Posts filed under womanhood

Jackie's Journey "The Calling of Princess Grace"

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

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

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

you must give an account”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are NOT full of Grace… HE is!

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

  Watch our Words,they become actions.

  Watch our Actions,they become habits.

  Watch our Attitudes,they become character.

  Watch our Characterfor it becomes our destiny!

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

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

in the life of your child?

 What are your children observing?

We all fail… but what is yourpattern??

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

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

 and He is holding me accountable!

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

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

 Grace IS NOT:

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

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

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

 Grace IS:

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

 “Be strong in the grace

that is in Christ Jesus.  2 Tim. 2:1

 Is God’s grace ACTIVE in you?

 Have you taken stewardship of your life?

 What about the life of your child?

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

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

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

Jackie's Journey "Irksome Responsibilities!"

 

 “Good (women) are never idle, 

they are not hurried, worried, or flurried.  

They keep the even tenor of their way, 

walking steadily towards heaven.

The Law of the Lordis not irksome to them, 

itscommandsare not grievous and its restrictions 

are not slavish in their esteem.

They are rather a chart for their daily course,

 a map of the road for their life’s journey.  

The path of obediencehas no regret.  The Lord is their testimony.” 

 C. Spurgeon

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Just the word “COMMAND” raises a red flag in our heart of hearts, doesn’t it?

 We live in a day and age where we are not subservient and not held responsible or accountable for anything we are asked to do.  We can question and decide if we feel like doing it or if, we even want to do it at all!  Western culture has taken a huge swing into massive confusion and our homes have followed suit. We make decisions on a whim, usually independent of our authority with no consequence considered and often our decisions are made without biblical consideration.  

 We are easily persuaded by every “wind and doctrine”.   Hence the continual “church hopping”, the high divorce rate among believers, the on-line dating for the increasing singles population, the struggling marriages with unruly and rebellious children, the media mayhem, the unprecedented division in national, state, local and church leaderships.  We see it all around us…confusion to chaos to bedlam and pandemonium!  The next step is madness!! 

 Sound familiar?

There is a day coming when we will all be held accountable for our part of the chaos!  Accountable for every thought, word, deed and motive. God has a plan that gives us moms a key for ourselves and for our children that will allow them to develop into mature adults that will be equipped to make a change in their generation. 

How can we be assured of success?

 It begins with obedience to what He asks of us.

 …And what, exactly, is that??

 1.    to fear Him

2.    to walk in all his ways

3.    to love him

4.    to serve Him with all your heart and with all your 

             soul (mind, will and emotions!)

       5.   to observe His commands and decrees…”  Deuteronomy 10: 12

 Asking too much?

 The truth is, it is our reasonable service in the light of His sacrifice for us!   Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit should be our response with no hesitation, no rationalization and no doubt…just a simple immediate compliance.  Having will power over our personal desires and actions is empowering!  Self-constraint breeds dignity and strength of character and a sense of self-possession and assurance.

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When God asks us to respond to Him, He expects it to be immediate because He has sent His Spirit ahead to convince us of His truth.  He enables us to hear His voice and He anticipates our instant obedience. When we fail to respond to Him, we face the consequence of our disobedience and miss the joy of His fellowship and the reward.      

Chaos ensues and our peace is disrupted!

 Why do we hesitate to instantly yield?

While in training for the mission field, a seasoned instructor, who had served years in the jungles of Brazil, told me after sensing my hesitation to respond to a truth in the Word, “The choices you make will blight or bless, Jackie.  If you aren’t a missionary, you are a mission field”. 

 Rationalizing and procrastination when God gave clear instruction made me a mission field!  The responsibility to live a life of obedience to His Word was solely mine.  I was responsible for me and accountable to God for every decision!  The only way my choices would line up with His would be if I knew what His Word said and did what God asked of me!

 What was it, again, that God requires of me?

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It is not complicated…

Ø To fear Him is to fear the consequence of sin.

Ø To walk in “all His ways” is to maintain a moment-by-moment walk of God- consciousness:

·     with no unconfessed sin and no unresolved relationship

·     with an acceptance of trials as teachers and opportunity

·     with no hypocrisy

Ø To Love Him is to hate evil (all unrighteousness)

·     no double-mindedness

·      no disloyalty

·     no compromise

Ø To serve Him is to stay dead to my self-life, so I stay out of His way and He can work through me for the benefit of others

Ø To observe His commands is to get into His Word and let His truth encourage, admonish and instruct me. 

 Sound interesting?  

 The reward and blessing of responding to God with instant obedience is overwhelmingly inspiring… especially if you are comparing it to the disobedient alternative.                             

Which will you choose?

 Acceptance of God’s commands and a map for your life’s journey 

or

Rebellion, procrastination and regret at the end of the line?

 We will be held accountable…

And so will those little princes and princesses

 that are following us!

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

Posted on August 5, 2019 and filed under womanhood, motherhood.

Jackie's Journey "Words Kill!"

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”Language is the dress of thought”. Samuel Johnson   I have two very precious friends who live in Tucson, Arizona.  I don’t get to see them as often as I would like but they are the eternal connection we all hope that we are fortunate enough to find just once in our lifetime of relationships.  While on furlough from the mission field these girls were eager to encouragingly nurse me back to health while I was crumpled on their living room sofa and they had just the right words that would lift my spirit and keep me going.  Most of all, they offered total and complete acceptance accompanied with a joy of just sensing refuge in their presence.  I recently found an encouraging note they sent me shortly after the first of our books in The Princess Parable Series was released.  This is the note…

 “I loaned your books to a friend, Jackie. Her granddaughters are named Daity and Caity Belle. 

 This was my friends comment on them:

           “Thanks for the loan on the books – they are GREAT! We had to reenact the Princess Birthday one – we baked a cake and invited the dolls – dressed up – it was quite a production.  Daity really liked it and Caity Belle liked the one about the dog – now when they dress up they have to be those Princesses.  So I would say they are a hit!   I love that there is a great theme and then the stories at the end of the book – great illustrations and inspiring and encouraging.’

            Thought you would like to hear another review. 

 Keep up the Lord’s work on your writing.  Love, Jane”

 There are many ways we express ourselves, but, as women, we are exceptionally prone to WORDS…all kinds of words… lots of words…soothing words…volatile words…we love words… 

 “The power of life and death are in the tongue.”  Proverbs 18:21

WORDS HAVE POWER!

 Do you speak LIFE with your tongue… or DEATH?

 “Speech is the index of the mind”. We have a nanosecond before every choice we make each time we entertain a thought…should I say this or should I not???  Often we disregard the warning at that point of decision and blurt out exactly what should have been kept in the “box of better timing” or not at all! 

 For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…” Lu. 6:45

 and too many meaningless words mark you as a fool!  Ecc. 5:3 

 In Proverbs 15 there are 21 references to words in only 33 verses!!!  There are cutting words, crude words, slanderous words, piercing words, biting words, poisonous words, burning words envious words, healing words, deceitful words, wise words, mocking words, cheerful words, timely words, prayerful words and….you fill in the blank!

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Being a person of many words, I used to think if you isolate me in a remote jungle village with people who speak a different language then the tongue would be much less of a problem…How much damage could I do…I couldn’t speak the Kuna language…?

 How many times have you been “ensnared by the words of your mouth”?

 Proverbs 6:2

 “IF ANYONE CONSIDERS HIMSELF RELIGIOUS AND YET DOES NOT KEEP A TIGHT REIN ON HIS TONGUE, HE DECEIVES HIMSELF AND HIS RELIGION IS WORTHLESS”!  Jas. 1: 26

I am reminded of the old adage:

                              Watch your Thoughts, they become words.

                                        Watch your Words, they become actions.

                                        Watch your Actions, they become habits.

Watch your Habits, they become character.

Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny.

 Watch how your circumstances change when you change the way you speak!

 “The power of LIFE and DEATH are in the tongue”!

Proverbs 18:21

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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 Inspiration Effect!"

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I recently received a letter from a missionary who went through the training with us before we left for the mission field.  My mind flooded with gratefulness as I remembered the influence she had had on my life and how God used her to bring us into a community that was entirely foreign and outside our comfort zone.  I am a city girl and although my heritage is grounded in the heartland, I was apprehensive of this small country town and its established culture.

 Have you ever found yourself in a totally unfamiliar situation

and you are positive you will do or say the wrong thing?

 We were in our last few days of Language School.  We had successfully completed a year of Boot Camp and another year of Language School. Our series of required injections for our targeted mission field were in process and our passports and visas had arrived.  We had been tested for Tuberculosis, given Yellow Fever shots, Tetanus shots, Dengue Fever inoculations, Malaria pills and a small pharmacy had been accumulated for the specific needs of our remote area, etc.…and we were on a fast track to get into the jungles of Panama!  

My husband became aware of a need of one of the mission families and volunteered us to “stop by and check on a family of six children who had just lost their father” on our way back to California.   Christina was almost five months old and that little “stop” saw her celebrate her first birthday in that beautiful Nebraska farming community! 

 During our time there, God confirmed to us that he could and would use us on the mission field and our time there formed the basis of what we are still using to challenge, win, and disciple.  His faithfulness in building His character in us over those months prepared us for the years of ministry ahead of us.  Being adopted by this community allowed us the confidence to keep pressing on!

 One of the valuable lessons that came out of this well-spent time was the fact that I am responsible for my influence, regardless of how I feel or how others perceive me!  My husband, children and now grandchildren, and not to forget everyone I come in contact with every day, are observing and reading me.  “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.” II Cor. 3:2   A Christian woman is a living sermon, whether or not she says a word!

 Will others speak well of my Lord because of me or 

will I be someone’s excuse for a bad attitude or behavior?

 The unfamiliar is a great proving ground for our “real” character! Being conscious of my total dependence and need for Him to live the Christian life through me, rather than being pre-occupied with my failure or “will I say or do the right thing” was liberating. 

 His fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith (not insecurity!), meekness, temperance…Gal. 5:22-23   When this is NOT my fruit, I know He is NOT living through me!  We don’t always know what to say or do when “in the trenches” with our little ones (or big one’s) but He does!  We often go to friends, counselors and self-help books, looking for answers, while the Bible sits dormant and contains the key!  

 Could we, moms, really make a difference?

Is our influence the catalyst in the behavior of those entrusted to us?

Could our godly conduct control the spirit of our home and bring peace instead of turmoil?

 “Let no man imagine that he has no effect.”  Henry George

 This missionary has no idea how she influenced my life with hers. We are never fully aware of our sphere of influence, but… for better or worse…the influence of our lives carries power… either for the success or the destruction of others!

 “Theselfless person increases the value of every other person 

whom he influences.”

The selfish person becomes the excuse for the person following him.

 Which will you be?

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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 "You choose...Calm or Chaos!"

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I’m minding my own business…quietly reading through Proverbs… 

and the words “quarrelsome wife” keeps popping up on the pages!

 “Better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife”. Proverbs 21: 9  

 Just ten verses later…” Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome or ill-tempered wife.”  And in the next few chapters…” Better to live…” an exact quote of Proverbs 21:9!! 

How important is tranquility to you?

 With chaos all around us (wives and mothers) what would it take for us to maintain a calm peace in our homes?  We just celebrated Mother’s Day a few weeks ago. A day set aside to encourage us in our commitment to our families. We are reminded of our role and responsibility to be all God has called us to be.  It takes two to quarrel and whether you live with a good listener or an argumentative person, it requires your participation to induce a “quarrel”.  No great revelation, but a great challenge for those of us who have our own opinion and think that opinion has value enough to be verbalized!

 Most attempts at resolving an argument are fought on the battleground of confessing the sin of the other person, rather than acknowledging our own.  No one ever wins an argument!  Our energy, limited as it often is, is spent recklessly.  Our focus is on our need to be right or to have a sense of personal value or to correct a false accusation, rather than the need to know God’s perspective and stepping into the classroom of life and growing-up! 

 What value does our argument have in the light of eternity? 

 How will it profit His life in us?

 In the heat of the moment the issue seems important, maybe even life-changing.  Our perspective is often clouded by our self-life, personal desires and expectations.  We are held captive by a force (Satan) pushing us to get our way or have the understanding we think we deserve from our husbands to validate our worth.  Self is demanding its rightful position in the relationship!  Satan stands back and just laughs!

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 God’s design from the beginning has been to use our inability to resolve issues to draw us to a place where we hear His voice alone.  There is no argument worth sacrificing our peace with Him; no right or expectation is as important as pleasing Him in all our thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions.  Our weakness in being able to discern the greater need of identifying the real source of our disagreement and resolving issues more quickly, demonstrates our immaturity. “For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”  Phil 2:21  

 Laying down our demand at the moment and sensing His quiet voice of peace in the chaos of our situation is what His life in us is programmed to do!  As mother’s, it is easy to lose focus temporarily and none of us is immune to its pull, but the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard our hearts (plural) and minds (plural) when we choose to bring Phil. 2:1-3 into focus in that moment of decision before the climatic altercation gets a foothold.  Mom’s, this promise we can “take to the bank” … every time!

 The promise is the “God of Peace will be with us” if we put into practice that which we have learned or received or heard or seen from Him.”  Our little ones (and big ones!) are watching and listening to see if we “walk our talk”in the things we say to them to resolve their issues when they are arguing. 

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Do they see God at work or hypocrisy with no hope?

Finally, sisters,” if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ or any comfort from His love or any fellowship with the Spirit or tenderness and compassion, then make His joy complete by being like-minded, having His same spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition and conceit but in humility (not self-defense or rationalizations) consider the other person more important than yourself.” 

 However difficult this exercise is when in the thick of an argument, this is the admonition and solution to avoid whatever we feel is more important than maintaining our peace with Him!

 Our choice:  Peace or Chaos!

Which will you choose?

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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 "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!"

                                                                    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.