Posts filed under character and virtue

Jackie's Journey "Bunnies, Baskets and New Beginnings"

'The Princesses celebrate the Risen Savior

'The Princesses celebrate the Risen Savior

Ah…Spring!  Don’t you just love it!  Martin Luther wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

In Panama we had only two seasons…Dry Season and Rainy Season.   I used to miss spring in the jungles.  With the introduction of spring comes family Easter reunion, refreshing the garden and the promise of new life everywhere!  

  As Moms, we try to make every holiday one that will commemorate the occasion and create a family tradition.  We decorate and plan special family gatherings with a menu that is reminiscent of the day being celebrated… Christmas Dinner, Fourth of July B-B-Q’s, and Easter Brunch with Easter baskets filled with colored eggs!  Our homes become “show pieces” for enhancing the lesson of the season. Easter affords us one of the most amazing opportunities to rehearse again the enormous sacrifice of our Savior and His Resurrection that is our living hope after death!

  Easter reminds us of the Life the invisible Creator has given us. Rom. 1: 20  The barren ground exploding with magnificent splendor, as far as the eye can see.  The magic of new life bursting from the earth bringing forth flowers of every imaginable color and size…poppies, tulips, lilies, lilacs, daffodils… Tiny bunnies, fluffy chicks popping out of eggs, foals, fuzzy lambs and every other living being confirm the wonder of revival of life after a long winter.  

 Revival can also be personal and immediate.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit transforming God’s Word into our soul.   There has never been a need, as great as today for revived lives, revived families, fellowships, communities and nation. The desperate need is there but the realization of our personal need is not!  And revival starts with us!   

 “For revival is not a green valley getting greener, but a valley full of dry bones being made to live again and stand up an exceeding great army. (Ezekiel 37)  It is not good Christians becoming better Christians—as God sees us there are not any good Christians—but rather Christians honestly confessing that their Christian life is a valley of dry bones, thus qualifying them for the grace that makes all things new”! (Roy Hession) For the Christian… death is a promotion! New Life springs from our continual choosing to die to our pride and selfishness.

  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, 

to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, 

which is your reasonable service.” Rom. 12:1

 Some give Him a place; some give Him prominence; but what Christ wants in our lives is pre-eminence.  The fruit of His being pre-eminent in our life is a spiritual renewal that restrains the anger of God, restores our God-consciousness and reveals His continual activity in us.

 For those who have humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God at that place where sin is washed away, it has meant revival of their Christian lives in the truest and simplest sense of the word.

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As we look forward to celebrating our Savior in the coming days, let’s use this time to revisit our need for personal and continual revival.  His death and resurrection came with plan and purpose.  It was to give us life from death.  New life does not begin with someone else.  It begins in each of us! 

 Let’s exchange dry bones for New Life!

 “If you are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,

where Christ sits on the right hand of God.”  Col. 3:1

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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 "Treasure...Really?...I Want Some!"

 

I love Fall and look forward to it every year.  It is a lesson on death of sorts, but it brings with it the promise of new life to come in the Spring.   “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies….it remains only a single seed, BUT if it dies, it produces many seeds” Jn. 12:24 My humble garden waves goodbye until spring and the fall leaves on the trees surrounding it burst into vibrant colors and then slowly brown and drop to the ground… waving their final farewell!  

 The reference refers to “death to self” for the benefit of others.  However, everything and every one of us faces physical death.  There is no possibility of escape.  It is an undeniable reality!  Godly obedience comes with the promise of long life…but death is inevitable and we are all dying a little each day!  

 What we do with the time we have here, short as it is, tells us what we value most and where our treasure is.  During the “Fall Season of Life” here on earth, we are more mindful to consider that our treasures being stored up are eternal, not temporal.  

Princess Hope’s treasure box that sits on my desk…her book teaches the true meaning of “eternal treasures”…

Princess Hope’s treasure box that sits on my desk…her book teaches the true meaning of “eternal treasures”…

In a society where our monetary treasures are on the cusp of being devalued to nil, the temporal world is feeling pretty insecure.  If we define our “treasure” by worldly standards we are in deep trouble!  

  I was reading in Proverbs 24:4 this morning and stumbled over:

 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

 Knowledge is familiarity gained by insight to (biblical) truth, experience and accumulated acts and reports.

 We are not to envy persons that “linger over wine and sample mixed wine” or to desire their company; for their hearts plot violence and their lips talk about making trouble.” Pro. 23: 30  By wisdom a house is built…by understanding it is established; by knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Prov.24:1 I do not think it is coincidence that these two verses follow one another.  Envy is a robber of the soul.  It is a greed that consumes time and swallows up treasured values. 

 So then, how do we get knowledge so we can acquire “rooms filled 

with rare and beautiful treasures”?

 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge…” Pro. 12:1

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Discipline is accepting suffering as God’s fastest path to growth and giving thanks for it! (Lam. 3:33) The realm of tribulation becomes the home of revelation and the resource of knowledge.

 What??  Who loves discipline???

 We had better love it, accept it, practice it and endorse it because scripture states, “he who hates correction is stupid!” Pro. 12: 1NIV  I already fight stupid!   So for me, it is imperative that I get biblical wisdom, understanding and knowledge because I want the fruit …those ”rooms filled with rare and beautiful eternal treasures.”

So, how does Scripture say I gain knowledge?

 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of KNOWLEDGE.

Prov.1: 7

I need to fear God!

       The present-day Christian cultural message is that there is no need to fear God…He’s a loving God.   Let’s let the Bible define what God means when He writes, “to fear the Lord”.

 “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance, 

evil behavior and perverse speech”.  Prov. 8: 13

I need to hate SIN!

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This means no “acceptable sins” permitted:

·     No Deception or rationalizations

·     No Covetousness

·     No Fearfulness

·     No Loneliness

·     No Stinginess

·     No Dominance

·     No Double-mindedness

·     No Disrespect

·     No Slothfulness

·     No Presumption

·     No Apathy

·     No Hypocrisy 

·     No Extravagance

·     No Wastefulness

·     No Anger 

·     No Rudeness

·     No Irresponsibility  

·     Etc.!!!

Are the rooms in your house “filled with rare and beautiful treasure”?

 Why not?

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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 "My Shadow Princess"

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Arturo, Luisa, their family, and their oldest daughter, Anita

 As the plane lifted into the sky, I caught a glimpse of the entire village…waving farewell.  There was one girl who stood in front of the crowd, crying.  I would miss her most of all!  

 That young girl was my nearest neighbor, pictured above…almost as tall as her dad. She quickly became my shadow.  When two-month-old Kim would cry, she would run quickly to get her and bring her to me.  I did not understand her kind action but I always thanked her and stopped whatever I was doing to receive Kim into my arms.  

 Later I would learn what a very special gift I was receiving. The Kuna’s were very accommodating and took turns caring for each other’s babies, freeing mothers to leave the village and go into the jungle to tend their fields for hours. When the baby cried, the first mom to reach the distressed child would comfort and nurse that baby! 

 In our village, some of the mother’s had tuberculosis and “my shadow” had dutifully protected Kim for those early months after our entering Kuna land.  Our permission to live in Pucuro was granted by the Kuna elders. It was specifically given for us to bring medicine to the women who were losing their babies during childbirth and care for the sick.  In those early days, we were oblivious to much of their culture, yet silently God met my “unknown need” through the loving heart of a beautiful Indian princess named Anita.  

 Like Jacob of old in the “barren and howling waste of the desert”, “He (God) shielded us and cared for us, He guarded us as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them on its pinions.”  (Deut. 32:10-11)  The eye of an eagle can detect a rabbit or fish from over a mile away!  How much more is the protective eye of God on those who walk with Him.   

 What is your understanding of God’s protective hand? 

                         Did you know it comes with a condition?  

 “Dear friends,if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases Him.”  1 John 3:21   Promises given in Scripture are generally followed by a condition.  

 Living under the divine protection of the Almighty God is a promise guaranteed, if we choose to walk by His standards and not our own.    Knowing He is invisibly working on our behalf when we are totally unaware of our need is a magnificent reality to comprehend when finally revealed in the light!  And it is a daily reminder to “walk our talk” so our heart does not condemn us.

  “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; 

                    and the Lord shall cover him all day long…”.  Deut. 33: 12

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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 March 18, 2019 and filed under motherhood, spiritual growth, character and virtue.

Jackie's Journey "Jonah...HELP!"

 

If you have not heard the Story of Jonah told by the daughter of Lindsey Douglas, you are in for a treat!  Listen to the heart of a precious child who makes this blog very understandable! 

 

http://www.vimOeo.com/16404771  

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It was not the sin and corruption of the Ninevites, although those were great.  It was not the graft-ridden police force or corrupt politicians.  It was not the false cults and religions.  The biggest obstacle to the salvation of Nineveh was found in the heart of a pious, prejudiced man named Jonah!  There was no deceitfulness in all of Nineveh like the deceitfulness in Jonah’s heart. Jonah was the key to the salvation of Nineveh.  God’s people are the key to the spiritual climate of our nation and the world.”   George Sweeting

 Deceitfulness comes from a secret lust.  It is a result of a long sin pattern.

Jonah was foolish enough to argue with God!  He thought he could run away from God…

 Do you ever feel that way? 

 Jonah deceived himself! His prejudice against a people he was called to preach repentance caused his downfall.  His job was to take the message of God to Nineveh, the capitol of Assyria.  The Assyrians were old enemies of Israel and he was not fond of these people and did not want salvation for an enemy, among other things.  So he decided to run from God…

 Have you ever felt the call of God to do something that was inconvenient

or outside your comfort zone?

 Did you rationalize your situation and argue with God or did you instantly obey?

 Rationalizing the clear “prompting voice” away is difficult the first time, but gets easier as we pass the responsibility onto another person or time causes the prompting voice to almost disappear.  Rationalizationis nothing more than allowing my mind to find reasons to excuse what my spirit already knows is wrong.Rom. 2:21

 Jonah was disobedient to God’s request and he reaped the consequence.  His willfulness not only caused problems for him but for others…sin has a way of doing that!

Do these work for you?

Do these work for you?

It is obedience to all the Ten Commandmentsor none of them. 

If we disobey one, we disobey all!

 We only deceive ourselves by believing the lies that come with rationalizing our sin:

I will do it later…

I am too busy right now…

I will only eat one bite!

I can stop any time I want…

I can do it myself and I can do it my way…

I exercised poor judgment…

I made a mistake…

It was poor communication…

I couldn’t help it…

Nobody’s perfect…

I just can’t help myself… 

It wasn’t that bad!

I am a victim of my circumstances…vs. I totally take full responsibility

You fill in the blank…what excuse do you use most frequently…?

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Jonah missed the blessing by disobeying God.  He repented but his sin still carried a consequence.  

 How do you reply when God speaks to you?

Do you instantly respond to the initial promptings of His Spirit

or do you silently argue with God, rationalizing?

 Obedienceis following God-given instructions under the protection of God-given authority so the one being served will be fully satisfied. Like Jonah, God gives each of us a choice multiple times…daily.  

11 Cor. 10: 15  

 Do we answer God’s call like the little girl responded on the video?

 “I’m listening…I’m on my way!” 

Someone said “An intelligent person can rationalize anything, a wise person doesn’t try!!”

Jackie's Journey "Recalcitrant Priorities!"

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When I was in missionary Language School, I had a linguistic teacher who had served in Bolivia under the most difficult of circumstances.  Newly married, her husband had been martyred reaching an unreached primitive tribe. She later returned to that village and witnessed her husband’s murderer coming to know Christ!  She had a sense of purpose on her life.  Her name was Jean Dye Johnson.  

 She was a continual inspiration to me of God’s wonderful and powerful transformation in a life committed to Him. …  She was a woman who told us that only “God could have changed her selfish heart into a shepherds heart”.  She wrote a book called “God Planted Five Seeds”and the previously untold story of five martyrs…who blazed a trail for Christ in Bolivia, sixteen hundred miles from the spot where five others later laid down their lives in Ecuador. She weighed her priorities and recognized the importance of… the permanent taking priority over the immediate!  At the University Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said,

 “Never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate!”

 I think most of us have a daily battle with this principle.

 How many times have we done that….today?!!

  We are forever making choices that tell us what is most important to us.  The continual interruptions are usually the permanent choices we are being asked to sacrifice! 

How are you doing with your priorities? 

 There are many good books written that address this very issue.  Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” said, “If God is first, God is second and God is third… there will be no problem.” 

 The pragmatic application of learning what is permanent in life (those choices that have eternal value) and the immediate choices that bombard our every busy mom thoughts are forever confronting us…demanding attention! 

 At the beginning of the year we tend to take note of our priorities.  Priorities presuppose we have defined ourgoal (what we hope to do to finish the course that year and does our life have purpose?).  We like to think we understand who we are and know where we are going…at least the general direction!  

There are two kinds of goals: God’s and The Fools!  Proverbs 17:24

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 Do you believe God has a purpose for your life?

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; 

it is not for man to direct his steps!” Jer.10: 23

 If we do not direct our steps…who does??

Here again, there are only two choices:  

God or The Destroyer“

 “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord (or the devil).  

How then can anyone understand his own way?”  Pro.20:24

 

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me…”Pro.25: 12 God made us each with personal destiny! “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do!” Eph. 2: 10

 “Who then is the man who fears the Lord?  God will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”  Psa.128: 8

 God definitely has a plan and purpose for each of us!  How, then, can we think apart from His determination for our life?  Since God has a divine purpose for us, don’t you think it would be in our best interest to harmonize with His will and purpose by setting Godly goals and priorities… and working toward them?

 Can you find His purpose or set Godly priorities 

without making the Bible a major part of your life?

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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. 

 

 

God Planted Five Seeds can be ordered from New Tribes Mission Bookstore: 

· http://www.ntmbookstore.com/god-planted-five-seeds-p/109803.htm

Jackie's Journey "Inexplicable Agony" Part 2

 

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“When God wants to bring more power into your life, He brings more pressure.”

A.B. Simpson

My husband’s increasing pain with no resolve from his visit to the village down river had become a constant pre-occupation.  Pressure, by definition, is a continuing opportunity for others to observe our true character.

 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

II Corinthians 4: 17

Our appointment at the Center for Disease Control was early and to get into the Lab we needed to walk past a zoo-like structure that enclosed a number of caged odiferous monkeys. 

 

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They were loud and aggressive as we made our way to the foyer.

We were greeted by two of the staff that led us down a long corridor to a small room with jars of unspeakable contents lining the walls.  After a series of tests and reviewing the hospital reports, these research doctors, who had been so kind to us, both had smiles of success on their faces. 

 “As incredible as this may seem, Ralph”, they started their calm but deliberate explanation, “somehow, you have broken into a cycle only seen in animals, specifically horses.  You have Strongeloides, a parasite that burrows into the intestinal wall… and eats it!  The reason the Coca-Cola gave you relief is because the parasite would not burrow its head in those few moments because they feed on sugar.  So you were able to sense a temporary relief. This particular parasite is literally eating your intestinal wall!!” 

 Looking for a source of entry, one doctor asked to see Ralph’s feet.  Ralph’s heels were deeply cracked and the parasite had entered into his system directly from the contaminated soil in the Choco settlement he had recently visited!  As interested as Ralph was in the entire explanation, he is, after all, a “just gimme the bottom line” man. All he really wanted to know was “how do we kill these creatures?!”  

 The good newswas that there was a treatment…but…it was for horses!  The bad news was they did not know if it would work on a human…or even…kill him?! They were very careful to explain that under no circumstances was he to take more than one teaspoon a day because the medicine was so toxic.  

 We needed to stay in Panama City another week for them to run a last test to see if the medicine had worked.  After three days and no relief, Ralph looked at the girls, and me, and said,  “It’s me or the bugs!”  He, instantly, took the bottle, turned it upside down, emptying its entirety into his mouth!  My heart started pounding…

 Who does that???

 He seemed fine for the first hour or so, and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then, abruptly, he became agitated and turned into the Hulk!  Literally…he grabbed my arm and yelled something unintelligible.  His wild eyes looked like the man who had broken into the borrowed house for cocaine a few days earlier!  

 What had he done?!

This strong, gentle man had become forceful and alarming.

 Fortunately, we were still in the city, but it was too late to call the doctors.at the Lab.  When morning broke we loaded into the borrowed vehicle and headed back to Gorgas Lab to see if Ralph had done something irreparable!  He, however, was excited to let the doctors know that the massive dosage of the toxic vial had made him a crazy man …but had not killed him!  The real issue: Did it kill the parasites?!   

 “Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it?  

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?  Why should any living man complain…”  

Lamentations 3: 37-39

 Needless to say, the doctors were horrified and shocked that he had taken the whole bottle, but were grateful that he had survived!  They were anxious to test him for the parasite.  We sat silently waiting for the test results.  If the parasites lived through the toxic exposure there was no other treatment known to help us. 

They quietly re-entered the room …gleaming!

 Ralph had lived… and the bugs had died!!

 During those days of excruciating pain, never once did Ralph complain.  He was not suffering…just ask him!   He gave thanks continually and even at his worst, submitted to the will of God.

 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; 

he will not be visited by harm”

Psalm 19: 23

 Pressure is the great tester of our spiritual condition…  and “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender.”  (Wm. Booth)  

 How do you respond to pressure?

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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 December 31, 2018 and filed under motherhood, Spiritual Growth, character and virtue.

Jackie's Journney "The World's Changed...Try to Keep Up!!"

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All of us have the need to be relevant in every generation.  Something in us wants to make a difference. The effectiveness of all advertising is based on this premise.  We hear the younger saying,  “The world’s changed…try to keep up!”

As a young missionary in my 20’s my children needed me, my husband needed me, the tribal people needed us, our ministry was consuming and fulfilling, etc.  I looked to those older than I was and saw the need to glean from their experiences.  I had an unpretentious sense of relevancy!

 For 5 years in our 30”s we found our relevance in…pastoring, evangelizing, teaching, mentoring small groups and “trouble-shooting” in our home church.

 We weren’t in that “older” group yet!

 Returning to the field, still in our 30’s, we were busy dorm parents to 15 young people at the Mission School.  We had the “big dorm” and we were blessed with students from five families.  Our need to “turn the hearts of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:6) and the ministry in the local Chame community kept us relevant…………... we were still viable!

 In our late 40’s our girls were in their teens and would soon start college.  Christina attended Biola and would bring her friends from school and church to meet us.

 We were becoming the “older” group that had more experience”!

 When asked to mentor a group of young college girls I excitedly responded believing God would give relevance through His Word.  Eventually a group of their prospective husbands took form, which my husband taught!  We were busy church-planting Spanish-speaking churches and over the next 15 years we saw God raise up seven young churches in Southern California, Mexico and Panama.                

 God’s was still using us!

 Still relevant to our culture and generation in our 50’s, even honored for our faithfulness to our God and His calling on our lives, we actively taught in English and Spanish. 

Now we were really in that “older” group and yet…

 God continued to open up opportunities to serve Him.  We had 7 grandchildren and they were magic!  Still church-planting, called to speak, teaching multiple mentoring groups weekly, trouble-shooting with young couples, and writing The Princess Parable Series were all welcomed responsibilities! 

 In our 60’s we watched our tiny grandchildren grow like my garden weeds (really fast!!) and they now stand taller than I do!

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Keeping relevant is an absolute pre-requisite to maintaining the open hearts of our grandchildren!  Finding that conversational relevance in a “generation time warp” is a prayer-filled occupation of mine!

 Now… here is the rub.  The world’s younger generation looks at “age” and determines its value.  Consequently, they, then, turn their attention to the more appealing relevance of younger mentors, pastors, and teachers, rather than the older generation.   

 We are, after all, each expendable to the more like-minded,

trendier, faster moving and thinking generation!

Can’t you hear it?  “The World’s changed…try to keep up”!

 God never changes…cultures do, ideologies do, and philosophies do…

 Relevance is a basic need to stay connected.

It is tied directly to an understanding of God and His inerrant Word!

 Scripture never changes!  It is always…relevant!

 Our present day cultural insurgence has been saturated in a declining morality of divorce, abortion, pornography, social-acceptance determined by social tolerance, adoption of the “acceptable sins” (you know…demanding personal rights, entitlement-I deserve this!, wrong attitudes, anger, deplorable speech, actions etc.).

 The young are bent on convincing their offspring to:

(1)  “Stand up for yourself; Be more aggressive” – disregarding God’s command to follow His example of serving others… first.

(2)   “Look for your own path in life” –disregarding the instruction in the Word to look for the Will of God…first

(3)   “Claim your rights; you are entitled” – disregarding God’s command to yield all your rights to Him… first.  No anger for your personal benefit.

(4)  “Be first “ at everything  - disregarding God’s command to make others successful…first!  

(5)   “Live in the Now” - disregarding kingdom teaching. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God….and all these things will be added unto you”. Matt. 6:33

 In a day when our culture is being eroded from within, our godly history is being re-written and the Word of God is being ripped of its inerrant integrity, we need relevance for our day if we are to present truth that promotes change.

 What can we offer that people need?

 We ask ourselves that question whether overtly or subliminally every time we come in contact with another person.  We are relevant when we discern the need of the individual we are speaking to and risk whatever it takes to meet that need for the other person’s success.

 It is not age that makes us relevant…it is His life in us as we aggressively stand up with Godly conviction and step into the space He puts us in… wherever, with whomever that may be!

 The purpose of relevance is to keep the truth of God’s Word

alive in us for the benefit of others!

 Will you make yourself relevant today in the life of someone who is in need?

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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 "Little Much Afraid or Courageous Warrior?"

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All of us want to be warrior moms, equipped to

alter the direction of our future and those little ones who follow us!

 

I am the least likely to be involved in foreign tribal missions or to author a series of Princess Books or anything else… because I am, ALSO…the one who crusades against her paralyzing fear.

How many of you have read, “Hinds Feet in High Places”?  Well, …meet little “Much Afraid”!  My fear has always been connected to my failing someone’s expectation …mostly God’s and of course, the fear of the unknown (as a young mom…raising my girls in the jungles, tribal people, isolation, vampire bats, huge hairy spiders, 13” scorpions…)!  

I have a recent testimony of a young mom who has lived the majority of her parenting life worried that she is failing, scared that she is not doing enough, being enough or giving enough!  Always comparing herself to the success of others…

 Do you ever fear failure… as a mom… a wife…?

Just the responsibility of equipping our little ones

to survive victoriously in this perverse culture

should strike fear in our hearts!!

 Coming to understand, that I need to fear only two things…has freed me to walk thru that door of dread…instead of running the other direction (my natural inclination)!!!

 Can you guess what those two things might be?

1. The fear of God, who faithfully brings me to a particular: point, place or circumstance…to mature me spiritually…

  2. The fear of the consequence of sin!     Not failure… !

 When you fear God you fear the consequence of sin!

 When asked, “If you are so afraid, Jackie, WHY did you go into the jungles to open up a work among an Indian group that had never been reached before?” 

My answer is simple… “That the lamb of God might receive the reward of His suffering!”   I was aware of the need…I was compelled to go…FEAR AND ALL!

 “To Him who knows to do right and does not do it to him it is sin!  Jas.4:17

 Focusing on “walking thru that door of fear with Him”,… allowing Him to live and lead through me was more scriptural and liberatingthan focusing on what happens, if I fail and bear the prideful guilt of thinking… I should have done better …or done nothing at all!  “The highway of fear is the shortest route to defeat.” Wm. L. Brownell

                     Fear is wrong focus!    Trust in the wrong person!

 One sultry day in the jungle I was sitting at my rustic desk crying when our partners walked in and asked, “What happened?”  I proceeded to pour out my heart and confess how I was a total failure as a mother, wife, and missionary. 

 To my astonishment, my friend just SMILED and agreed with me saying, “Jackie, you are a failure“!

 NOW, WHO SAYS THAT!!!    

He proceeded with…BUT the good news is: You are now in perfect position to receive the grace of God with its power to live victoriously!”  ONCE I GOT PAST THAT UNANTICIPATED SMILE(!)… I began to process the biblical truth and he was right.  I could offer God nothing.  Apart from His empowerment, on my own, “so to speak” - trying, striving, bent on achieving… 

I am a ROYAL failure!

 BUT THAT FAILURE has become my best friend over the years because I now had a recognizable signal when afraid and I could get out of God’s way so HE could do what I was unable to do! 

“His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in MY weaknessIn failure! 2 Corinthians 12:9  

My Husband, who calls it like it is… says “my weakness” is really “my strength in evil”!!  Whatever it is called…I was free…at last…I could surrender to His leading and allow His strength to be made perfect in my weakness.  I was finally at peace!

 Where do you find your strength?

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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 October 29, 2018 and filed under character and virtue, Motherhood, Spiritual Growth.