Posts filed under womanhood

Jackie's Journey "Who Do We Think We are Fooling?"

 

As women, it should startle us to realize our power of influence.  Even though we are more than acquainted with the call to “walk our talk” and not be an excuse for bad behavior in our little ones (and big ones!), we should sense the intense obligation.

My very observant Grand-niece, Olivia, enjoying Fall Harvest…

My very observant Grand-niece, Olivia, enjoying Fall Harvest…

  We never know who is watching!  Pressures to “walk our talk” are those continuing opportunities for others to observe our true character.  (II Corinthians 4: 17)   A hypocrite willfully lives in conflict with his or her mind, will and emotions.  He or she is motivated by a desire for the appreciation of men rather than the approval of God.  (Proverbs 27: 21)  It is an incredible responsibility when you stop to think about it!

 Can you pass the test for a “Walk your Talk” mom?

 1.     Do you get in the Word of God daily

2.     Do you keep a record of the things God brings to your attention, as He teaches you, so you are continually fresh and ready to share with others?

3.     Do you understand how to maintain a consistent “walk in the Spirit”?

4.     Are you presently witnessing to someone who is in need of our Savior?

5.     Are you mentoring at least one person at this time?

6.     Do you know you are born of God…no doubts?

 How did you do?  

 Our Western culture is consumed with an attitude of “I deserve this”, I am entitled to this!”   “Gimme, gimme!”.  The quality of spiritual life we are going to address in this blog is rarely experienced because we are so busy demanding personal rights.  We have learned to call “our rights” by acceptable, “politically correct” terms.  

But rights, nonetheless, are the separators of us from authentic spiritual reality.

 Here are some acceptable signs (oops, sins!) that tell us our “best” has been compromised and our “walk” may need some attention:

  1. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1Thess. 5: 18   

   Do you give thanks in everything? Or are you selective in the area of gratefulness…maybe you’re a complainer or worrier…?           

·  2.  “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.” Rom. 12: 3 

             Are you proud of YOUR accomplishments, YOUR talents, and YOUR family?  

         Do you fail to see others as better than yourself, more important than yourself, in your relationships in the body of Christ?  Is your goal the success of others?         

·     3. “Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”  Eph. 4: 31           

         Do you find fault, carry a grudge, anger easily, hold people to your expectations and speak unkindly about people when they are not present? 

             Do you enjoy listening to gossip?  Do you pass it on?

     4. “Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds.”  Col. 3: 9  

         Do you ever lie?  Exaggerate? Do you tell things the way you want them rather than the way they are?  

 5. “Even so, you outwardly appear righteous to men, but within, you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”  Matt. 23: 28        

        Do you smile self-righteously during the sermon on Sunday but live in your bad attitudes all week?  Are you the same person in your home, as the one who is trying to impress people outside your home?  

          We are fooling no one!  We are a book… known and read by all men …

especially, children… they read our spirit!

               How authentic are you?         

       What is your demonstration of truth?

       What is your fruit?        

      Will your young knight or princess say you 

       are an unpretentious, genuine mom 

       that “walks her talk”? 

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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 "Where Do You Keep Your BUT?"

In the Princess Parable Series Princess Hope is the oldest of the five princesses and carries the responsibility of setting a good example and leading the way for her four younger sisters who are watching and learning from her.  She experiences first-hand what it takes to “count the cost” when she sees her grandmother’s priceless ring in a store window in the village. She has to get it back…but how…and at what cost?

Meet Princess Hope

Meet Princess Hope

How many of us understand what it means 

to “count the cost” 

for someone or something 

that is so important 

that we will not hesitate to boldly step up to the plate?

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Before leaving for the shores of Panama I was cognizant of the cost it might take to leave the U.S. and live in a foreign country.  But it was not until Christina, my first daughter, was born that I became acutely aware of the expanse of what it might actually demand.  I was leaving my homeland with my parents first and only, two-year-old grandchild. After arriving in Panama, it would take us two days by three different means of transportation to land on the muddy banks of the river Pucuro.  It would include living in an “off the grid” bark-walled house with no running water, no electricity and an outhouse that screamed “unfriendly”. 

 Would the cost be too great?

 Our jungle house was located in an extremely dense and remote area of the jungle. There was malaria and T.B.  There would be hairy eight-legged creatures, not to mention venomous insects and reptiles of every kind the imagination could conjure up and worse!  We would be called to cook, eat and drink unidentifiable “chicha’s”, mammals, reptiles and even rodents!  It would be on the Colombian border where drug runners passed through our village routinely.  My neighbors would speak a different language and have a strange culture.  There would be no privacy, no hospital, no urgent care facility, no contact with the outside world, except for an often-unreliable two-way radio!  On top of that, on our first trek in, I would have two little girls.  Christina had just turned three and our second daughter was a tiny three-month-old nursing baby on my lap…

This is an aerial veiw of our house with the tin roof in the foreground

This is an aerial veiw of our house with the tin roof in the foreground

 I would be the first to admit that life brings serious unknowns, struggles, doubts, fears, and temptations from the enemy, even if you have “counted the cost” in all the light you have.

 On one of the many rainy days in the rainforest, I began to share my heart and woes with a seasoned missionary who was listening intently.  To every comment of comfort, she gave me, I responded,BUT you don’t understand; I know GOD says that BUT what about…?”

 When I paused to catch my breath, she asked me if, “I thought God’s grace was sufficient enough for me for today?”   

 What!???… I’m a missionary living in the jungle…I could hardly say “No”!  Of course, I answered, “Yes!” 

 She followed up with, “Then… would His Grace be sufficient for tomorrow?!” 

 She had firmly and graciously admonished me to keep my BUT on the appropriate side of the word GODNOT, “Ok,GOD, BUT…” (we always have a good excuse for not trusting Him); rather, this is my situation, BUT GOD is more than sufficient and faithful.  He has proven Himself over and over again, when I keep my BUT on the right side of God.

 Is living for God, demonstrating genuine Christianity

and claiming Christ as Lord and Master of my life

for His glory… too much?

 If I can trust Him for today; then, I can trust Him for tomorrow!

 A wise woman counts the cost… 

 Princess Hope’s recapturing a stolen ring and me moving into a dense jungle do not, on the surface, seem comparable; yet, the point is ,what do we treasure enough to pay the ultimate price to achieve?  What is important enough for us to “count the cost” and plunge into whatever sacrifice it takes to see it accomplished?

 There was no call to the jungle; BUT GOD did call us to respond to the need in that jungle…to open up a work among an unreached group of people who had yet to hear His Name spoken, even once, or to hear the news of His wonderful redeeming message.

 “The house of the righteous contains great treasure”! (Pro. 15:6)

 

Moms…your house is full of eternal treasure…

treasure that will spend eternity somewhere.

 When all is said and done and we have reached the end of this life…what will be said of us?  Did we choose the most important?  Did we succeed in our calling?  Did we “count the cost” for what was on His heart in His perfect will for us or did we do our own thing and hope for the best?  

 How does the fruit of your commitment look so far?  

We only pass this way once!

 

It WILL be worth it all…!

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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 "Crying Out!!"

We live up a narrow gorge that stretches from the valley floor with its ocean and sandy beach to the top of the hill over-looking the harbor.  Watching the birds ride the currents is a regular preoccupation. This spring I was watching a hawk sweep down across the pool in our backyard.  As he ascended high up into the sky above the valley below,he screeched loudly, over and over.  I watched this magnificent creature ride the current up and down, back and forth.  A short time later he swooped down into our yard again…only this time… he was silent... 

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He had a snake dangling from his talons!

It brought to mind what I had been reading earlier in Psalm 147:9:

 “God provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens…WHEN THEY CALL”! 

 I am that helpless raven that is found “crying out”, totally dependent on God, placing my faith continually on His promises and unfailing love! Whether with no communication with the outside world in the jungles of Panama or here, in the U.S., with way too many ways to communicate…the most important line of communication to keep open is that with the “King of Kings”!

 While in Bible School a young missionary student told me to allow the Word of God to “dwell richly”in me.  Not just read and journal…but dwell richly!  

In our book, Princess Faith’s Mysterious Garden from The Princess Parable SeriesFaith learned the importance of crying out to God, even though she didn’t understand why things happened to her. She learned God uses perplexing things to talk to us and to grow our hearts, making us stronger and a benefit to others!

 Taken from the Parable of the Sower in Matt. 13, Faith learns she can trust her heavenly Father to deeply plant His truth in her heart.  She learned to accept with joy the trials her garden brought her, plus every other circumstance that came her way!

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We mom’s live in a hurricane with endless noise and activity.  Distinguishing between our “little chicks” that are “crying out”, needing our total presence and immediate attention… is a learned skill.  Daddies struggle with it!  Hearing the voice of God “crying out” to us is a cherished and coveted practice because He whispers in the quietness of our consciousness, as we read His Word and it , dwells richly in us.

 While writing Princess Faith, we were mindful of the desperate need moms have for those quiet teachable moments with their little knight or princess. We included in her personal journal in the closing pages of her story in the Parable Thoughts, the lesson Faith learned through her facing trials of various kinds.  It is clear that Faith learned to “cry out” and to see her prayers answered.

 Most of us get lost in the harried busyness of one day swallowing up another.  Our hearts yearn for that quiet moment when our little one looks up at us with total trust and silently cry’s out to us for our undivided attention. That moment when we take time to read and respond to their spirit, tells us, as hard as it is at times, to stop the train… this nanosecond of oneness, peace and complete harmony is worth it all!   

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Time is short!  

 Will you hear His silent whisper and 

allow the Word of God to daily “dwell richly” in you?

or

Will you miss the opportunity of His faithfulness being formed 

in you

and your little one?

 Faithfulness is not allowing busyness or adversity

 to cause us to be unfaithful to God’s Word and His calling

 or to be disobedient to His purposes.

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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 " It's My Choice!"

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“It’s quiet.  It’s early. My coffee is hot.

The sky is still black.  The world is still asleep.

The day is coming.  In a few moments the day will arrive.

It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun.

The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day.

The calm of the solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace 

Of the human race.

The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met…agendas and schedules…

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands.  

It is NOW that I must make a choice. 

And so, I choose…”

 

I CHOOSE LOVE…

No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness.  Hatred means to love less.  I will give love freely with my motive to receive NOTHING in return.  I choose love.  Today I will love God and what HE loves. (I Cor. 13:3)

 I CHOOSE JOY…

I receive JOY when I give Love away.  Joyfulness is the spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when I am in fellowship with God. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.  I will see interruptions as opportunities in all the chaos around me.  I will refuse the temptation to be cynical…the tool of the lazy thinker.  I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God.  I will refuse to see any problem or situation as anything less than an opportunity to see God. I choose to get in harmony with HIM and HIS will.  (Psa. 16:11)

 I CHOOSE PEACE…

I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live. I will allow peace to govern me today. Great peace have those who love His law and NOTHING will offend them. I have no excuse!(Psa. 119: 165)

 I CHOOSE PATIENCE…

I will overlook the inconveniences and conflicts the day presents.  I will accept any difficult situation from GOD without giving Him a deadline to remove it.  Rather than complaining that the wait is too long or chafing at an unexpected response from someone, I will thank God for a moment to pause and for a reminder to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at my current obligations, I will face them with gratefulness and courage. (Rom. 5:3-4)

 I CHOOSE KINDNESS…

I will be kind to the unkind because HE was treated unkindly and I deserve no less.  I will be kind to the poor because they are alone. I will be kind to the rich because they are afraid.  I will invest whatever is necessary to heal the hurt of others. Kindness is an act.(! Jn. 3: 17)

 I CHOOSE GENTLENESS…

Nothing is won by force or coercion.  I choose to show personal care and concern in meeting the needs of others.  If I raise my voice, may it be only praise.  If I clench my fist, may it be only a prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. Gentleness is an attitude or manner.(I Thess. 2: 7)

 I CHOOSE GOODNESS…

I will see the goodness in others when it is hard to find.  I will confess before I accuse. I will walk in humility, which is the gas tank for the other qualities.

 I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS…

Today I will keep my promises.  My spouse will not question my loyalty.  My children will never fear that their mom will not be there for them.  I will visualize God’s future in each life.  I will use difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to God and to those HE has called me to serve.  (Jn. 15:13)

 I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL…

I am a spiritual being.  After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.  I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal.  I choose to be instantly obedient to the initial promptings of God’ Spirit.  I choose God-control. (Gal. 5: 24-25)

 To this I commit my day…understanding that my choice indicates that either I have ALL of these qualities or that I have NONE of them. This is not a smorgasbord!  God-control means His Spirit is producing all of these in me. If I succeed, I will praise HIS Name and give thanks.  If I fail, I will seek God’s face in repentance, with the reminder to keep shorter accounts with HIM. 

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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 23, 2019 and filed under womanhood, motherhood, Spiritual Growth.

Jackie's Journey "It will be OK...Stop Screaming..!!"

Throughout the Word, we see God doing mighty works through ordinary people.  Imperfect people…weak individuals…slow to action…reticent to respond initially, because there is always someone more qualified, eloquent or skilled than you or me.  Then, too, there is always the battle to walk through that door of fear that often stymies us.  

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While on the mission field, Sue Gunsteens and I ran a medical clinic.  Sue was qualified and skilled and did the job well.  On the other hand, I was just a simple “bush nurse” with basic training and understanding of the human body.  Yet, on every occasion that Jay and Sue and their family were NOT in the village, there would be some catastrophic event that I was called upon to “fill in”.  For example, the 8-year-old girl that fell out of the mango tree and the entire village came screaming through my front door holding her arm with the sharp bone protruding through the skin!!  In my panic, I could hear my husband, Ralph, saying, “God could use a stick, Jackie, but He’s chosen you!”

My youngest daughter, Kim and my medical mentor, Sue

My youngest daughter, Kim and my medical mentor, Sue

Taking a quick glance, I realized no X-rays were needed…or available!  Setting that arm and casting it was excruciating for both this little girl and myself!  Stepping up to the plate …because there was no one else, and I guessed that I was one step up from no help at all…I proceeded to cry out to God, first, with all my inadequacies… and then through my fear, took the arm in my hand and pulled it quickly toward me to set the broken bone.  To my amazement the bone snapped right back into place!  That was God!  The astonishment could be read on both of our faces!  Together that little girl and I, repaired the damage and fashioned a cast that would keep that arm immobile for a few weeks to heal.

 Years ago, I was given a list of simple people called to do extraordinary things.  It was sent my way to encourage me to “keep on keeping on”.  Consider these:

 Moses stuttered!

Jacob was a liar.

Noah got drunk.

Abraham was too old.

David had an affair. 

David was too young.

Solomon was too rich.

Jonah ran from God.

Sampson had long hair.

Elijah was burned out.

Naomi was a widow.

Esther was a hiding Jew.

Gideon and Thomas doubted.

Moses, Peter and Paul had short-tempers.

Lazarus was dead!

Peter was fearful of death.

John Mark was rejected by Paul.

 Because God is God, He does not need to rely on you or me.  Actually, we have nothing to offer God!  His power made perfect in our yieldedness to Him is all we have. I was reading the book of II Corinthians this morning.  In Chapter 12, I read, “My grace is sufficient for you, Jackie, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  I certainly qualify!  

 SOOO, then, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power can 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”!

 Are you encouraged?

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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 17, 2019 and filed under spiritual growth, motherhood, 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.