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Making Wise Choices--Part 1: Guest Post by Kelsey

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Making Wise Choices--Part 1: Guest Post by Kelsey

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Making Wise Choices--Part 1: Guest Post by Kelsey

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?
Luke 17:32
Heb. 11

Jim Elliot.  Amy Carmichael.  Britney Spears.  Amy Vest. Daniel of the lions' den.

(*Amy Vest--a friend who heads up a girls' ministry:  Loving the Lord Ministries)

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.
Ps. 90:8

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 Columbine High 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!
Romans 13:14
1 Peter 2:11, 9-10
Ephesians 4:21-27

“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:
-Kelsey  :o)

Come back next week for
Part 2 of "Making Wise Choices"!




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13 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

This is so true....what wonderful insights, Kelsey! I'm going to have my girls come back and read this :)

August 18, 2010 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger ROBERT LLOYD RUSSELL said...

Great post about the realism of true Christian living.
Some of your readers may be interested in a brand new book with Jim Elliot's own words! "JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks To You" - I had the privilege of editing his old recordings.

August 18, 2010 at 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Rebekah Sather said...

A very encouraging article to start my day with. Thanks, Kelsey! :)

- Rebekah

August 18, 2010 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Redeemed1 said...

Very true! An excellent post.
Oh, and I love grocery shopping too!

August 18, 2010 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Mikaela said...

Mrs. Gunn, I just visited your blog because Kelsey gave me the link--it looks fabulous!
And Kelsey--I just learned so much about you I never knew! I was thrilled to learn a little bit more about your day-to-day life and the insight God has given you. This article was full of wisdom from the Lord!

August 18, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kelsey - that was a great word. It's extremely wise to note the lives of faithful people and the outcome of their lives vs. those who reject God or go the way of the world. I have read DHT, too, and it was a very motivating book.

- Lydia L.

August 18, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you, Mikaela, for stopping by! Kelsey talks about your blog all the time! I'm so glad that you were able to get to know her a little better and hope you will feel welcome here and visit often!
Blessings,
Mrs. Gunn

August 18, 2010 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Mr. Russell,
Your book looks like something we would be very interested in reading, and I appreciate your sharing the information here with me and my readers!
Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
Blessings,
Wendy

August 18, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Lisa and Lydia,
Thanks for the comments!! Love to hear from you and thanks for the positive feedback. I agree that it's good to compare the lives of those who've chosen to go away from the Lord vs. those who have followed Him in obedience, sacrificing even their own lives as martyrs. And Rebekah, I agree it is encouraging. I'm so glad that Kelsey shared these insights with us.
Jessica, I can't believe you also love grocery shopping! Good for you! Part of the reason I stay out of grocery stores is to save money in this budget item!! The fewer times I'm in a grocery store during the month, the lower our grocery bill!:-)
Wendy

August 18, 2010 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Thank you Rebekah, Mrs. L. and Lydia! You guys are so sweet.
I know, Lydia, isn't Do Hard Things good? It definitely challenged me.

Thank you for your comment, Mr. Russell! I will absolutely look into the book--it sounds excellent.

Redeemed1,
Yay! I'm not the only one! (And isn't it a useful thing to love doing?) :)

Hey Mikaela! Thanks for stopping by! Haha, I know, you or Lauren and I have "talked" about a lot of issues and topics but not really about everyday life! I think that's a wonderful thing about sisters in Christ--we can skip right over the small-talk and dig into the deeper stuff!

August 18, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Kelsey,

I really enjoyed reading your post! Thank you so much for sharing this. Making the right choices and considering God in one's choices is so important. He has an amazing plan for us and will always guide us towards making the right choice.

I love, love, love grocery shopping. Whenever I am in a new place, I can spend probably an hour just running up and down isles trying to see what things I can find, which items I don't know, what I think I need to try ... I love finding new ingredients for my cooking. It's just so much fun!

I look forward to your second post on choices. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
Blessings,
Kate

August 19, 2010 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Shonda said...

Hi Kelsey, you are wise beyond words!

August 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I love your blog, Mrs. Gunn, and your vibrant encouragement! Thanks so much! And thank you for this post, Kelsey! It was such a great inspiration to me, and so wonderful to hear from your perspective! I have been listening to the True Women Conference messages lately, and John Piper's is one of my favorites! But then, they are all good. One important last thing: I, too, enjoy grocery shopping.(-;

August 20, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

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Hi and welcome to my blog! Come on in and make yourself at home! I love connecting. Comments are the way to do that! Tell me about yourself. Please connect back, ok?
Blessings,
Wendy
If you would rather, my email address is faithsfirmfoundation(at)embarqmail(dot)com

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