Hello, readers of my mother’s blog! 🙂 My name is Kelsey
–it’s nice to meet all of you!I’m 21 years old and live at home with my wacky and lovely family, where I do most of the cooking/baking/grocery shopping (does anyone else like to grocery shop? I seriously LOVE it. To my mom, that makes me a freak of nature :), as well as other tasks to help my family. I also nanny once a week for a family of 3 little boys who I adore
, and work sporadically part-time for a family friend who owns a business, cleaning new construction (think cement dust and sawdust). And there are many other things that keep me busy day-to-day. But the thing I want to be known for, the thing that really defines me and that I want to impact others with, is that God gave His Son to redeem my life from destruction, and make me His child. That is my identity, and I am nothing without Him. I truly desire my whole life to reflect my gratitude and love for Him, but I often fail, which is why my favorite attribute of God is His unending PATIENCE.
The posts I will be sharing with you, at least initially, are from a young ladies’ Bible study I hosted last year, therefore they were meant for young unmarried girls, but my mom felt they were still applicable to all her readers, no matter their stage in life. I certainly don’t claim to have any special insights, or to be perfected in these things–these are simply the challenges and thoughts God placed on my heart as I studied my Bible, read some good books, and learned about the lives of “heroes of the faith” last summer. I hope the posts are helpful to you as you also seek to know Him and be like Him.
MAKING WISE CHOICES (Part 1)
What do I want to be remembered for?
Jim Elliot. Amy Carmichael. Britney Spears. Amy Vest. Daniel of the lions’ den.
Who doesn’t belong in this group?
They all have something in common. What is it?
They are all known for, or because of, the choices they made.
Jim Elliot…didn’t back down from hard choices. He was very talented at acting and speaking. In school he was told he should become an actor. He decided instead to become a missionary. And, for 5 years, he chose mission work over the girl he loved (Elisabeth), because he felt that was God’s leading.
Amy Carmichael…was born into a well-off family, but ministered to a group of poor, lower-class mill girls (known as “Shawlies” because they wore shawls instead of hats). She also chose singleness, which her biographers tell us was not an easy choice.
Amy Vest…was terrified of speaking in public. I remember seeing her get up to give testimonies at a discipleship group years ago, and she would be shaking like a leaf, literally; her whole body, including her face, was shaking. But she was up there, consistently, to give testimonies of the Lord’s work in her.
Daniel…chose to stand alone and follow God rather than man, first by refusing to eat the King’s food, and then by continuing to pray daily, openly, against the King’s decree.
Britney Spears…was raised in a Southern Baptist church and grew up singing in the church choir, but she chooses to live her life for herself and to have an unbelievably sensual and immodest image.
Elisabeth Elliot says: “The greater the potential for good, the greater the potential for evil.” In other words, they could’ve each made different choices which would’ve led them down a totally different path. (For example, Jim Elliot could have become a rich and famous actor, or Britney Spears could’ve decided to become a missionary to Africa.)
These people didn’t start making good/bad choices the day they were faced with a lions’ den or a record contract. Their big choices were based on their daily choices—the small, unseen, heart and attitude choices. Our little choices impact our lives, and God sees them even if no one else does.
So, what happened as a result of these people’s choices?
Jim Elliot was martyred by a jungle tribe, along with 4 other men, and left behind his wife of 3 years, Elisabeth, and a baby girl. This may seem like a hopeless tragedy, but God works all things for good to those who love Him: The biggest magazine at that time did a 10-page cover article on the story, and numerous books written and movies made since then continue to touch thousands of people today. Many in the tribe, even several of the murderers, were saved through the witness of the families of the martyrs.
Amy Carmichael was mother (“Amma”) to about 700 girls in India. The safe-house for girls that she founded, Dohnavur Fellowship, still exists today. She had an accident that kept her bedridden for the last 20 years of her life, but she used even that time to encourage others, and most of her incredible books (which I highly recommend, especially “IF”) were written during this time.
There was a story told by one of the teachers at Dohnavur about a girl whom Amy chose to be her personal helper, as she lay weak and bedridden. The teacher saw that the girl was lazy and inept, and she asked Amy why she didn’t pick a different girl who would be of more assistance. Amy said, “No one else wants her, but I want her to feel that someone does.”
Amy Vest recently spoke to over 600 women and girls at a conference, and has personally impacted, inspired and challenged many girls, including me, through her speaking.
Daniel faced some immediate “bad” results from his choice but God protected him and worked it out for good. The entire kingdom saw God’s power through Daniel, and were actually commanded to pray to the Lord.
Britney Spears is a depressed and desperate young woman. The fact that she is one of the most famous singers of all time doesn’t change that. She has had many problems in her life, such as drug addictions and failed marriages, including one that lasted only 55 hours. Her clothes, attitude and music are increasingly immodest and ungodly and are a corrupting influence on her generation.
CHOICES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Rachel Scott and Cassie Bernall were two of the students killed in the ColumbineHigh School shooting back in 1999.
17-year-old Rachel Scott had a reputation for standing alone for Christ at her school. She was known for her kindness to strangers and those who were different than her. She was also bold in sharing her faith, and confronting others who were going down the wrong path.
When Eric Harris, one of the Columbine shooters and her fellow-student at the school, put a gun to her head and asked her if she believed in God, she said, “You know I do.”
Here is a quote from her diary:
“I have no more personal friends at school. But you know what? I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus. I am not going to justify my faith to them, and I am not going to hide the light that God has put into me. If I have to sacrifice everything, I will. I will take it. If my friends have to become my enemies for me to be with my best friend Jesus, then that’s fine with me.”
Cassie Bernall was also 17, she also had a gun put to her head with the question, “Do you believe in God?” and she also said yes.
But I recently read a book that talked about Columbine, and I learned some things about Cassie Bernall’s history that I didn’t know before.
Several years before her death, she had been a very different person. She was involved in witchcraft and drugs, and wanted to kill her own parents. Her parents fortunately saw what was happening to their daughter, and moved the whole family to another state, away from the bad influences of Cassie’s friends. She was resistant and full of hate.
But then Cassie got saved and her whole life changed. Now she wanted to help and encourage others instead of hurting them. This quote from her diary is even more powerful knowing what the Lord brought her out of.
“Now I have given up on everything else. I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought Him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with Him. So, whatever it takes I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.”
Am I willing to make the hard choices to follow/serve the Lord?
Am I able to?
Have you read the book “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris? It is a very challenging book, and I encourage you to read it.
One of the things that hit me while reading it was that I need to build up the character and strength of conviction to be able to do the right thing even when it’s hard. If we have lived our life saying “it’s just a little thing—why make a big deal out of it? I’ll just take the easy route,” will we have the guts to do the right thing–the hard thing–when it is required of us? And does “the easy route” bring God any glory whatsoever?
We need to commit to doing the hard thing every day, every time.
For example, some of my little, hard, character-building things are: putting my music away after I play piano; keeping my room clean; exercising; choosing to turn on Godly music instead of the radio; and giving someone a tract when I wouldn’t normally. (I’ve gotten myself used to giving cashiers and waiters tracts, but when God tells me to give a tract to someone who is sitting on a bench waiting, who I wouldn’t normally have any contact with, I think, “But, Lord, they’ll think I’m WEIRD!” 🙂
We must kill the flesh!
1 Peter 2:11, 9-10
“Our choices form habits, habits form our character, our character forms our life, and our life becomes our legacy.”
“Our choices while we are young make the foundation for the rest of our life….our life is made up of all the little choices we make.” –Amy Vest
further reading about women who made wise choices: