CCA Hawaii Conference / A Word to Women

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Karyn Johnson Teaches at CCA Hawaii Conference

Story by Jim Culhane
Photos by Tom Price

Follow Calvary Chapel Magazine as we publish summaries of teachings at the CCA Pastors, Leaders, & Church Workers Conference held in August 2021 at Calvary Chapel Honolulu, HI. Click here to learn more about the conference. IF KARYN IS THE LAST OF OUR SUMMARIES SHOULD WE CHANGE THIS PARA FROM FOLLOW TO SOMETHING LIKE LAST OF OUR SUMMARIES?

In this (final??) installment, Karyn Johnson, wife of Jeff Johnson, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA, shares her insights with the women at the conference. She teaches from the Book of Judges, comparing the cycles of sin in Israel to our own times. Karyn also encouraged the women to use their gifts to make a difference in their churches.

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The Book of Judges has 21 chapters highlighting 12 cycles or periods of how the children of Israel would prosper, then sin, then go back into the world when they did what was right in their own eyes. This went on for 300 years, and they just didn’t learn. Sounds like today!

Israel was ruled by the judges in that time, and Deborah, a woman, was the fourth judge. In Judges 5, she wrote this beautiful song about how God had delivered the people of Israel from their enemies (described in Chapter 4:1-3) when the previous judge, Ehud, had died, and Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So God sold them to Jabin, king of Canaan. Jabin and his general, Sisera, had 900 chariots of iron and harshly opposed Israel for 20 years.

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Deborah was a judge, a wife, a prophetess, who ruled outside under palm trees. She was a no-nonsense type of judge. She gets to the point and seizes the moment. As our board of pastors’ wives were helping with planning for Kay Smith’s [memorial], we talked about how Kay was a Deborah, a no-nonsense kind of person, too.

In verse 6 of Chapter 4, Deborah sends for Barak, the commander of the Israeli army. She asked him if he didn’t think that God wanted him to go against Sisera and that God would deliver him. This was more of a statement, and Barak says, ‘Yeah, OK, all right. I’ll go, but you must go with me.’ We don’t know if Barak was weak, a wimp. Maybe he thought that Deborah was like the Ark of the Covenant; maybe if he would have Deborah go in front of the army, he could win.

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In verse 9, Deborah says, “OK, I’ll go, but the glory will go to a woman—and not to you, Barak.” Ten thousand Israeli troops defeat Sisera and he runs away, a true coward. He goes to hide in a tent, and the woman Jael offers to hide him. When he wants to take a little nap, she says, “Let me get you a little blankie.” He asks for water, but she gives him milk and he falls asleep. She’s no wimp. She has strong arms because she has put up many tents. She finds the hammer and the peg, walks slowly to him, puts the peg on his temple, and whack! All our husbands say that the peg was the last thing that ever went through his mind. And the glory of the war went to Jael, a woman.

So that’s the back story of the two women, Deborah and Jael. Judges 5 records Deborah’s beautiful song describing life in Israel at this time.

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In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then there was war in the gates; not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. Judges 5:6b-9

There was great fear in Israel. Farms were deserted, no growing of crops. People stayed home and there was no public worship. Karyn made the comparison to her own time. “This is where I live, in Los Angeles County,” she stated. “This is how it was during the pandemic, when everything ceased.” One time Jeff and Karyn drove to a certain place and were the only ones on the road. “It was the most insane thing. How did the government get so much control in such a short period of time? Fear, great fear. And there still is great fear.”

When Barak went to war against Sisera, the children of Israel were not in unity with one another. Only a few tribes went to war. The tribe of Rueben had great conversation, but they didn’t go. Dan stayed in the ships. Asher just wanted to stay at the beach. Karyn noted that it sounded like the Los Angeles (LA) churches: with 5 CCA churches in LA during the pandemic, there was hardly any unity at all with the churches.

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When you live in fear, the first thing that happens spiritually is that you lose discernment. If the Holy Spirit is not speaking to you, and you’re not living by faith, you have lost discernment. Your opinion becomes the “truth.” Many people have their own opinions about what’s going on in the world today. Many churches closed. Ours stayed open, and boy, were we persecuted—by Christians—because we left our doors open, she stated.

Mike McClure of Calvary Christian Fellowship in San Jose, CA, and our church and school were fined. The issues were masks/no masks, shot/no shot, six feet away/not six feet away. “The calls that went into the health department about our school came from members of my own family, from parents in our own school, because we would not enforce masks,” Karyn specified.

There is no fear greater—nothing shoots the heart with terror more—than losing your health. “And that’s what the government has over us,” warned Karyn. “How does terrorism work? Terrorists are unpredictable, you never know what they will do to you. They have us because we don’t know what’s coming next.”

The two women, Deborah and Jael, made a difference to the whole country, and caused the war to stop. Then there was peace in Israel for 40 years. These women were examples of how to serve using just the gifts God had given them.

“We’re pastors’ wives,” expressed Karyn. “So many things have ceased to exist in our churches, and we’ve been paralyzed from it. Really, it’s more like a stun gun. We were stunned. We didn’t know what to do. We’re getting our bearings back now. What do we do? We can do what God has gifted us to do. We can start doing the things we used to do, or new things.”

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Karyn pondered what they could do as women in their churches: “We think about Kay and what she taught us: Love the Lord, your husband and family, and the people of your church. How do we do that?” Karyn answered with four actions from Acts 2:42: stay in the Word, in fellowship, in prayer, and in communion.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

She also stated that our fellowships need to be churches of prayer. And women are to use what God has given them to start again in ministry, with women’s Bible studies, fellowships, Ladies Night Out events, and so on. “We need to get back,” encouraged Karyn, “We need to mother the ladies in our church.” Lastly, we need to ask God for wisdom. “These are very difficult days,” she affirmed.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Karyn added that all pastors’ wives should mark James 3:17 in their Bibles: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

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Visit the website of (what is segway here do we mention Karyn or just Jeff Johnson) Pastor Jeff Johnson's church at Calvary Chapel Downey

Watch Karyn Johnson's teaching in its entirety at: Karen Johnson / CCA Hawaii Conference
                  

Follow summaries of teachings at CCA Hawaii Conference:
Ron Hindt, senior pastor of Calvary Houston, TX
Bud Stonebraker, senior pastor of South Shore Christian Fellowship, Waimanalo, HI
Jeff Johnson, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA
Jack Abeelen, senior pastor of Morningstar Christian Chapel, Whittier, CA
Tony Clark, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Newport News, VA
Lloyd Pulley, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, NJ
Ed Taylor, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Aurora, CO
Don McClure, Calvary Way Ministries, CA
Dave Johnston, Calvary Chapel Conejo Valley, Newbury Park, CA

NOTE TO GAIL add crosslinks for Jean and Karyn pending order we publish each

This sentence to be removed after last person... Stay tuned for more teaching summaries in upcoming days.
                  

Mark your calendar for the 2022 CCA Hawaii Conference: August 19-21 at Calvary Chapel Honolulu

 

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2022 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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