Posts filed under motherhood

Jackie's Journey "Dry Bones!"

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

this is the day!

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

 to restore the conscious awareness of God, 

and to reveal the gracious activity of God.”

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

 Are we dedicated to comfort and convenience, 

claiming personal rights,

doing our own thing?

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

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

 Where are you living this moment?

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

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

 Revival is the result of:

·     A new experience of the conviction of sin

·     A new vision of the cross of Jesus and redemption

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

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

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

The test for knowing you are cleansed…ask yourself:

1.    Do I have any unconfessed sin?

2.    Is there anything between another person and me?

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

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

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

Is revival stirring in your soul?

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

                      

Understanding our desperate need initiates this promise: 

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

He came to make dead men live

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

Jackie's Journey "Sacrifice...??"

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We are all living sacrifices…for something or someone…for good or evil!!

Some live life sacrificing for money; some for drugs and alcohol; some for reputation; some for self-gratification, etc.  Most dedicated mother’s sacrifice for their family. 

 My husband recently shared a verse with me that put the “rubber on the road” in my understanding of sacrificial living!  

 II Chronicles 12:14 says, “He did evil because 

he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord”.

 My idea of evil is unlimited in its ability to fill my imagination with what I see, hear and read in our frazzled culture today!  

In the light of God’s definition of evil, what are we really living for?

Are we shortsighted, committed to doing our own thing

 or worse yet, doing His will but on our own terms!?

 According to this verse, evil is defined as not setting our hearts on pleasing Godand His purpose for our lifenot seeking the Lord, first and always. All other pursuits are considered evil from God’s point of view!

 So… I asked myself…

In my life quest, I consider my pursuits sacrificial but

am I actively setting my heart on seeking Him first in every endeavor?”

 Isa. 50:11 promises us needless defeat and suffering 

when we “light our own torches to do our own thing”.

 As busy moms and grandmas, how often do we look for God’s purpose when we are being consumed by a whirlwind of activity all around us? We are teachers, comforters, taxis, counselors, nurses… you fill in the blank!

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 “All believers’ walk-in darkness”.  Isa. 50:10andThis means we are all shortsighted and blind to the immediate future. We tend to sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.  By setting our hearts on pleasing God and having his purpose first in our life, we find sacrificial living fulfilling, understanding that “all things work together for those who “set their heart on seeking God”and are called according to his purpose”.

 Are we too busy in our “life of urgency”

 to look for God’s purpose in our next interruption?

 Is it a mute point when we are fractured with wrong attitudes

 and responses because we are being inconvenienced?


“I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.  

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened…”

 Can He listen to you?  

What do you set your heart on?

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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 Journal "A Princess Miracle"

“A Princess Miracle”

 In life there are times when God’s heart stretches time and space and touches us profoundly.  

 Do you know what I mean?

This miracle that I am about to share with you was written on October 12, 2015.  

 “This morning was one of those times.   My 9-year-old, youngest granddaughter walked into our room with her Bible and Journal in hand.

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Princess Megan Joy

Something seemed different about this little energy-giving princess this bright sunny summer day. When Megan Joy walks into a room, a ray of light comes in with her…lots of it!  She quietly, even silently, opened her diary and began to read. After just a few words, tears began to roll down her cheeks and she handed her journal to me to finish. 

 “What is it, Love?” I asked pulling her close to me.  

 I began to read her written thoughts and realized I was being given a divine gift.  She had, transparently, recorded in detail,where she had read that morning.  It wasin Matt. 24 where God is “going to return on the Day of Judgment”.   He had opened her heart to hear His voice through these verses.  She had been exposed to God’s Word for the last 8 years but that morning she understood and acknowledged her desperate need to be claimed by the cross of Calvary’s truth and sought His forgiveness and had received the redeeming love of her waiting Savior!

Now both of us had tears streaming down our faces!  She looked up and said, “I want Jesus to be the boss of my life, Grandma.”  

 Her concept of His Lordship was so clear to her and my heart was overwhelmed…her new joy was infectious and her peace surpassed not only her understanding but mine. His grace is greater than my finite mind can comprehend.

 It has been said that the humpback whale enthusiastically sings tunes that often last 20 minutes and resonate through the water for hundreds of miles!  (Achieving True Success, IACC)

 If I could, I would do that this morning!   My heart is over-whelmed with joy…my spirit is enthusiastically expressing the joy of my soul!”

 “Rejoice, I say rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: REJOICE”!  Phil. 4: 4

 

“You, oh Lord, have made known to me the path of life

you fill me with joy in Your presence.”

Psalm 16:11

 

“It is the rightful heritage of every believer, even the newest in the family of faith, to be absolutely certain that eternal life is his present possession.  To look to self is to tremble.  To look to Calvary’s finished work is to triumph.”

Larry McGuil

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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 "Jungle Monkey's and Tiaras!"

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Princesses Christina and Kim visiting our Kuna neighbors

 Village life was becoming normal on our Kuna outpost.  In the early morning, before daybreak and breakfast, the girls would run to the front door to trade packets of oil and sugar for fresh eggs. Ralph would pick up the Bible and begin reading to the girls until it was time for breakfast or the house filled up with people, whichever came first.  These excited little princesses would anticipate the daily trip to the river to swim and help me wash clothes. Moving toward the river we would wave to the small monkeys perched on the bikes on our porch and call out to the parrots shrieking from the mango tree above our heads. Carrying the wash back up the 12’ bank, my two little monkeys would help me hang the clothes on a line that extended from our outhouse to the tin roofline of our home. Later in the morning Ralph, with all of us in tow, would haul 5-gallon drums of water from the river above the village to drink, wash dishes and brush our teeth.

 If there was time before lunch, the girls and I would grab a princess storybook and we would enjoy a few moments of inactivity in the hammock strung across the middle of our living room. 

 Beth Moore in Living Beyond Yourselfshared “Every little girl has something in them that wants someone to say ‘You are Special!’  It is in me to believe, ‘I am supposed to be special’…could that be eternity set in the hearts of men?  A piece of eternity…something set in the hearts of little ones that says, ‘I am destined for royalty’…A real live King.  A real live Kingdom is coming.  Somehow a little child has that in them to know…little knights and little princesses—for the kingdom belongs to such as these…and children believe in Kingdoms.”

 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God preparedin advancefor us to do”.  Ephesians 2:10

 Even in the remotest of jungles my little girls knew they were special, with or without a tiara. God had made them that way.  As Christian parents, we want to encourage the belief that God created our little ones unique with destiny because He has given them the innate belief that they are one of a kind.  This opens the door to present the provision made for each of them to understand their need and become a child of God for eternity.  We encouraged this belief knowing our girls were created to do God’s will and to find His purpose for their lives.  

 As time goes on, little princesses search for other princesses in their world.  Soon they are introduced to the six plus princesses of Disney (that’s the book we had!).  They are swept into a world of romance, fantasy, and magic with the all to predictable evil and scary villain.  Most of us search for an alternative to give our daughters…I did!  I longed for a series of books that introduced my girls to bible-based, character-emphasized princesses that they could aspire to become. It was important that the books spoke to them in terms that they could understand that had eternal values targeted.  So I began to super-impose these principles into every book I picked up!

 Christina was three when we arrived in Panama and learned Spanish quickly in the few months we lived in Chepo, a Spanish-speaking community near the New Tribes Mission School about a 40-minute drive outside Panama City.  We had the privilege of living in Chepo while her Daddy made trips into the jungle to prepare our house for us.  We were, also, waiting for Princess Kimberly to be born and had many opportunities to become friends with the Spanish-speaking Panamanians; mostly, thanks to our blond, long-haired princess, Christina, who has never met a stranger!  Our nearest neighbor’s, Carlon and Angela, adopted us.  I learned to cook rice from Angela and Carlon became Ralph’s most loyal friend.  Both came to know Christ in our brief time there.   

 Shortly after Kim was born we moved into our Kuna village on the river Pucuro.  Christina learned Kuna faster than all of us because the children came daily to play with her toys on the front porch and they chattered like “Loritos”(little birds), continually.  As young as she was, she carried a burden for the hearts of her playmates and often engaged in conversations involving the reason why we had come and the need for knowing the true God.  

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Our screened-in front porch…the girl’s playroom!

 While living interior, we home-schooled daily and both girls were reading at four and able to do their required school work, days and weeks ahead of schedule.  It is amazing what can be accomplished when there is no electricity, T.V., cell phones, computers, ipads, instagram, pinterest, etc. Eventually, the Panamanian government sent a teacher to our village and a small school was built.  Christina could not wait to go with her friends and to be taught in Spanish.  She attended every morning!

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 Home-schooling a delightful and diligent student

 For us, jungle living had become home.  We had won the hearts of the majority of the Kuna community and had established a rhythm with them, their way of life and our family paradigm.  We had been blessed beyond measure…

 Are you at peace knowing you are where God has called you to be, 

doing what He has purposed for your life?

 What about your children?  

 Have you considered asking God for His divine direction 

in the life of each of your princes and princesses?

 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,

 which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

Ephesians 2:1

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

Jackie's Journey "Recalcitrant Priorities!"

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When I was in missionary Language School, I had a linguistic teacher who had served in Bolivia under the most difficult of circumstances.  Newly married, her husband had been martyred reaching an unreached primitive tribe. She later returned to that village and witnessed her husband’s murderer coming to know Christ!  She had a sense of purpose on her life.  Her name was Jean Dye Johnson.  

 She was a continual inspiration to me of God’s wonderful and powerful transformation in a life committed to Him. …  She was a woman who told us that only “God could have changed her selfish heart into a shepherds heart”.  She wrote a book called “God Planted Five Seeds”and the previously untold story of five martyrs…who blazed a trail for Christ in Bolivia, sixteen hundred miles from the spot where five others later laid down their lives in Ecuador. She weighed her priorities and recognized the importance of… the permanent taking priority over the immediate!  At the University Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said,

 “Never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate!”

 I think most of us have a daily battle with this principle.

 How many times have we done that….today?!!

  We are forever making choices that tell us what is most important to us.  The continual interruptions are usually the permanent choices we are being asked to sacrifice! 

How are you doing with your priorities? 

 There are many good books written that address this very issue.  Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” said, “If God is first, God is second and God is third… there will be no problem.” 

 The pragmatic application of learning what is permanent in life (those choices that have eternal value) and the immediate choices that bombard our every busy mom thoughts are forever confronting us…demanding attention! 

 At the beginning of the year we tend to take note of our priorities.  Priorities presuppose we have defined ourgoal (what we hope to do to finish the course that year and does our life have purpose?).  We like to think we understand who we are and know where we are going…at least the general direction!  

There are two kinds of goals: God’s and The Fools!  Proverbs 17:24

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 Do you believe God has a purpose for your life?

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; 

it is not for man to direct his steps!” Jer.10: 23

 If we do not direct our steps…who does??

Here again, there are only two choices:  

God or The Destroyer“

 “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord (or the devil).  

How then can anyone understand his own way?”  Pro.20:24

 

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me…”Pro.25: 12 God made us each with personal destiny! “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do!” Eph. 2: 10

 “Who then is the man who fears the Lord?  God will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”  Psa.128: 8

 God definitely has a plan and purpose for each of us!  How, then, can we think apart from His determination for our life?  Since God has a divine purpose for us, don’t you think it would be in our best interest to harmonize with His will and purpose by setting Godly goals and priorities… and working toward them?

 Can you find His purpose or set Godly priorities 

without making the Bible a major part of your life?

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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. 

 

 

God Planted Five Seeds can be ordered from New Tribes Mission Bookstore: 

· http://www.ntmbookstore.com/god-planted-five-seeds-p/109803.htm

Jackie's Journey "What Do You See First?"

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A year or so after moving into the Darien Gap in the jungles of Panama, I was asked to jot down my first impressions by our field leaders. To my surprise I read my notes in our New Tribes Mission Brown Gold Magazine(now called Ethnos 360) months later in May 1973.  A few days ago I was going through some photo albums and found that same article.

 The purpose of the writing was to call attention to the desperate need to reach these unreached people tucked into little corners all over the world.  H.A. Roberts said, “The toughest challenges lead to the greatest triumph’s”.  The call is as imperative now, as it ever was then.  Here is that quoted article reproduced:

“HERE WE ARE!  Address: El Rio Pucuro, Nowhereland!

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Our village carved out of dense jungle.  My house has a tin roof in the foreground.

 Only 26 days ago we flew into El Real in an eight-passenger plane and were picked up in the same dilapidated jeep that had met us 6 months before.  We headed to the waterfront, a short ride on a dusty, bumpy road that I viewed between my feet through the holes in the floorboard!  

 We got as close as the jeep could go and then hobbled ¼ mile with 3 month-old Kim in my arms, 3 year-old Christina hanging on to my dress, three suit-cases, an infant seat to use in the floor of the dugout, and boiled water!

 We traveled an hour to Yavisa for the night.  Next morning, at 5:00 a.m., we loaded the piraguas (dugout canoe) for Pucuro.  We ate fish and rice for breakfast and began our 11-hour trip upriver.

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The winding river Pucuro!

Hours passed and I couldn’t believe the beauty I was beholding.  The jungle is plush, full and spattered with green and yellow blankets of butterflies all along the way.  The first six hours were quick and, other than cramped arms and legs from protecting Kim from the beating sun and being sandwiched between our household belongings, we all fared well.  The last six hours were a real battle against the dry river and a swift current!  No less than twenty times Ralph and the others jumped into the shallow water to push us over rocks, etc. that worked like a barricade to delay our long awaited entrance into the land of the Kuna people.

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Dry Season means shallow waters!

 Just before dark I looked up and saw brown bodies silhouetted along the sandy break in the jungle.  My heart began to pound as I realized I was about to face a people that had consumed our hearts and minds for over three years!

Would they accept us?

Would they grab my baby and run into the dark?

What should I expect?

 “My grace is sufficient…” flooded my mind as I yielded to His soft voice and relaxed!

 As we pulled into shore at 6:30 p.m. the people swarmed all over us.  Somebody took Kim out of my arms and stepped away into the dark!  In the confusion Christina lost her shoe and I felt Ralph tug on my arm to head up the bank to our house.  I called in the dark for Kimi and somebody laid her in my arms while the others laughed.

 As we meandered up a narrow, overgrown path to glimpse our jungle house, all I could hear was little Christina in her Daddy’s arms asking for her lost shoe!  

 Oh, for the simple trust of a child!

 In a few moments we stepped into our new home.  The dirt floor was cold, mainly because it had rained and I was wet from our trip in, but too, it was dark and the river had filled the air with moisture.  The following morning I opened my eyes to what looked like a storehouse with boxes, tanks, mosquito netting, etc.  Soon we were busy greeting people, finding suitcases with dry clothes, and hunting through canned goods and paper sacks for food to eat.

 Now, 26 days later, I’m looking back to the first “Congreso” where I drank my first Indian “chicha” from communal cups, the first days of helping women sweep the village where I obtained my four blisters on one hand, the initial jolt of a hairy tarantula spider on my laundered sheet, the adjustment to the intense curiosity of the people, the initiation of washing clothes in the river, the perpetual problem of children urinating in our house, and the mixed emotions of a protective mother.

This evening, less than a month interior, we find ourselves with tape recorder in hand and a house full of Indians, struggling again to communicate the precious Gospel of Jesus with these still in heathen darkness.

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New Tribes Missionaries 1970-1984

 Will you join me this new year?

Will you pray for tribal missionaries?

Will you pray for the many still unreached tribes?

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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 January 7, 2019 and filed under motherhood, spiritual growth.

Jackie's Journey "Inexplicable Agony" Part 2

 

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“When God wants to bring more power into your life, He brings more pressure.”

A.B. Simpson

My husband’s increasing pain with no resolve from his visit to the village down river had become a constant pre-occupation.  Pressure, by definition, is a continuing opportunity for others to observe our true character.

 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

II Corinthians 4: 17

Our appointment at the Center for Disease Control was early and to get into the Lab we needed to walk past a zoo-like structure that enclosed a number of caged odiferous monkeys. 

 

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They were loud and aggressive as we made our way to the foyer.

We were greeted by two of the staff that led us down a long corridor to a small room with jars of unspeakable contents lining the walls.  After a series of tests and reviewing the hospital reports, these research doctors, who had been so kind to us, both had smiles of success on their faces. 

 “As incredible as this may seem, Ralph”, they started their calm but deliberate explanation, “somehow, you have broken into a cycle only seen in animals, specifically horses.  You have Strongeloides, a parasite that burrows into the intestinal wall… and eats it!  The reason the Coca-Cola gave you relief is because the parasite would not burrow its head in those few moments because they feed on sugar.  So you were able to sense a temporary relief. This particular parasite is literally eating your intestinal wall!!” 

 Looking for a source of entry, one doctor asked to see Ralph’s feet.  Ralph’s heels were deeply cracked and the parasite had entered into his system directly from the contaminated soil in the Choco settlement he had recently visited!  As interested as Ralph was in the entire explanation, he is, after all, a “just gimme the bottom line” man. All he really wanted to know was “how do we kill these creatures?!”  

 The good newswas that there was a treatment…but…it was for horses!  The bad news was they did not know if it would work on a human…or even…kill him?! They were very careful to explain that under no circumstances was he to take more than one teaspoon a day because the medicine was so toxic.  

 We needed to stay in Panama City another week for them to run a last test to see if the medicine had worked.  After three days and no relief, Ralph looked at the girls, and me, and said,  “It’s me or the bugs!”  He, instantly, took the bottle, turned it upside down, emptying its entirety into his mouth!  My heart started pounding…

 Who does that???

 He seemed fine for the first hour or so, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then, abruptly, he became agitated and turned into the Hulk!  Literally…he grabbed my arm and yelled something unintelligible.  His wild eyes looked like the man who had broken into the borrowed house for cocaine a few days earlier!  

 What had he done?!

This strong, gentle man had become forceful and alarming.

 Fortunately, we were still in the city, but it was too late to call the doctors.at the Lab.  When morning broke we loaded into the borrowed vehicle and headed back to Gorgas Lab to see if Ralph had done something irreparable!  He, however, was excited to let the doctors know that the massive dosage of the toxic vial had made him a crazy man …but had not killed him!  The real issue: Did it kill the parasites?!   

 “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?  

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?  Why should any living man complain…”  

Lamentations 3: 37-39

 Needless to say, the doctors were horrified and shocked that he had taken the whole bottle, but were grateful that he had survived!  They were anxious to test him for the parasite.  We sat silently waiting for the test results.  If the parasites lived through the toxic exposure there was no other treatment known to help us. 

They quietly re-entered the room …gleaming!

 Ralph had lived… and the bugs had died!!

 During those days of excruciating pain, never once did Ralph complain.  He was not suffering…just ask him!   He gave thanks continually and even at his worst, submitted to the will of God.

 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; 

he will not be visited by harm”

Psalm 19: 23

 Pressure is the great tester of our spiritual condition…  and “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”  (Wm. Booth)  

 How do you respond to pressure?

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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 December 31, 2018 and filed under motherhood, Spiritual Growth, character and virtue.

Jackie's Journey "A Bright Star"

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There is a story of a little princess who anxiously waited for the day of the Christmas pageant. She was so excited about her part that her parents thought she must be one of the main characters, though she had not told them what part she would play.  

 The day finally arrived and her parents enthusiastically entered the auditorium and watched as each of the children was called to take their place.  The shepherds nervously waited in the corner of the stage holding two sheep.  Mary and Joseph were placed near the manger.  In the back were the three Wise Men eagerly waiting with a small camel. Each and every child was placed in position…except for the little princess. She contentedly sat quietly.

 The music started and the director began the narrative.  “A long time ago, Joseph and Mary went up from Galilee to be taxed. It was there that Mary and Joseph had a baby and they named Him Jesus,” the narrator began.  “And when Jesus was born a bright starappeared over the stable.  That was her cue!  She quickly jumped up from her chair, picked up a large, sparkling star and walked behind the manger, holding the star up high for everyone to see.  It flickered in the lights and all eyes were drawn to baby Jesus in the manger.

 The story continues and finds the shepherds in the field with their sheep.  That was her cue…the little princess moved into position on stage, wiggling the shiny star to show the shepherds where to arrive at the manger.  When the director mentioned the Wise Men…the little princess quickly moved to meet them and lead the way to the Christ child.  Her face was beaming as bright as the star she was carrying!

 The play ended with a round of applause and a standing ovation.  In the car on the way home, the little princess was happily chattering, “I had the main part, did you see?”   “You did?” her mother questioned.  “Yes” she said enthusiastically,

I showed everybody how to find Jesus!”

 This could not have been truer!  Showing others how to find Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and to be the light that would draw them to Him has got to be the finest role we can play in life!

 May the Light of the Christ Child be your focus

this Christmas  and throughout the New Year…

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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 "Inexplicable Agony"

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Ralph raking the leaves in front of our jungle home.

 The word that Americans were living on the Pucuro River among an isolated tribe located near the headwaters was big news to the people in a tiny Choco settlement about a day’s journey away by piraqua (dugout).  A young couple from this village had come to Pucuro for medicine for their little boy. Ralph, my husband, and our partner, Jay Gunsteens, were eager to take some of our new believing Kuna’s on their first missionary trip down river to visit this community.

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 Young visiting Choco Family

 I remember the day they took off in the dugout and wondered how these remote people would receive the message God was bringing to them.  It was rainy season and the mud was deep as they arrived on the riverbank.  This secluded group of Indians had a few horses and cows and the ground was thoroughly contaminated.  Ralph, who had purchased combat boots for just this sort of occasion, was in his flip-flops!  

 Darkness was closing in and the boys were invited to eat and spend the night.  The next day they were given an opportunity to open the Word and share God’s plan of salvation.   Ralph and Jay were well received and some of the townspeople even returned a visit to Pucuro in the weeks that followed. 

 About two weeks after returning to our village, Ralph began to suffer with excruciating abdominal pain.  We committed him to our healing God.  The limited medical resources available to us interior had been exhausted.  Since we were soon due to renew our visas, we decided to take the three-day journey down river early and leave for Panama City to see if the doctors in the Canal Zone could help us.  The medical doctors realized he had picked up something unusual and unable to find the source and  after a battery of tests, they sent us to the Gorgas Laboratory, the Center for Disease Control for the military in Central America.  

 Ralph was becoming increasingly restless and powerless to cope with the intense pain.  The Lab was our last hope.  We made an immediate appointment and to our surprise, they took us right in.  

 Ralph had not slept in days.   The Lord had opened up a home on the military base for us to use the few days we planned to be in the city and we were so grateful for His provision.  

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Military Housing in the Canal Zone

 Ralph would walk the floor day and night.  The only thing that gave him a few moments of relief was when he would drink a Coca Cola! I knew I had been called to this ministry and I knew God was allowing this disturbing event for our good and the benefit for others, yet this was touching one of God’s most faithful servants and I was stymied!  

 Have you ever wondered why it is so much more difficult 

to watch the pain of someone else than your own?

 Finally, one night, Ralph stopped pacing and laid down sometime after midnight.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  

 About two hours later we were jolted by someone at the back door, literally, breaking into the house! This person had broken the window and was reaching his hands inside through the shattered glass to unlock the latch! 

 Ralph was instantly on his feet yelling at the intruder!  As he left our room, he turned and said,  “Safety is in the Lord, Jackie!”  As he slammed the door shut, he told me to call the military police and stay with the girls!

 Panicked and processing, I did as I was told and listened to the scuffle in the hall.  There were loud voices and then silence!  I rushed to the locked door and called out!  There was NO ANSWER!  I grabbed both little girls and expected the worst…

 In the few minutes I waited, Ralph had subdued the man and tapped on our door to tell us we were going to be all right.  The intruder was a cocaine addict and knew someone that lived in this borrowed house. He needed money and was desperate to get in!  

What!  Who does that!!!

 Have you ever had an intruder violently invade your place of safety?

 Needless to say, we did not go back to bed and as dawn shed light into the house, I was busily packing and “oh, so ready” to keep that Gorgas Lab appointment and head back to our home in the jungles of the Darien.  

 Who would have thought that an ordinary family would sense more safety in a jungle house with no lock, a bark frame and surrounded by indigenous people, than in a thriving metropolis with every amenity known to man?!

 I learned a lesson that night…  

This experience drove home the truth that the promise 

“Safety is in the Lord” is an absolute reality given to those who walk with Him.

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

the Lord will cover him all day long.”  Duet. 33:12

 

The world is too small a place to afford safety 

to a man that disobeys God.

 

Where do you find safety?

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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.