Am I Worth It?

Tattoo-It-On-Your-Heart-Rachael-M-Colby-Am -I-Worth-ItI cried when my friend Cherrilynn asked me to go to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. There was no way I could go! I had wanted to for three years, but the timing was wrong, the money wasn’t there, and how could I leave my husband and two teen boys, one of whom just became our foster son, to fend for themselves? Besides, I was sure my husband would never say yes. So I didn’t ask. 

“Just praying and doing the One-Day-at-a-Time Sweet Jesus 🎵 thing,” I told my editor friend. “So much to write. So much drama and distraction. Sure wish I could run away for a few days to Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. Well—🎵 Hallelujah Anyhow.🎵 Thy will Lord—in Your strength.”

Then Cherrilynn called two days before departure and asked again if I would go with her to the conference. 

The thought of attending a writers conference with all those amazing people and accomplished writers terrified me! Who am I to go?

God makes no duplicates so why compare yourself? 

Shouldn’t I have a several thousand page book written first to justify the expense and inconvenience to others? I have a couple children’s picture book manuscripts but… Am I worth it? Am I worth investing in? What if I fail? 

Our worth is not defined by ourselves, others, or by our performance, but by Christ’s investment in us, His precious blood spent and His love for us. That makes us priceless. And it is He who bestows gifts on each of us for His glory and to help others. 

I don’t doubt God’s calling on my life to write, but sometimes I doubt myself. I fear quitting. Remember in the Grinch when the townspeople are all shouting at him?  “You don’t belong there!” echoed in my mind. Continue reading “Am I Worth It?”

Waiting for Perfect (Guest Post on Inkspirations Online)

Rachael_M_Colby_Inkspirations_Online_Waiting_for_Perfect

I was waiting for perfect, but it never showed up. So I decided I’d better start the journey without it. I thought I needed to be the perfect Christian, wife, mom, have the perfect family, and coin the perfect phrases. Then I’d have something to say. Then God could use my writing. I mean, who am I?

But it’s not about who I am; it’s about… Continue reading “Waiting for Perfect (Guest Post on Inkspirations Online)”

One

“Everything in me wants to quit right now,” she said.

“You can’t. Not- an- option. That would be flushing all your hard work, and turning your back on the gift God gave you.”

“Suddenly I question everything, especially my abilities as a writer, and I just want to turn and run the other way…”

“You think you have battles now? Remember, there is no armor in the back, so if you turn tail you are more exposed than ever to the enemy. Regret is a miserable bedfellow. It’s harder in the end to go in the opposite direction God’s headed, which is forward.”

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

 Trending

My friend complained that certain media is just propaganda.

“(They) set algorithm to trend only hate and propaganda. The Gospel or anything positive never trends,” she said. “If you watch trending lines, you can tell it’s being manipulated. It’s so negative. We Christians, or positives thoughts, are being pushed off.”

There’s a lot of bad in the media, and in the world. And it’s all pretty trendy. I can pay attention to that and let it discourage, distract and derail me, or I can seize the opportunity to promote good and encourage others.

The Gospel has never been trendy, but it still gets its work done— one by one. Jesus only had 12 apostles and not nearly as many followers as Rome, or the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of the day. And even Jesus’ few followers deserted Him for a time, but that didn’t stop the Gospel.

Your worth is in Christ, not in others. Even if men revered you- what is that compared to the King of Kings and  Lord of Lords calling you His own and loving you?

Never mind what others are doing. Focus on what God is doing and what He has for you to do.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

The Sound of Crickets

“…I know my writing is amateur. I know all these things, but it’s still frustrating putting words out into the world to the sound of crickets….” she said.

If God has called you to a task shouldn’t you get to it?

The only real failure is quitting when we are called to carry on. All else is just the learning on the road to success.

“Lord, You are life giving Living Water. Encourage Your weary word warriors. Refresh our world worn souls.”

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. II Corinthians 4:1 (NKJV)

I believe God created us with the desire to be a part of something greater than ourselves, to do something that matters. Fulfillment is found in Jesus, and purpose, when we follow Him and find our calling and use our talents to glorify Him and serve others.

I am called to scatter the seed of the Gospel through His Word and the words God gives me, to lift up Jesus’ name and honor Him. I write for the one and The One. I let God decide what to do with it. The good shepherd leaves the 99 to rescue the one lost sheep. So, even if my words only impact a few, what matters is that I obey God by sharing His truth from the platform He gives me. It’s worth it for the one who hears and follows Jesus. You are one. I am one.

And if my words impact many, I must remember it is:

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” Says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6  NKJV

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. I Corinthians 3:7 (NKJV)

Small Potatoes

A friend recently referred to her writer website as “small potatoes.” Let me tell you a story.

Dwight was only four years old when his father died, leaving his mother to raise his family of nine children on their farm in Northfield, MA. His formal education ended in fifth grade. He moved to Boston at 17 years old where his uncle hired him to work in his shoe store, under the condition he attend services at Mt. Vernon Congregational Church. On April 21st, 1855 his Sunday School teacher, Edward Kimball, took the time to pay a visit to and share the Gospel with the young shoe salesman. Dwight L Moody accepted Jesus as his savior and became one of the leading evangelists of his time. He also founded the Moody ChurchNorthfield Mount Hermon School, the Moody Bible Institute, and Moody Publishers.

Look at the chain reaction of influence and conversions of men who became preachers:

Edward Kimball, volunteer Sunday School teacher ⇨

 

D.L. Moody- “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.” ⇨

FB MEYER.jpg

F.B Meyer- “Let us, therefore, not live in the summer‑house of emotion, but in the central citadel of the will, wholly yielded and devoted to the will of God.” ⇨

Wilbur Chapman- “Anything that dims my vision for Christ, or takes away or cramps me in my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me; and I must, as a Christian turn away from it.”⇨

Billy Sunday- “Stopping at Third adds no more to the score than striking out. It doesn’t matter how well you start if you fail to finish.” ⇨

Mordecai Ham- “When’s the last time you asked God for something that was beyond your ability?”  ⇨

Billy Graham- has preached to more people than anyone else in history.

And it all goes back to a volunteer Sunday School teacher who took time to share the Gospel with one.

Every soul impacted by each of these preachers and each of their converts is the fruit of Mr Kimball’s decision to minister to one.  I wonder who led Mr. Kimball to Christ?

We are tools and seeds in the Master Gardener’s hands. Jesus is the sun shine and the rain that makes the seed grow and bear fruit. I must use what I have for God and leave the results up to Him. That’s enough to keep me busy and blessed till He takes me home.

“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.” – Billy Graham

“When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”- Billy Graham

Remember, it’s by grace.

His grace will take you from the place called, “small potatoes,” to the plans He has for you.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. John 4:34 (NKJV)

RESOURCES

 The Story of the Chain of Conversions of Famous Evangelists.

D.L. Moody

https://www.moody.edu/about/our-bold-legacy/d-l-moody/

Biography: The Life of Dwight L. Moody, by his son, William R. Moody

D. L. Moody books

F.B Meyer

F.B Meyer Books

Wilbur Chapman

Wilbur Chapman books

 Billy Sunday

http://www.billysunday.org/

Billy Sunday books

Mordecai Ham

The Day Billy Graham Found Christ

Billy Graham

https://billygraham.org/

Jesus Saves and Ordinary Farm Boy (Billy Graham’s conversion story)

Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham

Billy Graham books

*Update on My Daughter, Abby’s Mission Trip Here:

She is His https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/blog/

Nepal_Mission_Trip_abbysmission.wordpress.com_A.M_Views_

                                                       A. M. Views, Kathmandu, Nepal   -Abby Colby

**Please Note: I made necessary revisions to my prior post entitled, Happy Birthday America. If you read it beforehand, please take a moment to read the revised version.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Be Wary of Comparing

Be wary of comparing. It’s a wretched road which leads to  self-doubt and discontent. Stop. Look to God.

God withholds no good thing from us. So, to be jealous or discouraged because of someone else’s success is like accusing God of denying or not knowing what’s best for us. It’s an attempt of the heart to mutiny against the Lordship of Christ. God makes the path, sets the pace and wants to patiently, lovingly, bring us to the destiny He has for us.  DSCF8135-002

I understand massive spiritual assaults, like apathy and doubt. Sometimes I’m so exhausted and discouraged I feel like my pen weighs a ton and it’s so hard to pick it up and write. I understand no time, little support, feeling overwhelmed— and procrastination.

I am acutely aware of my inability and shortcomings. And I’m so grateful for Jesus’ guidance and empowerment to overcome.

Others inspire, challenge, and teach me. But Jesus calls me to follow Him, and by His grace, to become the best me I can be for Him.

A lump of clay is of little use until it is yielded to the molding of the potter’s hands. It’s value is determined by who the potter is and his workmanship.

So it is also with us. We are dust, clay- and Jesus is the Potter. Like a lump of clay, our existence lacks significance until we fulfill our purpose. Our first purpose is to know Him; He created us for relationship with Him. We cannot form ourselves into what God’s intent is for us. We are truly nothing on our own.

It’s as we place ourselves in The Master Artist’s hands and let Him work out our imperfections, mold and shape us into the vessel He intends for us to become, that our identity, purpose and value is realized.

God makes no duplicates, so why compare yourself?

God does not judge greatness or reward according to talents and accomplishments, but rather, by the intent of the heart and faithful stewardship to His calling.

There are no insignificant tasks when I am doing what God has called me to.

There is no less than or better than, in God’s eyes- just obedience or disobedience to His will.

You cannot attain anything greater than the destiny God has for you. We are all called to greatness in God.

Jesus is a hands on kind of Maker. We are His workmanship.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Have you allowed the enemies of frustration, doubt and fear to hinder you? What are you going to do about it?

What has God called you to do? Do that. What are your gifts? Don’t doubt them- develop them.

It is my responsibility and God’s desire for me to use my gifts for His glory and to serve others. If I do that, I will have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to be proud of either, because it’s all given  by Him.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Galatians 6:4 (NLT)

So, to my writer friends I say, sit your butt down in the chair, and just write! Just start. Lay one word down on the page and then another and another… Pay Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M-Colby_Wield_Your_Swordattention to your heart and the stress, and the mess, and the blessed around you. It’s all  potential writing material.

There’s a whole hurting, dying world out there waiting for a glimpse of Jesus and his grace and power. Your words can be the window.

Don’t draw back— carry on soldier. Write on. Let’s press the battle to the gates.

Yes, we all have much learning and growing to go. So, “Go!”

(In His grace.) 🙂

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Not Fiddling with Religion

“Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.” – Billy Sunday

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Not_Fiddling_with_ReligionThe preaching of the gospel and salvation of souls is the primary focus and call of the Gospel. It is biblical that all else done in the name of the Church, as representatives of Jesus, should be done with this ultimate purpose in mind.

The Great Commission:                           

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 (NKJV)

Many organizations start out with this focus, but lose it as they get overwhelmed by attempting to meet the the endless physical needs of the people they are serving with their humanitarian work. This is something to be mindful of, so as to stay balanced and faithful to Jesus’ mandate.

The Bible Says:

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36 (NKJV)

But the Gospel is not a buffet. We don’t get to pick and choose what we like in the Bible and ignore the rest. It’s all or nothing; we must ingest the whole thing.

Look:

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (NKJV)

“..and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” James 2:16 (NKJV)

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”  Matthew 25:34-44

Pray, Send, Plant, Establish, Support, Nurture:

Neither our home church, nor Adventures in Missions are organizations with a “drop a bag of rice and run” mentality. But rather, both believe and are are invested  in planting, helping establish, supporting, and nurturing ministries that are dedicated to planting themselves in the nations among the people they are serving. We must seek to serve both the spiritual and physical needs where we are called, with a hand up, not just a hand out.

 We each have different callings and how we fulfill them will play out differently for each of us. It is Biblical to serve first in our home churches and communities, but there are different seasons in which some are called to go; some to stay and send. But even those who stay and send get to go, as the sender is linked by their investment of prayer, finances, and encouragement to every impact the missionary makes for Jesus in the lives of other people.

In July my 18 year old daughter, Abigail, leaves on a month long mission trip for Nepal with Adventures in Missions. In spite of turning 18 and wanting a car, she has chosen to forego a month of pay from her summer job to go and work unpaid serving the Nepali people. I love her heart and her boldness. Abby’s team will need prayer support for their endeavor. As of today, Abigail also still needs to raise another $1,861 for her mission trip.

You can visit her website to learn more, and, if you feel led, there is also a link to donate here: https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/

Or you may go directly to her donations page on The Adventures in Missions website here: https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=partFund&selected=Passport&desc=Abigail%20Colby&appeal_id=COLBYABBY

We must each ask, “What would you have me to do Lord, to be your hands and feet and voice, to demonstrate your love and reach others with the Gospel?”

Tattoo it on your heart. Walk it out in your skin.

*Adventures in Missions is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for US residents.

© 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

**The following two pieces were originally posted on https://abbysmission.wordpress.com/

Why?

by Abigail Colby

“Why?” is a question I hear way too often.

“Why do you want to go on a mission trip so badly?”

“Why do you care?”

I never understand their whys. As a Christian we are commanded to care for people and share God’s love with as many as possible. If I work hard enough I know I can raise enough money to go on a mission trip. Even those out of town outreaches on Saturdays- I don’t have anything to do a lot of Saturdays, so, of course I’m going to go. “Why not?” I find myself saying so often. The opportunity is there, and it makes no sense not to take it.

No, I don’t think I’m too young. There is no such thing as too young to serve in the best way possible and do God’s will for your life.

“Do these things when you’re old enough to appreciate it,” they say.

I know I’m capable of appreciating it now. God has put an overwhelming love in my heart for people now, so why not put it to use now? If I waited until I was older, what would I do now? I’m not waiting until I’m older because I’m capable of making a difference now.

I’m not doing this to have a good experience, or to better myself, but to better other people. Until I have ministered God’s word to people who can give me nothing in return, I have not lived.

“God, please use me now. My life is yours; do as you please with it.”

© Abigail Bethany Colby     abbysmission.wordpress.com/

A Letter from Abby’s Mom

by Rachael M Colby

People ask me, “How can you send your children away?”

“Why do allow your children to go to these far away and dangerous places?”

“Aren’t you afraid? Won’t you miss them?”

Here’s my answer. Yes. But I would Rather give my children to the cause of Christ than have the world steal them away.

There is really nowhere safe in the world anymore. Our older daughter Anna went on a three month mission trip to Kenya in 2013. Her team of thirteen girls was sent to serve in one of the most unattractive and unsafe towns in the country. The terrorist attack took place while they were there- but it took place in one of the nicest and seemingly safest areas.

When Abby went to visit and help out family who are missionaries in Lithuania, we didn’t book her on the lesser known airline which had a day layover in an unstable country. She did reach her destination unharmed. But a few weeks later, it was that same reputable airline that she had traveled on, Lufthansa, that was intentionally crashed by the copilot into the alps, thus killing all on board.  My heart breaks for the people impacted by these tragedies.

So, where is safe? The only safe place is in Christ. We  really just have to be ready. Safe is in the hands and will of Jesus. Safe is a right heart with God.

Which heart should I feed? She is young. She was only 16 when she went to Swaziland and will just have turned 18 when she leaves for Nepal. I am her mom, and I see the pull of the world and our culture. I also see that little bit of edginess and that youthful lust for a little risk, a little adventure. I see her heart for people and for God, that thirst to know God more and to do something that matters. It needs expression somewhere.  So let that expression be found in  the cause of Christ.

I challenged her and asked her in 2015, “Why Swaziland? Why not somewhere closer, cheaper, and safer?”

Her response was, “It seems to be the area of greatest need. And I don’t want to go somewhere easy.”

She could spend the month of July lining her pockets with silver from a summer job and shopping at the mall with friends, or relaxing on the beach… And that would be okay. But instead, in 2015 she chose to go and serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a hand up to a destitute, disease stricken people in the tiny African nation of Swaziland. How could I say no to that?

This Summer, in July 2017, her desire is to go on another month long mission trip. This time it is to Nepal.

I know there are plenty of people that need the Gospel preached to them and their needs met, right here on the home front- and Abby does outreach locally. But who am I to tell Abby, or anyone else, where God is telling them to “Go ye,” if God has laid somewhere on their heart? I held her back for a year the first time.

Here’s to the little girl with the little bit of an edge to her. The little girl with the gumption to reach for a dream and follow her heart for Jesus. I love you Abby.

So, if God speaks to your heart and leads you, go ahead and hit: DONATE

God bless you, and thanks for stopping by.

Abby’s Mom / Rachael

             ©2015, 2017  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

Shut Up, Satan! (Overcoming Writer’s Doubt & the Voices in My Head)

I am participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt, hosted by Bryan Hutchinson of Positive Writer.  To Visit Bryan’s blog and read more entries in this contest click here.

Oh, the angst over writing this essay, and how I have procrastinated. Yes, life is like a steamroller lately, but reasons aren’t excuses, right? For me, writer’s doubt is an everyday wrestling of the mind and soul.

“You’re out of your league. You don’t fit,” he said.

Well, that’s exactly where I need to put myself. If I am to get better and figure out where I’m going, I need to have someone ahead of me who knows the way. Sometimes if something doesn’t fit, it needs trimming, right? Which is why I joined The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and I follow his blog too. Yes, #JerryJenkinsIsMyMentor. I also fill my mind with the doctrine of other writers by following Positive Writer, Writer’s Digest, The Write Life and I’m a member of a local writer’s group. Jerry taught me, “Show, don’t tell.” So, here goes.

“You don’t have what it takes,” the accuser says.

Who God calls, He equips.

“Who is going to read your words? You will never get the attention, the amount of followers, you need to be published.”

For now, I will write for the one heart who is listening and needs to hear what I have to say. “God, give me a word in season for someone.”

“Who do you think you are? You are nobody. You are no Super Woman, Super Christian, mom or wife!”

You are right. But I am Jesus’ nobody, and He specializes in making nobodies into somebodies. What I am is super ordinary. I’m done with waiting for perfect. I am weak, but His strength is made perfect in weakness.

“There are others far greater than you who are qualified to speak.”

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.                           I Corinthians‬ ‭1:26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬  

So, I qualify. “God, breathe on my words; let them be like arrows, piercing hearts and infusing life and hope.”

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.   ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT  

“You don’t have the time. Look how far behind you are, all the other things you have to do. If you put your heart out there, and your children do foolish things, everyone will know what a failure you are. By testifying about Him, you are setting them up as targets. I will attack them.”

“Shut up Satan! I don’t write just to fill pages. I don’t write for myself. This is my legacy for my children. I write for them, to bring glory to God, and so others may know Him. I don’t negotiate with terrorists, and I am not responsible for others’ decisions. I am responsible to obey God and speak the truth.”

“This is hopeless, too hard. Just quit. You can’t attain such lofty goals.”

Jesus, give me a teachable spirit. Help me to hone the craft you have gifted me with. Excelsior! Ever higher! Ad astra per aspera. Through difficulties to the stars, to excellence. With God all things are possible.

“What if you run out of words to say? What if you have started something you can’t finish with this site of yours?”

I won’t pursue inspiration. I will pursue You, Jesus.

As the deer pants after the water brook, so my soul pants after You, oh God.   Psalm 42:1 NKJV    

rachael_m_colby_tattoo_it_on_your_heart_looking_for_inspirarion“Give me words to praise You, Lord; speak to me, so I can speak to them. Jesus, I want to shake the world, show them Your love, and who You are. But I am so small. Here’s my five loaves and two fishes, Lord.”

So, how do I overcome writer’s doubt? I pray; I listen. I obey my calling, and write myself out of it.

 (Inhale. Exhale… Post.)

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart