Posts filed under womanhood

Jackie's Journey "Thorns and Thistles!"

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“By His wounds we are healed”.  Isa. 53

 The cross is the center of our commemorating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His selfless and sinless sacrifice in our place is our reason to celebrate and praise His Name.  We call the holiday Easter and for a moment in time we stop and rehearse His ultimate sacrifice…His life for ours on that thorny and thistled  “old rugged cross”.  Not only did he die for us but also on the third day He rose from the dead and gave us the promise of a resurrected life after death!  

 This deliberate and divine act of love was to give our lives promise, plan and purpose.  We are destined and programmed to serve others first, not ourselves.   In our Easter release to the Princess Parable Series, “A Royal Easter Story”, we introduced our five young knights who present a challenge that draws our young princesses into a chariot race that reveals the truth of what the cross teaches.  

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead …” I Peter 1:3

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead …” I Peter 1:3

Do you live a life selflessly and sacrificially serving others?

 We cannot be consumed with a life that seeks its own and find life abundantly.  It is impossibility.  Local churches open their doors on Good Friday to give us the opportunity to take a personal account of our commitment to our first love and renew our loyalty to live as Jesus challenges us to live…Holy!  We are reminded to live serving others, as He did, with eternal values and purpose in view.

 As moms, we are dedicated to living and then, teaching the character of Christ into our little princes and princesses.  We focus on drawing their attention to the importance of serving, helping and caring for others.  That is why we find ourselves saying, “Can you comfort your little brother” or “Will you help mommy?”  Teaching by example, without excuse, is the most powerful tool in our toolbox!  We are “known and read” by these little eyes and ears.  They know if the cross is real in us, or not.  We don’t fool them but we do confuse them when our life message does not speak the reality of Christ in us!

Are your little ones confused?

 “Then said Jesus to his disciples, IF any man will come after me,

 let him deny himself, and take up his cross,and follow me.”

Matt. 16: 24

 The cross holds the hope of humanity.  Denyingself-life (our pride and selfishness in all its ugly forms)…and taking up His cross(His desires and His perfect Will for us)…  authenticates His life in us.  Living life consistently with no unconfessed sin and nothing between another person and myself enables me to follow Him.  “His crucifixion is the key; His resurrection the door…it is only by His death that we have the mandate to enter into the gates of eternal life.  His door is open always.  Christ is King.”  Isrealmore Ayivor

  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; 

yet not I, but Christ lives in me: 

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, 

who loved me, and gave himself for me.” 

Gal.  2: 20

“There are no crown-bearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

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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 do You Mean... Double-Minded?!"

“A double-minded man is unstablein all his ways”! James 1:8

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Wait!...What??... Unstable…???…

 I am a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, missionary, pastor’s wife,

teacher, author, speaker, etc… BUT the last title I want is… Double-Minded!

 In the Princess Parable Series the story of Princess Hope comes from Matthew 13, The Hidden Treasure.  She is called to “count the cost” if she is to find the REAL treasure!  In her life lesson she learns to focus on God’s promises not the circumstances surrounding her.  Her single-mindednessand loyalty to her grandmother, not to mention her determination with a lot of active creativity, become her constant companions and ultimately bring her reward and blessing.  

 What are the undeniable marks of a double-minded person?  

Transparency reveals a:

·     Fear of examination; fear of being transparent with others; a need to protect reputation

·     Resistance to being vulnerable to the pain of exposure

·      Plastic coating of pride, usually masked under the guise of some form of spirituality

·     Hiding of sin, self and struggle

·      Protection of personal impurities

·       Secretiveness

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Are you double-minded?

 We are to be women of principle with loyal convictions, who cannot be bought and will not compromise.   Loyalty is demonstrated in times of temptation and adversity.  It is the first of 4 basic needs of mankind.  There is a seed of loyalty programmed into each one of us by God.  

 Double-mindedness is disloyalty and springs from an independent spirit.  An unbroken will is a cause of disloyalty and double-mindedness. The fruit is divorce, dissension, division, disharmony, distrust and …

 We listen to double-minded philosophies all the time:

·      I want to serve the Lord, but I don’t want to take responsibility for myself or my life

·      I want to be a disciple, but I don’t want to be inconvenienced or have any discomfort

·      I want to be a servant, but on my own time

·      I have temporal values, but I am totally committed to God

·      I want to be honest, but I don’t want to tell the truth, at least not the whole truth

·      I want to be loved, but I won’t love freely in return or be vulnerable

·      I want to be pure, but I don’t want accountability or to be corrected or examined

·      I want to live morally pure, but I won’t submit my body to my spirit…it feels too good the other way

·      I have a bitter spirit, but I don’t want to hear about it

·      I want to be loyal, but I don’t want to be single-minded!

 “A loyal woman is pre-eminently a woman of one thing.  It is not enough to say that she is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted and fervent in spirit.  She only sees one thing, she cares for one thing, she lives for one thing, she is swallowed up in one thing…and that one thing is to please God. Whether she lives or whether she dies; whether she has health or whether she has sickness; whether she is rich, or whether she is poor; whether she pleases man or whether she gives offense; whether she is thought to be wise or whether she is thought to be foolish; whether she gets blame or whether she gets praise; whether she gets honor or whether she gets the shame… for all this a loyal woman cares nothing at all.  She burns for one thing; and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God’s glory…   This is what is meant when we speak of loyalty to the cross.”  Bishop Ryle, 1959

 When my life is over, will single-mindedness be my legacy?

 Will I be known as a loyal servant of my God?

 Will 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. 

Jackie's Journey "Busybodies...?!

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Chapter 3 of James speaks directly to those who aspire to teach.  Mothers are teachers whether they aspire to be or not!  Our children look to us for direction, protection and instruction in what is right and wrong in life.  They read our actions, words, and attitudes…continually.  They listen to our hearts and they read our spirits!  

 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control the whole animal. Or let’s take ships, as an example. Although they are large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go. 

 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.   Here in California we are anually aware that raging fires that destroy thousands of acres are started by a small spark.  The tongue is a small part of the body but when misused, makes a great spark.   It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of life on fire and is itself,  ignited by the flames of  hell.

 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea have been tamed by man, but “no man can tame the tongue!”James 3: 3-7

 SeaWorld can control Shamu, a massive creature,

 but we struggle to control our own diminutive tongue!!

Scripture says “the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison!”

 With the tongue we praise God, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. This should not be!

 Do you know what I am talking about? 

Can you define a busybody…maybe you know one?

 Do you know what a gossip is?

How about a whisperer or slanderer?

I Peter 4:15 talks about a busybody who digs up evil reports and then spreads them through gossip, slander or whispering.  

 “Let none of you suffer as a murderer 

or as a thief 

or as an evil doer 

or as a busybody in other men’s matters.”

 According to this verse evil reporting is as wicked as murder or stealing!

 We enjoy listening to evil reports because they exalt us!  All evil reports involve false information or are a distortion of facts.  They are usually given with wrong motives and cause the hearer to form inaccurate conclusions.  One of the major causes of conflict among us is our receiving this information and our wrong response to an evil report.  We, then, attempt to resolve the conflict with unscriptural solutions.

 The Whisperer secretly or privately passes on evil reports to others.

 “All my enemies whisper together against me.  

They imagine the worst for me…” Psa. 41: 7

 Among Christians, a common example of a whisperer is in the area of prayer requests.  

       If the request comes with the disclaimer, “Please don’t share this with anyone, but… we

       need to pray about this….!”

       Our response should be, “Have you asked this person if you can share this request with

       me?  Let’s go pray with this person together.”

 In Panama at our Missionary School we sang a song called Gossip.  It went like this:

     “Gossip is sharing pertinent information with someone with anyone who’s not involved

       with the problem or with the solution.”  (IBYC Definition) The Gossiper loves to magnify and

       sensationalize rumors and partial information and pass it on quickly.

 Know anybody like this?

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The Slanderer seeks to destroy another’s credibility or reputation with damaging facts, distortions of facts and evil suspicions. In Numbesrs 14:36 the consequence for evil reporting exposes what God thinks about evil reports!

“So the men Moses sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community

grumble against him by spreading a bad report “ …

These men responsible for spreading that bad report were “struck down and died of a plague before the Lord”!!

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Next time someone approaches you with information regarding a third party…Ask yourself:

  1. What is your reason for telling me this? 2. Where did you get this information? 3. Have you spoken to those directly involved? 4. Have you personally checked out all the facts? 5. Can I quote you if I check this out?

Spiritualuality is not measured by how well we expose another person for whatever reason, but by how effectively we scripturally seek to see that person restored and made successful.

How does your husband and how do your children perceive

the amount of control you have over your tongue?

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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 "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.