Posts tagged #choices

Jackie's Journey: Chance or Choice?

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving”.  Oliver Windell Holmes, Sr.

“I’m glad for the Bible.  It gives me a chance to see how other people chose…and the results.  There’s the contrast between Abraham’s choice and Lot’s choice before Sodom.  There’s Moses’ choice of his fellows rather than the riches of Egypt.  There’s Joseph’s choice in the prison house of Potiphar, and Daniel’s choice of the king’s vegetables rather than his meats.  Paul paid a glorious price when he chose his lot with the early Christians.  Christ made marvelous choices when he set his face toward Jerusalem, at the Garden of Gethsemane, and in the Judgment Hall.

Adam’s choice cost him Eden; Esau’s, his birthright; Achan’s his life; Lot’s, his home and herds; Absalom’s, his father’s throne; Saul’s, his kingdom; the rich young ruler, the companionship of Christ.  Judas lost his apostleship; Demas, his discipleship.  Pilate, Agrippa, and Felix chose wrong and missed immortality.  Ananias’ choice fooled no one but himself.  Caleb and Joshua chose well, while Jonah’s first choice nearly shipwrecked himself and the crew….” Robert G. Lee

 

As mothers, if asked how do we build the character into our children that is necessary for them to make right choices, would our answer prove we know how to choose the things that matter most?

 

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”  William Jennings Bryan

 

Life is a continuous series of choices determined by our wise or unwise decisions.  The Bible gives us a pragmatic biblical principle that teaches us that we reap a life with purpose and blessing, if we sow wise choices.  We reap what we sow… The opposite is also true…if we sow unwise choices we will reap the consequence of destruction on our heritage and ourselves…

 

What are you sowing?  What is the pattern of your life?

 

 Decisiveness is the ability to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God.  We build decisiveness when we refuse to reconsider or rationalize a decision that we already know in our spirit is the right choice!  “Rationalization is

allowing my mind to find reasons to excuse what my spirit knows is wrong.”  Romans 2: 21

 

Are you a wise decision-maker?

The opposite of decisiveness is double-mindedness.   The mother who thinks she can ride the invisible and non-existent fence is fooling herself.   There is no middle or neutral ground.  “…That woman (man) should not think she (he) will receive anything from the Lord; she (he) is double-minded, unstable in all she (he) does”! James 1: 8

I have never been the fastest decision-maker, but I have a treasured friend who makes me look like the “Road Runner”!  She meticulously finds every pro and con to every decision.  Detailing its purpose, longevity, functionality, and preference in comparison to a multitude of other possibilities.  I, frankly, am honored I made the cut and she has chosen me for one of her closest friends for almost 40 years!  There is one area of her life, however, where she has absolutely no difficulty in making a decision and consistently makes the right one.  Her secret…she is bent on seeking the will of God, above all else, disregarding her own will!  She is single-minded!    

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    Meet my single-minded friend, Nancy Sanche

Meet my single-minded friend, Nancy Sanche

When facing a decision, check your facts, seek wise counsel and make sure your goals are clearly defined.  But most importantly, make sure that Matt. 6:33 is in play first…” Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (His Will!) and all these things will be added unto you”.

~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: Living an Illusion?

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      "Take My yoke upon you and learn of me…!” Matt. 11:29

"Take My yoke upon you and learn of me…!” Matt. 11:29

How would you describe your Christian walk?  Up and down, peaks and valleys?  Good days and bad days?   Would you characterize your spiritual life as vibrant and free or continually battling your self-life (your personal rights, depression, unresolved relationships, entitlement…)? 

Are you living a “Christian illusion”?

 

If you want to learn of me, put your head in the yoke!

 What?!  No way!  Who does that?

WHY, I’D HAVE TO GIVE UP MY FREEDOM AND SUBMIT

TO THE OTHER PERSON IN THE YOKE! ARE YOU CRAZY???

 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden light”!    (Matt. 11:28-30)               

The Church will instruct us

The Bible will inform us

Prayer will empower and direct us. 

But only…The Yoke will teach us how to live and respond “in the Spirit” to life situations on a continual basis.

Ezekiel 37:1-6 is a lesson on a “valley of dry bones”.  What does that have to do with my spiritual walk, you ask?  Lots!  Spiritual deadness is a permeating and engulfing phenomenon in our culture, churches, homes and hearts.  It sort of swallows us up like a tsunami!  Biblical Christianity is defined by our consistent attitudes in life practice.

We carry seeds of decay through disobedience and rebellion toward God (i.e. anger, jealousy, self-love…).  We have adopted patterns through wrong influences and teachings (friends, music, ungodly worldviews, Hollywood, social media...).  Maybe we have been a believer since we cannot remember BUT there are places where we really do NOT know our own need.  Our life has become an illusion of biblical Christianity.  There is a measure of self-confidence and pride built on our bones…

God says, “I will make breath enter you and you will come to life”.  God works out of Death!   Death to self!  His desire is to breathe life into our dead bones, moment by moment.     No illusion here…

An illusion is a lie; it is not real.  Disillusionment with our daily walk is a gift of God… a challenge to enter into the yoke with Him and His rest... learning from His gentle and humble heart.

 There are two yokes: 

  1. The yoke with Christ and righteous purposes
  2. The yoke with Satan and his kill, steal and destroy (life) purposes (Jn.10: 10)     

We choose who is in the yoke with us with every choice we make!  

My husband asked me if every choice I make is a spiritual one.  For the life of me, I could not think of a single one that is not!  Can you think of one that is not a deliberate choosing of one kingdom or the other? 

By taking Christ’s yoke upon us, we yield our right to do as we please, and we learn the wishes and commands of Christ our leader.

God is not nearly as concerned with what we are going through as He is with our response to what we go through.  His chief concern is that our attitude becomes consistent with His Son.  The question is:  Who do you choose to be in the yoke with you today?   There are only two choices! 

Choose wisely, young mothers, little ones are watching and stepping into the same yoke with you.

“ It was for freedom that Christ set us free: therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (law/sin).”   Galatians 5: 1