Following Where He Leads

 

“The British are coming, the British are coming.”  It is one of the best known call to arms in all history. It was a call to war, a call to fight, to gather with the other soldiers against the enemy. But, most importantly, it was a call to follow the general wherever he led them in a pursuit of freedom for all people.

Throughout history, there have been numerous amounts of call to arms. However, the call of the Lord to his people is the most important. He’s called each of us to a specific task – one that has been planned out before the beginning of time. Yes. He calls you. He calls me. And, he calls us to aid Him in the spread of His gospel to all the nations – to join Him in His mission and to follow Him wherever He leads.

He calls us all in many different ways and times as well as for different tasks. The Lord opened my eyes to the great need for the Gospel around the world, even at an early age. He instilled in me a desire for every tribe and nation to know and praise Him forever. Through reading missionary stories as well as praying for the nations with my family, I was constantly reminded that not everyone had had the chance to hear about Jesus. Even though I didn’t know how I was to serve God, I knew it was His will that I was supposed to follow Him.

In God’s perfect time, He placed someone in my life that would help me get started in the exploration of what the Lord would have me do for Him.

It all started in an amusement park. No, I’m not joking. We were surrounded by people, roller coasters, noise, food, and just craziness in general. But, the Lord can use anyone, anywhere for His plans – even a young lady at an amusement park. This young lady was visiting the park with us and she and I happened upon a conversation about what she did for work. She happily informed me that she was a missionary pilot-mechanic. I was intrigued as I listened and talked with her about it, delighted to discuss and learn about what God was doing through pilots all around the world as they flew missionaries to parts of the world that were previously inaccessible. This experience ignited my passion for following Him in His mission once again as I looked into what it would be like to become a missionary pilot.

I pursued this new interest with passion, believing that it was what God had called me to do. After attending a week-long summer camp at JAARS, NC, where I was able to explore what it would be like to fly airplanes, create a flight plan, work with airplane engines, and much more, I came home extremely excited. It seemed as if this was just what God wanted and that I was right on track for what he wanted me to do.

However, over time, as I thought about it, I realized that I was not entirely suited for flying as a missionary pilot. As an extrovert, it would be very difficult for me to fly for hours, on most occasion, by myself. That, along with my growing interest in medicine, and a few other factors, caused me to start to doubt whether being a missionary pilot was really how God had called me to serve Him.

This left me confused and bewildered. Why had God led me to explore being a pilot if that wasn’t what He was calling me to? I felt like I was betraying my passion and abandoning His call on my life. I didn’t understand why I was suddenly feeling called to something else. The problem was, no matter how hard I tried to leave the idea of medical missions, it just kept coming back. This doubt was aided by the fact that my dad was encouraging me to look into medical missions, knowing my personality and what I’d most likely better be suited to do. I tried to figure it out, reason what was going on. But I just couldn’t. Confused and lost, I ended up giving it to God – what I should’ve done in the first place – trusting Him that He would lead me. Yes, I didn’t understand, but He would work things out. I was only in eighth grade after all. I didn’t have to have everything planned out perfectly. He would bring to light, in His perfect time, what His call on my life would be.

As the years went on and I got older, I developed my interests and pursued things that I found that I enjoyed. One of these things that I found was writing. I discovered that writing – both non-fiction as well as fiction – could impact people for the gospel. So, I started a blog this blog, whose theme was the spread of the gospel, educating others about missions, and my journey as I explored God’s call on my life.

Continuing to pursue the passion that God had given me at that time, I eventually ended up planning and starting to write a novel. Even though it was a fictional work, I was overjoyed by the fact that I was able to instill biblical truths into it. Mainly, the truth that our pain will be turned to joy through Christ – that pain is not worthless. I realized that stories were able to teach others about Jesus, too – reaching even people that might not be open to listening to someone talk about Jesus.

And that brings me to where I am today. I am currently pursuing publishing for my novel, Author Rights, while at the same time, trusting God for where He will lead. I don’t exactly know how my current interests will play out in His call on my life, but I do know that He is able and willing to use what He has given me to make an impact on the world for Him. So, I will answer the call to arms, willing to fight for Him, following where he leads.

Hold On To God’s Vision for Missions | The Rebelution

Dear fellow missionary kids,

We’re on a mission. We have a goal. A task to complete.

Or do we? Many times, it seems as if we aren’t working to achieve this goal. We get bogged down. Forgetful. The enemy uses the troubles of this life to make us lose sight of the prize for which we’re fighting for so hard. We take our eyes off the goal–off the prize.

I must be honest, I have done this so many times. It’s sad. So often, I have forgotten why my family lives away from our original home. I lose sight of what God has called us to do.

However, it is important that we never lose sight of this. We need to remember why we are here. Why we’re not at home with our friends, in places that we love, in places that are familiar.

When we cry at night, wanting so badly to see our loved ones and our hearts ache oh so desperately for home, we need to remember what was so important to uproot our families and make us leave behind almost everything we knew. We need God to refill us with his Spirit so that we might complete the task he has set before us.

So what is this mission we’ve been given? You see, If we don’t even know what our task is, how are we to keep our eyes on it?

 

The rest of this post can be found here: Hold On To God’s Vision for Missions on The Rebelution

Toddlers and Our Dirty Hands | Isabelle Ingalls

“Bell-wup, Bell-wup!” my little brother calls, his toddler feet pattering across the wooden floor. Almost four and talking so well, yet my name has retained its babyish suffix. “I have dirty hands!” he proclaims sadly, holding them up for me to see. So I’ll help him up onto his stool in front of the sink, turning on the water and providing soap at the correct times.

But I sigh good-naturedly as I do so. Because this is the third time he’s done the exact same thing in fifteen minutes. And each and every time, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find anything on his hands. There’s no dirt. There’s no mud. There’s no smudges. He’s been playing with a mask, so maybe he brushed some glitter off, but even that I cannot see.

Yet he’s insistent that his hands are dirty. And if his hands are dirty, he knows they need to be washed.

Now, a toddler wanting to be continuously cleaned isn’t a big deal (in fact, I should probably be thankful, because the next little one will likely be the exact opposite). I’ll laugh at him and let him splash around and delight in the water that flows so freely out of the tap. But he’s not the only one who gets messy.

Because my hands are often dirty too. Not with physical dirt and germs, but with sin. With mistakes. With wrongs.

And yes, we know we all sometimes slip and land in the mud, the mire coming up to our elbows. We know we need to be washed then. But often it’s the little dirt that we pass over. I tell a little white lie (as if such a thing exists). I allow my anger to make me snap out, to just cross that line for a moment. I cut those corners because I just don’t feel like it today. I slip into gossip and condemnation. But we don’t see those as big deals. If someone else looked, they couldn’t really see it. But it’s still there. We still feel it. We still know our hands are dirty. Yet we allow it.

“It’s not a big deal,” we tell ourselves. “It’s just something little; I don’t need to go wash.” But that’s not true. We all know what happens when we don’t scrub our hands with soap and water. Germs and dirt build up and creep in. They start to make you sick, affecting every part of your body. Your strength is weakened; your energy is sapped. If that’s true with the physical, how much more so with the spiritual? When we allow sin to cling, its stench can start spreading to everything else.

Fortunately, the blood of Christ is the best cleanser there is.

The cross isn’t just for our big mirey disgusting sins, it’s for all of them––because in God’s eyes, all of them are. His renewing isn’t just for Sunday morning and revival tents, it’s also for Wednesday woes and backseat bickering. We can’t come to him too often. There’s never an over amount of cleansing. Three times in fifteen minutes isn’t too often to wash yourself. We need Him every hour, every moment, every breath.

Yes, some days it seems like the need to return to His cleansing flow, again and again, is endless. If you’ve never had one of those days, then you’re either a saint or have never worked with children. Or siblings. Or just people in general.

But that’s okay. Because He calls us to come. Come and laugh in His love, rejoice in His forgiveness, delight in the living water that flows so freely. Douse yourself daily in His grace, come ever to the fount of all goodness.

We’re just little children, lisping out our pleas to our Lord. But when we come to Him, crying Abba, holding out our dirty hands, He gently leads us to the fountain and cleanses them Himself.

 

Isabelle Ingalls is a 20-year old writer seeking to see the reminder and reflection of Christ’s glorious Gospel in all of life. As a homeschool graduate, when she’s not writing, you can find her working with children, singing and dancing around the house, and discussing theology with friends over hot chocolate. A writer for both The Rebelution and Top Christian Books, she shares on singleness, adoption, Narnia, thunderstorms, stories, and Christian Living at her blog Seeing Everything Else.

Pondering Proverbes – Proverbs 4:23

 

Above all else, guard your hear, for it is the wellspring of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23

We guard many different things in life – our money, our family, our pride. But, there is one thing that we sometimes forget to guard: our heart. When we let the things of this world pollute our lives and our heart, we can no longer shine His light to others the way God wants us to.

 Some of the ways that we can keep our hearts pure is by listening to music that pleases God, watching appropriate things, reading books that doesn’t use foul language, and spending time with people that will point us to Him.

And, I know I seem to say this every time, but in order to keep our hearts pure we need to be, daily, in the word of God as well as praying. How can we shine His light and pour out His love the world if we aren’t, daily, renewed by the Spirit?

3 Reasons Why We Need to Learn About Missions

 

Missions. This is a word that we hear only once in awhile at most churches. We might have a missions conference for a few weeks once a year where we will talk about what God is doing throughout the world, but we don’t hear about it much more than that. So is it important that we learn about missions? And, if so, why is it important?

1. It is God’s Heart

God loves the Nations. It is His mission that they know and glorifying Him. This is His heart – that we may know His love and grace through Jesus Christ and thus glorifying him through our thoughts, words, and actions. 

2. It is God’s Mission for the Church – Thus Our Responsibility

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20a

So, if this is God’s heart (and He has given this mission to His church) we, as a church, should not shirk this responsibility that God has graciously entrusted to us.

Think of it this way, God has given us, imperfect human beings, the opportunity, challenge, and ability to carry out part of His perfect plan for the world. What an amazing and huge privilege!

If this is His mission for us, it should be at the forefront of our minds – not stuffed in the corner to be pulled out every year when missions conference time comes around.

3. We Need to Know How to Accomplish This Mission

Now we know that missions is God’s heart and He has gifted us with this responsibility, but how are we supposed to do something without knowing what it is or how to do it?

Are we all supposed to go across the world and tell people about Jesus? What exactly is missions anyway? What can I, as a student or young person, do? I can’t just drop everything and leave!

No, not everyone is called to leave their home and preach the gospel around the world. Maybe, some of us will go when we graduate, but most of us will stay and serve the Lord where we are.

Even as students, there is plenty to keep us busy! We can learn about God’s mission for the world and pray for those who have never heard. We can also encourage those who are on the field by praying for them, by sending them letters of encouragement, and by welcoming them when they return, making them feel at home, and by listening to what they have to say when they come to visit.

Also, as a side note, we can learn from and be encouraged by the missionaries who have lived and worked on the field. It is amazing to see the ways that God has used them for His kingdom. My faith has been strengthened and my vision renewed every time I talk to missionaries.

I want to challenge you today to not just walk away from this post and forget about it. I want to challenge you to learn about God’s great plan to glorify Himself through missions and to pray for those who have not heard the gospel and are living in darkness.

 

Pondering Proverbs – Proverbs 3:3

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart. ~ Proverbs 3:3
As Christians, we need to let the love of Christ permeate our lives so that others can see Him in us. We need to bind them (His words) around our necks – every day being in the Word of God and letting it change us. Also, we need to write His Word on our hearts by memorizing it and meditating on it. Then, we can, through Christ, love others as He has loved us.

Pondering Proverbs – Proverbs 2:6

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” ~ Proverbs 2:6

Today, where do we, as a nation and as individuals, look for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding? Too often, we go to our friends, to Google,  or to Siri, to everything except where we need to go. This verse tells us that we need to go to God and His Word. He is perfect, so we can trust Him to always be true and right. He’s loving and we know that He will always do what’s best for us and what will bring Him glory – even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. 

 
 
 
 

Pondering Proverbs – Proverbs 1:33

 

But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. – Proverbs 1:33

At first glance, Proverbs appears to be a ‘do this and this will happen’ type of book. Well, in a way, it is. But, in other ways, it isn’t. It is not guaranteed that if you follow the Lord, your life will be perfect. We’re actually guaranteed the opposite.

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:12

“‘If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours…'” ~ John 15:18-20

However, through those hardships, if we trust God and remember that He knows what is best for us, we don’t have to live in fear. Not because we don’t have struggles, but because we trust in Him who loves us dearly and is more powerful and wonderful than we can ever imagine.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

 
 

Introducing Pondering Proverbs

So, I’ve been away for way too long from this space. Lots of schoolwork and story writing can do that!  However, I’ve also been working on a great new series called Pondering Proverbs

I am super excited for this new series and I hope that you will be too.  So, let’s find out what Pondering Proverbs is going to be like. 

WHO: I wrote the devotionals to accompany Proverbs.  They are meant for me and for YOU.

WHAT: One (in some cases two) verse(s) from a chapter in Proverbs and a short devotional about them.  The first week’s verse will be from the first chapter, the second week’s verse from the second chapter, etc.

WHEN: Once every Tuesday for thirty-one weeks

WHERE: Right here! At For His Great Name.

WHY: Proverbs is such a wonderful book of wisdom.  I feel like we sometimes just skim over as we read the book…proverb after proverb after proverb and we don’t always (or at least in my case) take the time to stop and think about what God is trying to teach us.

HOW: Through the internet, but, if you want to, you can email me any question and/or comments at alyssa@forhisgreatname.org and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

I hope to see you all here next Tuesday for our first verse!

 

 
 

C.S. Lewis Quotes – #5

If you have missed any of the previous quotes, you can find them here.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.  C.S Lewis Quotes – #1

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one. C.S. Lewis Quotes – #2

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. C.S Lewis Quotes – #3

He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less. C.S. Lewis Quotes – #4

 

So, what is humility? Well, C. S. Lewis will help us think about that …

Reflections: I really like this quote because it reminds us that to be humble we don’t need to make ourselves look bad or tell ourselves we’re awful. It just doesn’t work that way. 

Being humble means that we change our perspective of life and it is a process. As we become more like Christ, we slowly stop always looking inwards and start to look outwards, watching for ways we can help and serve others instead of ourselves. 

For His Great Name
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