Posts tagged #gratefulness

Jackie's Journey: A Royal Easter Story!

The Princess Parable Book Series is designed to inspire noble thoughts and actions.  We have been blessed in so many ways by those of you who buy them, read them and use them as a teaching tool to minister to the spirit of your little girls.  We have a Princess Parable Prayer Book for Toddlers and a Devotional Book coming soon.  Our A Royal Christmas to Remember is due out this fall, just in time for Christmas. We have recently been asked by our Publishing House to submit a proposal to bring you another series of books for the little princesses who started with us six years ago and are now ready for Chapter books.  We humbly seek God’s Word for inspiration and His heart for leading.

Will you pray with us?

The first of our two seasonal princess books arrived the 26th of January, 2016!  We are excited it made its arrival in time for Easter.   It is not too late to get one!  A Royal Easter Story is taken from Luke 11.  We are introducing our five young knights in this book for those of you who have patiently waited for them to arrive.

A Royal Easter Story reveals the truth of a caring and selfless good Father who not only gives us good gifts, but also answers us when we seek Him. The princesses’ life-lesson is that a TRUE princess must learn to lose her life serving “Others first”— no “Me first” attitudes.  While in carriages racing the young knights to the annual Easter celebration, the girls come upon a lost little girl who desperately needs their help. They terminate their contest with the boys to give their attention to the more important needs of little forlorn Alina. Her name means “light” and she opens the eyes of the princesses to see the real race in life.

Easter is the celebration of our heavenly Father and King, who is “The Light”. He is noble and always focuses on others and what is eternal and matters most … US!  He never sacrifices the permanent on the altar of the immediate!  Our Father’s devotion caused Him to wage war against principalities on our behalf. He gave the ultimate sacrifice (His life for ours on the cross!).  Not only did He die for us, but He is alive and is available to all who ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK!                               

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Lu. 11:9-13

 Please visit Amazon  or Barnes and Noble to find our “hot off the press” A Royal Easter Story.   Also available are the Princess companion pieces (Princess Dolls, Princess Sticker and Activity Books, Princess “I Can Read” for the emergent readers, A Treasury of three Princesses or a Collection of all Five Princesses and much more…).

We are so grateful to each of you and the encouragement you give us as we continue to step into the print HE leaves behind…

Won’t you give thanks with us?

~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: A Royal Easter Story

“Rejoice with Us!”

The Princess Parables Book Series is designed to inspire noble thoughts and actions.  We have been blessed in so many ways by those of you who buy them, read them and use them as a teaching tool to minister to the spirit of your little girls.  We have a Princess Parable Prayer Book for Toddlers and a Devotional Book coming soon. We have recently been asked by our publishing house to submit a proposal to bring you another series of books for the little princesses who started with us six years ago and are now ready for chapter books.  We humbly seek God’s Word for inspiration and His heart for leading.

Will you pray with us?

The first of our two seasonal princess books arrives in bookstores tomorrow, the 26th of January 2016!  We are excited to announce its arrival in time for Easter.   A Royal Easter Story is taken from Luke 11.  We are introducing our five young Knights in this book for those of you who have patiently waited for them to arrive.

From Luke 11:9-13, A Royal Easter Story reveals the truth of a caring and selfless good Father who not only gives us good gifts, but also answers us when we seek Him. The princesses’ life-lesson is that a TRUE princess must learn to lose her life serving “Others first” - no “Me first” attitudes.  While in carriages racing the young knights to the annual Easter celebration, the girls come upon a lost little girl who desperately needs their help. They terminate their contest with the boys to give their attention to the more important needs of little forlorn Alina. Her name means “light” and she opens the eyes of the princesses to see the real race in life.  

Easter is the celebration of our heavenly Father and King, who is “The Light”. He is noble and always focuses on others and what is eternal and matters most … US!  He never sacrifices the permanent on the altar of the immediate!  Our Father’s devotion caused Him to wage war against principalities on our behalf. He gave the ultimate sacrifice (His life for ours on the cross!).  Not only did He die for us, but He is alive and is available to all who ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13

Please visit our store to find our “hot off the press” Easter Book.  Also available are the Princess companion pieces (Princess Dolls, Princess Sticker and Activity Books, Princess I Can Read books for the emergent readers, A Treasury of Three Princesses or a Collection of all Five Princesses and much more…).  Our seasonal Princess Christmas Book is also due out for this Christmas 2016.  We are so grateful to each of you and the encouragement you give us as we continue to step into the print HE leaves behind…

~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. 

Finding the Silver Lining

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” James 1:2-4

How easy is it for you to find joy or the “silver lining” in every situation?

What exactly is a silver lining? 

Looking up into the sky right before a storm, I can often see dark clouds passing overhead. As they get into position and do their job of creating rain, they also block the sun. When I look closely at the edges of those ominous clouds, I can see the sun shining around the edges, like a silver lining.

Difficult times come to each of us.  As someone once said, “It is not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ they will come”.  When the dismal clouds cover over your life, what do you do?

I continue to learn when trials come there is ALWAYS a silver lining.

Every time. 

I can find something to be grateful for.  During this difficult time of finding cancer again, I find it is easier to be less stressed than the first time.  We have done this before and we will do it again.  I find I am less hesitant to let people help me and I am more able to take the rest God is providing in the midst.

Here are a few things that keep me grounded and focusing on the “silver lining” during my times of trial:

  1. I journal gratefulness.  Each day, I make myself find 10 things to be grateful for.  They have to be “new every morning”, and I don’t allow myself to pull points from yesterday.  This God-inspired ritual helps me see the goodness in the midst of the pain.  I have had surgery and am recouping, but the silver lining is more time to spend with friends who visit and to rest with no agenda.  I have to eat a very simple fare - which is a challenge at times - but the silver lining is in eating the food God made for us, I am the weight I should be.  There is always something to be thankful for.
  2. I remember God’s miraculous power.  I was a miracle not once, but twice now.  As I study God’s word and live out the plan He has chosen for me, I find joy in seeing his miraculous power.  He is able to do anything.  I am grateful for the many answered prayers, but even in the unanswered prayers I am confident that He is God, no matter what.  The silver lining is being able remember who God is – His power, His goodness and His love.
  3. I get out in God’s beauty.  Nothing grounds me more than being in nature.  I feel connected to God’s majesty and to the ages past.  Nothing seems as big of a deal when I am sitting on the beach listening to the waves or hiking in the mountains near a waterfall.  Suddenly, my worries slip away, and I am able to focus on who God is and who I am not.  This is the silver lining found in trials.  A truth I often forget is: God never intended for me to take all my burdens on my shoulders.  He has it all under control.
  4. I seek out peace and tranquility.  For me, this is Sabbath rest.  To find a shalom in every day allows me to rest in who God is.  The silver lining of trials is that I seek this.  I crave it!  For me, it looks like a quiet house in the morning before I wake up, scrapbooking my family memories or a stolen coffee shop hour to study or write.  Peaceful times to hear what God is saying and hear my own heart’s worries in the light of His goodness.
  5. I embrace God’s community.  During difficult times, friends abound and rush to your side.  Nothing brings out the best in people like the “C” word.  In the past, I may have acted like I can do all things myself.  Now I allow myself to take the break when people give it.  To really love and embrace those who are wanting to pray for me.  I have a tendency to feel embarrassed that I always need to be prayed for.  It does get old.  But the silver lining in a trial is the blessing of Jesus’s hands and feet here on earth to help in these times.

These are my silver linings in the midst of cancer battle.  I just have to say this is a battle that the Lord is winning, too.  In my heart and mind, I am being transformed into more of who He wants me to be.  My body is healthy and fit.  I have no idea what the future holds, but, my friends, neither do you.  So take those times of difficulty today – a crying child, a health issue or a financial difficulty, and focus on the “silver lining”.  The evil one doesn’t like it when we do this.

What are ways you focus on the “good” in the midst of the “bad”?

Jackie's Journey: The Inspiration of Gratefulness!

 

“Give thanks in all circumstances (inclusive; no exceptions!), for this is God’s will for you…” 1 Thess. 5:19

Recently a missionary friend posted a picture from our New Tribes Missionary school.  It was taken in what we called “the little dorm” in our early years on the field.  In the picture of about 15 children were my two daughters.  Christina was about 4 and in the foreground was a less-than-2-year-old Kim.  The picture was not significant in itself but the fact that I could not recall when my girls could have ever been in that picture was significant!  I literally, burst into tears!

Christina, my eldest daughter, reminded me that they had spent 6 weeks in “the little dorm” after I was flown out of our village with a ruptured appendix.  There was unrest in Panama City (guns in the streets, riots, etc.) and the Military Police were closing the airport!  We were the last fight allowed to land or take off.  I was hastily loaded onto a gurney directly out of the plane and I watched our Cessna take off into the stormy skies with my two little ones inside! 

I was unaware of most of what was transpiring around me, but I knew my circumstance was bad.  I was rushed to the Military Hospital and was rapidly being moved down the corridor, when Ralph heard someone call his name.  He turned to see a Surgeon that we had recently met through our Pucuro partners.  She had been on duty for 72 hours when she caught a glimpse of Ralph in the hall and instantly turned to help us, never leaving our side until she had run tests, completed my emergency laparotomy and safely escorted us to the ICU hours later.  God had gone before us and sent her to us in His perfect timing…

This is the posted picture!  Are these not the cutest missionary children…ever!!

This is the posted picture!  Are these not the cutest missionary children…ever!!

I am emotionally astounded that I was so desperately ill that I did not know where my two little girls were in those first days! My recovery was slow and I ran a low-grade fever for a year after this event.  Wanting to reunite our family as quickly as possible and return to the interior, which was our home, we found ourselves in a quandary because we could not get a release from the doctors to go back! 

As I’m writing this, my past and present merge and the surge of gratefulness is overwhelming!

How many people can you think of offhand who have benefited your life in the past?  Whose name immediately comes to mind?

Gratefulness is recognizing the benefits, which God and others have provided.

From the pilot risking his life to save mine to the missionary families who sacrificially opened their hearts and homes to us to see me recover, my heart overflows with inexpressible thanksgiving for their generosity toward our family during this conflicting time in our lives. 

Gratitude is the memory of the heart!  It is said to be the parent of all the other virtues.  My gratitude for those members of the field that picked up the slack and totally covered for me is overpowering.  

Norman and Barbara Slaymaker were the “little dorm” parents at that time and took the loving responsibility of my babies for six weeks after our pilot, Scotty, and his wife, Mary, filled the gap in those first few days in Panama City.  After leaving the hospital, John and Ruth Jenkins, our busy field leaders, “adopted us” for another six weeks (!) until the doctors would release us to return to our post!  What a tremendous weight we must have been…a family of 4 for months!!! 

My memories are scattered and few.  I isolated myself into a survival mode.  I really thought I was going to die.  I had no time for tears and cannot remember even wanting to cry during those weeks, although I am sure I must have and those whose care I was under would readily attest that I did!  My heart cannot express the genuine gratitude that is flooding my eyes and consciousness as I write this!  I am mentally rehearsing the personal cost of the missionary families that encouraged me during those days and blanketed me with prayer and hands of intervention!

Why this flood of overwhelming gratefulness?  Why now?  What is it about life that at unexpected moments God opens our awareness to the magnitude of His Sovereignty, Majesty, Grace and Mercy on our behalf?  

I am sitting here with a keen mindfulness of:

  • My Unworthiness…and His Holiness!   
  • My Pretense of thinking I have any kind of control in this life (other than to choose to walk with Him)…and His complete and encompassing Rule and Protection!
  • My Powerlessness…and His Omnipotent Presence, faithfully accomplishing His purpose with my blindness to His silent footsteps all around me!
  • My Desperate Need to express my gratefulness and indebtedness to God and others! 

Do you make it a habit to thank God and others for the many things in life that others take for granted?

I would like to express my gratitude to you for joining me each Monday morning and for your encouraging words.  I am so blessed! 

Will you take time today to reflect glory back to Him… the Author of every blessing?  Let’s take today’s opportunity to acknowledge those who have and are benefiting our lives!