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setapartgirl

LE SLI E L UDY’ S

MAGAZINE

May 2011

REGISTER NOW! Annual Set Apart Girl

CONFERENCE Hurry! Space is limited.

IN THIS ISSUE: Dressing with Selfless Style p.66 New! Set Apart Motherhood p.98 A Valentine (to His Future Wife) p.27

meet jade sister of the common life p.88

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.

ISSUE . JANU ARY/ FE BRU A RY 2 0 11


letter from leslie BEST-SELLING AUTHOR FOUNDER, SET APART GIRL

Up until yesterday, I think I was in denial that winter was actually upon us.

In Colorado, we have had

unseasonably warm weather – it was so nice and sunny that on Christmas Day we opened our gifts outside in the backyard. That’s my kind of winter! Some people love the cold weather, but I would be perfectly happy living in a place where it never snowed at all. This year, we didn’t get snow until December 30th, and then all of a sudden it came.

As I’m writing this, I am

looking out the window at gusts of blowing snow and several inches of powder on the ground. And God is reminding me that even in storms, there is beauty and blessing to be found.

When we make Him the center of our lives, He

works all things together for our good. Even things that the enemy means for evil, He redeems and transforms into incredible testimonies of His faithfulness and glory. Winter can either become an endless drudgery, or it can whet our appetite for the fresh newness of spring that is just around the corner. the same with trials in our lives.

It’s

We can either complain and grumble the

whole way through them, or look to our King for strength and anticipate the beauty and growth that waits on the other side.

So whatever might be

happening in your life as you read this new magazine issue, and whatever difficulties you might be facing today, let me encourage you to run to the One who makes all things new.

Just like a blustery winter sets the stage for a

stunningly beautiful season of spring, every challenge that chases us into the arms of Jesus will do the very same in our lives. He is faithful!

Leslie Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Photo by Ashley Green

letter from annie CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Several years ago my Papa introduced me to the resolution list of Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest preachers in Christian history. This man wrote 70 resolutions over the course of a year and then kept the practice of reviewing them every week of His life. Here are just a few: #6 Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live. #7 Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life. #10 Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell. #43 Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s.

This New Years I have been freshly inspired by this testimony from Edwards’ life! As Believers, we are freed from following the self-centered, comfort driven (and often short-lived) New Year’s resolution trends of our culture - more time at the gym, eat less sugar, take more “me” time, etc. We are given abundant life in Jesus, and we have the privilege of laying down our lives for Him instead of spending our days on selfish pursuits. If you are so inspired, join me this January to prayerfully set the resolutions of a God-ward life! Let's allow Jesus to not only work Heavenly change in us this month, but continually throughout every day and year of our lives as we look “unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith...” (Hebrews 12:2)(Hebrews 12:2) With great expectancy and joy,

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set apart femininity Explore God’s Sacred Intent for Your Life Top 10 Time Wasters, Part 2 Set Apart Quote

8 18

set apart relationships

Honoring God in Love and Romance Courted Out of Compromise A Valentine to My Future Wife

20 27

set apart walk

Cultivate Your Daily Romance with Christ Big Dipper Blessings Waiting to Be a Stone If I Had Died

38 46 56

set apart style

Showcasing the Radiance of Christ Reflecting Heaven’s Beauty The Art of Elegant Speech

66 79

set apart motherhood

Discover God’s Heart for Home and Family The Sacred Call of Motherhood The Kiddo Spot

98 104

BONUS PHOTO Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.  SHOOT No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie. p.108


ineveryissue 7

our contributors

36

devotional

54

reaching the orphan

63

q&a with leslie

86

staff book recommendations

88

sister of the common life

96

set apart voices

66

7 2

88

36

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OUR TEAM leslie

FOUNDER, SET APART GIRL

Leslie Ludy is a bestselling author and speaker with a passion for reaching her generation with the hope of Christ. She and her husband, Eric, have been writing and speaking together for the past fifteen years. Widely known for their bestselling classic, When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric and Leslie have become foremost voices on some of the most poignant issues facing the church today, such as relationships, purity, holiness, and living a fully consecrated life for Christ. Together, they are the authors of fifteen books that have been translated into over a dozen languages around the world. For more about Leslie’s books, click here. Leslie and Eric are the founders and directors of Ellerslie Leadership Training based in Windsor, Colorado – an intensive discipleship training program that prepares future leaders for world-impacting Christian service, and draws men and women of all ages from around the world. LESLIE’S ARTICLES PAGES 8, 66, & 98

annie

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Annie Wesche is the Creative Director for both Set Apart Girl and Ellerslie Leadership Training. As editor and designer of Set-Apart Girl online magazine, Annie has won the hearts of young women around the globe with her sense of style, warmth of manner, and passion for Jesus Christ. Annie’s heart is gripped with a love for orphaned and vulnerable children and she has traveled internationally as a professional photographer to tell their stories and champion their rescue.

jade

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Jade Valcarcel serves as the executive assistant to Leslie Ludy as well as part-time nanny to the four Ludy kiddos. She grew up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has spent time as a missionary in Seoul, South Korea, where she taught conversational English to children ages 3-16 and led a Bible study for women. Jade is passionate about writing, serving children, cooking and being the hands and feet of Christ to the least. JADE’S ARTICLE PAGE 46 & 88 Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


OUR CONTRIBUTORS tessa hershberger

WRITER | OHIO

I come from a small town in Ohio, but God has so faithfully placed me in Windsor, Colorado to train for the set-apart life at Ellerslie Leadership Training. I am learning daily to draw closer to the King, trust His still small voice, and stand on His Word as the rock under my feet. It is my deep desire to know Him intimately and to be made strong in Him so I can pour out my life for His glory whether it be in the States or overseas. Wherever He chooses to take me and whatever He chooses to do, I stand convinced that He is faithful and able to do what He has promised! TESSA’S ARTICLE PAGE 56

amy meyers

WRITER | ILLINOIS

I come from a small town in Illinois next to the big city of St. Louis, Missouri. This season of my life, however, my place is in lovely Windsor, Colorado at Ellerslie Leadership Training. Every day, as I trust in His precious promises, Jesus builds my faith and takes me deeper into a life truly hid with Him. Every day with Jesus truly is sweeter than the day before. In my time at Ellerslie, God ignited my heart for the Deaf and gave me a deep love for Sign Language. Since then, He has faithfully provided little ways for me to use this passion for His glory and I pray that He would continue to make me strong to be spent in this way. AMY’S ARTICLE PAGE 20

melodious echo

WRITER | OREGON

I’m a country girl from the Ozarks of Arkansas, currently serving as a "missionary" in Northern Oregon. While a registered nurse by profession, most of my time is spent working with various youth ministries, overseas missions, orphan ministries, doing personal evangelism, and writing/blogging to encourage my friends in their walk with God. I love living the adventure of the "Set-Apart Life" and my greatest interest and passion is living daily for my King, and sharing the joy of this journey with others. MELODIOUS’S ARTICLE PAGE 38

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10

top

time Part 2 wasters by Leslie Ludy

Movies & Television She went after her lovers; but Me she forgot, says the LORD. (Hosea 2:13 NKJV)

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A woman who came to a recent Set Apart Girl conference wrote me a letter about how God had convicted her of idolatry in her life - worshiping pop culture through her addiction to movies and television. “What God calls sin Iʼve been calling entertainment,” she admitted. Bravo. Rarely have I heard anyone be willing to speak that truth so honestly. Iʼve written in previous articles about how God convicted me of this same thing a few years ago. He gently opened my eyes to see that by filling my “down time” with the images and

Something I couldnʼt imagine living without. Like so many modern young women, I had been looking to worldly entertainment to bring the rest, refreshment, and pleasure that was supposed to be found in my relationship with Christ. In fact, I started noticing that often when I tried to pray or meditate upon Godʼs word, my mind would be distracted by scenes from a movie or TV show Iʼd recently seen, and I would have to labor to get my mind back upon Heavenly things. But the idea of giving up my regular “veg-out” sessions in front of

What God calls sin, I’ve been calling entertainment. messages of Hollywood, I was participating in something that dishonored Him and grieved His heart. I was wasting countless hours of my life on something opposite of His Kingdom and His nature. Movies and television had literally become an idol in my life – something I was unwilling to give up.

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


movies was almost impossible for me to consider. How could I survive without at least a few nights each week to relax, unwind and escape reality for a couple of hours? And then the gentle voice of Christʼs Spirit reminded me, “A daughter of the King should never have the need to escape reality. In My presence is fullness of joy; at My right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (See Psalm 16:11) When I thought about it, I couldnʼt picture my spiritual heroes like Elizabeth Fry, Viba Perpetua, or Gladys Aylward spending every weekend at the movies and rushing out to see Spiderman 3 on opening night. I couldnʼt imagine Amy Carmichael or Sabina Wurmbrand getting hooked on Survivor or American Idol. They were far too busy living out a real-life drama with the King of the universe; spilling out their lives to bring Him glory, reveling in His abundant mercy and faithfulness; marveling at His unspeakable power, and de-lighting in the joy of His surrounding presence.

So with the help of Godʼs Spirit, Eric and I completely overhauled our “down time” activities. Time that we typically spent watching movies we

now spent in prayer, serving others, and cultivating intimacy with our King. And though it was not an easy transition to make, in the end, the results were nothing short of extraordinary. For the past five years, we have lived this way. Worldly entertainment no longer distracts me or eats up my precious time. My “down time” is spent on things of eternal value and my daily “refueling” happens through

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


time with my King rather than time in front of the DVD player. Now that I have tasted the incredible peace and joy that comes from spending hours in Godʼs presence, I have no desire whatsoever to return to the cheap counterfeit and temporary rush of Hollywood. I have truly discovered that in His presence (not in a movie theater) is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11) Itʼs not that Eric and I have never watched a movie during the

The Reality is that hollywood is anything but harmless. past five years, but itʼs the rare exception, and not a normal activity for us. In fact, we only watch about three or four movies total during an entire year – not counting the “little kid movies” that we see every now and then while cuddling on the couch with Hudson and Harper. The movies that Eric and I occasionally choose to watch are the rare few that we feel will actually enhance our relationship with Jesus

Christ and build us up spiritually. Making this decision has truly transformed my spiritual life in a way that nothing else ever has. It keeps me from spending hours of my week on meaningless worldly things and frees my time for things that really matter – like prayer. If you find it hard to believe that time in Godʼs presence could be more exhilarating and fulfilling than time in front of the latest movie, I challenge you to try it for yourself and find out what youʼve been missing!

FACING REALITY As much as we might like to simply call it harmless entertainment, the reality is that Hollywood is anything but harmless. It glorifies violence, perversion and evil. It glamorizes sin and debauchery. It splashes sin across a huge silver screen as an entire culture eagerly drinks in its twisted messages. And yet most of us spend a large majority of our free time at the movie theater or in front of the television, ready to participate without even a second thought, ready to give our money to an industry that is the opposite of all that we hold to. Sure, we might be

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somewhat careful about the kind of movies and shows we watch. But even the “milder” ones, for the most part, glorify sin and selfishness. In fact, if we are to be completely honest, we will only be able to name a very small handful of movies or TV shows that truly bring honor to the name of Jesus Christ. Psalm 1 says: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (vs 1-2 NKJV) By clamoring after the worldʼs entertainment and imbibing the images of Hollywood, arenʼt we walking in the counsel of the ungodly? By plopping down in a movie theater every week, arenʼt we sitting in the seat of the scornful (quite literally, if you think about it) and watching the very same garbage as the rest of the world? By filling our minds and hearts with movies and TV, we are certainly not delighting in the law of the Lord and meditating upon it day and night. Rather, we are meditating on the

sights, sounds, and messages of pop-culture day and night. A great man of God once said that modern Christianity has accepted a counterfeit version of joy and peace by looking to Hollywood and professional sports to bring us delight. We look to movies and television and football games to bring us the pleasure that our King desires to give. And by leaning on worldly entertainment for rest and refreshment, we find only a temporary fix; not lasting happiness or true fulfillment. 1 Timothy 5:6 says, She who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. (NKJV) Thatʼs a sadly accurate description of todayʼs young Christian woman. Though many of us claim

...modern christianity has accepted a counterfeit version of joy and peace by looking to Hollywood...

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that Jesus Christ has first place in our lives, in reality we are steeped in selfish pleasure and pining after the attractions and delights of the culture. And, as a result, we are dead inside. Christ came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) Building our life around His pattern rather than the worldʼs does not lead to stiff spirituality and legalism. Exchanging counterfeit worldly pleasure for the eternal delights of Godʼs kingdom does not bring misery and death. It brings abundant life. I can say this from firsthand experience.

BREAKING FREE FROM THE ADDICTION As I said in Authentic Beauty, one of the ways that you can tell

Christ makes it clear that we cannot love both him and the things that charm and ravish the world.

something is an “idol” or “other lover” in your life is that you are unwilling to let it go; you canʼt picture living without it. Most of us, if we were honest, would have to admit that we are unbelievably addicted to the worldʼs entertainment. Life would seem empty and bleak if we didnʼt own a TV. Weekends would be boring and depressing if we didnʼt frequent the local theater to catch the latest Hollywood flick. Even though we supposedly have everything we could ever want or need in Christ alone, we still look to these other means for the peace, joy, excitement and refreshment that He Himself desires to give us. All we have is the counterfeit version of peace and joy, because we arenʼt willing to let Him give us the real thing. We are too busy programming our TiVo or buying movie tickets online. Christ makes it clear that we cannot love both Him and the things that charm and ravish this world. We cannot be dazzled by the images of pop-culture and captivated by the King of all kings: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the

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lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:15-16 NKJV) Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4) The set-apart women of history past were not only willing to give up all the pleasures and enticements of the world for His sake, but everything they held precious was poured out upon Him without reserve, like Mary of Bethany."" So if you are ready to break free from the unhealthy hold Hollywood has over your life and your time, here are some practical ways to begin: 1. Consecrate a Set-Apart Season Though not every movie is necessarily evil, very few movies or TV shows are truly spiritually edifying or glorifying to our King. I would challenge you to take a set-apart season of your life to remove all movies and TV shows from your life, and instead fill that time with prayer and seeking God. At first, it may feel

awkward and uncomfortable to make this transition, but if you are disciplined to use your “down time” to cultivate your relationship with Christ instead of feeding your flesh, you will soon find that in His presence truly is the fullness of joy. Once you taste the “real thing” you will no longer hunger for the counterfeit. If you feel that making this decision might be a struggle, consider recruiting an

Once you taste the “real thing” you will no longer hunger for the counterfeit. accountability partner who is willing to make the same choice – and schedule prayer and worship together instead of the typical veg-out sessions in front of the TV. If you need a boost to get you started, you might try downloading audio or video messages from David Wilkerson, Corrie ten Boom, A.W. Tozer and Jackie Pullinger on sermonindex.net and beginning your prayer times with these soul-stirring reminders of what truly matters.

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2. Remove the TV (and that DVD collection) If it is within your power to do so, consider removing the TV, DVD player, and pile of movies from your living space completely. When you remove the option of coming home after work and flopping on the couch with the remote in your hand, you are far less likely to waste your time in front of the TV. For those rare occasions when there is a movie you feel will be spiritually edifying, watch it on your computer (or borrow someoneʼs DVD player) instead of having a TV and DVD player taking up space in the corner of your living room and providing a daily temptation toward distraction.

When you remove the option... you are far less likely to waste your time... Once the TV is no longer sitting there ready to entertain you during your “down time”, you can look for ways to “unwind” without having to spiritually unplug from your Life

Source, Jesus Christ. Things like taking a long walk with worship music playing on your IPOD, taking a hot bath with audio Scripture playing in the background, calling a friend or loved one to encourage them, baking or creating a gift for someone in your life, scrap-booking or photo-journaling, writing music or poetry, etc. David Wilkerson is the founder of Teen Challenge and pastor of Times Square Church in New York City whose amazing ministry has impacted the world for decades. It all began with a decision he made way back when he was a simple country preacher in rural Pennsylvania. Every night for a couple of hours he was in the habit of watching TV, partially to relax and partially to stay in touch with the culture. One night a strange thought entered his mind: What if he were to get rid of his TV and instead spend those two hours every night in prayer? To make a long story short, he tried it. He sold his TV, got on his knees, and from that point forward, incredible things began happening in his life and ministry. Davidʼs life became an unprecedented adventure that impacted the lives of millions. Never underestimate what can happen when you are willing to make

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sacrificial decisions for the sake of your King! The simple step of removing your TV as an act of love and obedience to Christ could very well change the world. 3. Ask the Right Questions When it comes to knowing what movies or shows you should watch, or how often you should watch them, itʼs important to ask spiritually-minded questions instead of selfishly-minded ones. Like I said, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with a movie, but there is something wrong with any activity that dulls us spiritually or distracts us from our true Love, Jesus Christ. Prayerfully ask the following questions when it comes to your standards and decisions regarding entertainment:

(Hint: If you catch your self thinking things like, “As long as I donʼt agree with the bad stuff in this movie, itʼs okay for me to watch it,” or “This movie has a good message if I just ignore the sex and profanity,” Or “Every other Christian I know would watch this movie, and itʼs only rated PG-13, so itʼs probably fine,” then itʼs time to let Christ re-shape your standards.) Do I turn to TV or movies for a counterfeit version of rest, refresh-

Have I been surrendering my mind and emotions to Hollywoodʼs ungodly messages? Do I watch movies and shows that glorify darkness or perversion, mock God, or make sin seem noble, even in subtle ways? Do I justify my participation in Hollywoodʼs ungodly messages? Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


ment, and enjoyment instead of going to Christ for the real thing? Am I addicted to movies or TV shows? (Reminder: if you are unwilling or unable to go without these things, thatʼs a sign they have an unhealthy hold on your life.) Am I willing to use the time I would normally spend being entertained by Hollywood to further my prayer life and deepen my relationship with Christ? Are there any practical changes that Christʼs Spirit is asking me to make (by His enabling grace) in this area of my life? If you bring this area of your life to Him with a truly surrendered heart, the area of worldly entertainment

Anything that leads you closer to him is worth spending your time on.

becomes far less confusing. Anything that leads you closer to Him is worth spending your time on. Anything that distracts you from Him is not worth a second glance. Godʼs Word says, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31) There is no such thing as a trivial, neutral activity during our days – from moment to moment we are either honoring our King or we are serving self. Precious sisters, let us wipe the spit from the face of Jesus by purging all idolatry from our lives. Let us live as if we truly are bondservants of the most High God; purchased by His blood. No sacrifice is too great for the One who gave everything to rescue us for eternity. * (Note: For some extra inspiration on this subject, listen to Ericʼs sermon A Friday Night in the Promised Land and my Set Apart Thot video: Three Questions.)

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‘‘

Set Apart Quote How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!...You drove them from me, You Who are the True, the Sovereign Joy drove them from me and took their place!...O Lord, my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation!

- St. Augustine

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C

Courted

out of

Compromise by Amy Meyers

It was over. My heart was in icy pieces within me and I was alone. Part of me was overjoyed to be free and

Why did I even want it to be resurrected? That thought plagued me. After all I had been through, it should not

unencumbered. Another part was screaming. I missed him so much and yet I despised how I had been treated. Why would I even give him a second thought after what he did to me? But somehow, my

have even been a flicker on the screen of my mind that I would want him back. He treated me like a toy, something to be played with and cherished until it gets boring and you toss it in the garbage or

heart still ached for him to call me up and say how stupid he was for breaking it off and how sorry he was for everything and how he wanted to start afresh. No such discussion would ever be had. It was over,

give it away. I didn't want him back, but I wanted something. There was an emptiness in my heart, a hole that needed to be filled. Even with Nate in my life, that hole was never fully sealed.

Copyright 2011 Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   dead, not toThe be resurrected. No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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Somehow, I knew that another guy was not the answer. What was the answer then? How could I get rid of this ache

Kaylee, decided I needed to experience a high school prom. Since I was home schooled, I would never get that chance.

within me to be loved, valued, and satisfied? The answer to every question, the filler of every void came and gave me more than I ever knew existed. Sitting on my couch one warm July

Kaylee was determined to make it happen. Step one was finding a guy at her school willing to escort me to the prom, thus providing me a way in. Surprisingly, this was not as difficult as one might expect.

evening, I was empty and cold. I didn't feel One of her guy anything. My life was The wrapped up in Nate, my relationship identity was found in Nate. Now, without him, started quite who was I? I had no innocently. idea. My mom's Bible was lying on the table beside me, I glanced at it then pulled in onto my lap. Letting it fall open, I began

friends was excited about the idea. I think the true appeal to this guy was the avoidance of asking someone to the dance. Nonetheless, he was game, so the plan was

to pray. I knew the way I was living was not God's pattern. It was not His best for my life. My relationship with Nate had been made up of one compromise after another. Even though I maintained my purity and the Christian “rules”, I had allowed myself to be tainted by the world. Nate worked slowly, making me feel comfortable with every step down the slippery slope. I bought into it, so hungry for the affection that he was more than willing to pour on. I needed it, so I let him draw me in. The relationship started quite innocently. A very close friend of mine, Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


set. Nate and I met for the first time a few weeks before the prom. At the end of my shift on a cold March afternoon, Nate

only Christian thing we ever did together was attend youth group a couple of times and I would pray before we ate dinner.

strolled into the bookstore where I worked. We found a table at the adjoining coffee shop and spent hours sharing life stories and getting to know one another. He was sweet and very easy to talk to. If nothing

Other than that, our relationship looked no different than any other in the world. I, who called myself a child of God, was living for self and ruled by the flesh. I allowed myself to lower my standards and settle

else, prom would be a night to remember. To avoid any awkwardness, Nate decided it would be wise for us to spend some time together before the dance. This would ensure a fun, relaxed prom night.

for less than God's best simply out of loneliness and a need for affirmation. As I prayed on My King the couch that was night, God began

Nate was nice, called himself a Christian, and Kaylee always had good things to say about him. I was certainly up for more time with him. The first week or so, I was solely

calling me out of the mud and into His beauty...

to bring images of myself in that relationship before my eyes. I saw my actions

thinking of him as a nice friend to attend a dance with, nothing more. But as time went on, I began to give Nate my heart, one tiny piece at a time. He was patient, not forcing himself upon me, but allowing

from a bird's eye view and my heart snapped in half. No longer was I broken hearted over the tragic end

me to feel like I was calling the shots. Nate didn't value my standards as I thought he should, but he was so sweet and caring, I slowly lowered myself to his level. I allowed emotion to rule and followed

of my relationship with Nate. Now I was utterly crushed when I realize how I had broken the heart of my one true love, Jesus Christ. As hurt as I felt by being rejected, it was nothing to compare with

wherever my fickle feelings led. Nate was happy to prey on my weakness and use my emotions and needs to get what he wanted. His sole purpose for me was his own pleasure. But it was under the guise

His grief at seeing His daughter live in sin. " Tears streamed down my face. I didn't even try to stop them. It was no use. I was broken. My careless actions and words had wounded the heart of the only

of a Christian relationship. However, the Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


I somehow knew that the secret to what I had been searching and praying for, the more I so desperately wanted, would be revealed through those two words. One who has ever really loved me. And I felt helpless to make it right. Through my agony and sorrow, I heard a whisper within. “I have more for you than this,” came the quiet voice to my soul. My tears of sadness turned to tears of joy. My King was calling me out of the mud and into His beauty. His plan for me was not rejection, loneliness, and hurt. As I sat, basking in this simple promise, I turned my eyes to the Bible in my lap. My bleary eyes locked on Psalm 4:3, “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself.” The phrase set apart seemed to be highlighted on the page. I somehow knew that the secret to what I had been searching and praying for, the more I so desperately wanted, would be revealed through those two words. And my God was faithful.

A few years later, Nate came back into my world at a certain level. After we broke up he dated Kaylee, the friend who set us up. But as with me, Nate bored of Kaylee and her unwillingness to cross certain lines. He then moved on to another friend of mine. Despite my and Kaylee's warnings of how Nate treated us, Cammi walked into a relationship with him and quickly was in very deep. In the same way, Nate slowly broke Cammi down, convinced her subtly to lower her standards. After they had been together for about a year and a half, I was informed, through a mutual friend, that Nate and Cammi were expecting their first child. They were not married or even engaged and at that point, were not interested in becoming so. My heart ached for Cammi. Now she was stuck forever with this man who was only seeking his own pleasure and wants. He didn't value, cherish, or truly love her. Christ was not to be found in their relationship and now they were bringing a baby into it. As I prayed for the little life and his mama one morning, God suddenly shocked me with a revelation: that could have been me. Cammi and I were always in church together. She was even more vocal about the Lord than I was growing up. She was strong in Christ, solid in her standards. And yet, she succumbed to temptation, just as I might have done if my

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relationship with Nate had not ended when it did. I heard that still, small voice once

j

I will never be able to express the gratitude in my heart for all that He has done for me. *

again, “I rescued you. I pulled you out of that. I have a bigger plan for you. I love you.” Jesus stole my heart afresh that day. His Father heart for me was revealed as never before. His plan for me was life. But not a life of sin, self, and compromise. It was a life wholly set-apart for Him alone.

Jesus stole my heart afresh that day.

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take it deeper

God’s Gift to Women Order Now!! ERIC SAYS... I’m not a guy that’s all hyped up for grunting and giving off foul odors, I’m a guy that is passionate about men being true men. And Im convinced that true manhood, polished by the hand of God, is nothing short of an awe-inspiring gift to womanhood. Contrary to the vibe that a title like Gods Gift to Women gives off, this book is not merely about how men can more effectively relate to women. I believe that we as men can never hope to become a gift to women until we gain a complete vision of Christ-built manhood. We live in a generation of burpin’ and scratchin’ male mediocrity. Most of our modern-day examples of manhood are self-serving, perverted, and depraved. We are taking this second-rate version of masculinity into our marriages, our families and our lives as men. I believe we need a new standard for masculinity - a standard that is not shaped by our culture, but by the very person of Jesus Christ. That standard is the core of this book’s message. If you were hoping for a book about relating to women, don’t worry; there is plenty of that subject covered in these pages. But for us to learn to effectively relate to women, we must first learn to effectively relate to the Creator of women - Jesus Christ. We must learn the world-altering secrets of Christ-built, warrior-poet manhood. If you are a guy interested in discovering amazing, cultureshaping masculinity don’t miss this book! And if you are a girl interested in motivating the guys in your life toward something better don’t miss this book! copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

26


a guy shares his thoughts

Valentine A

to my future wife by an anonymous Warrior-Poet-in-the-Making

copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie, all rights reserved

27


I

have been single now for many years, and with each passing Valentineʼs Day, I get all the more excited – excited

for epic masculinity or femininity at this very moment?

for all God is doing and has in store for my future. Several years ago I realized I did not want a great marriage; I want a marriage that surpasses anything the world has yet seen (perhaps better

What better time to be proven as faithful to your future spouse than when we are single! Singleness is a grand time when Jesus can spill and spend our life at home, in our community, and around the

stated, I am going to give Eric and Leslie Ludy competition for the best marriage award). It was while still in high school I began to read books on marriage and relationships – not because I was at a

world without the commitments and ties of marriage and family. It is during the single years that we have full opportunity, without distraction, to pursue the endless depths of intimacy, devotion, and one-

place to be married, but because I wanted God to begin forming me into a noble and heroic Godly man and husband, before I got married.

ness with our Savior.

“As a brother in Christ, I offer this challenge to you...” Growing up I heard many friends say they would begin learning the basics of masculinity and what it means to be a husband after they say, “I do.” But why wait? Why not allow Jesus to begin the formation of our married lives in this season of waiting? Why not start training

With the New Year upon us and Valentineʼs Day quickly approaching, why not dedicate this year solely as the Lordʼs? As a brother in Christ, I offer this challenge to you: Will you allow Jesus to strip you of everything that is not of Him and cultivate you as a true woman of God? Will you throw yourself at His feet and allow Him to do in you what you have failed to accomplish in your own strength and ability? Would you completely surrender and depend upon Him for life and godliness? May this year be a setapart season surpassing all others! This is my great desire as well – for Jesus to take this year to a whole new level. I fully expect this year to be a year of depth, enriched intimacy with Jesus,

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increased fortification in every area of weakness, an expanding of my prayer life, a time to be built strong

Donʼt get anxious or concerned there will never be a Godly guy for you. I know we

and valiant, an intensification of holiness, and a year where He pours my life out on behalf of others unlike ever before. As a brother in Christ, let me encourage you to hold ever tighter to Jesus. Stand firm and delight yourself in Him! During this Valentineʼs Day and season of “love,” allow Jesus to be your heartʼs single desire and fulfillment.

“Go after Jesus and if He intends for you to be married, He will draw one of us out to woo your heart and sweep you off your feet.”

as Godly men are almost as rare to sight as penguins in the Bahamas, but we do exist and we are fighting on your behalf. But donʼt search us out. Rather, aggressively go after Jesus and if He intends you to be married, He will draw one of us out (perhaps out of seemingly nothingness) to woo your heart and sweep you off your feet. The following is a love letter I wrote my future wife, whomever and wherever she is, in anticipation of this coming Valentines. May it encourage and exhort you to remember what you are waiting for, and why...

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My dear love, I can hardly believe it is time for Valentines again. It seems with each passing year my love for you increases – but then so does my patience as I wait for Jesus to bring you into my life. I long to hold you in my arms, to caress your tender hands, to make you smile and hear you laugh. I long to move forward into the future Jesus is scripting for us; to partake, with you by my side, all the adventures, discoveries, pains, joys, victories, and triumphs. But I want you to know, sweet love, I am patiently waiting. This is my time to wait. A time for Jesus to shape me into the man you need and deserve. As I think about the man I ought to Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


be, I know I am desperately lacking in so many areas. I long to move further down the frontier of Godly masculinity unto “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). I want to be a man of such fullness! I recognize Jesus will be stripping, forming, and shaping me into such a man throughout my entire life, but my desire is to be as far as possible down that path when you arrive in my life. If I may steal a phrase I read by CT Studd, I want no “namby-pamby-milksopsoftie” sort of manhood. I want the genuine thing. I want to be both warrior and poet – a man of tenderness, love, and a soft heart while still being a man of steel, strength, nobility, and honor. Oh that you may see me as a man – a Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


man as he ought to be. I pray every ounce of weak and paltry imitation would flee so I may be a true man of God for thee. My dearest love, I may not yet know the loveliness of your name nor the beauty of your face but it already takes my breath away. As I wait expectantly for God to bring you into my life, in His perfect timing, know you are continually upheld in prayer. I pray Jesus would be the most important thing in your life – that not even I would be able to turn your gaze from Him. I pray you allow Him to shape you into a woman of pure Godliness, without a hint of distraction, worldliness, or impurity. I pray He takes you deeper into absolute surrender and complete dependency upon Him, where the only explanation for your life is Jesus. Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Oh that He might form and craft you into the most radiant and captivating of set apart women, even now. I know His work in your life will never be over, but my deep prayer and longing before we meet is that you would crave and go after the fullness of Jesus yourself. I know the world is yelling in your face to lower your standards, to throw off your elegance and grace, to allure the men around you, and a host of other absurdities, but please oh please do not heed their voice. I wish I could stand in front of you to take the blunt of the criticism and attack, but because I am not there, hide yourself ever more in Jesus. Cling to Him all the tighter. May each difficult “pressing” of life only press you deeper into Him. And know, my dear love, I am standing in prayer beside you. I am fighting Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


and lifting you up in the spiritual realm on a daily basis. Please be patient dear one. I know as well how it can be a struggle to wait in seeming endlessness, but the time is not afar off when He will draw us together and enable me to sweep you off your feet. Use this time to fall ever more in love with our Jesus. Dive deep and drink of His richness. Be consumed and passionately intimate with Him. And know, for however long it takes, I am patiently and prayerfully waiting. Now and forever yours, Your future husband

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take it deeper

Answering the Guy Questions

Order Now!! Answering the Guy Questions is a powerful book that dives into some of the toughest relationship questions I get asked by young women. If you have ever been discouraged, disgusted, depressed, or even defeated by the state of modern guys, this book can infuse you with vision, hope, and a practical means of doing something about it!

This book

shows young women the significant role they play in helping guys discover true manhood as God intended it to be, in all of its glory, strength, nobility and honor.

This book is

extremely practical - tackling key areas such as guy/girl friendships, physical and emotional boundaries, modesty, flirting, and laying the foundation for a God-scripted love story.

A great book for small group discussions - appropriate for younger teens yet

relevant2011 for college age at and older.  All rights reserved.   Copyright The Church Ellerslie. No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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Available now online!

- click here -

honoring a man s position WEEK TWELVE

I have yet to meet a woman that dreams of a wimpy, insecure guy who has no clue how to lead or take the initiative in a relationship. But few women realize that when they steal a guy’s position and become the initiator, rather than the responder, they shape men into wimps rather than warriors. Most of us are so eager for guys’ approval that we carelessly throw ourselves at anything male that looks our way. Among today’s love-hungry women, a man typically doesn’t have to work very hard to win a woman’s heart and attention. In fact, often all he needs to do is flirt for a couple of minutes, and the next thing he knows she’s completely given her heart, emotions, and even her body to him. Just like settling for less than a Christ-built man, throwing ourselves at guys cheapens the amazing work that Christ has done for us. He gave up His very life to make us into His radiant princess. Why would we take such a gift lightly by throwing our feminine heart to anything male that moves? Our heart, emotions, innocence and physical purity are treasures from Heaven. These treasures are only to be entrusted to one man (our future spouse), and only after he proves he is truly worthy of such a gift. Though most modern guys might appear to want women who are aggressive and easy to get, this kind of femininity is not what will capture the heart of a true Warrior-Poet. God designed men to diligently and valiantly pursue a woman. Guys are naturally intrigued by a woman with mystique; a woman who isn’t willing to auction her heart and body to whoever passes by. If a man actually has to work to win a woman’s heart, he will be far more likely to cherish and appreciate the gift he’s labored so hard for. On the other hand, if a woman throws herself at him, though he might initially respond, he won’t have much respect or appreciation for such easy prey, and he will never learn how to tenderly cherish the treasure of her heart...

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BIG dipper

Blessings

The Power of United Prayer

O

by Melodious Echo

ne beautiful crisp evening this past October, I was returning home to Oregon from helping lead a prayer event at a

exhausted, for Iʼd been traveling with our prayer team for several weeks. Weʼd been burning the candle at both ends, hosting

private Christian university in the Midwest. My flight was a little delayed and I was

“all-day prayer rooms” at churches and conferences, and I wasnʼt sure if I could

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handle traveling any longer. But it was a good exhaustion; a peaceful exhaustion, and as our team separated, we praised

Thanksgiving. We take turns praying, we claim promises, and we sing songs as the Spirit convicts.

God in awe for what Heʼd been doing in our lives and hearts. Let me share a little more about what Iʼve been experiencing in united prayer:

Itʼs not a new format, and itʼs not successful because of us, but thankfully God is working in spite of us. Over and over pastors and youth leaders, as well as church members and youth, tell us that

The ministry of an “all day prayer room” is really quite amazing. My team and I keep a prayer room open for 12 to 15 hours of continual prayer. Each hour during the day, we take people through a

theyʼve never experienced something so impacting. Many adults and young people tell us that theyʼve been raised as Christians or in the church their entire lives, but they have never felt like

united four-part conversational prayer, which focuses on four themes: Adoration/ Praise, Confession, Supplication and

Christianity was real to them…not, that is, until they came into the prayer room, humbled their hearts as a group and

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I almost didn’t have words to express the deep joy in my heart. experienced the power of communion with our Heavenly Father in united prayer. Weʼve watched little children pray alongside their parents, the most sweet beautiful innocent prayers. And weʼve all cried! Weʼve watched God break down years of bitterness and resentments between families as they began to pray together for the first time. Weʼve watched the Bible come alive for people after their time spent in united prayer. Weʼve even seen strained marital relationships healed. But most importantly, through it all, we keep seeing people falling in love with Christ, over and over again. And many prayers are being answered…some seemingly impossible. Even teens are taking it back to their churches. One 14-year-old girl, who came into our prayer room, went from 5 minute-a-day prayers to praying for hours. She was so excited about her new found love of prayer and relationship with God that she went home to start two prayer groups in her own church, groups which are still thriving today. According to her parents, she was struggling spiritually before, but now her life has been radically transformed by the power of Christ! Another teen that came into our prayer room was hungry and, as mealtime was

approaching, he wasnʼt planning to stay and pray long. But as we began to pray, he began to cry,

and he told us after – “Iʼm hungry anymore for food! hungry for more prayer!” He stayed whole hour and kept coming back more.

not Iʼm the for

Yes, as the well-known saying goes, “God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good!” And so, after working with the “all day prayer room” for several weeks, though feeling physically exhausted, you can begin to understand why I was in complete “awe” as I got off my first plane in Chicago and waited to catch my next flight for home. As I spent time reflecting on what God had done and how He had been answering our prayers, I almost didnʼt have words to express the deep joy in my heart. How did this begin? The concept of the “all day prayer room,” (as weʼve been experiencing it) actually started about eight months ago as our ministry team was seeking to lead people into a deeper relationship with Christ through deep Bible study and a powerful prayer life. As we saw God work in answer to our united prayers, we were convicted that we needed to take more time to pray. Thus the “all day prayer room” was birthed, to work in conjunction with different Bible conferences and events.

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We were in earnest and began to wrestle with God like Jacob did with the angel. “We will not let go except you bless

has been spent in what some might term, “childʼs play.” Itʼs ok to be children…itʼs ok to play…for awhile. But as Eric Ludy often

us!” We wanted to press beyond the typical 5 minute “weakly prayer meeting circle” (pun intended.) And we didnʼt want people to get bored or go to sleep as other prayer warriors went on and on. So

says, we mustnʼt stay children. Eventually we must grow up. And I think God hopes it will be sooner rather than later. The motto of our prayer team is “Forward on our knees.” For when we are on our knees we

as we came together in conversational style prayer, focusing on four themes we are instructed to pray in scripture, and asking for the Holy Spirit to convict and guide us, the hours flew by as our team,

cannot fall. Iʼve also come to realize that Iʼve spent much of my prayer life alone. And prayer time alone with God is vitally important! Donʼt take me wrong. Nothing

and whomever God brought into the prayer room, joined together in persistent praise, persistent humbling, persistent knocking, persistent seeking, and persistent asking. We wrestled together,

done publicly can ever take the place of that private time alone. But there is a reason that God tells us to join together in groups of two or three to pray. There is power in unity, and there is power when

humbled our hearts together, and claimed big things together…and as we did, God has begun to answer. It was the start of an amazing journey that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. As God has been

Godʼs people come together in one accord.

purifying our hearts and taking us deeper, we have begun to catch a glimpse of what our God is longing to do in our lives. In short, my life has totally been turned upside down these past eight months because of what Iʼve experienced in united prayer. Iʼve always considered myself a person of “prayer.” I love prayer. I believe in prayer. And Iʼve experienced many answered prayers. But over this summer and the last few months, Iʼve come to realize that most of my prayer life

How Great is Our God As I boarded my flight for home, wondering where God would take me next, and feeling a little overwhelmed and uncertain if I could continue moving forward with such a powerful ministry when I felt so small, I continued to pray and reflect on the promises of God. The sun had set and the stars were just beginning to shine. As we left the lights of Chicago behind, I looked out the window into the dark night sky. I gasped in amazement for, as if sitting on the airplane wing, there was the Big Dipper con-

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Standing on Godʼs Promises “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father which is in heaven.” Matt 18:19 Letʼs ask ourselves some questions: Is there anything in our heart that seems to be coming between the Lord and us? Is there anything in our lives that seems so bad that we think He just couldnʼt possible

stellation taking up the entire night sky that was in my view. As I pressed my face up against the airplane window, in childlike wonder, a shooting star came out of the sky and went straight into the middle of the big dipper. It was breathtaking. It was so close it seemed like I could have reached out the window and felt it pass. It was so beautiful; I could scarcely pull my eyes away from the window. As I continued to gaze in rapt awe, all tiredness left me. And it was as if I could hear Godʼs voice gently speaking. “Melody, if you will keep trusting me, if you will keep walking with me, and if you and your teammates will continue to follow me and where I lead you - on your knees - I have heavenʼs blessings that I will pour upon you. You see how much space this Big Dipper holds? It only can hold a small portion of the blessings I long to give you.”

forgive? (I know Iʼve felt this way before!) Is there any person in our lives that our heart breaks over, that we long to see saved and healed, but we think itʼs hopeless? Is there anything that we long for more then to be ready to meet our Lord, but we feel so far away? The answer to all these questions is so simple. “If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways. Then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14 Is there any mountain in our lives that seems impossible to climb? Is there anything that He is asking from us that we feel we cannot do? Is there any thing we just canʼt seem to let go of; some “issue” that we cannot trust to His care? "Ah Lord God, behold thou hast made the Heaven and the Earth by thy great power and stretched out thine arm,

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and there is nothing too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17 “And this is the confidence that we

to God. (As if we know a better way!) We must realize who our God is, and that He is fully capable. He is fully who He says

have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.” I John 5:14 "Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the

He is! We must learn to take Him at His Word. We must learn to obey Him implicitly knowing that He knows what is for our best good. And we must keep moving forward in faith…even when we

windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10 Yes, Iʼve been learning, our God is a big God…and He has a “Big Dipper” of

cannot see, forward on our knees. I can almost hear God sadly sighing, “If only my people would pray…” The night God taught me about His “Big Dipper blessings” will forever be

blessings that He is just waiting to pour upon us. And yes, He does care about our little childish ways. He tells us that the very hair on our head is numbered, and He even sees the

etched in my memory. It was one of the most amazing experiences Iʼve ever had. And I continue to be in “Awe” of Him as I press forward on my knees.

sparrows fall? Yet are we not of more value than many sparrows? (Matt 10:29-31)

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea together in an heap: He layeth up the

You see how much space this Big Dipper holds? It only can hold a small portion of the blessings I long to give you. God is serious when He tells us to cast all our cares upon Him. (1 Pet 5:7) Yet we must get away from our childish selfish manipulative prayers. We must stop advising God, stop correcting God, stop counseling God, stop complaining against God, and stop suggesting things

depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.” Psalms 33:6-8

Please listen to Ericʼs sermon that he preached August 29th, 2010 called “Praying Through.” Itʼs one of the most powerful sermons on prayer that Iʼve ever heard and is very impacting. Itʼs a MUST HEAR if you havenʼt heard it! *

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A Semester at Ellerslie wi! E"c and Leslie Ludy

2011 Winter/Spring:

A MESSAGE FROM ERIC & LESLIE:

February 14 - April 17

The Ellerslie semester-long intensive training program combines powerful Biblical training with a set apart, spiritually-rich environment, tailormade for cultivating intimacy with Christ and becoming equipped for world-impacting Christian service. It’s a life-changing experience designed to super-charge your spiritual walk, ground you in a Gospel worldview, give you an unshakeable passion for God’s Word, and prepare you for a lifestyle of Kingdom work. We would count it a privilege to

2011 Summer: June 13 - August 13

2011 FALL: October 8 - December 11

a$ly at:

www.ellerslie.com

personally invest into your spiritual life through this program!

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"God's sacred intent for you and for me is nothing short of absolute abandonment to Jesus, entire separation from the pollution of the world, and ardent worship of our King with every breath we take." - Leslie Ludy

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waiting to be a stone God-lessons from the Mission Field

by Jade Valcarcel

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w

" hen I was 16 years old, my Dad fell off our roof and I witnessed the healing power of God literally heal

missionaryʼs life was full of amazing works for the Kingdom, right? None of this happened. Little did I

injuries that should not have let him live, let alone walk again. That event began a change in my life that ultimately led me to where I am today. I handed my

know that my God was dropping me into the midst of a culture much like our

I had grand ideas of what I was going to do.

life to the Lord that day and He began to script an adventure so big, I never could have imagined it! The very next year, He clearly told me that He was

sending me as a missionary somewhere, but I would have to trust Him to let me know where that would be. The place that He sent me at 18 years old, was Seoul, South Korea. I had never even traveled outside of the country with someone, let alone by myself. Yet, there I was, heading to a country I knew nothing about, all alone in the physical, but with my King right beside me the whole way. Arriving in Seoul, I had grand ideas of what I was going to do...with His help of course...and how I would see lives completely changed for His Kingdom. I was sure that I would lead many people to Christ and that many more would of course be baptized. I would go to villages and orphanages, shining His light wherever I went. After all, I was a missionary and wasnʼt that

American one in their lack of desire to know Him. Little did I know that it would be a year of God teaching me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned: waiting. Waiting on Him and His plans, even when I could not not see the end result. And this is what I did, right from the beginning of my arrival in Korea. I waited. I waited for the grandeur I had envisioned in being a missionary, I waited for the hundreds of souls I was sure I was going to reach for Him, I waited for lives to be changed right before my eyes...and these things did not come. And I cried and pleaded for Him to allow them to happen, for how could I return home without the stories and adventures to tell of to those waiting for me? How could I go home and tell them none of it had happened and I had had no effect at all? That would be

what missionaries did? Everyday in a Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


humiliating. What kind of reputation would be left of me as a missionary? Little did I realize that I was right where He wanted me to be. Every morning I woke up and spent my day teaching English as a second language to children ages 3-15. Every day I would teach them Bible verses and have them memorize Scripture to improve their English. Every day, I would tell them stories about David, Joseph, and Jesus, hoping that they would retain and understand what I was saying. Every day I loved on and played with these precious kids and every evening, I would go back

It did not seem very grand. How was this changing their lives? to my room frustrated that this was all I was doing. This was not what I had imagined. Looking at what I was accomplishing, it did not seem very grand. How was this changing their lives? Were they even understanding what they were learning?

Then, about six months into my time there, I had a group of three women come to our little two room church school, wanting to know if I would teach them English as well. They were mothers of some of my students and they told me that every day, their children (some of the youngest I taught) would come home and repeat the Bible verses and stories that they had learned in class that day. So, they were wondering if I would teach them English and could I tell them these stories as well. Over the next six months, these women grew into a group of six. We would meet twice a week, laughing, eating, learning very little traditional English, but learning every Bible story I could tell, verse by verse from Genesis on. They did not accept Christ while I was there, they had no life altering experiences. But for the first time in their lives, they were learning about their God and about the love of a man who was God, who died for them alone. They cried when I told them the story of Jacob,

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Rachel, and Leah, and thought it was the most romantic story they had ever heard. They were indignant when they learned

However, I left behind six women who were for the first time in their lives, hungry for their God and actively pursuing Him. I

of what Josephʼs brothers did to him and they were astounded at how God used these events to alter history. They were in awe of Jesus. But every evening I went home and asked God why I was not

left behind six women who were teaching their children what they had learned in our class and who were learning from their precious kids.

seeing lives changed, why I was not making a difference for Him. When I left Korea, not one single person had accepted Christ because of me, I hadnʼt really seen lives changed in eternal ways, and none of my sweet kiddos showed to me that they were truly understanding what they had learned.

Press into Me. Trust Me. Wait on Me.

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I did not see any of this until one night, just days before I was leaving to go home. I remember laying on my bed,

Like a bolt of lightening, I realized that He had been at work all year long; that I did not need to see what He would

crying out to God, asking Him why He had sent me to Korea to make no difference. What was the point? I had asked this very question, many, many times over the previous months and I had

accomplish in the future, because He had used me to plant His seeds, not to reap His harvest. When this realization hit me, I felt the enemy flee and I felt like I was soaring! I was and still to this day, am a

always received the same answer. “Press into Me, trust Me, wait on Me. My love, you are not alone...” And this is what I had done. I pressed and trusted and waited and now my time had come to an

planter. And it is hard. To wait on the Lord, to allow Him to begin a work with me and allow it to be finished by another is hard at times, but it is beautiful because I know that when I walk into His

end. As far as I could see, nothing had changed in anyone around me and I was headed back home with no stories, no life altering amazing adventures to tell of, and I was allowing the enemy to use this

Kingdom some day, I will know then what the seeds of my life accomplished. This is worth all the wait I have here on this earth and it makes me that much more excited to go to Heaven! Oh, what joys await in

to wreak havoc in my heart and blind my eyes. For you see, we serve a God who works in the unseen, whoʼs word never goes out without accomplishing all that

the morning! So, I came home with no grand stories, but with something so much more

He intends it to. That night as I lay there crying out to God, He gently gave me this verse and I have clung to it ever since: So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


beautiful and precious. I learned in that year to wait and be a small stone. A stone you may ask? Yes, a small insignificant

this world, He uses the time I am bound to and in His heavenly time, He creates the smoothest of edges. Ah, but the

stone.

waiting it takes for this to happen. So often since Iʼve returned from Korea, I've found myself begging the Lord to allow me to become, or

It was at these times I was being worn smooth, to shine with His brilliance. This is what I began to understand while I was in Korea and this is what He is pressing into my heart each day. To be so lost in my God, hidden in the deepest part of His being, until He has smoothed out all the jagged and rough edges of who I am. My heart beats and aches to be like this. To be the smallest stone, the tiniest pebble, but the one worn and polished by His waters until, when He reaches out to choose a stone to use, it is me that He picks up. It is me that is released from His hand with the perfect precision and accuracy. The precision and accuracy that blazes out and like a sure shot, accomplishes that which I am to accomplish for His glory, though I may not see it on this earth. This will not happen without time. Though He is not bound by the time of

do, or go, when I want it to happen. "Today, Father! Let it happen today!" I find this is the cry of my heart so very often. Yet, in His

patience and love, He has and is asking me to wait for certain things, until it is His perfect timing. When I look back over past waiting seasons in my life now, especially Korea, I am always so thankful for the waiting. Looking back, all the waiting was so worth it and now that those periods of waiting are over, I can clearly see what a gift they were. I can see how, though I may have felt worn down by rushing waters, or that I was stuck at the bottom of the river with the water rushing over and above me, it was at these times I was being worn smooth, to shine with His brilliance. For I have nothing of light in me if He is not there and what a witness it is of who He is, when others see a reflection of Jesus in the worn and shining pebbles that we are and can be. To be the one willing to be worn, willing to

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Knowing that giants will fall even if I do not see them, is worth it all. wait, the one who cries out for God to smooth the sharpest edges away, this is painful. Oh, but the beauty to be allowed to close my eyes and feel the great river of who He is rushing around me, to know that I am lost in Him becoming what I was made to be. For I do not want to be an ugly little stone, worthless with jagged edges, I want to be His smooth stone, held in the mighty right hand of my

precious and beautiful God. And knowing that giants will fall even if I do not see them, is worth it all. "He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine...And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground." (1 Samuel 17:40,49) *

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take it deeper

Order Now!!

Wrestling

Prayer

Wrestling Prayer is filled with practical ways to help you build a stronger prayer life. A lot of us feel defeated in our spiritual life. Many of us have tried praying without success, and our expectations of God diminished as a result. For much of my Christian journey, this was how I felt in my prayer life - frustrated and discouraged. But over the past few years, I’ve learned some important things about prayer that have revolutionized my spiritual walk.

Prayer can’t be baked down into a step-by-step recipe or cookie-cutter

formula. But there are some Biblical principles that, when applied to your personal prayer life, can revolutionize your experience with a God who hears and answers prayer. If you are feeling lackluster in your prayer life, don’t miss this challenging and inspiring book!

a passionate communion with God 53


REACHING ORPHANS

& vulnerable children p l e H n a C ays You

W l a c i t c a r P

54


GIVE THE GIFT THAT MATTERS When Eric and I adopted Harper from Korea nearly four years ago, God greatly used the support, prayers, and gifts of people all over the country to help make it possible to bring her home. One of the organizations that helped us financially was LifeSong for Orphans. LifeSong is a wonderful ministry that enables families to adopt children in need, and they are reaching orphans around the globe in practical ways. For a practical way to help an orphan today, visit their “giving catalog” online, and choose a project to support – from donating a brick toward an overseas building project to helping make an adoption possible. To learn more, visit: h t t p : / / w w w. l i f e s o n g f o r o r p h a n s . o r g / t e s t / c a t a l o g / Catalog-10.html

HIS LITTLE FEET 2011 CHOIR TOUR! We are thrilled that fifteen Haitian children are residing at our Ellerslie campus in Windsor Colorado this year. Already it has been such a precious experience to invest into their lives and watch God do amazing things through their testimonies of hope. They will be taking their amazing choir tour around the country in 2011, helping to awaken America to the cause of orphans all around the world. Be sure to visit hislittlefeet.org to find out if they will be coming to your area! Itʼs a concert you will want everyone you know to experience!

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IF I Had Died by Tessa Hershberger

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56


I

t was a Monday morning and I was the only customer. I took off my shoes as required and walked up to the small loft with low seating and tables. MOʼs Coffee was my favorite café to visit in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a few different reasons: 1) it was only a five minute walk from my house, 2) it was air-conditioned, 3) the wireless internet was free, and 4) the sugary twodollar iced lattes didnʼt break my budget. I sat down in a cozy spot, and watched the rain begin to pour down from the clouds outside. I was so pleased to be in that very place at that very moment. I canʼt remember if I had gone there to journal, write emails, or work on a Bible teaching, but whatever the case, I felt happy, safe, and comfortable inside those walls.

What does the life of a dedicated and poured-out missionary look like? Comfortable. Unfortunately, that perilous word could be used to describe many moments I experienced in Thailand. I wasnʼt sitting in coffee shops 24/7, but if at any time a moment, hour, day, or situation found itself to be too difficult and Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


demanding for my feeble flesh to bear, all I had to do was claim some “me time” in

an attempt to “sort things out” and take a long, lonesome (and often selfish) breath of relief. I remember one Friday night in

Post caught my eye - a newspaper in English! - and I quickly cooked up what

...I had the responsibility to be accountable for my time, money, attitude, and relationships.

particular when I had no plans and both of my roommates were out for the night. Itʼs Friday night. No plans. No demands. What shall I do? Walking home from dinner, the Bangkok

sounded to me like a perfect Friday night to unwind. I bought the news paper and headed to 7-11, where I bought a small pack of Oreos and

some instant coffee. I canʼt remember whether or not I ended up enjoying that night as much as I wanted to, but looking back on it now, I see it in a wholly different perspective. My

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paradigm has shifted, and I now see through a completely different lens. Let me explain.

to live up to it (for it certainly wasnʼt coming naturally!). Certainly I am not supposed to spend every hour in prayer!

While living in Thailand to staff and teach in a Bible school with Youth With a Mission and help at a local Thai church, my heartʼs longing was to be an effective overseas missionary, bringing utmost

Certainly I am not banned from ever eating Western food again! Certainly I am not expected to spend all my free time with others! Certainly I am not to cut off communication with my friends and

glory to Godʼs kingdom. I knew that if that was to happen, I had the responsibility to be accountable for my time, money, attitude, and relationships. But the standard I was hoping to discover and

family back home! Am I? This trip to Thailand lasted just under nine months, and it did not go the way I expected it to. The reality of my life

live out proved itself to be a bit blurryhow am I really supposed to be living over here?, I wondered. What does the life of a dedicated and poured-out missionary look like?

there was far less triumphant than I had envisioned it to be, and I can honestly say that I experienced more days of aggravation and discouragement than days of overflowing joy, love, peace, and

I thoughtfully observed the way the other missionaries around me lived. How often did they pay more to eat Western food? Did they spend free time watching movies? What did they buy at the

compassion for the Thai people. I have thousands of words written down in a journal to prove it. Most of them are desperate cries to God, asking him questions and telling Him of my

market? What did their budgets look like? How much time did they spend with Thai people building relationships? While I didnʼt assume missionaries had the privilege of growing heavenly halos as

frustrations. The physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties along with negative emotions and a distracted heart jumbled together into many days of seeming failure and disappointment with myself.

soon as their feet hit foreign ground, I was still convinced there must be some kind of unspoken standard that missionaries ought to be living up to. And if such a standard did exist, I was

In her book A Chance to Die, Elisabeth Elliot tells the story of the life of Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India who spent fifty-three years rescuing children from temple prostitution. Elliot

frustrated that I had not been taught how

writes,

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“If it were possible to poll all the missionaries who have worked in all the world in all of Christian history, it would

security are much more pleasant than insecurity, danger, hunger, and the like. And because of the selfish and sinful

be seen that missionary work, most of the time, offers little that could be called glamour. What it does offer, as Amy wrote to prospective candidates in later years, is ʻa chance to die.ʼ”

nature man is born into, he will be compelled to adamantly seek out that comfort for himself, from the day he enters the world to the day he is buried in the ground.

Although my life in Thailand was far from what most Americans would call “glamorous”, I was living in a country that had taken many a cue from the Western world and my house

So goes the truth I was to encounter within the very circumstance in which I was subconsciously hoping to conclude otherwise. Moving far across the sea to a foreign

and thus is His chance to die.

was just a walk or short taxi ride away from a mall, pizza, spas, and Starbucks coffee. It wasnʼt that every time I craved

land to teach the Bible and eat rice simply does not allow one to escape from that self-centered shell of flesh. No

pizza I forked over the extra money for it, nor did I spend my Saturday mornings getting pedicures. Still, all these “little glamours” constantly remained available to me, and I experienced many moments

matter where a man may be, whether it be in the suburbs of Florida or the jungles of the Amazon, he will remain a selfish man. Unless, that is, he dies. Unless it

in which they softly whispered to every fiber of my flesh of their promised comforts, temporary escapes from loneliness, discouragement, or stress. Humans are born with the ability to

comes to be that his shell of flesh is utterly shattered, and the bones in which he once moved about are lifeless. In that case, he must go on living by some other means, infused with a life whose power

sense what is “comfortable” (such as the warmth of a blanket on a cold day) and what is not (such as being out in the snow for five hours wearing shorts). As experience progresses, that inherent

and strength is far removed from such fragile helplessness. And thus is his chance to die - and yet live abundantly! The blood-stained cross and the empty grave are the open gateway to

sense discovers that comfort, safety, and

such a victorious death to self, for they

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provide a way for selfish man to be powered by the indwelling life of Jesus Christ. It is through that triumphant gate

well if I just gave myself a bit of relaxing “me” time in a coffee shop or curled up watching a movie with a bag of M&Mʼs

that we can march on to drive out every affection, habit, mindset, and attitude that is opposite to His nature and instead live lives that showcase His glorious power and righteousness.

from 7-11. But looking back through a different lens compels me to ask, What if every time I was tempted to give in to discouragement I had allowed the

I wasnʼt aware of it at the time, but I was given that chance to die. It was sitting right in my lap for nine months long, and I hardly noticed its presence. Now - both regretfully but critically - I am

overcoming joy and peace of Christ to prevail by abiding in Him? What if every time my agenda was interrupted I had patiently trusted God to help me get done what needed done? What if instead of

faced with a question: What if I had taken that chance? What if I had died…and lived? What if I had died to the lusts of my flesh and allowed the victorious and

turning down dinner invitations so I could eat what tasted “good” (such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) I had allowed the love and selflessness of Christ to triumph and joyfully spent time with

selfless life of Christ to live through me on a moment by moment basis? I cannot count the times I became frustrated with my circumstances in Thailand - physical limitations, an unknown future, daily

people to build relationships the best I could - even if it meant eating more rice? What if every time I was tempted to spend some extra money on something to give myself pleasure I had used it to

interruptions, language barriers, and an apparent lack of skill for putting a teaching together without getting hung up on a gazillion details. Those daily frustrations led to a

buy a meal for one of the beggars on the street? How I wish I would have known to wake up each day and plead with God to give me the strength to

well of emotions that instantly opened the door for the enemy to come in and convince me that all would be

Tessa, you don’t have to be overseas to learn how to die.

die! I will never know for sure how those nine months would have turned out differently had I known beforehand that going to

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Thailand was a chance to die, rather than a chance to see if I could be even remotely as comfortable as I could be in

Is missionary life a chance to die? Indeed it is! It often includes many discomforts and challenges that do not

America. I will not get those months back for a “do-over”, but to repeat the great words of Paul, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already

arise in the suburbs of America. And yet, the daily Christian life, in whatever

perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:12-13, ESV) Iʼve been home from Thailand for three and a half years now. As much as I desire for God to call me back out to the nations for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom, His word to me has been clear - Tessa, you donʼt have to be overseas to learn to die to yourself. I will call you where and when I please, but you must understand that dying to self, becoming dead to the lusts, pleasures, and cravings of the flesh and world, is something that must be learned by every single person who ever wishes to carry a cross. Every morning you wake

location God has called one to live it, is in itself a chance to die. Finishing Paulʼs thought in Philippians 3, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (3:14, ESV) - even if at this time it means pressing on to die (and live abundantly!) in little old Windsor, Colorado. *

up, you are given a chance to die. Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


?

Q&A with leslie

Q: A:

My parents do not approve of the use of makeup or wearing of high heels, which are, in my opinion, a beautiful accessory to a woman and highlight to her femininity. I want to avoid being a “plain, make-upless face” but I also want to honor my parents. Do you have any suggestions for showcasing radiant beauty and femininity even without these accessories?

First of all, I applaud you for respecting your parentsʼ desires in this area of your life. When you are not yet an adult, and you still live at home under their authority, it is important to honor God by honoring your parentsʼ rules (as long as they are not asking you to violate His Word.) This is a step of obedience that God will surely reward you for. (See Eph 6:2-3).

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As for showcasing radiant feminine beauty without things like make-up or high heels, it is entirely possible! True beauty does not depend upon clothes, makeup, or malls. It does not come from perfect skin or an ideal figure. Itʼs not found in the advice of modern magazines. It canʼt be seen in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. True beauty, in a nutshell, is found in a soul completely surrendered to Jesus Christ, a heart consumed by Him alone, and a life eagerly poured out for His sake. That is when we will sparkle with Heavenʼs radiance and stand out from among all other women like a lily among thorns. (Song of Solomon 2:4) Mary Slessor, a young Scottish missionary who spent over thirty years serving the natives of Africa, sacrificed her physical beauty in order to pour her life out for the least. She lived among the poorest of the poor, in a mud hut with no comforts or conveniences. She toiled daily in the hot sun, helping the filthy, diseased and dying whom no one else was willing to touch. A reporter who came to Africa to do a story on her encountered a woman with shabby clothes, weathered skin, and hands calloused and rough from hard labor. And yet, he wrote, there was something about this woman. Something different. Something beautiful. Her quiet peace, the joy in her eyes, the sparkle in her smile, and her unmatched courage made her stand out among all other women heʼd ever seen. I would encourage you to cultivate the same qualities in your own life. A quiet peace that comes from a heart surrendered to Christ; joyful eyes that sparkle with His Life; a ready, radiant smile that is always there to encourage others; and a disposition of dignity, strength and courage that comes from unwavering trust in your God. If you pursue these things, I would venture to guess that when your future husband comes along, he will not even notice the fact that you are not wearing make-up; he will be captivated by the beauty of Christ that radiates from your eyes, smile, and feminine grace. "

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?

Of course, there are practical “tools” that can help enhance your Christ-built beauty, like feminine clothing, an elegant hairstyle, poise and good posture, and pretty scarves or jewelry (if allowed by your parents). But never forget the true Source of your beauty. As He becomes the center of your life you will radiate with such beauty that, whether you are wearing make-up or not, your feminine grace and dignity will be evident to all you come in contact with.

*

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Reflecting

Heaven’s Beauty in Your

Appearance PART ONE:

Dressing with

selfless style by Leslie Ludy (Adapted from The Lost Art of True Beauty)

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W

that my appearance ought to be such CREATING A as to show everybody with whom I

Beautiful Haven " hen Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army, began to prayerfully consider her outward appearance, she said this:

It seemed clear to me from the teaching of the Bible that Christʼs people should be separate from the world in everything which denoted character and that they should not only be separate but appear so. Asby I advanced in religious experience I became more and more convinced

came in contact that I have renounced the pomp and vanities of the world, and that I belonged to Christ. (From William and Catherine)

" Amy Carmichael wrote about several young Indian women who became followers of Christ and decided to give up their jewels – a decision that Jade Valcarcel was completely outrageous to Indian culture at that time. A womanʼs jewels

Turning a Dorm Room Into a Sanctuary

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were her security, her identity; her way of being accepted by society. And yet God was challenging these young Indian Christians to become “dead to the world and its applause.” Amy described the choice of one young woman:

It was a tremendous decision she made at the foot of the Cross that day. But nothing anyone could say could shake her. She had seen her Beloved, her Redeemer. On His brow was a crown not of gold, but of

thorns. His hands and His feel were not jeweled, but pierced. She had seen Him. Could she follow Him adorned with gold? (from Gold Cord) " Rather than showcasing the status and sparkle of the world, these women desired to shine with the radiance of Christ. " This is the foundational principle of dressing selflessly – to dress as a daughter of the King rather than a product of pop-culture. To lay down our pursuit of gaining the approval and applause of this world, and to live for His smile alone. " When God radically got a hold of my life as a young woman, my wardrobe was one of the first things He began to gently convict me about. When I looked into my closet with a heart fully submitted to my King, I soon realized that most of my outfits had been purchased for the express purpose of drawing attention to myself – accentuating certain parts of my figure, making a loud statement about my trendiness, etc. With Godʼs help, I began to make significant changes to the way I dressed. It became my goal to honor Him, rather than glorify myself, through my clothes. " Take some time to prayerfully consider the way you dress, and what

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your inner motives are. Does your appearance show everyone that you belong to Christ, as Catherine Booth said, or does it show everyone that you belong to this world? Are there any “jewels” that Christ might be asking you to lay aside in order to better reflect His glory? Your “jewels” might be your addiction to the latest trends, your controlling craving for designer jeans and sunglasses, or even your obsession with always having the latest technology (cell phone, laptop, etc) in order to show it off everywhere you go. There might not be anything intrinsically wrong with a pair of designer jeans or a brand new Iphone – but all too many of us have made these things part of our status and identity. Are we willing to let them go, that our identity might be found in Christ alone? " Here are a few key questions to ask yourself: " Does the way I dress place value on the status symbols and materialism of this world? " Am I so consumed with keeping my look up-to-date that I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy shopping for the latest trends? Am I insecure and uncomfortable if Iʼm not wearing the latest fads?

" Do I secretly look down on people who are not wearing the most current styles? " Is there anything in my appearance that is sending the wrong message to the world about what my true priorities are? " Remember, it is more than possible to dress stylishly without being enslaved to worldly trends and status symbols. (Contrary to what some believe, there is nothing spiritual about being frumpy!) However, itʼs important to recognize that it is not a womanʼs clothing or sense of style that truly gives her grace and dignity – but the Christlike radiance that exudes from her inner being. In light of eternity, things like clothes and jewelry are trivial and meaningless. They are tools that can be used to serve a higher purpose in our life – our call to reflect Jesus Christ to this world. But the moment we become servants of clothes, trends, style, or possessions, is the moment we stop serving Christ and start serving ourselves instead.

She dresses to reflect the joy and radiance that fills her soul.

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" Many set-apart female missionaries throughout history chose to lay down personal style and adopt the simple clothing styles of the people they were ministering to in order to keep their appearance from being a distraction to the Gospel. " Lottie Moon, a young single missionary to China in the early 1900ʼs, was described as a pretty woman with lovely soft features, kind eyes, and dark hair that she wore high swept. Raised in a wealthy Southern American family, she was used to American luxuries and style. But on the mission field, she willingly chose to live like those she wished to reach for Christ: " She began to look Chinese as she went into the villages, for she dressed in a plain Chinese coat and gown and wore embroidered shoes made from fragments of old garments. Later she estimated that her shoes cost less than eighty cents and her winter boots less than a dollar. She slept on a brick bed and ate food bought in a village market, and cooked in Chinese kettles. (from Great Women of the Christian Faith) " When Amy Carmichael was a young missionary to Japan (before she arrived in India) she had an experience that profoundly influenced her. She was

sharing the Gospel with an old woman, and just when the woman seemed ready to turn to Christ in faith, she noticed Amyʼs hands. It was very cold that day, and Amy was wearing fur gloves. The opportunity to win a soul for Christ was lost because of it. Amy wrote, I went home, took off my English clothes, put on my Japanese Kimono and never again, I trust, risked so much for the sake of so very little. (from A Chance to Die) " Are we risking so much for the sake of so very little? Are we placing value on the temporary things of the world rather than the eternal treasures of Godʼs Kingdom? Are we bypassing opportunities to be ambassadors for Christ because we are too busy flaunting worldly style and status?" " A woman who exudes true feminine mystique is both modest and selfless. She doesnʼt hide her femininity; she dresses to reflect the joy and radiance that fills her soul. She dresses to honor her future husband and the men around her. Her outward beauty is an expression of the trans-formation Christ has made to her inner life. She puts effort into her appearance, not to gain approval and attention, but to show respect and honor to those she interacts with. Her goal is to point peopleʼs eyes

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to Jesus and not to herself. She is modest and beautiful at the same time. In fact, her modesty is part of what makes her so beautiful and fascinating. " Before we can truly learn how to dress with selfless style, we must first become dead to the world and its applause. Once we exchange the worldʼs value system for Christʼs eternal priorities, we can begin to reflect the beauty of Heaven.

The Art of Dressing with Dignity

my book Set Apart Femininity) is the epitome of feminine beauty and feminine valiance. She is clothed in “strength and dignity”. She makes coverings for herself of “fine linen and purple.” She has the respect of her children and community, and has captured the heart of her husband. When a young woman dresses with the grace and dignity of a true lady, she gains the right kind of attention from the right kind of guys. "

" I have found that most modern girls either dress seductively, or like slobs. But once upon a time, women wore elegant, feminine clothes and carried themselves with dignity and poise. The true gentlemen of yesteryear were not enticed by sensual outfits; rather they were captivated by true beauty and feminine grace. When a lady walked into the room, he noticed the sparkle of her eye and the radiance of her smile, not the outline of her body. But “dressing like a lady” is a lost concept these days. The Proverbs 31 woman (whom I wrote about in great detail in Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Dressing with dignity doesnʼt mean giving up being feminine or attractive. Rather, it means exchanging the cultureʼs cheap counterfeit of feminine appeal for the stunning, God-designed version of female allure. And by the way, Christ-built men arenʼt just looking for girls who purposely drab-down their

When I’m dressed with dignity, it brings value to the things I’m working on.

Our American obsession with being super-casual has led to an overall sloppiness in our daily appearance – and when we adopt this pattern we exude a message of carelessness rather than one of dignity and grace. " There is a big difference in how I feel on days when Iʼve dressed hurriedly in sweats than on days when I put effort into my appearance. When I am dressed sloppily, I am more prone to feel sloppy, lethargic and unmotivated as I go about my daily tasks. But when Iʼm dressed with dignity, it brings value to the things Iʼm working on.

feminine beauty or hide behind tent-like clothes. They desire to see young women who exude a loveliness and graceful feminine beauty that flows from the inside out; a feminine dignity that is both modest and stunningly, refreshingly beautiful. " The typical style of dress for todayʼs young women is anything but elegant or refined. While Iʼm certainly not a proponent of stuffy, fussy outfits, I also believe that most modern young women are in need of a bit more class. Typically, the only reason we dress in anything nicer than jeans and a tee shirt is when we absolutely have to. Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


It reminds me, “This work is important. It is deserving of my best attention and focus.” " The way Iʼm dressed also affects the way I sit, stand and carry myself. If Iʼm just in a slipshod outfit, I tend to slouch more and carry myself with far less poise than if Iʼm dressed a bit nicer. Dressing with class reminds me to carry myself with dignity and grace at all times. It keeps me focused on maintaining good manners and etiquette. It also shows honor to those I live with, as mentioned earlier. If I dress haphazardly around my husband and kids, and only make myself look nice when we go out to meet other people, Iʼm sending the message that my family is not as worthy of my efforts as other people are; that I donʼt feel like going to the trouble of making myself look good for those closest to me. " Iʼm always disturbed when I observe homemakers that habitually look like slobs, using the justification, “Why should I bother looking nice? Iʼm just hanging out with kids all day long.” This attitude disregards the value of guiding a home and caring for a family. Iʼve observed that when a mother dresses with dignity, she takes her role far more seriously and the work she is doing begins to actually feel valuable

and important. Of course, there are always exceptions to this principle. As mentioned earlier, clothing should be a tool to serve Godʼs purposes in our lives. There will be times when Godʼs priorities, or life circumstances, demand that we forgo taking time on our appearance and turn our attention to more important things. It is not something to ever become worried or stressed about. Remember, itʼs not ultimately the clothes we wear, but the

Clothing should be a tool to serve God’s purposes in our life. inner beauty of Christ that creates our dignity and loveliness. Even in a filthy concentration camp, a truly set-apart woman radiates with beauty that does not fade no matter how dingy her appearance becomes – because her beauty flows from the life of Christ within her. " But whenever we do have a choice, letʼs honor our King and those around us by exchanging the sloppy, careless, trashy style of the culture for a classier approach to our appearance. "

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Making it Practical Leslie’s Tips for Dressing with Selfless Style… "

Typically, I choose to wear stylish feminine outfits instead of casual jeans and tee shirts, even if Iʼm just working at home or with my family. This doesnʼt mean Iʼm in a dress and high heels everyday! With four little children to manage, my clothes have to be functional and comfortable. Iʼve found that just a few feminine upgrades to my outfits can make a huge difference in taking me from sloppy to classy. For instance, wearing tailored, trouser-style jeans and pants that are a bit dressier than the form-fitting low-cut style. (Tailored jeans are also more modest.) You can usually find young, stylish pants and jeans of this kind in the “young professional” stores at the mall – stores that cater to young, working twentysomethings, rather than just teens.

Also, Iʼve found dark-wash jeans usually look more polished than lighter shades. " Wearing a short casual jacket and button-up top or a dressier feminine blouse with jeans is a great way to add a bit of class without feeling super dressed-up. And in the summer, wearing a casual flowy skirt with a simple feminine top is a great way to keep cool and feel refined at the same time. In fact, Iʼve started adding more casual skirts to my wardrobe, because Iʼve discovered itʼs a great way to maintain my feminine dignity and still feel casual and comfortable. " Like I said, there are always exceptions. I do have days when itʼs just easier and more practical to wear sweats or casual jeans and a tee shirt – like when Iʼm cleaning out the basement or baking cookies with the kids. But for the most part, I feel and act more dignified when I dress like a lady. So I make it my goal to do so whenever possible.

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Annie’s Tips for Dressing with Selfless Style… " Iʼve learned from a few godly, elegant women in my life an approach to building a wardrobe that has saved me from impulse purchases, breaking my budget, and wasting countless hours looking for an outfit. Here was their approach and the one that I aim to have as well: Stock up on the classics and only splurge occasionally on trendier items. Trends will always be going “out” as quickly as they came “in” but as I have invested in classic pieces, Iʼve grown a wardrobe that is timeless, always has some-thing for me to wear and is versatile with the few new things I may buy. Here are some of my favorite classic wardrobe staples and how I change them up: " Dress pants - Dress up with heels or go ladylike casual with flats. Pair with a blouse with feminine detailing or a lovely pattern. Layer

a dress that may be too short alone, but over pants gives it versatility, modesty, and a unique style. " Cardigans - I love these! I have my basic black and cream, long and cropped, that can dress up jeans, complete a sleeveless feminine blouse, or add something more to a basic dress. Sometimes I pin a broach on the upper right corner or button it up and finish with a belt around my waist. " Tailored jeans - As Leslie said above, jeans can be a comfortable, casual choice, but donʼt have to be frumpy or grunge. I have found it so worthwhile to invest in a well fitting, quality pair, that can take me from nice casual to dressy. Layering Tops Having layers helps extend my wardrobe through all seasons, necklines or hemlines. I layer fitted long t-shirts under

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feminine blouses to carry them into winter and nice, classic tank tops help when necklines are a bit too low. These are a definite staple to make sure any outfit can be modest, versatile, and fresh. " Dresses - Iʼm always on the lookout for a good dress, (the hardest item to find) but finding a classic one allows me to dress it up for an important event, or make it work-ready with a cardigan, simple necklace, and heels. I also sometimes layer leggings and flats, or match it with english riding boots, scarf, and fitted jacket (Iʼve always had a pull to the ʻenglishʼ look.) " Soft scarves - Scarves can be worn so many ways and if you have a few colors, they c a n c h a n g e u p a n y o u t fi t instantly. I have a plain colored one to add to my feminine blouses and patterned ones to dress up simple jeans and a top. " With having these timeless staples and adding in just a few new additional splashes each season, I

can put together endless, beautiful combinations that express feminine style and eliminate those frantic hours of “outfit arranging,” that time wasted looking to the world for itʼs enunciation of style, and keep my heart stayed upon my things that will not fade away or be destroyed. It should not be about our own “style” or “the latest fashion”, but rather, it should be a thought-through, quiet expression of honor, d i g n i t y, a n d f e m i n i n e expression.

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Jade’s Tips for Dressing with Selfless Style… Being a part time nanny to the precious Ludy kiddos, there are many times that I dress a bit more casual in order to be in the kitchen and chasing after wherever Avy or Dub have run off to. However, this does not mean that I canʼt still dress feminine, even while working with the kids. I love to wear wide leg jeans, because they give a more dressed up feel, with a comfy cardigan or sweater. Iʼve also found that by adding a few accessories to my more casual outfits, I can create a more feminine look. " A soft scarf, a flower in my hair, a cute pair of earrings, any of these can give a more polished look, while still being understated and beautiful. When I think of dressing like a lady the words “understated elegance” always come to my mind first. Soft, gentle colors like dove grey, peony pink, and cornflower blue always make me feel more lady like (plus, Iʼm on a total grey kick right now...you should see my closet, half of it is grey!) and elegant. I also love to blend rich colors like

emerald green, royal purple, and cobalt blue to my outfits, but the key for me is to not overdue it. Putting a light grey sweater with a pop of purple or pink in the form of a flower in my hair or earrings, always makes the outfit fun, yet understated. Something Iʼve also learned from my dear friend Annie, are the words “clean and simple” which she uses in abundance. I love this when thinking of style, because that is what I imagine when I think of a lady. As set-apart young women, we are not trying to direct otherʼs attention to us, but we are striving to always point their eyes to our Prince. Having an understated elegance assures me that every part of my life, even the way I dress, is harnessed by the One that my soul loves. *

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l a u n n a

2011 Conference

setapartgirl

for women and girls of all ages

May 27-29, Ellerslie Campus, Windsor, CO

REGISTER NOW!

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“theArt of Elegant Speech”

by Leslie Ludy

the Secrets of Social

grace

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Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

I

Ephesians 4:29

will never forget leading a Bible study

recently told me, “They sound like guys when

for a group of college-aged women; Christian

they talk – loud, rude, obnoxious and crude.

girls who were hungry to go even deeper with

Iʼve started charging them money anytime

Christ. Every one of the girls was outwardly

they say something inappropriate – just so

attractive, well-dressed and seemingly well-

they can start realizing how often they do it

mannered. But before the study began as we

and how unattractive it is!”

were sitting around having a casual

Today, itʼs totally normal for young

conversation, I noticed a disturbing trend in

women to take pride in speaking like

their language…substitute cuss words.

The

obnoxious guys – belching, cussing, telling

girls were using them in every other sentence.

crude jokes, making inappropriate comments.

Soon it became so distracting that I could

Itʼs almost as if the less feminine they can

hardly focus on what they were saying. They

become, the more hip they think they will be.

werenʼt intentionally meaning to be crass – in

Every so often, I meet a young woman

fact, they were using substitute words instead

who is excellent at the art of elegant speech;

of the real thing in order not to offend anyone.

a girl who is respectful and refined in her

However, I noticed that these few little words

conversation and manners. Whenever I see a

reduced the girls from being gracious, ladylike

young woman with this kind of dignity, I

young women to sounding like crude,

always take notice, because such women

immature teenagers. Not to mention that it

today are so rare. A few summers ago at one

created a disrespectful and irreverent tone

of our retreats, I encountered a young woman

and certainly did not bring honor to the name

who was truly graceful in her speech. Her

of Christ.

words were articulate and thoughtful and

A friend of mine who was discipling a

marked by a truly unique eloquence; not

small group of Christian young women

drawing attention to herself, but reflecting the

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glory of God. And yet, for all of her polish and refinement, she was not prissy or uptight.

She was fun-loving, passionate,

and hard-working, living a life of sacrificial devotion to the least.

Do I use crude humor or make sexually inappropriate comments? Do I criticize and belittle others with my words?

She painted a

Do I use profanity or substitutions for

wonderful picture of feminine grace, and

profanity that make me sound crass and

stood out from among other young women

disrespectful?

as a shining example of Christʼs beauty.

Do I overuse filler words such as “like”, “really”, or “and stuff”?

Getting a Speech Make-over Itʼs not necessary to sound like a British aristocrat or flowery old-fashioned poet to excel at the art of elegant speech. Itʼs more than possible to be relaxed and feel like yourself in a conversation, while still expressing yourself with dignity and grace.

Filler words

clutter up conversation and make you sound less intelligent than you are.

And when

giving any kind of public presentation, nothing makes you sound unprofessional like an overabundance of fillers.

(It takes

some practice to break this habit – but I know from personal experience that it can be done!) #

H o w e v e r, t h e l a c k l u s t e r, r u d e , a n d ungracious manner in which many of us communicate does not reflect the glory of our King. Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.”

And Christ says that we will

answer to God for every idle word that proceeds out of our mouth. (Matthew 12:36) Scripture is full of warnings and exhortations Do I

regarding our words and our speech, so itʼs certainly an area worth evaluating before God.

Here are a few questions to

prayerfully consider:

mumble or talk too softly, as if Iʼm ashamed of what I have to say? Remember that we are to be ambassadors of Christ, and

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instead of sheepishly muttering, we are to

we respond is critical.

boldly and confidently speak the truth in

side urges us to respond harshly, insisting

love.

that it is our right to be rude to those who Do I ramble or talk too fast, especially

when I feel nervous or awkward?

are rude to us.

Our selfish, fleshly

But Christʼs pattern is

completely different. He says,

Do I talk so loud that everyone in the

You have heard that it was said, 'You

room is forced to listen to me whether they

shall love your neighbor and hate your

want to or not?

enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies,

If you answered yes to any of the

bless those who curse you, do good to those

above, ask God to equip you to remake your

who hate you, and pray for those who

habits in these areas.

spitefully use you and persecute you.

Begin to observe

women who excel at the art of gracious and

(Matthew 5:44)

elegant speech. Study what the Bible has to

There might not be anything more

say about the words that come out of our

challenging to our flesh than to live out this

mouth.

And make a purposeful, prayerful

principle of selflessness, unconditional love,

effort to use your tongue only for the glory of

and forgiveness. To bite our tongue when a

God. Youʼll be amazed at the difference it

harsh reply wants to burst out, take a deep

makes in your ability to showcase social

breath, and pray for the other person

grace.

instead. To exude the nature of Christ in the In addition to refining our daily

face of rudeness, insensitivity, or cruelty is a

speech habits, here are some other

supernatural ability that His Spirit gives, not

important ways God asks us to cultivate the

something that we can muster up in our own

art of gracious conversation…

strength. #

Give a Gentle Answer #

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

When someone speaks rudely or

says something insensitive to us, the way Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


angered. She does not fly off the handle. If She is not a slave to tumultuous you silence the voice of emotions. She is not concerned your screaming emotions and with protecting her right to be tune in to the still small voice of treated a certain way. She is far His Spirit, gentle answers will more interested in the eternal souls of those around her than in begin to replace angry her own feelings. ones. Next time you are in a situation where

One

you feel your emotions flying off the

of the things that helps me most when it comes to giving

handle, make a decision to slow down, walk

a gentle answer is to remember stories of

in the other room if needed, take a deep

persecuted Christians throughout the ages.

breath, and pray for His love, His attitude,

Betsy ten Boom was able to see her vicious,

and His response to flow through your

murderous prison guards with eyes of

being.

compassion instead of hate.

Sabina

screaming emotions and tune in to the still

Wurmbrand was able to sincerely love the

small voice of His Spirit, gentle answers will

pastor whose betrayal of her husband

begin to replace angry ones.

caused him years of torture and imprison-

people will stop and take notice of the

ment.

unusual grace, beauty, and nobility that

Elizabeth Elliot was able to forgive

If you silence the voice of your

And soon

Viba

emanates from your life. A woman who is

Perpetua was able to intercede for the

free from the tyranny of her own emotions is

salvation of those who tortured her,

truly a sight to behold.

and serve her husbandʼs killers.

humiliated her, and took her life. If these women could receive grace and strength to love even the cruelest of men, can we not trust God for the power to overlook the much smaller offenses we encounter everyday? A woman who has been transformed by the selfless love of Christ is not easily

Flee Gossip Gossip is one of the ugliest habits a young woman can allow into her life. It often seems so harmless at first.

But gossip is

deadly to our spiritual lives, and disastrous to our friendships and relationships. In fact,

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itʼs one of the main ingredients to bitterness, tension and ruined relationships.

Godʼs

Word says, “Gossip separates close friends.”

(Proverbs 16:8)

gossip, no matter how innocent it seemed. In 2 Corinthians 12:20, Paul writes about his concern over one of the churches:

But deliberately

For I am afraid that when I come I

choosing to avoid gossip can quell even the

may not find you as I want you to be. . .I fear

most intense conflicts.

As Proverbs 26:20

that there may be quarreling, jealousy,

says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without

outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip,

gossip a quarrel dies down.”

arrogance and disorder.

When God first began to purify the

Just think about how perfectly this

inner terrain of my soul, gossip was one of

describes the state of affairs in a typical

the first areas He convicted me of. Though

sorority house, girlsʼ dorm, or click of high-

it had not been my habit to maliciously

school girlfriends.

gossip about people, I hadnʼt seen any harm

masterful at gossip, back-stabbing,

in engaging in a little lighthearted banter

arrogance, conflict and betrayal.

about someoneʼs annoying social habits or

young women are often no exception. Paul

irritating quirks. It was the kind of

rebukes idle, slanderous gossipy young

conversation that usually began with

women in 1 Timothy 5:13:

Young women can be Christian

someone saying, “Not to be mean or

At the same time they also learn to be

anything, because I really like so-and-so, but

idle, as they go around from house to house;

have you ever noticed how they always do

and not merely idle, but also gossips and

such-and-such?” Since this kind of

busybodies, talking about things not proper

“discussion” often took place among church

to mention.

friends, I had somehow felt it was justified. Yet I finally realized that this pattern did not reflect the likeness of Jesus Christ. It did not enhance His beauty in my life. It only fueled my fleshly, selfish side.

By His grace, I

determined not to participate in or even listen to any form of

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She represents her King’s glory and nature in the words that she speaks.

“issues” instead of you. Make it your goal to be a woman of discretion, not dissension.

The Code of Honor

Gossip

A Christ-built woman does not gossip,

is not something to take lightly in our

slander, back-stab, criticize or complain.

spiritual lives.

Her speech is gracious and respectful at all

Itʼs destructive, ugly and

damaging to friendships and relationships.

times.

It must be ruthlessly purged from our lives.

worldly crudeness and humor or in cutting

Prayerfully evaluate this area of your life

others down.

before God.

glory and nature in the words that she

Here are some questions to

ask:

She does not take pleasure in She represents her Kingʼs

speaks. Do I use gossip as a weapon to get

back at those that have hurt me?

Yes, it is impossible to live by this code of honor in our own strength.

But

Do I gossip under the seemingly-

when we yield our lives to Jesus Christ and

spiritual banner of being “concerned” about

submit our tongue to Him, He gently refines

people?

our speech, our language and our conver-

Do I use my tongue to honor and build up, or tear down and criticize? When someone offends me, am I quick to report it to others? Ask God to purge any patterns of gossip from your life. Next time you feel the urge to speak words of criticism or gossip,

sation into a beautiful reflection of Himself. Proverbs 8:6 declares, Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. By Godʼs grace, may this be the testimony of our words…and our lives! *

ask Godʼs Spirit to take over your tongue. Pray for the person you are tempted to gossip about.

And let God deal with their

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Leslie recommends: THE HIDING PLACE by Corrie ten Boom

This book is such a powerful testimony of leaning on God even in the midst of the most dire circumstances – and showcases His glory and faithfulness in a way that few other stories have. Corrieʼs simple childlike faith and unwavering confidence in her God will never cease to inspire me and press me on to newer heights in my walk with Him. It also reminds me never to despair about my own challenges or difficulties; if He can carry her so triumphantly through some of the worst trials imaginable, certainly He can carry me triumphantly as well. Itʼs an engaging, easy to read book, and yet it contains some of the most profound spiritual truths youʼll ever encounter.

Annie recommends:

DISCIPLINE: THE GLAD SURRENDER by Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth has beautifully enunciated how discipline accompanies the believerʼs walk. I have received such wonderful encouragement and inspiration through this writing for the areas of my life such as time, space, order, health, exercise, and stillness with my King. If you love getting your hands on practical wisdom and advice that flows out of Biblical, Christ-centered foundation, I have a feeling you will love this book, (and even the parts that bring sweet conviction and challenge!)

Jade recommends: A CHANCE TO DIE by Elisabeth Elliot

OUR STAFF’S

RECOMMENDED

GOOD READS.

If you have never read this book, be prepared to meet one of the mightiest women of God to walk the earth! Amy Carmichael is brought to life through Elisabeth's words and I was truly inspired and spurred on to ever lay down my life for His glory. You never know how one woman giving her life completely to her God, will then be used by Him to change thousands of lives! Are you that woman? Read this book and let His Spirit guide you...exciting thought, isn't it?!

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sister of the

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life

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MEET JADE Q:

Jade, how did you come to Christ

and choose a set-apart life for Him? It was and still is, quite a journey. I never had a moment where I "accepted" Christ and chose to love Him for the first time, I just always have, ever since I can remember. It's amazing to have memories as a child of two and remember knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was loved by He who created me. Even living through a broken home and facing uncertainty about the future, my love and trust in my God never faltered, for I found that He was constant and steady, and He was the only one I could trust to never, never leave me or cast me aside. Little did I know, that He would use my parents divorce to make living the set-apart life heart knowledge. When I was thirteen, I went to a church retreat where a man was speaking to pre-teens about dating and marriage. I don’t remember a single thing he said except one. He brought out a big chart of statistics some university had come up with, stating that the younger you started to date the more likely you were to one day Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


divorce your own spouse. I have no idea if the exact numbers he told us were even accurate, but I remember him saying that if you began “cereal” dating at 14, you had a 90% chance of divorcing, if you were 16 it went down to something like 80%, and if you waited until you were 20 I think it may have been some drastic difference like 20%. Sitting on our porch that night, I remember thinking about what he’d said and wondering if it were really all true. Then, it was as if Jesus came and sat beside me and quietly whispered in my ear, “ Just imagine what the percent of you getting divorced would be if you didn’t date at all, but allowed me to find your husband instead.” What? Wait on Him to find someone for me? Now that was an interesting thought....might be something like 0% chance of getting divorced. And beyond the shadow of a doubt I knew that was what He was asking me to do. Little did I know then that making the decision to “not date” would only be the beginning of what He was truly calling me to, which was a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with Him then I ever could have imagined! Q: What have been some of your greatest challenges in walking out your faith in Jesus? Learning to completely trust with all certainty that He will fulfill me each and every day more than anyone ever could. Definitely trusting that giving up my reputation, career, and every thing I had ever wanted would be replaced with His dreams and desires for my life and that they would be far beyond what I could have wanted for myself...and they are! What a God we serve, a God who truly has a hope and a future for us if we are truly willing to let go of every single thing we may be clinging to. This was one of the greatest challenges I have walked through in my walk with Him and I would not change it for all the world. When I look back at all the plans and dreams I had for myself, plans and dreams that looked like jewels in my hands at the time, I can only thank Him with all I have in me that I did not begin to walk them out. Now, when I revisit the old plans and dreams they are no longer jewels, but scorpions and snakes, and everything in me wants to push them farther away. This is because I have gazed on His plans and His dreams for me, and I never want what I want again, unless it has been harnessed by Him. Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Q: How did you end up with us at Set Apart Girl? Ah, what an adventure that was! And if I told every detail of what happened I’d need much more room than I have here. So, here is the very...very...condensed version! In January of 2009 I attended one of

“I do not need any person to call you where I am calling you. Be still and trust.” Eric’s discipleship conferences here in Windsor. After being prompted all weekend by God, that I needed to ask Eric if I could talk with him, and after fighting it tooth and nail the whole time, I finally decided to listen and sat down with Eric and Annie to just share how passionate I was about the ministry and he and Leslie’s message. I was not very eloquent...at all. In fact, looking back on that conversation it was only by the grace of God that they all didn’t think I was nutty! I expressed to them how I would like to come and be a part of their ministry if they ever had a need arise where I could help and after we all prayed together, I went home. Six months went by, and I had made plans to move back to North Carolina with a friend who wanted to start a girl’s ministry there. I thought this was what God wanted me to do since I had not heard from Eric, Leslie, or Annie and so all my boxes were packed and in my mind, it was all final. I decided to attend one more conference in July at Ellerslie, since I knew I may not be coming back to Colorado for a long time (I was living in CO at the time) and was leaving in September. The moment I stepped out of my car onto the campus here at Ellerslie, I was hit with such a conviction and weight that going to North Carolina was not God’s plan for me, but plans I had made on my own, I could hardly breath. I remember thinking, “God, don’t do this! I HAVE to go to North Carolina! We have a plan, God, don’t mess with the plan!” and gently He whispered, “No, you had a plan. It is not mine. Trust me.” What a weekend it was. It was a weekend of being silent, of crying out to the Lord and having Him tell me to be silent and trust. I knew also that I was not suppose to talk to Eric and Leslie about the way I was feeling, but to let God lead and prompt in all things. And so I was

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


quiet...well, except for talking with Annie and begging for her to pray, pray, pray for me and what I was to do. I left that weekend and little did I know how my life was about to change. When I arrived home, the Lord clearly asked me to quit my job and not wait. “How am I suppose to live without this job right now, Lord?!” and He said, “Be still and trust.” So, I quit my job. Next, He asked me to seek Him in where I was to move. I still had no invitation from Eric or Leslie to come out and be a part of their ministry, so as far as I was concerned, North Carolina was the only seeable answer. Ah, but we do not serve a God who works in the seen, but the unseen. And so, I began a season of prayer like I had never experienced in my life, and I truly learned what “Wrestling Prayer” meant, for I wrestled day after day, night after night, for what He would have me do. Finally, I cried out to God, like Jacob, that I was not letting go of this job until He blessed me and told me what to do. And, like a still small voice, He whispered to my heart that He wanted me to move to Windsor. “But, God, Eric and Leslie have not called me to work with their ministry, so WHAT am I going to do?!” and He said as clear as any human voice I have ever heard, “I do not need any person to call you where I am calling you. Be still and trust.” That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever heard, because it would have been so much more comfortable for my flesh if I had been able to say to my family and friends, “Well, I’ve gotten the call from the ministry and so I’m going.” Instead, my answer to my family and friends was, “Um, I’m moving to Windsor...yea, it’s a really small town...um, I don’t know what I’m going to do there, but God has called me there so I’m going....yea, I’m not really sure where I’ll live, but I know God will provide....no, I haven’t gotten a job there, but I know God will open that door as well...” There are so many more details about what happened after I arrived in Windsor, but suffice it to say that the rest is history. I came, and God opened doors, at times not as fast as I wanted, but in His perfect timing. And if I have ever doubted that God would be faithful, coming to Windsor, walking out that journey, has proven that He is faithful in things I did not even know I needed Him to be faithful in!

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


Q: What is your current role with Set Apart Girl and Eric and Leslie Ludy? Currently, I’m part-time nanny to the sweet Ludy kiddos (aren’t I blessed?) as well as Leslie and Annie’s assistant. Generally, I do whatever they need me to (which is so much fun!) and I’m fervently trying to learn design and photography as well. You know you’re right where God wants you when you can’t wait to go to work each day...which really doesn’t feel like work at all and you see Him being glorified, even if it’s through assisting someone else to do what they are called to. The smallest thing is never small if He has asked you to do it for His Kingdom! Q: What is your desire for the young women of our generation? I ache and yearn for women of my generation to truly understand and know the utter, indescribable joy, of laying down their lives for Jesus. Only in allowing Him to script each word, paragraph, and page of your life is where you will find true fulfillment. Oh, I want you to understand that nothing else in this life matters but what you do for His Kingdom! For the world and its glories will fade, but God’s unmovable truth, living a life completely poured out for Him, this is what will last through all eternity. I want you to know that living a life in love with Jesus Christ is one of the hardest and most incredibly beautiful things you will ever do, and you will radiate for Him if you allow Him to hold your heart. What an ad-venture it is to walk through this life with Him! Q:

How do you thrive as a single woman unto the Lord and

cultivate your own walk with Christ? The single most important thing I do in my walk with Christ, is to have quiet time with Him each and everyday. Digging deep into His Word Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


and journaling about what He is teaching me is so helpful to look back on. I also journal my prayers and this has been one of the biggest things the Lord has used in my walk with Him. Being able to look back and clearly see exactly how He answered prayers in my life is truly stunning. I also love to read books by great Christian authors that edify and drive me back to His Word. Elizabeth Elliot, Oswald Chambers, A.W. Tozer, etc. all inspire and motivate me to ever know the depths of my God. Q: What would you share with other young women waiting for God’s leading for their life? Be still and trust. He never calls us to something without providing the means to accomplish it.

THESE ARE A FEW OF JADE’S FAVORITE THINGS... shell hunting the color purple rainy, english days oversized sweat shirts cottages by the sea everything about the ocean (I’ve got sand in my blood)

The Chronicles of Narnia kiddo laughter tea roses antique books my townie bike soft scarves Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


The Newest Book from Leslie Ludy take it deeper Order Now!

I

In today’s sex-obsessed society, pop-culture’s idea of feminine beauty seems to be all about looking like the hottest models, movie stars, or pop-singers. But the end results are often tragic - overwhelming insecurity, eating disorders, and sexual promiscuity. This book presents a whole different vision for feminine loveliness as god intended it to be - the breathtaking radiance of a young woman who has been transformed by Christ from the inside out. This book offers lots of practical advice about how to: *Showcase Christ’s beauty in the way you dress, act, and live *Overcome insecurity and see yourself as God sees you *Become attractive to the right kind of guy *Build your femininity on God’s values instead of the world’s The Lost Art of True Beauty will lead you on a life-changing journey to becoming a woman of feminine grace, inner radiance and timeless appeal!

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


SET APART VOICES Set Apart Girls answer the question:

How have you made your living space into a “sacred sanctuary”?

I am answering this question on behalf of my roommate. From her years as a dorm R.A. through today, Krista has created a sanctuary of grace, rest, and safety on a God-honoring budget. Her spiritually-rich artwork nudges us toward our King -- a large, old-fashioned world map hung in a huge wooden frame invites us to pray for the least of these around the world, and a tackboard bursting with symbolic pictures and artifacts reminds us of others' prayer requests. Krista's creatively arranged portraits of our friends highlight the uniqueness and unity within the body of Christ. We use a chalkboard set in a vintage silver frame to write one another encouraging notes. Quirky lamps soften and warm every room. In her bedroom, Krista scrawls Bible verses in huge script across her reflection in the mirrored closet doors, and all of her quiet time necessities are within reach on her bedside table. Krista has blessed more people than she will ever know with her sacred sanctuary, which has gently ushered her friends and discipleship students into the presence of their Savior. ANONYMOUS

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


I have a bulletin board that I like to post pictures of nature (trees, flowers, etc.) on, that I can look at while I'm sitting at my desk; it helps me to focus on the beautiful things God has created. I also like to do craft projects and frame them. I have a set of frames in which I've put: Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Shalom, and Jehovah Nisi (provision, peace, and victory). It helps me to meditate on who God is and what He has promised to do for me. The most important thing that I do to make my living space a "sacred sanctuary" is on my mirror I have taped several verses and poems that help me to think scripturally. It's tempting to focus too much on the outward appearance, but having verses taped on my mirror help me to focus on what God wants me to focus on -- Himself and His Word. Doing this helps me set my thoughts on Him and not inward, and it helps me to meditate on His promises rather than on my own thoughts.

Melanie

21 | CONNECTICUT

Right now I am living in a very small studio apartment in France. Living on a "Missionary budget" makes it hard to buy a lot of things to make my "home" a sanctuary. I keep pictures on my desk and on my little fridge of smiling children from India and that helps me remember to pray for them. I have candles and antique doilies placed around my room. I keep everything tidy and organized. And I always do the dishes before I go to bed at night. When I can, I like to put out fresh flowers. I have a blanket that is folded up on my floor in a corner and that is my "couch" where I always have my quiet time with Jesus. Even though my place is small, it feels like home and it is a peaceful meadow for me to come home to!

Bethany

18 | FRANCE (ILLINOIS)

My room is the only place in our house that is actually mine, but I share it with my sister. We've turned that area of ours into a beautiful space that, I hope, reflects our relationship with Jesus. We have a desk that has our Bibles and journals on it, and most of the time we have worship music floating through the air. The lady who lives with us has taught me through her daily life to make my personal space a sanctuary where we can go to be with Jesus. Whenever I get a chance to be in her bedroom, it amazes me that a simple room could be transformed into what it is. I try to make my personal space into what it should be. My sister and I have pretty candles around our room, and worship music on a lot. It is the place that I go to be in the presence of my King.

Sarah Kate

(

12 | COLORADO

Email your answer (along with your first name, age, and state) to jade@ellerslie.com and we just might publish it!

)

WE WANT TO hear from you: NEXT ISSUE’S QUESTION: How do you avoid being distracted by pop-culture?

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


The Sacred Call

of motherhood

a Heavenly Perspective on Raising Kids

by Leslie Ludy

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie.  All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Psalm 113:9

I am a REAL mom.

My

days are filled with moments that are ohs o - r e a l - l i f e , n o t t o m e n t i o n r a w, unglamorous and unromantic. Like yesterday, when Avy threw up, like a volcano, all over her clothes and her car seat just as church was getting out. (She was not sick, but she’s recently discovered her gag reflex and likes to experiment with it. Do not ask me why.) So right there on the sidewalk while everyone was walking past in their dress pants and high heels, I stripped off her smelly, sour, soaking clothes while Eric sopped up the car seat with baby wipes. We went about the tedious, disgusting and rather embarrassing process of cleaning everything up as a nearly-naked Avy screamed at the top of her lungs and Hudson and Harper ran wildly around the parking lot. We made quite a spectacle. We were an hour late for our family outing. Our kids were whiny over missing lunch and complaining about the smell in the car. And everyone was just a little on edge, including Mommy. But once we finally got to our destination and everyone ate lunch and got outside into the crisp fresh air, it turned out to be a

beautiful day. We ended up having a great day being together as a family. It just took a little bit of battling to get to the beauty. That’s the way motherhood is for

Battling through the daily challenges of my life to discover the incredible beauty God has waiting for me on the other side. Not me.

stopping short and accepting the chaos, or resigning myself to the attitude “this is just the way it is.” By God’s grace, I have purposed not to settle for anything less than His pattern for motherhood; and His pattern is victorious, triumphant, and glorious. I have been around countless moms who roll their eyes at the notion that motherhood can be glorious. They laugh at the idea that there can be peace, dignity and beauty in raising children. They scoff at the suggestion that a mother of young children can be joyful, calm, well-dressed and wellrested. They snicker at the idea that a home with children can be clean and orderly.

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


“Life with kids is chaos,” one mother of four told me, “get used to it!” “Most days, I would sell my children for a few dollars,” said a frazzled mother of three. “It’s been years since I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep and I can’t even remember what my house looks like clean.” Believe me, I understand these

raising children. You cannot take a break from your calling as a mother. It’s a job that requires you to be on call twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week. There is very little private time at all (many mornings when I take a shower, my three and five year old stand outside the bathroom banging on the door and yelling for me to hurry up.) And moms can’t just clean the house every few days

Rather, you actually have a team of little rascals working to undo all of your hard work around the house. They take folded laundry and expect it to stay that way.

sentiments, and I know exactly why so many moms feel this way. I’ve had plenty of moments where I felt the same way. By nature, the business of raising children is messy, loud, inconvenient, chaotic, and difficult. It can be intensely frustrating and often feels futile. It disrupts every aspect of your life. There is no “down time;” no vacation from

and dump it out. They pull all your make-up out of a drawer you just organized. They spill juice on a freshly cleaned carpet. They draw with marker on newly painted walls. Alas, I know these scenarios all too well. Whenever Eric and I are trying to leave the house with all four kids, inevitably, some kind of catastrophe strikes. It doesn’t matter how early we start getting ready, there always seems to be a huge diaper blowout, throwing up episode, temper tantrum or meltdown just as we are about to exit the house. And the kids shoes have a way of disappearing whenever we are in a hurry, and I often find myself running around the house at the last minute frantically searching for Harper’s other purple croc and Kip’s other brown tennis shoe. More

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whispers to your soul. You might as well give up on expecting anything more. Don’t even try. It’s always going to be this way.

Then the voice of selfpity chimes in with the message: Poor, poor you. No one understands how hard your life is. Raising four little kids is so stressful and difficult. Everyone else has it so easy, but you never get a break!

than once Kip has arrived at a function wearing his big brother’s swim clogs that are two sizes too big, and Avy has on mis-matched socks that she pulls off in the car and loses under her car seat, simply because I cannot find their shoes if my life depended on it. And almost always, we arrive fifteen minutes late to wherever we are going, despite our best efforts at being organized and leaving on time. Usually (as an added bonus) at least one of the kids spills water or juice all over their clothes on the way to our destination. (I recently invested in top-ofthe-line, high octane, supposedly leakproof kid’s water bottles to avoid this scenario; I will keep you posted on the outcome.) In moments such as these, the temptation toward becoming the classic frazzled mom is quite intense. Your life is so chaotic, the voice of despair

My response to these voices is what leads to either victory or defeat in my mothering. If I entertain these lies, even for a moment, they quickly take root in my soul and grow, blinding me to see anything beyond the temporary chaos and discouragement I feel. And soon the whole day becomes chaotic and discouraging. My role as a mother feels overwhelming, exhausting and futile. I jump on the “motherhood is chaos” bandwagon. I no longer have the energy

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


to battle for beauty, order and peace in my child-raising. Rather, I resign myself to mediocrity.

But if I rise up in God’s strength and resist the temptation to throw my hands up in despair or wallow in self-pity, amazing things happen. When I cry out to God for victory, He comes instantly to my rescue. He redeems a day that might otherwise have ended in discouragement and fills it with peace and joy. He calms my tumultuous emotions. He quiets my screaming children. He helps me find their missing shoes. He gives me wisdom for how to organize our home so that leaving the house becomes smoother and easier. And He opens my eyes to see the amazing, sacred privilege He’s given me – being a mother

to four precious little future worldchangers. Yes, I believe motherhood is meant to be glorious. That doesn’t mean that raw and real-life moments won’t happen, or that raising children will always feel like a scene right out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. But it does mean that when God is at the center of my child-raising and home-managing, there is beauty, order, peace, joy, honor and dignity to be found. I don’t believe moms are destined to live in perpetually messy houses with peanut butter handprints all over the walls and piles of dirty laundry all over the floor. I don’t believe it is a mother’s lot to wear ratty sweats everyday and never have time to put make-up on or dress with dignity. And I don’t believe that moms have to be slaves to their children’s emotional tirades and temper tantrums.

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I believe that Proverbs 31 is more than just a poetic pie-in-the-sky dream. It is God’s pattern for glorious motherhood. It says, “strength and dignity are her clothing” and that “she smiles at the days to come” and that “her children rise up and call her blessed.” This is the opposite of the frazzled, exhausted, stressed-out frustrated motherhood of our day. God desires to take an ordinary mom and transform her into a radiant, set-apart, joyful mother of children.

Our job is not to try to become super-moms in our own strength. Rather, our job is lay our lives before Him without reserve and trust Him with every detail of our sacred calling. Remember, faithful is He who calls you who also will do it! (I Th 5:24) * Note: Over the next few months I will be sharing some ways that I have begun putting these principles into practice in my mothering and daily life – stay tuned!

Copyright 2011 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


the

kiddo spot 104


HUDSON, age 5 This has been a big month for him.

e t custuff

He turned six,

had Haitian children over for a slumber party, and made his on-stage debut and helped Daddy preach a sermon called “The Faith of a Five-Year-Old.” can listen to it here.

You

It is quite possibly one of

the most adorable things I’ve ever heard, but I might be biased.

HARPER, age 3

the ludy kids are “saying & doing”

The other day she put on a purple hand-band and looked in the mirror and declared, “I look like a human!” (I have no idea where that came from.) Her favorite new thing is licking the beaters when I get done making cookie dough or frosting. She always randomly asks me, “Mamma, do you have something sweet for me to lick?”

KIPLING, age 2 He loves music.

His favorite new thing is dancing around the living room while I

play the song “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy” on the piano.

He will do it for an hour

if we let him. He got a bongo drum for Christmas from his Tummy-Mommy, and he loves it. I think he’s a little worship leader in the making!

AVONLEA, age 1 Her hair is getting curly, so we’ve been putting her in baby head-bands with her wild curls sticking up everywhere.

She has a gap between her two front teeth.

This combined with her crazy curls, chubby thighs and fat tummy fits her rascally personality just perfectly.

Despite her delicate, feminine name (Avonlea

Rose) she is not what I would call delicate or feminine.

She’s a spunky,

fearless, go-getter and she is still convinced that she can do anything her sixyear-old brother can do. Copyright 2010 The Church at Ellerslie. All rights reserved.   No material from this website may be copied, reproduced, or distributed without express written permission from The Church at Ellerslie.


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Leslie’s Blog!

Marriage & mamahood

Moments from my life.

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MOTHERHOOD: Orphan Beds When my son Hudson was three, he found out about orphans. His beloved nanny, Annie, had recently taken a trip to Haiti and when she returned she showed him photos of all the children that did not have a Mommy and Daddy to take care of them. He was horrified at the thought. And then he came up with an idea. Why not share his Mommy and Daddy with all the kids that didn’t have parents? He presented this proposal to me as we were driving down the road one day. “Can we bring all the kids from the orphanage in Haiti home to live with us?” he asked me... CLICK HERE FOR TO READ THE REST

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Hudson Jack Ludy turns Photos by given.photography

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“This hat is warm and cozy and has Lightening McQueen on it! - Hudson

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...Before the whole world, yes, before the sleepless, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him... ( C.T. STUDD) 112


“I like this because it reminds me that I’m gonna be a rescuer soon!”

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“I like this hat because it has green in it. And green is my new favorite color!�

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Hudson IN A NUTSHELL...

Rescuer in training inventor extraordinaire creator of amazing home-made presents developer of Ludyland theme park Aficionado of Big Words Leader with a capitol “L�

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I got this hat for Christmas and it has lots of different colors, like a rainbow.�

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Happy Birthday, B. We’re so proud of you! 117


"Do you ask, "What is faith in Him?" I answer the leaving of your own way, your objects, your self, and the taking of His and HIM; the leaving of your trust in men, in money, in opinion, in character, in atonement itself, and doing as He tells you. I can find no words strong enough to serve for the weight of this obedience!" - George MacDonald

inournextissue: Combining Modesty and Style Practical ways to bring mystique and dignity to your wardrobe Top Ten Time Wasters for Young Women, Part Three (Hint - It’s not what you might expect!) Set Apart Mamahood Adding Beauty and Romance to Child-Raising

Soli Deo Gloria

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Profile for Ellerslie

2011 Jan/Feb Set Apart Girl Issue  

Leslie Ludy's Online Magazine

2011 Jan/Feb Set Apart Girl Issue  

Leslie Ludy's Online Magazine

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