Posts tagged #commitment

Jackie's Journey "Can We Survive without a Canoe?"

When I think about God’s faithfulness in what I can see, I am astounded at the thought of all I can’t see that is His work going on around me. Psa. 44:22   From the University, our marriage and call to missions, and Boot Camp Training…all were in preparation for the job He was readying us to do in the jungles!  An expectation is me, presuming on God with my engaged will (that I have not yet yielded to Him!).  That sense of entitlement can become a “ditch of despair” and reveals discontentment and a personal right that is being claimed.  It often exposes itself in anger.

Of course, all of this learning to give my expectations to God; to catch His vision and to harmonize with His plan was pre-field training for our time in the jungles of Panama.  And I had much to learn! On the practical side, we learned to plant and harvest, raise and slaughter animals, can what we raised and rustically prepare food, etc.  On the spiritual side, “seasoned” missionaries wisely taught us from the Word early each morning until noon.

Fall came and went.  After the long, hard freezing winter, spring came and summer brought six weeks of Survival Training in the thick woods of northern Wisconsin, where it rained three out of five days for the whole six weeks! The mosquitoes and spiders were larger and more aggressive than anything we ever encountered in Panama!

Part of the survival training was to become proficient in a canoe over some of the most dangerous rapids we had ever seen!  It had rained for twelve days and was still raining when we pushed our canoe into the hurtling current.  Macon and Katy Hare were just ahead of us.  Macon was a seasoned MK (missionary kid) and it seemed like a good idea that the city-slickers (us) would learn from the master.   As we were rapidly swept down the fast moving river, our canoe got too close to the shoreline and I screamed, “We’re going to swamp!!!”  Ralph instantly yelled back, “DUCK!”.  We looked up from the bottom of the canoe, only just gliding under a fallen tree!  Not seconds after that we see Macon successfully make it through the approaching gap between two mammoth rocks and drop down ahead of us.  As aggressively as we tried to steer clear of those rocks…they got us and we totally swamped.

When I surfaced, I could hear Macon yelling, "Get the canoe!  Get the canoe!"  I, frankly, did not care about the canoe...I wanted to get to shore!  Where was Ralph?  Searching the fast moving water, I saw him surface...and...oh, yes, there he was...he got the canoe!  No matter, this missionary woman was determined to get out of the freezing water and she did!  I stood watching Macon in the distance and my drenched and strong husband fighting the current to drag that canoe to the shoreline.

In survival camp, there was no contact or communication with the outside world.  There was no GPS and it prepared us for three-day river trips, many in rainstorms with fast moving currents in a dugout to reach our home among the Kunas in Pucuro.

On one journey upriver, Ralph threw a plastic over the girls and I to keep us dry; however, between the heat and humidity, the plastic fogged over and the makeshift sauna forced us to unanimously decide to enjoy the hammering raindrops.  Kim was just a few months old.  Her boot camp had already begun!

And we know that all things work together for those who love Him,and have been called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8: 28

This walk down memory lane has been a reaffirmation of how God uses adversity… difficulty… challenging times to confirm our commitment to Him and to those He is preparing us to serve.

What challenge are you facing today?

Is your anger revealing your true spiritual condition?

God is forever going before us, making sure we are prepared for the next task or circumstance.  What a comfort to rest in Him, knowing nothing will ever touch us that has not already touched Him first.  We can survive without anything, except …HIM!

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue

at the testing point.”  C.S. Lewis

~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 28, 2017 and filed under Character and Virtue, Spiritual Growth, Motherhood.

Jackie's Journey: Christmas Pledge

Christmas Pledge

Inspired by the September 11th attack on the United States, the Groenewalds moved to Afghanistan in response to God’s call to serve the people who had purposely killed thousands of our own! They lived and served and were martyred by Taliban fighters, as their obedience to God’s call was greater than their fears.   The only surviving member tells the story and it profoundly touched my heart.  The testimony of that horrific day of murder with AK-47’s and the self sacrificing bomber who obliterated their home is a wake-up call to my commitment to His directing and leading in my life.

“Some give Him a place; some give Him Prominence:

but what Christ wants in our lives is pre-eminence.”

In my spiritual journey, I was a “nominal Christian”, a fan of all things spiritual for the first 18 years of my life.  I was the proverbial good girl with this huge longing hole in my life that I had no idea how to fill.  How would I find meaning and purpose in a world that was full of others in the same state I was? 

Who had an answer?

While reading this testimony of this mother who had lost her husband and two teen-age children, I was again struck with the mandate that “counting the cost” is an imperative, not an option, regardless of our geographical location.   When the three men from our village in Pucuro were captured and killed by FARC, a militant group from Colombia, I was reminded of a time in our missionary training when we were challenged to “count the ultimate cost” as a possibility of our decision to be followers of Christ and not just enthusiastic fans!

Being a follower means their will be a price to pay.  Salvation is free but it cost you your life!  “If Jesus Christ died and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”  C.T. Studd

“For me, on the field, it was a life of sacrifice, difficulty and struggles,

and in that the Lord gave us the reward of His presence,” Hannelie said.

“He revealed Himself to us, who He is.” (Hannelie Groenewald)

The reward of His presence, ears to hear His voice and a sense of who He is, is my truth also.  A total dependence on an all-knowing God whose plans for me are to prosper me, not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.  Jer. 29: 11   When God walked into my life at age 19, I found the reason for my existence!  There was no more longing; there was completeness with purpose and destiny. 

As a busy mom is your life filled with Him, His thoughts and His ways?  Do your little ones see the Christ that lives in you?  Are you struggling to integrate Christ into your demanding life or is He the master of your course…leading, directing?

“There are two kinds of people:

Those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done',

And those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way!’

 C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

 

Blog 91 Christmas.jpg

~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 5, 2016 and filed under Motherhood, Character and Virtue, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey: "I Surrender!"

The year 2015 is coming to a close, and my commitment to blogging was for one year.  What an incredible blessing to be able to jot down thoughts and rehearse what God continues to teach me through His Word and the people and events in my life.   

All any of us has to share with others is our weakness translated into a life message for the benefit of another.  I trust God has used my flaws to manifest His strength for your benefit. 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Cor. 12: 9-10

Jim Elliot, husband of Elizabeth Elliot, who was martyred at the hand of the Auca Indians, once said:  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” 

Listen to the spirit of his devotedness…

“Father, let me be weak that I might loose my clutch on everything temporal.  My life, my reputation, my possessions, Lord, let me lose the tension of the grasping hand…Rather, open my hand to receive the nail of Calvary, as Christ’s was opened, that I, releasing all, might be released, unleashed from all that binds me now.  He thought Heaven, yea, equality with God not a thing to be clutched at.  So let me release my grasp.”

Christmas is a wonderful time to put our busy lives back in Scriptural perspective. We celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…the One who “gives us everything we need to lead a godly life! “ II Pet.1: 3  

Genuine Christianity is an unconditional surrender to His Lordship!

While attending the University of Arizona I was invited to join Kappa Alpha Theta, a national sorority.  I had a sense of acceptance and grew to love the girls and the accountability.  After a semester of initiation we had a night of mild hazing that culminated in stepping individually behind a veil for the final step of becoming a Theta.   As the pledge of loyalty was read and the words were spoken to me… I was asked to repeat them.  At that time I realized I had already pledged my loyalty to Christ. 

A few months earlier, over the Thanksgiving holiday with my parents and sisters, I had attended a church service and had heard for the first time in my life that I could know God in a personal way through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Standing behind that curtain I was struck, profoundly, when I realized I had already given my total allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ that Thanksgiving weekend!   When He walked into my life everything changed, I had no more allegiance to give.

Time has tested on life’s stage that unconditional surrender I made to my loving Savior and Sovereign Lord in those college days.

What is your present commitment? 

When we talk about a total surrendering of our lives to the Lordship of Christ, we are talking about yielding all our rights and expectations! 

·      A dying to self and self-attitudes

·      A yielding of all entitlements and self-interest

WHAT?...WAIT A MINUTE!

Don’t we run from the people and circumstances that call us into total commitment?  It is much easier to go with the flow as the secular, ungodly world dictates to us relativity, independence and “I have my rights!”   The world’s motto: “Strength only…show no weakness!”  The human struggle wants His power to do OUR will.    

Is humility a position of strength or weakness, in your opinion?

Humility is me… seeing the contrast between my spiritual condition (a sinner) and God’s holiness and then receiving His grace to live Christ-like, not Jackie-like!  

 Phil. 3:10   Grace is doing His will with His power!  It is acknowledging His presence and His power to live the Christian life.  Victory is living in that truth!   

Are you living in Victory? 

Have you surrendered your life to His Lordship?

~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 21, 2015 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth, Character and Virtue.

Jackie’s Journey

Child Neglect!?

Once born, a wildebeest calf has 15 minutes to stand and run with the adult herd, or it will be killed by predators (usually, hyenas).  The wildebeest mother will take on a pack of hyenas and sacrificially, single-handedly fight…until death to preserve the life of her calf. (Bill Gothard, Character Sketches)    There are countless “hyenas” that will be used to devour the life of these God is entrusting into our care.               

What is our commitment!??  

Our Alertness To His Will And His Way Is Imperative! 

Being intentional is our only option!

“Life is a stewardship; not an ownership; A TRUST; NOT A GIFT. With a gift you may do as you please; but with a trust you must give an account (Ephesians 2:10).  God holds us responsible. We will answer to HIM!

AND…Time is short!! 

The journey of life brings trials, triumphs, tragedy and achievement.  Through all of this, a dedicated mother’s love remains constant.  Would you consider yourself to be a dedicated mom: a mom that is committed to the success of your child first, above yourself? I know we are fraught with the demanding activities and social media that keep us exhausted from one day to the next; but are we, through it all, rejoicing moms that keep the ultimate goal in view?  By the way, what is your “ultimate goal”?  Do your children view the goal and actively participate, involved in “giving” of themselves, or are they “me first”, “takers”, full of entitlement?

 Let me encourage you with all that you are in Christ and to give you the promise He left with all of us that bear the title MOTHER:  1 Thes. 5:24 says,  “Faithful is He who calls you, Who will also do it.”  However, it is a conditional promise…we have to let HIM!  On that day of accountability there will be NO excuses!    This is our call to action

HOW DO WE DO THIS??  Where do we start?

When I think “steps of action” I think work, HARD WORK!  In that same thought comes the comfort of new direction and hope for a positive change.  In the introduction of our Princess Parable Blog site we looked back at 2014 only to find 2015 “approaching with stomping feet demanding Action”…Steps of ACTION!

Are you ready, Moms?  Here is a test of our dedication and commitment…

(1) Do we “Walk Our Talk?!”  Or do we make excuses for our wrong responses?  Do we call impatience what it really is…ANGER? And how about overuse of social media…CHILD NEGLECT?  Or MISSED OPPORTUNITY?!  There are no “socially acceptable sins”… Rudeness is self-first; Discouragement (or “I deserve better”) is Entitlement (the very attitude we battle in our children!)  Purpose to pursue holiness; moment-by-moment… Mothers of conviction, not compromise!

(2) Are we open to Teachable Moments? Please note: Most interruptions are the teachable moments!  Purpose to take advantage of the moments we are least wanting to take advantage of!

(3) Are we Intentional and Consistent?  All decisions we make carry a consequence…positive or negative.  Purpose to teach your child this truth and in doing so, enable him/her to learn to hear the voice of God.  Dial your life into the kingdom of God…Have HIS purpose wrapped in HIS WILL, not your own!

(4) Are we Character-focused? Note the attitude in which the words or eyes are speaking to you…read your child’s spirit and you will identify the REAL NEED!

(5) Are we Grateful…regardless of the circumstance?  Gratefulness wards off discouragement.

(6) Are we Diligently Prayerful?…Lamentations 2:19 “Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.  Lift up your hands to HIM for the life of your child”!

The definition of the word “purpose” means “resolute, unwavering, deliberate”…Commitment requires sacrifice.

Whether a bush nurse, a missionary mom, a city mom or whatever our title may be…each of us is called to be a godly mother with a profound and sacrificial love for our children.  The calling is to “count the cost” and to love with the purpose of making these entrusted to us more successful than we could ever be for HIS glory!

Posted on February 9, 2015 and filed under Motherhood, Spiritual Growth, Character and Virtue.