would be impossible to fly into our village.  He asked if there was a doctor in the city that could assist us over the radio until the weather lifted?  We would wait out the night and check again by radio early the next morning.  There was a pause and then…

  I heard the pilot say, “Hold on…I am coming!”

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We looked outside and knew it was impossibleBUT “Bush Pilots” are a rare breed.  True to his word, about two hours later in the storm-filled darkness of that afternoon, we heard a plane in the distance approaching our landing strip.

Our pilot, Scott Wolfe, had risked his life to save mine!

 That man had landed that plane on an almost invisible airstrip in the middle of the Darién jungle in the worst weather imaginable!   The doctors at Gorgas Hospital in the Canal Zone confirmed that had he not come for me when he did I would not be telling this story.  God had made the clouds his chariot and brought Scotty in on the wings of the wind!

Thank you, my all-knowing God and thank you for Scotty!!

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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 "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 "Life's Pressures!"

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We live in a culture where being a “bully” is not only acceptable behavior among many but is also admired.  Recently a high school baseball team was involved in a “knockdown drag- out” fight on the field.  The coach stood and cheered the “bullies” on and then punished the team payers that refused to participate in the angry event calling them weak!  Needless to say, my blood began to boil as I rehearsed the multitude of basic life principles that were being violated and the life lessons lost!

Our little prince and princesses face a world that is nothing like the one we grew up in.  They require exceptional preparation in defining right from wrong and exemplary assistance in forming personal warrior convictions.  No pressure, mom’s…right?  How many parents do you know that are struggling with one or more of their children over issues presented to them from our perverted culture?

Living in our present world, if you live by sound theological convictions, you are likely to be called a “zealot”, “Jesus freak”, a "bible thumper" or even a cultist!  The opposing sides in this spiritual battle are becoming clearer and clearer.  Rejection is to be accepted, even welcomed, if you stand for something. 

 Where do you stand?

To torment another person you have to violate that little voice inside that helps us discern right from wrong.  Slowly, like the frog in the heating pan of water, we have been desensitized into thinking wrong is right and right is wrong!  The culture is dictating its perspective and peer pressure stands firm, pulling harder than ever!

Scripture describes a bully by its many synonymous terms.

Ø  Tormenter

Ø   Intimidator

Ø  Oppressor

Ø  Persecutor

Ø  Tyrant

Ø  Aggressor

Bullies threaten.  They terrorize.  They attempt to alarm us.  They frighten and scare us.  They endanger our society by endeavoring to represent those of us who know better and are struggling to get our voice out there!

Be reassured that “right and wrong” was established in Bible times and first recorded in the book of Genesis and the current culture does not define it, change it or alter its course…it can only work at desecrating it.  Knowing what is right by God’s standards and acting accordingly frees us from societies domination.  Our biblical convictions give us courage to stand against the onslaught on every side.   And to those who use the rationalization, “well, it must be acceptable because everyone is doing it”, as an excuse to be participants in what is clearly known to be “wrong”, you will find yourselves in the same line in the end with the cultural idols of our day (Hollywood, comprimising Christians, double-minded believers…). 

Israel was exiled for following false gods and the practices of other nations.  When warned by God they “would not listen and were stiff-necked.  They did not trust their God”. II Kings 17:13-14   They followed worthless practices and themselves became worthless (losing their salt).  They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do”!

Are your convictions and practices based on what is scripturally true

 or what is presented to you by a corrupted culture??

Who are you imitating?

 “But the people who know their God

shall stand firm and take action.”

Daniel 11:32

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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 Subtle Disease"

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There is a very subtle disease among the women in our Christian communities.  Most of us aren’t even aware of it but it is killing us!  Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, was a man that scripture says had the mark of excellence. Yet, he had this terrible disease and he is a warning to those of us who have ears to hear.

The disease is called…”Spiritual Decay”.

The process of this virus is nearly imperceptible.  Slowly, almost intuitively, certain things are accepted that were once rejected without question.  Sort of like the chemistry experiment where the little frog was placed on the stove in a pan of cold water.  As the heat increased slowly, the frog remained calm and seemed to enjoy its tepid environment.  The water continued to get hotter and the little frog found the now boiling water prohibited him from jumping out of the pan!

Corruption is the steady process of dissolution to which all of us are subject!  The instances are exceedingly rare of man immediately passing over a clear marked line from virtue into declared vice and corruption.  “There are middle tints and shades between the two extremes; there is something uncertain on the confines of the two empires, which they must pass through, and which renders the change easy and imperceptible.” Edmund Burke

Things once considered rude and hurtful are now openly tolerated.  At the onset the “subtle” appears harmless.  But the wedge it brings leaves a gap that grows wider with compromise and ultimately, moral erosion joins hands with spiritual decay.   

Soon the gap is a canyon and our salt becomes salt less!

This disease is also contagious.  There are warning signs to avoid for the wise:

Be careful about changing your standard if it corresponds with your desires.

 (Rationalizing that it is acceptable and using the current culture as your excuse…)

        Be careful about becoming inflated with thoughts of your own importance.

("I can handle this"…pride always lies!)

Be alert to the pitfalls of prosperity and success.

What area of thought, word or action

have you begun to tolerate?

 A woman of conviction takes the commands of Scripture and purposes to follow them whatever the cost.  No compromise…no rationalizing…no thinking she can live in the “grey” areas. There are no grey areas!  There are only two standards:  Black or White…Good or Evil…that’s it!   Following godly convictions bring godly influence!  Your children are counting on that…remember Daniel?  “Daniel resolved (before being tempted!) not to defile himself…” Daniel 1: 8

Which will it be?

 “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desire you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do…”  I Peter 1: 13,14

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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 "Seasons of Life"

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When we first returned from the mission field I was asked to be the speaker at a weekend retreat for young mothers.  Being a young mother myself, I began to take note of what I did with my own time!  Each of life’s seasons is clocked by the way we use or lose our time. 

We don’t only lose our time by doing nothing or by doing what is wrong, but we also lose it by doing something other than that which we ought to do, even though what we are doing is good!  We allow the good to take the place of the better or best, sacrificing the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

By virtue of our roles as: wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, teachers, chefs, taxi-drivers, career women…our time is swallowed-up, compartmentalized and distractedly divided.  We are constantly making a choice with our time based on what is most demanding, aren’t we??

We, moms, are strangely ingenious in seeking our own interest with our time! What “worldly souls do crudely and openly, we do more subtly with the help of some pretext which serves as a screen and stops us from seeing the ugliness of our behavior.”

What’s up with your time??

How do we reach the point of responsible use of our time without guilt?

Do we even want to?

On the cross, Jesus said three words at the very end of His life on earth.  He uttered, “It is finished!”…… Not all was complete that needed to be done, but all that the Father gave Him to do was finished.

If there are 99 things to do and He tells me to do 9,

 then for me,  it is finished…

Jesus could leave the blind, crippled and lost because He had done all He was commissioned to do on earth.  Martin Luther said, “ I spend three hours daily on my knees in prayer with the purpose of getting my priorities in order so I can live at peace with myself knowing I had heard the Master’s voice and my job was finished for that day!” (Paraphrased)

Do we stop and seek His instruction or do we blindly jump up

in the morning and take off on a dead run …

in our own strength, without consulting the Master

for His assignment…

How many of us pause and pray daily for God’s priorities for the day?

Reviewing our priorities ought to be one of the basic reasons

for prayer…not petitioning!

 

Do your little prince and princesses have a sense

that you are operating out of divine purpose?

 

 

 

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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 "What Time is It?"

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We just finished another tax year. If God were to audit our account with Him, what would He find?  Let’s take a moment of spiritual inventory this morning, want to?

(Just the tone of the question has failure written all over it, doesn’t it?!)

 If God were to ask us for an explanation of how we use our time,

 how would we respond?

“The term “busy” comes instantly to mind.  It’s the generic term for “Mom”.  Time is the devourer of all things.” Ovid. 43 BC   There is never enough of it!  “We are eternity’s hostage; a captive of time”. Pasternak   We know procrastination is the thief of time. And we poetically talk about the “footprints on the sands of time”. 

It must be important because… think of all the times “time” is referred to.  Time eases all things…Time heals all wounds…Time is the subtle thief of youth …Time lost can’t be recovered…Time is money...Time is the least thing we have…Time is the school in which we learn…

“The time that we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it; those that we inspire contract it and habit fills what remains”!  Marcel Proust   As we walk through the corridor of time we realize that it does not relinquish it rights.  Misuse of our time is self-suicide! 

Time is the wisest of counselors.  There is a time for peace and war; a time for singing of birds (spring!); a time to love and to hate…a time to be born and to marry… to dance and to die…a time to heal…a time to keep silent…to speak… to laugh…to weep…to plant…to forget…  Ecc.9   Time is the most valuable entity a woman can spend.   Jesus acknowledged time, when He said,  “My time is at hand”.

“Do you love life? 

Then do not squander time because

that is what life is made of.” Ben Franklin

 

What are you doing with your time?

 

Our time is in HIS hand…Psa. 31:15

And He will hold us accountable one day!

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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 "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.